Tagged: nutrition

Sluggish Start: The 5 Worst Breakfast Foods — Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic

5 Worst Breakfast Choices we thought were healthy

I know first thing in the a.m is not the best time to have to make smart decisions, however, it IS the most important time.  I have just had fits trying to find the most satisfying, yet healthy breakfast foods as lately, I am trying to seriously cut back on grains and whole wheat, so I started reverting back to a snack I learned from a physical therapist I used to work with; 1/2 cup cottage cheese (low fat),  less than a 1/4 cup steel cut whole oats (uncooked), with assorted berries and a sprinkle of raisins.  Like a wet granola, tasty and  not too bad for you.  Then I was told to cut out dairy, as I was recently diagnoses with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Well that took care of the wet granola breakfast.

Doughnut

1. Doughnut and pastries: A recipe for weight gain

Doughnuts will cost you 250–550 calories, but the 20–50 grams of sugar in each is the real problem. With such a huge amount of sugar in a small package, your body pumps out lots of insulin to accommodate. A huge blood sugar peak leads to an even bigger sugar crash. This extreme up-and-down leaves you hungry soon after your breakfast — and you’ll crave more refined carbs. It’s a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating that starts with the first doughnut.

Sausage biscuit

2. Sausage biscuit: Hypertension’s helper

The sausage biscuit is basically a saturated fat and sodium bomb nestled in a trans fat sleeping bag. If your blood vessels could talk, they would plead, “Please don’t do it to us!” as you place your order at the fast-food drive-through. The sky-high sodium in the highly processed sausage can make your blood pressure surge. If you have hypertension, it may increase your risk for stroke. Nitrates and nitrites in sausage have been linked to increased risk in certain cancers, too.

coffee

3. Flavored non-dairy creamer: A coffee disaster

If you think non-dairy creamer is a healthy option, think again. Many non-dairy creamers simply swap saturated fat for trans fat (check the label for “partially hydrogenated” oil), plus sugar and artificial sweeteners. Trans fat increases your risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing LDL cholesterol. Predictions say decreasing trans fat consumption by even a little could help prevent more than 10,000 deaths a year. To perk up your coffee, try unsweetened vanilla almond milk, low-fat milk or a small amount of chocolate milk instead.

cereal

4. Bright, sugary cereals: A rainbow of hyperactivity

Those magically colored kids’ cereals aren’t such a bright choice. The FDA has noted that food dyes may contribute to hyperactivity in children with ADHD, even if not in other children. A 2012 study backed up that idea but said more research is needed. The UK and EU recently banned food dyes in food manufacturing; perhaps you should ban the fake stuff from your breakfast table. Even if food coloring’s effects aren’t fully understood, these cereals are usually loaded with sugar — empty calories for your little ones.

5. Loaded bagel: An invitation for diabetes

Your body works hard to keep you functioning at night. Don’t thank it with inflammation-causing calories in the form of a bagel loaded with cream cheese or margarine. Except for the occasional 100 percent whole grain option, most bagels are 300–500 calories worth of starch. Slathering on cream cheese or butter adds more calories and saturated fat. Diets high in refined carbohydrates have been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so don’t make bagels a regular morning meal.

I’ve just recently returned from a nutrition class in Asheville, “Diabesity” is the new catch phrase, which to me, is stereotyping, however, mostly true.  Loved the speaker, highly educated and straight to the point.  Her healthful advise for a satisfying breakfast, or even snack later in the day;  3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt,  a variety of sliced/diced berries, or whichever is your favorite, and a 1/4 of a cup of chopped walnuts, squirting a little raw honey on this will make your children love it.   It is not as difficult as it sounds, you just have to want to be healthy and make a conscious effort to do it.  Your kids will learn through you, and seeing you make the effort for yourself and them, will instill good habits in their little heads.

 

8 Healthy Foods That Make You Fat

8 Healthy Foods that Make You Fat

Many foods considered to be healthy, can be a fat trap waiting to happen when we let our guard down.  Just because they are considered “healthy” does not mean eat to your hearts content.  Some just take common sense and possibly re-reading my Nutrition Trap article  (1/7/2014) to familiarize yourself with serving size and carb counts on packaged foods ie;  pasta, granola etc, and smart measuring on fruits and nuts before eating.  And by all means, do not eat all the high calorie dense foods in one day.  They are meant to be eaten sparingly as they carry loads of calories in a very small amount, these are considered “calorically dense foods” and will put weight on you.

The following list is from BioTrust Nutrition, (5/13/14).

Here are some “healthy” examples of calorically dense foods:

1. Granola – granola, especially the varieties mixed with nuts can pack as many as 500 cals per cup!

2. Pasta – a moderate 1 and 1/2 cups of most pastas yield more than 60 grams of carbs and almost 350 calories

3. Avocado – avocado is awesome and a great source of monounsaturated fat, but one single avocado is over 300 calories and 30 grams of fat

4. Nuts and Nut Butters – nuts are super healthy, but one of the most calorically dense foods around. A few ounces could mean 400+ calories

5. Fruit Juice and Smoothies – all fruit juices are loaded with sugar and so are most “smoothie” shop smoothies (make your own with whole fruit)

6. Dried Fruit – dried fruits remove the water content which dramatically decreases volume…what’s left is high in sugar and very calorically dense

7. “Whole Wheat” Breads – even the 100% whole wheat variety can pack a mean calorie punch if you’re eating a lot of grains as part of your diet

8. Whole Grain Bagels – a large “deli” bagel is loaded with carbs and calories, many times over 400 cals in a single bagel

While some of the foods above are only “thought” to be healthy (fruit juice, whole grain bagels, etc), stuff like nuts, nut butters, and avocado are foods that they recommend in just about everyone’s diet and they are indeed great choices, if used sparingly.  Personally, I’m staying away from as much whole wheat grains, bagels and breads as possible and even less of the pasta, however, that is a personal decision due to poor control of my sugar after eating, unless I jack up my pump.

That said, these calorically dense foods require that you monitor your intake of them closely. A few ounces of nuts, a couple tablespoons of nut butter, and an avocado is NOT a lot of food, but if you ate all of these every day, you’d be getting close to 1000 calories just right there.

So enjoy a treat now and again, allow yourself to enjoy them as a treat, a little at a time, not all you can eat food supply, and as always, monitor how YOUR blood sugars to see how your system handles these foods.  Remember, if something in high in fat, it takes longer to raise you blood sugar than a quick, simple sugar/carb.

 

Nutrition Traps

Nutrition Traps

It’s easy to go out to dinner and choose their “healthy choices” menu items, however, the most important question to ask is,  “healthy for whom?”  Of course, being a PWD for 45 yrs, I would naturally go for foods offering;  a.) less sugar,  b.)less fat,  c.)less carbohydrates,  d.)less fried,  and/or e.)less calories…???  The “healthy options are endless, and for the unknowing person, it can all be overwhelming.  This is why I stress “educating yourself”  learn to read nutrition labels on packages, learn the differences in fats, good carbs/bad carbs, and most importantly, learn that you are not protected by FDA who allows companies to make  false claims on food labels who say they are healthy if they fit “their”  guidelines of healthy.  (such as GMOs).  

Well, here are the  quickest solutions to this trick  question;   a.)  if there is less fat, there will be  more sugar added  for flavor,   b.)  if there  is less sugar, there will be more fat added for flavor,  c.) if there is a carb count, is it simple or complex carbs they’re eliminating,  or is it  the “other carbs”??  d.) pick broiled or baked  over fried anytime, however, if it must be fried, inquire on the kind of oil they are using,  e) less calories means almost nothing today,  unless you are sincerely using your calorie counter with each and everything you put  in your mouth, if it is one of those food “casserole” with hundreds of calories where someone could not decide which bad thing to put in, so they put  it all in,  just  SAY NO!  The point to know about fats;  saturated is the worst,  HINT, saturated is the fat that when left in room temperature, it forms a spongy, grayish layer over the top as it cools,  yumm!!  Followed by Trans fats,   Mono and polyunsaturated fat is safest, they are plant based not animal or chemical.    When doing your own cooking, (always the healthiest choice, but I know, it’s hard to find time) use pure virgin Olive Oil, and side note,  have been doing my own research on news of margarine being one molecule away from plastic, I am now convinced this is over exaggerated, however I will still use butter in small amounts.

When reading those nutrition labels,  make your self familiar with “serving size”  or servings  per container mainly because this is the number you must  multiply all the other numbers with for an accurate count.  I have a good appetite, some single serving containers that I could eat in an instant,  are actually packaged for 2 people, so those numbers must be doubled.  Yeah, it’s all a trick to make it appear healthy.

What about all those healthy yogurt commercials, yikes, don’t get me started.   The healthy weight, fat and sugar free variety may have no fat, but they are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, for added sweetness, (reread paragraph 2), which if you read my earlier post, is horrible for you. (Fructose, the Other Evil, 10/17/2013)  Syrupy fruits added, HFCS as well.  Probiotic yogurts fail to tell you that during the high heat processing, all the probiotic organism are killed, this in turn negates the “good” of the probiotics.    One solution given is getting Organic Plain Greek Yogurt, add some real honey, some fresh fruit and I add flaxseed for a nutty taste,  and enjoy.    Processed foods, chemical additives, some you don’t even realize are  chemicals, and sugar substitutes are all things to monitor.    This can, and should be done to keep you and your family healthy for many more years. (and it teaches good habits to youngsters.)

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