Sugar Content of Jamaica Tea

Sugar Content of Jamaica Tea

Question:

I have been drinking a lot of Jamaica tea with a little Splenda. Does the tea have a sugar content? I have seen conflicting articles when I Google it. Thanks.

– Antonio D.

Answer:

Tea brewed from the dried petals of the hibiscus flower (also known as Jamaica or Roselle) is a pleasant ruby red, almost cranberry juice-like color, not to be confused with African rooibos tea.

According to the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release: brewed hibiscus tea has 0 grams carbohydrate per 8 fluid ounces, no caffeine and contains trace minerals. By contrast, a cup of the raw flower petals has 6.5 grams carbohydrate.

If you brew your own or obtain it unsweetened, there should be no sugar in your Jamaica. However, prepared hibiscus/Jamaica teas sold at a coffee shop/restaurant or in the drink aisle at a store may be sweetened with sugar.

– 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.

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Fruits to Help with Weight Loss

Fruits to Help with Weight Loss

Question:

I’ve been eating just fruit for lunch each day. Can you please recommend the best fruits to eat for weight loss?

– Lisa

Answer:

My first recommendation would be to consume more than just fruit if you eat only 3 meals and breakfast is not ample. On the other hand, if you eat heartily in the morning with snacks between meals, then you might get by on a fruit-only lunch.

Almost all fresh* fruits (save avocados, olives & coconuts) are pure carbohydrates with very little protein or fat. So, they may not sustain you for long. They do offer an abundance of fiber, vitamins/minerals, and water content, though. I would encourage you to balance your fruit only lunch with some nuts, seeds or even a hard-cooked egg for a little protein and fat.

While the nutritional content varies among fruits, there aren’t particular ones that promote weight loss, per se. Melons and strawberries are more calorie-dilute than some others, while cherries, grapes, and bananas are considered dense. Anything that takes a while to chew means you’ll consume less of it, so apples with the skin on and pomegranate arils may be better choices.

For further answers regarding fruit consumption click here and here.

*Dried and canned fruits are a no-no for dieters!

– 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.

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Increasing Fat Loss Without Impacting Performance

Increasing Fat Loss Without Impacting Performance

Question:

I have spent the past year working out five days a week doing both HIIT (2-3 days of the week) and strength training. I have had a lot of success with changing my shape, dropping 1.5 pant sizes and building muscle, but the process is slow. I still have body fat that I want gone. I have been reading some about the Keto diet, but don’t want to lose anything from my ability to perform and have heard mixed things about that diet. I eat pretty clean already and always have. Are there dietary changes that are key to increasing fat loss but don’t impact performance? Or should I just be patient with the process?

– Laura E.

Answer:

When you mention performance, what comes to mind is athletic competition or workout effectiveness. In either case, weight loss should ideally be tackled off-season or before the critical performance time. As it sounds like that is not your intended situation, there is no guarantee that while you are creating a caloric deficit your workouts won’t suffer.

Since you state that you eat clean already, I’d look to volume and timing of your meals and snacks for the greatest effect. Supporting your workouts with proper hydration, pre-workout snacks, and recovery nutrition is paramount. Don’t skimp in the few hours preceding and after exercise. Curbing intake at other times, particularly before bedtime and on rest days, would be the approach I’d recommend. Portions may be deceiving and appetite tends to increase with exercise, so watch not only the volume on your plate but how much goes in your mouth. An additional 100 calorie reduction equates to another lost pound per month.

Of course, if there are ‘extras’ in your diet like alcoholic beverages or sweets (even if organic), giving up on those will only benefit your performance and fat loss goals.

– 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.

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The 16-8 Fasting Diet

The 16-8 Fasting Diet

Question:

I am a member of LA Fitness in Marietta, Georgia and I saw an advertisement about you accepting email questions. I was wondering what you think about 16-8 fasting diet. My doctor told me about it. I’ve read a lot about it but it appears it’s just for obese people which I’m not. I need to lose about 10 to 15 pounds. Any advice would be much appreciated.

– Donna G.

Answer:

From what I know of this variation of increasingly popular intermittent fasting, the 16-8 approach is strictly time based, with eating condensed into 8 hours after a 16 hour fast. Periodic fasting (time restricted feeding) allows one to forgo traditional calorie-counting in an attempt to reduce overall caloric intake. Successful long-term weight loss methods also incorporate routine food intake recording, weight monitoring and 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise.

Current articles show the following about intermittent fasting… In a small New Zealand study1 of 37 subjects with type 2 diabetes and obesity, 5:2 fasting over 12 weeks improved weight, HgA1C, fasting glucose, and reduced need for medication, though there were more hypoglycemic events. An even smaller pilot study2 on obese individuals following 16-8 fasting over 12 weeks resulted in lower systolic blood pressure, reduced daily intake by approximately 340 calories, and nearly 3% loss of body weight compared to controls. A Registered Dietitian’s review3 concluded that “There’s clear disagreement even among researchers on the benefits of fasting and which type of fasting would be best for which individuals,” yet “Fasting may be a viable weight loss option for obese individuals who can’t stick to a daily calorie restriction.”

The effect on normal-weight individuals is not known. See our previous answer to “Will intermittent fasting help me lose weight?” by clicking here.

References:

  1. Intermittent fasting in Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the risk of hypoglycaemia: a randomized control trial. BT Corley, et al. February 2018. Diabetic Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.13595
  2. Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. K Gabel et al. June 2018 Nutrition and Healthy Aging 4(4): 345-353.
  3. Fasting Regimens for Weight Loss. Densie Webb. February 2018. Today’s Dietitian 20(2): 34

– 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.

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Recommended Daily Allowances for Middle Aged Female

Recommended Daily Allowances for Middle Aged Female

Question:

What are the recommended daily allowances for the areas below? For reference, I’m an LA Fitness member, a female aged 50, 135 lbs., and 5’6”.

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Fiber
  • Sugar

– Loretta H.

Answer:

If I were to create a profile with your age, height, weight, and gender in a decent diet analysis program, it would compare your food record to the following US RDAs [or alternative value] for women age 31-50 years, given in amounts per day:

  • Carbohydrate – 130 grams
  • Protein – 49 grams (8 g/kg body weight)
  • Fat – not determined [20-35% calories from fat is acceptable macronutrient distribution range]
  • Calcium – 1,000 mg
  • Sodium – 1,300 mg [Adequate intake for women 50-70 years]
  • Fiber – 25 grams [Adequate Intake]
  • Sugar – not determined [2015 US Dietary Guidelines limit added sugars to less than 10% calories]

– 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!

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