Monday, April 6, 2009

Good Choice or Bad Choice?

My husband was in a restaurant the other day and overheard an interesting conversation. A man walked in for his usual afternoon coffee and announced to the cashier that he was trading in his afternoon Tall Dark Roast for a bottle of Cranberry Juice. He explained that he was trying to be healthier.

What do you think: good choice ... or bad choice?

Let's look at what happens to your body when you drink "juice" alone. It doesn't matter if it is 100% juice or a juice "cocktail". Both are 100% sugar (fructose or the white stuff), and when consumed alone skyrocket your blood sugar so you get the "sugar high". In addition to this high, your body then starts a chain reaction of all sorts of bad processes including excess insulin, which makes you fat, accelerates heart disease, and shortens your life span. After the "high" is over, your blood sugar drops quickly and 1 hour later guess what happens? You're hungry again!! Now you reach for another high sugar snack to lift you up, and the same reaction starts all over again.

If this man is trying to eat healthy, more nutritious foods what would he eat for an afternoon "pick-me-up" snack? He needs to eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Instead, he could choose one of several healthy, tasty alternatives: (one from each category)

2 oz. cheese (protein) OR 1/2 c cottage cheese (protein)
1 small apple (carbohydrate) OR 1/2 c berries (carbohydrate)
1 tsp peanut butter (fat) OR 1/2 serving peanuts (fat)

Get the idea? This combination snack will keep blood sugar levels constant, give you an energy boost and keep you from crashing. Give it a try!

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