THANK YOU for your well wishes for Miss Lily. She is our baby and it was a scary event, to say the least! Thanks for all the sweet comments! 🙂
I wasn’t planning on another Q&A so soon, but I was BLOWN AWAY by the questions I received since Tuesday’s Q&A…I just couldn’t resist. Plus, I’m not concise in my answers and there may be a 1 million word limit? 😉
Marla of Family Fresh Cooking: I love the flavor of Stevia and that it is an all natural sweetener that ranks 0 on the glycemic index. Everything I have read says it’s healthy to use (unlike artificial sweeteners.) Do you know of anything that would suggest otherwise?
Prevention RD: Stevia – hot topic! Stevia use and advertising has spread like wild fire! Like you said, Stevia offers a “natural” non-nutritive (calorie-free) sweetener. Like most everything we eat, safety of use will come back to labeling and marketing. The FDA has administered GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe) for 95% of higher purified Rebaudioside A (Reb A or rebiana) Extract. Other steviol glycosides will also submit FDA petitions for GRAS status shortly. Reb A is one of two main steviol glycosides (the other is stevioside) and are all 200-300x sweeter than sugar. Reb A has been tested through peer-reviewed research, including metabolic and carcinogenicity testing. All have shown no adverse effects with Reb A doses of approximately 4-15 mg/kg body weight per day. The World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives concluded that high purity stevia compounds are safe for use as general purpose sweeteners set at a daily intake of 0-4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight as steviol glycosides. Take home message: Yes, they are safe at moderate intake levels. Source: American Dietetic Association, June 2009. Hot Topics: Stevia.
Courtney of Pink Cow Girl: I have Crohn’s disease….or at least that’s what one GI doctor said, except I don’t have ANY of the regular issues. I can eat nuts, popcorn, onions, etc. But I’m on medication for Crohn’s. I’m also starting to think that I may be slightly lactose intolerant? What is your opinion on managing these issues with diet? Do you think going vegan could help my stomach troubles???
Prevention RD: Crohn’s disease – not fun 🙁 For those that aren’t familiar with Crohn’s, it is a condition of lesions that develop throughout the GI tract. Lesions can begin in the mouth and develop anywhere and everywhere, between the mouth to the anus. I brushed up on Crohn’s and found some interesting information (I learn from these Q&A’s, too!). Crohn’s may be correlated with cola beverage intake, chewing gum, chocolate, and increased sugar consumption. Other research shows that high animal protein and polyunsaturated fat intake along with low intake of omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to the development of Crohn’s. It is also more common in people of Jewish decent and the majority of cases peak between the ages of 15 and 30. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, anorexia (low appetite secondary to disease process), and weight loss. When Crohn’s is in remission, a high-fiber diet, as tolerated, is recommended to stimulate peristalsis (the rhythmic movement of the intestines) and to improve the tone of the intestinal muscles. Unnecessary restrictions should be avoided to maximize nutrient intake. During acute (active) Crohn’s outbreaks, a low-fiber diet and/or bowel rest is recommended to minimize symptoms and decrease the risk of bowel obstruction. Lactose intolerance is common in those suffering from Crohn’s disease. The restrictions you are describing, however, would align more so with a diverticulitis diet – avoidance of small food particles that can get stuck in small out-pouches of the intestine causing infection – nothing related to Crohn’s. If you were properly diagnosed with Crohn’s (typically you are scoped to look for lesions throughout the GI tract), I would advise against a vegan diet. Malnutrition is very common in Crohn’s patients and putting strict restrictions on the diet could further exacerbate any malnutrition. If you suspect you have lactose sensitivity, I would omit lactose and switch to lactose-free milk, cheese, yogurt, ice creams, etc. If your symptoms improve, you have your answer! Excellent question! I wish you all the luck in managing such a complicated, uncomfortable disease.
Courtney of Pink Cow Girl: My favorite employee at my school (the secretary) has diabetes (sugar diabetes…but I don’t know if that means type 1 or 2 or if it matters). She also will eat ANY and EVERY kind of candy she can get her hands on. I love to bake cookies, and I want to give her something HEALTHY but…not let her know it. Do you have any delicious diabetic recipes??? I’d love to hear what you suggest as far as the best sweet treat to trick a diabetic!!!
Prevention RD: Can I just say that I think it’s adorable when people refer to diabetes as “sugar diabetes”? 🙂 It makes me smile every time! The majority of diabetics in the US are type 2, meaning they are non-insulin dependent diabetics (don’t have to take shots, or at least not initially…for most). Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as “adult onset diabetes” but that is no longer true – type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in kids under the ago of 10 — compliments of the obesity epidemic here in America. Scary, isn’t it? Regardless, type 1 or 2, a diabetic diet is a carbohydrate-controlled diet. Carbohydrates break down to glucose (sugar) in the body, so the words “carbohydrate” and “sugar” are many times used interchangeably. A diabetic can control through the diet how much carbohydrate they intake, and thus controlling how high their blood sugars go. What’s important to understand is that a diabetic can eat “normal” foods, in moderation. Further, a diabetic diet is just like any other diet – the calories from carbohydrate should comprise 50% or more of the diet – not “low carb”. While there are lower-carbohydrate and sugar-free options available, one must remember that portion control is still crucial for blood sugar control (and sugar-free does NOT mean carb-free!). I’ve made several recipes as of late that would qualify as “low-to-moderate” in carbohydrate – Oatmeal Cranberry While Chocolate Chip Cookies (16.2 grams of carbohydrate = 1 carb choice), Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies (15.5 grams of carbohydrate = 1 carb choice), Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (13.2 grams of carbohydrate = 1 carb choice), and Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies (13.6 grams of carbohydrate = 1 carb choice). P.S. 1 carb choice = approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate. I hope this helps! Thank you for 1) being an awesome, caring co-worker and 2) asking a great, diabetes-related question! Let me know how she likes them!
Ambre: I’m recently (thanks to watching Food, Inc.) pretty much not eating meat. On occasion I do eat fish (because I cannot give up sushi). I’m wondering if you can give me some ideas on how many grams of protein I need a day, and if I need to take any other supplements besides a multivitamin? I take a multivitamin supplement. I am also dieting, trying to lose 25 more lbs. I am currently 154lbs, 5’5″.
Prevention RD: Great movie, isn’t it? But, I couldn’t give up sushi either! Life just wouldn’t be worth living (half kidding!)! The average adult requires 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram). Therefore, 56 grams of protein a day should meet your protein needs. I would advise seeing a medical provider to under-go simple blood testing to determine whether or not your iron or hemoglobin is low. If so, an iron supplement may be advisable. In the mean time, pair high-iron non-heme sources such as leafy greens with vitamin C-containing fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, citrus fruit, red bell peppers, and melon. For non-heme iron to be absorbed, vitamin C is required in the meal. As long as you are free of chronic disease and other co-morbidities, following a diet meeting the DRI’s + your multivitamin, you are likely meeting your nutritional needs. Thanks for the question, good luck in your weight loss!
Melanie: When I compared the nutrition facts for peanut butter and all-natural peanut better, the information was EXACTLY the same. The only difference that I could see was more sodium in my regular peanut butter, but I’m not really concerned about that. I chose to look next at the ingredients to see how they compared. The regular peanut butter ingredients are: Select Roasted Peanuts, Soy bean oil, Corn dextrin, Sugar, Hydrogenated vegetable oil, and salt. I know how bad hydrogenated oils are for us, but if these extra ingredients don’t make any difference in the nutritional information, are there really enough of them in the peanut butter to do any harm?
Prevention RD: Such a wonderful question and one that many people have concerns about. Hydrogenated oils and trans fats simply have NO place in the diet — they raise LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and lower HDL-cholesterol (the “good” kind) – double whammy! The US (I assume Canada is the same) does not require “trans fat” to be on the label unless the products contains more than 0.5 grams per serving. While this amount seems negligible, it is not. Trans fat should be eliminated from the diet whenever possible and purchasing all-natural peanut butter is a great way to decrease intake of hydrogenated oil. Shop around for brands that you enjoy, or consider using a 50/50 blend of your preferred peanut butter and an all-natural brand – it all adds up to make a positive change. Thanks for the great question!
Melanie: I noticed that comparing raw peanuts to raw almonds – they have roughly the same amount of calories but raw almonds have less saturated fats. Does that mean almond butter would be a healthier choice than peanut butter?
Prevention RD: You’re very label savvy! Yes, almonds have less saturated fat than peanuts; almonds are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids making them a very heart-healthy nut despite their relatively high caloric density. In comparing almond butter to peanut butter (all-natural brands of each), almond butter contains 0.5 grams of saturated fat while peanut butter contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat. I think this is one of the main reasons almond butter has been gaining spotlight attention in recent years. I would never deem all-natural peanut butter a poor source of nutrition but if you’re comparing it to almond butter…almond butter does take the cake! Great question!
Question: How many people do you know with diabetes (type 1 or 2)?
Any exciting weekend plans? 🙂
And on a completely unrelated topic (for Jersey Shore fans) — who would you date if you HAD to choose one? The Situation? Pauly D? Vinny? Ronnie?
Happy Friday! Cheers to a wonderful weekend!!!!