Living Lite

What's Healthier: Sugar or Artificial Sweeteners?

October 8, 2014

For years, my clients have been asking me: "Is it better to eat 'sugar-free' yogurt? Or, yogurt with fruit on the bottom with all that sugar? What about sugar in my coffee? Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks?"

My answer has alway been, to my clients' surprise, "A little sugar won't hurt. Eat the yogurt you enjoy the most, even with a little jam on the bottom! And a little sugar in your coffee shouldn't hurt." New scientific research may prove I've been right all along. 

Artificially sweetened beverages and foods are seen as guilt-free pleasures, because they are lower in calories - or even zero calories - compared to other foods. You may think of them as a great choice when you're trying to lose weight or trying to keep blood sugar in check. But some surprising new research suggests that artificial sweeteners might actually do the opposite.

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Concord Grapes for Heart Health

September 28, 2014

In grapes alone, 1600 nutrients have been discovered, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation. Does this apply to all grapes? No. Concord grapes - which are in season now, and other deep purple grapes, contain the most, and the nutrients are concentrated in the skin and seeds. This is why red wine, or purple grape juice are ten times more nutritious than white wine. They contain the crushed skin and seeds of purple grapes.  

The "phyto" ("plant" in Greek) nutrient most responsible for grapes' heart benefits is anthocyanin, which provides foods with their purple color. In fact there are hundreds of anthocyanins, which have a favorable impact on artery health, blood cholesterol, inflammation, and more, according to a recent literature review in Nutrition Today.     

Anthocyanins can also be found in other purple or blue foods, such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries, purple leaf lettuce, and eggplant.  

Only 3% of Americans eat purple produce, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation. So, "Pump up the Purple," says the PBH, by replacing sugary beverages for 100% grape juice, slice and grill some eggplant or roast some purple potatoes.

My advice? Try drinking small amounts of red wine with meals,  I know it's a sacrifice but it's great for the heart and blood vessels. Read more about grapes, grape juice and red wine...  in my article which also appeared in The Washington Post.

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Two Large Meals (Breakfast and Lunch) Best for Controlling Weight

May 26, 2014

A new study confirmed what I've suspected for the twenty (or more) years I've been a diet counselor. Eating hearty meals earlier in the day instead of in the evening leads to weight loss and better health, even when the same foods and same calories are eaten.  

A recent study published in the scientific journal, "Diabetologia," found people with Type 2 Diabetes eating a large breakfast and lunch - and no dinner, as compared with those eating six small meals with the same calories - lost body fat and improved insulin sensitivity.  

That's not to say you shouldn't be eating dinner, as scientists exaggerate conditions to get results in their studies. But you can use the study's conclusions to make positive changes for your health and weight, as did my client, Mark Indre. 

"I lost more than 35 pounds and have kept it off for more than two years," said Mark Indre.

Some points to consider:

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