Grab-and-Go Healthy Snacks!

 We may be used to hearing “don’t drink and drive”, but studies have shown that eating while driving can affect your ability to drive correctly. A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has proved that some foods that can distract you while driving and why. Here are just a few foods that you may not want to eat while driving.
 Tacos: When you hit that pothole and your taco turns into a fiesta bowl on your lap, it’s sure to cause some dangerous vehicle movements.
Any Barbecued Food: If it can drip, it will find a way to do that while you’re driving. Getting barbecue sauce all over your clothes will lead to distracted driving.
Drinks with caps: Searching the floorboard of your car to find that water bottle cap rolling around takes your eyes off the road in a worse way than texting and driving.
Hot Soups: Eating soup while trying to manipulate a gearshift is not a smart idea. It’s the basically the same as circus juggling act.
We should take more precaution about the foods we decide to eat while driving. There are plenty of on the go snack bars that we can choose for a busy lifestyle that may not only be safer to eat while driving, but beneficial for our health.
Such as:   

Barbara’s Crunchy Organic Granola Bars — 190 to 200 calories per pack of two bars
Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars — 190 calories per pack of two bar 
Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars— around 140 calories each
Kashi Bars TLC Chewy Granola Bars— around 110 to 140 calories each 
 Larabar Fruit & Nut Bars — look for those between 180 to 200 calories      
Larabar Jocolat — any flavor, between 180 to 190 calories each
Posted by: SSG 

Stevia: Natural Sweetener

The stevia plant is native to South America, especially Paraguay, but also the northeast region of my country, Argentina. Stevia has the same benefits other non-nutritive sweeteners have, which are that it contains no calories and has no effect on blood sugar, making it ideal for people losing weight or with diabetes. It’s also used as an herbal supplement ,supported by low-quality studies that suggest health benefits such as management of hypertension and high blood sugar. After years of research, there is no conclusive evidence about the potential dangers of stevia for human health. In animal trials, however, stevia was associated with an increase in infertility.

Fruity Friday

There are various vitamins and minerals that are important for wound healing, immune function, healthy skin, and digestive health just to name a few benefits. Not all fruits are equal to each other in nutritional value. Some have faster acting sugars -namely those that are lower in fiber and higher on the glycemic index chart- that can give our blood sugars a quick spike that often needs to be accounted for with insulin.
Fast-acting sugars in fruits such as grapes which is considered a medium GI food, are great for treating lows, but then there are a few of the higher fiber contents in lower glycemic fruits that can make the sugar spike last a bit longer and may not treat a low as quickly.
When not treating a low with fruit, insulin is a must so make sure to estimate your carb content depending on the size of the fruit you are consuming. High GI foods break down quickly, causing a faster blood sugar spike.
Here is a list of the top 5 low-glycemic (high-fiber) fruits and the top 5 high-glycemic (lower in fiber and higher in natural sugars) and their carb contents: 
Carbs per serving size of 100g -serving size varies depending on size of fruit
Top Low GI Fruits
  1. Apple 12-16g
  2. Cherries 10-12g
  3. Pear 10-15g
  4. Plum 9-12g
  5. Peach 7-15g

Top High GI Fruits
  1. Banana 20-30g
  2. Mango 14-16g
  3. Pineapple 10-20g
  4. Watermelon 7-10g
  5. Raisins 40-70g

Foods For Fall

Pumpkin: High percentage of vitamin A, carotenoids and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack, are concentrated sources of vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain an amino acid proven to boost your mood.
Pears: High fiber fruit, pears offer about six grams of fiber. A high-fiber diet helps to keep your blood sugar level stable, cholesterol levels down, and is linked to heart benefits as well as a reduced risk of certain cancers.Pears also contain vitamins C, K, B2, B3 and B6 in addition to calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
Cauliflower: Low in calories with only 26 per 100 grams. The flower head contains several anti-cancer phytochemicals and is an excellent source of vitamin C; 100 grams provides about 80 percent of the daily recommended value. It also has a proven antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals while boosting immunity and preventing infections. If you love mashed potatoes, mash cauliflower instead for an better alternative with about a quarter of the calories and an equal amount of tastiness.

Phytochemicals’ Lead To Good Health

What are phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients, are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, and are classified according to their chemical structures and functional properties. There are various terms to describe phytochemicals, such as, flavonoids, flavonols, proanthocyanidins, procyanidins.
Cardiovascular Disease: Soy, cocoa, and black and green teas have been studied extensively, and the consumption of each one is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The consumption of whole grains rich with phytochemicals also lower blood pressure, which aids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Cancer: The consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet that emphasize these foods, have been associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancer, including breast, lung, and colon.
Type 2 Diabetes: Research suggest that phytochemical rich foods may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, most likely by reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity, and indirectly by preventing weight gain, the most important risk factor of the disease. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in tea and cocoa also may contribute to improved insulin sensitivity and lower type 2 diabetes.
Source: Todays Dietitian, Vol. 15 No. 9, September 2013

Healthy Eating Decreases Risk of Depression


A healthy diet may reduce the risk of severe depression, according to a prospective follow-up study of more than 2,000 men conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. Depressed individuals often have a poor quality of diet and decreased intake of nutrients.
“The study reinforces the hypothesis that a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention,” says Ms Anu Ruusunen which presented this in her doctoral thesis in nutritional epidemiology.
A healthy diet characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms and a lower risk of depression during the follow-up period. Folate was also associated with a decreased risk of depression foods such as vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, meat and liver are the most important dietary sources of folate.
Compared to an unhealthy diet characterized by consuming high amounts of sausages, processed meats, sugar-containing desserts and snacks, sugary drinks, manufactured foods, french rolls and baked or processed potatoes was associated with an increased prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms.
Depression is one of the leading health challenges in the world and its effects on public health and quality of life are vast. If you are dealing with depression, make your first choice today by living a healthy and nutritious lifestyle.


Source: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, European Journal of Nutrition, Public Health Nutritionand Diabetic Medicine.

Therapeutic Properties of Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and nutrients. Over recent years researchers  have identified a wide range of therapeutic properties associated with broccoli.
Prevent osteoarthritisa British study revealed that broccoli contains a compound called sulfophane which may help fight osteoarthritis.
Protect your skin against the effects of UV light broccoli may help prevent skin care, not by eating it though, but by applying it directly to the skin. An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the damaging effects of UV(ultraviolet) radiation can be appreciably reduced with the topical application of a broccoli extract.  
Reverse diabetes heart damage eating broccoli promotes the production of enzymes that help protect heart blood vessels and reduce the molecules that damage them. 
Reduce cancer risk eat broccoli just three times each month and you could potentially reduce the chance of developing bladder cancer by around 40 percent, according to experts at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, USA.

Tips For A Gluten-Free Vegetarian

It’s very important for everyone with celiac disease to get enough iron, calcium, vitamin D, fiber and B vitamins (including B12), because these are often absent due to damage from the disease process and eating patterns often seen in gluten-free diets. Pair that with a vegetarian diet,which can be lacking in protein, iron, calcium, B12, omega fats, and vitamin D, and can be easy to miss out on necessary nutrients.

Here are just a few tips on maintaining a nutrients that you need: 

  • Focus on typical vegetarian staples that are gluten-free like beans, lentils, tofu, dairy, nuts, seeds, and, of course, fruits and veggies. If your diet includes dairy, eggs and fish, these are very nutrient rich as well.
  • Eat a good source of protein with each meal.
  • Try quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, etc. These pseudo-grains are some of the best sources of vegetarian and vegan protein.
  • Grains such as millet, teff and sorghum are very nutritious, as well. In addition to protein and fiber, they all have other vital nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium.
  • Get your vitamin D, iron and B vitamin levels checked.
  • If you don’t eat fish, consider taking a vegan or vegetarian omega-3 supplement from algae.
  • When possible, include fortified gluten-free foods, like cereals and breads.
  • Work with a registered dietitian nutritionist to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet.


Source: Food & Nutrition Magazine July 2013

Benefits of Coffee

Research on the health benefits of coffee mainly investigates the bean in its brewed beverage form. Studies suggest higher levels of coffee intake which is about six or seven cups a day, are associated with lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Others show the consumption of coffee may be linked to reduced risk of stroke, several types of cancers including liver, skin, colorectal, breast, oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancers, and possibly cardiovascular disease. Drinking at least three cups of coffee a day was associated with slower decline in cognitive abilities in women, probably due to coffee’s caffeine content. Coffee consumption also is linked to lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, possibly by protecting the brain’s dopaminergic cells against neurotoxicity. Study subjects who drink the most java receive the greatest health benefits, but most adults including pregnant women should limit caffeine to less than 300 mg a day, or about the amount found in three cups of coffee.



Eating Disorder Statistics

Check out the reality of the numbers. Numbers are statistics, data, facts — the numbers don’t lie!

  • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, night eating syndrome, orthorexia, diabulemia) in the U.S.
  • Almost 50% of people with eating deisorders meet the criteria for depression.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • 50% of teenage girls and 33% of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives.
  • An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.
  • Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that an eating disorder is a  “woman’s disease.”
  • By the age of 5, children describe thin friends as being more desirable than overweight friends.
  • By the age of 6, girls have internalized the slender ideal and 40% have expressed a desire to be thinner.
  • By the age of 9, girls desire has translated into action, and nearly 50% have already embarked on their first restrictive diet.
  • By age 13, 80% of the adolescsent girls are dieting to fight the natural changes in their maturing bodies.
  • By age 17, 4 out of 5 healthy-weight young women think they are too fat.
  • By age 20, 95%  of young women express strong desire to lose weight.
  • 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting.
  •  Female eating disorder patients in my office have ranged from 3rd grade to late 60’s.
  • Male eating disorder patients  I have seen have been from 15 y/o to late 50’s.
  • The longer treatment is postponed will directly correspond to a longer treatment time (months to years) becasue the roots of the eating disorder will be more established.

Behind the numbers are the stories of   significant pain, anguish and cost of eating disorders which are considered a mental health illness. cb