Monday, September 29, 2014

"Sugar free" may not be as healthy as you think!

I have always been an advocate of eating REAL food.  If I am going to indulge with a cookie, I want a REAL cookie made with REAL butter, eggs and sugar - not Crisco, Egg Beaters, and Splenda.

Homemade brownie cookies and berry muffins

Why? First of all, imitation cookies do not taste nearly as delicious as real, homemade treats and, secondly, they might be worse for your health than eating the real deal.  Certainly we've seen this with trans-fat (a.k.a. margarine, shortening, partially-hydrogenated oils).  The verdict is still out when it comes to eggs.  But new evidence shows that artificial sweeteners may not be as health-promoting as originally assumed.

A recent study published in the journal Nature found that, instead of helping people lose weight, consuming artificial sweeteners - such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame - can alter the gut microbiome which may lead to increased risk of insulin resistance - a factor influencing metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes.

Read the Washington Post article here (which was sent to me by SmartBrief for Nutritionists on Sept 18).  Read the article from Nature here and an abstract of the actual study here.

In addition to the deleterious health effects, here are some other reasons why adulterated "impostor" foods are on my "Do Not Eat" list:

  1. When people eat foods with a health claim like "fat free" or "sugar free" (which are not calorie-free), they sometimes end up eating more of that food (and more of the calories) than they would have eaten if they had chosen the real deal. You really only need a few bites of a decadent dessert to feel satisfied.
  2. Many of my colleagues believe that, when artificial sweeteners are consumed, the body "interprets" the sweet flavor to mean "calories coming in" but once the body realizes that there are, in fact, no calories in these fake sugars, they body reacts with increased food cravings and consumption later.
  3. Food additives are chemicals which must be processed and eliminated by the body, usually via the liver. High consumption of food additives puts stress on the organs of elimination and can result in toxic build-up in the body. Signs and symptoms of a toxic body include poor elimination, poor digestion, bloated stomach, gas, low energy and fatigue, irritable skin, headaches, brain fog, poor memory, low immunity, low libido, yeast problems, and food allergies. Certainly there are many ways to support the detoxification process, but eliminating food additives (like artificial sweeteners) is a great place to start!
Here is a list of foods that may contain artificial sweeteners:
  • diet soda
  • juice
  • flavored water
  • chewing gum
  • yogurt
  • candy
  • bread
  • coffee creamer
  • ice cream
  • jams and jellies
  • salad dressing
  • pancake syrup
  • meal replacement bars and powders
  • vitamins
  • medications
The only way you can be 100% sure that a product is free of artificial sweeteners is to read the Ingredients.  All of the following are artificial sweeteners:

  • Acesulfame potassium (Equal, Sweet One, Sunnet)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Twin Sugar)
  • Erythritol
  • Glycerol
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Neotame
  • Polydextrose
  • Saccharin (Sweet N Low)
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucraole (Spenda)
  • Tagatose
  • Xylitol
Did you find this post helpful?  If so, please let me know by leaving a comment!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Welcome to Eating with Integrity (re-post)

Not all food is created equal. In addition to the many species and cultivars of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, there are a multitude of processed products that we regularly consume. With billions of choices lining the supermarket shelves, how does the average American decide what to purchase and eat? What makes a food nutritious/healthy, anyway? Is there a “perfect” diet, and if so, what is it?

this is me, Adair (not a-truth)
This blog will strive to answers these questions (and many others) using a mixture of anecdotes, quotes, and facts. As a future dietitian hoping to Revolutionize Health in America (Read: help people eat better) it is my goal to maintain an optimistic tone and provide useful dietary advice for any visitor to this site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Greenfest DC (May 31 - June 1)

The mourning dove eggs have hatched, fledged and flown away.  How time flies when you fly for a living.  I never expected my 75% travel job to be so, well, nonstop.  In the flurry that was spring, I was unable to move around my work schedule to attend the Functional Medicine conference in San Fransisco.  Bummer!  However, instead of a trip to gain knowledge, I now have the opportunity to spread knowledge.

What am I talking about?  DC Greenfest!  Being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on May 31 - June 1.

Genesis Today, the company for whom I work, is sponsoring a booth (#364) at the DC Greenfestival and a speaking opportunity.  I will be talking about Cleansing 101 at the Good Food Stage at 1pm on Saturday, May 31 (see schedule here).  If you've been following my blog, you know that I completed a 3-week cleanse in January 2013 and that I've been on several elimination diets.  I cannot wait to share my knowledge (and humorous analogies) with you!

If you are in the area, I invite you to attend show and visit me at the Genesis Today booth (#364) from 10-6pm either day.  To make it even more enticing, follow this link and use the code: EX014GF to get your FREE ticket!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mourning Dove vs Container Garden

Look out the sliding door onto my porch and you will see many things.  A small table, some chairs, a blue compost bin, and several potted plants.  If you look closely, you will also that one of the pots no longer contains a plant, but a bird nest!

The view of my porch on a sunny day
When I cook, I use real food - onions, carrots, celery, asparagus, oranges.  And instead of throwing the food scraps into the trash, to add to the landfill, I re-purpose them.  The onion skin, carrot peels, and celery bottoms I put into a plastic bag labeled "Mirepoix" which lives in the freezer until I have enough raw material to make vegetable stock (Thank you, Marie Donadio, from PCC Cooks for telling me that I can use scraps instead of whole vegetables to make stock!).  The other veggie and fruit non-edibles I usually compost, placing them temporarily in a small bowl in the kitchen to take out later.

The last time I went to put the vegetable scraps in the compost, I was greeted by a petrified Mourning Dove.

Ready to fly away if I got any closer, but obviously not wanting to leave the nest!
Mourning Doves build flimsy platform nests of twigs. They usually lay two white eggs,which hatch in 14-16 days. Both parents take turns keeping the eggs warm, the male sits on the nest during the day and the female usually incubates at night. Once hatched, the baby mourning doves fledge (develop wing feathers that are large enough for flight) in about 12-14 days. The parents continue to care for the fledglings until they are 25 to 27 days old.

It looks like I won't be able to add my food waste to the compost bin for about a month.  I also have very little hope for the two rosemary plants that are far enough under the eaves that rain will not reach them.  Such is life.  My garden held hostage by a family of mourning doves!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What is the Right Diet?

What is the right diet?

This question has inspired me my whole life, or at least since the day my mom read the book Sugar Blues by William Duffy and removed all the sugar from our house in Beaverton, OR (very shocking to a 10 year old!).  Some might argue that this question is what inspired me to become a dietitian.

Well, this summer I might have the opportunity to answer the ageless quandary.


The Institute for Functional Medicine is having their Annual (International) Conference on Food and Nutrition on May 29-31, 2014 in San Francisco, CA.  The topic is Functional Perspectives on Food and Nutrition: The Ultimate Upstream Medicine.  Cutting edge experts - scientists and clinicians - will discuss how they have applied personalized therapies in clinical practice - comparing veganism to the Paleo diet to the Mediterranean diet.  I really want to go.

Video: what is the right micronutrient ratio for your patient?

Speakers include:

The first step to making something happen, to manifesting something in your life, is to speak it out loud.  With this blog post, I am letting people know that I really want to attend this conference.  I believe that attending will help me to be a better clinician.  The purpose of conferences is to learn from all the experts - all in one place - to hear the latest research that I otherwise would have to spend the time to find, read and interpret.  It will be worth the time and money.

Things that are currently in my way:
$950 registration fee
Airfare (~$500)
Currently planned work trip to Toronto, Canada (May 27-30)