Dr. Meera Dossa, ND
I’m always a fan of sneaking superfoods into my desserts so the people that I love have no idea just how healthy their treats are! I grew up playing with the Chia Pet, not realizing that as an adult, I would continue to play with Chia seeds…only this time, it would be in my blender! When your kiddos are giving you a hard time about drinking “fishy tasting” fish oils, or eating porridge for breakfast, consider adding this gem to your arsenal. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein, chia seeds masked in a chocolatey dessert are sure to be a hit and have your kids asking for more rather than running for the door!
EAT FAT, GET SKINNY
For years, experts touted fat, any fat, to be your enemy in the war against weight loss and instead pushed for the consumption of “high fiber” grains. What got lost in translation was that not all fats are created equal. It is now becoming common knowledge that when it comes to dietary fat, what matters most is the type of fat that is being consumed. I always try to educate my patients who are interested in weight loss and are caught up with the “low fat” labels that LOW FAT = HIGH SUGAR! The industry has to find a way to make low fat products more palatable and thus it goes about adding various forms of sugar, with the end result of low fat consumption being unwanted weight gain.
Fats can be broken down into 3 categories:
“Good” (unsaturated) fats: nuts, seeds, fish, avocados. In this category, the more you consume the more you lower your potential risk for disease.
“Bad” (trans) fats: these are primarily found in processed foods. The more you avoid these, the more you lower your potential risk for disease.
“Saturated” fats: red meat, cheese, ice cream. Keep your consumption as low as possible.
Based on the above descriptions, it makes good sense to consume liberal amounts of “good” fats paired with clean protein sources to lower the overall risk of disease, improve satiety and keep blood sugar levels balanced. All of these factors are keys to sustained weight management.
FIBER IS YOUR FRIEND
It is a known fact that high fiber diets play a crucial role in blood sugar regulation and in the overall process of metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia (an imbalance in your lipid profile leading to unregulated cholesterol levels). Foods that are high in fiber tend to have a lower glycemic index, thus releasing sugars into the bloodstream from the breakdown of foods ingested, in a slower, more regulated fashion. This results in a slower spike of blood sugars allowing the pancreas to release adequate amounts of insulin to help bring those levels right back down. This is especially important for those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes where the beta cells of the pancreas are unable to release adequate levels of insulin to bring blood sugar levels down to acceptable levels.
Fiber also acts as a broom of sorts in the intestine and is able to flush cholesterol out of our systems by way of regular bowel movements. Hence, every physicians primary goal with patients who are eager to lower their cholesterol levels is to encourage a high fiber diet and more frequent trips to the bathroom.
SAY NO TO GMO AND YIPEE TO GLUTEN FREE!
Most chia seeds are grown organically and are not genetically modified. However, if you are unsure, do a little label reading or research the brand that you are purchasing to ensure that these claims are valid.
All chia seeds are definitely gluten free! With the incidences of auto-immune conditions on the rise, such as: thyroid disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases, and arthritic conditions to name a few, removing gluten from our diets has become a cornerstone of treatment protocols amongst healthcare professionals around the globe.
Here is a version of a chocolate chia pudding that is quick and easy and tastes absolutely decadent. With a touch of strawberry and a sprinkle of coconut, this pudding will have your kids licking the bowl clean!
- 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (read the ingredients to ensure there is no carageenan)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp raw cacao
- 4 pitted dates
- 2 organic strawberries sliced
- Desiccated coconut for garnish
Add all ingredients to your high speed blender and blend until it is smooth. Transfer the pudding to two small bowls and place them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow the pudding to chill. When you are ready to serve, garnish with strawberries and coconut.
Dr. Meera Dossa is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Davisville Active Therapy. She is certified and licensed to perform parenteral therapy in the province of Ontario and has successfully met the requirements for the Standard of Practice in Therapeutic Prescribing. To book an appointment for naturopathic therapy, diagnostic testing, dietary assessment, or intravenous therapy, please contact Dr. Meera Dossa, ND at 647-705-1242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.