Summer’s Weight Loss Weapon: The Berry Glacier

It’s like an ice cream sundae only wayyyyyy healthier – The Berry Glacier.

What We Know

The ever-widening chasm between what we know and what we eat boggles my mind.  Why is scientific data so often ignored, even by highly-regarded academic institutions?  I mean the data is in, right? Sugar is what is making us fat, right?  Yet we seem to cling to the same old snacking habits and refuse to apply our newfound knowledge to optimize our own health.

Old Habits

Here is a post from The Harvard Health Blog about re-vamping your snacking habits.  The best idea in here is that you should ditch the packaged low fat processed snacks for healthier alternatives.  This is great advice.  Low fat processed snacks usually replace the fat with refined carbs and sugar that promote insulin resistance or even worse, trans fats that cause you to store more fat, raise bad cholesterol (LDL), and don’t fill you up but make you hungrier instead.

Go Big or Go Home

Replacing these snacks with real food is a great start, but why not make those real foods as real and as packed with nutritious calories as possible?   When it comes to your health and fitness, Why not go all the way? – I mean, go big or go home, right?

The article is written by Liz Moore, a dietician at the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  The smartest minds in the country recommending a snack of bananas and peanut butter.  OK, I’ll admit it’s better than a Snickers bar, but but if you’re going to snack on fruits and nuts, do your homework. There are definitely better choices.

High Fructose

Fructose is what makes sugar sweet.  It is metabolized only by the liver and it causes the accumulation of visceral (belly) fat. When you compare fruit side-by-side, you’ll be surprised at how much they differ in fructose content. Bananas and other tropical fruits have the highest fructose content.  This is not a mystery.  The sweeter the fruit, the higher the fructose content.  Which has more fructose, pineapple or grapefruit?  The answer is obvious.  You are much better off eating berries than bananas, and raspberries are better than strawberries.

Best Nut Butter?

Also, peanut better has saturated fat usually with added sugar. A healthier alternative would be fresh grind almond butter.  It’s the healthiest fat, mono-unsaturated, which has been shown to elevate good cholesterol and prevent heart disease.  Many Markets, including Whole Foods, have machines that allow you to grind your own, so it’s pure almonds, no processing or added sugar.  By the way, there is a nut, macadamia, that has a higher content of mono-fats, which is also the fat in olive oil and avocados.

So, instead of banana and PB, try berries and AB.  It’s delicious, and based on the available science there’s no comparison.

Like an Ice Cream Sundae

One of my favorite summer snacks is a small 3-4 ounce bowl of frozen blueberries topped with a tablespoon of almond butter, a splash of heavy cream, sprinkled with a bit of unsweetened coconut. It’s a cool treat, keeps me topped off, is delicious, has fiber, mono-unsaturated fat, and doesn’t leave me with with the sugar high and crash of your typical ice cream parlor sundae. The  heavy cream freezes up like ice cream when it hits the frozen berries, and the toasted coconut flakes are like hot sprinkles that contrast with the cold berries and cream.

Yoga Doc’s Berry Glacier Recipe

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (Organic Valley works great!)
  • 2 Tbs almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon

Directions: Divide out berries into two 3-4 ounce dessert bowls (about 1/2 cup in each bowl). Drizzle 1/4 cup cream over the berries. Spoon 1 tablespoon of almond butter on top of each of the bowls of berries and cream. Now, take the unsweetened coconut and place in a frying pan, turning the heat on low. Using a metal fork, move the coconut around in a circular motion until light brown, being careful not to burn (about 3-4 minutes). Divide the coconut over each of the dessert bowls, topping off like you would sprinkles on an ice cream sundae. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon. Savor every bite and let us know how you enjoyed the hot and cold contrast of the hot toasted coconut on the frozen berries!

 

 

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