And I’ll bet the sweeps, on that!

By Dr. Andrea Buckett

Q:  Why is it better to eat smaller meals more often than the traditional 3 meals a day?     Xiong – Macau, China

AB:  Eating smaller meals every 3.5 to 4 hours has many benefits.   It keeps you energized by stabilizing your blood sugar levels, Xiong.  This allows you to be more mentally alert and keeps your metabolism boosted.  Eating 4 or 5 small meals per day keeps your metabolic rate stoked.  Eating healthy balanced meals in this way can help control diabetes, help you to lose weight and, most of all, give you the energy you require to get through the day.

Q:  I find that I am bloated after I eat a meal.  Do you have any suggestions?  Vladmina – Kiev, Ukraine

AB:  There are a few reasons why you may be suffering like this, Vladmina.  For some people, the digestive enzymes that break our food down are diminished.  Sometimes taking an oral digestive enzyme supplement before a meal can help with this.  The other answer may lie in food intolerances or allergies.  Every body is different so it may be good to get tested through a naturopathic doctor.  Otherwise – you yourself may know foods that irritate your body.  The most common – soy, dairy, wheat.  Finally, sit down and relax when you enjoy a meal giving your body the time it needs to digest everything you put in.

Q:  Why is it important to stop eating 3 hours before going to bed?  Donna – Saskatchewan, Canada

A.B:  Donna, those trying to lose weight often use this rule.  If you are an evening snacker you may consume more calories while watching the tube than at any other part of the day.  Ultimately, the equation for losing weight is simple – burn more calories than you take in – regardless of what time of day they are consumed.  A better reason to not eat before bed is so you have a more restful sleep.  While you are sleeping, your body should be repairing and regenerating.  Not digesting a meal.

Q:  Is popcorn a healthy snack? Andrew – Nashville, USA

A:  While air popped popcorn with minimal butter can be tasty and relatively low in calories – it’s not the most balanced snack.  Andrew, popcorn is high on the glycemic index, which means it breaks down into sugar very quickly.  It has a rating similar to white bread and potatoes.  So once in a while this treat is great – but don’t make it a regular snack choice.

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