I don't think there is an American alive today that thinks that soda is a health food. Thank heavens! I repeatedly hear from patients that they have "given up soda" but when I dig into that seemingly black and white statement a little deeper, it often becomes more grey. Many people consider diet soda (i.e., the absence of calories) to be in an entirely different category than "regular" soda. Many adults that don't drink soda actually consume lots of sugar-sweetened beverages. Artificial sweetener (or non-dairy creamer) turns an innocent cup of coffee into what we should be calling "coffee-soda". And the mocha latte thing from the coffee shop is typically loaded with sugar - even when labeled "sugar-free". In addition to their coffee-soda, many people drink sweetened tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit juice, chocolate milk, smoothies and flavored water loaded with real or artificial sweeteners. (If you want to see something really scary, add up the amount of these drinks that the average teenager is consuming.)
When we are talking about health and disease, all of these drinks fall under the heading of sugar-sweetened beverages. None of them are healthy. The absence of calories does not exempt them from the health consequences of consuming them. None of them cause weight loss. If they did, we wouldn't have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes sweeping our nation. Articles like this are everywhere - but many of us choose to ignore them, telling ourselves that they don't apply to us because we don't "drink soda".
A good rule of thumb: if what you are drinking tastes sweet in your mouth, it's probably very unhealthy!
I'm not one to say get rid of sugar sweetened beverages altogether - we just need to define them for what they are and recognize their potential to cause disease. We need to drink all sugar-sweetened beverages the same way we drink champagne - rarely and with the knowledge that they aren't healthy, but still acceptable on special occasions. Not daily.
Here is an amazing recipe for spicy Buffalo cauliflower bites as a great alternative to Buffalo wings. Serve this easy appetizer with carrot sticks, celery and your favorite low-sugar ranch or blue cheese dressing.
8 cups cauliflower florets cut in 1 1/2" slices
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
1-2 Tbs Sriracha
1 tsp butter, melted
1 Tbs lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil
Toss cauliflower, oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet; Roast the cauliflower until it's starting to soften and brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes.
Combine hot sauce, Sriracha, butter & lemon juice in a bowl. Add the roasted cauliflower and toss to coat. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and continue roasting until hot. Approx. 5 minutes.
Even if you're not a football fan, chances are you are getting together with family or friends to watch the big game this weekend. This type of social gathering typically means we are surrounded by A LOT of food.
What can you do differently this year while you are watching the big game?
Usually we are surrounded by game day "staples": wings, cheese dip, meatballs, smokies, fried everything, and beer. Most of these things can be modified to be more healthy. Which ones can you modify? Which ones should you modify? We know that temptation is powerful, so how can we make the food around us healthier?
-- Wings are generally battered, fried, and drenched in buffalo or bbq sauce and served with blue cheese dressing. Why don’t you try making your own spice mixture (without the sugar) baking your wings, and/or making your own blue cheese dressing?
-- Meatballs can be healthy if you make your own - that way you can control the ingredients. Try a new sauce that doesn’t contain added sugars.
-- What about all of the fried options? Instead of frying foods, roll your food in parmesean cheese and then bake it.
--Make stuffed veggies instead of frying them. Stuffed mushrooms are a great option and are very versatile. Stuffed zucchini is another great option. Have you seen all the posts lately about buffalo-style cauliflower?
-- Cheese dip can be eaten in moderation. Instead of dunking chips, use wedges of bell peppers or celery.
— Instead of nachos, try making a taco salad bar. That way you get the flavor you crave while still maintaining your healthy goals.
-- There is no simple way to make beer healthy! If you just have to have alcohol while watching the game, check out the following options:https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/alcohol Make sure and limit yourself to just one or two. More than that dramatically increases the amount of carbohydrates that you are taking in - and it also lowers your inhibitions & increases your cravings for unhealthy foods. This makes it harder to stick with your goals of being healthy.
We would love to hear how you are planning for the big game & who you are cheering for!
be strong, be healthy, be happy!
We are proud to announce that Courtney Younglove, M.D., founder and medical director of Heartland Weight Loss, was listed as one of Kansas City's Top Doctors for the fourth year in a row! This list can be found in 435 Magazine and all doctors on the list are peer-nominated, screened, and selected. Making it to this list is a huge honor for physicians!
Everyone should read this - especially people with children. Good lord, we need to do so much better with this generation. We are destroying their health without their consent. Todays children are going to spend their entire adult lives either living with the consequences of our negligence or working their tails off trying to undo it. Look how sick today’s adults are - and we were exposed to so much less processed food as children.
Make 2019 the year you stop yo-yo dieting forever! At Heartland Weight Loss, we are trained and committed to providing effective, evidence-based weight loss therapy for patients affected by excess weight. Check out our website for more information about insurance-based Obesity Medicine treatment!