eatlivefit.net

How much sugar is hiding in your favorites?

Had to share this article forward, since it speaks to a topic near and dear to my heart, sugar.  It is a love/hate relationship, mostly love.  Isn’t it with most of us?

Mindfulness is what I encourage.  Be aware of the bazillion sources of sugar in your food and be consumer savvy when it comes to reading the labels (misleading, see below).   Take a peek at some recent examples sent in by readers of That Sugar Film Blog….

160620_TSF_BlogHero_01

 

“We recently reached out to you all, asking for pictures of labels on food packaging you have found to be misleading regarding health claims and sugar content.

And what a response!

Thank you to all who contributed – you have been amazing!

Here are some examples of what was found:

Product: Tropicana Trop50 Orange fruit drink
Claim: 50% less sugar & calories than the leading orange juice.
Sugar content: 10g / 250ml serve
The concern: Firstly, what is the ‘leading orange juice’? And do fewer calories necessarily mean it is better for us?

The amount of sugar in a standard Tropicana OJ has been partly replaced in this healthified offering from PepsiCo by stevia and maltodextrin. Even so, 1 cup of Trop50 provides 2.5tsp of added sugar – over a third of the recommended limit (for health benefits).

The ingredient list includes added sweeteners and flavours, which seem at odds with the idea this product is better for you (and will help you “make friends with your miniskirt”). At least the premium Tropicana OJ is only orange juice!

Despite promoting itself as the healthier juice cousin you’d be better off eating an orange. At least an orange doesn’t need corn maltodextrin to make it palatable.

Product: Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisins
Claim: 50% less sugar; Excellent fibre source; One serve of Reduced Sugar Craisins meets 50% of you daily recommended fruit needs.
Sugar content: 14g sugar/40g serve.
The concern: Okay – the added sugar content is less than regular Craisins, but 3.5 tsp are delivered in one serve, and artificial sweeteners have been added into the mix.

The fibre content has gone up…because a soluble fibre has been added to mix. It isn’t like the naturally occurring stuff from the fruit managed to explode in quantity.

Finally, to claim it is suitable as one of the two serves of fruit is dangerous. A fresh piece of fruit contains water, which leave you fuller and eating less fruit sugar overall. Additionally, fresh fruit does not contain added sugars. Not – I repeat – not a good alternative to a handful of berries or an apple.

Product: Pop Tops
Claim: 30% less sugar; No artificial sweeteners, No artificial colours, No artificial flavours.
Sugar content: 15.3g/250ml serve
The concern: Sure it may have less sugar than its old school sugared up formula, but this still packs an added sugar punch with nearly 4tsp per serve – the maximum of what we want our littlies to consume in a day. Not ideal considering our kids are most likely to be consuming such beverages.

Image: wanna-joke.com

Product: Uncle Tobies Roll Ups
Claim: No artificial colours or flavours; Made with real fruit, 3 Star health rating.
Sugar content: 2.8g/15.6.g serve.
The concern: The overall sugar content isn’t horrific. However, sugar has been added, but why considering the concentrated fruit paste rammed in? Fruit straps when made at home can be nothing but fruit.

Looking closely at the ingredient list, one of the final ingredients is ‘Vegetables and Plants’. I suppose that is meant to make us feel better!

Roll Ups also contain an array of highly processed wheat, corn and oil in amongst the sticky fruit mess, which is not ideal. And this stuff can get firmly wedged into the teeth wreaking all kinds of dental havoc!

Product: Nakd Crunch Mix wholefood bars
Claim: Protein packed; Filling and yummy; No added sugar; Wheat, gluten & dairy free; 100% natural ingredients.
Sugar content: 13.4g/30g bar
The concern: The sugar content from this product is mostly from the dried fruit such as dates and raisins, with a little added sugar from apple juice concentrate.

Whilst technically not an added sugar, fructose and glucose from dried fruits can easily be consumed in high amounts due to the lack of water content provided in the fresh fruit. Fortunately, this product does contain some healthy protein and fat from nuts, which can help mitigate the influx of simple sugar into the blood stream.

One bar provides 8-10% of recommended daily protein intake. I would think this is more fruit packed than protein packed.

Holy wow! Overall, I am bothered. Are you bothered?

Scientifically supported

Studies have found that the food industry can quite easily obscure the not-so-great elements of our pre-made foods with claims of being ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’.1 The consequence is we unknowingly over consume excess added, refined, nutritionally devoid foods and sugars.

How confusing! And kind of mean, don’t you think?

Always look beneath the surface

We believe we are doing the right thing, and place faith in the manufacturers. The reality is we need to educate ourselves, and dig only just below the surface to get a real indication of what we are shoving in our gobs.

Ultimately, as we always bang on about here at that sugar, if you can focus our purchasing and munching efforts on real whole fresh foods, then you are onto the best thing!

By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med.)”

Clean Eating Basics

Clean Eating in the Tub

AHHH NOPE!!!  Here are the basics of a clean eating lifestyle:

 

What Exactly Is “Clean Eating?”
For the most part, clean eaters subscribe to these general guidelines:

  1. Eat plenty of vegetables, both raw and cooked.
  2. Eat unprocessed lean meats that have not had anything added. This includes fresh chicken and fish and even lean, humanely raised beef and game.
  3. Enjoy whole grains instead of the processed or refined variety.
  4. Eat smaller, more frequent meals about every 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
  5. Reduce or Eliminate Processed, artificial, preservative laden foods with fresh real food.

Most of the recipes I use and include in this website abide by these rules.  “What about all the treats I love,” you ask?  I am a big proponent of not going cold turkey but to rely on the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of the time follow these rules strictly.  Twenty percent of the time, have the burger and fries, or the milkshake, or the glass of wine.  Eat to live, not live to eat.

I am here to help, let me know how…eatlivefit@hotmail.com.

Curry Ginger Turmeric Muffins

It is rare that I post a recipe before I have tried it myself, however, I am planning on whipping up a batch of these today.  Turmeric has been in the news a lot lately toted with helping reduce inflammation, easing joint pain and supporting overall health.  Step outside your thinking that muffins have to include chocolate chips or blueberries and join me in baking up a batch.

Let me know what you think.

CURRY GINGER TURMERIC MUFFINS

Yield: 1 ¼ qt

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Butter
  • 3/4 c coconut Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 3/4 c Flour (alternative 1 cup flour, 3/4 almond meal)
  • 1/2tsp Baking Powder
  • pinch Salt
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (warmed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger, Ground
  • 1/4 cup Candied Ginger, Minced
  • As Needed Sliced Almonds for Topping (optional)

Instructions: 

  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add eggs slowly
  • Add wet and dry in alternating additions
  • Place batter in baking cups, top with almonds if using and bake at 350 degrees
  • When a toothpick comes out clean they are done (The time will depend on the size of the muffin)
  • Bake 12-14 minutes.

Gut Heath, Good News

One of the science journals I frequently read revealed this good news!  Those of you that have worked with me know my focus on excellent gut health.  That does not mean giving up coffee or wine, unless you have a sensitivity or intolerance of it.  Here a little science to back me up!

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-05-coffee-wine-good-microbes-gut.html

Open House this Thursday

I am so proud to be working with a great group of professionals helping children and adults on the spectrum with speech, social skills, nutrition, and medical advice.

Come join us for an open house this Thursday, April 21st from 5-9pm in Aurora, CO.  Prizes, food and lots of giveaways.  See Re-Grand-Flyer-April-21 for more information.

Homemade Indian King Masala Powder

Indian Spices

I love incorporating new spices into my cooking because the taste is undeniably different and adds variety to any meal plan.  Thanks to the internet, we can now gather ideas from all over the world.  Here’s a little example of a spice combination from a blog I follow.  Thank you youreverydaycookradha and foodbod!

http://youreverydaycookradha.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/kitchen-king-masala-powder.html

Indian Spices2

mixing and roasting your own spice mixes is easy and adds such a punch of taste to any dish.  The hardest part is finding the spices listed in your local area.  Now with an new indian market down the street and the H Mart within a short drive, I was able to gather the few ingredients i was missing.  Reheating the dried spices I gathered gives them new life and enhances the flavor.  No need for the scented candle today!!!

You can certainly reheat any spices you use in any recipe to freshen up the taste and add more bang to your recipe (doesn’t have to be spicy either).  Often doing this will rev up the nutrient boost in addition to bringing more flavor to your cooking.

Happy Nutrition Month!  Let me know if you try this mix.

 

Grilled Cod with Basil and Tomatoes

This was dinner at my house last night. I was running in the door from picking up my son from practice and didnt have a lot of time to cook.  Fish is one of my favorite “GoTos” for a quick turnaround from grill/oven to plate.  This was a hit with my entire family.  It is mild and flavorful and couldn’t be easier to prepare.  Pair with a side dish of steamed broccoli and brown rice and dinner is served!

Grilled Cod and Shrimp with Basil and Tomatoes

recipe by: eatlivefit.net

Prep: 10 m      Cook:  10 m    Ready in 20 m

Ingredients:

4 fillet cod

12 frozen raw shrimp

salt and ground pepper to taste

 1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or 1 cup spinach leaves

2 cups cherry tomatoes, approx. 20

4 Tbs chopped onion (optional)

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat grill to medium high heat (or oven to 350 degrees).   Place cod piece on aluminum foil and season each lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Top cod piece with shrimp, basil (or spinach), 5 tomatoes, and onion.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar evenly over all the pieces.  Fold over foil to make packet, crimping the edges together to make a seal.  Place directly on grill grates or on cookie sheet in preheated oven.  Grill until fish flakes with a fork, approx 7-9 minutes.  May need to cook longer if fish was frozen, approx 12-14 minutes.

 

Refined Sugar vs. Saturated Fat – new research

The tables have definitely turned over the last century. Goes against all logic that sugar would be worse for you than butter, right? Complicated but here is a window into the research.  This does NOT mean that butter is “good” for you now.  Everything in moderation!  The key here is to pick your sweets and fats where you REALLY REALLY want them, not everywhere and all the time.  Whole food is the best choice for the majority of time.  Here’s the science…

Refined Sugar vs. Saturated Fat: What’s More Likely To Cause Coronary Heart Disease?

Heart Disease 

With coronary heart disease (CHD) killing more than 370,000 people every year in the United States, a team of researchers from Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and Albert Einstein College of Medicine were interested in seeing what’s worse for the heart — saturated fats or refined sugars? Their findings, published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, argues that, after years of believing fat was worse, it could have been sugar all along.

“We now have more than a half century of data as well as increased understanding of how nutrition impacts the body and specifically coronary heart disease,” said the study’s co-author James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at the American Heart Institute, in a press release. “After a thorough analysis of the evidence it seems appropriate to recommend dietary guidelines shift focus away from recommendations to reduce saturated fat and toward recommendations to avoid added sugars. Most importantly recommendations should support the eating of whole foods whenever possible and the avoidance of ultra-processed food.”

The research team put its theory to the test and found after just a few weeks of participants consuming a diet high in refined (processed) sugar, those with CHD began to experience several signs of heart abnormalities, like higher levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol), and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol), all of which increase their risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, saturated fats increased levels of LDL, but in doing so also increased levels of HDL, making their negative impact on the heart less dangerous compared to sugar. Ultimately, this led researchers to conclude in their study that “sugar consumption, particularly in the form of refined added sugars, are a greater contributor to CHD than saturated fats.” 

In addition, consuming large quantities of processed sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup and table sugar can lead to leptin resistance — leptin is a hormone responsible for regulating normal body weight. Diets high in processed sugars promote type 2 diabetes, which also lead to a much greater risk for CHD compared to patients maintaining a healthy diet.

Saturated fats have been demonized for years, subsequently leading many consumers to avoid animal products like red meat, poultry, and dairy. These types of fat were first blamed for causing high rates of heart disease in the 1950s, when scientist Ancel Keys observed those who ate diets high in saturated fats also had higher rates of heart disease. But those same people were also eating a lot of refined sugar. DiNicolantonio pointed out this is the reason why past studies, which the longstanding guidelines have been based on, found saturated fats had a negative impact on heart health. The studies were largely observational, however, and didn’t involve intensive investigation. Had past researchers conducted proper studies to determine the cause of CHD, they would’ve realized sooner that refined sugar impacts risk more. Today, troves of evidence-based research have overwhelmed the weaker observational studies, revealing Keys was wrong all along.

Most recently, a study published in the journal Circulation, found drinking sugary drinks each day increased dangerous fat in the body and increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Another study, published in the journal Heart, found people who drank at least two sugary drinks a day increased their risk of heart failure by 25 percent.

Source: O’Keefe JH, DiNicolantonio JJ, and Lucan SC. The Evidence for Saturated Fat and For Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 2016.

Leaving Sugar Behind with Pomegranate Seeds

This is a tough one for most of us, reducing or cutting the sugar in our eating.  It is worth it!  There are ways to make it easier and I am sharing one with you today.  Sometimes it is simply finding an alternative way to get the sweetness in your life.

I have recently revisited pomegranate seeds.  I have avoided them for years due to the seasonal unavailability and the difficulty in getting to them (literally, the seeds are a bear to extract from the peel).  Thanks to a few hacks, one being Costco shopping, these sweet little jewels are available now more than ever.  They are now available in the refrigerated section at Costco, already removed from the peel and in small serving sizes.  I ate up my last supply too quickly before I got a picture to share, but I will take one and post it as soon as I refresh my supply from Costco.

If Costco is not a place you frequent, there is still hope!  Purchase the whole fruit from your grocer and here is a kitchen hack to make extracting those little beads of sweetness easy!  Wooden Spoon Trick.  It literally takes no time at all!  Try it.

Here is my favorite recipe to share..a new salad to help you leave sugar behind The Transition Salad

 

Making sense of Meat-Label Lingo

Are you as mystified by the variety of labels out there today?  What they do and do NOT mean?  The Food Industry’s desire to make the labeling system more user friendly, has gotten more complicated than ever to most consumers.  Here’s a little help decoding the mystery of the labels on meats sold in the USA to start. 

No Antibiotics or Used Routinely Category:

Animal Welfare Approved: No antibiotics are used for growth promotion or disease prevention.  Sick animals can be treated with antibiotics.  Animal welfare and hygiene practices are fully addressed.

Certified Humane: No antibiotics are used for growth promotion or disease prevention.  Some animal welfare and hygiene practices are addressed.

Gap Steps 1-5+: (i.e.sold at Whole Foods) No antibiotics are used.  Animal welfare and hygiene practices are addressed to varying degrees (sometimes?).

USDA Processed.jpgNo Antibiotics/Raised without Antibiotics: Antibiotics are not used for ANY purpose.  The labels accompanied by the USDA Process Verified shield are more reliable.

USDA Organic.gifOrganic: Animals cannot be given antibiotics.  Sick animals treated with antibiotics can’t be labeled organic.  The exception is chickens:  They can be given antibiotics in the egg or on the day they hatch but no afterwards.

Antibiotics May Be Used Category:

american-humane-certified.pngAmerican Humane Association: Neither animal nor human antibiotics are used for growth promotion, but both may be used for disease prevention.  Some animal welfare and hygiene practices are addressed.

 American Grassfed.gifGrassfed: Not all grass-fed beef is raised without routine antibiotics.  Look for a no-antibiotic or organic label as well.  The American Grassfed Association seal means no antibiotics, and the claim is verified.

Natural/All Natural: This label is not related to antibiotic, hormone, or other drugs administration or how the animal was raised.  “Natural” on meat and poultry only means that it contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is minimally processed.

NO Hormones:  Simply put, this means no hormones administered.  It doesn’t mean no antibiotics or other growth promotants.  By law hormones cannot be used in poultry or hogs, so packages of meat from those animals with this claim are no different from those without it.

 

All clear now?  Not really, right?  Since new labels are popping up all over the place (some only marketing to make their product look more inviting) it is best to re-read those above.  Then make a decision about what are the best  quality products that fit into your budget and are the best for your family.  Once that is decided, you will know what to look for in the store every time you grocery shop.  Atleast, for now.  

(Source – Consumer Reports, January 2016)