Ask Dr. Nandi

  • Soda makers facing diet pop lawsuit

    Data pulled from WXYZ

    (WXYZ) – The lawsuit states diet pop made six soft drink lovers gain weight instead of lose weight.

    They are claiming the sugar substitute aspartame interfered with how the body metabolizes calories. And they feel marketing the drinks as diet is not only false and misleading but unlawful as well.

    Diet sodas are less in calories but they have not been shown to promote weight loss.

    In fact, one study found people who had one or more artificially-sweetened drinks a day not only had higher risks for obesity, but also higher risks for type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

    Diet pop is sweetened with either aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. These sugar substitutes taste much sweeter than regular soda and this can actually dull your taste buds. You could end up craving more sugar and high-calorie foods which leads to weight gain.

    They may also trigger an insulin response which could throw your body into fat storage mode.

    Research is showing there’s a downside to diet soda yet people still see as a low-calorie alternative. So here are my prescriptions:

    1. Reduce your intake of sweetened beverages. If you’d like a calorie-free drink, choose water. Flavor it with fruit to make it tastier.
    2. If you must have a soda, treat yourself with a regular pop. But drink it occasionally as there’s very little nutritional value in these drinks.
    3. Check food labels to know exactly what you’re consuming. You can find sugar substitutes in other foods like yogurt, granola bars, and gum.
    4. When it comes to losing weight, you need to eat healthy and exercise. Opt for whole foods that are minimally processed and aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

    Unless you’ve been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria, the FDA says nonnutritive sweeteners have been determined as safe for their intended uses.

    However if you have any adverse effects, they do recommend you report them through their reporting program called MedWatch.

    Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  • Cinnamon: Pantry staple and medical powerhouse?

    Data pulled from WXYZ

    (WXYZ) – Who doesn’t love the taste or smell of cinnamon? But for centuries this popular spice has also been used for its medicinal qualities.

    Scientists have been studying cinnamon for its effects on several health issues.

    Research has shown it may help to lower blood glucose levels, improve cholesterol and could offer protection against dementia. It may also help with wound healing, lower blood pressure and could have cancer fighting properties.

    But the research is not conclusive and there are studies with conflicting results. So we can’t yet recommend cinnamon as a health aid.

    Cassia is the more common type of cinnamon and likely what you’re more familiar with as it’s found in most supermarkets.

    But Ceylon is known as the “true” cinnamon and may be the better option for good health. That’s because research found significant amounts of a plant compound in Cassia that can be harmful and may damage people’s liver if it’s consumed in high doses.

    Partha’s RX:

    1. Look for Ceylon cinnamon. If you can’t find it, use the Cassia variety in small amounts.
    2. Use between 1 and 6 grams, which is roughly a half-teaspoon to three teaspoons. Stick to a half teaspoon or less if using Cassia.
    3. If you have type 2 diabetes and want to try cinnamon, do a self-test. Check your blood levels before and after you eat, and three hours later to see if it’s had any impact.
    4. Never substitute cinnamon for prescription medicine. If you’re diabetic, talk to your doctor first before making cinnamon a habit. You don’t want blood sugar levels to be too low either.

    The research is still too early to decide if cinnamon supplements are safe for most people. I would recommend you stick to cooking with it or sprinkling it on drinks and foods.

    Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  • Leeks & Chicken Shepherds Pie

    Leeks & Chicken Shepherds Pie

    Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
    Serves 6


    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 large leeks, white and light green parts, washed and sliced thinly
    1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    3 Tbsp all purpose flour (Spelt flour is a great substitute)
    2 tsp fresh sage, chopped finely
    2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
    1 cup frozen peas
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Mashed Potatoes:
    2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
    3/4 cups nonfat buttermilk
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 1-1/4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    Filling Prep:
    Preheat the oven to 425F and heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    Add leeks and carrots.
    Cook while stirring until leeks soften and become fragrant. About 6-8 minutes.
    Add garlic and continue to cook while stirring for 1 more minute.
    Pour in wine and stir until most liquid has evaporated.
    Add flour and sage and continue to cook while stirring. The flour should start to turn a light brown. About 2-3 minutes.
    Stir in broth and simmer.
    Stir constantly and wait until sauce thickens and carrots are just tender. About 4-6 minutes.
    Add chicken and peas.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Transfer everything to a deep 10 inch pie pan and set aside.
    Mashed Potatoes Prep:
    Place potatoes in a large pot and add cold salted water to cover them.
    Bring to a boil over medium heat.
    Cook partially covered until potatoes are tender 10-12 minutes.
    Drain water and keep potatoes in pan.
    Remove from heat and allow potatoes to dry a bit.
    Mash potatoes and add buttermilk to make a smooth puree.
    Season with salt and pepper.
    Stir in egg and olive oil.
    Spread potatoes on chicken mixture.
    Set dish on a baking sheet and bake until potatoes and filling are heated through. Top will turn golden brown about 25-35 minutes.

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