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Is Carbonated Water Healthy?

Posted: 2018-02-06 23:52 Permanent Link

Julia Fountain ND

Carbonated water is made by bubbling carbon dioxide through water. The resulting chemical reaction creates carbonic acid which activates nerve receptors on the tongue and gives that refreshing mouth-feel.

Sparkling mineral water comes from natural springs which contain trace minerals. Examples: Perrier (the carbonation is natural) and San Pellegrino (which has carbonation added).

Seltzer water is plain water that has been carbonated by bubbling CO2 through it. Examples: Soda Stream. Flavoured seltzer water may have natural flavours (lime, grapefruit) and citric acid added

Club soda is carbonated water, with additional minerals added including potassium and sodium, to mimic a natural spring flavor.

Tonic water has quinine added (which gives it the bitter flavor), sugar, citric acid other flavouring ingredients. It has 130 calories per can.

So, are they healthy?

Tonic water is more pop than water, and with added sugars, flavourings and 130 calories per can, it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional ‘upside’.

Club soda, seltzer water and sparkling mineral water have no calories unless they are flavoured with syrups. Carbonated water is less acidic than orange juice and pop but more acidic than plain water, averaging 5.5 on the pH scale. Fizzy waters become more acidic when citric acid is added. Does this acidity have a damaging effect? Perhaps. In a Jan 2018 study in the Korean Orthodontic Journal, teeth were submerged in carbonated water for 15 minutes 3x/day for 7 days. Carbonated water was found to decrease the hardness of tooth enamel.

However on the upside, a 2017 study showed carbonated water was shown to increase satiety and curbed appetite in young women. A study. in the Journal of European Gastroenterology claimed carbonated water improved constipation, indigestion, and gallbladder emptying. However this study was sponsored by a European bottled water company so take this one with a grain of salt.

Other than that, there’s not a lot of data out there on the health benefits or effects of carbonated water. Until more information comes to light…my bottom line recommendations for carbonated water are these:
1) Most people will be able to enjoy fizzy water as a healthy way to hydrate, but not to the exclusion of plain, flat water. Consider your teeth.
2) If you have IBS, reflux/acid stomach or bloating, tread lightly with carbonated water. I find clinically it aggravates these conditions for some.
3) When possible, choose glass bottles, or a Soda Stream system. I’m curious about what leaches out of plastic bottles and aluminum cans when they contain slightly acidic water. I haven’t found data to justify this concern, it’s just my humble opinion.
4) Avoid sparkling water with artificial flavours, colours, citric acid, sweeteners. Choose plain or natural flavours, or add a splash of fresh lemon or lime.
5) Continue to eat an alkaline diet comprised of generous portions of leafy greens and plant-based foods, to balance any acidity your sparkling water provides.
Bottom’s up!

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Blue vs Yellow Corn

Posted: 2018-02-04 20:52 Permanent Link

Blue vs Yellow Corn

Julia Fountain ND

Fast facts about blue corn:

-blue corn is less hybridized and is much less likely to be GMO than yellow corn. Que Pasa, Garden of Eatin’ and Guiltless Gourmet brands are non-GMO project verified.

-blue corn has slightly higher protein content than yellow corn, and it’s higher in the amino lysine which makes it more of a complete protein than yellow corn

-blue corn chips are naturally gluten free (unless they add something containing gluten in manufacturing – still best to check the label). Que Pasa and Guiltless Gourmet are GF certified

-the blue pigment is naturally occurring from anthocyanins, the antioxidants also found in blueberries

-a serving size of blue corn chips is around 14 chips, providing 120-140 calories. In general, estimate 10 calories per chip

-watch sodium levels, they will vary from as low as 40 mg up to 180 mg per serving

-how do they compare to potato chips? Not alot different. Blue corn chips are comparable in calories and fat grams to most brands of potato chips. Some blue corn chips brands (Guiltless Gourmet) have as much sodium as Lay’s potato chips (180 mg per serving), whereas Que Pasa has much less (40 mg sodium per serving). Organic blue corn chips don’t have the MSG that flavoured potato chips do, but the healthiest part about chips and salsa…is the salsa. So go light on the chips and generous with the salsa!

My favourite brands (in order):
1) Que Pasa blue corn chips. These are non-GMO project verified, certified organic, certified GF, lower in sodium than most (40 mg/serving) and they’re made in Canada!
2) Garden of Eatin’ . These have a baked corn chip option (50% less fat). They’re also non-GMO project verified but a little higher in sodium (60 mg)
3) PC Organics blue corn chips. These are organic but not non-GMO project verified, nor GF certified. They are mid-range on sodium levels (90 mg/serving)
4) Guiltless Gourmet. This brand is non-GMO, certified GF, baked (50% less fat) but 4x more sodium than Que Pasa (180 mg/serving)

Happy snacking!

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Hormone Testing

Posted: 2018-01-21 20:04 Permanent Link

Julia Fountain ND

I order a range of hormone tests at the clinic. Not every woman needs to have hormone levels checked as some imbalance patterns are clear enough through their symptom presentation. However, if there are distinct hormonal concerns there’s reason to incorporate hormone testing as part of the overall investigation. Now more than ever I’m relying on urine testing over blood and saliva. Why?

1) Urine is able to supply us with information blood and saliva cannot. It provides a window into hormone metabolism and hormone breakdown products. Much of the risk associated with estrogens promoting cancer is due to estrogen metabolites, not the estrogens themselves and we have naturopathic protocols to manage these metabolic pathways. Measuring hormone levels in urine, as well as the resulting by-products (metabolites) is a simple, non-invasive way to better understand our risks and make educated decisions about hormone therapy.

2) The sample collection is less tedious than saliva collection. It takes patients 15-20 minutes to collect 1 saliva sample, whereas the urine test collection is as simple as urinating on filter paper 4x in one day, letting samples dry, then mailing them to the lab.

3) Urine samples collected throughout the day provide a more accurate representation of the ebb and flow of hormones through the day.

When is a good idea to consider urinary hormone metabolite testing? In cases where someone has:

-A family or personal history of breast cancer, regardless of whether or not there are symptoms of hormone imbalance
-An abnormal finding with mammography or thermography where cancer has been ruled out
-Symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as weight gain and insomnia
-Symptoms of PCOS, such as acne and excess facial hair
-Symptoms of menopause and considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

Hormone testing ranges in cost from $120 to $400

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