Category Archives: calories

Eating whole grains increases metabolism and calorie loss – Study

A new study suggests that substituting whole grains for refined grains in the diet increases calorie loss by reducing calories retained during digestion and speeding up metabolism. This research is published in tandem with a study on the effect of whole grains on gut microbiota. Both studies are published  in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Epidemiology studies have suggested health benefits of whole grains and high dietary fiber intake, including for glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. There has been controversy, however, about whether whole grains and fiber are beneficial for weight regulation, partially because there hasn’t been data from controlled metabolic studies. This new study provided food to participants for eight weeks and may help explain how whole grain consumption is beneficial for weight management.

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Tips for Healthy Eating at Fast Food Eateries

As a retired guy I don’t eat a lot of fast food because I have the time to fix my own meals, so my experience since retiring is limited in this area. Being in the work force rips a lot of your dietary control away from you. You find yourself ‘on the road’ and subject to the vagaries of your present locale. Or, you have a deadline, so you can’t take the time for a proper meal. You find yourself at the mercy of local fast food eateries. But, maybe all is not lost.

FastFood

HELPGUIDE.org offers some worthwhile tips on trying to eat healthy at fast food restaurants.

“Making healthier choices at fast food restaurants is easier if you prepare ahead by checking guides that show you the nutritional content of meal choices at your favorite restaurants. Free downloadable guides help you evaluate your options. If you have a special dietary concern, such as diabetes, heart health or weight loss, the websites of national non-profits provide useful advice. You can also choose to patronize restaurants that focus on natural, high quality food.

“If you don’t prepare ahead of time, common sense guidelines help to make your meal healthier. For example, a seemingly healthy salad can be a diet minefield when smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings, so choose a salad with fresh veggies, grilled toppings, and a lighter dressing. Portion control is also important, as many fast food restaurants serve enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving.”

Tips for making healthy choices at fast food restaurants:
▪ Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin, or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
▪ Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp of regular cola packs about 425 calories, which can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.
▪ “Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.
▪ Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren’t for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing “on the side” and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.
Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for your body to register that you have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

Pay attention to portion size, too. So many fast food places just give you too much food. Then you are stuck with the conundrum not wanting to waste food, but not wanting to pig out, either. So, they mess with your mind as well as your body. As I said on my page How to Lose Weight – And Keep it Off – “You don’t want to waste food? But you can’t continue to waist food, either. Understanding serving size and portion control will take you a long way on your weight control journey.”

Tony

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Top 11 Most Common Nutrition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Eating healthy takes a lot of information. Here are some very useful looking tips.

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Tony

Our Better Health

Nutrition is full of misinformation.

Everyone seems to “know” what is right, most often based on zero evidence.

Here are the top 11 most common nutrition mistakes that people keep repeating.

1. Drinking Fruit Juice

Fruit juice isn’t always what it seems to be.

It is often little more than water mixed with sugar and some kind of fruit concentrate.

In many cases, there isn’t any actual fruit in there, just chemicals that taste like fruit.

But even IF you’re drinking real, 100% fruit juice, it is still a bad idea.

That’s because fruit juices like orange juice have just about the same amount of sugar as Coca Cola and Pepsi!

Fruit juice is like fruit, except with all the good stuff removed.

There is no fiber, no chewing resistance and nothing to stop you from downing massive amounts of sugar.

While whole fruits take a long time to eat…

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How to Enjoy Chocolate Without Gaining Weight

Besides eating chocolate, I thought you might enjoy consuming these fun facts about it. Come on, you didn’t really expect to be able to eat chocolate without consequences, did you? Did you forget TANSTAAFL*?


Think of this as a companion post to yesterday’s The Sweet Truth on Chocolate.

Industry statistics show that women purchase 75% of the chocolate candy sold each year. However, men buy 75% of it before Valentines Day. These V-Day purchases amount to around $1.0 billion nationwide.

Nonetheless, Delish.com says that in 2009, more than 58 million pounds of chocolate were purchased and (likely) consumed in the days surrounding February 14th — that’s about $345 million worth. This year it’s projected that number will reach 60 million pounds! But, Valentine’s Day week is not the biggest week of the year for chocolate sales. According to research from the Nielsen Company, Easter historically trumps Valentine’s Day with 71 million pounds of chocolate candy purchased. Halloween trumps both of those holidays; more than 90 million pounds of chocolate candy are purchased for the spooky, treat-filled holiday.
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What About Calories? – Infographic

Here’s a ton of facts on calories. You can’t live without ’em. The trick is moderation ….

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Tony

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What Does 200 Calories Look Like? – Infographic

Whether you count calories or not, I think you will find this to be useful information. The average person needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain his/her weight. Herewith, a look at 10 percent of that. I think it is fascinating how much bulk is occupied by fruits and vegetables compared with processed food items.

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Tony

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What’s in Doritos? – Infographic

We have just begun football season here, so Sundays in many homes will be characterized by folks in front of flat screens cheering on their favorite team. I plead guilty. Sunday is my favorite day of the week during football season because there are games all day, followed by Sunday Night Football.

All this has to do with the fact that while we are watching we are also munching, munching. I make popcorn in coconut oil that is as healthy as it is delicious. I hope you have a similar salubrious solution to game time munchies. I ran across this infographic on Doritos and wanted you to see it. Doritos is not the answer to your game time craving.

Check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for further details on healthy snacks.

Infographic-What-is-in-Doritos

Enjoy the game!

Tony

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Focus on Nutritional Value Not Calories, Experts Say

Eurekalert reported that It’s time to stop counting the calories, and instead start promoting the nutritional value of foods if we are to rapidly cut illness and death from cardiovascular disease and curb the rising tide of obesity, say experts in an editorial published in the online journal Open Heart.

Must confess I love this finding. Quit worrying about cutting down pounds and inches and instead focus on what you are putting into your body and living a healthy life. Eat less; move more; live longer.

fruit vs snickers

Drawing on published evidence, Drs. Aseem Malhotra and James DiNicolantonio and Professor Simon Capewell argue that rather like stopping smoking, simple dietary changes can rapidly improve health outcomes at the population level.

For example, boosting omega 3 fatty acid (from fatty fish), olive oil, and nut intake have all been associated with reductions in deaths from all causes and from cardiovascular disease, within months, they say.

But clinicians have failed to act for far too long, amid an excessive focus on the calorific content of food by the food and weight loss industries, despite mounting evidence that it’s the nutritional content that matters, they suggest.

Daily consumption of a sugary drink (150 calories) is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes whereas daily consumption of a handful of nuts (30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds and 15 g hazelnuts) or four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (around 500 calories) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

It has been estimated that increasing nut consumption by two servings a week could stave off 90,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease in the US alone.

And the Action for Health in Diabetes trial shows that a low calorie diet on top of increased physical activity in patients with type 2 diabetes was not associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular death despite significant weight loss and a monitoring period of 13.5 years, they point out.

“Shifting the focus away from calories and emphasizing a dietary pattern that focuses on food quality rather than quantity will help to rapidly reduce obesity, related diseases, and cardiovascular risk,” they insist.

“Primary and secondary care clinicians have a duty to their individual patients and also to their local populations. Our collective failure to act is an option we cannot afford,” they write, citing the human and economic toll this is taking.

Obesity costs the NHS over £5 billion a year, while the costs of type 2 diabetes add up to more than £20 billion and are predicted to double over the next 20 years. Similarly, the cost of diabetes has risen 40% in the past five years in the US, adding up to $245 billion in 2012, they say.

The evidence shows that poor diet is consistently responsible for more disease and death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol put together, they say, calling for sugary drinks to be taxed; government subsidies to make fruit, vegetables, and nuts more affordable; and tighter controls on the marketing of junk food.

“Applying these population wide policies might achieve rapid reductions in disease and hospital admissions visible even within the electoral terms of most politicians,” they suggest.

“It is time to stop counting calories, and time to instead promote good nutrition and dietary changes that can rapidly and substantially reduce cardiovascular mortality. The evidence indeed supports the mantra that ‘food can be the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison’,” they write.

“Recommending a high fat Mediterranean type diet and lifestyle to our patients, friends and families, might be a good place to start,” they conclude.

Tony

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Calories – Infographic

Probably the most talked about subject in the health and fitness world is – CALORIES. So I thought this infographic might help to fill in some blanks you might have about calories.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Calories, but Were Afraid to Ask – Infographic

I ran across this Calorie infographic on the web and thought you might enjoy it as much as I did.

I like that it shows some activities and how many calories you burn per hour.

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Super Bowl Sunday Snacking

What are you going to be snacking on during the big game?

According to The Supermarket Guru, “It’s estimated that on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will consume more than double their average daily snack amount; and the average “armchair quarterback” will consume nearly 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks alone- not counting meals. To burn that off, you’d have to run for about an hour and 45 minutes!”

Pigs in a blanket – One of the top five fan snack choices

Bing.com says the top five game day snacks are Buffalo wings, pizza, nachos, chili, and pigs in a blanket. I hope for your sake that you are not going this high calorie count empty nutritional value route.

I have written about snacking here before. There was Targeted Snacking in June and Smart Snacking in March. Click on the links for some positive ideas on snacks for the big game.

WeightWatchers suggests, “You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don’t overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on ….

“Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway).”

Tony

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What Are Zero Calorie Foods? Infographic

According to Fitbie, “So-called “zero-calorie” foods, like celery and cucumbers, contain fewer calories than the body uses to break them down. And although nutritionists account for the energy it takes to chew and digest them when they calculate how many calories we need, these eats deserve prime spots on our plates. You can eat them in large quantities without busting your gut, and low-calorie doesn’t mean low nutrients.”

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Infographic from Yourweightlossaid.

Tony

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January 24, 2015 · 12:07 am

How to Beat Belly Fat – Infographic

A big belly is not just unsightly, it is dangerous to your health. This infographic has some very useful facts if you are a sufferer. I have included at the bottom a list of links to posts from this blog on the dangers of a big belly.

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Weight Training Appears Key to Controlling Belly Fat Study: Smaller Belly, Less Deli May Reduce Kidney Disease Risk, How Dangerous is a Big Belly? What is the Best Exercise to Trim Belly Fat? High-fat and High-sugar Snacks Contribute to Fatty Liver and Abdominal Obesity, Large Waist Linked to Poor Health, Even Among Those in Healthy Body Mass Index Ranges.

Tony

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What a 1500 Calorie Day Looks Like

Sometimes it helps to visualize something rather than just talk about it. Herewith a picture of a 1500 calorie day. Since the average sized person needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain body weight, a week of this 1500 calorie would likely reduce weight by one pound as there are 3500 calories in a pound. This assumes no extra exercise which would also burn calories.

I think it is worth noting that this reduced calorie day still has a good amount of food in it. So, the person undertaking it would not necessarily be undergoing any physical hardship. These are good nutritious foods that provide sustenance, not empty junk calories.

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Tony

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After the New Year, Shoppers Make Healthier Purchases but Don’t Cut the Regular Less-Healthy Ones

“Despite New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, people tend to hang on to those unhealthy holiday favorites and keep buying them in the New Year,” says co-author Drew Hanks, Ohio State University. “What we recommend based on these findings is instead of just adding healthy foods to your cart, substitute the less healthy foods for fresh produce and other nutrient rich foods—the calories will add up slower and you’ll be more likely to meet your resolutions and shed those unwanted pounds.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Do you resolve to eat healthier and lose weight in 2015? Watch out for this “healthy illusion” discovered by researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

First, the researchers found that shoppers spend 15% more on food during the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s) and only about 25% of that additional food is healthy. This means that during the holidays we tend to buy more junk food—not a big surprise. “What was surprising, was the second finding of the study” says lead author Lizzy Pope, who led the study as a post-doctoral student at Cornell, and recently joined the University of Vermont’s Dept. of Nutrition and Food Sciences, “After the New Year, shoppers continued to purchase a greater amount of food and while more healthy food did make it into their carts, they continued to buy the less-healthy items too!” After the New Year, shoppers actually took home…

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Loving the Bite – Holiday Menu 2014 – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her healthy and intelligent eating.

She recently wrote an item Holiday Menu for 2014 that I thought would interest you. Most importantly, you do not have to be a cyclist to benefit from Kelli’s information. This menu should benefit you, too, whether you ride a bike or not.
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Loving the Bite Holiday Menu 2014:

Roasted Turkey in an Oven Bag from food.com. I’m actually just learning this technique as well for a moist, delicious turkey. Use olive oil or avocado oil rather than canola oil, and enjoy this for dinner and leftovers!

Vegetarian Main Dish: Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice Salad from Beard & Bonnet.  Whether eating vegetarian or you want a flavorful side dish, look no further than roasted, stuffed acorn squash. Yum!

Roasted Beet Winter Salad from Cooking Light.  Cooking Light is one of my favorite go-to sites for recipes and always comes through with delicious dishes.

Spicy Broccoli Soup from Loving the Bike.  Quite simply, you won’t be disappointed with this soup.  It’s refreshing, healthy, easy, and satisfying.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes from Food Network. In a word, these are simply delicious.  To make them a bit healthier, omit sugar and use 3 Tbsp organic honey.  Replace butter with coconut oil (or if using butter, try to used butter from organic fed or grazed cattle).

Roasted Cauliflower from Food Network.  Good for you and Delish!

Crustless Maple Pumpkin Pie and No-Bake Pecan Pie Squares from the Detoxinista. Both are grain-less, gluten-free, and dairy free.  While they are light and nourishing, they still taste divine. Enjoy!

Spiced Wine from Lush Wine Mix.  These wine cocktail mixes are packed with organic and real-food goodness.  They use freeze-dried fruits and organic spices (which means antioxidants from the mix and the wine!), and contain 50% less sugar than traditional mulled wine. They taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Saves you time and money since you don’t have to track down all the spices yourself. (Lush is offering coupon code holidays2014 for 25% off 3 and 6-packs – US shipping only).

Just like last year, these dishes and beverages are colorful, use a variety of vegetables, nuts, and spices, and are oh-so-deliciously-whole-food. Enjoy the food, enjoy the company, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year.

Menu’s set. Done and done. While sticking to healthy foods, it is possible to feel a bit stuffed, still. If this happens to you, try our anti-junk food smoothie or go for the full Apex Nutrition Smoothie Cleanse (use code lovingthebike for 25% off) …you’ll feel good as new.

This year, we wish a nutritious, active, peaceful, and wonderful Holiday for you and yours. Enjoy the food, enjoy friends and family, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year. Cheers.

Fuel Your Holiday.  Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

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