Posts Tagged ‘Good Fats’

Fats & cholesterol

November 30, 2014

Understanding fats and cholesterol 
goodversusbadfatblackman
Fats have got a bad rap over the past few years, but fats are an essential part of healthy eating.

Healthier fats
Healthier fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats – omega-3 and omega-6. These fats reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood and increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This helps to lower your risk of getting heart disease.

Unhealthy fats
Unhealthy fats include saturated fats and trans fats. Too much saturated and trans fat increases LDL levels in our blood contributing to the build up of fatty material, called plaque, on the inside of your blood vessels which is a major cause of heart disease.

Replacing unhealthy fats with healthier fats
To reduce the risk of heart disease, foods with unsaturated fat should be used in place of foods with saturated fat, and trans fat should be limited as much as possible.

Sources of saturated fat include:

  • Processed meat such as sausages, burgers and salami
  • Pastry
  • Fatty or fried take-away foods
  • Packaged cakes and biscuits
  • Butter
  • Hard and full fat soft cheeses
  • Full fat dairy products
  • Cream
  • Crème fraiche
  • Chicken skin
  • Fat on meats
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Palm oil

Sources of unsaturated fat include:

  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oils made from olives, nuts and seeds (e.g. olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower)
  • Oily fish
  • Lean meats and poultry, eggs
  • Margarine spreads (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
What about cholesterol?
Cholesterol in foods (dietary cholesterol) has only a small effect on your blood cholesterol, especially when compared with the much greater increase caused by saturated and trans fat in food.

 Choosing less unhealthy fat (saturated and trans fat) and more healthier fats is more important to your blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.

What can I do?

  • Choose vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and nuts and seeds everyday.
  • Including fish two to three times a week instead of meat or chicken is a simple way to reduce saturated fat in the diet while getting the added benefits of omega-3.
  • Limit deep fried foods and fatty take-away foods and fatty snacks, such as crisps, cakes, pastries, biscuits and chocolate.
  • Use reduced fat milk, cheese and yoghurt.
  • Select lean meat, poultry and game. Try to trim all visible fat from the meat before cooking. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Use spreads and margarines made from canola, sunflower or olive oil and dairy blends with the Heart Foundation Tick instead of butter. Spread thinly so you can still see the bread.
  • Cook with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils, such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils. Measure out your oil with a teaspoon or use a spray oil.
  • Grill, bake, poach, steam or stir fry rather than shallow or deep frying and roasting in oil so that you don’t need to use a lot of fat.
What is the Heart Foundation doing?
The Heart Foundation, through the Tick Program, works with manufactures to improve the nutrition profile of commonly consumed processed foods. The Tick Program sets strict criteria for saturated and trans fat. For example, the Heart Foundation began challenging Australian margarine manufacturers to remove trans fats to the lowest possible levels in the early 90s.  
As a result the levels of trans fats in almost all margarines in Australia are now amongst the lowest levels in the world.

Read more about margarine vs butter here.

The Heart Foundation also works to improve the food supply, so that healthier oils are used when Australians choose to eat out.  Find out more about the Healthier Oils initiative.

Healthy heart tip
Include a handful of nuts everyday, not only are they delicious but they are nutritious providing healthier unsaturated fats, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Choose raw, dry roasted and unsalted varieties.

Information sourced from: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/fats/pages/default.aspx

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Lactose Intolerance

August 26, 2014

Lactose is the main sugar in milk and other dairy products. If you have lactose intolerance, you can’t digest it well. Lactose intolerance is not curable, but there are many ways to cut your symptoms and feel better.

What Are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

Between 30 minutes and 2 hours after eating a dairy product, you have one or more of these symptoms. They may be mild or severe.

  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Painful gas
  • Nausea

Even with lactose intolerance, you can tolerate a certain amount of lactose. This affects how quickly you have symptoms and how severe they are. Someone else may be sensitive to small amounts of foods with lactose, while you may be able to eat more before you have symptoms.

What Foods Have Lactose?

Dairy products such as milk and ice cream are some of the most common foods high in lactose. It’s also in foods with dry milk solids, milk byproducts, nonfat dry milk powder, or whey, such as:

  • Breads and baked goods
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Salad dressings

Lactose is in some prescription medicines, including birth control pills, and over-the-counter drugs, such as some tablets to ease stomach acid or gas.

What Causes Lactose Intolerance?

If you have lactose intolerance, you can’t digest lactose because your small intestine doesn’t make enough lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose. The lactose that isn’t digested makes gas in your colon.  So when you eat foods or take pills with lactose, you have symptoms.

For many people, lactose intolerance develops naturally with age, because the small intestine starts to make less lactase.

Your body may also make less lactase if your small intestine is injured or you have certain digestive problems, such as Crohn’s or celiac disease.

Who Gets Lactose Intolerance?

Millions of Americans have lactose intolerance, so it’s quite common. About 75% of all people around the globe have too little lactase to some degree. If you’re African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American, you’re more likely to have it.

What Is Life Like With It?

Lactose intolerance is easy to manage. You can probably eat some foods with lactose and not have symptoms. You may need to use trial and error to figure out what foods and how much of them you can tolerate, though.

You can also find many lactose-free dairy options at grocery stores. Lactase enzyme supplements can help you get the nutrition benefits of dairy, especially bone-building calcium and vitamin D, and avoid symptoms of lactose intolerance. And nondairy drinks, such as soy, almond, and rice milk, are often fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

If you have lactose intolerance, keep these things in mind:

  • You may do better having a little milk or dairy products with meals, because it’s easier to digest lactose eaten with other foods.
  • Some dairy products may be easier for you to digest, such as cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  • Using lactose-free milk, cheese, and other nondairy products in recipes will likely make the meal more pleasant.

     

Thirty minutes have passed since you ate a bowl of ice cream, and now your stomach is cramping and gassy. You feel like you might have diarrhea. Does this sound like you? Or, you had milk, mashed potatoes, or even candy almost 2 hours ago and have these symptoms. Does that sound like you? If either does, you could have lactose intolerance.

Lactose is the main sugar in milk and most other dairy products. Your small intestine makes the enzyme lactase to help you digest that sugar. When you’re lactose intolerant, you don’t make enough lactase to digest lactose well.

You can’t cure lactose intolerance, but if you change what and how you eat, you may cut or even get rid of your symptoms.

Ease Your Symptoms

Millions of Americans have symptoms of lactose intolerance: 

  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Painful gas
  • Nausea

You can use trial and error to find out what foods cause symptoms, and in what amount. Or, you may want to see your doctor for a diagnosis. You may be sensitive to small amounts of foods that have lactose, or you may only have symptoms if you eat a lot of lactose foods. Your symptoms may be severe or mild. Lactose intolerance is different for everyone.

Find the Culprits (Hint: It might not just be dairy.)

Milk and dairy products are the best-known lactose foods, but there are many others. Some nondairy products have a protein called casein, which can have traces of lactose. To avoid symptoms from lactose intolerance, read food labels carefully. When shopping or cooking, look for these ingredients that have lactose: 

  • Curds
  • Dry milk solids
  • Milk
  • Milk byproducts
  • Dry milk powder
  • Whey

If you are highly sensitive to lactose, you may need to avoid foods such as: 

  • Baked goods
  • Bread, baking, and pancake mixes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Certain types of candy, such as milk chocolate
  • Instant foods (breakfast drink mixes, mashed potatoes, soups, and meal replacement drinks)
  • Margarine
  • Nondairy creamers (liquid and powdered)
  • Nondairy whipped topping
  • Processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meats)
  • Protein and meal replacement bars
  • Salad dressing

Get a Diagnosis

Your doctor may ask you to keep a diary of the foods you eat, to note when you have symptoms, and to stop eating an offending food to see if your symptoms go away. To make a diagnosis, some doctors simply look at your symptoms and whether avoiding dairy products for 2 weeks relieves them.

To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may do other tests, such as:

  • Hydrogen Breath Test: Normally, people have very little hydrogen in their breath. If your body doesn’t digest lactose, though, hydrogen builds in your intestines, and after a while it’s in your breath. This test measures how much hydrogen is in your breath after you have a lactose-loaded drink several times in a few hours. If your levels are high 3 to 5 hours later, your body does not digest lactose well.
  • Lactose Tolerance Test:  When your body breaks down lactose, it releases sugar into your blood. This tests how much sugar is in your blood. After you fast, a small sample of blood is taken. Then, you drink a liquid that is high in lactose. Two hours later, you give another blood sample. Because lactose causes blood sugar levels to rise, your blood sugar levels in this sample should be higher. If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll have just a low rise in blood sugar and symptoms.

How to Manage Lactose Intolerance

You can’t change how well your body digests lactose, but you can cut or even stop your symptoms.

Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian who can help you plan a healthy diet that keeps you feeling good. Keep a food diary to help you learn how much (if any) dairy you can eat without having symptoms. Many people don’t need to stop eating all dairy.

If you make small changes in what you eat, you may be able to prevent symptoms by helping your body digest dairy foods easier.

  • Don’t eat dairy alone. It’s easier for your body to digest lactose when you eat it with other foods. So try having small amounts of milk or dairy foods with meals.
  • Choose easier-to-digest dairy products. Some people find it easier to digest dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  • Use lactose-free or reduced-lactose milk and dairy products. You can find dairy products with most of the lactose removed, or lactase added, at many grocery stores.
  • Switch to dairy-free products. There are many nondairy options, such as almond, rice, or soy milks. Special note about infants and young children: When babies have symptoms of lactose intolerance, many children’s doctors advise changing from cow’s milk formula to soy milk formula until the symptoms go away, then slowly adding cow’s milk formula and dairy products back into their diets.
  • Take a lactase enzyme replacement. These are available over the counter in pills or capsules. Take the advised dose with your first drink or bite of dairy to help prevent lactose intolerance symptoms.

Lactose: How Much Can You Take?

If your doctor just broke the news that you’re lactose intolerant, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get to savor another bite of ice cream.

At first, many people fear they’ll have to give up all dairy products, says Dee Sandquist, RD, a dietitian in Fairfield, Iowa. But with some trial and error, most people find they can still eat small amounts of dairy without having symptoms such as bloating, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, or nausea.

Dairy foods are important to the health of your bones, because they’re loaded with calcium and vitamin D. So the trick is to make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients, whether from dairy or other foods.

“Listen to your body and your symptoms,” says Sandquist, who is also a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How Severe Are Your Symptoms?

How much dairy you can eat depends on how much lactase — the enzyme that digests lactose — your body makes, says Yuri A. Saito-Loftus, MD, MPH. She’s an assistant professor in the Mayo Clinic’s division of gastroenterology and hepatology. “That does vary a little bit from individual to individual. We don’t know 100% what controls that. Presumably, it’s genetically determined.”

Some people with lactose intolerance can adapt. You may be able to add small amounts of foods with lactose to your diet over time and have fewer symptoms. “If you keep eating dairy, you can stimulate some lactase production,” Saito-Loftus says. “That may help you better tolerate dairy products.”

If your symptoms are so severe that you can’t handle lactose in any foods, talk to your doctor about how to get enough calcium and vitamin D.

What Foods You Can Eat — and How Much

“Many people know their symptoms pretty well, so they know if they can handle just a little bit or not,” Sandquist says. In that case, you may be able to keep a mental tally of foods or amounts of foods to avoid. Other people get a better sense of what their body can take by jotting down notes. “A diary is extremely helpful because then you can log what symptoms you have, what you’ve eaten,” Sandquist says. “You can look back and see if there’s a pattern.”

Figure out what foods you can eat. If you’re not sure which foods with lactose you can handle, try one dairy food at a time, Sandquist says. You should be able to tell whether it bothers you within 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating it. Any discomfort from lactose intolerance is likely to set in by then. For example, drink a half-cup of dairy milk and see how well you tolerate it.

See how much you can eat. If you don’t have symptoms from the food and the amount you try, slowly add more to see at what point you do have symptoms. For instance, maybe you don’t have symptoms with a cup of milk, but you do with one and a fourth cups of milk. So your tolerance level is one cup.

If you do have symptoms, cut back on the amount to see if you can handle a smaller portion. 

Once you’ve found how much of one food you can handle, start testing another food.

Find Substitutes

You may find you can’t tolerate any amount of some foods. That’s a good time to try lactose-free or reduced-lactose foods.

For instance, if milk doesn’t agree with you, try lactose-free milk or a dairy-free drink, such as almond, rice, or soy milk. If you have problems digesting cheese, try one with less lactose.

  • Nonfat dry milk powder, 1 cup: 62 grams lactose
  • Sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup: 40 grams lactose
  • Evaporated milk, 1 cup: 24 grams lactose
  • Milk, 1 cup: 10-12 grams lactose
  • Ice milk, 1/2 cup: 9 grams lactose
  • Ice cream, 1/2 cup: 6 grams lactose
  • Yogurt, 1 cup: 5 grams lactose
  • Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup: 2-3 grams lactose
  • Blue cheese, 1 oz.: 2 grams lactose
  • Sherbet, orange, 1/2 cup: 2 grams lactose
  • American, Swiss, or Parmesan cheese, 1 oz.: 1 gram lactose
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 oz.: 0 grams lactose

Be Aware of Calcium Needs

People who are lactose intolerant tend to cut out dairy foods. If you do that, you can shortchange yourself on calcium. You need calcium for healthy teeth and bones, and vitamin D to help your body use calcium. “People who are lactose intolerant are at higher risk for osteoporosis,” or thinning bones, Saito-Loftus says.

If you have lactose intolerance, you don’t have to miss out on the bone-building benefits of calcium and vitamin D. Some lactose-free foods are fortified with these nutrients, such as lactose-free milk and cottage cheese. Some nondairy milks — almond, oat, rice, and soy — are also enriched with calcium and vitamin D.

Look at the label, and try to get at least as much calcium and vitamin D as you would get from regular cow’s milk. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help you fill in any gaps to ensure you “bone up” on these vital nutrients.   

Also, add these foods to your diet for an added boost of calcium (without the lactose):

  • Bok choy and Chinese cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Greens: collard, kale, mustard, or turnip
  • Orange juice that is fortified with calcium
  • Salmon or sardines with bones, canned
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu, calcium set

Vitamin D-rich foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Orange juice that is fortified
  • Swordfish or salmon, cooked
  • Tuna fish or sardines, canned

Lactose-Free Milk and Nondairy Beverages

Does milk upset your stomach? You could be lactose intolerant.  
But even if you are, you can probably still enjoy light coffee and creamy desserts without discomfort. Here’s how.

Lactose-Free and Nondairy Options

Dairy products are high in calcium, protein, and other nutrients. You may still be able to get these nutrients from dairy if you’re lactose intolerant.

  • “On average, most lactose-intolerant people can tolerate about 250 ml of lactose,” says David Goldstein, MD, a gastroenterologist in Emerson, N.J. That’s about 1 cup (8 ounces) of dairy milk. Start by trying 1/2 cup of regular milk or less with a meal.
  • Take lactase tablets or capsules before eating or drinking foods that have dairy products or milk.
  • Drink and cook with lactose-free milk. It has added lactase to break down the lactose. It also has about the same nutrients as regular milk.

For nondairy milk, consider these options. They vary in nutrition, so before you buy, compare the labels next to cow’s milk. Choose one that is fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Use unsweetened nondairy milk in savory dishes like mashed potatoes. You might like vanilla, chocolate, or other flavors for baking. 

  • Soy milk is the best source of protein of the nondairy options. It’s thicker than cow’s milk and slightly beige in color.
  • Coconut milk is creamy like whole milk. It has little protein, though, and about the same saturated fat as whole milk — about 4 grams in a cup.
  • Almond milk is also like cow’s milk in texture, though slightly beige in color. It tastes faintly like almonds. It may have more calcium than dairy milk, along with vitamins D and E. But an 8-ounce glass of almond milk has only about 1 gram of protein.
  • Rice milk is white, like cow’s milk, and thinner and sweeter than almond milk. It doesn’t work as well as thicker milks in sauces and puddings. It is low in protein, like almond milk. But you can find it fortified with calcium.
  • Hemp milk is thick and sometimes a little grainy. It is made of hemp seeds, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also has protein but falls short in calcium.

If you have stomach symptoms while using any non-dairy options, the problem may be guar gum. It’s often added for thickness, says Sonya Angelone, RDN, a dietician in San Francisco and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “This can affect some people adversely, and they experience gas just like they might with lactose.”

Lactose Intolerance vs. Milk Allergy

Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy, which involves your immune system.

Lactose is the sugar in milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, a glass of milk or a bowl of creamy soup can give you intestinal trouble like cramps, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. That’s because your small intestine isn’t making enough of the enzyme lactase. Lactase breaks down milk sugar so your bloodstream can absorb it well.

A milk allergy can cause stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea, too. But it can also cause hives, swelling, and more severe symptoms, like a drop in blood pressure and trouble breathing.

“If you think you have lactose intolerance, get tested so you have a clear diagnosis,” suggests Beth Kitchin, PhD, RDN. She’s an assistant professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “The dietary advice for each is really different, so getting an accurate diagnosis is important.”

First, your doctor may suggest you avoid all milk products briefly to see if your symptoms improve. If they do, the doctor may do a test to confirm that you are lactose intolerant.

Dairy trouble got you down? Don’t worry! You can still enjoy some of your favorite foods. Try these simple recipe swaps so you can eat the foods you love.

Milk Options

If a recipe calls for 1 cup of cow’s milk, you can replace it with lactose-free cow’s milk or rice or soy milk. Just remember: Rice milk is thinner and soy milk is thicker than cow’s milk. So you may need to tweak the amount you use in cooking and baking.

Closest to milk.  Lactose-free milk is treated with lactase to break down the lactose. It is the closest cousin to regular cow’s milk in taste and offers the same nutrients, such as calcium.

Flavor changers. The most popular alternatives for drinking and cooking are almond, rice, and soy milk. Try them first to make sure you enjoy the taste, and keep in mind that the milk’s flavor may affect the taste of what you’re making. Here are some newer milk options:

  • Cashew
  • Hemp seed
  • Oat
  • Potato

No-Nos. Goat, sheep, and buffalo milk are not suitable, because they all contain lactose.

Cooking Tips. The safest bet, in both sweet and savory recipes, is to choose a light, plain, and unsweetened product.

  • In bread, cake, cookie, or sweet recipes, flavored or sweetened milks may also work.
  • When buttermilk is an ingredient, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of plain milk substitute to make your own. Some store-bought cow’s milk buttermilk, if made with active bacteria cultures, may be low in lactose.
  • When dry milk powder is an ingredient, use an equal amount of coconut, potato, rice, or soy milk powder instead.

Cream Substitutes

There are a few alternatives to heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half that have similar mouth-feel and thickness to the real thing.

  • Coconut cream makes a good swap for half-and-half when you blend it with half soy milk. Another option: Create your own light cream by mixing 3/4 cup of a plain milk substitute with 1/4 cup of canola oil.
  • Coconut milk can replace evaporated milk or heavy cream in soups and stews. You can also make your own heavy cream with 1/2 cup plain milk substitute and 1/2 cup canola oil.
  • Dairy and lactose free half-and-half substitutes work well in many recipes.

You may be able to use nut butters made from almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, or macadamias instead of dairy cream in some recipes. Make a nut cream by whisking 1 cup of water into 1/4 cup of nut butter.

Butter Substitutes

Fruit purees. In baked goods (other than cookies), you can substitute fruit purees like applesauce, prune, or banana for part or all of the butter. Usually ¾ cup of fruit puree replaces 1 cup of butter. Many chefs use this approach to lower fat and calories, and make muffins, brownies, and cakes healthier.

Dairy-free margarines or oils. You can also use dairy-free or soy margarine, coconut oil, shortening, and olive or canola oil for part or all of the butter.

Yogurt Substitutes

You may be able to tolerate some cow’s milk yogurts, because they have very little lactose. Choose ones with live, active bacterial cultures for the least amount of lactose.

If you can’t tolerate regular yogurt, try soy or coconut milk yogurts, soy sour cream, or unsweetened fruit puree.

Sour Cream Substitutes

Let soy based or lactose-free sour creams serve as subs in your favorite recipes. Pureed silken tofu and plain soy yogurt can also work well.

Cheese Substitutes

Aged cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, and Swiss have very little lactose, only about 0.1 gram per ounce. American cheese, cream cheese, and cottage cheese are also low in lactose.

You can use hemp, rice, reduced lactose, lactose-free, or soy cheese in recipes to replace cheese.

Ice Cream Substitutes

There is a wide variety of diary-free ice creams and frozen yogurts made from soy, rice, hemp, coconut, and lactose-free milks.

Sorbet, made from fruit, sugar, and water, is another option.

Sherbet is made with milk but only contains a small amount of lactose, about 4-6 grams per cup.

Chocolate Substitutes

Most dark chocolate is lactose-free and comes in a wide variety of shapes and sweetness levels. Check the label to be sure it doesn’t contain any dairy ingredients.

Carob chips and rice milk chocolate are two options for chocolate made with cow’s milk.

Lactose-Free Recipes for Your Favorite Dishes

The thought of eating high-lactose foods like quiche, fettuccine Alfredo, or pudding can give you feelings of both yearning and dread if you have severe lactose intolerance. The good news? You can still enjoy these tasty dishes.

The trick is to swap in calcium-fortified lactose-free milk or nondairy milk for regular cow’s milk, or use lactose-free options instead of cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt in recipes. Nondairy drinks, such as almond, rice, or soy milk, are also tasty options. Use olive oil or canola oil instead of butter if the lactose in butter gives you problems.

If you can eat some types of regular cheese or yogurt, feel free to add as much as you can tolerate to the recipes below. You can also take a lactase enzyme pill before you eat, to make any dairy you do include easier to digest.

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:

Olive Oil Wheat Crust

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons ice water (a teaspoon or two more, if needed)

Filling

1 1/4 cups plain lactose-free milk (or almond or soy milk)

2 large eggs (higher omega-3, if available)

1/2 cup egg substitute (substitute 2 large eggs, if desired)

1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, finely chopped

6 slices crisp, cooked turkey bacon, crumbled (optional)

1 cup shredded soy cheese of your choice (mozzarella or Jack flavors work well)

3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and then gently squeezed of excess water

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (add more, if desired)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, white flour, salt, and olive oil, and beat on low until crumbly. Drizzle ice water over the top, and beat on low just until dough forms.
  2. Squeeze dough into a ball and place in a deep pie plate coated with canola cooking spray. Use hands to spread dough evenly into bottom and sides of pie plate.
  3. In same mixing bowl used for the crust, combine lactose-free milk (or almond milk), eggs, and egg substitute; set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, combine chopped onion, turkey bacon (if desired), soy cheese, and chopped spinach, and then pour into the prepared crust. Sprinkle nutmeg and black pepper over the top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the spinach mixture and bake until center of quiche is set (about 55 minutes).

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 256 calories, 16 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 6 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 228 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 38%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.4 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 2 g

Lactose-Free Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dried whole wheat elbow macaroni

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms

1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (add more, if desired)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups plain lactose-free milk (or almond, rice, or soy milk)

5 ounces shredded or cubed soy cheddar cheese

Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring about 8 cups of water to a rolling boil, add macaroni noodles, and boil until tender (8-10 minutes). Once pasta is tender, drain well in colander while finishing steps 2 and 3.
  2. Add olive oil to a large, nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and black pepper and continue to sauté for an additional minute; set aside.
  3. In 2-cup measure, combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup of lactose-free milk (or almond, rice, or soy milk) to make a smooth paste. Blend in the remaining lactose-free milk. Pour into a medium, nonstick saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce heat to simmer and stir in the shredded or cubed cheese. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Add black pepper to taste.
  4. Combine cheese sauce with the drained noodles and spoon sautéed mushroom mixture over the top before serving.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Per serving (if 4 servings): 305 calories, 18 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 540 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.3 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 2.6 g

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You can make this a day ahead. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator, and then warm it in a slow cooker or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

Ingredients:

1 large head garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

3/4 cup plain lactose-free milk (or almond, soy, or rice milk)

28 to 32 ounces of potatoes, peeled and quartered

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic heads, throw the tops away, and place the heads on a piece of foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic heads and wrap them well in the foil. Bake until tender and golden (about 35 minutes). Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin away from the garlic cloves.
  2. While garlic is baking, place quartered potatoes in a large microwave-safe container with 1/4 cup of water and cook on HIGH until potatoes are tender. If you prefer to use the stove, place potatoes in a stockpot, cover with cold salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potato pieces in a colander.
  3. Add hot, steaming, and drained potato pieces directly to a large mixing bowl, along with the garlic cloves and any olive oil drippings, and lactose-free milk (or almond, soy, or rice milk). Beat on low just until blended.
  4. Season with pepper and salt, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fat (0.2 g saturated fat, 0.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3.2 g fiber, 29 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 9%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.2 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 0.3 g

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

If you grew up with tapioca pudding, this may be one of your comfort foods. Here’s a quick and light low-lactose recipe.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups lactose-free milk with a splash of vanilla extract (or vanilla soy, almond, or rice milk)

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 large egg (higher omega-3, if available)

1/3 cup shredded or flaked coconut

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, tapioca, lactose-free milk (or soy, almond, or rice milk), and egg with whisk in a medium, nonstick saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in coconut. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil (it will take about 8 minutes). It will thicken as it cools. Remove from heat and stir in coconut extract. Cool 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Stir the mixture and spoon into serving or dessert cups. Serve warm or chilled.

Yield: 5 servings

Per serving: 130 calories, 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g fiber, 78 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.2 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 1.3 g

Information sourced from: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/lactose-intolerance-14/default.htm

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Simple Egg Souffle

July 24, 2014

egg

Mothers’ Lifestyle Provides the Biggest Influence on Their Children’s Health & Diet

May 11, 2014

Image
“This study reminds parents that their children are watching and learning

from observing their behaviors, both good and bad.”

Kids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well, and model those healthy behaviors themselves, are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and the Duke Global Health Institute.

Their findings, published online in the International Journal of Obesity on June 18, 2013, remind parents that they are role models for their children, and underscore the importance of parental policies promoting physical activity and healthy eating.

Exercise and healthy diets are critical in fighting childhood obesity, a considerable problem in the United States, where over a quarter of kids ages two to five are already overweight or obese.

“Obesity is a complex phenomenon, which is influenced by individual biological factors and behaviors,” said study author Truls Østbye, M.D., PhD, professor of community and family medicine and global health at Duke. “But there are variations in obesity from one society to another and from one environment to another, so there is clearly something in the environment that strongly influences the obesity epidemic.”

The home environment and parenting can influence a child’s health by shaping dietary and physical behaviors, such as providing access to fruits and vegetables or encouraging kids to play outside.

“The ‘obesiogenic’ environment is broad and multi-faceted, including the physical neighborhood environment, media and advertising, and food tax policies, but we feel that the home environment is critical, particularly among children. However, we didn’t have a lot of evidence as to how important this was,” Østbye said.

In this study, Østbye and his colleagues examined the relationship between the home environment and behaviors related to obesity – dietary and exercise habits – among preschoolers.

The researchers studied data from 190 kids, ages two to five, whose mothers were overweight or obese. They collected information on the children’s food intake over the past week, with foods rated as junk food or healthy food. To gauge their levels of physical activity, the children wore accelerometers for a week, which measured moderate to vigorous physical activity as well as sedentary time.

The mothers reported information about their children’s environments, including family policies around food and physical activity, accessibility of healthy versus junk foods, availability of physical activity equipment, and whether they model healthy eating or exercise for their kids.

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found significant associations between these environmental measures and the preschoolers’ physical activity and healthy versus junk food intake. They concluded that to promote healthy behaviors in children, a healthy home environment and parental role modeling are important.

For example, limiting access to junk foods at home and parental policies supporting family meals increased the amount of healthy foods kids ate. Overall, the home environment had more influence on the children’s dietary habits than on their physical activity levels.

This study reminds parents that their children are watching and learning from observing their behaviors, both good and bad.

“It’s hard for parents to change their behaviors, but not only is this important for you and your own health; it is also important for your children because you are a role model for them,” said Marissa Stroo, a co-investigator on the study. “This might be common sense, but now we have some evidence to support this.”

The researchers also looked at socioeconomic factors of the mothers, including their education levels and whether they worked, to see if this had an effect on the children’s behaviors. The mother’s socioeconomic factors did not affect their kids’ physical activity, but had mixed results when it came to their dietary habits.

Further research is needed to better understand how a mother’s socioeconomic factors influence her child’s health, but it is possible that different strategies may be needed to prevent obesity in children depending on a mother’s education and work status. More research is also necessary to see if the influence of the home environment changes as children get older, and if parenting strategies should adapt accordingly.

In addition to Østbye and Stroo, study authors at Duke include Bernard Fuemmeler in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Rebecca Brouwer at Duke Global Health Institute, and Nancy Zucker in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Rahul Malhotra of the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and Cheryl Lovelady of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro also contributed to this research.

Article sourced from https://globalhealth.duke.edu/media/news/parenting-and-home-environment-influence-childrens-exercise-and-eating-habits

The Confusion of Nutrition

April 27, 2014

IMG Nearly six weeks into a diet, it’s a good bet that many who have made it a goalto lose weight have already peaked. If clinical trials are any indication, we’ve lost much of the weight we can expect to lose. In a year or two we’ll be back within three kilos of where we are today.

The question is why. Is this a failure of willpower or of technique? Was our chosen dietary intervention — whether from the latest best-selling diet book or merely a concerted attempt to eat less and exercise more — doomed to failure?

Considering that obesity and its related diseases — most notably, Type 2 diabetes — now cost the health care system more than $US1 billion per day, it’s not hyperbolic to suggest that the health of the nation may depend on which is the correct answer.

Since the 1960s, nutrition science has been dominated by two conflicting observations. One is that we know how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. The other is that the rapidly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes suggest that something about the conventional thinking is simply wrong.

In 1960, fewer than 13 per cent of Americans were obese, and diabetes had been diagnosed in 1 per cent. Today, the percentage of obese Americans has almost tripled; the percentage of Americans with diabetes has increased sevenfold.

Meanwhile, the research literature on obesity has also ballooned. In 1960, fewer than 1100 articles were published on obesity or diabetes in the indexed medical literature. Last year it was more than 44,000. In total, over 600,000 articles have been published purporting to convey some meaningful information on these conditions.

It would be nice to think that this deluge of research has brought clarity to the issue. The trend data argue otherwise. If we understand these disorders so well, why have we failed so miserably to prevent them? The conventional explanation is that this is the manifestation of an unfortunate reality: Type 2 diabetes is caused or exacerbated by obesity, and obesity is a complex, intractable disorder. The more we learn, the more we need to know.

Here’s another possibility: The 600,000 articles — along with several tens of thousands of diet books — are the noise generated by a dysfunctional research establishment. Because the nutrition research community has failed to establish reliable, unambiguous knowledge about the environmental triggers of obesity and diabetes, it has opened the door to a diversity of opinions on the subject, of hypotheses about cause, cure and prevention, many of which cannot be refuted by the existing evidence. Everyone has a theory. The evidence doesn’t exist to say unequivocally who’s wrong.

The situation is understandable; it’s a learning experience in the limits of science. The protocol of science is the process of hypothesis and test. This three-word phrase, though, does not do it justice. The philosopher Karl Popper did when he described “the method of science as the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.”

In nutrition, the hypotheses are speculations about what foods or dietary patterns help or hinder our pursuit of a long and healthy life. The ingenious and severe attempts to refute the hypotheses are the experimental tests — the clinical trials and, to be specific, randomised controlled trials. Because the hypotheses are ultimately about what happens to us over decades, meaningful trials are prohibitively expensive and exceedingly difficult.  It means convincing thousands of people to change what they eat for years to decades. Eventually enough heart attacks, cancers and deaths have to happen among the subjects so it can be established whether the dietary intervention was beneficial or detrimental.

And before any of this can even be attempted, someone’s got to pay for it. Since no pharmaceutical company stands to benefit, prospective sources are limited, particularly when we insist the answers are already known. Without such trials, though, we’re only guessing whether we know the truth.

Back in the 1960s, when researchers first took seriously the idea that dietary fat caused heart disease, they acknowledged that such trials were necessary and studied the feasibility for years. Eventually the leadership at the National Institutes of Health concluded that the trials would be too expensive — perhaps a billion dollars — and might get the wrong answer anyway. They might botch the study and never know it. They certainly couldn’t afford to do two such studies, even though replication is a core principle of the scientific method. Since then, advice to restrict fat or avoid saturated fat has been based on suppositions about what would have happened had such trials been done, not on the studies themselves.

Nutritionists have adjusted to this reality by accepting a lower standard of evidence on what they’ll believe to be true. They do experiments with laboratory animals, for instance, following them for the better part of the animal’s lifetime — a year or two in rodents, say — and assume or at least hope that the results apply to humans. And maybe they do, but we can’t know for sure without doing the human experiments.

They do experiments on humans — the species of interest — for days or weeks or even a year or two and then assume that the results apply to decades. And maybe they do, but we can’t know for sure. That’s a hypothesis, and it must be tested.

And they do what are called observational studies, observing populations for decades, documenting what people eat and what illnesses beset them, and then assume that the associations they observe between diet and disease are indeed causal — that if people who eat copious vegetables, for instance, live longer than those who don’t, it’s the vegetables that cause the effect of a longer life. And maybe they do, but there’s no way to know without experimental trials to test that hypothesis.

The associations that emerge from these studies used to be known as “hypothesis-generating data,” based on the fact that an association tells us only that two things changed together in time, not that one caused the other. So associations generate hypotheses of causality that then have to be tested. But this hypothesis-generating caveat has been dropped over the years as researchers studying nutrition have decided that this is the best they can do.

One lesson of science, though, is that if the best you can do isn’t good enough to establish reliable knowledge, first acknowledge it — relentless honesty about what can and cannot be extrapolated from data is another core principle of science — and then do more, or do something else. As it is, we have a field of sort-of-science in which hypotheses are treated as facts because they’re too hard or expensive to test, and there are so many hypotheses that what journalists like to call “leading authorities” disagree with one another daily.

It’s an unacceptable situation. Obesity and diabetes are epidemic, and yet the only relevant fact on which relatively unambiguous data exist to support a consensus is that most of us are surely eating too much of something. (My vote is sugars and refined grains; we all have our biases.) Making meaningful inroads against obesity and diabetes on a population level requires that we know how to treat and prevent it on an individual level. We’re going to have to stop believing we know the answer, and challenge ourselves to come up with trials that do a better job of testing our beliefs.

Before I, for one, make another dietary resolution, I’d like to know that what I believe I know about a healthy diet is really so. Is that too much to ask?

Gary Taubes is a health and science journalist and co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative.
Article originally sourced here:
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-nutrition-is-so-confusing-20140210-32aod.html#ixzz2stml6MSa

Flexitarian ~ the sustainable diet solution

February 2, 2014

ImageNew Year’s resolutions tend to be big, impressive promises that we adhere to for short periods of time – that blissful stretch of January when we are starving ourselves, exercising daily and reading Proust. But, and you know this, rather than making extreme changes that last for days or weeks, we are better off with tiny ones lasting more or less forever.

Mostly, though, when it comes to diet, we are told the opposite. We have a billion-dollar industry based on fad diets and quick fixes: Eat nothing but foam packing peanuts and lemon tea, and you’ll lose 30 pounds (14 kilograms) in 30 days. Then what? Resolutions work only if we are resolute, and changes are meaningful only if they are permanent.

What follows are some of the easiest food-related resolutions you will ever make, from cooking big pots of grains and beans once a week, to buying frozen produce, to pickling things à la “Portlandia.” Committing to just a few of these, or even one, will get you moving in the right direction toward eating more plants and fewer animal products and processed foods.

My suggestions are incremental, but the ease with which you can incorporate them into your normal shopping, cooking and eating routines is exactly what makes them sustainable and powerful.

Flexitarianism is about making a gradual shift, not a complete overhaul. It is a way of eating we are much more likely to stick to for the long term – which, after all, is the point of resolutions in the first place.

COOK SIMPLE, UNSEASONED VEGETABLES EVERY FEW DAYS

You can steam or parboil or microwave. Once cooked, vegetables keep a long time. And then they’re sitting there waiting to top pastas and grains, to bolster soups and salads, to whip up veggie wraps or just to reheat in oil or butter with seasonings.

Leftover vegetable spread – Purée any leftover vegetables (as long as they are tender) in the food processor with olive oil, fresh parsley leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper until the mixture reaches the consistency you want. Serve with bread, crackers or crudités. It’s nice on toast as breakfast.

COOK BIG BATCHES OF GRAINS AND BEANS

Because it’s nearly effortless, and having cooked grains and beans on hand at all times makes day-to-day cooking a breeze. They will keep in the fridge up to a week. White beans with kale and sausage – Sauté some loose Italian sausage in olive oil until lightly browned. Add minced garlic, cooked white beans, chopped kale, a splash of bean-cooking liquid or water, salt and pepper. Simmer until beans are hot and kale is wilted. To garnish, add oil and parsley.

BUY HALF AS MUCH MEAT, AND MAKE IT BETTER MEAT

Thinking of eating meat as an indulgence lets you buy tastier, healthier, more sustainable meat without breaking the bank.

Thai beef salad – Grill, broil or pan-sear a small piece of flank or skirt steak until medium-rare; set aside. Toss salad greens; plenty of mint, cilantro and basil; chopped cucumber; and thinly sliced red onion. Dress with a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil, sugar and minced jalapeño. Thinly slice the steak and lay it on top; drizzle with a little more dressing and any meat juices. Garnish with herbs.

SPLURGE WHEN YOU CAN

That way, the foods you consider special treats are truly special. For me it’s dark chocolate, meat and cheese.

Dark chocolate ganache – Heat 1 cup cream in a saucepan until steaming. Put 8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Stir to melt and incorporate the chocolate; use immediately as a sauce, or cool to room temperature and whip to make a smooth frosting or filling.

BUY FROZEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Because out-of-season produce from halfway around the world doesn’t make much sense or taste best. Fruits and vegetables (from peaches, to corn, to squash) frozen when they are ripe are a better alternative, and incredibly convenient.

Frozen peach jam – Combine 1 pound frozen peaches, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, then adjust heat so it bubbles steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally until thick, 15 to 30 minutes. Cool completely; it will keep in fridge at least a week.

PICKLE

So the copious amounts of fresh produce you buy never have to go to waste. And because it tastes good.

Quick-pickled cucumbers and radishes – Put thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes (use a mandoline if you have one) in a colander. Sprinkle with salt, gently rubbing it in with your hands. Let sit for 20 minutes, tossing and squeezing every few minutes. When little or no liquid comes out, rinse and put in a bowl. Toss with some sugar, dill and vinegar, and serve. Garnish with dill.

MAKE YOUR OWN HUMMUS, BEAN DIPS AND NUT BUTTERS

With those around, vegetables and fruit practically dip themselves. You’ll be filling up on produce without even noticing it.

Hummus – In a processor or blender, combine cooked chickpeas, minced garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Purée; taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with oil, lemon and smoked paprika.

MAKE YOUR OWN CONDIMENTS

Store-bought versions of ketchup, barbecue sauce, salsa and the like are often loaded with preservatives and sugar. Besides, creating your own recipes is a blast.

Marjoram pesto – In a small food processor, combine a cup of marjoram (leaves and small stems) and some garlic; process until finely minced. Add red wine vinegar and olive oil; purée. Add capers (about a tablespoon) and pulse a few times. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

EAT VEGETABLES FOR BREAKFAST

You already eat fruit for breakfast, so what’s so strange? Veggie-based breakfasts are common around the world: cucumber and tomato salads in Israel, pickled vegetables in Japan, a bean and tomato stew in parts of Africa. Think of it as a très chic international trend.

Cauliflower tabbouleh – Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor, or chop them by hand, until they are small bits resembling grains. Toss with chopped tomatoes, plenty of chopped parsley and mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

COOK PLANTS AS YOU WOULD MEAT

Because bold, meaty flavours aren’t reserved just for flesh.

Breaded fried eggplant – Dredge 1/2-inch-thick eggplant slices in flour, then beaten egg, then bread crumbs. Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate at least 10 minutes (up to 3 hours). Shallow-fry (in batches, without crowding) in 1/4 inch olive oil in a large skillet until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Garnish with parsley and lemon.

COOKING FOR CARNIVORES? MAKE EXTRA SIDES

Let the people around you have their fill of meat while you eat a bit, but fill up on vegetables, beans and grains.

Roasted broccoli gratin – Put broccoli florets in a baking dish; toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees until the tops are lightly browned and the stems nearly tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs (preferably homemade), mixed with Parmesan if you like, and a little more olive oil. Continue roasting until the bread crumbs are crisp.

COOK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Because some of the best vegetable-centric food comes from halfway around the world, where it is “food,” not “flexitarian.”

Caramel-braised tofu – Put 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a deep cast-iron skillet over medium heat; cook until sugar liquefies and bubbles. When it darkens, turn off the heat. Carefully pour in 1/2 cup fish sauce and 1/2 cup water; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until it becomes liquid caramel. Add sliced shallots, cubed, pressed or extra-firm tofu, lots of black pepper and lime juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the tofu is hot.

The New York Times

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/flexitarianism–sustainable-resolutions-for-your-diet-20140101-305zq.html

Feeling Peckish Late at Night? Be careful what you choose to munch on!

December 10, 2013

We’ve all heard the warning: If you eat right before bed, you’ll put on weight while you sleep. I used to live in Spain, where everyone eats dinner late, around 9 or 10 p.m., and I’m here to tell you that Spaniards do not carry around more weight than people who live in countries with earlier dinner times. To take another example, during Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours and eat only after sunset. They make up for the daylight deprivations by celebrating with huge feasts of their favorite foods. Yet, a study at the Hashemite University in Jordan that monitored 57 Muslim women before and during Ramadan found that the women lost weight.

Researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso had 867 people keep diet diaries that divided the day into four-hour periods. It turned out that people who ate more in the morning ate fewer calories overall, and people who ate late at night ate more calories overall. This is the key. Typically, Americans who eat late at night are not simply postponing dinner from 6 to 10 P.M. They are actually eating more: snacking in front of the TV, eating junk food or adding calories with alcohol.

So it’s not when you eat, it’s how much you eat. The mystery of weight loss always boils down to this: If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight; if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. You can’t argue with physics.

There’s no need to deny yourself a late-night snack if you’re feeling hungry, but you still have to think smart when it comes to eating late. Eating the wrong foods will disrupt your sleep while also adding a lot of unneeded calories to your day. Instead of just diving into the nearest, tastiest-looking item in your fridge, here are five types of foods to avoid at night and why.

  1. Greasy or fat-filled foods: Greasy, heavy, fatty foods not only make you feel sluggish the next morning, but they also make your stomach work overdrive to digest all that food. Stay away from things like fast food, nuts, ice cream, or super cheesy foods right before bed.
  2. High-carb or sugary foods: A little bit of something sweet before bed may be just what you need to rest happy, but if you gobble a huge slice of chocolate cake, the spike in your blood-sugar levels could cause your energy levels to spike and plummet, disrupting your sleep in the process. Avoid cake, cookies, or other desserts as well as carby snacks like crackers or white bread and munch on an apple instead.

Read more foods to avoid late at night after the break!

  1. Red meat and other proteins: Like fatty foods, eating red meats late at night will sit in your stomach and make it hard for you to fall asleep while you’re digesting (red meat may affect you the worst, but eating a large portion of chicken or pork would have the same effect as well). You don’t have to avoid protein altogether, just make sure you go for lean and small portions, like deli-sliced turkey breast or a cup of yogurt.
  2. Spicy foods: Spices may be a natural cure-all for a range of ailments, but when you’re craving something to eat late at night, step away from the hot sauce. Spicy, peppery foods may upset your stomach, and not only that, chemicals in spicy food can stimulate your senses, making it hard to fall asleep.
  3. Big portions: Late-night snacking shouldn’t turn into a late-night meal. Keep the total amount of calories under 200 so you won’t have any problems going and staying asleep. You’ll also feel good knowing that you didn’t undo all your healthy eating habits of the day right before bedtime.

So what should you eat instead? Small, light portions that will also calm cravings and help you sleep. Try these five sleep-inducing snacks under 200 calories that hit all your sweet or salty cravings. And remember to limit how much alcohol you drink as well, since too many drinks can keep you up at night.

We know scarfing down an entire plate of loaded nachos or pint of ice cream before calling it a night isn’t the way to go, but if you need to eat something before bed, make sure you choose foods that don’t impair your quality of sleep. As a rule, avoid any spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and other foods that cause indigestion or heartburn. Fatty foods will also hinder your ability to get a good night’s rest since they are harder to digest. Avoid huge meals that take a lot of energy to digest, and opt for small snack portions (around 150 calories or fewer) of easily digestible foods instead.

The best snacks to have before bedtime are those that are low in calories but also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body create niacin and serotonin, the calming feel-good hormone. Bananas are also known for promoting z’s, as research shows that potassium is an important mineral for deep sleep. They also contain tryptophan, which will help you drift into dreamland even quicker. Other serotonin-inducing foods include poultry, oats, and honey. So try subbing some of these foods into your late night snack whenever possible. Pairing complex carbohydrates with some protein can make for a nice, light bedtime snack. Here are some healthy options:

  • 1/4 cup plain oatmeal  with one extra small mashed banana : 147 calories
  • 1/2 cup Barbara’s Shredded Oats cereal with 3/4 cup skim milk : 156 calories
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt sprinkled with 1/8 cup  Almond Crunch Muesli : 160 calories
  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast topped with half an ounce shredded mozzarella cheese : 136 calories
  • Four-inch whole-wheat pita with two slices turkey breast : 140 calories

 

Information sourced from: Does Eating Late at Night Make You Gain Weight?

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken with Coconut Curry Coating

October 24, 2013

Healthy Inspirations Coffs Harbour

image001

4 chicken drumsticks
1 egg
2 Tbsp coconut oil
25g almond meal
25g desiccated coconut
1 Tbsp curry powder (or curry paste)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chopped coriander

1. Preheat oven to 180° C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil.

2. Combine egg and melted coconut oil in a small, shallow bowl.

3. In another bowl, combine almond meal, coconut, spices and herbs.

4. Dip one drumstick in the egg and oil mixture, using fingers to coat it completely, remove and allow excess liquid to drip back into the bowl, and then roll it in flour mixture until completely covered.

5. Place drumstick onto lined tray, then repeat step 4 until all drumsticks are done.

6. Pop the lot in the oven, and bake for around 45 minutes, until coating is crunchy and meat is cooked through.

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The “NEW” Australian Dietary Guidelines

March 5, 2013

 

guidelines

Australia is facing an obesity epidemic.  The scientific evidence suggests that one of the contributing issues is the replacement of healthy, nutritious food with energy dense food with minimal nutritional value in Australian dietary patterns.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released new Australian Dietary Guidelines today.

Health professionals working with people trying to achieve a healthy diet now have access to updated scientific evidence about the best dietary patterns for Australians of all ages.

“To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Australians need to balance physical activity with amounts of nutritious foods and drinks that meet energy needs. We all need to limit energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk foods’ that are high in saturated fat, added salt or sugar,” NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said.

A stringent review of around 55,000 scientific publications shows that the scientific evidence has strengthened about the link between diet and health.

“The evidence that links a healthy diet and reducing the risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers is stronger. There is also stronger evidence about the kind of foods that can increase the risk of weight gain and health problems,” Professor Anderson said.

Read the full press release on the NHMRC website.

Australian Dietary Guidelines – key points

  • Good nutrition contributes significantly to maintaining healthy weight, quality of life, good physical and mental health throughout life, resistance to infection, and to protection against chronic disease and premature death.
  • The revised Guidelines are based on Systematic Literature Reviews which looked at around 55,000 pieces of peer reviewed published scientific research. This created a body of evidence on which the Guideline recommendations are based (not single studies).
  • The revised Australian Dietary Guidelines reflect the expert technical dietary modelling around 100 flexible dietary patterns based on nutrient requirements, cultural acceptability and Australian consumption patterns and the evidence for optimal health and wellbeing.
  • The evidence about what is healthy to eat and what is not so healthy has strengthened since the 2003 edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
  • There has been strong consultation throughout the revision of the Guidelines and all submissions have been carefully considered.
  • The Guidelines have been developed to help health professionals give advice to the public about their dietary choices and their health.
  • The total diet approach of the Guidelines reflects information about helping Australians eat the right foods for health, with an energy (kilojoule) intake to help achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight.
  • The Guidelines reflect stronger evidence that Australians should eat more fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and core reduced fat dairy foods, while limiting their consumption of energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk’ foods.

This information was sourced from http://www.fitness.org.au/

Recipe of the week – Garlic Roasted Salmon

August 16, 2012

Garlic Roasted Salmon – serves 41 protein | 1 fat
Ingredients

4 (100g) salmon steaks
4 tsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
Method

Pre-heat oven to 230° C. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Place the slamon on the rack and drizzle with the oil. Spread the garlic and ginger over the salmon, patting them lightly and evenly over the surface. Bake for 9 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Variation:

The rapeseed oil may be replaced by the oil of your choice.
Lois W – Maitland