Category Archives: protein

5 Tips for a Healthier Morning – Rush

I have to confess that I am a morning person. Have been all my life. I am up around 4:00 to 4:30 AM most mornings. Yes, I go to sleep close to 9:00 PM. When I was working I stayed up a bit later and woke up about a half hour later. I realize that this is not typical of most people, particularly those with jobs. So, I thought I would share this item from the Rush University Medical Center here in Chicago.

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Give your morning routine a makeover
Does your morning go anything like this?

Being in bed feels so good that you can’t get up, so you hit snooze — three or four times.

Once you open your eyes, you realize you have a 9:00 o’clock meeting, so you check your email while still in bed to get ahead of the workday.

Now you’re running late. You throw down vitamins with a glass of juice. You can’t find your keys or your left shoe and run around the house until you’ve found both.

Finally in the car, you grab the biggest coffee you can order and two glazed donuts at the drive-thru, and traffic has you fuming before you even get to work.

All that rushing around can set a negative tone for the entire day, making you feel stressed, lethargic and irritable — and, possibly, affecting your ability to focus on tasks or calmly cope with work-related crises.

To help get your day off to a better, and healthier, start, follow these tips from Maria C. Reyes, MD, an internist at Rush University Medical Center. Continue reading

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High protein diet may increase heart failure risk in middle-aged men – AHA

For middle-aged men, eating higher amounts of protein was associated with a slightly elevated risk for heart failure than those who ate less protein, according to new research in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Despite the popularity of high protein diets, there is little research about how diets high in protein might impact men’s heart failure risk.

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“As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets,” said Jyrki Virtanen, Ph.D., study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “Earlier studies had linked diets high in protein – especially from animal sources — with increased risks of Type 2 diabetes and even death.” Continue reading

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Higher protein intake benefits bone health – Study

I have found that most people consider osteoporosis to be a women’s affliction. The reason is that statistics show two out of three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporosis while only one out of three men will.  This is clearly a disease that affects more of us as we age. I think it is important for us men to keep in mind that while statistics show more women get it, the fact is, as women outlive men, there are simply more of them around. Osteoporosis is definitely something of which men should be aware.

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A new expert consensus endorsed by the European Society for Clinical and Economical Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has reviewed the benefits and safety of dietary protein for bone health, based on analyses of major research studies. The review, published in Osteoporosis International found that a protein-rich diet, provided there is adequate calcium intake, is in fact beneficial for adult bone health. It also found no evidence that acid load due to higher dietary protein intakes, whether of animal or vegetable origin, is damaging to bone health.

The key findings of the extensive literature review include: Continue reading

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5 Tips on choosing healthy protein foods – Harvard

Unlike the weather, everyone talks about protein but they usually try to do something about it, too. MedlinePlus says, “Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids.

“You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.”

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Here are some tips from Harvard on getting the most benefit from protein.

1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Don’t stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foods—for example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinner—will ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks (amino acids) you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

3. Try a meatless Monday—or more. Diets high in plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits, so try mixing some vegetarian proteins into your meals. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources are often less expensive than meat. Eating plant protein in place of meat is also good for the planet. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process animals for meat, so going meatless could help reduce pollution and has the potential to lessen climate change.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know their long-term effects.

Scan the Nutrition Facts label before you buy highly-processed vegetarian “fake meat” foods, since these are often as high in sodium—or higher in sodium—than their processed red meat counterparts.

5. Shift the balance of carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of triglycerides and protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular disease. This shift may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Tony

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Beans and peas more filling than meat

Although I am a big fan of eating beans, peas, nuts and seeds, I did not know that they actually created a greater feeling of fullness than meat.

Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas are more satiating than pork and veal-based meals according to a recent study by the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports. Results suggest that sustainable eating may also help with weight loss.

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Numerous modern dietary recommendations encourage high protein consumption to help with weight loss or prevent the age-related loss of muscle mass. Furthermore, consuming more vegetable-based protein from beans and peas, and less protein from meats such as pork, veal and beef, is recommended because meat production is a far greater burden on our climate than vegetable cultivation. Until now, we haven’t known very much about how legumes like beans and peas stack up against meat in satiating hunger. As a result, little has been known about the impact of vegetables and the possibility of them catalyzing or maintaining weight loss. Continue reading

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14 Ways to Add Protein to Every Meal – Infographic

Are you getting enough protein? Is it high quality protein? Many people struggle with these questions. WebMD says, “You need protein for your muscles, bones, and the rest of your body. Exactly how much you need changes with age:

Babies need about 10 grams a day.
School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding)

“You should get at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35%, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

No matter how you answered the first two questions, here are some super ways to improve your protein intake.

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The Breakfast Nutrient That Keeps You Alert and Calm

vegan proteinAs a bonus, protein-rich foods eaten in the morning help control cravings for fatty foods later in the day. Scientists at the University of Missouri found that those who ate a high-protein breakfast ate 26% fewer calories at lunch than those who ate the same number of calories but lower amounts of protein for breakfast. “Breakfasts that are high in protein also reduce cravings for savory – or high-fat – foods. On the other hand, if breakfast is skipped, these cravings continue to rise throughout the day,” observes Heather Leidy, a nutritionist who was part of the research team.

Our Better Health

Shubhra Krishan  November 27, 2014

What do the following breakfast menus have in common?

  • Coffee and doughnut.
  • Pancakes with syrup.
  • Milk with sweet cereal.

Yes, they are quick to put together and taste good. But if you start feeling irritable and jittery a few hours later, these very foods could be responsible, thanks to the quick blood sugar rise and crash they cause.

That’s because they have one other factor in common: they lack protein.

Protein takes longer for the stomach to digest, so it keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. This in turn helps keep blood sugar levels stable, easing feelings of anxiety and nervousness.

But this nerve-easing benefit goes even further when you eat proteins at breakfast. Researchers at the Franklin Institute explain that a morning meal high in protein raises your brain’s tyrosine levels. This helps your brain produce neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and dopamine, which give you…

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14 Great Sources Of Clean Protein

Our Better Health

BY NADYA ANDREEVA     DECEMBER 21, 2013 

Clean protein is harder to come by than you might think. Pesticides, heavy metals, and antibiotics are abundant in almost all factory-produced nonorganic meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. Fast food joints pump almost all of their items with food flavorings and chemicals to increase shelf life. To avoid all the negative health effects, go for the following foods whenever possible. Make friends with farmers at the closest farmers’ market, read food labels at the stores, and ask questions at the restaurants. You deserve to know where your food is coming from.

Almonds

Almonds are strongly anti-inflammatory, and are a good source for healthy fats, fiber, and protein. To make almonds easier to digest, soak them overnight and peel the skins. Nuts aren’t a complete protein since they don’t have a full range of amino acids, but they serve as a great…

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8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

There’s no rule that breakfast has to consist of food specifically designated for that meal. In fact, last night’s leftovers may be perfect. That’s because most people consume about 50 to 60 percent of their total daily protein at dinner, and shifting those calories to the morning may have health benefits.

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1. Front-load your calories

Aim to consume 20 percent to 25 percent of your total daily calories at breakfast (up to 400 calories for women, up to 500 for men, and a bit more for vigorous exercisers). Research shows that it increases levels of the satiety hormone PYY, helping you to feel full, and may reduce the number of calories you consume at lunch, according to Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It may also help you avoid overeating later in the day, which may lead to weight gain.

2. Think protein

The latest research suggests that eating protein first thing in the morning is crucial. Having 24 to 35 grams may help prevent weight gain and promote weight loss by stabilizing your blood sugar, decreasing your appetite, and making you feel full. Morning protein also…

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Peanuts: Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Here is another arrow in our quiver of healthy nuts and seeds.

Our Better Health

Posted in Nuts by admin on 20 May 2014  

Peanuts are salty and delicious pleasure. Ideal for appetizers while watching a sports game or a great substitute for potato chips while watching a movie. Besides being delicious, it can be very healthy.

  •     Regulate the level of sugar in the blood

For stable blood sugar throughout the day, eat peanut butter. It is recommended this product to eat for breakfast.

  •     Increase concentration and memory capability

Thanks to vitamin B3 that contain peanuts, helps the brain to function normally and increases concentration and ability to remember.

  •     Peanuts reduce cholesterol
Nuts

Although the belong in the category of products that contain high amounts of calories and fat, recent studies have shown that peanuts can act preventively heart disease and lower cholesterol and triglycerides without weight gain.

  •     Contains vitamins

Peanuts are rich in vitamins B1, B3, 3, magnesium, calcium, iron and…

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How About Some Granola Without any Grains?

Let me hear that, get me near that
Crunchy Granola Suite
Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’
Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )


I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.

I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t.  That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.

“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”

So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.

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I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.

Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.

Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?

The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.

Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Calories 295
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams

A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.

Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.

While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.

If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.

For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:

Tony

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How Important is Breakfast?

Let’s start with the word – breakfast. You are breaking your fast after shutting your body down in sleep all night. So, your body is ready to be nourished and made whole again. There is a need for fuel. Skipping breakfast robs your body of basic needs and puts it on the defensive right from the start. Why handicap yourself like that?

As everyone who has skipped or skimped on breakfast knows, you get hungry long before lunch time rolls around. That often means you end up snacking on convenient junk foods high in fat and sugars. You can read my Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s NOT for all the reasons to avoid junk food.

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WebMD in a slideshow on brain foods said, “Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.”

I recommend including some protein in your breakfast to extend the benefits.

“Protein blunts your hunger the most, and is the most satiating,” Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell, PhD,  tells WebMD. Eggs are a natural, low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and protein.

Don’t sweat the cholesterol.

I wrote the following in my post, What is the Food Value of Easter Eggs? “The yolk of the egg contains many excellent nutrients as well as cholesterol. Don’t forget that your body needs cholesterol to function. If you don’t have enough of it in your diet, your body will manufacture it. Organic Foods says, “Recent research has also shown that consuming eggs does not lead to increase in serum cholesterol levels,”

So, do yourself and your body a favor and make time for a good breakfast, you will reap rewards from it all day long.

Tony

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Is There a Risk to High Protein Diets?

When this blog started it was very much a weight loss commentary. That was six years ago. I hope by now the concept has expanded to the point where – healthy eating is healthy aging. In other words we are able to maintain our weight be eating intelligently and working out regularly. There are no fad diets here. No low carb, high carb, low protein, no fat, etc. Eat balanced meals and exercise and you will be fine.

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For those reasons, I was struck by a piece inthe Wall Street Journal in the Personal Journal section entitled The Risk of High-Protein Diets.

By my reckoning the risk of any of diets like this is that they work over the short run, but don’t provide lasting health gains, they often result in damages to the body of the person depriving himself of sufficient amounts of a vital nutrient and lastly, the person just quits doing the diet and gains back the pounds.

As a senior citizen interested in living longer, I want to know about subjects like “Optimal protein intake for older adults” which was the name a panel cited in the Journal piece.

“In the human study, those consuming high levels of plant-based protein had a threefold increase in cancer mortality but no higher rate of overall mortality. Consumers of animal protein had big increases in both. That suggests, as other research has shown, that there may be benefits from minimizing consumption of animal-based protein. “These results indicate that respondents ages 50 to 65 consuming moderate to high levels of animal protein display a major increase in the risks for overall and cancer mortality,” the researchers concluded.

“For subjects 66 and older, the opposite proved true: Higher protein consumption was associated with greater survival. Gerontologists say this makes sense, because the ability to absorb protein appears to diminish in the aging body, requiring perhaps greater consumption.

“Even then, though, the takeaway is somewhat complicated. Americans tend to consume the bulk of their protein at dinner, and the body isn’t always able to process an entire day’s worth in one sitting, said Dr. Volpi, who wasn’t involved in either study. “It appears you can better use the protein you need if you distribute it across three meals, especially if you are a senior,” she said.”

My takeaway from this as a senior is that I want to consume more plant protein than animal and spread my consumption over three meals rather than rely on a big dinner. I understand that because I am over 65, I have to consume slightly more protein because my aging body doesn’t digest it as well.

Tony

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Meat and Cheese May be Bad for Your Health

But how much protein one should eat has long been a controversial topic — muddled by the popularity of protein-heavy diets such as Paleo and Atkins. Before this study, researchers had never shown a definitive correlation between high-protein consumption and mortality risk.

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That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette. In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet — a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.

“There’s a misconception that because we all eat, understanding nutrition is simple. But the question is not whether a certain diet allows you to do well for three days, but can it help you survive to be 100?” said corresponding author Valter Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute.

Not only is excessive protein consumption linked to a dramatic rise in cancer mortality, but middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins…

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Eating Eggs is Good for Weight Loss – Web MD

There are experts on both sides of the question of eggs, I wrote an extended blog post back in January Is it healthy to eat eggs regularly that discusses this in detail. I also disclosed that for years I have eaten a hard-boiled egg every morning with no ill effects. So, I come down on the side of eggs, especially boiled as opposed to fried. As far as I am concerned a boiled egg is hard to beat. (Intended.)

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WebMD has a slideshow on bad foods that are good for weight loss and it leads off with eggs. I guess that the ‘bad’ element is the cholesterol question.

Here is what WebMD says in favor of eggs, “When it comes to healthy eating, few foods have sparked as much debate as eggs. The latest research suggests an egg a day is safe and nutritious for most adults — and if you eat that egg for breakfast, you’ll boost your odds of losing weight. The reason: Eggs are packed with protein, which takes time to digest. Eating protein in the morning keeps your stomach full, so you eat less during the rest of the day.” Continue reading

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How to Make a Lunch Salad Fill You Up

As a retired guy, I am usually home at lunch and have no problems getting heatlhy foods into me, but I know that a lot of you are still out in the workforce and have limited lunchtime resources especially when it comes to healthy reasonable calorie foods.

Here is a suggestion I ran across on the web somewhere that made a lot of sense to me. It may help you the next time you find yourself at the salad bar.
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First of all, many folks who choose a salad bar for lunch try to limit their calories by using little or no salad dressing. The problem with this is that the greens alone are not enough to keep your blood sugar up for the rest of the afternoon. You haven’t helped yourself if you are starving by mid afternoon and having food fantasies instead of being able to concentrate on your work.

If you use some light salad dressing you can add fat, and yes, calories, but the fat is a source of energy that can help to get you through the afternoon. Also, put some protein on that salad, too. Does the salad bar offer chicken, eggs or fish? You can add some very important protein that will benefit you throughout the day as well keep you away from the vending machine in the afternoon.

With these simple additions you can make a visit to the salad bar a success instead of a source of frustration.

Tony

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