We love Q&A episodes! In episode 49, we answer your questions about caffeine, prediabetes, best diets and must-have kitchen gadgets.
Q: What diet is the best diet for me?
A: The diet you like and can be consistent on that gets you to your goals! Find your "food personality" and try a diet that matches it. For example, if you really like vegetables and don't eat a lot of meat, try a plant-based diet. Remember, diet is simply the foods you eat, so find a diet that is mostly healthy, minimally processed foods. If you love to indulge in desserts, snack foods or fast food, try a macro diet (having goal numbers for the macros- carbs, fat and protein, and tracking these daily) or an 80:20 diet, eating 80% unprocessed foods and 20% "treat" foods.
Q: My Dr. said my blood sugar was high but I don’t have diabetes. What does that mean?
A: It most likely means that you have prediabetes. This happens when blood sugar tests, typically a fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1C, are above normal but below the diabetes range. For fasting glucose, the prediabetes range is 100 to 125 mg/dL. For hemoglobin A1C, the prediabetes range is 5.7% to 6.4%. To prevent prediabetes from becoming diabetes, it is recommended to at least 5% to 10% of current body weight (if overweight with a body mass index over 25) and exercise at least 150 minutes per week, incorporating cardio and resistance training. For example, walk 3 days per week for 30 minutes and resistance train with weights 2 days per week for 30 minutes. As for diet, most people will find their blood sugars improve when they cut back on carbohydrate intake. Use an app like My Macros or My Fitness Pal to track your carbohydrate intake. These lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on health and greatly reduce the chance of developing diabetes!
Q: What kitchen tools could you not live without?
A: Emily has a video answering this question! Check it out here. In addition, Mindy’s must-haves are kitchen shears aka scissors (I keep at least 3 pairs in the kitchen for opening bags, cutting parchment paper, chopping lettuce, and more!), tongs for tossing, turning and serving food, Microplane graters and a small blender like the Magic Bullet or Ninja for smoothies and small tasks.
Q: Is coffee good for you? How much caffeine can I have in one day?
A: When we consider all of the studies over the years, it appears that black coffee has more benefits than possible harm. It is recommended that adults have no more than 400 mg caffeine per day, which is approximately the amount in 4 cups of home brewed coffee. If you are hitting the Starbucks drive-thru though, watch out. A 12-ounce black coffee from Starbucks has 234 mg caffeine. A regular frozen, sweetened espresso drink (aka Frappuccino) however has only 82 mg caffeine in 12 ounces because, as you know, those drinks are mostly sugar!