When we go to a supermarket or a food junction, it is almost impossible to resist grabbing a snack. On a surface level, some common snacks and drinks seem to boast a multitude of health benefits or do not seem inherently unhealthy. However, upon closer analysis, there is more to these foods than meets the eye.
Here is a reference for different dietetic intakes assuming your diet is the standard 2,000 calories per day:
|Max Sugar Intake (g)||Max Fat Intake (g)|
“It has fruit so that means it’s healthy, right?”
For a long time, acai has been proclaimed as a superfood and was deemed to be the secret to weight loss. However, researchers from the NIH have stated that “no independent studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals that substantiate claims that acai supplements alone promote rapid weight loss.”
While acai berries do have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, the ingredients in the acai bowl itself have an extremely high sugar content, ranging from 21-62 grams of sugar. The acai fruit itself is healthy; however, the toppings that contribute to this sugar spike include granola, chocolate chip, and honey.
Most of the acai at health food shops put added sugar into the acai mixture. Despite these drawbacks, it is still possible to enjoy the bowl but a few changes are necessary.
Health Tip: Try to omit those sugary toppings, and as a substitute, add grapes, apples or pears to make the bowl sweeter. Also, if you can find unsweetened acai, you can blend it with a banana to retain that sweet taste. If you are craving a more savory taste, you can mix the acai with greek yogurt or peanut butter, which contain healthy fats.
Boba Milk Tea
Boba is a common drink that is loved amongst millennials, and at first glance, the drink may not be perceived as unhealthy. However, boba is “boiled and saturated with sugar” and each ball has about 5-14 calories, meaning that “100 extra calories are added to an already calorically dense drink.”
Nutrition wise, boba does not contain any minerals or vitamins, so it is essentially empty calories. The sugar levels are extremely high, as one cup of boba can amount to 50 grams of sugar. Toppings such as jelly and pudding also contribute to high fat and sugar content.
Health Tip: Everyday boba consumption is not recommended; however, you can adjust the sweetness by adding less syrup, dilute the drink with more ice, and ask for less boba.
The act of digging into a chocolate, gooey protein can seem quite scrumptious. Don’t be fooled though; these protein bars are packed with additives such as high fructose corn syrup and saturated fats. The bar Nutrimo contains 9.99 grams of saturated fat, which is equivalent to the amount of saturated fats in a big mac. Power Bar has around 27 grams of sugar as does two snack packs of Oreos.
Health Tip: A better alternative to these bars are oatmeal or flax seed bars that have natural sugars such as fruit sugar or honey.
Overall, the key is to consume these drinks and snacks in moderation and make adjustments that make the food just as delectable as before, while keeping it healthy.
Kombucha: The Drink that Will Revolutionize your Health
You might have seen your friends carry a mysterious, colorful drink enclosed in a glass case with a white hue on the surface of the bottle. This drink is known as Kombucha, and it is currently gaining prominence amongst millennials for its various health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented-mushroom tea drink that contains bacteria, yeast, and sugar. Here are a few benefits of drinking Kombucha.
- Improves Digestion: The white component of the drink forms during the fermentation process when bacteria and yeast combine together to form a “
mushroom likefilm,” which is extremely rich in probiotic bacteria that can aid in digestion, inflammation, and weight loss.
- Increases Antioxidant Levels: Kombucha is known to have quite a few antioxidants that help the liver. On studies with rats, those who drank Kombucha reduced the toxicity of their liver by at least 70%.
- Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease: Research demonstrates that drinking Kombucha can influence cholesterol levels, specifically LDL and HDL.
Low densitylipoprotein cholesterols (LDL) is typically known as the “bad cholesterol” because cholesterol is taken into the arteries, leading to plaque building up in the artery walls. On the other hand, HDL is known as the “good cholesterol” because higher levels of it are known to reduce riskof heart diseases. Kombucha is known to increase HDL levels by promoting its absorption through the body.
- Promotes Cancer Prevention: Kombucha is known to “strengthen our natural
defences” that help prevent cancer. Specifically, the lauric acid found in the drink and the Lactobacillus microbes help reduce cancer risks by stimulating natural cancer killingcells.
- Improves Mental Health: The vitamin B component of Kombucha helps balance mood and enhances concentration. It also inhibits the release of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, drinking Kombucha can alleviate the leaky gut which is often thought to be a symptom of depression. The leaky gut means that there is decreased permeability in gut regions, and this problem can manifest itself through inflammation, and ultimately depression.
Thankfully, you don’t always have to go to the store to get Kombucha; you can make it at home! Watch this video by HGTV that shows you how to make different flavors of Kombucha at home. Give us your take on Kombucha in the comments below!
The Diet That Will Work! Try this +++itively No Sugar Diet
Chocolate, ice cream, candy, and all that good stuff! No wonder why kids constantly crave desserts for dinner. We might assume that excessive consumption of sugar will cause one or two cavities, but there are greater health issues that can result such as kidney failure. The truth is that glucose is an addictive component, and having too many sweets may potentially lead to dietary and health issues over time.
The Unspoken Truth Behind Sugar
Sugar is a ubiquitous component of a typical American diet, but this leads scientists and public health experts to worry about its consumption rate. Most Americans consume too
There are two different types of sugars to be aware of. The first is natural sugars, which come from fruits, vegetables, and grains to replenish the energy of cells in the body. Added sugars are added by manufacturers to extend the shelf-life of a particular product, and this is the type of sugar you should fear.
There is a legitimate reason to fear added sugars, and here’s why. According to a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, increased consumption has a direct association with contracting heart disease. In the study, people who consumed 17-21% of added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% added sugar.
If that is not startling enough, scientists have discovered that added sugars have addictive properties in them. Research demonstrates that sugar activates the same brain regions as certain drugs, and increased consumption leads to increased tolerance.
How to Combat the Sugar Addiction
In recent times, Americans have turned to diet changes to combat the negative effects of sugar. While the ketogenic diet is gaining prevalence, many adults are also turning to the +++itively No Sugar Diet.
This diet essentially eliminates the consumption of added or processed sugars, and instead focuses more on consuming natural sugars. Courtesy of Livestrong, here are some tips that will help you achieve longevity within this diet.
- Understand where hidden sugar sources are located. Many processed foods such as salad dressings, pasta sauces, and cereals contain loads of added sugar even though they may seem “healthy”.
- Do not be fooled by the external appearance. Deceptively healthy foods such as acai bowls and protein bars also contain a high amount of added sugar.
- Double check the nutrition facts. This is a key habit to incorporate, especially when you are shopping for day to day items to make sure no added sugar is present.
- Eliminate and substitute! Instead of opting for artificially flavored drinks like soda and water, drink more water! Foods and drinks with turmeric and coconut water are a great source of anti-inflammatory agents and can replenish energy labels in the body.
- Eliminate foods with white flour. This food group is digested very quickly and can lead to increased blood sugar content in the body. Refined flour is present in items such as pasta, rice, and white bread. Instead, look for foods with whole grains such as wheat, quinoa, and barley.
- Beware of added sugar in dairy. Yogurts and milk tend to have added flavoring which contains sugar to boost the taste of the food.
Overall, the +++itively No Sugar Diet will help you feel your best and live a healthy lifestyle. Let us know in the comments if you have tried this diet before and have seen tangible results compared to other types of diets.
The Next Super-Drink: Coconut Water
When we think of tropical fruits, the first fruit that comes to most people’s mind is coconut. While the oil and chunks of the fruit are often used for cooking, the water, in recent times, has gained significant attention for containing a multitude of health benefits.
The water comes from coconuts that are about 5-7 months old and has been used to cure several ailments. The top three advantages of drinking coconut water is that it has high amounts of electrolytes, high levels of potassium, and reduces fat levels. Read more below!
1. Has High Amount of Electrolytes
Instead of using Gatorade for your next sports drink, consider drinking coconut water because it contains natural electrolytes that can help restore fluids after a long, arduous exercise.
Electrolytes help us maintain blood volume, heart health, and prevent dehydration. This, in return helps us reduce stress, fatigue, and stimulates muscle relaxation.
2. High Levels of Potassium
When we think of intaking a daily healthy level of potassium, people assume a banana is the easiest choice. In fact, a banana contains only 440 milligrams of potassium whereas coconut water contains 660 milligrams of potassium.
This super drink water has more than ten times of potassium compared to other sports drinks! Potassium is vital to our bodies because it restores fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, preventing hypokalemia or too little potassium in the body.
This greatly affects cardiovascular health because a certain amount of potassium intake reduces the likelihood of contracting a stroke. Essentially, coconut water helps us maintain optimal blood pressure and is therefore extremely heart healthy.
3. Helps Lower Fat Levels
Foods that are high in fiber are predominantly utilized to help lower fat. Some of these healthy fat foods are oatmeal, fish, avocado, and olive oil. But did we forget to mention another factor of coconut water is that it has super fat-lowering effects?
Researchers conducted a study in which rats consumed coconut water and were found to have less likely had a heart attack. The coconut water decreased the rat’s cholesterol levels, specifically the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) found in the heart.
LDL is considered to be the bad cholesterol because a buildup of this lipoprotein would increase the cholesterol in your arteries. Therefore, coconut water can have the same effect on humans and reduce our LDL levels.
Additionally, consumption of coconut water reduces triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the bloodstream that increases the risk of heart disease. Reducing LDL levels and triglycerides are both important in the weight loss process.
With all of these health benefits, coconut water is sure to be the next super-drink that can significantly impact human health. Why consume all these other food when coconut water contains these top health benefits and more!
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