Health bulletin

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All the news on health, fitness and well-being

HEALTHIER FRIES

If you can’t do without those tempting french fries, then substitute them with light-skinned sweet potatoes because these spuds are higher in fibre and have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes. That way they won’t spike your insulin, says Devin Alexander, New York Times bestselling author. It’s fairly simple to make this healthy snack option. Just slice light-skinned sweet potatoes into thin circles, season them with sea salt and your choice of seasonings, and bake.

Post-exercise dilemma
After a gym session, you don’t want to overeat and negate all the calories you just burned. Neither do you want to eat too little and deprive your body of nutrition. A general rule of thumb—eat about half of what you burned during your workout. Make it a mix of complex carbs, protein and some fat to replenish energy stores and repair muscles. For example, tuna, a lean protein, is an ideal post-workout snack. Tuna spread over a slice of whole wheat bread provides an ideal combination of carbs and protein that can aid post-workout recovery.

Sugar savvy
If you have a sweet tooth, chocolate frosties is a healthier, low-sugar dessert option. Take 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 11/2 cups of rice, a cup of unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Process the ingredients in a blender until it is smooth and creamy. Drink up, or stash it in the freezer to enjoy it as popsicles later.

THE TRAVEL BUG

According to research published in the journal Genome Biology, travel could alter the make-up of your gut microbiota—the community of bacteria living in your digestive system. Scientists asked two volunteers to use an app to log their daily activity for a year, including their diet, exercise, bowel movements and mood, and submit regular stool and saliva samples. The results showed that the participants had a default microbiota, which was unaffected by sleep levels, exercise and mood. However, a significant effect on the microbiota was noticed in one participant when he travelled abroad. It is observed that during travel, erratic food habits and a diverse palate of food messes with gut bacteria. This leads to constipation, which causes the bacteria in the small intestine to produce gas and cause bloating. Changes in your circadian rhythm can also hamper food and waste movement through your gut.

BETTER THAN BUTTER
If you have been asked to avoid butter, then a spread made of pureed nuts can serve as a healthy substitute. This mixture has less saturated fat, and can be made by blending a couple of heads of roasted garlic with cashews, water and nutritional yeast.

PHOTOGRAPHS: SHUTTERSTOCK

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