Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Your Brain on Sugar

Excerpt from a Marie Clare article by Joanne Chen published 6/19

Is sugar worse for you than, say, cocaine? According to a 2012 article in the journal Nature, it's a toxic substance that should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol.

Researchers point to studies that show that too much sugar (both in the form of natural sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup) not only makes us fat, it also wreaks havoc on our liver, mucks up our metabolism, impairs brain function, and may leave us susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.

80 percent of our food choices contain sugar. When tasting sugar, the brain lights up in the same regions as it would in an alcoholic with a bottle of gin. Dopamine—the so-called reward chemical—spikes and reinforces the desire to have more. (Sugar also fuels the calming hormone serotonin.)

Here, the most common sugar-induced issues. Click on the article to read more and get a handle on  how to beat them to prevent long-term damage—and feel your best right now.






Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A pleasant meal setting may make you eat less

Excerpts from a Miami Herald article published 9/18/12 written by Sheah Rarback 

In the past Brian Wansink Cornell University researcher has done research to find the following:
  • Bigger portions lead to greater consumption
  • Visual cues stimulate food intake
  • Drinking fine wine with food increases satisfaction with the entire meal.

The focus of his latest research was the impact of white tablecloths and mood lighting on diners at fast-food restaurants, and the results were surprising.
Diners in a higher-end environment take more time to eat, as expected, but, surprisingly, ate less. They left more food on their plates, consuming an average of 133 fewer calories. 
These were not the expected results. Usually, a slower meal translates to more calories. Interviews with the diners indicated that as they slowly ate, the food tended to lose its appeal and they stopped eating. 
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/18/3008482/a-pleasant-meal-setting-may-make.html#storylink=cpy

Eat your fruits & veggies

Excerpts from an 9/18/12 LA Times article written by Mary Macvean published in the Miami Herald. 

Adding more produce to your diet helps post-menopausal women lose weight in the long run, study finds

Some new research tried to figure out what might help post-menopausal women achieve long-term weight loss. And it turns out that adding produce to their diet didn’t show up as especially helpful in the short term, but in the long term it mattered.
Some behaviors are hard to maintain forever, and adding produce might be easier than avoiding all fried foods for the long haul.
Bethany Barone Gibbs, the lead investigator, said “Eating fruits and vegetables may not make as big a difference in your caloric intake. But that small change can build up and give you a better long-term result, because it’s not as hard to do as giving up French fries forever.”
The study, published last week in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, looked at overweight post-menopausal women.
Barone Gibbs, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh department of health and physical activity, said several factors work against long-term weight loss.
“Not only does motivation decrease after you start losing weight, there are physiological changes, including a decreased resting metabolic rate. Appetite-related hormones increase. Researchers studying the brain are now finding that you have enhanced rewards and increased motivation to eat when you’ve lost weight,” she says.
“If the goal is to decrease the burden of obesity, the focus must be on long-term strategies because changes in eating behaviors only associated with short-term weight loss are likely ineffective and/or not sustainable,”researchers wrote.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/18/3008472/eat-your-fruits-veggies.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Uniq Fruit - things to know

Uniq Fruit on the tree in Jamaica
Buying a Uniq Fruit is easy. The loose, bumpy and somewhat mottled coloring skin is thick which has got to help keep the inside juicy with a great citrusy taste. The fruit is picked ready to eat, so no need to leave it out on the counter like other tropicals. Left out on the counter, it will stay ready-to-eat for up to 12 days. In the refrigerator, quite a bit longer. I've kept Uniq Fruit up to a month in my veggie drawer in the frig.

This fruit is great as an ingredient in salads. If you use it like a grapefruit, you may find yourself no longer buying grapefruit. Uniq Fruit's hint of tangerine makes it the favorite.

Considered an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, Uniq Fruit contains fewer than 40 calories, about the same as grapefruit.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gluten-Free Caribbean Red Papaya-Coconut-Pecan Bread

Easy to make, this bread isn’t too sweet to serve beside the meal but is sweet enough to bring in as dessert. It has a crumbly texture, like a light banana bread.

1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Caribbean Red papaya, puréed or mashed (approximately 1/2 a papaya)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease 9" x 5" loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.
- With an electric mixer, cream together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Add next 6 ingredients, then add the papaya.
- Beat until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans.
- Pour into loaf pan(s).
- Bake 1 hour if using full-size loaf pan or 45 minutes if using mini pans.*

Serves: 9-12
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Gluten-Free Papaya Mini Cakes

This recipe originates from France, where these mini-cakes are called financiers because the rectangular tins they are baked in make them resemble bars of gold. These mini-cakes are baked round with papaya providing the look of gold.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
36 small pieces Caribbean Red papaya, about 1 cup

Preheat oven to 325°. 
- Line muffin pans with cupcake liners or coat with nonstick spray.
- Melt the butter over low heat and then cool. 
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Stop short of making soft peaks. 
- In a food processor, combine the almond meal, corn flour, shredded coconut and sugar.
- Pulse until texture is fine.
- Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites. Drizzle the melted butter over the entire mixture and stir. 
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and put into the oven. 
- After 20 minutes, top each with 3 pieces of papaya. 
- Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve at room temperature. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Makes: 12 muffin-sized cakes
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Gluten-Free Caribbean Red Papaya Muffins

With the texture and look of carrot cake, these muffins deliver a sweet taste without a lot of sugar. Everyone serves blueberry and corn muffins, so why not Caribbean Red papaya muffins?

3/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups Caribbean Red papaya, mashed or puréed

Preheat oven to 350˚.  
- Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl scramble egg then add butter, vanilla and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on medium until smooth.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Add the papaya and mix completely.
- Bake full-size muffins for 20 minutes and mini muffins for 10 minutes.

Makes: 1 dozen full-size muffins, 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking time)