Tag Archives: fiber

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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Higher Dietary Fiber in Young Women May Cut Breast Cancer Risk – Harvard

Women who eat more high-fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood—especially lots of fruits and vegetables—may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fiber when young, according to a new large-scale study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study was published online February 1, 2016 in Pediatrics.

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Before we go further on the study here is a breakout on fiber from an earlier post:

Fiber is a form of indigestible carbohydrate found mainly in plant foods. Over the years, fiber has been hailed as a potential weapon against colon cancer, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Fiber’s vaunted health benefits were diminished slightly by findings that it doesn’t prevent colon polyps (precursors of colon cancer). But fiber slightly reduces LDL cholesterol, improves insulin resistance, and is linked to a lower rate of heart disease. It is considered one of the most important health attributes of foods.

Fiber slows the digestion of foods and therefore lowers their glycemic load, which likely helps to prevent diabetes. By increasing the bulk of foods and creating a feeling of fullness, fiber may also help you avoid overeating and becoming overweight. There is also some evidence that fiber might reduce the risk for duodenal ulcers, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
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10 Reasons to Include Buckwheat In Your Diet Plans

I am as new to buckwheat as you are. I always thought it was the stuff they put into airplane neck pillows. This post shows how wrong I can be.

Tony

Buckwheat for your health

bowl of buckwheat seeds

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. Buckwheat is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. Buckwheat is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat, helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
  8. Buckwheat is low in calories

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Pumpkin Power – October Superfood – Infographic

We are going to be seeing a lot of pumpkins in the coming weeks. How about some info on their nutritional value, besides just scaring us on dark nights.

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Tony

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16 Reasons To GO NUTS For Nuts

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

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Our Better Health

BY DR. RONALD HOFFMAN  NOVEMBER 29, 2013 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the health benefits of nuts. Researchers followed over a hundred thousand men and women over several decades and concluded that eating nuts helped them stave off the Grim Reaper. Seven or more servings of nuts per week cut the risk of dying by a third! (“A serving” was defined as one ounce, which is about one handful of almonds.)

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

It’s long been known that nuts are heart-healthy. A now-famous study of…

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10 Health Benefits of Oranges

I don’t know if this even qualifies as an infographic. I think it is a really good list of the benefits of eating oranges, so I thought I would post it for you. Orange you glad I did? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Orange

Tony

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How Healthy are Blueberries? – Infographic

In a few words, blueberries are very healthy. Blueberries benefit our cardiovascular health, brain health, insulin response and reduce our risk of getting cancer.

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Tony

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Eating Fibre After A Heart Attack May Prolong Life

How much fibre people ate before they had a heart attack did not affect how long they lived after a heart attack. But people who increased the amount of fibre they ate after a heart attack were less likely to die during the study than people who didn’t increase how much fibre they ate.

Cooking with Kathy Man

After having a heart attack, people who eat foods containing fibre, in particular cereal fibre, may live for longer than people who eat less fibre.

What do we know already?

A heart attack happens when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen and part of it dies. This usually happens when one of the vessels that take blood and oxygen to the heart is suddenly blocked.

Heart attacks are medical emergencies, which need to be treated in hospital straight away. After a heart attack, making lifestyle changes can help some people to recover and live for longer.

A previous study of people who’d had a heart attack looked at whether those who ate more foods with a lot of fibre (such as beans and lentils, wholegrain cereals, oats, fruits and vegetables) lived for longer than people who ate less fibre. It suggested fibre wasn’t linked to how long people lived after…

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Study: Low Fiber Intake Links to Higher Heart Risk

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) — an independent nonprofit organization that advises the U.S. government on health issues — recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men aged 19 to 50 and 30 grams a day for men over 50. The IOM recommends 25 grams a day for women aged 19 to 50 and 21 grams a day for women over 50.

But the average dietary fiber intake among the study participants was only about 16 grams per day, according to the study, which was published in the December issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Research looked at a decade of data from thousands of U.S. adults.

People who don’t eat enough fiber seem at increased risk for heart problems, and too few Americans are consuming enough fiber, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data collected from more than 23,000 U.S. adults between 1999 and 2010 and found that low fiber intake was strongly associated with heart disease risk factors such as obesity, inflammation and metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a group of symptoms that puts people at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Previous studies have found that dietary fiber may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation. Despite those findings, this new study found that Americans don’t have enough fiber in their diets.

Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.

The Institute of Medicine — an independent nonprofit organization that advises the U.S. government on health issues — recommends 38…

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Do Nuts Make You Fat?

Unfortunately, a lot of folks don’t eat very many nuts because they fear high calorie counts and high fat content.

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The key to including nuts in your diet is to pay attention to portion size. If you sit down with a big bag of nuts and eat them all, you are going to have a weight problem. On the other hand, if you measure out a serving of nuts and put away the bag you will be giving yourself high quality protein, fiber and essential fats. Healthy fats contribute to a ‘full feeling’ when eaten. If you take your time eating, you can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of nuts without any weight problems.

WHfoods.org had this to say about nuts, “Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journal Obesity shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.

“The 28-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain, found that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were participants who never or almost never ate nuts.

“And, among the study participants who gained weight, those who never or almost never ate nuts gained more (an average of 424 g more) than those who ate nuts at least twice weekly.

“Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain (5 kg or more). These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardioprotective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.”

A new study has found that women who ate peanut butter and other forms of nuts during their childhood years were less likely to develop breast disease later in life.

So, be a fully-informed consumer, don’t avoid a nutritious food like nuts because of a fear of high calories or fat content.

Tony

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What is a Tasty Summer Salad? Mr. Lazy Cook

As the heat of summer approaches it is nice to have some simple go-to meals that satisfy our nutritional needs that at the same time taste great. I consider my Avocado Walnut Summer Salad to be just such a thing.

I lived in London some years ago on a one-year assignment with Reuters. I stumbled across the basis of this salad there. Several restaurants that I frequented served a salad consisting  of a half avocado, pitted, and filled with salad dressing. That’s it. It tasted delicious and I ordered it often.

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I alluded to this salad when I wrote up the benefits of avocados back in February.

A good friend of mine has since added the excellent element of an ounce of chopped walnuts to the mix. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of walnuts in the previous post.

To make this salad, remove the pit of a ripe avocado, clean out the meat, slice up and place in a salad bowl, drop in an ounce of chopped walnuts and cover with salad dressing. Voila! Instant delicious summer salad.

Nutritionally:
The walnuts contribute:
Calories 185
Fat 18.5 grams
Saturated fat 1.7 g
No Cholesterol
Sodium 1 mg
Fiber 1.9 grams
Protein 4.3 grams

The avocado yields:
Calories 161
Fat 15 grams
Saturated fat 2.1 g
No Cholesterol
Sodium 7 mg
Fiber 7 grams
Protein 2 grams

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I consider this to be a really good high energy salad with all that fat. Remember, fat, per se, is not bad, but there are bad fats. The fats in walnuts and avocados are not bad fats. There is also nearly nine grams of fiber in this which comes to about a quarter of a day’s needs. Many people have a hard time consuming the 40 grams of fiber necessary each day for good health. If this has piqued your appetite for more info on good fats, check out Why should I try coconut oil? It might open your mind as well as your arteries.

I didn’t include the salad dressing because that will vary with the person making the salad. I use two tablespoons of the light stuff that comes to around 20 calories per tablespoon.

Let me know what you think of this.

Tony

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Two Super Diet Tips from Harvard

I write about healthy eating all the time. Also, most folks think about what they are eating – to some extent. But, we have 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition. Obviously, we need help with our eating, whether routine or on a special diet.harvardlogo

Harvard Medical School offered the following two tips:

“To really optimize your diet, keep these two additional tips in mind.
1.    Limit liquid sugars. Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages can deliver up to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving, with no other useful nutrients. These beverages offer no health or nutritional benefits. Worse, regular consumption of these drinks can increase your chances of becoming obese or developing diabetes — both of which raise your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Unsweetened coffee or tea or sparkling water are better choices.”

I have written repeatedly about the dangers of sugary as well as diet sodas. Love hearing it backed up by Harvard. Also, regarding the 12 teaspoons of sugar mentioned above. Remember, a teaspoon of sugar amounts to just over four grams. I offer that conversion because the amount of sugar is usually listed  in grams and if you don’t know how many grams in a teaspoon, you might not realize how much sugar you are getting.

That teaspoon of sugar weighs just over 4 grams.

That teaspoon of sugar weighs just over 4 grams.

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How Good is the Costco Energy Blend Snack?

On a recent trip to Costco, I happened upon the Energy Blend snack. As I shop there regularly and have never seen this before, I have to believe it is new to Costco. Since I ride my bike as close to daily as is possible in a four season city like Chicago, i am always on the lookout for fresh and portable sources of energy to take with me on rides.
energyblend
The Energy Blend seems to fill the bill. It has a simple composition of edamame (soybeans) , cranberries, almonds and pumpkin seeds. In addition there are blueberry pomegranate juice and natural strawberry flavor. These are some very good sources of nutrition on their own so the combination looks promising.

At this point, I have only had a single serving of it which comes to 1/4 cup or 30 grams – about an ounce.

I enjoyed eating it. Very nice taste and texture.

The nutritional breakdown is as follows:
Calories 130
Total Fat 6 grams
Saturated fat 0.5 grams
No trans fat
No cholesterol
Sodium 65 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14 grams
Fiber 4 grams
Protein 7 grams

This seems a very good nutritional breakdown to me. There is fat for energy, not too many calories, enough sodium to restore salt sweated away, a good slug of fiber and protein. I think it is worth the try.

Let me know what you think.

If you aren’t a regular reader, here are some other recommendations on Costco items:

Roasted Seaweed

Coconut oil

Fruit and Nut treats

Organic Chocolate Love Crunch

Rotisserie chicken

Sunrise energy bars

Tony

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Walnuts Cut Diabetes Risk – The Telegraph

“Nuts to you!” Takes on all new meaning with the latest info from The Telegraph in London. The Telegraph is reporting, “Eating walnuts just two or three times a week can reduce the risk of type two diabetes by a almost a quarter, according to new research.

“A study of nearly 140,000 women in the US shows regular helpings of a small portion of nuts can have a powerful protective effect against a disease that is threatening to become a global epidemic.

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“Women who consumed a 28 gramme (one ounce) packet of walnuts at least twice a week were 24 per cent less likely to develop type two diabetes than those who rarely or never ate them.

“The latest findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, are not the first to highlight the anti-diabetic effects of walnuts, with earlier research showing similar benefits.

“However, this is thought to be one of the largest studies to find regularly snacking on them can help prevent the condition. Continue reading

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Are Pistachios Good For You?

A reader sent in a comment on the food value of pistachios and also sent me some samples. I thought it was worth looking into them.

It turns out that pistachios have some super health benefits.

Here’s what the Galvin Nussingten of Streetdirectory.com says about them, “Pistachios help your cells. That’s right! Your cells get tremendous benefits from the antioxidants in these nuts. It’s one of the reasons why eating lots of chocolate isn’t all that bad. You may not be aware, however, of how helpful antioxidants can be for fighting oxidative stress, which is known to cause cell structure damage. Because of this, antioxidants are incredibly important to your overall health. Did you know that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have been linked with a lack of antioxidants?”

I wrote about the value of antioxidants previously.

Orandi Ranch pistachios and brochure sent in by a reader

The Orandi Ranch brochure states that a serving of pistachios has more antioxidants than red wine and blueberries combined.
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Mr. Lazy Cook Combines Whole Grains

I have written a number of items on simple little techniques to create nutritious meals with minimal effort.

Here is another one. I like to cook up a pot of whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, farro, etc. Although it takes over 30 minutes to cook up, it produces a major element in a half dozen meals.

For my latest experiment, I cooked up 2/3 cup of raw medium grain brown rice and 2/3 cup of barley together in organic chicken broth that I get from Costco by the quart.

Tasty barley-brown rice combo …

As you can see from the photo it cooks up into a lovely moist and tasty batch.

Later this week I will be making soup with cut up chicken from the rotisserie chicken I bought at Costco. Obviously, this latest combo of whole grains fits perfectly with that.

There are also nice cold salads you can put together based on this mixture of whole grains.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for each:

Barley: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 193, Carbohydrates 44 grams, no Cholesterol, Fat  1 gram, Sodium 4.7 mg, Fiber 6 grams and Protein 3.6 grams

Medium grain Brown Rice: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 218, carbohydrates 46 grams, no cholesterol, Fat 1.6 grams, Sodium 2.0 mg, Fiber 4.5 grams, and Protein 4.5 grams

Please do feel free to write in suggestions of meals you made with this.

A quick final note. I just had a side dish of this barley-brown rice pilaf for dinner and the combination had a lovely taste and texture.

Tony

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