Chocolate: Can It Make You Thin?

Chocolate: Can It Make You Thin?

No need to feel guilty when you indulge in some Easter chocolate this coming Sunday!  Scientists have apparently discovered that those who eat the most chocolate are actually the thinnest people in our society.

Chocolate
Chocolate

 

A study was published in the journal of the Archives of Internal Medicine and outlined a study carried out by the University of California, in San Diego, and came to the conclusion that chocolate makes you thin.

The exact results showed that of a study involving just under 1,000 Americans, those who ate chocolate a few times a week were thinner, on average, than those who only ate chocolate on occasion. The study looked at a number of factors when putting together these results, including diet, Body Mass Index (BMI), and caloric intake.

Scientists are putting these results down to the fact chocolate doesn’t encourage the creation of fat. Even though these results only prove that there might be a link, it could lead to a complete change in the way we view weight gain and weight loss when it comes to food.

Chocolate has also been demonstrated by scientists to have some other benefits for the body. One of these benefits comes from dark chocolate, which contains many antioxidants that can help fight disease and get rid of the harmful free radicals in our body that harm our cells. See: The Nutrients in Chocolate. You can also try making your own Dark Chocolate Candy.

The Raw Food Movement were the ones who first came up with this when a book called The China Study was released. They demonstrated that mass amounts of sugar in things like chocolate and fruit doesn’t have a negative effect on one’s weight at all.

Chocolate Bar
Chocolate Bar

This means that chocolate doesn’t contribute to weight gain – otherwise how could it be possible for people to live entirely off of sugary fruits and vegetables?

Eating a little bit of chocolate or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably good for personal health, so long as people don’t eat too much of it, and too much of the kind with lots of butter and sugar.” – Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Herbal Tea Can Assist Weight Loss

Green TeaHerbal Tea Can Assist Weight Loss

Herbal tea is very useful in strengthening our nervous and immune system and giving us nourishment. In traditional Chinese medicine, every flavor of herbal tea is associated with a certain organ system of the body. The sweet flavor that is found in the star anise seed is particularly soothing for the stomach and the bitterness of the dandelion plant effects the small intestines and heart which helps improve your digestion and results in a quicker fat metabolism.

Research shows that when a person’s metabolic rate is increased, the fat burning process can be quickened. Metabolic rate can tell us a lot about why certain people eat more than others but do not seem to gain weight, while there are other individuals will gain weight no matter how much they eat.

There a wide variety of herbal tea available  and many manufacturers claim that their teas cleanse the body and shed unwanted pounds. But you have to know what you’re buying. Some teas, while they may have the desired effect, could contain harmful chemicals.

A study undergone by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Urology concluded that some herbal tea, especially green tea, are highly efficient at helping you achieve weight loss. The strong antioxidant and caffeine content that is present in green tea helps increase your metabolic rate.

Health & Weight Loss Benefits of Herbal Tea

Green tea and other various herbal tea should be included in your diet if you would like to achieve substantial weight loss.

There are many different herbs that these tea consists of. These are either marketed as own solutions or as part of a combination with green tea. Some of the herbs you might find in herbal teas such as Garcinia Cambogia, Gugguk, Senna Leaves, Cinnamomum Tamala, Aniseed and Fennel have been analyzed and seemingly increase your metabolic rate to burn extra fat and calories.

Wealth of Health

Herbal tea has a wealth of health benefits as well as being delicious. Chamomile tea is renowned for being very soothing and helping to calm down an upset stomach. Rooibos tea acts as a brilliant antioxidant. Peppermint teas are very aromatic and rich in flavor. You will not find caffeine in many herbal tea blends.  Green teas do contain a degree of caffeine.

Recommended

Rishi Tea, Organic Green Tea Sencha – A light brownish yellow liquor appearance with toasty flavor, tending sweet. Premium Japanese green tea with a rich mouth feel and long-lasting fresh flavor.

People usually believe that, among natural produce, oranges, lemon and spinach have the highest levels of vitamin C – BUT; that honor actually belongs to sencha tea: 3-1/2 ounces (100mg) contains a little more than five times the amount of vitamin C in a lemon, and a little under three times the amount in spinach. Moreover, the vitamin C in sencha  green tea is retained as the steaming process kills the oxidizing enzyme that would otherwise destroy the vitamin C.

#

Rishi Tea Organic Jasmine Pearl Loose Leaf Tea
– A luxury green tea with surprising body and a captivating floral taste that is not found in any other natural tea. Jasmine Pearl green tea is produced for Rishi Tea by the only certified organic grower of Jasmine Pearl in the world.

Organic Green Tea Caffeine and Alcohol Free Standardized Liquid Extract floz 2 Ounces# – Ultimate Green Tea is a Super Anti-oxidant. One cup of concentrated Ultimate Green Tea extract equals 12-15 cups of regular green tea. It is laboratory certified to be free of all herbicides, pesticides, and fluoride

Many green tea extracts are available, but not all are equal. The best green tea products will contain the optimal level of 50 percent naturally occurring catechins.

Did You Know?

Science has been continuously studying the benefits of herbal tea. The green tea drunk daily in Japan is now touted as one of the healthiest drinks in the world.

Fast Food Frenzy

Fast Food Frenzy

Many people purchase and eat at least one meal away from home each day. Whether you are at the fast foo drive through window, the office cafeteria or a fine dining restaurant, you can eat the nutrient rich way. This means getting the most vitamins, minerals and other nutrients – but not too many calories – from the foods you choose. It’s easy to do when you make choices like the following. Even when you use the drive through at a fast food restaurant.

At the Fast Food Place?

Fast Food Meal
Fast Food Meal

Consider the following fast food options:

  • Small burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches topped with lettuce, tomato and onion (hold the mayo or special sauce).
  • Roasted veggie wraps.
  • Entree salads with grilled chicken and low-calorie dressing.
  • Bean burritos or grilled steak tacos with lots of lettuce and tomato.
  • Thin-crust pizzas made with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and onions.
  • Baked potatoes topped with broccoli or chili and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
  • Yogurt parfaits made with strawberries and blueberries.
  • Bags of sliced apples or cups of fresh fruit such as Mandarin oranges.
  • Fat-free or low fat regular or flavored milk or 100 percent orange juice. See also:

Fast Food Snacks at Home

Burger and FriesTry these ideas the next time hunger strikes when you are on the go.

  • Whole grain cereal mixed into fruit-flavored low fat yogurt.
  • Lean roast beef, ham or turkey rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla plus a handful of cherry tomatoes.
  • Baked tortilla chips and black bean dip.
  • A scoop of low fat or fat-free cottage cheese with sliced strawberries or cantaloupe cubes.
  • Whole grain pita bread triangles and flavored hummus (chick pea dip) such as sun-dried tomatoes and basil, roasted red pepper, extra garlic—even jalapeno! Check your supermarket for even more fun flavors.
  • A refreshing frozen 100 percent fruit juice bar. Try strawberry, raspberry, orange or pineapple.
  • Trail mix made with bite-size shredded wheat squares, sunflower seeds and dried blueberries or custom-create a mix with your own favorite ingredients.
  • 100 percent orange juice in a single-serve container.
  • Potatoes sliced into French fry shapes and baked at 450 degrees for 25 minutes (turn once).
    Serve with salsa.

Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss

Raw Food Diet
Raw Food Diet

Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss

A raw food diet is based on the use of uncooked and unprocessed plant food such as fresh vegetables, fruits, seed, sprouts, grains, nuts, dried fruits, etc.

It is believed that if food is heated to over 116 degrees enzymes which assist in digestion and absorption of the food are destroyed.

To derive the full benefit of a raw food diet, your diet must comprise at least 75 % of the raw and living components.

A raw food is:

  • Low in saturated fats and components of hydrogenated oils as compared to the conventional diet.
  • Low in sodium content
  • Rich in magnesium, folate and potassium.
  • Higher fiber content.
  • Contains phytochemicals (health promoting plant chemicals).
  • Lower in fat and less calories.

Raw food has many benefits. It improves digestion and skin appearance. It gives increased energy and it reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It can lead to healthy weight loss.

What can you eat?

Raw Food Pyramid
Raw Food Pyramid

A raw food diet uses organic and unprocessed items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, dried fruits and seaweed. Purified water and young coconut milk are also permitted.

What cooking techniques can be used?

Sprouting of beans, seeds and grains make them easier on digestion at the same time provide flavor and variety. Similarly you can soak nuts and dried fruits. Juicing of fruits and vegetables as well as blending with other items will add variety to a raw food diet. You can use dehydrated food also.

Precautions

A raw food diet is basically very healthy but some people who have been previously used to diets rich in meat, caffeine or sugar may have mild but harmless reactions when they start on raw food diet. They may experience nausea, headaches or cravings for a few days. Raw food diet is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women or children. It is not suitable for anemic persons and persons suffering from osteoporosis.

A raw food diet may be found to be deficient in proteins, calories, vitamins B12. It may be deficient in certain minerals such as calcium and iron. You may consult your physician for suitable supplements.

Criticism of the Raw Food Diet

Apart from nutritional deficiencies of a raw food diet, critics are against the basic premise about the food being unsuitable if heated to over 116 degrees because of destruction of enzymes. Critics argue our bodies do use their own enzymes and are not dependent on enzymes from the raw food.

It is also argued that a raw food diet may not be suitable for people in a colder climate.

For Raw Food Diet Recipes, check out Fitness and Freebies Paleolithic Recipes.

Can Garlic Aid Weight Loss?

Can Garlic Aid Weight Loss?

Over 5,000 scientific publications from all over the world now confirm the traditionally recognized health benefits of garlic. Can garlic aid weight loss? Garlic can also act as an antibiotic, among many others health benefits.

Can Garlic Aid Weight Loss?
Can Garlic Aid Weight Loss?

Garlic is a simple and powerful health solution for a number of illnesses due to a number of unique compounds it contains. Especially scordinin and allicin. Allicin is the principle biological active compound of garlic. Scientific evidence suggests that both scordinin and allicin are responsible for the many health benefits associated with garlic. Including the answer to “can garlic aid weight loss”.

Researchers say that thanks to the allicin contained within the garlic, garlic can aid weight loss. Allicin is known as “the heart and soul of garlic“.

How Can Garlic Aid Weight Loss?

Garlic acts as an appetite suppressant by giving the brain signals of satiety. A person eating garlic would be less inclined to eat too much.

Garlic also increases metabolism by stimulating the nervous system to release the adrenalin hormone. This, in turn, increases metabolism. A faster metabolism can help you burn more calories and lose weight.

How can garlic aid weight loss and how do I use it?

Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked. They may also be dried or powdered and used in tablets and capsules. Raw garlic cloves can be used to make oils and liquid extracts. There are many forms of garlic and many ways you can get more in your cooking! There isn’t much it doesn’t add wonderful flavor to. Soups, meats, fish, etc.

Recommended Dose

Studies have shown that an average of 900 mg garlic a day could decrease total serum cholesterol levels by approximately 9 percent. The 900mg is as little as one half to one clove of garlic. Dieticians suggest that a normal adult should eat no more than 3 cloves a day. Three medium cloves of fresh raw garlic contain 13 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of sodium. Garlic does not contain fiber or fat.

Garlic Supplementation

#Garlic has been the studied extensively over the past decade. Garlic is one of the most popular supplements.

Garlic’s most common uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Garlic is believed to provide numerous benefits to the body.

These benefits include support for the circulatory system, protecting the body against disease, and fighting microbial and fungal infections.

Low Carb High Carb

Low Carb High Carb

First, carbohydrates were said to be the food of choice for high energy and athletic performance. Then we were taught to eat low carb. Because carbohydrates are bad and will make us fat. Lo and behold, low carbohydrate dieting went mainstream and a sort of  diet battle began. For everyone who says eating a low carbohydrate diet is the ultimate diet, there is another person with the opposite opinion.

Comforting Carbohydrates

Who is right? Low Carb Lovers of High Carb Lovers?

Well, the answer to that is somewhere in the middle. In fact, it could even be said that both sides are right! At certain times and for certain purposes, a low carb diet can accelerate fat loss. The trick to utilizing this diet to its potential is in mastering the nutritional fundamentals of all dieting.

Nutritional Fundamentals Whether Low Carb or High Carb

Low carb high carb?
Low carb high carb?
  • Eat fewer calories than you burn.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals daily.
  • Eat a lean protein with each meal.
  • Eat healthy carbohydrate foods.
  • Eat low fat foods.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat natural, unrefined foods.

If you can master those basics, you will be far more successful if you decide to venture into low carb dieting. The truth is that carbohydrates are not fattening. But another truth is that most people don’t need low carbohydrate diets to get lean. A low carb diet is not healthy for permanent weight maintenance. It should only be utilized as a temporary tool.

Breaking a Plateau

It’s common for dieters to get great results for weeks or even months, then just stop losing body fat completely. That’s because calorie restricted diets eventually have a negative effect on the metabolism. The more severe you diet and the longer you diet, the greater the metabolic downgrade. This leads to the dreaded diet plateau. If you’re stuck at a plateau, restricting carbohydrates can help break the plateau.

Did You Know?

Almost all bodybuilders and fitness competitors use a low carbohydrate diet at some point in their training. Reducing carbohydrates gives them metabolic and hormonal advantages that allow them to get leaner faster. A decrease in carbohydrate intake, with an increase in protein intake, can give you some very powerful advantages in fat loss.

Benefits of Cutting Carbohydrates

  • Insulin control. When you reduce carbohydrates, you reduce insulin output. Moderating insulin can be an effective strategy for losing fat.
  • Decreases water retention.
  • Decreased glycogen, which forces your body to use more fat for fuel.

Drawbacks of Cutting Carbohydrates

  • Difficult to stick with.
  • Re-gaining fat is almost inevitable.
  • Can be unbalanced and lacking in essential nutrients, causing energy levels to drop after time.
  • Much of the weight you lose on a low carbohydrate diet is muscle and water.
  • Causes “brain fog”. Your brain and central nervous system function almost exclusively on glucose. When you deprive yourself of carbohydrates for a prolonged period of time, you will often become tired, weak, moody and irritable.

Success Secrets for Low Carb Dieting

  • Carbohydrate tapering.
  • Carbohydrate cycling.

Carbohydrate Tapering

A simple way to accelerate fat loss is to reduce the size of your late day meals. This technique is known as “tapering.” Cut out the starches in your late afternoon and evening meals, leaving the green fibrous carbohydrates, lean proteins and essential fats. This is an incredibly simple and easy technique to use.

Carbohydrate Cycling Concept

Carbohydrate cycling is probably the most powerful fat burning strategy known. The concept is actually quite simple: Drop your carbohydrates for a few days, then increase them again before your body figures out what is going on! Anyone can use this technique to accelerate fat loss or break a weight loss plateau. The suggested time allotment is three days. After three days of low carb dieting, your glycogen levels will be almost completely depleted. Your metabolic rate begins to slow down and your thyroid gland decreases its output of the thyroid hormone. Basically, your diet would become less and less effective the longer you stayed on low carbohydrates beyond the three day period.

You see, the human body will make changes in physiology and metabolism to compensate for a prolonged lack of carbohydrates, which it interprets as starvation. That’s why you have to keep your body off guard with a high carbohydrate day every fourth day.

Carbohydrate cycling psychologically makes your entire diet easier to stick to because no matter how difficult it is to get through those three low days, you know your “high day” is coming soon. Eating those yummy carbs after three days without them is like getting a literal “high”! The “high day” also bypasses all the detrimental side effects. A little bit of experimentation will be necessary to discover what amount of carbohydrate works best for your high and low days.

Staying on a low carbohydrate all the time will cause your body to become inefficient at burning carbohydrates. When you begin eating them again, your body simply doesn’t know what to do with them. So do think twice about long-term carbohydrate restriction. Low carbohydrate diets are not a good idea for “lifestyle” programs, but when utilized correctly, can be a tremendous aid to fat and weight loss.

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Weight Loss Weapons

Weight Loss Weapons

We’re about to share with you two powerful weight loss weapons. It is the coming together of fat burners and water.

A lot of people beginning a diet decide to go the jump start route and take fat burners. They rely on them to help knock those first few pounds off of their body. This is a smart way to go, because fat burners can definitely be very helpful in dropping pounds off that scale.

In addition, a good diet and an exercise schedule are always important to any weight loss program. But don’t underestimate the importance of water as a part of this diet.

Water: One of the Two Weight Loss Weapons
Water: One of the Two Weight Loss Weapons

A lot of people know they need water. They think they should be drinking more because they are exercising and going to be sweating a lot. But there are more reasons.

Weight Loss Weapons: Water has many benefits to the body when you are trying to lose weight.

  1. Weight Loss. One of the jobs of water in our bodies is to flush out things that body doesn’t need. This can include the byproducts of fat that the body is breaking down.
  2. Toxin Removal. From toxins that your body creates such as lactic acid from exercise to toxins that you take in from the food you eat and the air around you, your body is always trying to remove clear out built-up toxins.
  3. Appetite Suppressant. When you drink water you fill up your stomach, which means that there is less room for food. Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
  4. Health Protection. Having enough water in your system helps your body fight off germs and illness. The water flushes nasty toxins out of your body as soon as they try to take hold, increasing your immunity.

See also: Pro Shape Rx for Weight Loss and/or Fat Burners and the Gym.

Pop Popcorn!

Pop Popcorn!

Popcorn is a good-for-you snack that is a fun and convenient way for you to meet your daily intake of whole grains.

Pop Popcorn!
Pop Popcorn!

 

Popcorn History

In 1519, Cortes got his first sight of popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration. They used it for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of maize, rain and fertility.

Early French explorers through the Great Lakes region (circa 1612) reported that the Iroquois would pop popcorn in a pottery vessel with heated sand. They then used it to make popcorn soup, among other things.

English colonists were introduced to popcorn at the first Thanksgiving Feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Quadequina, brother of the Wampanoag chief Massasoit, brought a deerskin bag of popped corn to the celebration as a gift. The Aztecs were the first to pop popcorn and use it as a decoration.

Pop Popcorn for a Whole Grain Snack

Popcorn, in its natural state, is a whole grain food. This is good news, because Americans today pop popcorn to the tune of 17.3 billion quarts each year. The average American eats about 68 quarts.

With suggestions from organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA), there’s no doubt popcorn is a perfectly sensible snack to fit into any diet.

“Popcorn is a good diet food, because it is high in fiber and has few calories.” R.C. Anantheswaran, Ph.D., Department of Food Science researcher at Pennsylvania State University.

According to The Popcorn Institute, popcorn has more protein and iron than potato chips, ice cream cones, pretzels and soda crackers,

Movie theater popcorn has been given a bad rap for all the “grease”, but rest assured, canola oil is now used in almost all movie theaters. At least we now get oil that is high in monounsaturated (good fat) fat instead of saturated fat (bad fat).

Try Herbs: Find popcorn bland without it oozing in butter and salt? Try using herbs to replace salt on popcorn. Garlic powder, chili powder, basil and oregano work well.

There is no nutritional difference between regular popcorn and gourmet popcorn. There is only a variation in size.

Popcorn NutritionApple and a bowl of popcorn

  • Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage
  • Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives
  • Popcorn is sugar-free and very low in calories
  • Popcorn contains energy-producing carbohydrates

The 1st Cereal: Colonial housewives served popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast. The first puffed breakfast cereal was eaten by Europeans, and so was born the breakfast cereal!

Restore Moisture:  Trying to pop popcorn that is dry? To restore moisture to the kernels, fill a one-quart jar three quarters full of un-popped kernels. Add one tablespoon of water, cover the jar and shake for two to three minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Store the container in a cool place for two to three days before popping. Do not refrigerate.

Did you know? Two quarts of plain popcorn equals the calories in 15 potato chips.

Popcorn Folklore

    • There is a legend that speaks of a particular summer day that became so hot the corn in the fields stared popping right off the stalks.
    • In American Indian folklore, some tribes believed that quiet, contented spirits lived inside of each popcorn kernel.

Popcorn Prose

Pop Popcorn

Popcorn kernels in the pot,
Jump and dance when they get hot.

And when they’ve carried on enough,
They do a flip and turn to fluff!
~Cathy Drinkwater Better~

Popcorn Resources

Learn what the top four rated microwave popcorn’s are here: Healthy Popcorn Choices

Read more about the whole-grain role popcorn can play in your diet: Popcorn: A Whole-Grain Snack

Check out a nice collection of healthy popcorn recipes

The Low Fat Kitchen

The Low Fat Kitchen

The Low Fat Kitchen
The Low Fat Kitchen

A new year, a new you! Time to go into the kitchen and clean house.

This is also a good time to practice your label-reading skills. Check the food labels for fat concentration and take a look at the list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order of predominance, so pay special attention to the first two.

When choosing a spread for bread or vegetables, make sure it only has two grams or less of fat per serving. Tub or liquid margarine is usually lowest in saturated fat. Diet or whipped margarine or butter is low in both fat and calories but do not melt easily. Use the primarily for spreading.

Make sure your pantry is well stocked with pasta, rice and grain products, especially whole grains, which provide fiber. These foods are naturally low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates. Check the labels on cookies and crackers. Many contain tropical oils. Better choices for the low fat kitchen include pretzels, rice cakes and baked chips.

Keep your refrigerator supplied with a variety of fruits and vegetables.  If you wash and cut them into serving pieces, they are more likely to be chosen for quick snacks and meals on the run. Every low fat kitchen should have a steady supply.

Meats should be lean and well trimmed. Heavily marbled meats will be tender, but loaded with fat. Buy more fish and poultry. Beware of processed lunch meats – they are often high in fat and sodium. Your best bets are lean sliced poultry and meats, like roast beef and ham. Look for meats that have less than three grams of fat per ounce.

Cooking with less fat and fewer calories is a snap once you learn the art of recipe modification. This simply means making substitutions.

Next are some tips to get your started on modifying some tried-and-true favorites. Try these tips and you may not even miss the original ingredients.

Food

  • Use a lettuce leaf, thin tomato slice or mustard on a sandwich and forget the butter, margarine or mayonnaise. If you like a little zip, add some mustard.
  • Leave out the oil and margarine many packaged foods recommend in the preparation.
  • Try skim milk in food preparation and cooking. There is virtually no taste difference when it is combined with other ingredients.
  • Substitute two egg whites for one whole egg in most recipes. The egg white has no fat or cholesterol.
  • Reduce the amount of oils and fats called for in most recipes by about one-half, with no change in the final product.
  • In muffins and quick breads, substitute non-sweetened applesauce or other mashed fruit in place of up to three-quarters of the oils and fats called for in the recipe.
  • Vinegar can add snap to lower-calorie, lower-fat whipped salad dressing.
  • A shaker of butter flakes contains the flavor of butter without the fat. Mash them into potatoes or use them on hot, steamy foods, such as pasta, rice or vegetables, to take the place of butter, oils or higher-calorie spreads.
  • Reduce the fat per serving in your favorite casserole by adding more vegetables. For example, put more tomatoes and peppers in your chili. More mushrooms and less meat in your spaghetti sauce. More celery and onion, and less mayonnaise in your tuna salad. Replace one of the meat or cheese layers in your lasagna with slices of zucchini squash. Salsa can stretch the calories and fat per serving in cheese dips, guacamole and potato toppings.
  • Try buying lower-calorie ingredients. Replace the regular versions of salad dressings used to make pasta salads, spreads and dips with their lower-calorie counterparts. Purchase reduced-calorie soups to make reduced-calorie casseroles and noodle or rice mixtures.
  • Always use non-stick pans and baking sheets. Use cooking spray rather than oil or shortening to grease your pans.

Three tips for healthier meal preparation:

  1. Bake, broil or grill foods on a rack to drain fat away. Try the “indirect heat” method of grilling by placing the food away from the heat source. Every low fat kitchen should have indirect heat grilling available. This results in better flavor and juiciness. It also keeps the meats tender and reduces the risk of forming carcinogens in an overly browned or charred top layer of the meat. See Remove Carcinogens When Grilling Meat for more information.
  2. Stir-Fry. This is a popular cooking method that belongs in every low fat kitchen. Foods cook quickly, preserving precious nutrients. Use cooking spray in a pan or wok. Sprinkle the food with broth, soy sauce or water if it begins to stick.
  3. Steam vegetables, leaner meats and delicate foods like fish. Steaming is an overlooked cooking method, which deserves some time in the spotlight! Place the food to be steamed with desired seasonings on a rack over boiling water, or use an Oriental steamer (available in many specialty shops). No fat is necessary and the foods will not dry out.

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Measuring Calories – or calories?

Measuring calories
Measuring calories

Measuring Calories – or calories?

The standard measure of heat energy is the calorie. A calorie is the amount of energy needed to heat one gram of water one degree Celsius.

But, scientifically there is a difference between a calorie and a Calorie. A Calorie (used in measuring foods for example) is a kilo-calorie or 1000 calories. If a food label said there were 120 Calories, that is really 120,000 calories! However, what you see in recipe calorie counts and on nutrition labels is the “calorie” count.  No worries, you needn’t multiply those numbers.

A Unique Perspective

Many of us, having received a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror, decide it’s time to go on a diet and cut down on calories.

Although certainly not scientific, a calorie-conscious woman recently told me calories are a good way of measuring how fine a particular food tastes! Intrigued, this theory was explained to me as follows.

  1. By her calculations, fudge has a great many calories because it tastes so good.
  2. Brussels sprouts, her least favorite edible, were said to have no calories at all.
  3. And celery? For her celery wasn’t a food. She said celery ought to be considered a member of the plywood family.

Silly? Of course! But she has a fun attitude.

Back to Reality

Calorie counting and measuring is a pain. There are tools such as scales and software to help you, but when all is said and done, it’s best not to become obsessed with measuring calories. You most likely already know that junk foods are filled with empty calories. Avoid them. It’s better than measuring calories in each bag or package. Practice common sense when you do indulge.

There are so many variables – your weight, your height, your activity level. Best to just learn the calorie content of the foods you eat most and always be sensible.

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