October 2000

Debbie Andriaccio

by Joseph RADDER

Andriaccio.jpg (9653 bytes)

No, it’s not “Mini-Me” as in the recent Austin Powers movie, but according to Debbie Andriaccio, mini-meals may mean minimizing the signs of aging. Citing studies done at Tufts University in Boston, Debbie indicates that experts believe that many smaller meals lead to smaller swings in blood sugar levels, which, in healthy women, could mean slower aging. It’s believed that high levels of blood sugar experienced by meals of 500 calories or more may set the stage for damage to collagen and DNA, accelerating the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and cataracts. Blood sugar levels are slower to return to normal levels after higher calorie meals or snacks.

Because high insulin is believed to contribute to heart disease, snacking your way to health is one way to beat the odds. Debbie, a Certified Personal Trainer with Alessi Personal Fitness in Buffalo, suggests that instead of eating three regular meals or a light breakfast and lunch followed by a big dinner, change to a pattern of 5 to 7 “minimeals.” Each minimeal should consist of approximately 250 calories, and she offers these suggestions:

1.) 1 cup raisin bran, 1 cup skim milk, hot tea (250 calories)
2.) 1 cup orange juice with calcium, 1/2 whole wheat bagel, 2 teaspoons light cream cheese (250 calories)
3.) veggie burger, whole wheat hamburger roll, 1 tablespoon mustard, 10 sweet red pepper strips, sliced tomatoes, lettuce (250 calories)
4.) 1 cup instant lentil soup (220 calories)
5.) salad of 1 cup bulgar, 2 cups mixed veggies, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing (270 calories)
6.) apple, 1 1/2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1 sheet rye crispbread (255 calories)

Joseph Radder is a freelance writer.


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