Showing posts from 2015

Why Carbs Should Be the Base of Your Diet (Even For Diabetics)

           After giving a presentation on diabetes, I was asked what the “healthiest” food to eat. Answer: There is no single healthiest food. What’s the healthy diet depends on your definition of healthy. This is different for everyone. That said, here are some recommendations for everyone… Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) AMDR is a fancy phrase for how much carbs, fat, and protein are recommended by the Institute of Medicine : 45-65% Calories from Carbohydrates 20-35% Calories from Fat 10-35% Calories from Protein (10-25% recommended by Australian Ministry of Health ) Because these nutrient recommendations are a range, everyone can get them differently. Some people do very well on a high carb diet with 65% calories from carbohydrates. Diabetics are often told to eat closer to 50% calories from carbs, and some people do well with only 45% calories from carbs. Why so many carbohydrates? What about low carb diets, like Atkins?

Nutritionist vs. Dietitian and Other Nutrition Terms

There are a lot of people today trying to sell their services as “nutrition professionals” but what do all the different terms mean? Nutritionist The term is not regulated. Many people, including myself, call themselves a nutritionist because they have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Nutrition. But, I've also asked nutritionists and been told they took only 1 nutrition class. Feel free to ask a nutritionist about her education and decide for yourself if she has enough education. Nutrition Coach The term is not regulated. Many people using it have only taken a few nutrition classes. They may have a certificate from an online program, such as Precision Nutrition or Integrative Nutrition . This person often does not have a degree in nutrition. Nutrition Consultant This term is not regulated. Anyone may call himself/herself this.  Nutritional Therapist This term may be used by someone who took in-person or online classes through the Institute for Optim

FAQs About Omega-3s (Including Vegan Sources!)

By now, I think most people have heard at least something about Omega-3s. But it’s good to get some information about them from a nutritionist (not your neighbor, yoga teacher, or cat sitter)… What are Omega-3s? A type of fat. Specifically, they are an unsaturated fat. You may have also heard of Omega-6s or Omega-9s. They are also unsaturated fats.  If you want to get into chemistry, Omega-3s have a double bond between two carbon atoms at the omega-3 position (which means that the third carbon from the end of the fat chain not attached to a glycerol backbone). Do I need Omega-3s? Yes! 

Enjoy Chocolate in Moderation

I'll be honest, I enjoy chocolate. And that's moderation,   You've probably heard before that dark chocolate is best health-wise, milk chocolate is worse, and white chocolate is the worst. Here's why: Flavonoids  

Fruit Juice: Good or Bad?

      Lately, I've been seeing a lot of commercials for a reduced calorie orange "juice". So let's look more at fruit juice and fruit drinks. Fruit Juice Counts as a Serving of Fruit MyPlate  food guide recommends 1 ½ cup to 2 cups of fruit for most Americans.  Because fruit and fruit juice have the same vitamins, one cup of 100% fruit juice counts as one cup of fruit.      Health Benefits   Drinking fruit juice is an easy way to get vitamin C. Most fruit juices provide 100% of the recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is used by the entire body for growth and repair. It may reduce the risk of heart disease, gum disease, and cancer.      Some fruit juices  also  provide small amounts of the B vitamins. On a nutrition label, the B vitamins are often listed by a name other than “vitamin B”. The B vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid.  The B vitamins are important for energy, blood health, and

Safety of Sugar Substitutes

Artificial and natural no and low calorie sweeteners can be found in a wide variety of foods. But are they safe? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a variety of sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners. Similar agencies have also approved these sweeteners for use in other countries. However, this does not mean there are no potential health effects. Zevia soda is sweetened with erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit extract.

Reduced Sugar Chocolate Chips Cookies Two Ways

As you know, I am a fan of junk food, especially sweets. I believe that everything can be consumed in moderation. For me, that doesn't mean only having dessert once a month. For me, that means having dessert daily but in a small portion and, preferably, making that dessert myself so I can control the ingredients.  Today, I'll show you how to control the amount of sugar in your chocolate chip cookies using two different recipes and two different sugar substitutes. Recipe 1   First up is a cookie made with sucralose (commonly known by the brand name Splenda). I like that sucralose was made from real sugar (sucrose), unlike aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, and xylitol.  Before stevia became mainstream, sucralose was my sugar substitute of choice for this reason. I still find that sucralose products can be easier to work with because it is used in a one-to-one ratio, meaning 1 cup of sugar can be replaced with one cup of sucralose because

Cherry Chunk Cookies

We all know that we shouldn't eat sweets all day every day, but many of us like to have something sweet once a day. If you're one of those people, baking dessert at home can help you make healthier choices than buying packaged products from the grocery store. You'll be able to control the ingredients, such as how limiting sugar, increasing whole grain, and eliminating ingredients that you don't think belong in your food. Homemade goods also taste better than processed, packaged goods, which means you'll enjoy your treat more. This week, I adapted a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe from Cooking Light . I replaced the chocolate with dried cherries to sneak a little fruit into my family's diet. I also reduced the sugar by ¼ cup and removed the salt. The oatmeal adds whole grains and fiber to the cookie.

Homemade vs. Store Bough Biscuits

Take a look at the ingredients list on one of those cardboard rolls of biscuits you can buy in the refrigerated section of the store. Here’s what I see on one mainstream product’s “homestyle original biscuits”: Enriched bleached flour, Water, Soybean oil, Sugar, Baking Powder, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Whey, Xanthan Gum. Hmm…It starts out sounding home-style—flour, water, oil, sugar, baking powder. You can make a biscuit with all these ingredients. But who, while cooking at home, adds whey and xanthan gum?  And some of this brand's biscuits have even more ingredients you wouldn’t cook with at home, including partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. Trans fatty acids or Trans fats, which I’m sure you’ve heard are worse than other forms of fat and should be avoided) and chemical preservatives.  Even a company that claims to be more natural has a long list of ingredients. But, if you make it yourself, you only need 4 ingredients. Making them yourself doesn’t take muc

Potential Benefits of Wine and a Chocolate Wine Brownie

By now, you’ve heard that a glass of wine a day is good for you. But, you probably also know that wine, like any alcohol has negative health effects. So, let’s sort through some of this research…. Looking on ScienceDirect for studies on “wine antioxidants,” I found more than 17,000. I narrowed it down to free journal articles published this year (2015), because we want the most recent data. I then selected three articles to share.   Consumers Views of Wine’s Benefits The first study I want to share actually studied consumers views of wine related to health benefits. Consumers were given a list of possible health benefits and asked to mark which health benefits red wine and white wine had. About three-quarters of respondents said red wine “helps the cardiovascular system” and “lowers your cholesterol.” Only 9% said white wine had the same benefits. Consumers seem to be right. Red wine contains more flavonoids (antioxidant or antioxidant-like compounds) than wh


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