Blog Archives

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms and Signs

pancreaticcancer

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms & Signs

 

Pancreatic Cancer typically does not cause symptoms until it has grown, so it is most frequently diagnosed in advanced stages rather than early in the course of the disease. In some cases, jaundice (a yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes) without pain can be an early sign of pancreatic cancer. Other symptoms and signs that can occur with more advanced disease are

 

nausea,

vomiting,

weight loss,

itching skin, and

decreased or loss of appetite.

Pale stools, upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back, back pain, abdominal pain, dark urine, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck can be present as well. In some cases, a new onset of diabetes may be a sign of pancreatic cancer, but the vast majority of cases of diabetes are not related to cancer.

 

Causes of pancreatic cancer

 

The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is generally unknown.

 

Rarely, there can be familial or hereditary genetic syndromes that run in families and put individuals at higher risk, such as mutations of the genes BRCA-2 and, to a lesser extent, BRCA-1.

 

Other causes are actually various modes of medication used for diabetes.   Canagliflozin(Invokana), Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and Empagliflozin (Jardiance) are three medications that were released to the public without a correct length of time to study them, and they are showing to have some positive results for inducing pancreatic cancer.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/hwa.jaranson  

Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

dietsoda

Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

 

New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.

 

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.

 

That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.

 

“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.

 

“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.

 

When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.

 

“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”

 

Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/hwa.jaranson

 

Breakfast Burrito: Easy Recipe

breakfast-burrito

 

Breakfast Burrito

 

YIELD:  1 SERVINGS      CALORIES: 180

 

One of my personal favorites!

 

Double the measurements in this recipe to make it for two. To make this a low-carb meal, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over top of the burrito. To make this a high-carb meal, wrap the burrito in a whole-grain tortilla, brown-rice tortilla or two corn tortillas.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp ground turkey

3 egg whites

1 handful baby spinach

1-2 romaine lettuce leaves

1 tbsp salsa

1 tortilla

 

Directions

Spritz cooking spray in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add turkey and cook through. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites for about 45 seconds. In another nonstick pan over medium-high heat, spritz cooking spray. Add the egg whites to the pan. As the egg starts to set, add turkey and baby spinach and scramble until cooked. Wrap the turkey-egg-spinach mixture in one for two leaves of romaine lettuce. Spoon the salsa over the top, then roll up and enjoy!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/hwa.jaranson

 

 

Protein Breakfast Bowl

protienbowl

Protein Breakfast Bowl

YIELD: 2 SERVINGS   CALORIES:437

Ingredients

1 small onion, sliced

6-8 medium mushrooms, sliced

5 oz grass-fed ground beef

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small avocado, diced

10-12 pitted black olives, sliced

salt

pepper

Directions

  1. In a heavy skillet over medium high heat, melt a little bit of coconut oil. When oil is hot, add onions, mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables are fragrant and softened.
  2. Add ground beef and smoked paprika and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink. Set the beef aside on a plate.
  3. Add eggs to the skillet and scramble them to your liking.
  4. Return beef to the pan. Add avocado and sliced olives.
  5. Continue cooking for about 45 seconds to a minute in order to slightly warm up the avocados and olives.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, if desired.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/hwa.jaranson

 

Go For The Garlic : Recipe

Whole-Grain-Penne-Pasta-with-Greens-Beans

GO FOR GARLIC: Recipe

It’s hard to imagine a bowl of pasta without the savory flavor of garlic. Besides being a staple in many Italian, Asian, and French cooking, it turns out that garlic is good for your health, too! Discover tasty ways to add this superfood to your meal plan with some of our best garlic recipes, and learn more about the health benefits of this healthful food below.

 

  1. 1. Garlic Has Been Used to Treat a Plethora of Ailments

 

Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world and has been used for its medicinal qualities as far back as 2600 B.C. It is used to treat a plethora of ailments, including: arthritis, immune disorders, cataracts, cancer, strokes, and aging.

 

  1. It’s a Powerful Amino Acid

 

Scientists believe that most of garlic’s superiority is due to its sulfur-containing compounds. Garlic contains close to 100 nutrients, but one in particular, allicin, appears to do the most good. Allicin is an amino acid that is not available when garlic is in clove form, but is released when the garlic is crushed, cut, or chewed. It is allicin that gives garlic its strong smell.

 

  1. Garlic Offers a Host of Healthy Nutrients

 

In addition to allicin, garlic also contains phosphorous, zinc, potassium, selenium, polyphenols, and vitamins B6 and C. It is the total of all of these nutrients that makes garlic an excellent anti-inflammatory superfood!

 

Whole Grain Penne Pasta with Greens & Beans

 

Ingredients

 

 

2 tablespoons good quality olive oil-

2 large garlic cloves peeled and crushed-

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes-

2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes roughly chopped-

1-pint fresh cherry tomatoes-

1- 15oz. can cannellini beans-

Sea Salt to taste-

1- 13.25oz. box of whole grain penne pasta-

About 4 cups of loosely packed baby arugula

 

 

Directions

Put a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil for pasta.

 

In a large non-stick skillet warm the olive oil, garlic & pepper flakes until they simmer and garlic is slightly browned. (about 3 min.)

 

Add the canned tomatoes and simmer over medium low heat. (about 10 min.)

 

Add the fresh cherry tomatoes and simmer for 10 min. more

 

Add the cannellini beans and return to a simmer

 

Season with sea salt and keep sauce warm over low heat.

 

Cook the pasta being careful not to overcook…

 

Drain the pasta and transfer into a large bowl.

 

Add the hot sauce and arugula to the bowl and toss with a large kitchen spoon

 

until the arugula has wilted.

 

Divide the pasta into warm bowls and top with good quality grated parmesan.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Health Care and Preventative Medicine

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

The Path to a New You, Starts in the Kitchen

newpath

The Path to a New You, Starts in the Kitchen.

 

Add these 21 must-eat foods to your menu.

 

When you’re choosing recipes to help you and your family, focus on foods that haven’t been heavily processed with artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, or excess sodium. Be especially wary of packaged products promoted as diet foods. They may be lower in calories and fat, but they’re often higher in artificial sweeteners and sodium, ingredients manufacturers add to make the product taste better and encourage you to eat more.

 

For the foods below, we’ve included the factors that make them smart choices as well as a healthy recipe that incorporates that ingredient. You’ll find foods that satisfy your appetite with lean protein and monounsaturated fats. We’ve also included plenty of high fiber foods on our list as well. Do you want low-calorie ingredients? You’ll find lots of those superfoods too.

 

  1. Almonds | Fiber, Monounsaturated Fat
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar | Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
  3. Avocado | Monounsaturated Fat
  4. Beets | Diuretic, Low Calorie
  5. Brussels Sprouts| Fiber, Low Calorie
  6. Cauliflower | Fiber, Low Calorie
  7. Chia Seeds | Fiber, Protein
  8. Chicken | Low Calorie, Protein
  9. Egg | Protein
  10. Greek Yogurt | Protein
  11. Green Tea | Catechins
  12. Kale | Fiber, Low Calorie
  13. Mangoes | Fiber
  14. Oatmeal | Fiber
  15. Quinoa | Fiber, Protein
  16. Raspberries | Fiber, Raspberry Ketones
  17. Salmon | Protein
  18. Squash | Fiber, Low Calorie
  19. Turkey | Protein
  20. Walnuts | Monounsaturated Fat
  21. Zucchini | Diuretic, Low Calorie

 

Please adjust this for your needs and for the medications you are taking, and the medical conditions you may have.  Example: If you have a dairy restriction, no yogurt.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Health Care and Preventative Medicine

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy-Chicken-and-Broccoli-Casserole-600x400

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

 

Creamy casseroles are a favorite when the weather gets chilly, but they’re not always Paleo diet friendly. This easy broccoli casserole recipe layers chicken with vegetables for a filling and comforting meal. Crisp bacon and crunchy almonds give it that casserole-like top, without starchy breadcrumbs or cheese.

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 head(s) broccoli cut into thin slices

3/4 head(s) cauliflower cut into thin slices

1/2 pound(s) mushrooms sliced

2 piece(s) chicken breast(s), boneless skinless (4-6 oz)

1 cup(s) coconut milk, full fat

1 large egg(s)

1/2 cup(s) chicken broth

1/2 cup(s) almonds sliced

4 slice(s) bacon cooked and crumbled

1 tablespoon(s) coconut oil for cooking chicken

1/8 teaspoon(s) sea salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon(s) black pepper to taste

Instructions

 

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 TB coconut oil or other cooking oil of your choice when hot.

Season chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper if desired and sauté for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice until fully cooked. Chop into bite-size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Layer the broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and cooked chicken in a (9×13) casserole dish, seasoning with salt and pepper between each layer.

In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the coconut milk with the egg and chicken broth until well combined. Pour over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with almonds and bacon. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until almonds are lightly toasted and casserole is bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

Sausage and Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

Sausage-and-Zucchini-Breakfast-Casserole-3.jpg

Sausage and Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

 

This quick and easy Paleo dish takes a classic combination of sausage, mushrooms and thyme and adds eggs and zucchini to make a filling and delicious breakfast casserole. We recommend assembling the casserole the night before, and then baking it in the morning – it will save you a ton of time and you will have a piping hot breakfast to start off your day right!

 

Ingredients

 

3 medium zucchini trimmed

4 large mushroom(s), white button or cremini halved

1 large onion(s), yellow peeled and quartered

1 pound(s) sausage, ground breakfast

1/2 tablespoon(s) thyme, fresh (optional)

2 tablespoon(s) almond flour

6 large egg(s)

1/2 teaspoon(s) garlic, granulated

1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place a grater blade on a medium or large food processor (or just use a box grater to shred the veggies by hand). Grate the zucchini, mushrooms and onion. With a paper towel, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini.

Scrape the veggie mixture into the bottom of a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and lightly pat down to form an even surface.

Crumble the raw sausage on top of the veggies. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and almond flour.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, granulated garlic, sea salt, and cayenne (optional) and whisk until eggs are a pale yellow (about 30 seconds).

Pour egg mixture evenly over sausage and veggies in the baking dish. It should sink to the bottom of the pan.

Place in oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until browned on top and cooked through. There will be some residual water from the vegetables.

Cool at least 15 minutes. Slice into 4 servings and enjoy warm or cold.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Forget the Diet! Eat your Way Fit!

nutrienddensefoods

 

Eat Your Way Fit With Nutrient-Dense Foods

The Benefits of Nutrient Density Instead of Diet for Weight Management

 

Going on a diet can feel overwhelming and the results typically unsatisfying. Diets and diet trends are a billion-dollar market targeting consumers who want to lose fat and gain muscle. Many diets also lack nutrients, according to research.

 

Have you considered not dieting? Instead of continued caloric restriction leaving you hungry, tired, and frustrated, maybe a different approach would be better.

 

 

How about trying nutrient-dense foods as an alternative to reduce body fat? This is not a diet but simply a change in the kind of food you eat to achieve a healthy body. The idea is to eat cleaner, not less, as a lifestyle.

 

Eating nutrient-dense foods even allows you to eat more and still lose fat. This is often hard to grasp for long-term dieters used to severe calorie restriction for reducing fat. The difference is the quality of nutrient-dense foods vs the calories and how they function in our body.

 

What Are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods contain macro and micronutrients important for our health. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats providing calories (energy) to our body. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals also coming from nutrient-rich foods. We require all nutrients in varying quantities for optimal fitness. Research indicates nutrient-rich foods help boost our metabolism and enable us to efficiently lose body fat.

 

Protein is the powerhouse macronutrient for muscle recovery. Select healthier options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, or albacore tuna over processed cold cuts or ham. Eating nutrient-dense protein means keeping it cleaner and leaner.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source macronutrient for optimal health and fitness. Nutrient-dense carbs include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating processed foods, white products and pastries if you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

Fats are the secondary energy source macronutrient for optimal body functioning. Keep your fats nutrient-rich by avoiding saturated fast foods, creamy salad dressings, and cheesy casseroles. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and natural peanut butter to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

How Do They Reduce Body Fat?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients and low in calories allowing us to eat cleaner not less to reduce body fat. Superfoods or real foods are also common names for nutrient-dense foods. They’re easily digested and nutrients utilized for proper body functioning. Chronic studies indicate eating nutrient-dense foods as an effective and healthy way to lose weight.

 

Research shows optimal body fat levels are better achieved when we focus on food quality rather than calorie counting. This is more of a statement of how nutrient-dense foods are full of essential nutrients but lower in calorie. We can eat more for lesser calories and feel satisfied throughout the day.

 

In order to lose body fat, our body requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating nutrient-dense foods stimulates our metabolism and creates a fat-burning machine. Our body functions better supplied with the energy required to burn fat and gain muscle.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient-dense foods help reduce body fat through several functions:

 

Provides the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for optimal body functioning.

Increases our metabolism and stimulates the body to effectively burn body fat.

Balanced nutrients maintain our energy level for improved workouts.

Proper nutrient amounts help regulate blood sugar favoring normal values instead of spiked glucose (sugar). Controlling our blood sugar is essential to reducing body fat.

Promotes satiety and curbs cravings.

Improves leptin hormone function in the body and better regulates fat stores.

The Research

Research is an important step to obtain evidence that supports or opposes scientific claims. Many diets are flooding the market with grandiose promises but without positive clinical findings to back it up. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take the time to research the facts before trying the next diet trend.

 

Chronic studies on nutrient-dense foods show positive feedback for fat loss. They’re high antioxidant values are indicated to reduce the risk of disease and hypertension. Research shows nutrient rich foods as an effective way to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

 

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares nutrient intake and links to obesity. A large study group was divided by body mass index (BMI) levels ranging from normal weight, overweight and obese. The research indicated those participants who were overweight or obese had low intakes of micronutrients and high nutrient deficiencies. The normal weight group consumed a regular menu of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Other research on using nutrient-dense foods to break the cycle of obesity appears in the National Institutes of Health. A workshop was conducted examining improved quality of life and health at every age eating nutrient-dense foods as preventative medicine. It was indicated using the nutrient density approach as a valuable nutritional education tool. It was explained eating nutrient dense foods could help resolve nutrient deficiencies and decrease the risk of being overfat or obese.

 

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine examined the effects of nutrient-dense foods on long-term weight loss. Research participants were seeking dietary counseling to lose weight. The trial included a high nutrient density meal plan with recipes for each volunteer. The patients were followed for a two-year period recording total weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Some participants dropped out but those 33 continuing after one year lost an average of 31 pounds. Nineteen patients returned for the two-year follow-up and each lost an average of 53 pounds. Significant decreases in cholesterol and improved blood pressure were also recorded.

 

The common thread with all research feedback is nutrient-dense foods have the “potential to provide sustainable, significant, long-term weight loss.” Additionally, nutrient rich foods are shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nutrient-dense foods as a lifestyle appears to greatly reduce body fat and improve our health in general.

 

Are Some Nutrient Dense Foods Better Than Others?

National nutrition guidelines recommend eating nutrient-dense foods to help reduce chronic disease and obesity. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition recommends a science-based nutrition profiling system assigning a nutrient value per food.

 

A study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a classification scheme for powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Powerhouse foods are described as those helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. So, yes there will be foods higher in nutrient value than others.

 

Nutrient-dense foods with a value greater than 10 are considered powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) according to the study. The following PFV value system is provided to improve our understanding and health benefits of nutrient-dense foods:

 

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables Value System

Food

Nutrient Density Score

 

Food      Nutrient Density Score

Watercress         100        Scallion 27.35

Chinese cabbage              91.99     Kohlrabi               25.92

Chard    89.27     Cauliflower         25.13

Beet green          87.08     Cabbage              24.51

Spinach 86.43     Carrot   22.60

Chicory 73.36     Tomato 20.37

Leaf lettuce         70.73     Lemon   18.72

Parsley  65.59     Iceberg lettuce  18.28

Romaine lettuce               63.48     Strawberry          17.59

Collard green     62.49     Radish   16.91

Turnip green      62.12     Winter squash    13.89

Mustard green   61.39     Orange  12.91

Endive   60.44     Lime      12.23

Chive     54.80     Grapefruit (pink/red)       11.64

Kale       49.07     Rutabaga             11.58

Dandelion green              46.34     Turnip    11.43

Red pepper         41.26     Blackberry           11.39

Arugula 37.65     Leek       10.69

Broccoli 34.89     Sweet potato     10.51

Pumpkin               33.82     Grapefruit (white)            10.47

Brussels sprout  32.23

nutrient density calculated as average percent daily value based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet, meeting criteria for 17 nutrients as provided by 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 meaning the food provides on average 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal.

 

Another highly referenced nutrient density chart was developed by nutrition expert and board-certified physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He believes your health is directly related to the nutrient density of your diet. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI). The ANDI ranks common foods “on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.”

 

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score      Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score

Kale                                 1000                                       Sunflower                                   64

Collard Greens                 1000                                      Kidney Beans                      64

Mustard Greens               1000                                     Green Peas                                                        63

Watercress                       1000                                           Cherries                                   55

Swiss Chard                      895                                         Pineapple                                     54

Bok Choy                           865                                          Apple                                                         53

Spinach                              707                                     Mango                                               53

Arugula                              604                                      Peanut Butter                                  51

Romaine                             510                                      Corn                                                   45

Brussels Sprouts               490                                      Pistachio Nuts                                  37

Carrots                              458                                       Oatmeal                                            36

Cabbage                          434                                         Shrimp                                                36

Broccoli                              340                                      Salmon                                               34

Cauliflower                        315                                      Eggs                                                    31

Bell Peppers        265        Milk, 1%              31

Asparagus           245        Walnuts               30

Mushrooms        238        Bananas               30

Tomato 186        Whole Wheat Bread       30

Strawberries       182        Almonds              28

Sweet Potato     181        Avocado              28

Zucchini               164        Brown Rice         28

Artichoke             145        White Potato     28

Blueberries          132        Plain Yogurt, Low Fat      28

Iceberg Lettuce 127        Cashews              27

Grapes  119        Chicken Breast   24

Pomegranates    119        Ground Beef, 85% lean   21

Cantaloupe         118        Feta Cheese        20

Onions  109        French Fries        12

Flax Seeds           103        White Pasta        11

Orange  98           Cheddar Cheese               11

Edamame            98           Apple Juice         11

Cucumber            87           Olive Oil               10

Tofu       82           White Bread       9

Sesame Seeds    74           Vanilla Ice Cream             9

Lentils   72           Corn Chips          7

Peaches               65           Cola       1

Bottom Line

Many diets lack nutrients only certain foods can provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods will allow you to skip the diet, eat more, and still lose fat.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Fruits with the Most and Least Sugars

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Low-Carb Fruits With the Most and Least Sugar

 

If you follow a low-carb diet or are living with diabetes, you may have a complicated relationship with fruit. You may have heard you don’t need to worry about how much sugar is in fruit because it is considered natural sugar. But that will depend whether you are following a diet that counts carbs or one that relies on the glycemic index or glycemic load. Knowing which fruits are naturally lower in sugar can help you make better choices to fit your diet.

 

The Natural Sugar in Fruit

The FDA recommends adults eat two cups of fruit or fruit juice or a half-cup of dried fruit per day. How much fruit you eat may differ if you are following a specific low-carb diet plan or if you are limiting carbohydrates in your diet due to diabetes.

 

Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) due to the amount of fiber they contain and because their sugar is mostly fructose. However, dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, and sweetened cranberries), melons, and pineapples have a medium GI value.

 

Fruits contain many nutrients, and if you want to satisfy a sugar craving, fruit is the best choice. The good news is that the fruits lowest in sugar have some of the highest nutritional values, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients. On the other hand, some people digest and process sugar better than others. If you are someone who responds well to a low-carb diet, it pays to be careful.

 

Quick View of the Sugars in Fruits

For a quick way to think about which fruits are lowest in sugar, use these rules of thumb. Fruits are listed here from lowest to highest sugar content:

 

Berries: These generally are the fruits lowest in sugar, and also among the highest in antioxidants and other nutrients. Lemon and lime are also in the lowest category.

 

Summer Fruits: Melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots are next in sugar-order.

Winter Fruits: Apples, pears, and sweet citrus fruit such as oranges are moderate in sugars. (lemons and limes are low in sugar).

Tropical Fruits: Pineapple, pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, and fresh figs are high in sugar (guava and papaya are lower than the others).

Dried Fruit: Dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, and most other dried fruits are extremely high in sugar. Dried cranberries and blueberries would be lower, except that a lot of sugar is usually added to combat the tartness.

Here is a deeper dive into the fruits ranked from lowest to highest in sugar.

 

Fruits Low in Sugar (Low-Carb Fruits)

Lime (1.1 grams of sugar per fruit) and lemon (1.5 grams of sugar per fruit) are rarely eaten as-is; they are mostly converted to juice and then sweetened. But you can add a slice to your water or squeeze them on food to add their nutrients and tartness.

Rhubarb: 1.3 grams of sugar per cup. You are unlikely to find unsweetened rhubarb, so check the label before you assume what you are eating is low in sugar. But if you prepare it yourself, you can adjust the amount of added sugar or artificial sweetener.

Apricots: 3.2 grams of sugar per small apricot. They are available fresh in spring and early summer. You can enjoy them whole, skin and all. Be sure to watch your portions of dried apricots, however, as (of course) they shrink when dried.

 

Cranberries: 4 grams of sugar per cup. While very low in sugar naturally, they are usually sweetened when used or dried, so be wary. If you use them in recipes yourself, you can adjust the amount of sugar added.

Guavas: 4.9 grams of sugar per fruit. You can slice and eat guavas, including the rind. Some people enjoy dipping them in salty sauces. They are the low-sugar exception to the tropical fruits.

Raspberries: 5 grams of sugar per cup. Nature’s gift for those who want a low-sugar fruit, you can enjoy raspberries in every way, eaten by themselves or as a topping or ingredient. You can get them fresh in summer or find them frozen year-round.

Kiwifruit: 6 grams of sugar per kiwi. They have a mild flavor but add lovely color to a fruit salad. Also, you can eat the skin.

Fruits Containing Low to Medium Levels of Sugar

Blackberries and strawberries: 7 grams of sugar per cup. With a little more sugar than raspberries, these are excellent choices for a snack, in a fruit salad, or as an ingredient in a smoothie, sauce, or dessert.

Figs: 8 grams of sugar per medium fig. Note that this figure is for fresh figs. It may be harder to estimate for dried figs of different varieties, which can have 5 to 12 grams of sugar per fig.

Grapefruit: 8 grams of sugar per grapefruit half. You can enjoy fresh grapefruit in a fruit salad or by itself, adjusting the amount of sugar or sweetener you want to add.

Cantaloupes: 8 grams of sugar per large wedge. These are a great fruit to enjoy by themselves or in a fruit salad. They are the lowest in sugar of the melons.

Tangerines: 9 grams of sugar per medium tangerine. They have less sugar than oranges and are easy to section for fruit salads. They are also easy to pack along for lunches and snacks, with built-in portion control.

Nectarines: 11.3 grams of sugar in one small nectarine. These are delicious fruits to enjoy when ripe.

Papaya: 12 grams of sugar in one small papaya. They are lower in sugar than the other tropical fruits.

Oranges: 12 grams of sugar in a medium orange. These are great to pack along for lunches and snacks.

Honeydew: 13 grams of sugar per wedge or 14 grams per cup of honeydew balls. They make a nice addition to a fruit salad or to eat by themselves.

Cherries: 13 grams of sugar per cup. Ripe fresh cherries are a delight in the summer, but watch your portions if you are limiting sugar.

Peaches: 13 grams of sugar per medium peach. You can enjoy them by themselves or in a variety of ways in desserts, smoothies, and sauces.

Blueberries: 15 grams of sugar per cup. They are higher in sugar than other berries but packed with nutrients.

Grapes: 15 grams of sugar per cup. While they are a nice snack, you’ll need to limit portions if you are watching your sugar intake.

Fruits Containing High to Very High Levels of Sugar

Pineapple: 16 grams of sugar per slice. It’s delightful, but as a tropical fruit, it is higher in sugar.

Pears: 17 grams of sugar per medium pear. This winter fruit is high in sugar.

Bananas: 17 grams of sugar per large banana. They add a lot of sweetness to any dish.

Watermelon: 18 grams of sugar per wedge. While this melon is refreshing, it has more sugar than the others.

Apples: 19 grams of sugar in a small apple. They are easy to take along for meals and snacks, but higher in sugar than tangerines or oranges.

Pomegranates: 39 grams of sugar per pomegranate. The whole fruit has a lot of sugar, but if you limit the portion to 1 ounce, there are only 5 grams effective (net) carbs.

Mangos: 46 grams of sugar per fruit. These tantalizing tropical fruits have a lot of sugar.

​​​Prunes (66 grams of sugar per cup), raisins (86 grams of sugar per cup) and dates (93 grams of sugar per cup) are dried fruits that are very high in sugar.

Fruit and Low-Carb Diets

Some of the popular low-carb diet plans differ, based on whether they consider glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at the amount of carbohydrate (Atkins, Protein Power).

 

Strict low-carb diet: At less than 20 grams of carbohydrate per day, you will likely be skipping fruit or substituting it rarely for other items in your diet. Concentrate on getting your nutrients from vegetables. Diets such as Atkins and South Beach don’t allow fruit in the first phase.

Moderate low-carb diet: Those that allow 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day have room for about one fruit serving per day.

Liberal low-carb diet: If your diet allows 50 to100 grams of carbs per day, you may be able to follow the FDA guidelines, as long as you limit other sources of carbs.

Not all low-carb diets limit fruit, however. Diets like the Paleo diet, Whole30, and even Weight Watchers (although it’s not necessarily a low-carb diet) do not place a limit on fruit.

 

In general, if you are following a low-carb diet, you should try and eat fruits that are low in sugar, 7 grams or less per serving. When consulting the list below, which ranks fruit based on sugar content, keep in mind that some values are per cup while others are per whole fruit.

 

Fruit Choices When You Have Diabetes

Your fruit choices when you have diabetes depend on the diet method you are using. If you are counting carbohydrates, the are about 15 grams of carbohydrate in 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit or 2 tablespoons of dried fruit (such as raisins). But the serving size for fresh berries and melons are 3/4 to 1 cup so that you can enjoy more of them.

 

If you are using the plate method, you can add a small piece of whole fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit salad to your plate. If you are using the glycemic index to guide your choices, most fruits have a low glycemic index and are encouraged. However, melons, pineapples, and dried fruits have medium values on the GI index.

 

A Quick Word

You can make the best choices for fruit based on the diet you are following. If you have diabetes, you may want to consult with us  to help you design an eating plan that incorporates fruit appropriately. When you are limiting sugar, fruit is a better choice for a sweet craving than reaching for a sugary snack, as long as you keep portions in mind.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Dolson
  2. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

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