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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”

ABC 10 | Healthy Valentine’s Day!

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A healthy Valentine’s Day? Oxymoron, you say? It IS possible to healthify your V-Day eats and sweeten the deal with some fun food that your little darlings will enjoy. Here’s what was on the menu when I was on ABC10 yesterday as their recurring health expert. Get your kids and grandkids involved — this is when they can play with their food!

On the menu:

Cocoa Cupcakes: What makes these so moist? Cooked beets! Also, flaxseeds and chunks of pecans and give them an added boost of healthy fat and the dark cocoa provides powerful antioxidants. Contains whole wheat flour and NO dairy or eggs.

Razzberry Choco-mole: Move aside guacamole. Dark cocoa meets avocado for a decadent, smooth and creamy sweet treat. Blended with both fresh and frozen raspberries for a tart undertone. Does not contain dairy or eggs.

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Apple Heart Sandwiches: A sandwich kids will love to make. Slice apples horizontally then cut out the center with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Layer an apple slice with creamy nut butter, currants, muesli, and sunflower seeds, then top with an apple slice for a ‘hearty’ sandwich!

Chocolate Cups with Lemon-illa Filling: Dark chocolate cups are made lovingly by hand 😘 and filled with Greek cream cheese. The filling is flavored with fresh lemon zest, Mexican vanilla, and a touch of honey. Top with a fresh strawberry “heart”. Greek cream cheese contains half the fat and four times the protein than low-fat cream cheese.

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Hearty Green Salad:  A power blend of baby greens (Swiss chard, kale, and spinach) is topped with heart-shaped red peppers, cucumbers, and XO’s (cut from mozzarella and cheddar cheeses).

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Rosemary Red Hearts: Red potatoes are cut into hearts and roasted with rosemary, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

Hibiscus Berry Smoothie: Red delicious apples, banana, frozen raspberries and strawberries, and cashew milk yogurt are blended in a base of hibiscus tea. Does not contain dairy.

Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO ♥

KRON 4 | Bouncing Back from a Binge

VIDEO:  Once again I had the pleasure of chatting with Marty Gonzalez, weekend anchor of “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend”…

Thanksgiving to Christmas seemed like one continuous food fest — from office parties, family gatherings, and cookie exchanges — making it especially challenging for you to control your eating and manage your weight. If you consumed more calories than you expended, you may have closed out the year with a wider waistline and a guilty conscience. Well, don’t fret because here are some humane ways to get back on track.

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Bouncing Back from a Binge2