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4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Fear Carbs, According to Experts

This article was written by Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with adolescents, survivors of trauma, eating disorders, body-image issues, and mood disorders. She is a blogger on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She is a junior board member for The National Eating Disorder Association. http://www.jenniferrollin.com

“These days, carbohydrates are frequently demonized by popular media and diet culture. People often proclaim the “benefits” of low-carb diets with an almost religious zeal. Many individuals have developed a sense of anxiety and guilt surrounding foods containing carbohydrates.

As a psychotherapist who specializes in treating individuals with eating disorders, I know the danger of labeling specific nutrients and food groups as “good” and “bad.” This mindset can contribute to disordered eating, eating disorders, and may lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes.

I reached out to some nutrition experts to help debunk the myth that carbohydrates should invoke a sense of fear. The following are four reasons why you don’t need to fear carbs.

1. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source.

Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body. Carbohydrates are actually the macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. Additionally, it is recommended that carbohydrates supply 45-65% of our total daily energy needs.

Julie Seale, RD, of Seasoned Nutrition, explains, “Why avoid carbs? They are the primary source of energy for the body, plus they are in most foods…and they taste great! Avoiding carbs would limit many other nutrients.”

Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian/Owner of Goodness Gracious Living Nutrition says, “Carbohydrates contain essential nutrients that our bodies need to function each day. In fact, our brain’s nutrient of choice is glucose which comes from carbohydrate intake.”

“The body’s main and preferred source of energy is carbohydrate. So, “cutting carbs” will come at a serious energy loss. People are often scared of carbohydrate-rich food because of past experience with it – they’re afraid of overeating it because they’ve done it in the past. This is not about the food itself, though. This is a behavior that can be addressed by looking at the underlying issues that contribute to someone overeating/binging,” Lauren Anton, MS, RD, Co-Chair of the Health at Every Size Special Interest Group of the Academy of Eating Disorders, explains.

Anton says, “Also, I’ve found in working with my clients that the more someone doesn’t give him or herself full permission to have a particular food, the more they will disinhibit (read: overeat) when they encounter that food.”

2. Carbohydrates can help to boost your mood.

“Carbs are needed to make serotonin, our hormone that helps us feel calm and relaxed, like our own natural “chill pill”. If you like being in a good mood, make sure carbs are on your menu,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, and author of the upcoming book Body Kindness.

Additionally, going on a “low carb diet” or “cutting carbs” can have negative implications in terms of one’s physical and mental health.

Michelle Kuster, RD, LD, certified intuitive eating counselor, explains, “There’s always a nutritional demon; carbs are currently the culprit. With a $60 billion diet industry, marketers think of creative ways to make people fear food. But carbohydrates are your bodies and brain’s preferred source of fuel, and even a short time without them will lead to fatigue, headaches and irritability.”

3. Carbohydrates add satisfaction and pleasure to the eating experience.

Food provides important fuel for the body, but it is also supposed to be a source of pleasure and enjoyment.

“Without carbs, meals tend to be less satisfying. Having a source of carbs with meals helps you stay full and happy for longer. Who doesn’t want that?” says, Josée Sovinsky, a Non-Diet Dietitian.

Ultimately, you deserve to be able to nourish yourself with food and movement that you enjoy.

4. Restricting carbs can create a disordered relationship with food.

Cutting out carbs or going on a “low-carb diet” can trigger disordered eating or an eating disorder in individuals who are genetically predisposed.

Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and host of Food Psych podcast, explains,

“Cutting out carbs is a great way to make yourself start bingeing on them. Because carbs are your body’s primary fuel source, your brain is wired to seek them out if there’s a shortage. Carbs are essential for keeping your blood sugar from dropping too low. If that happens (as it often does in a low-carb diet), your brain will actually send out neurotransmitters that drive you toward whatever high-carb foods are available. So people who attempt to cut carbs end up feeling out-of-control around those very foods, without realizing that this is actually their body’s way of protecting them. To avoid this vicious cycle of restricting and bingeing on carbs, don’t cut them out—instead, learn to trust your body around all foods.”

Michelle Kuster, RD, LD, certified intuitive eating counselor, says, “Any time we over-emphasize one aspect of nutrition, we lose the big picture, which is that all foods can be enjoyed in a balanced diet, and avoiding foods typically leads to unintended consequences such as intrusive or obsessive thoughts about food.”

The Bottom Line

Having a “black and white” mentality surrounding food sets people up for disordered eating habits. Further, mental health is an important part of one’s overall health. I think we can all agree that feeling guilt and shame about eating a bagel is not mentally healthy.

Instead of thinking in extremes, aim for balance, variety, and moderation in your eating experience. Work to let go of judgments of certain foods as being “good” or “bad,” and instead choose to mindfully nourish yourself with food that you enjoy.

If you are struggling with this, it can be helpful to reach out to a registered dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating, the non-diet approach, and disordered eating.

After all, life is just too short for food rules, chronic dieting, and self-hate.”

Carbs

Why are we getting fat and sick?

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10 reasons we are getting fat and sick

1. Sugar consumption has skyrocketed.
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain and high triglycerides…to name a few.
There are also a load of studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more; and it has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity.

2. People gain lots of weight during the holidays which they never get rid of.
Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.
But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.
The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight after the holidays are over. They might gain 3 kilos, but only lose 2kgs, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time.
In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.

3. The obesity epidemic started when the low-fat guidelines were published.
There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.
A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat, to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).
This led to the birth of the low-fat diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat.
Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.
Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.
There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer.
Have you seen “that sugar movie”? In it the actor eats only s0-called “healthy foods” for 60 days like fruit juice, fruit yoghurt, and low fat meals. He eats the same amount of calories as he did before, does the same amount of exercise, yet by the end of the study he is fat, has full blown metabolic syndrome and feels terrible. Isn’t that scary?

4. Food is cheaper than ever before and we’re eating more fast food than before.
This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.
In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food.
How are poor people supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?
The consumption of simple home cooked meals has also decreased drastically over the last few decades with people going out to feed themselves and their families cheap, processed fast foods. The result is disastrous to our health and our waistlines.

5. People are drinking more sugary drinks and fruit juices
The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance… making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.
Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories.
So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead.
Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks.
Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children.
Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse.

6. Increased food variety contibutes to overeating and weight gain.
Many tests have been done on rats and there is some evidence that this is true in humans as well. When we have more types of foods available, we eat more… and sometimes more than our bodies need. Think of a buffet- our eyes are almost always bigger than our stomachs.

7. People don’t burn as many calories when working
A lot of people blame obesity on decreases in physical activity, that we’re just burning fewer calories than we used to.
Although exercise has increased, it is also true that people now have jobs that are less physically demanding.
In fact people are now burning around 100 fewer calories per day in their jobs, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

8. People are eating more vegetable oils mostly from processed foods.
The fats we are eating have changed dramatically in the past 100 years or so.
At the beginning of the 20th century, we were eating mostly natural fats like butter and lard… but then they were replaced with margarine and vegetable oils.
Most people aren’t frying real food in vegetable oil, they are getting it from processed food. Adding these oils to the foods increases the reward and caloric value, contributing to overconsumption and obesity.

9. The social environment can strongly affect calorie intake
The social environment is another factor that determines calorie intake. For example, eating in a group can dramatically increase the number of calories consumed.
According to one paper, eating a meal with several people can increase calorie intake by up to 72%, or 310 calories in a single meal. At home we don’t likely eat starters, mains and desserts but when out for dinner with friends we do. This is a simple example.
There are also studies showing that people tend to eat more during weekends.

10. People are sleeping less
Sleep is often overlooked when it comes to weight gain and obesity.
It is known that poor sleep has negative effects on various hormones that are related to weight gain, and can contribute to increased hunger and cravings.
In recent decades, average sleep duration has decreased by 1-2 hours per night. The reasons for this are numerous, but increased artificial lighting and electronics are likely contributors.
As it turns out, short sleep duration is one of the strongest individual risk factors for obesity. It is linked to an 89% increased risk in children, and a 55% increased risk in adults

All of this said, the path society is on is a scary one . Many countries are taking note by placing taxes on sugary foods and changing their dietary guidelines.

Health gurus, professors, bloggers and fitness fundies are jumping on the band wagon and creating their own food trends like paleo, raw till 4, banting and intermittent fasting. It all becomes very confusing though, especiaslly when you read one day that fruit is good for you and the next that it is high in sugar and should be avoided.

At the end of the day we are all different. Our genes and hormones dictate the way we metabolise and respond to different foods and thus there is no one-size fits all diet.

There are some general guidelines that I feel everyone can benefit from though. Here they are:

Firstly, avoid sugar like the plague. It ages you, makes you fat, makes you sick and is addictive. Yes it’s delicious, but the funny thing is that the tastebuds become used to sweetness so try cutting it out for a month and then having some carrots and you’ll be amazed by how naturally sweet they taste! Also that teaspoon of sugar you used to take in your tea will now make it undrinkable for your new palate. It’s all about weaning yourself off of it. Give it a go!
Eat whole, real foods. Not too much, mostly plants. I like to look at my food and be able to see exactly where it came from. If I can’t I won’t eat it. Think apples from a tree, fish from the ocean, sweet potatoes from the earth. If it’s in a package with an expiry date longer than a week. Be warned, it’s likely highly processed and ladden with sugar and preservatives.
Eat mindfully. Chew your food, taste it and enjoy all the flavours and textures. Don’t shovel it down your throat in front of the fridge. Not only will you consume more than you intended but you wont get the same satisfaction as you would if you sat down with a plate and took some time out to eat.
Watch your portions: In a resturant you generally get way too much food. A portion of protein is the size of your palm, fat the size of your thumb. Be mindful of this and take a doggie bag home with leftovers. The Japanese believe in eating until you are 80% full. It’s a great mantra, albeit difficult to adhere to.
Make time for fun, exercise and sleep: all of these contribute to a healthy mind which means a healthy body. They help to balance your hormones, and in turn regulate your mood and weight.
Seek professional advice: Please don’t listen to fad diets, they arent sustainable and often do more harm than good. Start by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle and take note of how your body reacts. If you have tried and tested everything, seek professional advice, they are called professionals for a reason.

x DD

Considering Gluten-Free? Why It’s Probably Not Necessary (and May Even Be Bad for You)

 

gluten-free_LARGE

 

The Gluten-free craze is one of the most popular dieting and weight loss trends since the turn of the century.

But, in reality, it’s probably not necessary for most of us and may even be harmful.

A little background on Gluten before we explain why you may not really need to worry about it.

 

What is Gluten? And why do we love it?

Gluten is a protein composite that gives wheat products like bread and cereal their chewy, flexible texture. It is found in most modern-day carbs and humans have been consuming it, in some form, for thousands of years.
So why did we break-up with bread?

In the early 2000s, cardiologist Dr. William Davis began advocating against gluten and wheat, a concept that quickly caught on with celebrities and others in the health space.

Dr. Davis’ 2011 book, “The Wheat Belly” quickly became a New York Times bestseller, and the gluten-free diet has inserted itself into pop culture ever since.

The Expert Truth About the Gluten-Free Diet

Here’s the thing: most people eating a gluten-free diet don’t need to be, and may actually be harming themselves.

A gluten-free diet should only be used by people who have celiac disease — an autoimmune disease where the body mounts an immune response to gluten, causing stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, gas and even osteoporosis. And, in reality, just 1 percent of the population actually has celiac disease.

“There is no harm with whole wheat unless you have the disease,” says Dr. Gabe Mirkin, fitness guru, long-time radio host and sports medicine doctor with more than 50 years of practice.

Mirkin is one of thousands of health experts who have come out against the idea of leveraging a gluten-free diet for health and weight loss.

In fact, he says people who eat whole wheat are actually better off.

“Virtually everybody agrees that people who eat a lot of wheat, these people live longer, have less cancer, fewer heart attacks, diabetes, etc.,” Mirkin says. “Whole grains prevent disease. That’s what all the literature supports.”

For example, on his website, Mirkin points to two studies published this year showing that gluten-free diets cause nutritional deficiencies:

The study in Clinical Nutrition (May 7, 2016) reviewed scientific studies published between 1990 and 2015 and found that most gluten-free diets:

  • Lacked fiber because low-fiber foods made from sugars, starches and refined flours were substituted for fiber-rich foods made from whole grains;
  • Lacked vitamins B12 and folate, and minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium; and
  • Contained more high glycemic load foods and larger amounts of saturated and hydrogenated fats.

The study in The Journal of Pediatrics (May 13, 2016), from researchers at Dalhouse University in Canada, found that when given to children, gluten-free processed foods could cause:

  • Delayed growth and development because they often lack essential nutrients (the B vitamins, fiber, calcium, magnesium and iron); and
  • Weight gain because they are usually low in fiber and higher in sugar, other refined carbohydrates and fats.
Whoa, hold up a second.

Does that second study show that gluten-free diets can actually cause weight GAIN? Then why have so many of us been led to believe that gluten-free diets are a way to lose weight?

That’s a common misconception, Mirkin says.

“Yes, people who avoid flour and refined carbs can lose weight,” Mirkin says. “But the difference is between a whole grain and a ground grain, like flour.”

Processed flour, he says, can cause weight gain because it’s the result of wheat being ground up and refined into an ingredient that has little to no nutritional value (mostly to retain shelf life). That’s different than whole grains, which retain their fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.

People do lose weight when they intentionally cut out gluten but it’s not because of the gluten, per se but rather that they have cut out things like cupcakes, chips, crackers, high-sugar cereals and the like. They lose weight because they’ve eliminated the refined flour — not the gluten.

So, wait, can I eat wheat or not?

According to the Whole Grains Council, when looking for a whole grain product, you should look at the list of ingredients to make sure it says; whole grain, whole wheat, whole wheat flour, and stone-ground whole wheat.

Processed wheat such as; wheat flour, semolina, durum wheat, organic flour and enriched flour (anything that doesn’t include the word “whole”), should only be consumed in moderation. If you find yourself at a bakery or restaurant where you don’t have access to an ingredients list, try to be conscious of the calorie content and portion so that your waistline doesn’t suffer.

Is a gluten-free diet right for you?

The best thing to do is to ask your doctor to give you an immunoglobulin A anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA TTG) test.

“If the test comes back negative, then it is extremely unlikely you have celiac disease and need a gluten-free diet,” Mirkin says.

 

If you feel like you react to gluten and may have an intolerance to it, cut it out for 3 months and then slowly feed it back into your diet. Make sure you take a good probiotic during the elimination and re-introduction phase so that your gut bacteria can assist with proper digestion and perhaps heal any damage you may have to your gut lining.

If you’re interested in cutting out refined flour and breads from your diet as a way to lose weight, take a look at Daily Dietitian’s Low Carb Diet instead, we will make things easy and delicious for you.

 

x DD

The less sweet side of artificial sweeteners

artificial sweeteners advice

I recently found a fantastic article outlining the effect of artificial sweeteners on our bodies and minds from the Food Junkie at Psychology Today.

I hope you enjoy reading it whilst sipping your unsweetened tea :)

“Excessive sugar intake has been linked to a range of maladies including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, accelerated aging, metabolic syndrome and obesity. It’s no wonder people are often looking for a “healthier” option to satisfy his or her sweet tooth. Currently there are 6 approved artificial sweeteners by the FDA; some of which are thousands of times sweeter than table sugar. Many are readily available, placed right next to the sugar packets on restaurant tables waiting to be sprinkled into coffee or tea, while others are incorporated into the processed “reduced sugar” and “diet” snacks foods that line the supermarket shelves.

Even though some people are hesitant to make the switch from sugar to artificial sweeteners due to other health concerns such as cancer and seizures, many people happily consume them on a daily basis. Artificial sweeteners sound great in theory- drinking diet soda, or eating “diet” snacks allows people to experience the sweet taste that he or she craves without the excess calories that come along with typical sugar laden foods. Even though they provide no calories or nutrients when ingested, there is mounting evidence linking artificial sweeteners to list of adverse effects when consuming them- including alterations in gut microflora, cognitive changes, as well as metabolic and endocrine disturbances- making them a less healthy alternative than originally thought.

While some studies have shown that they are helpful as a weight loss tool, the research is still mixed. In one study, people lost more weight and reported feeling less hungry when consuming artificial sweeteners compared to participants that did not. (1) Conversely, observational research shows that people who consume artificial sweeteners are more likely to be overweight or obese. (2) Making many question the utility of them as a diet aid in the first place (however, it is important to note that cause and effect cannot be determined in this type of study).

Logically, a food or beverage that provides no calories or nutrition should not have a physiological impact, however that does not seem to be the case. For one, the quantity needed to provide the perception of sweet taste is at a lower concentration than sugar. Therefore, repeated use may alter perception of sweet taste in some individuals, and the amount needed of dessert, like apple pie or a chocolate brownie is increased in order to get the same satisfaction. In addition, artificial sweeteners have been shown to alter levels of hormones that impact blood sugar control, similar to the effects observed after sugar ingestion.

Newer evidence also shows that artificial sweeteners can cross the blood brain barrier and may trick parts of the brain that control feelings of hunger and satiety. In one study, artificial sweeteners negatively impacted cognition and were associated with a poor future snack choice. This can sabotage weight loss goals and make dieting seem impossible when high calorie snacks are in sight. (3) (4)

Another area of interest is the affects it exerts over the microbiome. Although still in the early stages of research, the microbiome is emerging as a significant component of health. The bacterial stains that populate our intestine can be altered by a variety of factors, including comorbidities, weight status (some strains are more common in obese individuals versus lean) and what we eat- including artificial sweeteners. In one study, it took only 7 days for people consuming the upper acceptable limit of saccharin (set by the FDA) to show significant changes in gut flora. The bacterial strains found in their gut were strains that are associated with type 2-diabetes. Moreover, there was a decrease in glucose control (5)- having the opposite effect of what artificial sweeteners are intended to have.

Although more substantial research is needed and a “one size fits all” recommendation cannot be made, it’s becoming more apparent that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to the same problems that they were originally intended to alleviate, and more thought should be given to their use.”

References:

1. Peters JC, Wyatt HR, Foster GD, Pan Z, Wojtanowski AC, Vander Veur SS, Herring SJ, Brill C, Hill JO. The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12-week weight loss treatment program. Obesity. 2014 Jun;22:1415-21.

2. Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Vine S, Wang YC. Diet-beverage consumption and caloric intake among US adults, overall and by body weight. Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104:e72-8.

3. Burke MV, Small DM. Physiological mechanisms by which non-nutritive sweeteners may impact body weight and metabolism. Physiol Behav. 2015 Jun 3

4. Hill SE, Prokosch ML, Morin A, Rodeheffer CD. The effect of non-caloric sweeteners on cognition, choice, and post-consumption satisfaction. Appetite. 2014 12/1/;83:82-8.

5. Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514:181-6.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food-junkie/201508/the-less-sweet-side-artificial-sweeteners

x DD

7 Easy Steps To A Happier, Healthier Gut

Healthier Gut

A properly functioning digestive system (a healthier gut) is critical to good health.

In fact, 60 -80% of our immune system is located in our gut, and 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut.

Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea; they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems.

Gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid issues, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea… just to name a few.

Still, the most common way people notice a problem in their gut is when they start regularly experiencing digestive issue like bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea.

While taking probiotics and drinking more water are helpful to your gut health, they’re not a cure for digestive issues.

Rather, the biggest factors in digestive health are your diet and lifestyle.

Here are nine easy steps we recommend for a healthier, happier gut:

1. Eat the right kind of fiber.

You may have heard that fiber helps with symptoms of constipation, but there are actually two types of fiber we should all be aware of: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fibers actually slow digestion, which prevents quick spikes in your blood sugar, whereas insoluble fibers help move food through your intestines, which can help prevent constipation.

Insoluble fibers are found in nuts, whole wheat, whole grains, seeds, and rice, while soluble fibers can naturally be found in oats, beans, peas, flaxseed, berries, and apples.

Make sure to avoid soluble fibers added to processed foods that add sugar substitutes made from dextrose, sorbitol, and citric acid, which can cause gas and bloating.

2. Buy veggies with flavonoids.

Certain fruits and vegetables have more molecules known as flavonoids, which make up their bright pigments.
Flavonoids are very beneficial for your digestion due to their anti-inflammatory properties and they assist in digestion of starch. A powerful antioxidant, flavonoids are found in romaine lettuce, onions, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and bell peppers. Incorporating more flavonoid-filled veggies can help you maintain healthier gut.

3. Find a method of stress management.

Stress not only affects your mental state but can also take a toll on your physical well-being. Stress negatively affects every part of your digestive system, causing your colon to spasm or even increases the acid in your stomach, causing indigestion.

If you’re not exercising regularly, we recommend finding a workout or active activity you can do at least three times per week for a healthier gut. It can relieve tension and release endorphins that improve your mood. Eating a healthy diet and deep breathing can also drastically relieve stress.

4. Sleep eight hours a night.

Many people who have GI problems also have issues falling asleep. Multiple studies have found a relationship between sleep disorders and GERD, IBS, IBD, and ulcers.

A solid eight hours of sleep is imperative to keep your digestive track healthy—and coincidentally keeps your mind and body healthy. So if you already suffer from a digestive issue, it’s important to work on your sleep schedule.

5. Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Artificial sweeteners can be extremely detrimental to your digestive health because they don’t get digested properly meaning bacteria will break them down and cause problems.

6. Make smart alcohol choices for a healthier gut.

Occasional alcohol intake is fine for your digestive system. However, excessively drinking alcohol can lead to digestive issues such as heartburn and inflammation of the stomach, and it can even increase the risk of small intestine cancers and leaky gut.

Not only does alcohol create problems, it can also increase symptoms of IBS and can cause both diarrhea and constipation.

7. Prevent “leaky gut.”

Bloating, gas, cramps, digestive irregularities, aches and pains are all symptoms of a leaky gut.

Leaky gut is just a term to describe the increased intestinal permeability that can happen if there’s inflammation in the intestines.

The gut is naturally permeable to very small molecules in order to absorb these vital nutrients.

In sensitive people, factors like gluten, toxins, stress and age can cause the gut cells to release a protein that can break apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Once these tight junctions get broken apart, you have a leaky gut.

When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs you have a leaky gut, which are listed below.

9 signs you may have a leaky gut:

  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.
  3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
  5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
  7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
  8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
  9. Food allergies or food intolerances.

*NOTE: If you’re constantly experiencing digestive irregularities and diet changes are not making a difference, go to a medical professional, such as a gastroenterologist, who will help you diagnose your symptoms correctly and effectively.

x DD


If you’d like advice on getting a healthier gut, book a consultation with a Dietitian.

Low Carb Lamington Recipe

Lamington Recipe

These delicious looking and enticing coconut dusted cakes are an Australian tradition but have steadily gained popularity in South Africa. Unfortunately, whether bought or made, they are high in processed sugar and flour without beneficial nutrients.

Daily Dietitian’s Lamington recipe uses xylitol for sweeteness and almond flour instead of refined white flour. The xylitol-sugar swop ensure stable blood sugar levels and the almonds add healthy fats and decrease carbohydrate content.

DD SUGAR-FREE, LOW-CARB LAMINGTONS

Serves: 24 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (or coconut oil), at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp xylitol
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the Lamington Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream the butter and xylitol together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the mix. Add milk and vanilla slowly and whisk until you have a creamy texture.
  3. Next, place almond flour, baking powder and salt into a separate mixing bowl, and add the coconut. Add the wet ingredients gradually, mixing well.
  4. Pour this into a brownie pan. Bake for 18–20 mins. They are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Place on a wire rack and let cool, then cut into squares.

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 serving)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 594kJ
  • Protein (g): 4g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 5g

    — of which are sugars (g): 0g

  • Total fat (g): 12g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 54g

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per store-bought Lamington cake slice)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 782kJ
  • Protein (g): 2.3g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 23.0g

    — of which are sugars (g): 17.6g

  • Total fat (g): 9.1g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 127g

(Information taken from www.woolworths.co.za (Lamington Cake Slices 5pk))

Enjoy baking (or let us do it for you)

x DD

The girls at Wellness in the City review Daily Dietitian

Source: Wellness in the City for Body Fuel – February 29th

wellness in the city review daily dietitian

Your Personal Dietitian

The easiest way to have fresh, nutrient dense, delicious meals, delivered to your door. Daily Dietician takes away the stress of planning, shopping and cooking, making it easy for you to stick to eating well and achieving your personal goals – hassle free!

Our Experience:

When I found myself in my third week of skipping lunch and filling up on bowls of seeds, nuts, date bars and coffees due to workload and time constraints, I was eager for help. A personal chef would have been ideal, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible (damn), so when I came across Daily Dietitian, I was sold! Affordable meals containing fresh seasonal ingredients that are prepped to your personal requirements and literally dropped on your desk without lifting a finger… ok, some meals require a walk to the microwave.

As a result of going through a stressful time at work whilst increasing my running training, I had no energy to focus on my daily food intake and lake of nutrients causing me to be very lethargic, slow and demotivated. After my first week receiving Daily Dietitian lunches and snacks, I instantly felt a shift in energy and was a much nicer person to be around!

Overall I was very impressed with the service and the meals. I have a hefty apetite and on days that I was raviness I was worried that some of the meals wouldn’t touch sides, but the tasty dishes definetly satisfied the hunger and the snacks came in handy when the daily 4pm cravings kicked in. Not only did it save me time, improve my productivity and mood, it motivated me to get back to meal prepping and get creative in the kitchen again!

Examples of snacks, lunches and dinners:

  • Meal: Frittata topped with chicken, feta and beetroot
  • Meal: Roasted lamb on creamy carrot mash with gravy and side salad
  • Meal: Cauliflower pizza topped with smoked chicken, rocket, mushrooms, mozzarella and avocado and waldorf side salad
  • Meal: Thai fishcakes with ginger chilli sauce, sweet potato mash and vegetables
  • Meal: Zucchini noodles with smoked salmon, ricotta and basil pesto
  • Snack: Butterbean and spinach smash with crudités
  • Snack: Toasted coconut, pecan, seed and cranberry paleo granola
  • Snack: Shaved ham rolls filled with sundried tomato and cucumber

BONUS:

Great value for money and all meals include ethically sourced organic, free-range and hormone-free ingredients. All packages include the following options: weight maintenance, weight loss, vegetarian, allergy specific and halaal.

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 cup carrot slices
  • 1 Nori sheet

Instructions for Quinoa Sushi Recipe:

  • Spread 3 tbsp hummus over the nori sheet and cover evenly with quinoa. Leave outer edges of nori sheet free of topping.
  • Cut carrots and avo into slices and lay a line of both near edge of nori sheet (about 5cm from one end)
  • Roll nori sheet over carrots and avo and secure side of nori sheet with no topping with water if needed.
  • Cut roll into sushi size pieces.

Benefits of nori:

  • Made from dried seaweed.
  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
  • High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron,magnesium.
  • More vitamin C than oranges.
  • Natural iodine for healthy thyroid function.
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium.
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.

Benefits of quinoa:

  • Popular “superfood”, grain loaded with protein, fiber and minerals.
  • Gluten free.
  • Stems back to the ancient Inca empire they referred to it as the “mother of all grains” … even though it is actually a seed.
  • 100g cooked has 120 calories, 4gr protein, 21g carbs and 2 gr fat.
  • High in flavonoids which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
  • Higher in fiber than most grains.
  • High protein.
  • Low GI for blood sugar control.
  • High in magnesium which many people don’t get enough of and is important for a multitude of bodily functions.

Benefits of hummus:

  • Arabic and Mediterranean dish typically made from chickpeas, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste).
  • 100g has 166 calories, 10g fat, 14 gr carbs, 8g protein
  • Rich in essential minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Also rich in vitamins A, B’s and folate.
  • Low GI so helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Rich in amino acids for healthy muscles and tissues.
  • High fiber for healthy digestive system.
  • Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for inflammation.

Benefits of avocado:

  • Prized for high nutrient value.
  • 100 grams 160 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbs and 15 grams healthy fats.
  • Great source of Vitamin K, C, B, E, folate and potassium.
  • More potassium than bananas – beneficial for reduced blood pressure.
  • Loaded with heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Fats help you absorb fat soluble nutrients like Vit A, D, E, K.
  • High in anti ageing antioxidants
  • Have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber for gut health.
  • Fat and fiber make you feel full; increased saiety means you eat less.

Benefits of carrots:

  • Second most popular after potatoes.
  • 100g has 41 calories, 0.2g fat, 10g carbs, 0,9g protein.
  • Good source of beta carotene which converts into Vit A. Important for eye health.
  • Antioxidants for anti-aging
  • Carotenoids important for heart health
  • High fiber for digestion and gut health.

x DD

Za’atar roasted cauliflower, red onion, and lentil salad with harissa tahini dressing (gluten free)

salad recipe

This ridiculously delicious salad can be served without lentils to make it low carb, without chicken to make it vegetarian or as is if you are following a balanced diet.

It’s one of the favourites on our menu so if you have some free time, give it a try. If not, sign up to Daily Dietitian healthy meal delivery and we will be sure to feed you this delicious creation!

SERVES 4

Salad Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • ¾ cup dry brown, green, or Le Puy lentils, picked over (substitute 2 cups cooked lentils, or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed and chopped into bite-sized florets (about 800g after prepping)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 heaping cups arugula

For the harissa tahini dressing:

  • ⅓ cup tahini paste
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or very finely minced
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon harissa powder or paste (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • If you’re cooking lentils from scratch, mix the dry lentils in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 5cm. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are still tender but retain their shape and firmness.
  • You can start testing them at the 20 minute mark for doneness.
  • Drain the lentils and set them aside.
  • While the lentils cook, toss the cauliflower florets and sliced onion with the oil, za’atar, lemon, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Spread the veggies onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast the vegetables for 20–25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browning, and the onions are getting crispy. Check on the veggies and stir them on the sheet halfway through roasting. Allow the roasted vegetables to cool to room temperature.
  • While the veggies roast, whisk together the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and harissa to make the dressing. If it’s too thick, add a few extra tablespoons of water.
  • When the vegetables are cool, toss them together with the lentils and arugula. You can either pour the dressing over the whole salad and toss to coat, or you can plate the salad and serve it separately. If you want to keep salad leftovers.
  • We recommend dressing each plate individually.
  • Salad leftovers will keep for two days in an airtight container in the fridge, and the dressing will keep for up to five days.

YUM!

x DD