Thursday, July 30, 2015

News Roundup: The effects of Soda on the Body


Earlier this week, a graphic labeled “what happens one hour after drinking a can of Coke” went viral.  Although the graphic only represents one person’s personal experience after drinking a can of soda, it brings up some good points and restarts the conversation about the effects of soda on the body. For example, one can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is close to the total amount of sugar one person should have in an entire day.

This week’s News Roundup brings you a collection of articles and blog posts related to the effects of drinking soda on your body.

Here’s What Happens in the Hour After You Drink a Can of Coke (and What Happened to Me When I Tried It).  The Blaze. “After 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can into fat.”

What One Can of Coke Does to Your Body in Only One Hour.  Yahoo! Health. ““When you drink soda, its sugar literally floods your system, quickly raising blood sugar levels. That’s problematic because your body needs to kick into overdrive to try to convert all of that sugar into energy — and the excess is stored in your body as fat.”

Soft Drinks and Disease.  Harvard School of Public Health. “Soft drinks are the beverage of choice for millions of Americans, but sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions… In the Framingham Heart Study, men and women who had one or more soft drinks a day were 25 percent more likely to have developed trouble managing blood sugar and nearly 50 percent more likely to have developed metabolic syndrome.”

Even If you’re Lean, 1 Soda Per Day Ups Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes.  NPR. “So even if people are lean, if they continue consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, they have a greater likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes,"

Sugary Drinks Linked To Health Problems Even In Normal Weight People.  Forbes. “Earlier this month, a study estimated that globally 184,000 people die each year from health problems related to sugary drink consumption. More research is needed, of course, but the evidence is looking pretty rough for sugary drinks. They offer no nutritional value, and lead to a quick spike and drop in blood sugar.”


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

6 Ways To Get More Fruits And Vegetables Into Your Diet

You’ve probably been told since childhood about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 33% of adults meet the daily recommended intake for fruits, and only 27% of American are eating enough vegetables. That means that 7 out of every 10 Americans needs to step up their fruit and vegetable intake.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and are full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Most of the beneficial fiber is contained in the skin or other parts of the fruit or vegetable, so it is better to eat the whole fruit or vegetable than drink it’s juice.  The juicing process actually strips the skin and pith, taking fiber with it. (Think apple vs. apple juice, orange vs. orange juice).  We’re talking about unprocessed, whole fruits and vegetables. 

Here are some tips for upping fruit and vegetable intake.

Don’t supplement, replace

With more than two thirds of Americans being overweight or obese, it is important to note that when working on increasing fruit and vegetable intake, most people need to replace an existing food they are already eating with a fruit or vegetable. Simply adding fruits and vegetables to an existing diet will increase overall calorie intake, which can lead to weight gain. Think in terms of substituting, not adding. For example, try fresh blueberries instead of candy when you are craving something sweet.

Jazz up your salad

Salads can be a great source of fruits and vegetables. One great way to get more nutrition bang for your buck is to replace iceberg lettuce with romaine lettuce, spinach, and/or kale. The darker the green, the more vitamins and minerals it contains. (Iceberg lettuce is mostly water.) Spinach and kale are full of Vitamin A, C, and K, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and folate, to name a few.  Add as many other fruits and vegetables to your salad as you like, but try to stay away from high fat/calorie salads that contain bacon, excess cheese, and other toppings like fried wonton strips.

Replace pasta with vegetables

By replacing pasta noodles with squash or zucchini, you can save calories and gain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. With the help of an inexpensive kitchen tool, you can turn zucchini or summer squash into “spaghetti noodles” very easily. Baked spaghetti squash can also be substituted for pasta noodles. All you have to do is bake it in the oven and shred with a fork. It’s that easy! Another tasty substitution is to slice summer squash and zucchini lengthwise and make vegetable lasagna.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

In 2011, MyPlate replaced the food pyramid in providing national recommendations for daily food intake. One of the recommendations is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. With half a plate full of fruits and vegetables, there is less room for unhealthy food that is potentially full of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Plus, most fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, and therefore good for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Replace the cookie jar with a fruit bowl

Make the healthiest foods, like fruit, the most visible and easily accessible in your kitchen. Conversely, remove all unhealthy, “junk food” from the counter tops (and your house altogether, ideally). If you have a difficult time deciding what is healthy and unhealthy, a good rule of thumb is to not have any food on your counter top except fruit. Also, place pre-made green salads or a bowl of grapes at eye level in the refrigerator to keep them visible. You will naturally tend to eat the food that is most convenient and visible.

Have fruit for dessert

Instead of having ice cream, make your own banana ice cream. Freeze a banana, and then blend it with your favorite milk and fresh fruit or peanut butter. This banana based “ice cream” is full of fiber and protein and has no added sugar. You may be surprised at how creamy and tasty it really is. Another great option is berries and a tablespoon of whipped cream. Or sliced, baked apples and cinnamon.


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