How To Get The Most From Juicing | Q+A

How To Get The Most From Juicing | Q+A

Question:

Veggie juicing, my wife and I do it every morning (juicing) with a mixture of veggies. We have a Breville juicer and a Bullet. One takes out all of the pulp and one does not. We have only been using the Bullet for the last year. What is the deal, should I be using both alternately, throw one away or what? What is the best strategy to get the most out of juicing? Thanks, Debbie.

– Terry N.

Answer:

You’ve spotted the main difference between juicing and blending – the pulp. Removing or including the solid matter from produce will affect the final liquid in texture and nutrition. Juice enthusiasts relish in the highly concentrated nutrients in a more limited volume of smooth juice, whereas high-power blender users rely on the bulkier smoothies to fill them up for fewer calories.

Which is right for you depends on your intention. If you’re going for micronutrient absorption, you’ll get more vitamins and antioxidants from juicing, but with more calories per glass. Our previous article Just Juice It! explores juicing pros and cons. Juicers work best with water-bound produce, not avocados or sweet potatoes.

Blending the whole vegetable could be more satisfying, leading you to consume fewer calories in the morning. A blender allows one to add smoothie components such as ice, yogurt, protein powder, peanut butter, etc. You’ll be better off doing that if your intent is to substitute a solid breakfast with your beverage.

Which takes home the gold? Juicing is a win if you’re only trying to increase pure vegetable consumption. The blender wins for smoothies, though.

Getting the most from juicing includes adding produce you wouldn’t otherwise eat. Perhaps you can sneak in beets, sprouts, or thick-leaved greens. Spice things up a bit with a little ginger, chives, or turmeric. Consume the juice right away when nutrients are at their peak.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

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Which Fruits Are Best to Eat? | Q+A

Which Fruits Are Best to Eat? | Q+A

 

Question:

My doctor alerted me this past week that my blood glucose level is borderline pre-diabetes. I already eat what I consider to be a fairly healthy diet, limiting added sugars as much as possible. My question is, when it comes to eating fruit, which ones are good for me and which are not? I like to have a banana and berries in my steel-cut oats many mornings, and several nights a week I will eat a fruit mix of red grapes and fresh-cut pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.

-Gary S.

 

Answer:

All fruits are good for you if you keep portions in check. Chances are that other factors might also be pushing up your blood glucose level. Perhaps your overall carbohydrate volume is high or you’re not getting as much fiber as you think. If you’re over 40 and have a history of being overweight, your sensitivity to insulin could be reduced.

Whatever the reason, it’s good that you’re limiting added sugar. The next step is to spread your complex carbohydrates throughout the day and balance them with lean protein or healthy fat at the same meal. Bumping up your activity will also help to burn any extra fuel consumed. Doing these two things should result in lower overall blood glucose levels.

In regards to fruit specifically, look first at the volume you’re eating. Because fruit is refreshing, light and sweet, it’s easy to eat a large quantity before getting full. Twenty grams of carbohydrate from fruit at a sitting is a good amount to enjoy without overwhelming your system with natural fructose sugar. This serving would be equal to about: 1 C. berries, a small 6” banana, 2 C. melon, a 2.5” diameter apple or pear, ¾ C. grapes, 2 medium plums or kiwi, 1 large orange, or 18 sweet cherries. From your description of multiple fruits consumed at once, I’d suspect your portions are nearly double this amount.

Granted, some fruits are higher in sugar than others. But it’s what you eat with them that will create the overall effect on your blood glucose. A fresh apple with peanut butter will not spike blood sugar as much as the same grams of carbohydrate from canned pineapple by itself. Adding cottage cheese to the pineapple will blunt the rise in blood glucose. Munching on grapes instead of popcorn will peak your blood glucose unless you pair the grapes with something like a couple of hard-cooked eggs.

For a breakdown of various fruits’ sugar content, see our previous article Which Fruits Contain the Most Sugar? More on the subject found here: Is it true that I need to limit my fruit consumption because fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates?

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

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Should I Cut Sugar From My Diet? | Q+A

Should I Cut Sugar From My Diet? | Q+A

Question:

I have a question about quitting sugar.  I’m coming across much conflicting information about refined sugar and its role in our diet.

I’m a 33 year old guy who lifts 3 times per week and runs almost every day, so my activity level renders my caloric intake to be higher than the average person.  I’d like to get leaner, and I know I’m supposed to be in a calorie deficit, so I heard getting rid of processed sugar will help with that.  Thing is, I came across a lot of bodybuilders saying the importance of sugar post-workout, but even though I consume sugar then, my cravings for it go beyond that.

I’ve heard that as long as the carbs I eat fit my macros, it doesn’t matter what type of carbs I eat, whether be it sweet potatoes or ice cream.  And to be honest I feel better and more satisfied after eating processed sugar many times rather than eating something healthier like brown rice.

So what’s the verdict?  Would I be better off to minimize sugar and stick with the lower glycemic carbs, or abide by the “If It Fits Your Macro” protocol?

– Andrew P.

Answer:

There is some truth in what you’ve heard, but you know your body best. “Healthy” carbohydrates alone may not be satisfying to you as they are often naturally without heartier companion fats or proteins. It would take four apples to give you the same energy as a cup of ice cream! Likewise, it makes sense if steamed brown rice may leave you wanting more versus a tasty side of lo mein (flour egg noodles in sauce).

You know that you need to reduce caloric intake or increase expenditure to get leaner. You are active and acknowledge that you eat more than the average person. The question as to where those deficit calories should come from depends on how much of your current intake is refined sugar and how healthy your overall diet is.

How Much Sugar Should You Have in a Day?

Analyze a few day’s intake with a good diet software program to give you an idea of your overall calories, added sugar, and saturated fat (another negative source of high calories). Are you getting the recommended minimum 25 grams of fiber daily? From there, you can determine if you can replace some processed foods with more wholesome choices. Small changes or reducing portions may be more effective than swapping out major items in your diet.

Furthermore, you can’t effectively reach a caloric deficit only sticking to the lowest glycemic carbs if it creates over-eating elsewhere. Like a rebound effect, deprivation or underfeeding can easily lead to compensating with higher energy intake from other sources. Switching to sugar-free puffed rice cereal only to pile on the bacon or overeat at lunch later is not going to get you to your goal.

Refined sugar is not good for you compared to natural sources. That said, it’s not a realistic expectation to have a diet completely devoid of any added sweeteners. Omitting a candy bar to make room for an apple with peanut butter is wise  – however, skipping an afternoon protein shake because it has a mere 7 grams of sucrose may be detrimental to your evening workout. Try leaving in the added sugars that compliment otherwise healthy food (e.g., brown sugar on oatmeal, honey for yogurt, dressing for coleslaw) and instead, focus on reducing the big culprits in your diet (typically beverages, baked goods and dairy desserts).

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

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Caloric Intake Needed for an Active Runner | Q+A

Caloric Intake Needed for an Active Runner | Q+A

Question:

I am currently 5’10”, 164 lbs., 16.5% body fat, and not toned. I have been a runner and I am training for a half marathon in 7 weeks.  I want to tone up and lose the body fat in my abs / midsection area. What calorie type and number do I need to take in to have ideal toning and fat loss?

– Cory D.

Answer:

Based on your anthropometrics, Cory, you are at an acceptable weight for your height (BMI 23.5) and you are not far off from a typical male runner’s body fat range (5-12% for 30-39 years old, 6-15% for 40-49 years old). By subtracting the amount of body fat you have, you have138 lbs. of lean mass. Keeping that stable and dropping 5-10 pounds of body fat would put you in the 11-14% body fat range. In order to tone up and shed belly fat down to a such a goal, you’re going to need to go from good to great.

However, cutting calories while ramping up your training may negatively impact your performance more than a lighter weight would benefit your performance. I’d suggest a modest reduction in calories for now, then tightening up your diet after the half-marathon. Not knowing what your current diet is like, I can share what a runner’s diet looks like for an estimated need of 2700 calories (3000 calories – 300 for mild fat loss). 60% calories (1670) should be from carbohydrate = 405 grams

20% calories (540) should be from protein = 135 grams This equals 11.8 gm protein/kilogram your body weight which is suitable for endurance running with modest caloric deficit.

20% calories (540) should be from fat = 60 grams You could attain these targets with 8 ounces lean protein, 3 servings plain milk or yogurt, 11 ounces grain, 4 cups vegetables, 4 cups fruit, and 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) of added fat. Making sure that you choose great options in each food group*, in order to maximize both macronutrient targets and micronutrient delivery for the best muscle and cardiovascular functioning. Here is one example of a day’s meals that hit these numbers:

  • 2-egg omelet with spinach and mushrooms cooked in teaspoon oil
  • Banana
  • Multigrain bagel with tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups of nonfat milk
  • 3 oz. chicken breast and ¼ cup whole beans in large 13” wheat tortilla with ¼ avocado, unlimited salsa
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • Orange
  • 6 oz. plain non-fat Greek style yogurt with ¼ cup dried fruit and ¼ cup granola
  • One bag of low-fat microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables and 3 oz sirloin stir-fried in teaspoon oil, with 1 cup brown rice
  • Apple

*See www.ChooseMyPlate.gov/_____ with the extension: Fruit; Vegetables; Grains; Protein-Foods; Dairy; or Oils for descriptions of serving size and healthy choices in each group.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

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Nutrition is Sprouting this Spring!

Nutrition is Sprouting this Spring!

Alfalfa sprouts were the rage in the U.S. in the 1970’s, but with a new millennium comes new options for nutritious early leaves and shoots. Sprouts are the first growth from the seeds of vegetables, grains and beans and are higher in protein per ounce than their full-grown counterparts. While these tiny whole-food powerhouses may be in the back row of your grocer’s produce section, they are at the forefront of nutrition. Here is a guide to what they are, what nutrients they contain, and how to use them.

Sprout: Alfafa

  • Nutrients: 35% protein, 1.3 g Protein/Cup, Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc
  • Comments: Delicate flavor. Great with egg dishes.

Sprout: Adzuki

  • Nutrients: 25% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Niacin, Calcium
  • Comments:Use in wraps and salads, or slightly heated in soups or casseroles.

Sprout: Broccoli

  • Nutrients: anti-cancer Sulphorophane
  • Comments: Mild peppery flavor. Include in green juices and smoothies.

Sprout: Buckwheat

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 15% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Calcium, Lecithin
  • Comments: Fold into pancake and waffle batter. Use to make energy bars with dates, coconut oil, cocoa and ground nuts.

Sprout: Clover

  • Nutrients: 30% protein, Vitamins A, B, C, E, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, anti-cancer Isoflavones
  • Comments: Top grilled cheese sandwiches. Add to coleslaw.

Sprout: Fenugreek

  • Nutrients: 30% protein, Vitamin A, Iron, Niacin, Calcium, Digestive aid
  • Comments: Compliments rice dishes.

Sprout: Garbanzo (chickpea)

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 20% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium
  • Comments: Use in Mediterranean salads or to extend burger patties. Roast and season for a snack.

Sprout: Lentil

  • Nutrients: 25% protein, 6.9 g protein/Cup, Vitamins A, B, C, E, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus
  • Comments: Peppery flavor. Enjoy in baked beans, potato salad, soups or with steamed veggies. Can be eaten raw.

Sprout: Mung Bean

  • Nutrients: 20% protein, 3.2 g protein/Cup, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Potassium, Fiber
  • Comments: Hardy for light cooking and stir-fry. Great with Asian dishes.

Sprout: Mustard

  • Nutrients: 2.5 g protein/Cup
  • Comments: Spicy flavor similar to horseradish. Delicate sprout. Nice on eggs.

Sprout: Onion

  • Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, D
  • Comments: Spicy flavor.

Sprout: Pea

  • Nutrients: 20% protein, Vitamins A, B, C
  • Comments: Great sautéed with garlic.

Sprout: Radish

  • Nutrients: 1.4 g protein/Cup, Vitamin C, Potassium
  • Comments: Spicy flavor. Add to coleslaw. Use with soft cheese dips.

Sprout: Soybean

  • Nutrients: 9.0 g protein/Cup, Vitamin C, folate Fiber
  • Comments: Complements casseroles and stews.

Sprout: Sunflower

  • Nutrients: Vitamins B complex, D, E, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Lecithin
  • Comments: Use in green juices and smoothies. Add to wraps and sushi.

Sprout: Wheat

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 15% protein, 8 g protein/Cup, Vitamins B complex, C, E, Pantothenic acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus
  • Comments: (seed = sprouted wheat, long green shoots = wheatgrass) Use wheatgrass in green juices and smoothies. Cook sprouted wheat and use in place of rice or eat as porridge.

TIPS:

  • Use in sandwiches and salads to add texture and moistness.
  • Buy only fresh sprouts – those that are crisp with moist white roots.
  • Farmers markets typically have more varieties of sprouts than supermarkets.
  • Sprouts last from 3-7 days if kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
  • Grown your own sprouts, with or without soil, and harvest in less than 2 weeks!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Sources: 

  • International Sprout Growers Association
  • USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28
  • Vegetarian Nutrition dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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