You can cut added sugar you and your family consume with a few simple tips. Sweet treats and sugar-laden beverages have a lot of calories but few nutrients. Most added sugars come from sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks, cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy and other desserts.
Top Ten Tips to Cut Added Sugar
A small amount of sweet treats can go a long way. Have smaller portions on smaller plates for things like cakes, pies, etc. Share candy bars or split cupcakes in two. It’s amazing how much you can cut added sugar with this simple practice.
Instead of sugar-laden sodas, try water or 100 percent fruit juice. Fat free milk is another good choice to quench your thirst.
In the grocery stores, find a check out lane that doesn’t have a big candy display while you’re waiting in line. This helps fight temptation for kids when they’re with you, too.
If you offer yourself or your kids a sweet treat as a reward, stop. Reward with kind words, comforting hugs,Â Me-time etc.Â Use your imagination. You know what your kids enjoy best.
Have dessert, but make it with fruits. Baked apples, pears, fruit salads, yummy frozen juice bars (100 percent juice).
Don’t fall for fun foods. Make your own healthy fun foods.Â Create a smiley face with sliced bananas and raisins. Cut fruit into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. You can really cut added sugar this way and still enjoy snack time.
Mix up your own snack mixes from dry whole-grain cereal, dried fruit and unsalted nuts or seeds.
Check the sugar content in the cereals you purchase. Compare and buy the one’s with the lowest amount of sugar. You can always add some healthful fruit at home to sweeten up the cereal and get a nutrient boost at the same time.
Don’t make sweet treats an everyday thing. Limit sweet treats to special occasions.
Never replace foods that are not eaten at meal time with candy or cookies.
With a little knowledge and ingenuity, you can easily fit healthful budget friendly fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. In the long run, you could help promote better health, which can reduce your risk of certain diseases.
There are many low-cost ways to meet your dietary fruit and vegetable requirements. We’ll list the top ten.
Seasonal Fruit. Know what fruits are in season and buy mostly those. They easy to get when in season, taste better and are usually less expensive.
Find Sales, Coupons and Specials. Check your local newspaper, store flyers or online sites for sales, coupons and specials. Larger grocery stores often sell more for less. Or purchase at discount grocers if available in your area.
Make a List. Plan your meals, desserts and snacks ahead of time. make out a list of what you will need and stick to that list when shopping. And that well-known suggestion not to shop when you’re hungry is true. Shop after eating.
Canned and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables. Do some price-comparison between fresh, canned and frozen varieties of the same vegetables or fruit. Sometimes the canned or frozen is less expensive than fresh. When purchasing canned items, choose fruit canned in 100 percent fruit juice and vegetables. Make sure they are low sodium or no salt added.
Purchase Small Quantities. Some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last very long. Purchase small amounts more often to avoid waste.
Frequently Used Items. If there are fruits and vegetables you useÂ a lot of, purchase the larger size packages. If possible, buy in bulk. For example, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be purchased in large quantities when they’re on sale. They will last longer than fresh.
Opt For Store Brands. Buy the store brand version of your fruits and vegetables. If your grocery store has a membership card, sign up for even more savings. Store brands are just as healthy, maybe even more so than brand names.
Keep it Simple. Buy your fruits and vegetables in their simplest form. Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat and processed foods may be convenient, but you pay more for that convenience, too.
Plant a Garden. Grow your own fruits and vegetables! Can’t get better priced that picking from your own back yard! Herbs, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes etc., are good options for beginners. Browse the internet or check out some gardening books from your local library for more information on starting a garden.
Smart Home Cooking. Cook up and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or other dishes in advance. This saves time and money. You can add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Over-ripe soup works great in smoothies or baked goods. In addition, pre-chop and freeze vegetables like onions, celery, carrots to have on hand and save cooking time. You save money, too if you purchased them on sale!
You see? Budget Friendly Fruits and Vegetables are obtainable for anyone willing to put in a bit of effort. It will be worth it. Your budget and your body will thank you.
Following are three important health benefits to get you in the kitchen to cook potatoes. Following that is a great potato recipe for cheesy potato skins.
1. High Blood Pressure Control
Potatoes are high in potassium, and foods rich in potassium tend to keep high blood pressure under control. Another added benefit to eating potatoes is feeling fuller longer which can help keep weight under control.
2. Help Diabetes
Diabetics can benefit from eating potatoes for several reasons. The vitamin C in potatoes is known for helping regulate sugar levels in the blood. Potatoes also contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates must be broken down before being absorbed into the bloodstream.
3. Ease the Quease
Eating potatoes can calm a queasy stomach due to the vitamin B6 content in the potato’s skin. It is good for eliminating nausea.
Selecting Your Potatoes
To select the best type of potato for roasting or using in a gratin, look for a medium-starch, all-purpose potato with white or golden skin. White Rose or Yukon Gold are good examples. If you’re not sure if a potato is “all purpose,” an easy way to find out is to slice the raw potato with a knife. If the knife is coated with a creamy, white substance or the potato clings to the knife, it’s a starchy potato, best for baking. If not, it’s a waxy potato which will hold its shape after cooking for dishes like potato salads. If it’s somewhere in between, it can be considered all-purpose.
We’ll help you get cooking some potatoes, if you’re so inclined to try this tasty potato recipe.
Cheesy Potato Skins
2 tablespoons grated fat-free Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 baked potatoes (cook potatoes in microwave to speed things up)
2 egg whites, slightly beaten or egg substitute equivalent to one egg
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded, reduced fat part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Combine Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half. Remove pulp, leaving 1/4-inch thick shells. Cut lengthwise into wedges. Place on baking sheet. Brush with egg whites. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.
Serve cheesy potatoes with salsa if desired.
Recipe makes eight servings.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories:Â Â 90; Protein:Â Â 5g; Total Fat:Â Â 8g; Carbohydrate:Â Â 14g’ Cholesterol:Â Â 5mg; Sodium:Â Â 215mg; Fiber:Â Â 2g
Exchanges:Â Â 1 Starch/Bread, 1/2 Lean Meat
Potato Cooking Tips
To bake potatoes more quickly, boil them for 10 to 15 minutes, and then poke them with a fork and bake.
Instant potatoes are good to use to thicken stews and soups.
To improve the crispness of french fried potatoes, soak the raw potatoes in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Make sure to store your potatoes in a cool, dry place to minimize sprout growth.
Following we are sharing with you the top twelve meatless fat fight foods and spices. All twelve of the foods can help you on your diet journey.
1.Â Oatmeal: This is a complex (good) carbohydrate, which digests slowly. Because it digests slowly, it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling satiated. Research also shows that consuming oatmeal reduces cravings for fatty foods. Think of each rolled oat as a tiny sponge that soaks up cholesterol in your digestive tract.
2. Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fiber and are packed with nutrients. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants can reduce hunger pangs while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.
3.Â Olives and Olive Oil: Rich in healthy fats, olives and olive oil help reduces junk food craving and keep you feeling full. Research shows that monounsaturated fats plentiful in these foods help reduce high blood pressure.
4. Â Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the absolute best source of fiber. They help stabilize blood sugar and keep you regular. They are also high in potassium, a critical mineral that reduces dehydration and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Soy, which is also a legume, aids fat-burning due to its Isoflavones. They help break-down stored fat. In one study, those who consumed high amounts of soy products shed three times more weight than did their counterparts who ate no soy.
5. and 6. Â Garlic and Onions: These yummy foods contain phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol. They kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi and protecting against heart disease. Fresh garlic helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. Research shows that onions may help guard against many chronic diseases. That is probably because onions contain generous amounts of a flavonoid called quercetin. Studies have shown that quercetin protects against cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
7. Â Tomatoes: Packed with vitamin C and the phytochemical lycopene, tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid known as carnitine. Research shows that carnitine helps speed the body’s fat-burning ability by one-third. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that studies show can cut the risk of heart disease by 29 percent. Cooked tomatoes may be more beneficial to your health than raw tomatoes. There are so many things you can use tomatoes in. Consider it a super food in the meatless fat fighting foods.
8. Â Nuts: Raw, unsalted nuts provide your body with essential fatty acids that help burn fat. The high nutrient content in nuts can also lower your risk of heart attack by 60 percent. Research shows that consuming nuts can be as effective as cholesterol lowering drugs to reduce high cholesterol levels. As bonuses, nuts taste good and have no nasty side effects. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first qualified health claim for nuts that says the following.
“Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as Raw Almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”.
9. Â Cayenne: This hot spice lowers the risk of excess insulin in the body by speeding metabolism and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels. It does this before the excess insulin can result in fat stores.
10. Turmeric: This popular spice, used primarily in Indian cooking, contains the highest known source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that protects the liver from free radical damage.
Turmeric also helps your liver heal while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Turmeric is also called for when indigestion, gas, and elimination issues imbalance the body.
11.Â Cinnamon: Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that a one-quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage.
12.Â Organic Flax Seed and Flax Seed Oil: These seeds and oil attract oil-soluble toxins that are lodged in the fatty tissues of the body to escort them out. It may be listed at twelve, but it’s one of the number one meatless fat fighting foods. Very good for you in many ways.
There you are! The top twelve meatless fat fight foods and spices. Now that you know what they are, stock up and get cooking.
Nutrition labels can be a helpful health tool, even if studies show most of us don’t care to bother with them. It can be a total bore to waste time in the grocery store reading those labels. Especially if you’re in a hurry, as so many of us are most of the time.
Is it really going to stop you from buying something you want? Probably not.
So how about this. Find some of your favorite foods in your kitchen right now and read the nutrition labels. Once you have an idea what the data is for your most often purchased items, you won’t have to look at them again.
Learning how to shop and read nutrition labels is important to healthy eating. Most foods now have a Nutrition Facts section on the label. The first items listed on the food label are the serving size and number of servings per container. This information is essential if you are going to follow dietary guidelines designed to promote health.
All of the label information for each of the nutrients listed – calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, sugar and protein, are based on the serving size listed.
Since the food manufacturer determines the serving size, this may not be a recommended amount to eat. It may not even be the amount you would eat. Also, the manufacturer’s serving size listed on the food label is not necessarily the serving size recommended for good health.
You need to know how much of the listed serving size you are eating. If you consume double the serving size listed, then you will need to double all of the nutrient and calorie information. If you consume half the serving size listed, then cut out the nutrient and calorie information in half.
Calories and Nutrients on the Nutrition Labels
Next on the nutrition label is the total number of calories per serving. These calories can come from several sources including carbohydrates, protein, fat, alcohol and sugar. Next listed on the nutrition labels: Calories from fat for each serving.
You can compare these numbers to get an idea of how fat-concentrated the item is. Example: An item with 100 calories per serving and 50 calories from fat gets half of its calories from fat – that is 5-percent! Eating a low-fat diet does not mean you never can eat items that are high in fat. It just means you should balance your total food intake so you do not get more than 30 percent of your daily calories from fat.
Below the calories, you will find information about fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates and protein. You can keep track of your intake of these items by recording the number of grams or milligrams given for the serving size. The right-hand column tells you the percent of daily value, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The bottom half of the nutrition facts found on the label contains the recommended amounts of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber for promoting health. Compare your usual amount to these recommended amounts. For example, if your lunch sandwich alone has 63 grams of fat and the recommendation is for 65 grams of fat per day, you may run into trouble if you eat this way on a daily basis.
Only foods that meet certain definitions and standards can suggest a health-enhancing effect. Some of the more common terms you might find and the definitions are:
Lite: 1/2 less fat or 1/3 fewer calories than the original reference product.
Cholesterol free: Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
Low fat: No more than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Reduced fat: At least 25-percent less fat per serving than the original reference food.
â€œEat breakfast like a king, lunch like prince and dinner like a pauper.â€
Arranging your meals from largest to smallest is wise advice.
The typical American dieter skips breakfast or grabs a doughnut or some such thing. Then they enjoy a big lunch most often consisting of fast food. The day with a huge dinner followed by aÂ bedtime snack. Do you see a problem here? If you’ve been a regular reader here, you should. If you’re a new visitor, catch up and keep up! 😉
The Calorie Tapering Approach
Do you want your body to utilize every calorie as efficiently as possible? Reverse the order and eat a large breakfast, a small dinner, and avoid the late night snacks. Your body is much less likely to store your early morning meal as fat because youâ€™ve been fasting overnight. That large, heavy meal for dinner is MUCH more likely to be stored as fat. You burn less calories and your metabolism is at it’s slowest while you sleep at night. This is called the calorie tapering approach to dieting.
Not all nutritionists and exercise physiologists agree on the theory of calorie tapering. However, nearly every successful bodybuilder and fitness competitor in the world embraces calorie tapering. And we’ve never seen a fatty bodybuilder. Have you?
We recommend this approach wholeheartedly. The most important part of the calorie tapering method is to make breakfast your largest meal. Eat sparingly at night, allowing at least three hours before you go to bed.
The best approach to calorie tapering is to try to follow it as it was intended. Many people have difficulty adjusting to calorie tapering, especially if doing the reverse is a life long habit. Which it is for most. You’ve got a lot of company if you’re thinking you could never make such a change in your eating habit.
Having Trouble with Calorie Tapering ?
In this case we suggest you start from the bottom. Try hard to stop snacking at night. Move your last food intake for the day as far away from bedtime as you can. Three to four hours is best, but if you find that too difficult, shoot for 2 to 3. Work your way up to 3 to 4. Allow both your body and mind to adjust gradually.
What you will soon discover is that you’re good and hungry in the morning for that large breakfast! When you reach this point comfortably, you’re on your way to practicing a full day of calorie tapering.
By starting this way, you increase the length of your nighttime fast, which is broken by a hearty breakfast. Using this method consistently is one of the most effective ways to lower body fat.
Keep this fact in mind: Over consumption of calories at one meal will always be converted into body fat.
Example of over-consumption. Let’s say you’re an average size female with a daily calorie intake of 1,800 calories. If you stop at McDonald’s for lunch and eat a Big Mac and a large fries, you’re ingesting 980 calories in that one sitting. You then go out for dinner. Did you know that the average restaurant meal, whether steak, Italian, Chinese, or fast food, can easily top 1000 calories?
Now you’re over your 1,800 calories and we didn’t count breakfast or snacks. Point being, it’s easy to over-consume calories in one sitting, making it equally as easy to gain weight in the form of fat, not muscle.
What Happens to Those Calories from Over Consumption?
When you eat a meal, your food is digested then directed into cells that require immediate energy. Once the cells have their energy needs met, the body stores the excess fuel in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver. However, just like the cells need for energy, your body only needs so much glycogen, too. When there is an excess, it’s stored as the dreaded body fat.
This is one darned good reason for portion control and striving not to overeat in one sitting.
To help avoid this problem, your goal should be to get in the habit of never, ever eating huge meals or stuffing yourself.
We often find ourselves unable to admit just how much we truly eat. This may be completely innocent, as we tend to grab a bite here and there without thinking about it. This may be a life long habit. To seriously involve yourself in the avoidance of over consumption of calories, perhaps you would benefit from keeping a food diary.
In summary, spread out your daily calories to avoid over consumption and the resulting fat storage.
Carbohydrates are a complex factor of nutrition. There are different types, but overall they have a similar effect on the body no matter in which form you’ve ingested them.
As many already are aware, the low carbohydrate diet will help you shed pounds. However, if done improperly, there can be negative physical ailments. There needs to be a balance in everything, and carbohydrates are no exception. Carbohydrates are vital to our state of fitness, but as with just about anything, when over-done carbohydrates cause weight gain.
When your body digests carbohydrates, they are absorbed into your bloodstream in the form of blood sugar. Blood sugar is also known as glucose. Once this has occurred, your pancreas releases the hormone called insulin. How much insulin depends upon the amount and type of carbohydrates you’ve consumed. The insulin then transports glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells where it is used for energy or stored as glycogen for later use.
Small amounts of carbohydrates equal small output of insulin.
Large amounts of carbohydrates equal large output of insulin.
In short, carbohydrates cause weight gain when too many are consumed.
High insulin levels following a high consumption ofÂ carbohydrates is undesirable. However, a moderate and steady output of insulin is vital to muscle growth and glycogen storage. Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone that assists muscle cells in recovery and growth. Insulin isn’t a bad thing by any means, it just needs to be understood and kept under control.
How Over Consumption of Carbohydrates Cause Weight Gain
Problems enter when you over-consume carbohydrates, especially the wrong kind. Think junk food. Over eating carbohydrates causes a dramatic peak in blood sugar (energy surge) which is followed by a sharp rise in insulin. This sharp rise in insulin quickly removes the sugar (energy crash) from your bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar to drop to lower than normal levels. This is when you develop a condition called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia causes fatigue and triggers intense hunger that can blow the strongest willpower out of control. Then you feel hungry again, you are likely to consume more sugar to satisfy your cravings. The energy surge and energy crash cycle repeats itself. These are the basics of how carbohydrates cause weight gain.
Eat frequent, smaller meals during the day. Eat the right types of carbohydrates and combine them with lean proteins and small amounts of healthy fats. This will work to stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels. This practice also ends the energy-surge, energy-crash cycle.
Ginkgo, ginger and cayenne are herbs that can help problems caused by poor circulation. Poor circulation can cause build up of toxins, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, Buergers and Raynauds disease. When circulation to the legs is poor, varicose veins can occur. There is also atherosclerosis, a very serious disease.
Ginkgo Biloba is an all-round circulation booster. It is known most commonly for its ability to improve memory, because it helps increase blood flow through the brain. In Germany, Gingko is used by physicians to treat varicose veins.
Ginkgo can improve blood circulation and strengthen your blood vessels. It helps reduce inflammation, relaxes the lungs, improves blood flow to the heart, reduces shortness of breath and is helpful in asthma.
Ginger increases circulation to the muscles in the body. Ginger provides the body with extra blood and oxygen to fight toxins. It also helps relieve pain and inflammation.
Ginger has a long history of therapeutic use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Chinese herbalists recommend ginger for routine body temperature regulation. Ginger is also regarded as a great supportive herb for the cardiovascular system.
Cayenne can be used externally for poor circulation. Capsicum based creams, liniments, and infused oils can be rubbed onto the skin. Avoid the eyes and other sensitive area of the body. It can have the same sting on your eyes and skin as it does in your mouth.
Internally cayenne can stimulate your heart, regulate blood flow and strengthen your arteries. Cayenne can be taken as powder in a capsule or as a liquid tincture. Research has also shown that cayenne, referred to as a hot herb, can raise your metabolic rate by as much as 25 percent. This means it can assist in weight loss efforts.
Garlic and Onions
Add garlic and onions to your meals. They also assist circulation, cleanse the blood, tone the heart and circulatory system and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. That’s just for starters. Onions help relax your muscles as well.
Now some of us don’t have stomachs and digestions made of iron and can have disagreeable symptoms from these herbs. If this is the case for you, we recommend a gentle, homeopathic tonic called Circu-Live. Native Remedies Circu-Live supports healthy circulation naturally. It is even registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
To use Circu-Live, you simply dilute drops in a small amount of water or juice, and sip slowly.
Alternatively, hold bottle upside down and drop directly into the mouth. No pills to swallow!
Here is a quick, circulation-stimulating recipe you can whip up in a juicer that includes ginger.
The carrots provide beta carotene,Â which is needed in helping the blood circulate and detoxify.
6 large carrots
1 apple, cored
1, 1-inch piece ginger
Pass all ingredients through a juicer. Drink immediately.
Eating nutrient rich doesn’t mean that your favorite foods or Â indulgent meals are off-limits.
Everyone has a daily calorie budget based on their age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level. In a healthy diet, most of the calorie budget should first be spent on nutrient-rich foods. This way you get the most vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for the fewest calories.
By spending your calorie budget this way, you can leave a number of calories free to spend on your favorite foods. These foods may contain calories from extra fats and sugars, but few or no nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein or fiber.
Make foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients a smaller part of your eating plan.
The USDA calls the calories from extra fats and sugars discretionary calories. This is because you can choose foods that contain them at your discretion as long as you meet your nutrient needs. You should also stay within your daily calorie budget.
The list below consists of nutrient rich foods you could try to eat for the bulk of your calorie budget. This will leave so room to fit in your favorite foods, too.
Brightly colored fruits and 100 percent fruit juices.
Vibrant colored vegetables.
Whole, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods.
Fat-free and low fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts.
Get your quota of nutrient-rich foods first.
Always go with nutrient rich food before you hit your favorite foods.
Nutrient rich foods give you the most nutrients with the fewest calories from extra fats and sugars. Build your daily eating plan on a variety of nutrient-rich foods first..
Here is a one-page, free, printable (PDF) Nutrient Rich Foods List you can take on your next grocery shopping trip: