Eat more plant foods…increase dietary fiber…choose natural foods over processed…get your nutrients from whole foods, not supplements. For an easy way to follow all of this sound dietary advice at the same time, simply up your intake of foods from the legume family. Legumes, which include beans, lentils, split peas, green peas, and peanuts, are thought to be one of the first cultivated crops and have been consumed by people around the world for over 10,000 year, according to Tufts Health & Nutrition Update.
Unfortunately, legumes are no longer a staple food in most American diets. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults consume one to three cups of legumes per week (depending on calorie requirements), but average intake is less than one cup weekly.
Try these tips for adding more satisfying, health-promoting legumes to your diet: Continue reading
Unlike the weather, as in Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it” fiber is different. Everybody talks about it and there is plenty we can do about it. Following is what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about it.
Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains all contain dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that provides minimal energy for the body. Although the body can’t use fiber efficiently for fuel, it’s an important part of a healthy eating plan and helps with a variety of health conditions.
- Heart disease: Fiber may help prevent heart disease by helping reduce cholesterol.
- Weight management: Fiber slows the speed at which food passes from the stomach to the rest of the digestive system – this can make us feel full longer. Foods that are higher in dietary fiber often are lower in calories as well.
- Diabetes: Because fiber slows down how quickly food is broken down, it may help control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels after meals.
- Digestive issues: Fiber increases bulk in the intestinal tract and may help improve the frequency of bowel movements.
The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories per day, or, about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men each day. Your exact needs may vary depending on your energy needs.
Whole grains and beans tend to be higher in fiber than fruits and vegetables, but all are sources of dietary fiber and contribute other important nutrients. Make sure to include a variety of these foods regularly to meet your dietary fiber needs. These are a few tips to help increase your fiber intake from foods:
- Mix in oats to meatloaf, bread or other baked goods.
- Toss beans into your next salad or soup.
- Chop up veggies to add to sandwiches or noodle dishes such as pasta or stir-fry.
- Blend fruit into a smoothie or use it to top cereal, pancakes or desserts.
It also is important to drink plenty of water and to increase your fiber intake gradually in order to give your body time to adjust.
Here is yet another reason to be sad about the SAD – Standard American Diet.
A new study by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California researcher links increased dietary potassium with lower hypertension.
Consuming potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to a USC researcher.
“Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure,” said Alicia McDonough, professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, “but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.” Continue reading
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.
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
I think it is crucial to remember that healthy living involves both eating well and exercising. Sometimes folks can get caught up in exercise and think “I can burn anything off.” Thoughts like this can lead to some very unpleasant circumstances and medical surprises. No matter how good your fitness regime is, you still need to eat intelligently, too.
This infographic from Miramont has some really good information on basic nutritious foods.
Eat less; move more; live longer.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but it appears you can tell something about food by its appearance. Good to eat and good to know. Isn’t this clever?
Although the orientation on this blog has shifted from straight weight loss to outright good health and long life, I thought this was an interesting and useful infographic. Besides the fact that these are ‘fat burning’ foods, they also happen to be wonderful nutritious foods with good calories, not the stuff you get in fast foods or junk foods. To read the other side of the good calories vs. empty calories coin, check out my post – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT.
Everybody does it. Who doesn’t like to snack? It can make a football game more fun to watch, but it can submarine your best laid weight loss plans. I hope you enjoy this snacking infographic. To read more detail on snacking check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. With apologies to Sergio Leone.
One meal I was determined to try while in London was a traditional English breakfast. My wife, who has lived in Britain, and a British coworker now in Chicago, had each told me about the breakfast tradition. I had little time to go looking for a traditional English breakfast during a week of meetings but I made a point to get one my last morning in London.
A London-based coworker had told be about a place near my hotel where I could get one for 6 British pounds, or about $9.
I was sitting in the breakfast place wondering how she knew about it even though it wasn’t near our office but then I saw her outside walking to work and realized it was on her daily route from her train to work! Continue reading