Sunday, June 14, 2009

Question Everything

"My husband freezes a glass of orange juice and then eats it in the evening. He insists it's no worse than eating an orange. Is he right?"

Let me provide you with the facts and this way you can have a healthy debate on the topic.

1 medium orange contains approximately
- 62 kcal
- 3 g dietary fiber
- 12 g sugar
- Weight Watchers: 0.5 points
- Net Carbohydrates: 12
On the other hand, 1 glass of orange juice (8 fl oz) contains
- 120 kcal
- 0 g dietary fiber
- 28 g sugar
- Weight Watchers: 2 points
- Net Carbohydrates: 28
In summary, OJ has double the calories and sugar and lacks dietary fiber. It causes an increase in blood sugar (glucose) levels - not an ideal metabolic response for our bodies to undergo just before heading to bed. In women (no study published in men), one study found that one glass of orange juice a day raised the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18%.

I'd suggest he tries another bedtime snack, perhaps an orange!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Question Everything

Can you tell me what is an essential amino acid?

An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be made in our body and must be obtained from our diet. There are 8 essential amino acids and most are found in foods that contain protein such as beef, poultry, pork, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, soy products and certain nuts and seeds. Foods that contain all 8 essentail amino acids are referred to as complete proteins. These come from animal sources. Many athletes take whey protein as a dietary supplement. Whey protein is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids. Foods that contain some, but not all, essential amino acids are called incomplete proteins and these come from plant sources.

Here is a list of the essential amino acids and a sample of select dietary sources (but keep in mind meat/fish and dairy are predominant sources)

Phenylalanine: Cottage cheese, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds.
Valine: Cottage cheese, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds.
Tryptophan: Turkey, brown rice, nuts, oats, bananas.
Threonine: Eggs, bananas, carrots.
Isoleucine: Cheese, seeds, nuts, eggs.
Methionine: Whole grains, beans, eggs.
Lysine: Lentils, soybeans.
Leucine : Soy beans, cowpeas.