Tag Archives: meat

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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Filed under Exercise, plant protein, protein, weight control

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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Filed under alternative protein, beans and peas, plant protein, protein, Uncategorized

Less meat, more plant-based protein may prolong your life – JAMA

In my youth, I became a vegetarian for a period of about five years. In that time, I tipped the scales in the high 140 pound bracket (I was around 5’11” at the time). I did yoga most days and felt like a million dollars. Those days are past (I am now down to around 5’9-1/2″) and I ride my bike pretty much daily for exercise. I eat meat sparingly, because of the fats. So, I was not surprised to see the latest from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Eating more protein from plant sources was associated with a lower risk of death and eating more protein from animals was associated with a higher risk of death, especially among adults with at least one unhealthy behavior such as smoking, drinking and being overweight or sedentary, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

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“The consideration of food sources is critical to better understanding the health effects of eating protein and fine-tuning dietary recommendations. Continue reading

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Filed under fat, meat, plant protein, plant-based diet

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.

Cooking with Kathy Man

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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Tips on Eliminating Meat from your Diet – Mayo Clinic

I haven’t eliminated meat from my diet, but I have cut back sharply. If you are considering either going without meat, or cutting way back, you have probably wondered about what you will be missing in nutrition. Well, Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter offered some worthwhile tips for just such a situation.

” … if you eliminate or markedly reduce only the meat in your diet, but still consume animal products such as dairy and eggs, and a wide variety of plant-based foods, you should have no problem getting adequate protein, iron, calcium and vitamin B-12.

Not so much ...

Not so much …

“Even a vegan diet — which eliminates all animal-based foods, including dairy and eggs — provides adequate protein and iron if you get enough calories and eat a variety of foods, including soy products, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables.

“The only true nutritional issues for those who adopt a balanced vegan diet are:
•    Calcium — If you don’t consume dairy products, a calcium supplement may be necessary. Other calcium sources include fortified products such as some types of tofu, soy milk, breakfast cereal and fruit juice. Dark green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, also contain calcium.

•    Vitamin B-12 — Some foods, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamin B-12. Still, you may need to take a vitamin supplement to get this important nutrient.
The key to a healthy meatless diet, like any diet, is to enjoy a variety of foods. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs.

“Want more great health information? Visit the store now to see the latest products from Mayo Clinic doctors, specialists and editorial staff.”

Tony

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Filed under health, healthy eating, healthy living, Mayo Clinic, meat, portion control, Weight

What Are Three Rules for Healthy Eating?

I was reading Bicycling magazine this morning and ran across a short article by a personal trainer for cyclists on three rules every cyclist should live by. Turns out they are three rules that every person should live by. images-1

The first is that real food doesn’t need a label. Good point. The author, James Berrera, points out that packaged foods are often loaded with sugar, salt and fat “that stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers, which encourages us to keep eating even when we are full. Plus, the body processes nutrients much more efficiently when they come from whole foods.”

The second rule is to eat less meat. Berrera states, “The populations that live longest consume a more plant-based diet than the average American does.”

Rule three is fill up on nutrients, not calories. “One of the biggest problems with processed treats like cookies is that they’re light on nutrients yet pack a high number of calories into a small volume.

Indeed, I wrote almost these same words in my item A love letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT from last November in which I gave chapter and verse on why Ho Ho’s qualify as junk food.

Tony

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Filed under Bicycling magazine, fat, salt, sugar, Weight

How Many Vegetarians Are There?

Ever wonder the answer to that question? I seem to know more and more people who are giving up meat, either entirely or most of the time.

So a story caught my eye recently that says 17 percent of Americans are now not eating meat at many meals, defined as less than half, and 16 percent are not eating meat at more than half of their meals. Roughly 5 percent say they are true vegetarians, never eating meat, poultry or fish, and half of those are vegans.

Are you eating meat these days?

Here’s a rundown of the results mentioned in the Progressive Grocer story:

How Often Do Americans Eat Vegetarian Meals (no meat, fish, seafood, poultry)?

6%     One meal per week
4%     One full day per week
17%   Many of my meals, but less than half the time
16%   More than half my meals, but not all the time
5%     Never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry
48%   Thus we estimate this is the audience for good tasting vegetarian foods that fit individual needs
48%    Say they eat meat, fish, or poultry at all my meals

There’s little doubt American diets have been skewed toward too much meat in the post-World War II era, and also that the meat we’re eating isn’t as healthy as it once was. All that still isn’t pushing me completely away from meat, however. How about you?

John

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Filed under healthy eating, Snacking, Uncategorized