Tag Archives: protein

Nutrition and Plant-Based Milk Substitutes – Tufts

It’s beginning to feel like the plants are taking over. Meatless burgers at fast food restaurants. What’s next? Plant-based beverages, of course. Tufts does a good job of explaining how it is not a totally one-for-one substitution.

Enjoy plant-based beverages; but be aware most are not equivalent to milk.
The market for plant-based alternatives to dairy products continues to grow, as lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, veganism, environmental concerns, and other factors lead Americans to look for alternatives to dairy. So where do these beverages fit into a healthy dietary pattern?

How They are Made: To understand the nutrient profiles of plant-based beverages, one first needs to know how they are made. The raw materials (nuts, grains, legumes, or seeds) are soaked in water and ground (or ground and then soaked). The resulting slurry is strained to remove solids, and then any flavorings, sweeteners, and desired nutrients can be added. Thickening agents (such as locust bean gum, carrageenan, or xanthan gum), and stabilizers to keep the mixtures from separating, are often required. The products undergo heat treatment that kills any microorganisms, and they are packaged for market.

This process results in a beverage with a nutrient profile significantly different from the original plant food. Continue reading

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Filed under alternative protein, dairy products, plant protein, plant-based diet, plant-based milk substitutes

Tips from Tufts on eating eggs …

I count myself as one of those confused about whether and to what extent eggs are a healthy addition to my diet. Love the protein, not so thrilled with the fats… Here is what the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter has to say about it.

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Filed under American Heart Association, cholesterol, diabetes, eggs, HDL Cholesterol, heart attack, LDL Cholesterol

What about those fake meat products?

I have been hearing a lot lately about the new fake meat, plant-based, products that are becoming so popular. Are they really healthier than meat? Here is a super rundown from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods are not a new phenomenon. Tofu, for example, has often been treated as an alternative to meat for centuries. In more recent decades, food companies have processed mixtures of soy and other legumes, grains, and a variety of plants into burgers, nuggets, sausages, and other meat-shaped products. These creations were often targeted towards a vegan or vegetarian demographic, and despite their appearance, were not necessarily intended to completely recreate the taste of their meat-based counterparts.

However, a new generation of plant-based meat alternatives is aiming to do just that. In a recent JAMA Viewpoint, Dr. Frank Hu, Chair of the Department of Nutrition, and co-authors including Gina McCarthy, Director of C-CHANGE at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, discuss how popular products like Impossible Foods’ and Beyond Meat’s burger patties are aimed to appeal to a broader consumer base with their “unique mimicry” of beef in both taste and experience. They also note how these products are often marketed as a way to “help reduce reliance on industrial meat production,” aligned with recent reports calling for dietary patterns higher in plant-based foods for both human and planetary health.

Can these novel products be considered part of a healthy and sustainable diet? According to the Viewpoint authors, the answer to this question “remains far from clear given the lack of rigorously designed, independently funded studies.” We spoke with Dr. Hu to learn more about the potential benefits and concerns surrounding popular plant-based meat alternatives.


Although these alternative meats are being made from plants, you suggest caution in applying existing research findings on plant-based foods and human health. Can you talk about some of that evidence, and why it’s not readily applicable? Continue reading

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Filed under alternative protein, fake meat, meat, plant protein, plant-based meat, processed meats, protein

Some common sense ideas on fat- Tufts

Fat is a much maligned element of the modern diet. High-fat, Low-fat, Fat-free – which way to go? Here are some common sense observations from Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

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Fat (especially unsaturated fat) is part of a healthy dietary pattern. If you have a fear of fats, try these tips:

-Include healthy fats from reasonable quantities of vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and avocados

-Avoid “reduced-fat” foods high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars

-Limit red and processed meats, butter, and tropical oils

-Strive for a balanced diet that includes (healthy) fats, (mainly unrefined) carbohydrates, and protein (from sources other than red and processed meats) Continue reading

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Want to cut down on meat-eating? Here are alternatives from Tufts

If you are feeling uncomfortable with the amount of meat you are eating, but don’t want to short yourself on protein, here are some good alternative ideas from Tufts Medical Center.

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A. Katie Fort, a dietetic intern at Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center, explains: “There is a growing body of data that demonstrates the health benefits of eating less meat and more plant-based foods. Though meat is an excellent source of protein, you get adequate amounts of protein from other foods. Here are some good ones: Continue reading

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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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Filed under good night's sleep, hydration, protein, relaxation, sleep aids

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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Filed under aging, aging myths, osteoporosis, plant protein, protein, successful aging, walking, weight-bearing exercise

Tufts offers smart snacks for pre-exercise

I have written about snacks and snacking numerous times. You can check out my Page Snacking – the good, the bad and the ugly if you want more details. Herewith The Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter take on the subject.

Make sure you’re properly fueled for a workout, but avoid mindless snacking.

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If you start exercise low on fuel, you could end up feeling weak and run out of steam. Or, you may simply feel hungry, making it hard to focus on your exercise. However, unnecessary snacking before a workout may make exercise uncomfortable and add calories you don’t need, counteracting the calorie burn of your physical activity.

What you’re already eating for meals and snacks likely covers your exercise energy needs.

“I think there’s a misconception that you need to eat a snack before exercise, but this is generally only necessary if it’s been at least 2 to 3 hours since your last meal,” says Jennifer Sacheck, PhD, an associate professor at Tufts’ Friedman School who specializes in physical activity research. “For example, if you eat lunch at 11 a.m. and are going to the gym at 5 p.m., or you exercise first thing in the morning, you’ll need to refuel before exercise.” However, if you ate a late lunch at 2 p.m., and you’re working out at 4:30 p.m., you shouldn’t need a snack first. Continue reading

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Filed under cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, snack foods, Snacking

10 Metabolism secrets to help shed pounds – Infographic

The aim of this blog is not to simply lose weight. It is to live a healthy, happy and long life and to have all our mental faculties functional till the end. I am including this infographic because it has a lot of good information on those very things – as well as losing weight.

Eat less; move move; live longer.

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Tony

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, ideal weight, overweight, stress, Weight, weight control, weight loss

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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Portion control visuals – Infographic

I am still convinced that portion control is a key concept in controlling your weight. If you stick with these you can’t go far wrong.

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Tony

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All Fat Grams Are Not Created Equal

Here is another super infographic where one picture is worth a thousand words.

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NaturalNews says that avocados boost health in at least five ways:

1. Protein “Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.”

To read more on good fats, check my post: Are Avocados Good for You?

For further info on junk food: A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.

Tony

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Filed under fat, healthy fats, Uncategorized

Just Lose it!

I thought there were some good ideas here on general health and well-being, not just losing weight, or fat.

I especially liked the fact that he mentioned getting a good night’s sleep. This is definitely one of the under-appreciated aspects of good health. To read more on it, check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep?

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Tony

 

 

Here I was, sitting on my lazy butt eating because I had no set diet plan for the day. You get lazy, you eat crappy, it’s a cycle and you don’t even notice it.

So do you want to get fit? Do you want to lose that extra fat that makes you sick? Take these five tips seriously.

1. Cardio on an empty stomach upon waking up.  It can be difficult but try doing it right when u wake up, before hunger strikes. It’s a great fat burner as it targets directly your body  fat as opposed to the carbohydrates and foods you have just consumed.

2. Avoid Carbs after 6pm. Your body just can’t lose that and it will simply store into fat.

3. Focus on weight training, if you think pure cardio will lose that belly or lose that fat you are wrong.  Your body Works the most…

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Nine Diet Mistakes that Are Making You Tired

For a balanced release of energy choose low-glycemic carbohydrates such as 100-per-cent stone-ground bread, 100-per-cent bran cereals, steel-cut and large-flake oatmeal, milk, yogurt, soy beverages, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, dried apricots, berries, nuts, seeds and beans and lentils.
There is wonderful, useful information in this piece. Once again, a recurring theme is how processed foods bring us down. It’s so much better to keep out food choices simple and natural.

You can check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for more.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

You eat too many refined carbs.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are metabolized into blood glucose, the only form of energy the body can use immediately. But not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Highly processed, refined carbs (e.g., white bread and crackers, refined breakfast cereals, sweets and sugary drinks) rank high on the glycemic index.

That means they cause large spikes in blood glucose followed by sharp drops, which can bring on fatigue. Sugar also blocks the activity of orexin-producing cells, brain cells that stimulate wakefulness.

For a balanced release of energy choose low-glycemic carbohydrates such as 100-per-cent stone-ground bread, 100-per-cent bran cereals, steel-cut and large-flake oatmeal, milk, yogurt, soy beverages, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, dried apricots, berries, nuts, seeds and beans and lentils.

You skimp on protein.

Protein-rich meals help you feel more alert by counteracting drowsiness that can be brought on by consuming excessive sugar or carbohydrates.

Including protein at meals…

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10 Weight Loss Diet Tips – Infographic

None of these are shocking new information, but I think they combine well and maybe remind us of something we aren’t doing right now, or as often as is healthy.

I like the 80/20 rule a lot. Eat natural, unprocessed foods 80 percent of the time and your favorite processed treats 20 percent.

Diet+Tips

Tony

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8 Benefits of Eating Eggs – Infographic

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What seems like a hundred years ago, I was a young reporter on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange covering, among other markets, the Shell Egg Futures market. As a result I daily came in contact with folks in the egg industry. I started eating eggs regularly and my health did not suffer in any way. If you want to read further about the benefits of eating eggs, check out this post: Is it Healthy to Eat Eggs Regularly?

Tony

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