by Amy Margulies, lead registered dietitian for Retrofit
You’ve probably heard people talking, or read articles online, about why eating bananas is bad for you nutritionally and can impede weight loss. While some people insist that bananas are just fine, others are convinced this is a fruit you should stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight – and many do, just in case the rumors are true. But what’s the real deal with bananas? It’s time to peel open this myth.
What the critics are saying
The controversy started with Dr. Susanna Holt, an Australian researcher who developed the Satiety Index, a way to evaluate how full different foods make you feel. “We found that bananas are much less satisfying than oranges or apples,” Holt stated at the conclusion of the satiety study.
Bananas are generally higher in calories from carbs than most fruits. So for those who are counting calories, this may seem like a poor choice for a snack. People have also observed that bananas cause a “binding” effect, or put more simply, they cause constipation. That’s something you don’t want when you look to the scale for signs of progress. (more…)
Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
Not quite a year ago my now 89-year-old mother was hospitalized because she became disoriented. After several tests we were told she had ingested so much water that she depleted her body of potassium and sodium. When she finally came out of it and we told her what landed her otherwise healthy self in the hospital her first reaction was, “I overdosed on water? It’s water!”
Water is a wonderful and necessary thing, but when over-ingested it can lead to serious problems in people of all ages and physical health. What this event reinforced for me was the need for balance. My mother had done just fine drinking water her entire 88 years of life, but when she heard a report on television that seniors don’t get enough liquids she over did it. (more…)
Coconut water is the natural juice found in green coconuts. Over the past few years, coconut water has become a popular alternative to electrolyte-enhanced sports and energy drinks.
While many brands claim that there are numerous health benefits to coconut water
as compared to other leading sports drinks, a recent study by product testing company ConsumerLab.com
, suggested that those claims may not be entirely accurate.
“This is a major focus of the marketing for coconut water,” Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab told the Huffington Post. “When you start making claims comparing it to sports drinks, you expect them to at least deliver on what they are promising. People should be aware that the labels are not accurate on some of the products, and they shouldn’t count on coconut water for serious rehydration.”
By Megan Zehnder for Care2.com
Have a taste for salty dishes? You may want to keep an eye on your level of potassium.
An essential ally to diets high in salt, potassium encourages the kidneys to excrete sodium, keeping blood-pressure in check. Potassium also acts as a buffer to an overly-acidic pH level, which helps prevent bones and muscles from deteriorating.
Experts suggest adults get 4,700 milligrams of dietary potassium per day. What’s the best way to get that? Whole foods are a safer and more natural source than supplements. The list below shows common foods with the highest levels of potassium. When eating fruits and vegetables, opt for raw, roasted, or lightly steamed, as boiling tends to deplete levels of potassium. (more…)
New Mexico is known for cuisine that reflects the combination of the Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and American cultural traditions. A few of the most common foods found in this style of diet are blue corn, enchiladas, sopapillas, and red and green chilies. Green chilies are harvested when they are green and turn to a red color as they ripen. Green chilies are typically known for their somewhat mild, bitter taste and sinus cleansing heat, but the nutritional benefits are often overlooked.
Green chilies are extremely rich in vitamins A and C (the dried version higher in vitamin A while the raw or fresh version is higher in vitamin C). In fact, a single green chili contains six times more vitamin C than an average sized orange. Green chilies are also a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamin B and E, and iron and potassium which allows them to help block the body’s absorption of cholesterol and help promotes normal body functioning.
Potatoes get a bit of a bad rap. Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I love a baked potato now and again as a satisfying side dish to a lean protein and tossed salad. But, in a post-Atkins world, that would seem like a diet taboo. Not so, says a new study.
“When it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups. Rather, it is reducing calories that count,” said study leader Britt Burton-Freeman of the University of California, Davis.
The study’s leader went on to say that not only is there no evidence that a healthfully prepared potato is bad for your diet, it can actually be a part of your weight loss plan. (more…)
Guest blogger Yishane Lee is the author of “The Athlete’s Palate: Renowned Chefs, Delicious Dishes, and the Art of Fueling Up While Eating Well” (Rodale), a cookbook for the gourmet endurance athlete.
Most athletes know that carbohydrates and protein are critical to fuel a workout and aid recovery after exercise. But beyond those nutrients, there are five essential nutrients to incorporate into your diet in order to make sure your body operates at its peak.
This antioxidant gives red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables their color. It reduces inflammation and counteracts muscle damage that can be caused by working out and also improves cardiovascular function. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, blood oranges, eggplant, and red grapes are all good sources of anthocyanins. Even the cocoa in dark chocolate contains this antioxidant.
It’s that time of year, particularly for those in the colder northern climates, when people dream about relaxing on the beach on some remote tropical island with a fruity cocktail in hand. One of the more popular images is of drinking from an open coconut on the patio of a beachfront hotel.
If you have ever opened a fresh coconut, what you saw was a thin, opaque liquid that has a slight almond flavor. Coconut water, not to be confused with coconut milk, is the clear liquid inside young (green) coconuts.
As the coconut matures, the coconut water is gradually replaced by the coconut meat. Coconut water is consumed fresh, because once it’s exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its nutritional value, and begins to ferment. (more…)
What is Potassium?
It’s an element and an electrolyte. Your body needs potassium for proper growth and maintenance; it helps keep water balance between cells and body fluids, plays an essential role in response of nerves to stimulation and contraction of muscles. Potassium is crucial in proper heart function, put simply it triggers your heart to beat and pump blood through your body. Lower levels of potassium have been linked to increased or high blood pressure. Research has shown that individuals that consume adequate amounts of potassium have a lower risk of having a stroke. Also, there has been no clear link between potassium and lower cholesterol, but cholesterol–lowering diets that contain high amounts of potassium have been shown to be beneficial. (more…)
Popeye had spinach to make his muscles pop. Inversely, pop (soda) may actually make our muscles weaker.
Doctors are warning that cola drinks, when consumed in excess, deplete the body of potassium, which can lead to weakness, and much worse – muscle paralysis.
Dr. Moses Elisaf of the University of Ioannina in Greece authored the research paper that’s come to these conclusions. He says that the hypokalaemia (potassium deficiency) can be caused by excessive consumption of glucose, fructose and caffeine, common ingredients in cola drinks. (more…)
Did you know that consuming too little of the electrolyte potassium can actually increase your blood pressure and your chances of having a stroke? And increasing it might help some to reduce the amount of blood pressure medication they are taking. This latest news is according to the Harvard Medical School. Foods that are high in potassium are meat, fish, poultry, bananas, apricots, honeydew melon, avocado, spinach and a host of others.
Most of us get adequate levels of potassium in our diet, but for those who exercise and sweat a lot and for those who follow a very restricted diet with few calories, they should be very aware of consuming enough of this mineral.
A deficiency is usually marked by generalized weakness. But those who need to be concerned about getting too much are those with diabetes and in renal failure. They can no longer metabolize or break down electrolytes and therefore run the risk of having too much potassium running through their systems. If you’re concerned that you fall in either of these extreme categories, talk to your doctor.