Foods that Control Blood Sugar

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Doctors and research centers are now recommending plant based foods and certain animal foods which are beneficial to the reduction of blood sugar levels in diabetics.  Among the foods which were recommended are: broccoli, spinach, green beans, strawberries, salmon, lean meats, sparkling water, and cinnamon.

Diabetics Care, a research magazine, published a recent study on a group of diabetics who were fed a vegan diet and found 42% to be less likely to need medication after consuming the vegan diet.  This compared to 26% who consumed a diabetic diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association.  A vegan diet consists of plant based foods such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains.  The doctors who did the research on this control group also found that cholesterol levels were lower and that people lost more weight by following a vegan diet.

In a separate report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now recommending a plant based diet citing the green house gas effects caused by farm animals which release methane gas during their digestive process.  The Environment Protection Agency has concluded that this process is harmful to the environment.  On the other hand, plant based foods do not pose a threat to the environment.

It is quite a challenge to change ones diet.  I can remember when I first eliminated meat from my diet, it took six months for me to stop craving it.  It has been 25 years of not eating red meat and twelve years of not eating white meat and I can honestly say I do not crave meat.  Although it smells good when I am around people who eat it, I have more of a craving for the health vegan foods.  However, I still eat tuna and salmon for the protein supply and the omega 3 fatty acids.

Anyone who has not changed their diet or prefers to eat meat can still acquire better health by taking food supplements such as Herbalife, which removes toxins from the body and aids in supplying nutrients for better nutrition in any diet.

 

 

 

 

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Healthy Food Choices – Snacks

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Part of staying fit involves eating healthy meals.  If we are overweight, it is because we have been making poor choices in food.  We are consuming too much fats, too much sugar, and eating too many fast foods and processed foods.

If we have a habit of snacking on sweets between meals, we may need to replace those unhealthy snacks with healthy ones.  When we go shopping for instance, we need to closely examine the Nutritional Facts on the side of the box or can.  If the snack lists sugars as an ingredient in the snack, we need to avoid it, if the sugar content is high.  There are other healthy substitutes.

Here is a snack that I discovered about a year ago.  I make these once or twice a month.  The recipe is in the picture above, but I will repeat it here.

No Bake Energy Bites 

1 c. dry oatmeal

½ c. chocolate chips (Dark or semi-sweet is best)

½ c. peanut butter

½ c. ground flaxseed

1/3 c. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well blended.  Form into small balls and enjoy.  Resist the temptation to eat them all in one sitting.  I limit myself to two at a time.  Refrigerate the rest in a covered container, especially on a hot day.  The chocolate will melt.  Try adding 1/3 cup of coconut for a real treat!  There is no sugar in these, but they taste sweet because of the honey and are not packed with calories which are of no nutritive value.

 

Keeping the Pounds off in 2015

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Christmas is over, and if you enjoyed your Christmas, chances are you also gained weight and will keep it on for years to come.  New research has indicated that the vast majority of people who overeat over the holidays are likely to continue carrying those excess pounds for years to come.

A Revelation – The Need for Weight Management

The reason why we retain this weight is that we do not reduce the amount of snack food, even though we may buy more fruits and vegetables.  Researchers at Cornell University also found that families tend to increase the amount of calories they consume for their meals after the holidays. This behavior continues throughout the New Year.

Anyone who has struggled to maintain their weight knows that this is a never ending battle, finding it difficult to control the amount and types of food we are eating.  Some of us may be deceiving ourselves into believing that the foods we are eating are not affecting our weight, because the healthy foods that we eat are in some way counteracting the negative effects of the snacks and junk food.

This behavior continues until we look in the mirror one day, and to our amazement, we appear to have gained weight and some of our clothing no longer fits us.  How did we get this way and how can we stop this?

Monitoring What we Eat

The way to stop this is to be willing to admit that we are consuming too much of the wrong foods.  It would help to monitor everything we eat for one week to understand our bad habits and try to turn the behavior around.  We can enter the foods we eat into an application on Google Play or we can list the foods on an on-line Notebook.  Herbalife has a website, iChange, which is a very useful tool for monitoring our eating habits.  Used under the support and guidance of a wellness coach, it is very effective in helping us to control our weight.

The iChange website is designed to be used throughout the weight loss process.  We can track the food we eat on a daily basis, design healthier meals, and plan exercise regimes to help us stay active.  After we achieve our goals, we can continue to check in and monitor our lifestyles so that we stay on track for healthy weight management.

In conclusion, we can begin the New Year with weight management plans and goals to control our weight with a healthier lifestyle.  It is going to involve some work, but it will be meaningful.

Set Your Weight Loss Goals for 2015

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Some of us will have to set goals in order to lose the holiday weight.  Successful people set goals and make a commitment to keep them.   Anyone who has been struggling with weight management will need to set goals.  Admittedly, this could be a problem for anyone living in or visiting my state, Rhode Island, the home of Johnson and Wales University, one of the top culinary institutes in the United States!

However, goal setting is important because it will keep us focused and helps us to work on the plan.  We should begin by writing down the goal so that we can get motivated and excited about achieving the goal.  In this way, we will keep it in the forefront of our minds each day until we achieve the goal and we will be committed to achieving it.

Before we attend another party, Jaime Coffey Martinez, MS, RD says we can write down some of the healthier foods that we can look for on the buffet tables.  This would include, vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole gains and healthy fats.   Some of the not so obvious foods that would be included in this list are proteins such as: nuts, peanuts, eggs, beans, legumes, chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, fish, cheese, yogurt, wheat, and rye crackers and bread, yogurt and sardines.

If we are really serious about eating healthier foods, we can make a commitment to eat more protein foods, since these foods will curb our appetites and make us feel fuller, eliminating the possibility of overeating or eating too many sweets.

In conclusion, if we really want to change our lives in some way, such as losing weight, we need to set goals.

Game Plan for Weight Management

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With the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, we have a tendency to skip meals, eat between meals or overeat as we go from one store to another and then one party to another, after it is all done.  Helen Bond, a dietitian says we “take in an extra 500 calories a day over Christmas.”

The holidays are festive times where we strive to make food look and taste as appetizing as possible, to the extent where we try to offer everyone’s favorite treat.  Everything is nicely decorated and there is an abundance of sweet and fatty foods which entice us to eat more and more.  For this reason, if we want to avoid gaining too much weight, we need to have a strategy and be more aware of how we are tempted to eat a copious amount of food which is damaging to our health.

If by chance we should overindulge before Christmas, we can always eat a light breakfast the next day.  (A light breakfast does not include pizza!).  Drinking a healthy protein shake instead of eating a meal is one good way to lose the extra pounds.

Therefore, it would be wise to ensure that there is a container of protein shake mix and your favorite fruit and nuts to add to the shake in your kitchen.  It is important to have your favorite fruit and nuts to stir up the desire for the shake.  The nutritious protein shake contains vitamins and minerals which the body needs in order to function properly.

Carrying healthy snacks with us as we are shopping will help some of us to avoid dropping into the local coffee shop or restaurant for a calorie packed snack.  We can carry fruit, nuts, or protein snacks which will help curb our hunger.  James Krieger, a nutritionist says, “ A high protein intake will increase the calories you burn each day by 80-100 calories, compared to a normal protein intake.”

In conclusions, eating more protein will curb our hunger and help to burn the excess holiday calories.

 

Health and Nutrition for Children and Teens

strawberry-pancakes-tasty   I have started a video series for children called the Good Grub Club, where they can learn how to eat properly and get some exercise. They will also learn how to prepare easy delicious snacks as an alternative to the fattening snacks that they are eating. Today, about 12.5 million teens are obese because of overeating, the quality of the food they are eating,  and the sedentary lifestyles brought on because of the use of computers.  As a result, teens are developing high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol, which were once problems afflicting adults only. The incidence of obesity among teens is so severe that Surgeon General Richard Carmona has issued the following statement: “Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less, healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.” The goal of this video series is to establish communication with the children and encourage them to learn how to take responsibility for their health and make better choices about their lifestyles.  By doing so, they will be able to lose weight and feel more energetic.  I encourage you to direct your friends and family to the link to the video on You Tube.