ABC 10 | Healthy Summer Treats

P

Last week I appeared on ABC 10’s lifestyle/news program in Sacramento (Sac & Co.) with Host Mellisa Paul for their “Healthy Summer Treats” segment. I took advantage of many of the sweet summer fruits in season.

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Snacks2

On the menu…

Summer Fruit Bruschetta (fresh basil, strawberries, nectarines, and raspberry balsamic glaze) served on Dr. Kracker Seedlander Crispbread with cranberry mascarpone* (Italian cream cheese).

The mascarpone is a decadent “treat” due to its creamy milk fat content. To ‘thin’ out the fat, I created more volume by adding the raspberry balsamic glaze used in the bruschetta + chopped berries. The cheese is meant to be thinly spread on the cracker to help hold the bruschetta on the cracker and balance out the acidity of the bruschetta. A healthier substitute for mascarpone is Greek cream cheese which has half the fat/calories per tablespoon but has a more acidic, tangy taste.

The Seggiano raspberry balsamic glaze is a naturally dense, balsamic vinegar glaze, made with just cooked grape must, wine vinegar, and natural raspberry juice.

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Treats4.jpg

Hawaiian guacamole (fresh avocado, mango, and pineapple) served with Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Boost your brain health by serving this dip with an assortment of fresh veggies, on fresh grilled salmon, or with beans. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E and healthy fat — great for your heart, brain, and skin!

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Treats5

“Salad Bars” — A salad in a bar! These baked treats are made with whole grain flours, almond flour, almond milk, flaxseeds, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, banana, apple, applesauce, and zante currants. Contain no dairy or eggs.

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Treats9

Quick Homemade Almond Milk (used in the Salad Bars above)

Mini Fruit Pizza with Plain Nonfat Greek yogurt (as the “cheese”) and strawberry fruit spread (as “the pizza sauce”) + various plant-based toppings (fresh fruit, nuts and seeds) on a multigrain thin sandwich bun.

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Treats7

Freshly brewed Hibiscus Raspberry tea infused with fresh citrus and berries

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Treats10

ABC 10_Healthy Summer Snacks3

KRON 4 | Eat Your Fluids and Lose Weight

Drinking the recommended amount of water every day may sometimes seem like a daunting task, but here’s why you need water to lose weight — and why you don’t have to drink all that water.

KRON 4_Water-Rich Food6
Which would you rather have….?

Why You Need Water to Lose Weight

  • Water suppresses your appetite naturally.
  • Your body often confuses thirst with hunger. You may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually just thirsty.
  • When you lack water, you store more fat. Water is the key to fat metabolism. Water lessens the burden on your kidneys. Your kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. Thus, the liver has to compensate and can’t do its job which is to break down fats and produce energy.

NOTE: An overweight person needs more water than a thin one. The more fat you have to lose, the more water you have to drink per day.

Recommended Daily Water Intake

Aim for drinking half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 oz. of water (10 cups). Then adjust for hot weather, exercise, and medical conditions.

Fluid Content in Fruits and Vegetables 

KRON 4_Water-Rich Food8.jpg

Percent Water in Vegetables
Cucumber, iceberg lettuce: 96%
Celery, zucchini, romaine lettuce: 95%
Tomatoes, bell peppers: 94%
Broccoli: 91%

KRON 4_Water-Rich Food7

Percent Water in Fruits

Watermelon, strawberries: 92%
Cantaloupe, peach, nectarine: 88-90%
Plum, raspberries, apple, blueberries: 85-87%

Get More Mileage Out of Water-Rich Food

  • Water-rich food is full of water and fiber which makes food BIG and HEAVY. So it takes up more space (it’s filling!) without adding a lot of calories.

– Turn casseroles into soups.
– Eat rice (cooked with water) instead of dry, dense bread, bagels or crackers.
– Eat oatmeal (cooked with water) instead of cold dry cereal.
– Eat beans (cooked with water) instead of dense, fatty meat.

  • High volume foods help stop the diet-deprivation cycle. You can eat more food and feel less deprived.

When to Control Fluid Intake

Important note: People in the later stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a limited ability to remove excess fluid since they have lost kidney function. Those living with CKD have to follow a fluid-restricted diet.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54 Fit Tip: Focus more on WHAT you eat vs. how much. Just eat more fruit at breakfast and add more veggies to lunch and dinner entrees.

Also, be sure to check the color of your pee. Your urine should be a pale straw color or transparent yellow (think light lemonade). If you’re dehydrated, your urine color will be darker yellow (think the color of honey or apple juice). Then it’s time to drink more water — about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to start — and eat some fruits and veggies!

KRON 4 | Why Meat is Linked to Colon Cancer

Numerous studies have linked a high intake of red meat or processed meats to colon cancer. KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, has me explain why eating animal protein and fat are to blame.

Bile is to Blame

  • Bile assists with digestion by breaking down fats. Think of bile as “Mother Nature’s degreaser”. This greenish yellow secretion is made and released by the liver, then concentrated and stored in the gallbladder until fat enters your small intestine.
  • Bile acids stimulate the growth of bacteria, which convert the primary bile acids into secondary bile acids.
  • Bile acids, particularly secondary bile acids, have long been suspected as being cancer-causing.
  • Eating more fat means more fat and bile acids in the colon.

High Saturated Fats in the Diet

  • A high intake of saturated fat is associated with high levels of bile, which is usually evident in colon cancer patients.
  • High saturated fats + high levels of bile are factors that produce colorectal cancer tumors.

Meat Sources High in Saturated Fat

  • Meat – e.g., fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb
  • Processed / deli meats – salami, sausages, chicken skin
  • Lard – pig fat

Bile Circulates from Colon to Breast    

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Why Meat is Linked to Colon Cancer”

KRON 4 | What Would Happen If You Ate 20 Servings of Fruit a Day for Several Weeks?

How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t eat fruit. It has too much sugar.” Are you worried about blood sugar spikes? If so, you might want to rethink your fructose fears.

KRON 4 Fructose4

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are known to have adverse side effects, but what about the sugar found naturally in fruit and fruit juice? Can you eat too much fruit? Today I chatted with KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, and broke down the facts on fruit.

Fruit, Table Sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup — What’s the difference?

  • Table sugar and its synthetic sister, high fructose corn syrup are made up of two molecules: glucose + fructose, a.k.a. “industrial fructose”. 
  • Fruits contain “naturally-occurring” fructose. (Fructose is one of the three building blocks of carbohydrates.)
  • Industrial fructose is linked to hypertension, belly fat, high triglycerides, and liver disease.

Is Eating Too Much Fruit (Fructose) Bad for You?

Per a University of Eastern Finland study, possible reasons that fruit and fruit juice did not spike blood sugar:

1. Fruit had a more solid consistency: Thickness in a fruit puree may slow digestion vs. gulping down pure sugar water (e.g., soda).

2. Fruit contains soluble fiber: Soluble fiber forms a thick gel in the intestines which slows the breakdown of sugars. Fructose is bound to the fiber, so it does not absorb as quickly.

3. Fruit contains phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals: “Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats and thus, provide protection in humans. Phytonutrients slow sugars traveling from the intestines into the blood stream.

Eat Berries to Slow Blood Sugar Spikes

Low-fiber starches (e.g., white bread, white pasta, white flour pretzels, instant oatmeal, corn flakes, and soda crackers) will also spike your blood sugar.

Per another study with starches (white and rye bread) eaten with various berry combinations, the berries suppressed the blood sugar and insulin spikes. So if you eat a starchy, low fiber food on occasion, be sure to eat berries.

KRON 4 Fructose3

What Would Happen if You Ate 20 Servings of Fruit a Day for Several Weeks?    

Continue reading “KRON 4 | What Would Happen If You Ate 20 Servings of Fruit a Day for Several Weeks?”

KRON 4 | Why Caffeine Has Long-Lasting Effects

Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, caffeine could be keeping you awake even though you never consume it at night. That’s because caffeine has a longer-lasting effect than you may think.

KRON 4 Caffeine9

Negative Health Effects of Insomnia

Caffeine disrupts deep (restorative) sleep and the ability to fall asleep which cuts down on total sleep time resulting in:

  • Overeating and binge eating
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Increased mortality — According to a study by the American Cancer Society (Mortality Associated with Sleep Duration and Insomnia), insufficient sleep can shorten your life. Causes of death associated with sleep duration include heart disease, stroke, and breast/colon cancer.

Why Caffeine Has a Lasting Effect (Half-Life Explained)

Caffeine has a half life of five to six hours. In other words, it takes five to six hours for the amount of caffeine in your body to be reduced to exactly one-half of its concentration. (Translation: the amount of caffeine remaining in your body after six hours is equal to the amount you excrete.)

How It Breaks Down

The half-life of caffeine in a healthy adult is six hours. This does not take into consideration half-life variables (see below) that can influence how fast/slow a person metabolizes caffeine.

  • Excedrin Extra StrengthDue to the half-life of caffeine, caffeine starts accumulating in your body when you consume it throughout the day. This could be in the form of another drink, food, or even medication.
  • For example, if you drink two cups of coffee every day at 8:00 AM, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM nearly 45 gm of caffeine could still be in your system.
  • Caramel frappuccinoTo compound the caffeinated effect, if you drink another cup of coffee at 2:00 PM as an afternoon pick-me-up, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM, nearly 90 gm of caffeine could still be in your system. That’s nearly the amount of caffeine in a 16-oz Frappuccino® — a clue as to why you may not be able to sleep well.

KRON 4 Caffeine4

Your Personal Buzz (Half-Life Variables)

The half-life of caffeine is not a fixed number and can vary based on the individual. Variables include your:    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Why Caffeine Has Long-Lasting Effects”