How do I reach potassium goal on low sugar?

How do I reach potassium goal on low sugar?

Question:

I read we need to consume 3,500-4,700 mg of potassium daily. I don’t eat sugar…I had a banana the other day and I almost came out of my skin! I eat spinach and broccoli daily and sweet potatoes regularly. How can I reach these numbers?

– Cliff A.

Answer:

To reach the US Dietary Guidelines goal for potassium [4,700 mg for adults] from vegetables, dairy, animal protein foods, legumes, nuts and grains with little fruit is doable with the proper planning and tools. Charts such as from Health.gov and the National Institutes of Health show the potassium content in various foods. For our members in Canada, check out HealthLinkBC’s chart with metric measures.

Using the above, we calculated that eating a medium baked potato, ½ Cup cooked beet greens, 2 Cups raw spinach, ½ Cup white or adzuki beans, ½ Cup soybeans, 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 1 Cup skim milk, 3 oz cooked salmon, and ½ Cup avocado would meet the potassium goal for the day. If the variety of foods you’re willing to consume is limited, adjust portions accordingly to provide more potassium from what you do eat.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Disclaimer: Nutrient values were used along with RDN’s professional judgment. Due to variations in products, final calculation is an approximation.

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.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

4 + 11 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

Iced Black Tea, Iced Green Tea, or Iced White Tea – Which Reduces Belly Fat the Most?

Iced Black Tea, Iced Green Tea, or Iced White Tea – Which Reduces Belly Fat the Most?

Sipping a cool glass of iced tea feels so refreshing and hydrating! Wouldn’t it be even better if you knew that doing so might also help your waistline? We wanted to find out if that was the case, so we explored which type of iced tea (black, green or white) has a waist-slimming effect.

True tea is brewed from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The names of the tea colors have to do with leaf maturity and extent of oxidation. Oxidation is the process responsible for the browning of black tea leaves, as well as the development of new flavonoids. When the leaves are simply steamed and crushed manually without additional oxidation they retain a green color. White tea is the variant that undergoes the least processing and the leaves are harvested while the tea plant is still young.

BLACK TEA


Here’s how the three types fare in comparison to one another for belly fat reduction:

Black tea* is high in polyphenols called flavonoids. A predominant form of flavonoids are polyphenolic catechins. The process of oxidation browns the leaves and causes reduced catechin content – by around 85% compared to green tea – and less bitterness.1

One study on black tea consumption (3 cups/day) showed positive effects on weight and waist circumference at 3 months, but not at 6 months.2 Animal and small human studies suggest that the caffeine in black tea may increase basal metabolism by up to 6 percent.3 It’s proposed that caffeine encourages the body to breakdown stored fat and stimulate its metabolism. With caffeine, more is not better! Safety guidelines recommend you should only consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day (equal to 5-8 cups of black tea). Also, note that black tea is a rich source of oxalates which can cause kidney stones.

* Chinese black tea (called red tea in China since brewing causes a reddish color) is not the same: The leaves are aged for a very long time giving Chinese black tea a different flavor and flavonoid profile. Oolong tea is made from sun-dried tea leaves that are partially oxidized. Pu’er tea is made from leaves that have been oxidized then microbially fermented.

GREEN TEA


Green tea is characteristically bitter and astringent and has the most catechins compared to black tea. There are eight prominent catechins found in green tea including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is believed to be the most pharmacologically active and is the most extensively studied. Green tea catechins (predominantly EGCG) may influence fat distribution by preventing fat cell proliferation, reducing fat absorption, increasing energy expenditure and increasing fat burning.4

It appears that catechins’ ability to impact abdominal fat takes place at a certain threshold. It takes about 500mg catechins (equal to 5 cups of green tea)4,5 to modestly reduce abdominal fat or waist circumference, based on studies using catechin-enhanced beverages.6,7 Again, more is not better… consuming greater than 800mg of EGCG in one sitting would be like slamming a gallon of green tea all at once, and instead of acting as an antioxidant (as it does at lower levels), you’d get pro-oxidant effects!

Aside from sympathetic nervous system action, green tea catechins may also increase satiety. Green tea catechins increase the release of hormones that reduce our appetite and induce a satiating effect, telling our brain that we’ve eaten enough.8 

The caffeine naturally present in green tea may increase energy expenditure on its own but it’s evident that caffeine works synergistically with the catechins. A meta-analysis of research4 and other long-term studies9  indicate that decaffeinated green tea extracts do not have an effect on body weight or abdominal fat.

WHITE TEA 


White tea offers a sweeter and lighter taste than black or green teas although it still contains a variety of compounds including EGCG. One study showed that the range of its total catechin content can overlap the variance found in green tea, making the amount comparable.10 The authors concluded that the source, cultivation, and processing of a given tea may have more influence on catechin content than whether it is green or white.10 Another study demonstrated that the caffeine content between green and white tea is not appreciably different.11

Human studies investigating white tea’s effects on abdominal fat are rare. Results of an in vitro study indicated that white tea extract effectively reduced fat deposition and promoted the breakdown of fat.12 


The winner… ICED GREEN TEA, if you drink enough – 5 cups! For higher effectiveness, consume green tea while fasted – making it your first food of the day to increase absorption of catechins4 – and spread remaining intake throughout the day rather than all at once.

Tips on tea preparation before you ice it:

  • Check bottled tea labels and choose only pure, unadulterated tea—or save money and brew your own at home.
  • For the most catechins, look for quality packaging to ensure better storage with minimal exposure to oxygen, light, and moisture.
  • Use bottled or deionized water to extract (nearly double) more catechins when brewing tea.13 Steeping leaves in tap water, especially ‘hard water’ high in minerals, leads to a less bitter but also less potent tea.15
  • The ideal water temperature and steep time for maximum extraction vary by tea type. For example, brew white tea bags at 98°C [208°F] for 7 minutes to obtain the highest polyphenol content and pleasant taste.14
  • Consider adding lemon or creamer/milk to allow more catechins to be absorbed since they stabilize tea polyphenols in the intestine, inhibiting their degradation from an alkaline pH.15

 


Recommended Reading

Intra-workout Drinks and Protein Recommendation

Intra-workout Drinks and Protein Recommendation

Question:

My focus has largely been on muscle growth, though I do plan on switching my routine a bit later in the summer to incorporate more cardio. I would like to be more mindful about the supplements I use and am hoping you can provide advice on this front. I shop at GNC and I normally get a powder for intra-workout drinks and I also get tubs of protein. Do you have products that you would recommend that are both effective and healthy? There are so many different products in the market, as you know, but there really isn’t much oversight of those products when it comes to quality, effectiveness, and, to some degree, legality. I think it would be good for me to hear from an expert on what intra-workout drinks and protein shakes are best rather than relying on blogs, etc.

– Deb S.

Answer:

You’re absolutely right that all consumers have to go on is mostly user reviews and manufacturer advertising – how frustrating! With thousands of products on the market for an industry that draws billions of dollars in sales each year, it’s impossible to even keep up a list of what sport nutrition supplements are available. Turning to the experts is excellent. To be completely unbiased, I don’t endorse a particular brand or products. Rather I look at the individual ingredients for their safety and efficacy.

Protein powders that only contain other macronutrients, amino acids and flavors tend to be safe and effective as solid proteins. They really are a substitute for whole food for convenience, portability and ease of digestion. A reasonable guide is to spend no more than one dollar ($1) per 20-25 gram protein serving; even less if you buy in bulk.

Some active compounds that have scientific evidence behind them are creatine, caffeine, Beta-alanine, nitrate and sodium bicarbonate1.  You can look up ingredients on www.Examine.com but can’t research a certain product by name or brand. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements has a helpful table of selected ingredients’ efficacy, safety and dosages that also indicates the type of exercise that they may benefit.

Even when there are studies on effectiveness of an ingredient, the next step is determining whether a particular product has an active amount of that compound. In addition, I look for those that not only say they have 3rd party (“independent laboratory”) testing for potency but offer the report as well. In addition, consumer sites such as Labdoor.com and ConsumerLab.com allow you to search their review/analysis by product name.

Remember, supplements are of best value when they complement a well-chosen high-quality eating plan!

Resources:

  • Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116:501-528.

– 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.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

11 + 9 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

Member Spotlight | Seize Your Destiny

Member Spotlight | Seize Your Destiny

In life, anything is possible. Never give up. Never give in. And always keep pushing forward.

Stefan R.

LAF Member

No pain in life could compare to the heartache I felt as I awoke from a grand mal seizure on the racquetball court in 2010. Even worse, the all-too-familiar ghostly look of horror in the eyes of my friends who surrounded me. One minute I was playing competitively, the next minute the paramedics were once again strapping me to a gurney, reassuring me that even though I didn’t know my name, my location, the day and date or even the year, everything would be alright.

The ambulance doors locked, and the paramedics began to haul me off on my fourth journey to the hospital in two years due to epileptic seizures. I had lost control of my path in life and could no longer handle living. I couldn’t work out, I couldn’t play racquetball, I couldn’t drive and simply put, as a 39-year-old man, I was in pain.

This seizure completely demolished me. Even after my last attempt at achieving normality through brain surgery in 2007, the seizures made a dramatic return in 2009-2010 to wreak havoc on my life. Now for the fourth time in my life, I had lost my driver’s license due to epilepsy and had to ask myself, “If brain surgery did not work…what was and what is my reason to live?”

From 2004 to 2012, my journey included two epileptic car accidents, multiple grand mal seizures at work, in the racquetball court, in the weight room, even cracking my head open on the locker room tile floor, and the last one, while running on the beach for fitness in 2011.

This time period included two hernia surgeries, a pulmonary embolism, three endoscopies, loss of my home, my car, my wife, and in the end, bankruptcy, causing the loss of everything materialistic in my life. In 2012, I hit rock bottom.

During this journey called life, I grew up with racquetball. Racquetball was my life and it was a positive, healthy part of my life for many years. When life got tough, when I was stressed, when all else failed, it was time to “Beat the Ball!” I played for 15 years until this gap of nearly 7 years occurred. But as a motivational speaker taught me, “If you can look up you can get up!”

Giving up was not an option. Materialistically, everything was gone. Everything but my passion to live. Then, I changed my life, one step, one breath, one prayer at a time. I began to see life as a challenge, a challenge I needed and a challenge I welcomed. I then saw obstacles as something that I had to go through in order to grow through in life. There was light not yet seen at the end of the tunnel, yet one I had to believe in. And through awareness, I began to change and grow.

We are who we surround ourselves with in life. We are what we eat. We are what we drink. We are what we think. Our thoughts create our reality. Our ego knows too much and therefore when we are able to quiet our ego, our spirit will awaken. I was able to awaken my new life with a whole new spirit.

Through a healthy lifestyle change, the attitude of gratitude and the power of manifestation, and through meditation, over medication, I knew that what life gave me was what I needed in order to grow.

I faced death head-on, literally, and woke up in jail on October 9th, 2012 and saw what I did not want to be in life. I saw what I had turned into, I saw what I would become, and I saw where I would end up if I did not stop digging.

On January 1st, 2013, I came back to the racquetball courts in Vista, California LA Fitness, just two months after spending 6 weeks in the Vista county jail. A jail (in all irony) that is located just a few hundred yards behind the racquetball courts. At this time when I walked on the courts, ankle bracelet and all, I had developed the power to know that I was not yet done living life!

Now, every time I park to play racquetball, I see my past. A past I do not want to forget. A past I am truly thankful for now as I spent much needed time awakening to a whole new life. The next 5 years included healing, learning, growing and manifesting my divine destiny. And I did it!

Through meditation & manifestation, awareness & attitude, combined with prayer and positive thinking, I was able to holistically cure my epilepsy 100% and have been off medication and completely sober ever since.

On the courts of LA Fitness, I played for 5 years straight and began winning tournaments and winning numerous medals along the way. In 2018 I recently brought home two Gold Medals in the National Racquetball Championships to complete my comeback goal!

In life, anything is possible. Never give up. Never give in. And always keep pushing forward.

Coach Stefan Rudolph

www.RecoveredCoaching.com

stefanSrudolph@gmail.com

760-215-2337

Some slight edits may have been to the original copy due to grammatical errors, length, and/or for clarity. 


Recommended Reading

Inflammatory Foods on GI Health

Inflammatory Foods on GI Health

Question:

Which foods have the most inflammatory effect on the digestive system?

– Anonymous

Answer:

The upper digestive tract (mouth, throat and stomach) is probably less apt to get irritated from compounds in food since what you’ve eaten isn’t yet broken down there. Hot sauce is an exception! Inflammation in these areas is likely due to bacteria or autoimmune responses. It’s rare that foods cause direct inflammation on the interior lining of the intestinal tract from within the gut itself. Usually it’s by way of immunoregulatory pathways and depends on the health of that lining.

When nutrition and medical experts speak of an inflammatory effect from food, they’re usually talking in reference to the two inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The causes may be genetic, environmental or both. It’s assumed a pathogenic agent – bacteria, viruses, antigens – triggers the body’s immune system to produce an inflammatory reaction in the digestive system. Certain types of foods may cause greater symptoms, but each person’s response varies.

Outside of IBD, maybe you’re referring to foods that cause other gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating and pain such as from indigestion, reflux or irritable bowel syndrome? Here the list of problem foods can vary depending on the person’s tolerance. Lactose-containing milk products, nuts, legumes, fructans in grains and vegetables, sugar alcohols, heavy spices, caffeine, and greasy foods are the top contributors to gut issues.

Though you may want to avoid inflammatory foods, I’d suggest focusing on the positive by seeking foods that fight inflammation systemically. These include beneficial spices, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), oysters, wheat germ, liver and citrus fruit.

Resources:

  • Inflammation in the intestinal tract: pathogenesis and treatment. Blumberg RS. Digestive Diseases 2009;  27(4): 455–464. doi:10.1159/000235851
  • “Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 July 2016, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gas-digestive-tract/symptoms-causes.
  • Harvard Health Publishing. “Foods That Fight Inflammation.” Harvard Health, Harvard Medical School,    June 2014, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation.

– 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.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

7 + 2 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

SUBSCRIBE TO

LIVING HEALTHY

Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest