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Cranberry Juice

I’m 48 with high triglycerides, I love 100% cranberry juice and it’s health benefits. I drink 12-16 ounces per day, but now that I’m trying to lose weight and counting calories, I’m finding beer has less calories, which shocked me. Other than the cranberry juice, I usually drink water or black coffee. Should I at least consider to 210 calories from the 100% juice “good” calories or drop the juice altogether?

Answer:

Thanks for your question, firstly regarding your question of replacing cranberry juice with beer, please don’t!! Beer may indeed have less calories than an equivalent serving of Cranberry juice, but it doesn’t have any of the health benefits and it also contains alcohol. Whilst many people will say a calorie is just a calorie when it comes to weight loss, I strongly disagree. The way your body responds to different nutrients can have a significantly different affect on weight gain/weight loss. A 1000 calories from sugar will illicit a different response to consuming a 1000 calories from fat or protein. Alcohol can promote weight gain and can also stimulate appetite so your desire to eat more will increase. So as far as choosing between the two stick with cranberry! Secondly as I don’t know what exact juice product you are drinking I would carefully check the label to confirm that your juice drink is indeed, 100% cranberry and does not contain any additives such as artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. This might sound strange, but you would be surprised at how marketing companies can interpret 100% juice! High fructose corn syrup can be found in a number of cranberry juice drinks and has been linked to promoting high cholesterol and triglycerides. In terms of dieting you need to be aiming for around 1800 calories a day so drinking 12-16 ounces per day of cranberry juice accounts for more than 20% of your daily calorie allowance. So one fifth of your calories are coming from juice. This is something I would suggest reducing as your adding 1470 calories per week to your diet in the form of juice, which is almost a whole days worth of food. I would not suggest dropping any food from your diet, but rather make drinking your juice a treat a few times a week. As a side note I also noticed on your profile that your frequently skip meals. This is another area you may want to look at. Skipping meals, in particular breakfast or lunch, can also lead to weight gain, as your body can go into starvation mode where it tries to hold onto the calories from your last meal, rather than burn them for energy. Try to ensure you always eat breakfast and lunch, as this will keep your metabolism going. I would say the only meal your can get away with skipping is dinner, as during the evening your metabolism is at its slowest.

veggies

best choices for type 2 diabetic who takes blood thinner (Coumadin)…and which will have lowest carbs, lowest vitamin-k, and give max calcium…all in that single veg.

Answer:

It is difficult to suggest a single vegetable, as I wouldn’t imagine you would want to eat it day in day out. Turnips for example have low Vitamin K and are rich in Calcium. As far as root vegetables Turnips are low calories. However you should be aware that unlike the root, Turnip greens are high in Vitamin K.

Vegetables

Is it safe to satisfy daily vegetable requirements by drinking 2 5.5 ounce cans of Original V8 juice?

Answer:

No, unfortunately these drinks have been processed and will have lost some of their nutritional value. Additionally they don’t contain any of the fiber that is in the vegetables which also provides important metabolic benefits.

Plant shoots

Is there any benefit to eating plant shoots over regular vegetables?

Answer:

Yes, shoots have a number of benefits. Firstly they can be eaten raw which means that they don’t lose valuable nutrients during the cooking process. Its believed that they have a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients gram for gram when compared to vegetables. They are also very easy to digest which makes it easier for children and elderly to eat. Finally they are easy to grow at home, seeds are readily available and you can grow shoots from seeds to ready to eat in only a few days.

Can fruit make you fat?

I’ve recently started eating ALOT more fruit than normal. There’s days ill eat anywhere between 2-3 pink grapefruits. Some days it will be 2 grapefruit and an orange. Sometimes more. I’m a vegetarian so I eat a lot of veggies and fruits. Ill eat a bag of frozen peas as lunch or dinner. I know there’s sugar in fruit and veggies, some more than others. With that being said should I limit the amount of fruit I eat in a day because of the amounts of sugar in them? Can you gain weight from eating too much fruit? I heard you’re able to eat as much fruit/veggies as you want. Is this true? What’s the difference between good and bad sugar/carbs in term of how the body reacts to them? Please help.

Answer:

Fruit does contain sugar and if you eat any source of calories in excess it can lead to weight gain. That said, most fruit contains a lot of fiber, and it is this fiber that slows the rate of digestions and rate of absorption of the fruit sugar. The slower the rate of absorption the less likely it is for the sugar to be stored as fat. Drinking orange juice is more likely to cause fat gain than eating an orange because the juice has been separated from the fiber. This example can be related to your point about good/bad sugar and how the body reacts to them. In general all sources of carbohydrates eventually are broken down to glucose or blood sugar. Whether it is rice, bread, potatoes, fruit, candy it will be broken down to glucose. The issue is that some of these foods take a long time to be broken down from their original state to sugar, and others breakdown very quickly. Generally if its white, it is very easy to convert to sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar are all quick to digest. The reason is because they have no fiber. As mentioned above fiber slows the rate of digestion and absorption, so it prevents a rapid and large increase of insulin. A large increase in insulin will cause much of the calories to be stored as fat. When foods are rich in fiber they are slow to digest and slow release sugar into the bloodstream preventing a surge in insulin. These foods are also referred to as low glycemic and high glycemic foods. Low GI being slower to digest and high GI being quick to digest. Orange and Grapefruit are low GI, and fairly low in calories. There has been some suggestion grapefruit has some fat loss properties of their own so eating a couple of these a day, along with an orange should not be a problem, as long as your total calories are within your RDA. In your question you did mention that you might eat a bag of frozen peas for lunch or dinner. Whilst peas are a great food, rich in protein and fiber, I would not recommend basing a whole meal or peas or eating a bag at one sitting. Whilst a vegetarian diet has shown to be beneficial to health it is very important to make sure your meals are balanced and that you are not eating just one fruit or vegetable at a sitting, and trying to include different sources. This way you can make sure you ensure you get all your required vitamins and minerals.