Crohn’s Disease


crohns-disease-comparisonBy: Nikki Nies

I’ve talked about other gastrointestinal (GI) diseases before and the potential benefits of being on a Gluten Free diet or FODMAPS. However, I don’t want to be mistaken for writing as if these GI issues are somehow not worth noting the disparities.

I wanted to write about Crohn’s Disease as A) of all the GI diseases I’m least familiar with the root cause and treatment B) I try to take advantage of the opportunity to write on this blog to share awareness of GI issues with the public, but most importantly C) there’s a member of my campus ministry that has Crohn’s Disease.  I often don’t see him at our weekly devotionals due to his Crohn’s acting up, I was glad to see him these past few weeks, which means he’s obviously feeling well enough to be in public.  I went to hug him and he grimaced as I pulled away.  I felt bad because I could tell I had accidentally hurt him with my hug.

Of course, my hug was unintentionally painful.  I  had assumed his small stature was due to his inability to keep “food down”, but that was just an assumption and I wanted and needed to know the true story of Crohn’s.

So, as you can imagine this topic is new to me so as I write, I’m learning with you as well!

In 1932, Crohn’s Disease was first described by Dr. Burrill Crohn.  Crohn’s Disease belongs to the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), similar, but not the same as ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is restricted to inflammation in the large intestine.  Specifically, Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and can include the entire thickness of the bowel wall. GIT is everything from the mouth and anus.

Specific causes of Crohn’s is not entirely clear, but it has been found that one’s genetics, environment, diet and stress can play a role in the development.  Since Crohn’s Ddisease can impact any part of GIT, the symptoms are few and far between.  However, some common symptoms include: stages-of-crohns-disease-chart

  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation, which can lead to bowel obstruction
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite**
  • Weight Loss**
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle

For a complete, thorough diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, make sure to consult your primary care physician and/or obtain an endoscopy,small intestinal imaging, chromoendoscopy, or biopsy.  In cases of severe circumstances, tears, also known as fissures, in the lining of the anus may cause intense pain and/or bleeding.  Moreover, fistula, which are tunnels that lead from one of intestine to another or connects to bladder, vagina or skin.  If this occurs, it requires immediate medical attention!

As a chronic disease, Crohn’s Disease requires continuous care and understanding that ‘flare ups’ may occur exacerbating some symptoms.  One of the treatment options is to limit the amount of irritation and stress one places on the GIT.  This means adopting a GI Soft Bland Diet may play a critical role in the maintenance and prevention of flare ups! Be on the look out for a follow up post regarding what a GI Soft Bland Diet entails!

Do you or a loved one have Crohn’s Disease, what habits have you adapted?  What have you learned over the course of your journey with Crohn’s Disease?

Photo Credit: Bio News

Sources: http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20032061

http://www.medicinenet.com/crohns_disease/article.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000249.htm

http://www.crohnsandme.com/crohns-information/symptoms-of-cd.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/

It’s All in the Name of the Diet


FAdDiet-BAd-Diet-1By: Nikki Nies

I was working recently at school in a computer lab and a student walked up to me asking to fill out her survey.  After filling out the typical female/male question, I already had questions regarding her survey.

Her first survey question asked, “Do you believe diets are healthy?”  She said what do I mean? I asked if she meant by diet as “eating healthy” or the more name brand diets, such as Atkins or Low Carb Diet. After some thought, she finally stated she was surveying on people’s perception of fad diets.

Of course, as a nutrition major I “strongly disagreed” with all claims that a fad diet is the most effective method of long term weight loss.  However, I started thinking about about “why” and “how” diets have evolved to be effectively hyped up and marketed.

It could be argued everyone’s on a diet–whether it’s a diet consisting of daily trips to McDonald’s to only chicken nuggets as main source of protein or eating 1/2 of one’s plate of fruit and veggies.  They’re all describing a type of diet.  A diet is:

 kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

To help you decide what kind of diet you want to go ahead with, let me give you some things to ruminate about certain diet features:

  • Rapid Weight Loss: Not only is weight loss more than .5-1 lbs. not the most effective way to lose weight, one will also lose muscle, water and bone.  With too much weight lost in a short amount of time, it can lead to the regain of weight
  • Complete Restrictions of Foods or Foods Groups: Mind you, I’m not talking about eating foods if you’ve got an intolerance, sensitivity or allergy, but be wary of diet claims that either state unlimited quantities of certain foods (i.e. cabbage soup or grapefruit).  You may think substituting a food group with a multivitamin will help compensate with missed food groups (i.e. no carbs), but you’ll still be missing critical nutrients.
  • Exercise is not needed: Regular physical activity is needed for optimal weight management; it’s recommended one gets at least 160 minutes of exercise per week
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!  
  • Lose weight without making any changes!: Be wary of diet claims that you can eat as much high calorie foods and still lose weight.  In truth, it’s recommended to slash calories by 500 for a healthy, gradual weight loss.
  • Once and for all magic pill! Permanent weight loss requires the implementation of healthy lifestyle changes.  Doctors, dietitians and other leading experts are adamant that no “magic pill” exists.
  • Every body will lose weight: there’s no one size fits all solution.  Every one’s situation, body and needs are different! Contact a dietitian and/or your local health care provider to design a individualized nutrition and exercise plan.

The above claims are tempting to believe, but when looking for what you want to merge into your daily “diet”, think about the health claims that the latest diets have to offer.  To help you decide if the  latest diet is for you, ask yourself  “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the diet isn’t for you.

Sources: http://www.eatright.org/Public/list.aspx?TaxID=6442452003

http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/fad-diets/

http://www.nutrition.gov/weight-management/what-you-should-know-about-popular-diets

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/

http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm

http://www.webmd.com/women/fad-diets

The Pros and Cons of Fad Dieting

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0061-weighing-claims-diet-ads

Coco-what?!


By: Nikki Nies nutrition_cocomon_curry

In the last couple of years, there’s been hype around the use of coconut oil over other types of oil, due to its cholesterol lowering effects. There are two major types: virgin and refined.  Virgin coconut oi’s extracted from the fruit of mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals.  Refined coconut oil is created using dried coconut meat that’s often bleached and/or deodorized.

I have to admit, I got sucked into the advertisements that coconut oil is an equivalent to olive oil.  I even bought a ___ container of coconut oil from Costco, that’s how committed I was.

A study let by Kai et al., 2011, looked into the efficacy of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in regards to weight reduction and overall safety of use in 13 female and 7  obese male Malay volunteers.  Weight, associated anthropometric parameters and lipid profile one week before and one week after VCO intake was documented. Organ function tests were used to assess the safety of VCO one week before and after use. The results showed only waist circumference was different from the initial visit, with a 2.86 cm reduction or a 0.97% change in measurement.  There was no change in lipid profile, but there was a small decrease in creatinine and alanine transferase levels. The study found no changes in women’s waist circumference or lipid profile, yet this product was seemed as safe to use on humans.

o-BENEFITS-OF-COCONUT-OIL-facebookUse of coconut oil is in conclusive.  Due to its high saturated fat content and more concrete evidence on the impact of fish oil, it’s recommended to use coconut oil sparingly.  Studies have shown that those using fish oil have a slight increase in their HDL levels, but also have a slight increase in their LDL levels.  There is strong evidence that the use of fish oil has a positive impact on one’s triglycerides, another type of fat that can increase one’s risk for heart disease.

With the limited research on the impact on hypercholesterolemia,Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome,thyroid problems and/or weight loss, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have bought coconut oil.l  Like other types of tropical oils, such as palm oil and palm kernel oil, coconut oil’s high in saturated fat–specifically myristic acid and lauric acid.  Together, myristic and lauric acid have a greater total cholesterol raising impact than the palmitic acid found in meat and dairy products. Lauric acid decreases the Total:HDL cholesterol ratio due to the increase in HDL cholesterol levels.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Nutrition Care Manual current recommendations for disorders of lipid metabolism:

  • Limit intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Consume adequate energy to maintain or achieve appropriate weight.
  • Replace saturated fat with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat (MUFA and PUFA)
  • Increase intake of n-3 fatty acids, fiber (especially soluble fiber), vegetables, and fruits

Since I did buy the coconut oil, I’ll use it sparingly, but I now recognize the difference between the hype and see the lack of scientific evidence to back up the mass market claims of coconut oil. If you do end up using coconut oil, when sauteeing or baking up to 350F,  opt for the virgin coconut oil as it’ll provide items with that “tropical” taste.  As unrefined coconut oil’s tasteless, in up to 425F it can be used in stir frying or high heat sauteeing.

Bottom Line: While high in saturated fat, coconut oil doesn’t contain trans fat, like shortening.  The types of fat in oils is important to consider than the numerical quantity of fat in the diet.

Sources:

1. Cunningham E. Is There Science to Support Claims for Coconut Oil?. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association [serial online]. May 2011;111(5):786. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 23, 2014.

2. Kai Ming L, Yeong Yeh L, Chee Keong C, Rasool A. An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity. ISRN Pharmacology [serial online]. January 2011;:1-7. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 23, 2014.

3. Q: Does coconut oil improve cholesterol by raising good cholesterol, or should I use fish oil?. Mayo Clinic Health Letter [serial online]. August 2012;30(8):8. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 23, 2014

4.Coconut oil: Supervillain or superfood?. Harvard Heart Letter [serial online]. January 2014;24(5):7. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 5, 2014

5. Lawrence G. Dietary fats and health: Dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. Adv Nutr. 2013;4:294-302.

Debunking Weight Loss Myths!


By: Nikki Nies Weight-Loss-Myths460

“Magic pills” and “detoxification systems” that promise instant weight loss have been around for years.  In the 21st century, the market continues to meet the demand of the such products, yet many of these so called products do not provide the advertised weight loss.

While the bombardment of which products can be overwhelming, be careful what you shell out money for.  The table I’ve created below provides examples of weight loss claims that have not been found efficacious with using such products.

Instead, diet and regular bouts of exercise are the still proven tried and trued method of losing and maintaining weight loss.

If I skip meals, I’ll lose weight quicker
  • Can lead to becoming overly hungry → overeat at next meal
  • Those that skip breakfast tend to be heavier than those that consume at least 3 meals/day

o   Quick breakfast options: whole wheat toast with fruit spread or oatmeal with low fat yogurt and berries

Fad diets will help me lose weight and keep it off
  • Often promise quick fixes with food restrictions and/or avoidance of food groups/types of food
  • Hard to follow
  • May not provide all nutrients one needs
  • Being on a diet of fewer than 800 calories a day for a long time may lead to serious heart problems.
  • Losing >3#/wk can increase risk of developing gallstones

o   Safe wt loss: 0.5-2#/wk

Carbs are fattening. I should limit.
  • Carbs are body’s main source of energy
  • Limit simple, not complex!

o   Simple: candy, cake, cookies, sugar sweetened desserts/drinks and alcohol

o   Complex: fruits, vegetables, whole grains

  • Opt for brown rice, whole-wheat bread, cereal, and pasta
“Low fat” and “Fat free”=0 Calories
  • Low fat and fat free products have calories, but may be less than full fat
  • Many processed foods have the same amount of calories whether low fat or full fat
  • Processed foods that state they’re low fat/fat free may have added flour, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed, which contain added calories
When dieting, one can’t eat fast food!
  • Yes, fast food can be bad for you
  • Opt for:

o   Avoid “value” combo meals as more calories than you need in one meal.

o   Choose fresh fruit or nonfat yogurt for dessert

o   Limit use of high fat/calorie toppings

  • i. e. bacon, cheese, reg mayo, salad dressing

o   Pick steamed or baked items over fried

o   Sip on water or fat-free milk instead of soda

o   Choose soft instead of hard tacos

Snacking is always a bad idea!
  • In between meal snacking can prevent overeating at meals
  • Can benefit from 5 small meals a day
  • Great choice: nuts, low fat cheese, yogurt or an apple
Eating healthy costs more!
  • Canned and frozen fruits and veggies can provide same nutrients as fresh at a lower cost
  • Great sources of protein: tuna, lentils, beans and peas
  • In the end, health care costs will be less expensive!

What weight loss claims have you encountered that isn’t listed in the table? Have any specific questions regarding weight loss claims you’ve heard that you’re not sure about? Ask away!

Sources:

http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/weight-loss-myths-debunked/story?id=19548576

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/01/health/wrong-weight-loss-myths/

http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/6-weight-loss-myths-debunked%5B/embed%5D

Yacon Syrup


WhatIsYacon.

By: Nikki Nies

Recently, Dr. Oz had a segment on yacon syrup as the newest, greatest weight loss treatment. This syrup has been described as raisin/fig like in taste, yet the efficacy of this latest syrup as a weight loss treatment is questionable.  This syrup should be limited to 1 teaspoon before meals, with no more than 1 tablespoon consumed daily.  Too much yacon syrup can lead to bloating, nausea and/or diarrhea.

The molasses like syrup, yacon syrup derives from the yacon plant in the Andes mountains.  Present day Bolivian, Peruvian and Brazilian citizens tout this syrup as a low-calorie (20 calories/tablespoon), low sugar food that has helped with diabetes and kidney and digestive issues.

The syrup has inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and is high in fiber.Once FOS hits the gut, it helps promote good bacteria, which has been credited for helping to maintain a healthy weight, contain anti-inflammatory properties and gives digestive benefits.lsf023_yaconsyrup_8floz

While the properties of yacon syrup is promising, there’s very little scientific evidence of its efficacy. In a 2009 clinical study in Clinical Nutrition, it found that the obese women in the study that took 3-4 teaspoons of yacon syrup over a 4 month period had a significant decrease in weight, waist circumference, LDL cholesterol and insulin levels.

As stated, more studies are needed to provide clarity of the efficacy of yacon syrup and I’m not convinced yet of the weight loss mechanisms associated with it.   I’m not advocating this syrup, but want to provide awareness on lack of clinical trials of yacon syrup as I’m sure I’m not the only one to hear about yacon syrup and/or Dr. Oz’s promotion of such product.

If you choose to try this syrup, please don’t place high hopes of this syrup as a “magic pill.” A healthy, balanced diet with exercise is the healthiest, safest way to a permanent, healthy life.

Sources: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/30/can-yacon-syrup-help-lose-weight/

http://livesuperfoods.com/live-superfoods-yacon-syrup.html

http://yaconsyrupcanada.net

Genta, S., Cabrera, W., Habib, N., et al. Yacon syrup: Beneficial effects on obesity and insulin resistance in humans 2009

Be Inspired by The Biggest Loser


Image

**Disclaimer: The following post is by no means advocating the practice of disordered eating or eating disorders.  You may be questioning my values, regarding the winner of the latest edition of Biggest Loser.  Rachel Fredrickson lost more than half of her body weight and many labeled her as “too thin.”   As with all posts, my intention is to provide awareness and encourage healthier behaviors.  If you do decide to read the following post, please read with a grain of salt.**

By: Nikki Nies

While the Biggest Loser doesn’t always promote the healthiest weight loss tactics, I can’t help, but watch the show.  Like many others, I can’t help, but feel connected to the contestants and their relatable stories.  Hearing their personal journey of how they have gained excess weight and the barriers it has caused, it makes one root for them to overcome their physical and mental struggles.  If you go into watching the Biggest Loser with the intention of seeing the transformation contestants go through, you can’t help, but be proud and motivated to lose weight yourself.

One of the best milestones on the Biggest Loser is Makeover Week.  During this season, Tim Gunn and Ken Paves came to help the contestants find clothes that they’ve not only wished they could try on, but showed them the physical and mental changes.  Every one loves an underdog story and the Biggest Loser has a no holds bar attitude on what the contestants have to share to alleviate the pain and barriers that have held them back of where they want to be.

Watching the Biggest Loser can also give you great work out tips.  Those creative exercises Jillian Michaels, Dolvett Quince and Bob Harper implement on the contestants can often become part of your daily exercise routine.  Take notes on how many reps contestants are required to do and challenge yourself to keep up.

Pictures are worth a thousand words and seeing before and after pictures of the journey these contestants have embarked on can help motivate at home competitors. Don’t focus on the weight loss these contestants lose week to week, as it is often unrealistic, unhealthy goal, but let the Biggest Loser be your inspiration to the best self!

Sources: http://www.thedigitalarmory.com/2013/01/10/the-biggest-loser-part-deux/

Dysphagia


swallowing-process-27714658By: Nikki Nies

For those that know my dad well, know he’s had acid reflux for a large part of his adult life.  He’s had difficulty swallowing for as long as I can remember.  He’s finally relented and now is dependent on nutritional drinks for at least half of his daily energy intake.

The medical term for difficulty swallowing is dysphagia.  Although more common in older adults, it can impact any age group.  Someone who has dysphagia takes more time to for the food and/or liquid to move from mouth to stomach.

With more than 50 pairs of muscles and nerves to complete the act of swallowing, it’s reasonable to see how something could go wrong during the act of swallowing.  Often times the root cause of dysphagia can be categorized as an esophageal or oropharyngeal cause. Esophageal dysphagia occurs when food gets stuck or hung at the back of the throat or in the chest due achalasia, scleroderma, radiation therapy, eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), foreign bodies, diffuse spasm, esophageal stricture, esophageal tumors and/or esophageal ring.  Acahalsia occurs when sphincter doesn’t relax properly for food to enter the stomach, causing regurgitation.  Oropharyngeal dysphagia is due to problems with nerves and muscles, making it hard for food to move from food to esophagus.  Causes of oropharyngeal dysphagia can be contributed to neurological damage, neurological disorders, cancer and/or pharyngeal diverticula.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Odynophagia: pain when swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Stomach acid or food backing up in to  throat
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Hoarseness
  • Not being able to swallow
  • Regurgitation: food that comes back up

stock-photo-17673204-healthcare-worker-checking-man-s-throatOne should see a doctor if an obstruction interferes with normal breathing, if there’s continuous trouble swallowing and/or it’s evident a child is having problems swallowing on own.  Common tests used for diagnosis include x rays, dynamic swallowing study, endoscopy and/or manometry.

Treatment:

Dyphagia can cause additional pain so finding treatment is essential.  Depending on the type  and cause, will dictate the treatment executed.  For oropharyngeal dysphagia, exercises to help with coordination of swallowing muscles or to restiimulate the nerves that trigger.  Also, being taught specific swallowing techniques, such as how to position the body and head to swallow better can help.  Those with esopheageal dysphagia can benefit from surgery, medications and/or esophageal dilation.  If severe dysphagia occurs, liquid diets or a feeding tube may be considered.

If left untreated, dysphagia can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and/or respiratory problems.

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysphagia/basics/definition/con-20033444

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/difficulty-swallowing-dysphagia-overview

http://www.medicinenet.com/swallowing/article.htm

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/dysph.aspx

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/dysphagia

Sugar Switches


ABC-LA-Sugar-Swaps-August-2012

By: Nikki Nies

Sugar consumption gets a bad rap for being the leading cause of greater waistlines.  Rightfully so, many drink sugar calories as well as consume an overwhelming amount of sugar above the recommended intake.  The American Heart Association recommends one limits added sugar consumption to no more than  of one’s discretionary calorie allowance.

That’s wrong! You can breathe a little bit to know you’re body needs a little bit of sugar for human bodily function.  Natural sugar is the healthiest route to go (i.e. fruit) and there are certain brands of foods you can swap out of your daily routine while enjoying the flavors of great food.

Switch This!

For This!

Arnold 100% Whole Wheat: 1 slice; 110 kcal; 4 g sugar Food for Life Ezekial 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole Grain Bread: 1 slice; 80 kcal; 0 g sugar
Total Whole Grain Cereal: ¾ cup; 100 calories; 5 g sugar Post Shredded Wheat: 1 cup; 170 kcal; 0 g sugar
Bisquick Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix Simply Buttermilk with Whole Grain: ½ cup; 210 kcal; 6 g sugar Bob’s Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix: 1/3 cup; 190 kcal; 2 g sugar
Newman’s Own Creamy Balsamic dressing: 1 Tablespoon; 50 kcal; 4 g sugar Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Dressing: 1 tablespoon; 85 kcal; 0 g sugar
Bertolli Tomato & Basil pasta sauce: ½ cup; 70 kcal; 12 g sugar Victoria All Natural Marinara Sauce: ½ cup; 70 kcal; 5 g sugar
Smucker’s Strawberry Jam: 1 tablespoon; 50 kcal; 12 g sugar Polaner All Fruit with Fiber, Strawberry: 1 Tablespoon; 35 kcal; 6 g sugar
La Choy Orange Ginger Sauce & Marinade: 1 tablespoon; 25 kcal; 4 g sugar La Choy Stir Fry Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade: 1 tablespoon; 10 kcal; 1 g sugar
Twix: 1 package; 250 kcal; 24 g sugar Dagoba Organic Chocolate Xocolati dark chocolate bar 74% cacao: 1 oz; 140 kcal; 7 g sugar
Entenmann’s Deluxe French Cheesecake:  1 serving; 390 kcal; 25 g sugar Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars: 1 coconut bar; 80 kcal; 12 g sugar
Premium Ice Cream, vanilla: ½ cup; 266 kcal; 22 g sugar Creamsicle Orange & Raspberry: 1 pop; 70 kcal; 8 g sugar
Jell-O Vanilla Pudding: ½ cup; 110 kcal; 17 g sugar Julie’s Organic Juliette Ice Cream Sandwiches: 1 bar; 100 kcal; 6 g sugar
Gummy Worms: 10 worms; 293 kcal; 43.6 g sugar Angie’s Classic Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: 2 cups; 140 kcal; 8 g sugar
JIF Peanut Butter: 2 tablespoons; 190 kcal; 3 g sugar Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter: 2 tablespoons; 210 kcal; 1 g sugar
Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt Pomegrante: 6 oz; 140 kcal; 19 g sugar Siggi’s Icelandic Style Skyr Strained NonFat Yogurt; Pomegranate & Passion Fruit: 5.3 oz; 100 kcal; 9 g sugar
Del Monte Peach Chunks in Heavy Syrup: ½ cup; 100 kcal; 23 g sugar Dole Frozen Sliced Peaches: ¾ cup; 50 kcal; 10 g sugar
Snapple Green Tea: 16 oz; 120 kcal; 30 g sugar Honest Tea Jasmine Green Energy Tea: 16 oz; 34 kcal; 10 g sugar

I hope this list of sugar swaps make you feel more empowered to make healthier choices.  While some of the brands may not be as mainstream in your local grocery chain, it’s good to be aware of the sugar content of what you’re buying and that sugar is not “only” in sweets.  Also, please note the portions from the left to the right column (i.e. 1/2 cup–>1/3 cup)

Sources: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-sugar-safe-daily-diet-9020.html

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/22-smart-sugar-swaps?s=2&?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-Prevention-_-food-healthyeatingtips-_-22smartsugarswaps

http://newsarchive.kindsnacks.com/media-center/2012/08/nutrition-experts-say-swap-clif-bars-for-kind-to-slash-out-sugar/

How Clean Is Your Eating?


 eat-real-food

By: Nikki Nies

I’m not talking about upgrading to a high tech sanitizing routine or purchasing all organic.  The term

Clean eating is all about consuming only whole foods (think: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), while avoiding processed and fast foods at all costs.

The premise behind clean eating is to make people more aware of what they’re eating on a regular basis.  Many people are favoring this kind of lifestyle of since there aren’t many strict rules and allows people to feel they have an individual choice in what foods to eat and not.  To explain, some choose to eliminate all processed foods from their daily habits , including meats, dairy and grains, while others will focus more on eating whole foods.

cropped-Clean-Eats-Header-10

Quick Tips:

  • Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned
  • Choose whole fruits and vegetables instead of the juice form
  • If you don’t have the option of fresh, opt for frozen instead of canned
  • Have a balance of complex carbs and lean meats
  • When possible, choose organic meats as they have less pesticides and hormones
  • Grill, broil or steam foods instead of frying
  • Skip the soda and sports drinks.  If you need some flavor to your water, spritz a little fresh lemon in your drink or grab some tea
  • Eat healthy fats, such as fatty fish and nuts
  • Eat small, frequent meals to limit chances of overeating and to keep blood sugar levels stable

The intended goal is not weight loss, like many of it’s competitors, but to live an overall healthier life.  Cutting processed foods out of one’s diet can make a dramatic decrease in one’s intake of trans fat.  It’s been found 80% of trans fat come from processed food, while 20% come from dairy and meat. By eating more healthifully, one will inadvertently be able to control weight gain as well as reduce risk of chronic diseases.

Adapting this lifestyle doesn’t have to be overnight.  With gradual changes over the next couple weeks can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.

Sources:

http://greatist.com/health/wtfis-clean-eating

http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/

What is Clean Eating?

http://cleaneatsfastfeets.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/livestrongcom/clean-eating-5-simple-ste_b_632545.html

Women’s Weight Loss Tips


http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/diet-weight-loss/10-incredible-weight-loss-transformations-99576

Check out these women who have achieved some great transformation through hard work and dedication.  Every one’s journey is individualized and part of it is finding out what works for you. I love that they added their own personal tips!