For all you busy people out there, freeze your fresh herbs in olive oil using ice cube trays! This is such a great method for preserving leftover culinary herbs before they spoil in your fridge, and it also means that you always have herbs on hand for last minute cooking! The oil also allows you to put it directly into a pan for sautéing.
When it comes to cholesterol, olive oil is a nutritional superstar! It is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL. In fact, in a study of people with high cholesterol, blood samples showed less potential for harmful clotting just two hours after the subjects ate a meal with olive oil. That's because olive oil is rich in phenolics, plant substances that makes blood less likely to clot. All you need is about 2 tablespoons a day for benefit (use it in place of other fats). The regular use of Olive oil is one of the main reasons why the "Mediterranean" diet is often hailed as the healthiest to follow.
Did you know that just 7 walnuts a day contain nearly 95% of your recommended daily intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids?
Omega 3 is essential for proper brain function and healthy memory, joint health including reduction of inflammation in Arthritic conditions, maintaining healthy young skin...they also lower many cardiovascular risks by raising good cholesterol (HDL) and reducing bad cholesterol (LDL)...Include them as a snack daily and feel the difference!
I’m a big advocate of buying fresh whole foods and steering clear of packaged goods. Realistically though, many of us will end up with some packaged foods in our kitchen. Reading the label is your best guide to choosing the most healthful options. How can you tell whether one breakfast cereal, for example, is better than another? Here are some tips for checking the Nutrition Facts panel:
1- Check the serving size and servings per container. Serving size is always the first item on the label and tells you how many portions are in the whole box. All other information is based on that serving size.
2- Check the saturated fat and trans fat content of the food. For a general healthful diet, keep saturated fat and cholesterol low and avoid trans fat completely. Look for foods that have 0 grams (g) of trans fat (alias name is “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil”) and are lowest in saturated fat and cholesterol.
3-Compare the sodium content to the calories per serving. You’ll want to keep sodium as low as possible. A rule of thumb: choose items in which the sodium content is less than or equal to the calories per serving. For a food with 250 calories per serving, look for a sodium content of no more than 250 mg.
4-Look at the fiber content of the food you’re choosing. Any food with more than 5 g of fiber per serving is a good choice for fiber. Aim for 25 to 35 g of fiber per day in total.
5-Look at the sugar content of the food you’re considering. Steer clear of foods that have sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, corn sugar, fructose, or high-fruc- tose corn syrup among the first three ingredients. Other sugar aliases to watch for include agave nectar, brown sugar, cane sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, maltose, fruit juice concentrate, and glucose.
6-Decipher the percent daily value. Located on the Nutrition Facts label, the percent daily value is based on someone who eats exactly 2,000 calories a day. It’s a useful tool to compare the nutritional value of two items quickly (assuming the serving size is the same). As a general rule, when the percent daily value
of a particular nutrient is around 20% or more, that’s considered high in that nutrient. That can be a good thing if it’s fiber we’re talking about, but not so good if it’s sodium or saturated fat.
Remember that the reason fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains don’t have nutritional panels is that they don’t need it! Try to keep packaged foods to about 10% of your diet and eat whole foods 90% of the time. It will reflect greatly in your health!
Do you suffer from HEARTBURN? it's a common problem that's caused by the backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach.
Try these effective tips for heartburn relief:
1- Eat in a smart way: Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals and don’t wolf down your food.
2- Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.
3- Don’t exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty; wait a couple of hours. But don’t just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.
4- Sleep on an incline. Raising your torso up a bit with a wedge-shaped cushion may ease nighttime heartburn. Don’t just prop your head and shoulders up with pillows. Doing so can increase pressure on the stomach by curling you up at the waist.
5- Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Contrary ro what many people believe, Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.
6- Chew sugarless gum after a meal. Chewing gum promotes salivation, which helps neutralize acid. Avoid peppermint gum, which may trigger heartburn more than other flavors.
7- Rule out medication side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether any of the medications you take might cause pain resembling heartburn or contribute to reflux.
8- Finally, Lose weight if you need to. Being overweight puts more pressure on the stomach and pushes stomach contents into the esophagus. Tight fitting clothing and belts that come with weight gain may also be a factor.
Eggs and fish are great foods to include in your familie's diet as they can help improve concentration, but they’ve got to be the right kind:
Oily, fatty fish such as herring, wild or organic salmon, mackerel and trout contain the essential omega-3 fats that are proven to sharpen your mind. In fact, blood levels of omega-3s in newborn infants correlate with their IQ at the age of five.
If you don’t like eating fish, supplement an omega-3-rich fish oil every day, for you and your children.
Eggs contain phospholipids that also help improve memory and concentration. Don’t fry them, as this destroys the valuable nutrients, and always go for organic or free range.
Salmon is a good source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits—from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis...Omega 3's have a great anti-inflammatory effect on the body; most people today are deficient which some experts believe may be at the root of many of the big health problems today, like obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Omega-3s also slow the rate of digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer, so you eat fewer calories throughout the day. Try this delicious recipe from my website. Walnuts are a rich source of Omega 3's aswell so you get even more goodness!
Check out this great Salmon recipe: http://www.glowpeople.com/5/post/2013/05/walnut-crusted-salmon.html
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs, keep your body warm, help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones too. Your body definitely needs fat – but quantity and quality is very important. There is so much information out there on what fats to eat and which ones to avoid. To make things more confusing, some go by alias names in the supermarket… if you don’t know your trans fats from your mono’s, today and tomorrow’s posts should make things clearer! We are going to look at the BAD fats today: Essentially they fall into 2 categories,Trans-fats and Saturated fats and they raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood and mostly lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. TRANS FATS are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid at room temperature. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils" or “trans fatty acids” so look out for that on food labels. Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they’re easy to use, inexpensive, act as a preservative for long shelf-life, and give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. They can be found in many foods, especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. SATURATED FATS have a chemical makeup in which the carbon atoms are naturally saturated with hydrogen atoms, and they are typically solid at room temperature (think butter). Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Be aware that many foods high in saturated fats are also high in cholesterol which raises your blood cholesterol even higher. The majority comes mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products. Examples are fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk. In addition, many baked goods and fried foods fall into this category. The general consensus in the medical world seems to be that saturated fat should be controlled and consumed in infrequently in small quantities. Some plant foods, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, also contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol. As a general rule, be kind to your heart and body, avoid trans fats at all costs and limit saturated fats as much as posisble. Check my post tomorrow on the good fats that help lower your cholesterol.
Fat is not the enemy! Our bodies need fat to function properly and depriving it will only be trouble in the long run.
Good fats basically fall into two categories Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and they are actually beneficial for our health when consumed in the right quantities.
MONOUNSATURATED fats are simple fats that are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled (olive oil is an example). Monounsaturated fats can actually have a beneficial effect on your health when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats. They can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells, and are also typically high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most people need more of.
Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources include avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.
POLYUNSATURATED fats are simple fats that are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health when consumed in moderation and like Mono’s they can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease.
In addition, they also include essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself, such as Omega-6 and Omega-3. You must make sure you get these essential fats through your food as they play a crucial role in brain function and in the normal growth and development of your body. Foods high in polyunsaturated fat include a number of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout. Other sources include some nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower seeds.
How much fat should you consume per day?
Mono and Polyunsaturated fats, like all fats, contain nine calories per gram. The fats in the foods you eat should not total more than 25–35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day...and, for good health, the majority if not all of those fats should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. So for example:
Lets take an average and assume 30% of your total calories should come from fat; If you are on a 2,000 calorie diet, 30% would mean you should be consuming 600 calories from fat. 600 calories of fat equals about 67 grams of fat. To put things in perspective, 1tbsp of oil is about 13.5g fat, 7 walnuts are 18.3g fat and so on...An ideal diet should include fat from nuts and seeds, oily fish like salmon, olive oil, avocados etc…
I personally buy olive oil and canola oil at home. I use olive oil raw in salads for example and for low temperature cooking. I use canola oil for high temperature cooking such as frying an onion for a stew. I use a very small quantity of oil in my cooking (about 1tbsp mixed with water) and add the rest through nuts and seeds, avocado in salads, hummus (sesame paste ‘tahini’ is a good fat) and so on. For baking, I replace all butter/margarine with canola oil and honestly its just as good if not better. So remember that fats are essential for our wellbeing and they are not all created equal! Choose the right ones and stay within the right quantities.
The short answer is: not necessarily! The low-fat craze started in the 80’s and 90’s when the diet industry declared fat as the enemy. Supermarket shelves filled up with low-fat products that claimed they were healthy for us and consumers filled their fridges and cupboards with them.
In most cases, low-fat ‘healthy’ products, advertised as such, simply are not very good for us as most of them are full of chemicals. When you take something away, like fat from yogurt, you have to replace it with something else to give it flavor and substance. This is usually sugar, salt and a plethora of other synthetic additives not to mention preservatives. Look at it this way, it’s extremely difficult to take your average cracker and simply remove all the fat without destroying its consistency. And the same goes for anything called ‘zero calorie’. If one cracker is 30 calories, and another is only 5, how does that transformation actually take place?
The answer is generally chemical. Undesirable parts are synthetically removed, and replaced with substitutes that have different nutritional properties. But these ingredients don’t always behave in the same way, so further additions need to be made in order to make a non-fat cracker seem like its fatter cousin.
In many cases, when fat is taken out, sugar is added to make up for taste.
For example, 3.5 ounces of regular Chocolate Swiss ice cream has 12.9 grams total fat and 17.5 g sugar. The reduced fat Chocolate Swiss ice cream has 10.1 g total fat and 25.5 g sugar. So 2.8 fewer grams of total fat, however it has 8 more grams of sugar. In some instances, you’ll find the sugar replaced with Aspartame, or another equally bad artificial sweetener with terrible effects on the body.
So next time you go to the grocery store and you reach for that low fat yogurt, take a look at the label. If you see ingredients you can’t actually pronounce, stay away! Instead opt for the real deal understanding that quality is more important than quantity. Always choose foods that are as natural and whole as possible.
Are you ready for change? Join our Detox Workshops