Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Best Life diet



Why Should You Eat More Nuts? Enjoy 9 Tasty and Healthy Reasons

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., lead nutritionist for TheBestLife.com

Now that a new study found that regular nut eaters are less likely to develop a number of diseases, including biggies like heart disease and cancer, I feel even better about all the nuts I eat. While I do snack on nuts, I tend to use them more as part of a meal. Staying conscious of their high-calorie content, I often sub them in for other foods—not in addition to. For instance, instead of sprinkling feta on a salad, I’ll top it with sunflower seeds or pecans.

nuts

Besides being so tasty, nuts provide healthy fat—the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types. These fats keep our cell membranes healthy, reduce the risk for heart disease, and play other roles in the body. Plus, you need a little fat in the meal for satiety (keeping you feeling full for longer).

Here’s how I use nuts (and seeds, which also have health-promoting properties) in meals:

In smoothies: 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter along with milk or soymilk and a banana makes a complete breakfast.

Atop cereal: The 2 to 3 tablespoons I typically add are often the only fat in my skim-milk-fruit-cereal breakfast.
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Brushing Your Teeth Can Prevent America’s #1 Killer

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

For years now, scientists have known that periodontal disease increases the risk for heart disease. Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that if you take care of your gums you can reduce a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

brush teeth

A research team led by Columbia University in New York City examined the mouths of 420 middle-aged men and women for periodontal disease. (Periodontal disease is caused when bacterial plaque on the teeth move into the gums causing inflammation. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, causing “pockets” that become infected with bacteria, and eventually lead to tooth loss.) Researchers collected gum bacterial samples and used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood. Artery thickness is a marker for stroke and heart disease; if the carotid arteries get clogged with plaque, you can bet the coronary arteries leading to the heart are clogging as well.

Three years later, people whose oral health improved (read: they had fewer bacteria linked to heart disease in their mouth) had a much slower rate of carotid artery thickening than those whose periodontal disease was worse or remained the same. It doesn’t take much plaque to have devastating consequences. Picture this: a 0.033-millimeter-per-year increase in carotid artery thickness doubles the risk of heart disease and heart attack. In this study, people with gums that deteriorated, developed, on average, a 0.1-mm increase, meaning their heart disease risk shot up six-fold.
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5 Snacks Disguised as Meals: Stay Full on the Go for Less than 500 Calories

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

What to eat when you’re stuck in a junk-food-infested office park, stretch of highway, or other nutrition wasteland? Try one of these five meals, all of which contain foods you can keep in your purse, desk drawer, or office fridge, or can be found at a coffee shop. They range from 370 to 480 calories.

trail mix recipe

Oatmeal topped with dried fruit and/or nuts and a 12-ounce nonfat or 1 percent latte

Approximate calories:  370

Nutrition highlights: This dish is rich in calcium and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (from the oats), plus it offers phytonutrients from the coffee, dried nuts and fruits. It’s my go-to at Starbucks and other coffee shops.

Trail mix (2/3 cup)

Approximate calories: 450

Nutrition highlights: Nuts, seeds and dried fruit offer vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and healthy fats. Make your own to control the ingredients and avoid a sugar rush. Try our Sweet & Nutty Trail Mix.
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Go Ahead, Face Your Fears for Real Weight Loss Success

There are countless obstacles standing in between you and your goals, but not all of them are external. In fact, sometimes, our own fears make us our own worst enemy. Identifying and understanding these fears are the first steps to keeping ourselves from sabotaging our success. Take a look at some of the common fears below to see if any strike a chord with you.

bossy

Fear of failure. Fear of not reaching a goal may keep you from even trying. The same could be said about fear of back-sliding once you see success. Keep in mind that failure is simply a part of the process and that learning from it can only increase your chances of achieving your goal.

Fear of the unknown. You know that you want to reach your goal, but you don’t know exactly how your life will change as a result. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, it may seem scary to think of yourself as a smaller person. Will people treat you differently? Will more be expected of you? Face these questions head on. Addressing the niggling concerns in the back of your mind will help you banish them.
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5 Fall Fruit Desserts to Bake, Poach, and Grill Your Way to 5 a Day

By Team Best Life

You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.

apples pears

Bake It

Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.

Poach It

Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise.
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