Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Question:

Is drinking distilled water bad for you? What type of water should I drink?

– Danisha O.

Answer:

Distilled water is one form of purified water and it is safe to drink, but not exclusively. The thing with removing impurities is that the natural minerals like calcium and magnesium are also removed. This is desirable for household appliances like hot irons, but your blood has sodium and other solutes in it. In summary, distilled water may not be as beneficial for your body as other forms of water.

The water used for intravenous injection is sterile but still contains solutes to match blood concentration and pH. Tap water impurities and micronutrients vary based on the local source, as do those for spring waters and bottled waters. Filtered water removes contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides but some can also lower the mineral content. Carbon block filters allow the mineral salts to remain. Specialty waters that are ionized, reverse-osmosis or alkaline are promoted for various reasons but overall for proper hydration, an adequate volume of fluids is key. Having affordable, good-tasting water means you’ll drink more of it. In the end, there is not an absolute consensus on the type of water you should drink.

A special note: for exercise, sports drinks are actually ideal as they have the proper concentration of glucose and electrolytes to enhance absorption and promote fluid balance.

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

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A Taste of Tryst in DC

A Taste of Tryst in DC

A Hello From Tryst DC! 

Tryst is turning 20 this year! We’ve been bringing people together over great food and drink in the nation’s capital for two decades.

Tryst stands in the center of the nation’s capital, in stark contrast to the suburban culture and coffee chains that proliferate the country. No, our silverware doesn’t always match and we don’t have 75 different kinds of pre-made caramel-nilla-frapp-a-ccino-supremas or 64 flavored vodka martinis. What we do have is outstanding, specialty coffee, craft cocktails, and a commitment to being the city’s ‘third place’. The Greeks have tavernas; the French have cafes. DC has Tryst – a place that helps define ourselves and the community.

Q: Fast-casual dining is often thought to be less healthy than home-cooking, but I’d disagree. What are some of the healthier options Tryst DC offers that diners can enjoy guilt-free?

Executive Chef Kevin Eckert: The thing that separates Tryst from other fast-casual restaurants is that we use small batch recipes and that nearly everything on the menu is cooked from scratch.  Every day we are making soups, pesto, granola, and frying our own chips not to mention the daily selection of fresh baked goods.  I believe that this makes a big difference in the result of the quality of the end product and allows our customers to eat guilt-free.

Q: I assume that with an eclectic menu, the drinks offered at Tryst DC are just as artfully crafted. Do you have a favorite drink you feel pairs well with the featured dish provided?

KE: We take our bartending and barista crafts very seriously. I like to eat the Chia Seed Pudding with a masala chai latte.  Cinnamon and cardamom are naturally sweet flavors that taste amazing without the addition of a ton of sugar and I find that refreshing.

Q: What would you like our readers to know about food and nutrition?

KE: Balance is key. Diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. It should be easy to eat well every day but we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying things occasionally in moderation either.

Q: If you had to include one constant ingredient to every dish you created from here on forward, what would it be? Why that ingredient?

KE: Mung beans. I can’t get enough of them lately. They are packed in nutrition and versatile. They can be sprouted and eaten raw or sautéed, work great in stews especially with curry, and can be soaked and pureed and made into a dosa. Hard to go wrong.

Q: Coffee or tea?

KE: Both!  It depends on the time of day. I will always start my day with a cup of hot coffee but as the day goes on I like to switch to tea, especially an iced green tea when I need an afternoon pick-me-up.

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


Tryst DC is located at the following location:

Tryst

LA Fitness North Bergen

Distance to closest LA Fitness: 1.8 miles to Washington DC – Connecticut Ave. LA Fitness


Tryst Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chia Seeds
  • 4 cups Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon, ground

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps.
  3. Portion into bowls and top with fresh berries, granola, banana and coconut flakes.

Featured Recipes

Foods to Help Aid Muscle and Ligament Recovery

Foods to Help Aid Muscle and Ligament Recovery

Question:

What are the best foods for muscle and ligament recovery?

– Craig K.

Answer:

If you’re talking about short-term daily recovery from your workouts, you want to alleviate soreness and oxidative stress while prompting muscle fiber protein synthesis. Plant foods are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that may help combat delayed onset muscle soreness. Consider increasing your daily fresh produce intake and enhancing dishes with ginger, cinnamon, curcumin, saffron, and ginseng.  Consume a protein and carbohydrate-rich recovery snack within half an hour of completing your workout to combat muscle damage and maximize future performance.

If you’re talking about long-term recovery from an injury, the goal is to maintain adequate nutrition to support healing and prevent muscle loss. Thus, keep up protein intake and calories overall. Initially, you want to avoid inflammation so include foods with proteolytic enzymes such as pineapples and ginger root. The micronutrients zinc and vitamin C are also anti-inflammatory, so have oysters, wheat germ, liver, citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes often. Omega-3 fatty acids may help counter muscle loss, so consume sources like salmon and nuts daily. In the rehabilitation phase after surgery or time off, supplementing with branched-chain amino acids or creatine may help rebuild strength.

Resources:

A review of nutritional intervention on delayed onset muscle soreness; Part I. Kim J, Lee J. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 2014; 10(6): 349-356.  doi:10.12965/jer.140179.

Meal Timing: What and When to Eat for Performance and Recovery. U Rock Girl! Ace Fitness April 19, 2017. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/6390/meal-timing-what-and-when-to-eat-for-performance-and-recovery

Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries. Tipton KD. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z). 2015; 45: 93-104.  doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0398-4.

– 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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Plant Protein Advice for Seniors

Plant Protein Advice for Seniors

Question:

I am in my 60s. I was having a conversation with someone who has become a vegan since becoming a senior. He states that we seniors no longer need the protein from meats. He believes that our bodies do better when we receive our proteins from other sources other than animals. Is there truth to this?

– John D.

Answer:

To maintain muscle mass and strength (which begin to decline in one’s 50s), older adults need a protein-rich diet. Because of a decline in protein digestion with age (see italicized below), protein needs for seniors are higher than those of other adults (1.0 gm/kg vs. 0.8 gm/kg). Some evidence supports that plant proteins contribute more to muscle strength, while animal protein helps preserve mass.*

While animal protein sources boast more B-12, vitamin D, heme-iron, and zinc, plant proteins are by far healthier in the long run. With a diet rich in plant proteins, there’s a lower incidence of cancer, reduced inflammation, lower risk of heart disease, improved insulin sensitivity, and the list goes on! With plant protein, you get fiber and phytonutrients from the whole food source instead of saturated fat and cholesterol with animal proteins.

Regardless of protein source, intake should be spread throughout the day and protein included with each meal.

Digestion of protein is dependent on mechanical breakdown and gut enzymes. Stomach acids are needed to unravel the proteins into peptide strands so that enzymes in the small intestine can cleave them into individual amino acids for absorption. Both stomach acid and enzyme production tend to decline with age, making protein digestion less efficient.

*Higher Protein Intake is Associated with Higher Lean Mass and Quadriceps Muscle Strength in Adult Men and Women. S Sahni, et al. The Journal of Nutrition July 2015. Vol. 145 (7):1569-75. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.204925

– 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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Hot Food Trends You Should Definitely Look Into

Hot Food Trends You Should Definitely Look Into

Plant protein

Move over tofu and soymilk! Vegetarian foods have long been on specialty shelves but now more conventional foods are incorporating plant proteins, in all things from egg substitute and yogurt, to bratwurst and sausage. Ingredients like seitan, tempeh, lentils, pea protein, rice protein, mung bean, fava bean, and vegan protein powders are making their way into mainstream foods. It is no secret that replacing animal protein with plant protein can improve blood sugar control in diabetes1, lower cardiovascular disease risk2, and reduce the risk of various cancers3,4. Plus, vegetarian and plant-based diets are associated with lower body weight5.

Air fryers

As an alternative to conventional frying in oil, these countertop convection (fan-powered circulated hot air) ovens can produce a similar crispy texture, color and flavor with substantially lower fat content6. French fries and chicken nuggets that are deep fried do rate higher in crispness, mouth feel and acceptance, though6,7.  Air-fryer outcome is good if instructions are followed properly for lightly breaded foods cooked in small batches, but the process is slower than deep frying6. If you’re really craving a fried food taste, you can still lightly brush food with oil before cooking. If you need to crisp wet battered items or prepare party-size quantities, an air-fryer won’t do the job.

Root-to-stem cooking

This no waste, whole food approach is not new, but restaurants and chefs are offering more culinary guidance to consuming fully edible plant parts. By utilizing all the parts of your produce – the leaves, stems, rinds, stalks, and skins – you get a boost of nutrition and flavor. Plus, it’s cost-effective and environmentally conscious.  Here are some tips to embrace more of your produce:

  • Wash or scrub potatoes, carrots, cucumber, and apple thoroughly instead of peeling.
  • Revive wilted vegetables by cutting near the base and submerging in cool water for 20 minutes.
  • Blanch the leafy tops of carrots, radish, turnip and beets to use in salads.
  • Chard stems can be diced and sautéed to give crunch to cooked leaves.
  • Blenderize the cut ends of cooked string beans and add to a green smoothie.
  • Broccoli stalks can be shredded for slaw.
  • Pickle watermelon rinds for a creative chutney or summer side dish.
  • Cabbage and cauliflower cores can be chopped and saved for soups.
  • If you must peel bruises or remove brown spots, use these trimmings in a compost bin.

Edible essential oils

!! Recommended to avoid

Unlike flavor extracts, essential oils are not intended for ingestion. Though the FDA indicates they are generally recognized as safe in commonly used amounts (approx. doses in the range of 1 to 3 drops, 1 to 3 times per day), you should only use food grade essential oils orally with the expertise of a professional. They are highly concentrated and can cause damage internally if administered without expert dilution, even those based on culinary ingredients (cinnamon, ginger, oregano, wintergreen). The International Federation of Aromatherapists doesn’t recommend the ingestion of essential oils. The Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) also doesn’t endorse oral therapeutic use of essential oils “unless recommended by a healthcare practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level.8

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:

  1. Effect of Replacing Animal Protein with Plant Protein on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Viguiliouk E, Stewart SE, Jayalath VH, et al. Nutrients 7(12): 9804-9824. doi:10.3390/nu7125509.
  2. Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk? Richter CK, Skulas-Ray AC, Champagne CM, Kris-Etherton PM. Advances in Nutrition Nov 13; 6(6): 712-28. doi: 10.3945/an.115.009654.
  3. Recommendations for Cancer Prevention: Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans. “Basing our diets on plant foods… can reduce our risk of cancer.” American Institute for Cancer Research www.aicr.org
  4. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention Feb. 2017 “Eat a healthy diet, with a focus on plant sources.” American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
  5. A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. Turner-McGrievy G, Mandes T, Crimarco A. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology May; 14(5): 369-374. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.002.
  6. A Comparative Study of the Characteristics of French Fries Produced by Deep Fat Frying and Air Frying. Teruel MdR, et al. Journal of Food Science Vol 80 (2): E349–E358. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.12753
  7. Effect of Preparation Methods on Total Fat Content, Moisture Content, and Sensory Characteristics of Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Beef Steak Fingers. Yoon HR, et al. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal Vol 28 (1): 18–27. doi:10.1177/1077727X99281002
  8. Aromatherapy Safety. “Internal Use Statement” Alliance of International Aromatherapists https://aia.memberclicks.net/aromatherapy-safety

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