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she says. And be sure to select a low-fat
yogurt labelled as having live or active
cultures because this ensures that the
probiotics in the yogurt will work in
your body as intended.
Artificial sweeteners
Substances like Splenda and aspartame
may have zero calories, but your
body isn’t fooled; when it gets that
ubiquitous sweet taste, it expects
calories to follow. And when this does
not happen, it can lead to biochemical
distortions in your brain that can
ultimately lead to weight gain. “We
don’t encourage the consumption of
artificial sweeteners as the abuse might
be carcinogenic,” says Shamseddine,
advising instead to use unrefined
sugars, honey and molasses but in very
minimal quantities.
Fruit juices
Most of us are under the assumption
that while our kids can only drink
sodas on treat days or if at all, fruit
juices were a healthier option.
However, more and more experts
are warning that sugary drinks in
any form are largely to blame for our
growing waistlines. “We encourage the
consumption of whole-fruits instead
of fruit juices, as fruit juices might
contain a lot of sugar even if freshly
squeezed,” she says, also a whole fruit is
richer in vitamins and fiber too. When
we eat a piece of fruit, the fiber forms a
protective layer that acts as a barrier to
the intestine. This slows absorption of
sugar, so the liver has a chance to catch
up. In fizzy drinks, fruit juices and
smoothies, the barrier has gone, which
leads to the liver being overloaded.
Trail mixes and Granola Bars
Some of us use cereal bars as a quick
fix for that afternoon slump and think
it is a healthier option. However
Shamseddine points out that most
cereal bars contain loads of sugar. She
advises we make our own at home
instead using honey or a natural
sweetener instead of sugar. If you just
have to buy these, then look for the
first ingredient to be whole grains,
and find granola bars that are high in
fiber or without added sugars. Most
likely, these varieties will make you
fuller longer. And substitute your
high sodium crunchy trail mixes with
your own homemade blends. “A good
homemade trail mix can include some
dried fruits with raw and unsalted
mixed nuts for a perfect and portable
snack,” she says.
Gluten free snacks
From gluten free breads and cookies
to even gluten free pizza crust, the
wildly popular food ttend ‘gluten free’
seems to be on everyone’s mind these
days irrespective of actually being
gluten intolerant/sensitive or not.
Yet Shamseddine notes that there is
no relation between gluten free and
low- fat products, as gluten is only the
protein found in wheat, barley, and rye
and the only time where we need to
avoid it is when we have sensitivity to
gluten or gluten intolerance
Did you Know?
The study, published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
discovered some frightening facts that
should make us all swear off diet drinks
and products.
• Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes
more than sugar-sweetened sodas.
• Women who drank one 12-ounce
diet soda had a 33 percent increased
risk of Type 2 diabetes, and women
who drank one 20-ounce soda had a
66 percent increased risk.
• Women who drank diet sodas
drank twice as much as those who
drank sugar-sweetened sodas
because artificial sweeteners are
more addictive and are sweeter than
regular sugar.
• The average diet soda drinker
consumes three diet drinks a day.
Apr/May 2014