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Grow with Nutrition

Tag Archives: Obesity

Raspberry Ketones – You Decide

For years, wild claims used by supplement marketers promising miracle results have plagued the weight loss industry, yet in both Canada and the USA the rates of obesity in adults continue to rise. You have heard it from the Dr. Oz show – the latest ‘fat burner in a bottle’ and quick fix craze guaranteed to accelerate weight loss. Then the next thing that happens– green coffee bean extract and raspberry ketones are flying off the shelves of every health food store from Toronto to Vancouver.  Even if you have a metabolic disorder, research has demonstrated that eating a healthy, balanced, calorie controlled diet with a consistent exercise routine can help maintain your weight.  For the otherwise typical, overweight person without a metabolic disorder, few published studies have examined the effects of these ‘miracles in a bottle’ on weight loss and nothing substantial has been documented over the long term.   So I ask you this question…Is it worth spending your money on these weight loss quick fixes, especially when results may be small and the long-term risks uncertain?  For this Grow with Nutrition post, I’d like to share with you a summary of current information available about raspberry ketones and then, … Continue reading

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Sugar Shock

Did you know Dr. Phil’s wife doesn’t eat sugar…Beets and carrots have too much sugar…Jamie Oliver suggests flavoured milk is the one of the key causes of childhood obesity…Sugar is toxic… Yikes! When did the population become so confused about a naturally occurring ingredient that we have been consuming for hundreds of years? Certainly, if you’re a diabetic, carbohydrate consumption is measured and monitored. However in the general population, is sugar just one more thing to blame for overconsumption?   As a RD, I like to focus on what you can eat and how much of it makes sense to maintain a healthy weight. The cost of sugar Canadian sugar is significantly lower in cost than in most developed countries, including the United States and Europe, where the costs of domestic subsidies (higher prices) are passed on to consumers. In fact, Canada’s comparatively low priced sugar has been cited as an important competitive advantage in encouraging several food processors to locate in Canada. This has also minimized the need for cheaper alternatives to sucrose in Canada unlike in the U.S. Trade barriers made sugar more costly to U.S. consumers, and corn subsidies made the grain-derived sweetener extremely cheap. What is sucrose? Sucrose (table sugar) is widely used … Continue reading

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Type 2 Diabetes – relationship to Diet and Exercise

More than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance). Out of the 2.7 million Canadians with diagnosed diabetes, 90 per cent (2.4 million) are type 2. Type 1 vs. Type 2 Type 2 is distinguished from type 1 by the fact that the pancreas of a person with type 1 diabetes does not produce insulin, while a person with type 2 diabetes either produces inadequate amounts of insulin or suffers from insulin resistance, an inability to process insulin correctly. Insulin is primarily responsible for breaking down sugars, thereby providing the body with the essential energy necessary to perform normal functions. To date there is no proven way to prevent type 1 diabetes, in contrast, researchers suggest over 50% of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed with healthier eating and increased physical activity. Diet and Exercise Scientists have long known that there is a link between obesity and a person’s risk of developing diabetes and physical inactivity has a direct impact on a person’s ability to control their blood sugar levels. GI There is a vast body of evidence (from Canada and Australia) for people with Type 2 diabetes and Heart Disease that consuming low … Continue reading

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Glycemic Index

It was 2004 and the ‘No Carb Craze’ still had momentum (more in the US than in Canada), when I was invited to a conference about Glycemic Index (GI) with experts from around the world. We were discussing topics such as the recognized scientific method to determine the GI of foods and how the Canadian Diabetes Association educates their patients on GI. The conference was held in Toronto, the perfect venue, where twenty-three years earlier in 1981 at University of Toronto, Dr. David Jenkins and his colleagues developed a standardized system of ranking foods based on their effect on blood glucose levels known as the GI. What is GI? The GI is ranked from 0 to 100 and the unit of measure is percentage. To make a fair comparison, all foods are compared to a reference food such as pure glucose (the original standard) or white bread (more commonly used and preferred reference), which have a GI rating of 100. The number indicates whether a food raises your blood glucose rapidly (GI rating of 70 or more), moderately (GI rating of 56-60) or slowly (GI rating of 55 or less). Generally, foods that are digested quickly and cause your blood … Continue reading

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Mindless Eating

As a dietitian, I’m fairly active with all the knowledge and expertise to have reasonable, healthy eating habits, however, I too sometimes get caught up in ‘mindless eating’. What is mindless eating? It is a term Brian Wansink, Ph.D. made famous from the title of his book, Mindless Eating and his research at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. What does it mean to mindlessly eat? Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of boredom, of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers. Wansink’s studies show that the average person makes around 250 decisions about food every day: Breakfast or no breakfast? Cereal or bagel? Part of it or all of it? Kitchen or car or at work? …& it is not even 7 am yet. Out of these 200+ food decisions, most we cannot really explain. The book shows what these decisions are and how to make them work for you for a healthier lifestyle. The best Mindful Eating tips are personalized and tied to your diet danger zone, which can include: meal stuffing snack grazing … Continue reading

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