Nutrition News: Diet and Diabetes, Workplace Wellness, Soda Tax

by in Food News, June 24, 2016

Veg out (if only a little)

The advice to eat your veggies is better than ever. Eating just a few more servings of healthful plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains) and slightly fewer servings of animal-based foods (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) every day can significantly reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, a new study published in PLOS Medicine has found. Interestingly, while those who ate a plant-based diet with a modest amount of animal products lowered their Type 2 diabetes risk by 20 percent, the kind of plant-based foods they ate was key. Those who ate healthy plant-based foods saw a 34 percent drop in diabetes risk, while those who ate unhealthy plant-based foods (refined carbs, sugary foods, starchy veggies) actually slightly increased their Type 2 diabetes risk. “What we’re talking about is a moderate shift – replacing one or two servings of animal food a day with one or two plant-based foods,” senior author Frank Hu, a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The New York Times. Read more

Our Definitive Healthy-Burger List

by in Healthy Recipes, June 23, 2016

Try as we might to limit our caloric intake during the warm-weather months, there’s no getting around it: Summer feels incomplete if you don’t have a hearty burger in hand from time to time. But what if we told you there was a burger that is just as satisfying as the one you’ve had at your favorite barbecue or fast-food joint but won’t sabotage your summer health goals? Luckily, there is. Not just one, in fact, but 10 — in various permutations of smoky, grilled perfection. You aren’t dreaming. From savory beef and poultry burgers to hearty fish and vegetable patties, here’s a rundown of our favorites that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers
If you think you need to skip beef entirely in order to reduce calories, think again. Food Network Kitchen’s Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers take the guilt out of this summertime staple and weigh in at just under 400 calories per serving — roughly half of what you could expect from most fast-food options.

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Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Water Sports Edition

by in Fitness, Food and Nutrition Experts, June 22, 2016

Are water sports your activities of choice during the summer months? Along with kayaking trips and stand-up paddleboarding at the beach come trips to the snack bar, clam shacks and barbecues. Find out just how much water play it can take to work off those summer favorites so you can adjust your diet accordingly.

 

Mains & Sides:

 

Lobster Roll = 600 Calories

Hold your breath; that butter- or mayo-drenched lobster sammie will require two hours of snorkeling to work off.

 

Fried Clams = 400 calories

A small order of this fried fave will mean one hour of water skiing for you to break even. Read more

What Makes a Good Protein Shake?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, June 21, 2016

Confused about protein shakes? You certainly aren’t alone. It’s tricky to tell what’s healthy to sip and what will lead to a calorie overload. Here’s how to build a healthier shake with all the nutrients your body needs (and nothing it doesn’t) after exercise.

Sports Nutrition

The best time to have a protein shake is after a workout, since in the hour immediately following exercise, your body is craving nutrients and fluids to help replenish energy stores and allow worn-out muscles to recover. A beverage can be a perfect delivery system, but that doesn’t mean you can just toss anything into a blender. Your muscles require a balance of carbohydrate and protein, ideally in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. In order to achieve this nutrient goal, choose from some of these star ingredients.

Fruit: Fresh and frozen fruit add natural sweetness as well as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to help fight inflammation after a hard workout. Read more

Have You Tried Kaniwa?

by in Have You Tried, June 20, 2016

This high-protein cousin of quinoa is native to Peru and Bolivia. It’s gluten-free, with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Check out its superfood qualities and learn where you can get your hands on some.

 

Nutrition Info

Kaniwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wa) is actually a seed, though nutritionally it’s categorized as a whole grain. It’s a good source of protein, with one serving providing 15 to 19 percent of the daily recommended amount. It is also loaded with dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. According to Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., author and founder of Whole Body Reboot, “Kaniwa is composed of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and viruses, reduces the risk of anti-inflammatory disease, and has anti-aging benefits.” Read more

Korean Bulgogi and Mushroom Tacos

by in Healthy Recipes, June 19, 2016

Bulgogi is one of the most-iconic Korean dishes, and being Korean, I can say that I’ve eaten my fair share (and then some) of this delicious marinated-meat dish. While it’s normally prepared with thinly sliced sirloin and rib eye, I used lean ground beef in this recipe. It’s an excellent option when you are pressed for time, as it eliminates the need for slicing the beef and decreases the marinade time. The marinade not only tenderizes the meat but also imparts the perfect combination of sweet and savory to the flavor profile.

Double or triple the bulgogi recipe and you can enjoy it throughout the week by adding it to salads, grain bowls, pizza, burritos, quesadillas and much more. You can also freeze whatever you don’t cook (with the marinade and all) in individual, freezer-safe Ziploc bags.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate more nutrients into my ground beef dishes while cutting back on calories, fat and sodium is replacing some of the meat with mushrooms. Simply chop the mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and you won’t even notice the difference. Mushrooms are an excellent source of important nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, potassium and selenium. They’re also the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle, and I love that they’re non-fortified. Read more

Get to Know Potassium

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, June 18, 2016

Sure, you’ve heard of potassium, but how well do you really know this mineral? Potassium plays a very important role in maintaining good health, but it turns out that it’s a nutrient that many Americans regularly fall short on. In fact, according to a study published in 2012, less than 2 percent of adults get the amount of potassium recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. Those recommendations call for adults to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily.

“The best food sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables, and most Americans simply do not eat enough of them to get the potassium they need,” says Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Potassium is an important electrolyte, and it works in partnership with sodium (also an electrolyte) to help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. “Most people get too much sodium and not enough potassium, which can throw off this balance,” says Rumsey. Read more

Nutrition News: Whole Grains, Diet and Metabolism, Sleep and Weight

by in Food News, June 17, 2016

The whole truth about whole grains

We know whole grains are good for us, but do they have the same health benefits if they are ground up and used, say, as an ingredient in smoothies or flour in cereals? The New York Times’ Well blog has taken that question to nutrition experts and the answer is, basically, yes. “Whole” grains, in which the bran, the germ and the endosperm are all left intact (as opposed to “refined” grains, where the bran and the germ are stripped away), are beneficial either way. Some grains lose a bit of their fiber when ground, but taste better that way, the experts say, whereas others, like flax seed, are more nutritious when ground, because the body can absorb them better. The most-important thing, dietitian Maria Elena Rodriguez tells the Times, is to make sure products have three or more grams of fiber per serving and are marked “whole grains.” Read more

Apricots with Honey-Ginger Ricotta and Pistachios

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, June 17, 2016

Is there anything better than an apricot, peach or nectarine freshly plucked from the tree? Those sweet juices dribbling down your chin as you nosh on a delicious piece (or two or three …) of sun-ripened summer fruit? Perhaps not.

But, then again, maybe I can convince you to try these Apricots with Honey-Ginger Ricotta and Pistachio Nuts, for a healthy yet luscious summer dessert. Rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, to help keep your skin healthy and get your glow on, fresh apricots are one of Mother Nature’s favorite summer treats.

There’s no denying their fresh-picked appeal, but this elegantly easy recipe featuring apricot halves stuffed with honey ginger ricotta and topped off with crunchy pistachio nuts will impress your friends and family when served as a simple summer dessert. Or, do what I did, and keep them all for yourself! Read more

8 Zucchini Recipes That Won’t Squash Your Summer Health Goals

by in Healthy Recipes, June 16, 2016

The thing we love most about zucchini is that it refuses to be labeled. In a culinary context, this firm summer squash is treated as a vegetable, often prepared as a savory main or side dish. But botanically, zucchini is classified as a fruit — and more specifically as a type of berry — which perhaps explains why you’ll find this fiber-packed jack-of-all-trades in sweet breads and pastries too. Few other vegetables can boast the same level of versatility. Luckily, the prime season is long — it begins in June and peaks in late August, so be sure to fit in several trips to the farmers market before summer is over. Whether it’s lightly seasoned and grilled until smoky or grated into fine shreds to be hidden in baked goods, there’s no meal this light summer squash can’t conquer. See for yourself with these 8 in-season zucchini recipes for casserole, zucchini bread and more.

Skillet Eggs with Squash
Break out your skillet for this crowd-pleasing one-pot dish, where baked eggs sit atop grated summer squash and zucchini, with a healthy dose of spicy pepper Jack cheese, nutmeg and scallions.

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