Archive for the ‘NUTRITION’ Category

Fiber is basically plant food parts that the body does not absorb, as it does fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Often called roughage, high fiber foods can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, lower the risk of colorectol cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and slow the absorption of sugar which can help prevent Type II diabetes.

Another reason to eat fiber is weight loss. Most high fiber food contains fewer calories and gives you a feeling of fullness quicker, so you eat less. In addition, high fiber foods usually require more time spent on chewing which gives the brain a chance to send that important signal that you’ve had enough.


So, how much fiber do people need? According to the May Clinic, men average 38 grams and women 25 grams daily. This tends to be less for people over 50. What foods contain fiber? The best sources of fiber in food include fruit, whole grain cereals and bread, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. A good routine is to eat a whole grain, bran or fiber cereal for breakfast, include whole grain bread in lunch sandwiches, and instead of potatoes, eat brown or wild rice, barley or whole wheat pasta for dinner.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can still work fiber into your treats by choosing cakes and cookies made from whole grain flour rather than white flour. Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries are good sources of fiber. Even snacks like nuts, dried fruit and whole grain crackers can help complete the recommended daily fiber intake. Just a few simple diet changes can make a big difference not only in weight control but also in overall health.

A certain amount of fat in the diet is necessary in order to prevent fatigue, and even heart problems. But there are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats are called saturated fats. Good fats are called unsaturated fats.


All fats are made of chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The more hydrogen atoms there are, the more damage the fats do to the body. Thus, saturated fats are filled with hydrogen and produce high cholesterol, increase the risk for some types of cancer and produce weight gain. Unsaturated fats are actually good for you.

Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats are similar, but both have health benefits. Monounsaturated fats have health benefits like lowering cholesterol, and keeping the good cholesterol (HDL) high. And here is where the peanut butter comes in. Peanut butter is actually a good source of monounsaturated fats, along with olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, most nuts and nut butters, even avocados and olives. Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which are known to protect against sudden death from heart attack. Foods containing polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout, and also canola oil, walnuts, and flax seed also contain some Omega-3s.

You don’t have to be a scientist to understand the differences between the saturated and unsaturated fats. Just know that saturated fats are bad and unsaturated fats are good. One way to tell the difference is that saturated fats, like butter and lard, remain solid, while unsaturated fats are liquid.

So, go ahead and have that peanut butter sandwich. In addition to being a good source of unsaturated fat, it is high in vitamin E, high fiber, vitamin B3, iron, protein, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Green Tea can prevent prostate cancer

African American/Black men have the highest rate for prostate cancer in the United States and are more than twice as likely as White men to die of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. But there are ways to reduce the risk. Here are some healthy choices that will not only help reduce the risk of prostrate cancer but also add to overall health:


Green tea – has been found in studies to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer in men.

Low Fat Foods – fat increases the risk of prostrate cancer, so a low-fat diet is important. This means limiting the amount of dairy products you eat as well as other fatty foods and meats. Most dairy foods are available in low-fat or reduced-fat options and are much better for the heart and for weight control, too.

Fruits and Vegetables – eating more fruits and vegetables cannot be stressed enough for their importance for good overall health. The vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables are also believed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Start by adding one additional helping of each at every meal.

Fish – fatty fish has omega-3 which is a fatty acid associated with helping to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer. Omega-3 can be found in salmon, sardines, tuna and trout.

Soy – is found in foods like kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts and tofu. Soy can reduce the risk of prostrate cancer.

Alcohol – keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. One study on alcohol showed that men who drank several drinks each day over many years had an increased risk for prostrate cancer.

Other important life changes to help reduce the risk of prostrate cancer include exercising regularly. This is an important habit that will also help reduce heart disease, other types of cancer, and also help maintain a healthy body weight.

African American Woman Eating Out

Eating out is one of America’s favorite past times. In fact, the average American dines out four times a week. This can be a challenge if you are trying to lose or maintain body weight. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up restaurants. By making a few wise choices in food selection, you can continue to enjoy dining out without jeopardizing your weight control.

Here are a few simple tips on how to keep the calories under control when eating out:


#1 – Most restaurants serve portions that are too large, and it is easy to rationalize that you need to eat all of it. Instead of wasting food, just order smaller portions. Most all restaurants now include “smaller portion” or “senior citizen” meals which have smaller serving portions than most meals listed on the menu. Smaller portions mean less calories — as many as 100.

#2 – Speaking of size, changing you menu selection from a 4.5 ounce steak to a smaller 3 ounce steak can cut 100 calories off your meal.

#3 – Eliminate the bread that is customarily served with meals. This can save 100-140 calories.

#4 – If you’re eating Chinese, by choosing chicken or shrimp instead of beef for stir fry can eliminate 50-75 calories.

#5 – Always choose grilled meat instead of fried or breaded. It’s not only better for you to eliminate the fat but the calories saved can be as much as 100.

#6 – Salads are great; it’s the toppings that add calories. Watch the croutons, cheese, eggs and bacon. Instead, choose salads with more vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. And, of course, choose low-calorie dressings.

#7 – Side dishes are always offered with meals, so make smart choices in this area. Instead of fries, go with steamed vegetables, brown rice or fresh fruit. If you really want a potato, select potatoes that are baked, boiled or roasted. Eliminate all the butter and sour cream on baked potatoes.

#8 – Avoid appetizers–they only add more calories.

#9 – Order fresh fruit for dessert instead of pie, cake, and ice cream. Or, you can split a dessert with 3-4 other people so each one has just 3-4 bites instead of the entire dessert.

#10 – It’s all right to have a drink with dinner, but make it A DRINK, as in one drink. You can keep the calories to no more than 150 if you choose a light beer, a 5 ounce glass of wine, or no more than 1.5 ounces of liquor in a drink. Red or white wine averages about 25 calories per ounce.

These changes are minor and still allow you to enjoy a nice restaurant meal without going overboard on the calories. Bon Appetit!

Salt

There is a good reason why junk food tastes so good but is so bad for you. That reason is salt. Not just salt, but processed or refined salt. So, what is the difference between refined and unrefined salt, and why is refined salt so bad for you?


Unrefined salt is natural salt from the sea and contains over 80 minerals and elements that are natural and good for the body. Refined salt is salt that has been altered by man to improve the product’s shelf life. Chemicals are added that contain anti-caking, free flowing, or conditioning agents, such as sodium ferrocyanide, ammonium citrate, and aluminum silicate. The minerals and elements that are good for you are removed in the refining process.

Refined Salt Is Toxic

The toxic chemicals in refined salt, found in junk food, is linked to the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses. Autoimmune diseases are caused as a result of the abnormal functioning of the body’s immune system and inability to fight off diseases. When the body detects a foreign substance, its reaction is to create auto antibodies to fight back, attacking normal cells in the process.

Fast food restaurants are notorious for salt-laden foods. Just one 6-inch Subway Roasted Garlic loaf of bread contains 1,260 mg of sodium even without meat, cheese and other toppings. This is the equivalent of 14 strips of bacon. Low-fat foods also contain a high level of salt to increase the flavor, so don’t be fooled by choosing low-fat thinking it is better for you.

Choose Unrefined Salt

There’s no question, most people like salt, and GOOD salt is good for you. Make a healthy choice by first limiting the amount of salt-laden junk food you eat. For cooking and eating at home, select unrefined, natural sea salt over refined table salt. Celtic sea salt, for example, is sold in markets and health food stores around the country and can be purchased in fine ground form. It may cost a bit more but is worth spending the money for a healthier immune system.

Weight Loss

Out of the 50 million Americans who go on a diet every year, only five percent are successful in keeping the weight off. What this should tell us is that successful diet programs are those that teach us how to eat sensibly and healthy. Otherwise, the diet will not work. Losing weight the right way is really a matter of cutting the calories–eating fewer calories than you burn–and making a permanent change in eating habits.


Avoid “Miracle” Pills

The key to finding a program that will work is selecting one that is easy to maintain, does not require purchasing special foods, doesn’t focus on miracle pills and other substances, but teaches healthy lifelong eating habits. Consumer Reports readers scored MyFitnessPal and Weight Watchers the highest because they encouraged calorie awareness, exercise, and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Jenny Craig was also rated highly. Although this program sells their preportioned foods, it also includes grocery store foods. These programs focus on sound weight-loss principles and weight management.

Beware of Diet Scams

Beware of “quick fix” diet products. Not only can they be harmful but they are not proven to be successful in long-term weight management. According to Dr. Oz, diet pills are some of the most dangerous products on the market. They are drugs and should be treated as such. They can increase your blood pressure enough to cause a stroke, and once you stop taking the pills, the weight piles back on. They are simply not worth the risk of taking a short cut to weight loss.

Eat Less, and Better

Any diet product or program that relies on a specific product does not teach healthy, lifelong eating habits. The only thing that works is eating less, eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein. Weight loss programs that focus on this are worth looking into. The bottom line on the best weight loss program is to satisfy your hunger with good foods that will not add weight and substituting high-calorie foods with those that contain fewer calories. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.

Black girl eating breakfast

You’ve heard this on television and probably from your mother, but it’s true. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. There are many benefits to the body by supplying it with good nutrition to start off the day, but the key is to eat the right foods for breakfast.


Eat More Than Just a Muffin

You might think muffins are a good breakfast, but the truth is they contain mostly carbohydrates. Foods rich in proteins are a much better way to feed your body first thing in the morning. Why?

Because protein builds muscle and increases brain function. Although you might think that muffin will fill you up, protein actually satisfies your hunger longer. Protein also rebuilds cells and tissue.

Go Protein

Foods rich in protein include eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, cheese and milk. These foods represent a good base from which you can create a healthy, filling breakfast that gives you a good protein start. You can certainly eat that muffin, but why not add scrambled eggs with it and include some fruit, such as grapefruit, oranges, apples, pears or berries for added vitamins.

Go Yogurt

You can also try yogurt with granola, or spice up those scrambled eggs with a cheese and vegetable omelet. Another popular breakfast food are smoothies. By making your own, you can include your favorite yogurt and fruit. Smoothies are high in protein and a good way for people who are not breakfast eaters to start the day with some good nutrition.