Posts Tagged Healthy Eating

Is it healthy for kids to drink fruit juice?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently updated their recommendations on juice consumption for infants, children and adolescents. Here are the highlights.

  • Fruit juices are not nutritionally equivalent to whole fruit due to its lack of fiber.
  • Fruit juice does not offer any nutritional benefit over eating whole fruit for infants and children. It does it not play an essential role in a healthy children’s diet, and should not be given to children under the age of 1 (unless clinically indicated).
    Early introduction of fruit juice may be associated with a shift in food consumption, having juice replace foods that are higher in protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals. In addition, excess consumption may be related to malnutrition and short stature in children who consume excess amounts of fruit juice.
  • Excessive juice consumption is associated with digestive problems including diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal distension. Furthermore, excess juice consumption is associated with tooth decay. Tooth decay risk increases in children who consume fruit juice from bottles, covered cups and in those who consume juice at bedtime.
  • For children aged 1 to 3, intake of juice should be limited to 4 oz per day. For children aged 4 to 6, daily intake should not exceed 6 oz. For children aged 7 to 18, juice intake should not exceed 8 oz per day.

Overall, children should be encouraged to meet their daily fruit intake through the consumption of whole fruit and by consuming fruit juice.

For more information on nutrition, health, or how naturopathic medicine can help you, please call 613-290-6115.

Graham Beaton is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Ottawa.

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Can you lower your blood sugar by eating foods in a different order?

A small pilot study by Shukla et al. in Diabetes Care (2015) suggests that you can.

What did the researchers do?

  • 11 type 2 diabetic individuals who were treated with metformin participated.
  • On two mornings, separated by one week, the participants were fed a breakfast consisting of bread (chibatta), chicken breast (skinless), salad (lettuce and tomato salad with vinaigrette) and steamed broccoli (with butter) and orange juice
  • For the first breakfast, the participants started their meal by eating the bread and drinking the orange juice, waiting 15 minutes, then consuming the remainder of the food (chicken, salad and broccoli). The following week, the order of the breakfast was reversed (participants ate the chicken, salad and broccoli before eating the bread and orange juice)
  • Blood sugar levels and insulin levels were subsequently measured at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the start of both meals

What was found?

  • The participants had lower blood sugar levels when starting their meals with the chicken and vegetables at all times measured (blood glucose reduced by 28.6%, 36.7% and 16.8% at 30, 60 and 120 minutes respectively)
  • In addition, insulin levels were significantly lower at 60 and 120 minutes following the meal

Take home message

  • For diabetics, it is not only important to consider the quantity and type of foods you eat, but also the order in which the foods are consumed. This may allow you the potential to better regulate your blood sugar levels long term, reducing the risk of future disease.

Graham Beaton is a naturopathic doctor practicing in downtown Ottawa. If you have questions about managing your diabetes or how seeing a naturopath can improve your health, please call 613-290-6115.

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Concerned about the health of fried foods?

An interesting article published in the journal Vascular Pharmacology by Chun-Yi NG et al (2014) looking at the relationship between heating (and reheating) vegetable oils and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Specifically, the article details the changes in chemical composition of cooking oils when exposed to heat. These chemical changes result in the degradation of the cooking oils, which become toxic to health. Furthermore, prolonging the exposure of cooking oil to heat (e.g. oil in a deep fryer that is heated for several days in a row), results in further degradation, increasing the amount of harmful compounds in the oil.

There are many health effects, including:

  • Increased vascular inflammation
  • Increased deposition of fatty plaques on the walls of arteries
  • Increased levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL – bad cholesterol) and lower levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL – good cholesterol)
  • Formation of trans fatty acids (a type of fatty acid that greatly increases the risk of atherosclerosis)
  • Hardening of blood vessels,
  • Increased blood pressure

These health effects can lead to

  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

To summarize, heating vegetable oils alter their chemical composition resulting in the formation of multiple harmful chemicals. Deep frying further increases the presence of the harmful chemicals by exposing vegetable oils to high heat for extended (and repeated) periods of time. So the next time you are considering eating deep fried foods – stop, think, and give your cardiovascular system a break.

Graham Beaton“>Graham Beaton is a naturopathic doctor practicing in downtown Ottawa. For an appointment or for more information on how naturopathic medicine can help you, please call 613-290-6115.

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