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.

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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.

Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List

Personal note – while I post about reducing pesticides and GMOs in your diet, and I do try myself, I can’t say I’m perfect. Still I think it’s good to have these things in the back of your mind. For me I’m moving slowly with the change as I find ways that work for myself.

by Elizabeth Renter

Genetically modified foods have been shown to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environment, and despite growing opposition, more and more foods continue to be genetically altered. It’s important to note that steering clear of these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try to find other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured that the crops aren’t GMO. Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself. Until then, here are the top 10 worst GMO foods for your “do not eat” GMO foods list.

Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List

1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.

2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, there was 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate sprayed on soybeans alone.

3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of it’s sugarbeets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval.

4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.

5. Papayas: This one may come as a surprise to all of you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they can’t be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada.

6. Canola: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.

7. Cotton: Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in India and China in particular has serious risks.

8. Dairy: Your dairy products may contain growth hormones, since as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact, Monasnto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you must drink milk, buy organic.

9. and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses.

The dangers of some of these foods are well-known. The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, for example, was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies. But perhaps more frightening are the risks that are still unknown.

With little regulation and safety tests performed by the companies doing the genetic modifications themselves, we have no way of knowing for certain what risks these lab-created foods pose to us outside of what we already know.

The best advice: steer clear of them altogether.

via Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List.

Nutrition For Skin Collagen | LIVESTRONG.COM

Had a fun question about nutrition and skin collagen. While we haven’t learned about that yet in my classes, I thought this was an interesting article about it.

Nutrition For Skin Collagen | LIVESTRONG.COM

Photo Credit Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

Collagen is the elastic-like fibers that make up the dermis, the layer of skin underneath the topmost layer of skin. Certain factors, such as aging, smoking and lack of sleep, can cause the collagen to break down. This results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Fortunately, positive nutrition choices can help improve and rebuild collagen.

EAT MORE FISH

The Good Housekeeping website suggests eating more cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. These types of fish contain large amounts of protein, which makes up collagen. In addition, cold-water fish contain a fatty acid called omega-3. This fatty acid helps boost collagen production, helping it to stay plump and improving the texture of the skin. For maximum benefits, eat at least two servings of cold-water fish per week.

Best skin cream Clinically Tested And Reviewed By Dermatologists And Nutritionists. GarnierUSA.com/Skincare

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WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK

Dr. Albert Kligman in the book “Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins” explains that alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate the skin, damaging collagen and causing skin irritation, wrinkles and puffiness. Instead, concentrate on drinking at least four glasses of water every day. If you are exercising or sweating heavily, drink more water. Staying hydrated can replenish the skin’s moisture, helping collagen to sustain any damage caused by poor dietary choices or daily environmental exposure.

EAT SOY

Add more soy to your diet. Soy can be found in a variety of products such as meat substitutes, cheese products, beverages, shakes, cereals and nutrition bars. Soy contains an isoflavone called genistein. Genistein can not only help boost collagen production, it can help block the enzymes that attack and break it down. In addition, soy products can help improve collagen that was damaged by aging or excessive sun exposure.

EAT VITAMIN-C RICH FOODS

Vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, oranges and other citrus fruits, are essential to collagen. These types of foods can help rebuild and maintain collagen, helping to reduce signs of aging. Vitamin C is especially important if you smoke. This is because cigarette smoke tends to deplete the body of vitamin C, break down collagen and promoting wrinkles and other skin problems.

via Nutrition For Skin Collagen | LIVESTRONG.COM.

High-Tech Shortcut To Greek Yogurt Leaves Purists Fuming : \ NPR

My takeaway – I buy greek yogurt because it’s a simple food. If you agree, always check the back of the label to make sure there are no weird additives.

EnlargeBenjamin Morris/NPR

America’s food companies are masters of technology. They massage tastes and textures to tickle our palates. They find ways to imitate expensive foods with cheaper ingredients.

And sometimes, that technological genius leads to controversy. Continue reading

Experimentation time! Beets…

20120801-111050.jpgSo in honor of finally making it to my local green market, I decided to pick up a vegetable I’d never prepared before – but love – beets.

Apparently they’re one of those “power” foods. Here’s why:

  • high in vitamin C, potassium, niacin, pantothenic acid, and B-6.
  • Raw beets are high in folates
  • low in calories
  • contain phytonutrients which provide antioxidants and help inflammation
  • recent studies have shown regularly consuming them can shrink tumors
  • some great other facts found here
  • Also their greens have great nutrition too! (next step for me will be figuring out what to do with those…)

So since I’m new to cooking beets I decided to go easy!

  • I cut off the tops of the beets, coated with olive oil and tossed into the oven at 425 for 40 minutes or until tender. (I had no idea what that meant, so I poked mine with a knife and it went in easily.)
  • Let cool, rub off skin (I used latex gloves. Don’t need red hands at my shoot tomorrow…)
  • and chop into cubes. Voila!  From there I’ve seen recipes saying to splash with lemon juice or toss in some goat cheese or feta. Have fun with it. (yeah I really just said to have fun with beets…)
  • Ps – it’s jack russell approved. 

Watching your salt? Check the ingredients in your chicken!

20120731-183434.jpgSomething I wasn’t aware of until a couple of years ago was just made very visibly apparent.

Sometimes brands will ‘plump’ up chicken breasts by injecting saline solution. Once I found out about this practice I always have made a point to buy my frozen chicken at Trader Joe’s, but grabbed a bag at Costco when I had run out the other day.

I was marinating some chicken breast when I noticed all of these holes. Kinda creepy, isn’t it?

For more information, here’s a great article from Cooking Light –

The Hidden Sodium in Chicken

One chicken breast could eat up 20% of your sodium limit—before you even start to cook.

Chicken

  • NONENHANCED POULTRY (per 4 ounces raw)
    Sodium:
     45 to 70mg
    Fine print says: “Contains 1 to 5% retained water.” (This is water that may be absorbed during the chilling process; it’s not injected, and no salt is added.)   ENHANCED POULTRY (per 4 ounces raw)
    Sodium: 330 to 440mg
    Fine print says: “Enhanced with up to 15% chicken broth, salt, and carrageenan.”

“As American as boneless, skinless chicken breast” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “American as apple pie,” but it’s far more appropriate: We eat an average of 87 pounds of chicken per year, up 81% from 48 pounds in 1980. This makes the plumping practice in poultry processing even more troubling.

About one-third of the fresh chicken found in supermarket meat cases has been synthetically saturated with a mix of water, salt, and other additives via needle injections and high-pressure vacuum tumbling. The process is designed to make naturally lean poultry meat juicier and more tender. A 4-ounce serving of what the industry calls “enhanced” poultry can contain as much as 440mg sodium. That’s nearly one-fifth of the current 2,300mg daily sodium allotment—from a source you’d never suspect.

Continue reading

Dietary Fiber: Insoluble and Soluble Fiber

What’s the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

Insoluble fiber stays mostly intact in your GI tract, adding bulk and pushing things along. Helps prevent diverticulitis. (Little pouches int he lining of your GI tract that can collect food)

Sources: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel (ever try Metamucil and let it sit for more than 10 seconds?) The gel slows down digestion and makes you feel fuller. It also helps blood sugar levels and aids in reducing cholesterol. 

Sources: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

How much? 

The USDA currently recommends about 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories a day.

Daily Vitamins – don’t over do it – Women’s Health Magazine

Daily Vitamins: Don’t Overload Your System

Dietary supplements are easy to overdo, make sure you know the proper dosage

At the rate vitamins and minerals are being added to food, it won’t be long until fortified Jelly Bellys hit the market—oh wait, they already have. The National Institutes of Health warns of the dangers of too many vitamins. “Quite a few people who take a multivitamin and eat a healthy diet are getting twice what they need,” says Diane Birt, Ph.D., director of the Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements at Iowa State University. And that can be dangerous.

Here are five nutrients people often get too much of. Check out the dosage you’re getting from the fortified foods you eat and the vitamins you take and make sure your intake falls within the recommended range for dietary supplements<.

Calcium

RDA 1,000 mg

Top Limit 2,500 mg

The risk Watch out for calcium-fortified Tums or calcium-fortified chocolates. Too much calcium can lead to kidney stones, calcium deposits in your arteries, and, ironically, weakened bones. That’s because an excess of calcium prevents absorption of other nutrients necessary for bone health, such as magnesium, says Mark Woodin, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology and environmental health at Tufts University in Boston.

Beta-Carotene

Recommended daily amount (RDA) not established

Top Limit not established

The risk Smokers (and inhalers of secondhand smoke) beware: When beta-carotene taken in supplement form mixes with cigarette smoke, it changes from an antioxidant that wards off cancer to a harmful pro-oxidant that ups the risk of lung cancer. Get the nutrient through foods like carrots and sweet potatoes rather than pills.

Iron

RDA 18 mg

Top Limit 45 mg

The risk Studies show that high blood levels of iron (found in meats, spinach, lentils, and soybeans) may be a risk factor for heart disease. Iron also competes with important minerals like copper for absorption in the body, says Roberta Anding, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Vitamin A

RDA 700 mcg

Top Limit 3,000 mcg

The risk Too much vitamin A can cause liver problems, diminished bone density, and birth defects, says Martha Belury, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at The Ohio State University. Since you get the vitamin A you need through foods like milk, eggs, carrots, and peppers, a supplement isn’t necessary.

Zinc

RDA 8 mg

Top Limit 40 mg

The risk An overdose of zinc can lead to upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle spasms. It isn’t hard to max out when some lozenges for cold relief deliver between 46 and 50 milligrams a day, according to ConsumerLab, an independent firm that verifies commercial claims.

via Nutritional Supplements: Dietary Supplement Guidelines | Women’s Health Magazine.

Way to Burn Calories in the City

Way to Burn Calories in the City.

I know I usually focus on nutrition, but fitness is the other half of the puzzle. I try to workout everyday – usually a jog, bike ride around the park or to an errand, pilates, yoga or weight training. And for me this article hits close to home. Both times I’ve moved to NYC I immediately dropped 5 pounds from all of the walking.

  • Take the stairs: No need to schedule time on the Stairmaster, take advantage of the real deal! Instead of using the elevator to go a few floors up, use the stairs. As tempting as escalators may look, do the moving yourself. You’d be surprised by all the leg-toning opportunities.
  • Bike around town: Spending 20-30 minutes on your bike will burn off your morning breakfast, and chances are that is just about the time it takes to get to work! Use your bike the next time you run errands to avoid the hassle of parking and save yourself the headache of traffic. Worried about the safety of your bike? Follow these tips in properly locking up your wheels.
  • Avoid shortcuts: You may have mastered the quickest way to get from point A to point B in your city (like those secret alleys) but stick to the main path. Going the longer route will have you walking more, thus burning more. It might take a little extra time, but it won’t be that bad when you start to see results.
  • Continue reading