Friday, September 16, 2016

Do Blood Glucose Levels Affect Hunger and Satiety?

You've heard the story before: when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods that digest quickly, it sends your blood sugar and insulin levels soaring, then your blood sugar level comes crashing back down and you feel hungry and cranky.  You reach for more carbohydrate, perpetuating the cycle of crashes, overeating, and fat gain.

It sounds pretty reasonable-- in fact, so reasonable that it's commonly stated as fact in popular media and in casual conversation.  This idea is so deeply ingrained the popular psyche that people often say "I have low blood sugar" instead of "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired".  But this hypothesis has a big problem: despite extensive research, it hasn't been clearly supported.  I've written about this issue before (1).

A new study offers a straightforward test of the hypothesis, and once again finds it lacking.

The study

Read more »
This post was written by Stephan Guyenet for Whole Health Source.


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Nutrition News: Exercise and Brain Hunger, Vitamin D and Asthma, and Mediterranean Diet Tips

Brain hunger

You know how, sometimes, after you’ve completed a big, stressful, mentally taxing assignment — a college term paper, say, or a complex work project — you suddenly feel ravenous? That may be because your brain, depleted of energy after working hard, signals you to eat more calories in order to fuel further efforts (thus explaining the much-feared Freshman 15). However, exercise may subvert this mental-stress-induced craving for calories, a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, noted in The New York Times, indicates, because it increases the amount of blood sugar and lactate in the blood and increases blood flow to the head. Worth a try.

Asthma aid

A new research review brings promising news for those living with asthma. Taking a daily oral vitamin D supplement — anything from 400 to 4,000 units a day — was determined to reduce the risk of reduce asthma attacks requiring medication by 37 percent and those requiring emergency intervention by 60 percent. However, the review of nine clinical trials, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and reported in The New York Times, did not indicate that vitamin D had an impact on daily asthma symptoms. The study’s authors suggest the reason for the effect may have something to do with vitamin D’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects, but say it is too soon to advise widespread use.

Mediterranean diet tips

The Mediterranean diet is beloved for both its healthfulness (with benefits for your heart, your brain and beyond) and its deliciousness (fruits and veggies, nuts and grains, herbs and olive oil, and even wine). But dietitian and author Ellie Krieger, writing in the Washington Post, reminds us that the key to getting the most out of the Mediterranean diet is not only what we eat, but how we eat it. She suggests we “make good food a priority” (choose quality local ingredients, simply prepared), “eat seasonally” (fruits and vegetables taste best when they are in season), “savor mealtime” (slow down, disconnect and enjoy the social experience of eating with others) and “consider how food makes you feel” (that kind of awareness can help you avoid overeating and enjoy).

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.



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Roasted Squash & Wheatberry Salad

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A friend gave me an acorn squash from his garden, and I used it as the inspiration for this hearty salad.

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I used to cook wheatberries all the time, but they somehow fell off my radar. Probably because I was eating them in bread form from Great Harvest all those years!

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I recently realized I could cook them in my rice cooker. So simple! I LOVE my ricer cooker, and it was one of the best appliance purchases I made.

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This book is the ultimate rice cooker companion, and I consult it before cooking anything. The authors recommended soaking the wheatberries in hot water in the rice cooker bowl before setting it on the brown rice setting.

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After the rice cycle, they were perfectly tender.

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Meanwhile, I roasted the acorn squash in the oven after tossing it in olive oil, brown sugar, and salt.

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The veggies in this recipe could be changed depending on what you have on hand – peppers, grated carrots, tomatoes, chopped spinach, etc.

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I eat the acorn squash skin because once it’s roasted it’s pretty tender, but you could always peel it if you prefer.

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I made a citrus dressing with some freshly squeezed OJ I had on hand.

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Serve as a hearty salad, a side dish, or with any kind of protein on top!

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Squash and Wheatberry Salad

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Ingredients (one big salad)

  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt plus more for garnish
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak and cook wheatberries in your preferred method. I used a rice cooker, and soaked them in hot water for an hour before running them through a brown rice cycle with 2 cups of fresh water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Slice squash in half and remove seeds. Microwave for 2 minutes to soften for cutting.
  4. Cut squash into salad-size pieces and toss with brown sugar, salt, and olive oil.
  5. Roast squash for about 45 minutes, until tender and golden on the edges.
  6. Chop bell pepper and slice tomatoes.
  7. Shake dressing in a jar until well mixed and toss dressing with all salad ingredients until well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve warm or chilled.
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Happy chewing!!

roasted squash + wheatberry salad



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