Can ‘Negative-Calorie’ Foods Help You Lose Weight?

by

Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN, CNS: Can 'Negative-Calorie' Foods Help You Lose Weight?

Well, yes and no. Digesting food burns calories. And it’s true that a few foods, such as grapefruit and celery, contain fewer calories than it takes to digest them. So, when you eat these foods, you actually burn more calories than you take in. Thus, the term “negative-calorie foods.”

Theoretically, the more negative-calorie foods I eat, the more weight I lose! How great is that? Now all I need is a job that pays me more the less I do, and a bank account that gets bigger the more I spend!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Here’s why: When nutritionists estimate how many calories you should eat, we’re already taking into consideration how many calories you burn chewing and digesting your food. The “negative-calorie diet” essentially subtracts those calories twice. That’s the kind of accounting that will make you bounce checks (or get you a really good job on Wall Street).

How Negative-Calorie Foods Help You Lose Weight

But will eating a whole bunch of celery and grapefruit speed your weight loss? Only if you eat them instead of brownies and potato chips. In other words, you can’t eat a brownie and then burn off the calories by chasing it with a hundred sticks of celery. The only way to make this work is to eat the hundred sticks of celery first. Then, with any luck, you’ll be too full to eat the brownie.

Replacing high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods will help you lose weight because it reduces your overall calorie intake. Of course, you can also lose weight by exercising, which burns calories. But digesting negative-calorie foods does not constitute an exercise program. Take it from me: A half-hour spent on the treadmill or bike is going to burn a lot more calories than a half-hour spent digesting celery.

Those lists of negative-calorie foods you’ll find on the Internet are simply lists of low-calorie foods. And, if you’re dieting, these kinds of foods are your friends. To that end, here’s a list of “negative-calorie foods.” But take this list with a grain of salt: I’m afraid that a negative-calorie diet is, indeed, to good to be true.

via Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN, CNS: Can ‘Negative-Calorie’ Foods Help You Lose Weight?.

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Discovery Fit & Health Insider

While reading this I have a bowl of pumpkin with some cinnamon, stevia and ff whip on top. Mmmm! eat up!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Pumpkin

10/17/2012

Halloween is right around the corner, and for some of us, we’re prepping by picking our own pumpkins to become jack-o-lanterns in our haunted homes. But pumpkins also make tasty treats. So in this often high calorie season, here are six reasons why you should indulge in your favorite pumpkin treats!

Remember: You are what you eat, and in this case, that’s a good thing!

#6 – Pumpkins are actually low-calorie

Most people associate pumpkins with their delicious Thanksgiving time treat – pumpkin pie. However, what people don’t know is that one cup of pumpkin is only 49 calories. The fiber content of the veggie is also extremely high which, in addition to other health benefits, helps dieters lose those extra pounds.

#5 – It can make your skin look better

The “meat” of the pumpkin contains vitamins A, C and E which help keep skin healthy and glowing. Pumpkin also contains carotenoids, or colorful plant pigments that the body converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent wrinkles and keeps your complexion radiant.

#4 — Pumpkin consumption can decrease your likelihood for cancer

The same carotenoids are great in helping to prevent cancer and heart disease. These combined with other antioxidants make pumpkins an excellent food to consume if you have a family history of cancer or reason to be concerned.

#3 — Pumpkins are good for your eyes

Pumpkins are packed with fiber, magnesium, potassium (more so than bananas!), zinc, iron and lutein – all of which work to improve individuals’ eyesight. Move over carrots, there’s a new orange veggie in town!

#2 — Pumpkins have anti-inflammatory properties

High in beta carotene, pumpkins exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. This is great for people suffering from arthritis, muscle sprains, painful periods, and other conditions that may be treated with painkillers.

#1 — Pumpkin is a superfood

There isn’t really any one definition for what a superfood is, other than the idea that superfoods are a type of food that offer more than just basic nutrition.Because pumpkins are packed with nutrients and vitamins, they are considered an important veggie to work into your diet. Just be sure not to load yours up with butter, salt, or sugar!

By: Jen Wolfe

via Discovery Fit & Health Insider.

Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon

(excerpts from it.. it got a bit too unscientific for me for me at some points). I drink water with lemon everyday. I have to say, despite being in crowded subways, I haven’t had a cold since I started the practice. Probably a total coincidence, but our mind is a lot of how we feel!

Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.

It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:

1. Boosts you’re immune system

Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.

2. Balances pH

Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.

3. Helps with weight loss

Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.

4. Aids digestion

The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.

5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic

Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.

6. Clears skin

The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.

7. Hydrates the lymph system

This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!

Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.

Like I said, the recipe is really simple—a cup of warm (not hot) water and the juice from half a lemon.

via Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon.

9 of the Healthiest Fall Fruits and Veggies | Healthy Eating | Washingtonian

Happy Fall today everyone!!!!

 

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It’s time for fall foods, and pumpkins, apples, and other delicious fruits and vegetables are great sources of vital nutrients. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Autumn is just around the corner, and we’re already loving the cooler weather. But there are a few things we will miss: summer produce, like a ripe avocado and juicy berries. Luckily, fall has its own bounty, with crisp apples and colorful squash. Local nutrition experts gave us the lowdown on what fall fruits and vegetables to stock up on this season and their favorite ways to eat them.

Artichokes

This early fall vegetable is packed with heart-protective nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants, including anthocyanins, cynarin, and silymarin. In fact, the USDA ranked it seventh in its listing of produce with the highest antioxidant levels. Says GW Medical Faculty associate senior nutritionist and registered dietitian Claire Lebrun, “Artichokes are great for weight loss, as they take time to eat and pack ten grams of fiber each.”

How to eat: Try them steamed with garlic, lemon, and olive oil. Or, try them pureed into a nutritious dip with spinach, parmesan, garlic and Greek yogurt.

Nutritionists and dietitians dish about why these summer foods are their favorites.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Frozen Produce

Expert Katie Heddleston shares tips for selecting and preparing frozen fruits and vegetables.

Parnsips

A favorite of registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, parsnips have more vitamins and minerals than carrots, a relative. Scritchfield, who specializes in sports nutrition and weight management, says parsnips are great for runners and endurance athletes, thanks to their nutrient profile: 50 calories and 300 milligrams of potassium in just half a cup.

How to eat: Try roasting them or cooking them in a zesty vegetable chili.

Brussels Sprouts

Sure, they’re not always popular with kids, but “Brussels sprouts provide a boatload of nutrients and are especially high in vitamins K and C,” explains dietitian Rima Kleiner.

How to eat: She recommends sautéing them with a little olive oil, sage, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts. Or serve them on salads, with scrambled eggs, or alongside oven-baked fish and chips.

Butternut Squash

“The taste just makes me think of autumn,” says Cheryl Harris of Harris Whole Health. It’s a great source of vitamin A, C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium and can decrease your chances of catching a cold or flu.

How to eat: It goes well with seasonal spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Also try it roasted, tossed into a stew, lasagna, bread, or butternut pie.

Honeycrisp Apple

This is a top vote for almost all of the nutrition experts. Says Danielle Omar, “Crispy and sweet with a hint of tart, it’s nature’s perfect afternoon pick-me-up!”

How to eat: For some extra spice, sprinkle on some cinnamon and bake for a healthy dessert, says Elana Natker.

Acorn Squash

“It’s so naturally sweet!” says Robyn Webb of her favorite fall vegetable. It’s extremely low in saturated fat and high in fiber, vitamins A and B6, folate, and magnesium, making it great for weight loss.

How to eat: Webb loves it roasted in chunks lightly coated in honey and walnut oil.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin’s reputation has increased by leaps and bounds over the years, thanks to its tasty take on a latte. Stephanie Mull says its slightly sweet flavor makes it versatile, which is why it works as an addition to so many recipes. So whether you bake it in muffins, bread, pie, or pancakes, you’ll be adding vitamins A and C, fiber, magnesium, and zinc to your diet.

How to eat: Another good tip from Kait Fortunato: Add a can of pumpkin to a chili or soup to “give it a thick, hearty flavor without adding creams and other high-calorie sauces.”

Mushrooms

These little guys are available year round, but their peak season is fall and winter. They’re packed with nutrition, including B vitamins, the essential mineral selenium, and antioxidants.

How to eat: Try white button or portobello mushrooms, says Joy Dubost.

Endive

Endive don’t just make a pretty appetizer; they’re also rich in folate, which is highly recommended for pregnant women.

How to eat: Try Shelley Alspaugh’s endive salad, which includes chopped endive, blue cheese, pecans, olive oil, vinegar, and another favorite fall fruit of hers, pears.

via 9 of the Healthiest Fall Fruits and Veggies | Healthy Eating | Washingtonian.

The Healthiest Foods at the Grocery Store | Women’s Health Magazine

Your Groceries Are About to Get A Whole Lot Healthier

These supermarket finds are convenient and time-saving, but not at the expense of your abs or your taste buds. Here, sneak a peak at some of this year’s 125 Best Packaged Foods:

(click through below to women’s health’s website)

via The Healthiest Foods at the Grocery Store | Women’s Health Magazine.

ANOTHER organic benefits article…

I’m mostly posting it again because.. Human sludge??? I feel like there’s some new interesting (and sometimes disgusting) facts here.

organic foodA recent organic foods study out of Stanford University elicited news headlines like this: Organic Food No More Nutritious Than Non-OrganicStudy Questions How Much Better Organic Food Is, and Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce. Those headlines alone may make you wonder, “Is organic really worth it?”

While the study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, could sway some people to bypass the organic aisle during their next supermarket trip, critics of the study say it fails to address the huge public health perks associated with organic food. “The study highlighted the lack of nutritional differences between organic and conventional foods. We think this is a misleading framework for evaluating the benefits of organic foods,”explains Sonya Lunder, senior research analyst at Environmental Working Group, a consumer watchdog group focused on protecting human and environmental health. “The nutritional component is not the reason most consumers choose organic.”

See all of the nasty stuff you avoid when you choose organic…

1. Pesticides in the Food Chain
The facts: While not a main point of the Stanford study, researchers did conclude that organic food contained significantly lower levels of pesticide residues, something previous research suggests could help protect kids from autism and ADHD, among other ills. United States Department of Agriculture testing routinely finds pesticide residues considered unsafe for children on conventionally grown—not organic—produce samples, including apples, peaches, plums, pears, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and raisins. “Parents don’t want their children to serve as human guinea pigs for chemical corporations,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, director of farm and food policy for The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group.

The organic advantage: Eating organic coincides with a massive drop in disease-causing pesticides in your body. “The enormous benefit of eating organic produce is that it reduces pesticide exposure by 90 percent. This has been proven in studies conducted at Harvard, the University of Washington, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” explains pediatrician Phil Landrigan, MD, professor and chair of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “Reduction of exposure to pesticides reduces risk of neurological injury and certain cancers. I advise my patients to choose organic whenever possible.”

2. Killer Superbug Infections
The facts: Antibiotic-resistant superbugs kill more than 90,000 people a year, with MRSA alone killing more people in American than AIDS. The overuse of antibiotics in farming helps spur the growth of these hard-to-kill and sometimes-fatal infections. Tests of supermarket meats routinely find superbug germs, meaning that improperly cooking the meat or failing to wipe off your countertop correctly could put you in a life-threatening situation.

The organic advantage: Antibiotic-resistant superbug germs are far less likely to be found on organic meat because organic bans the use of antibiotics. You’re more than 30 percent less likely to come in contact with superbugs in the meat supply when you choose organic.

3. Poisonous Rain
The facts: More than 17,000 pesticide products are on the market, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has required testing for less than 1 percent of the chemicals currently used in commerce. Even tiny amounts of America’s most popular weed killer glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can damage DNA and kill cells, and have been linked to infertility and certain cancers. Farmers spray so much glyphosate that it’s taken up into the air and returns to the soil in chemical-laced rain, according to U.S. Geological Service research.

The organic advantage: Organic bans the use of chemical pesticides, keeping them not just out of your food, but also your community’s water, air, and rain.

4. Human Sewage Sludge
The facts: It’s perfectly legal for nonorganic farmers to douse human sewage sludge taken from municipal water treatment plants to fertilize nonorganic fields. The sludge could contain whatever morgues, residences, and industrial parks decide to put down the drain. Scientists have detected shampoo chemicals in nonorganic tomatoes and hypothesize that sewage sludge is partly to blame.

The organic advantage: Organic certification bans the use of sewage sludge. Organic fertilizing methods rely more on regulated compost or cover crops—plants grown during the off season and tilled or crimped back onto the soil.

5. GMOs
The facts: Scientists have never studied the long-term health effects of eating genetically engineered material, but that hasn’t stopped nonorganic farmers from planting GMO crops since the 1990s. Most GMOs are manipulated to withstand high doses of chemical pesticides—some of which wind up inside of the food we eat. Currently, up to 90 percent of nonorganic processed foods contain GMO material.

The organic advantage: Preliminary research suggests GMOs could be causing digestive disease, accelerated aging, obesity, and a rise in food allergies. Organic explicitly bans the use of GMOs.

6. The Drugged Meat Market
The facts: About 80 percent of all antibiotics used in this country go to feed conventional livestock because it not only prevents disease, but helps fatten the animals up faster. North Carolina livestock alone ingest more antibiotics annually than the entire U.S. human population. USDA researchers routinely detect antibiotics in meat, and new science suggests that could be making humans gain weight, too.

The organic advantage: Organic bans the use of antibiotics. It also bans the use of feeding animal byproducts to livestock, and requires that farm animals eat food grown without pesticides and GMO seeds.

7. Freaky Food Additives
The facts: Conventional processed foods are little packaged science experiments, and your family members are guinea pigs. We could be paying a big price for flashy foods—certain food dyes are linked to brain cell damage and ADHD.

The organic advantage: Instead of using chemicals derived from petrochemicals, organic manufacturers often turn to natural colorants like beet juice.

8. Unstable Food Prices
The facts: The worst drought to hit America in a half decade is decimating U.S. crops, particularly corn, causing unstable food prices. Although chemically dependent GMO crops are advertised as being drought tolerant, researchers have found that adding chemicals to the soil actually makes it harder for plants to get through extended dry periods unscathed.

The organic advantage: Long-term experiments at the Rodale Institute, an organic research farm in Pennsylvania, found that, during normal weather, organic and conventional farming produce about the same amount of food [Editor’s note: Rodale is the publisher of Women’s Health]. But when weather starts to act up, organic wins out, producing 30 percent more in years of drought. That’s because organic soil is alive with beneficial bacteria, and the soil acts like a sponge to hold water in reserve during drought. (The healthy soil also helps prevent flooding.)

cure colds and flu | 25 Foods That Fight Cold & Flu | Rodale News

As the seasons change we start getting those obnoxious bugs! Click through for some ideas of what to add to your diet to prevent them. I squeeze a lemon in my water everyday. It’s packed with vitamin C, makes the water taste yummier, and is low in calories.

cure colds and flu | 25 Foods That Fight Cold & Flu | Rodale News

25 Foods That Fight Cold & Flu

Millions of Americans get the cold or flu each year. But you can combat both with a knife and your spice grinder.

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits, is an antioxidant that can reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent, studies have found. A review of 21 studies found that just 1 to 8 grams (1,000 to 8,000 milligrams) of the vitamin will do the trick, which you can get from supplements or from citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. For some people, high amounts of vitamin C can cause digestive problems, so cut back on your dose if symptoms arise.

via cure colds and flu | 25 Foods That Fight Cold & Flu | Rodale News.

One Small Change: Eat Better and Eat More at the Same Time | Healthy Eats

One Small Change: Eat Better and Eat More at the Same Time

by jmachowsky in Healthy TipsComments (3)

Ever wonder how some people can just eat  all day and never gain weight? While some are just born with a naturally high metabolism (thank your parents), the vast majority of us frequent eaters must choose foods that give us the nutrients and energy we need to function throughout the day for less calories.

Notice it’s not about less food, but less calories. “Nutrient density” represents a food’s nutrient bang for its calorie buck. Understanding nutrient density and learning how to choose nutrient dense foods is the key to eating better . . . and more.

An example: Let’s say you want a snack. Consider one of these three options:

A candy bar

A low-fat yogurt, medium peach and a few almonds

15 baby carrots, a whole 10 oz. package of cherry tomatoes, a full bunch of celery and a couple tablespoons of hummus or low-fat dressing

You could eat the first option very easily and possibly still be hungry (or crash) an hour later. You’d probably be satisfied with the second.  How about the third option, sound like a bit much? Sound like it’s impossible to eat at one sitting? That’s the point.

All three of these snacks have one thing in common: the calories; each has about 250-275.  But the second two options provide you with a lot more food to eat than the first. Which means you can eat a bunch more throughout the day and have the same or fewer calories. And when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight.

Furthermore, nutrient dense foods provide you with tons of nutrients (i.e. water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.) that help keep you full and prevent you from “crashing” during the day. And you get to eat more of them every few hours to boot. You can truly never go hungry again, as long as you choose the right foods.

So what are the most nutrient dense foods?  That’s right, fruits and veggies (maybe the example gave it away?).  For some of my clients, our initial goal is to eat more fruits and veggies, rather than eliminating any foods. By eating more produce, you will likely eat better anyways since they:

Displace other, higher-calorie foods from your diet.

Leave more food over at meals because you got full sooner.

Are less affected by temptations and cravings since the fruits and veggies help stabilize your blood sugars and reduce hunger pangs.

Even if you don’t want to eat fruits and vegetables all the time, ask yourself at every meal: “What can I get more nutrients in for fewer calories?” Sometimes it’s as simple as ordering a leaner cut of meat or getting a baked potato without as much butter, sour cream or bacon.

My challenge to you: For the next month, have at least one fruit- or vegetable-based snack every day. Some example would be celery and hummus, an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, carrots and low-fat dressing or low-fat yogurt with some berries.

Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSCS is a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, author of Savor Fitness & Nutrition wellness blog and avid proponent of MyBodyTutor, a health coaching website dedicated to helping people stay consistent with their healthy eating and exercise goals.

via One Small Change: Eat Better and Eat More at the Same Time | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog.

6 reasons to give up diet soda | Well+Good NYC

Do you have a dirty little dietary secret? And is it called Diet Coke?

For lots of healthy types, the frequently stated fact that Diet Coke might be “empty calories” actually goes down just fine compared to office cupcakes, which they’re not regularly scarfing.

And reaching for a diet soda fits nicely into the “allowable-exceptions” category of a healthy New York lifestyle. You know, along with a glass of Sancerre, the occasional dinner at Eataly, and watching the Real Housewives.

But should you allow Diet Coke a free pass? (Ditto: Housewives.)

Studies abound that caution against drinking diet soda

While sipping diet soda seems harmless, especially in the context of a generally healthy life, a surprising number of substantial studies show the opposite, that drinking Diet Coke and Aspartame can greatly interfere with your health.

As Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, found last year, “[Diet soda] may be free of calories, but not of consequences.” And she wasn’t talking about the caffeine.

Interpreting the data of two studies, Dr. Hazuda pointed out that it caused a blood sugar spike in mice, and suggested that diet sodas may inhibit the signal that tells you when you’re full.

Here are 6 more reasons to give up diet soda:

1. It messes with your skin. Diet Coke lowers your pH levels, which can cause acne, and zap you of radiance. We need a high level of alkalinity for our bodies to be healthy and expressed in our glowing complexion, explains Dr. Jeanette Graf, author of Stop Aging, Start Living: The Revolutionary 2-Week pH Diet. As Dr. Graf told us recently, “If there’s one thing you should never consume, it’s soda. Soda is an extreme acid-forming substance which will lower your pH level dramatically.”

2. It alters your mood. The mood-food connection is ever-rising, and Aspartame in Diet Coke can really do a doozey on those with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Aspartame is also on an EPA list of potentially dangerous chemicals contributing to neurotoxicity, right under Arsenic. So that’s kind of saying it could alter your brain, too.

3. Weight gain and belly fat. Ironically, we actually gain weight from Diet Coke. Two servings or more a day increases waistline by 500%, found two 2011 studies conducted by the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.

4. It causes diabetes and heart disease. When waist circumference (belly fat) increases, this contributes to diabetes and heart disease, which a 2010 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine confirmed.

5. It makes your kidneys sluggish. Diet soda may interfere with the kidneys, found the Harvard Nurse’s Study, which reported a 30% drop in kidney function with just two servings of diet soda each day.

6. Aspartame’s been linked to cancer. A lot. Aspartame is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA while substantial data has shown its link to cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) cautions against Aspartame because it’s poorly tested, and contains three well-recognized neurotoxins. Aspartame was found to increase cancer risk if exposure begins in the womb, reported a study at the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center. And various studies have linked lymphoma and tumors in rats. And beware the BPA of cans and caramel coloring, reports Grist.

Kind of takes the fizz out of it, right?

Do the best experiment out there—the one on your own body. We dare you to lower your soda intake for a week and see if you notice any changes in skin, weight, or mood. Report back in the Comments! —Jennifer Kass and Melisse Gelula

via 6 reasons to give up diet soda | Well+Good NYC.