We’ve heard for years that fiber is good for us in many different facets. It helps keep us regular, fills us up, and has even been shown to prevent cancer. Now, this miracle substance can lead to a longer life.
A study published on February 15, 2011 on the website of the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that higher levels of fiber appears to lower the risk of dying from respiratory and infectious diseases, as well as a reduced level of death from cancer in males. We have long known that fiber has a positive effect on heart health, so the results of the study were not surprising.
“The benefits of fiber are broader than what had been anticipated or previously studied,” says Frank Hu, M.D., who was the co-author of an editorial that accompanied the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute. (more…)
Research shows that more than 50 percent of New Year’s resolutions, most of which have to do with diet or nutrition, don’t last beyond January. Two leading nutritionists aim to reverse that trend by encouraging people to focus on one realistic and attainable resolution: eat more fruit.
According to Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, licensed nutritionists, registered dietitians, and co-founders of C&J Nutrition, fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet because it contains large amounts of naturally occurring key nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and phytonutrients – all key players in disease prevention. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that’s important for growth and repair of all body tissues. Potassium can help maintain healthy muscle and nerve function and lower blood pressure, and fiber is woefully amiss in most American diets,” said Jarosh.
Endurance athletes, especially runners, are no strangers to digestional cramping: that feeling during a good run or cardio session that has you sprinting towards the bathroom instead of the finish line.
Cramping and discomfort are extremely common among athletes and runners and have been known to hinder, slow, and some times even prevent performance. Unfortunately, there is no exact known cause for this discomfort. Several researches believe that the cause of the pain is the continuous shaking and jostling of the internal organs during an extended workout, often make worse by when and what is consumed as a pre-exercise meal or snack.
A recent study reported that drinking fruit drinks or drinks high in sugar, eating dairy, high-fiber foods, and carbohydrates just before or during exercise initiates the pain. A few ways to help reduce the risk of digestional cramping is to warm up before exercise and to avoid eating large meals before your exercise session. The more food and liquid you have moving around in your system, the better the chance your bowels are going to object.
Even though the American Heart Association recommends 25-30 grams of dietary fiber daily to help prevent disease and regulate bodily functions, it has been reported that nine out of ten Americans still consume only about half that amount.
As consumers seek more ways to consume fiber, food companies are responding by reformulating products to include more whole grains and fiber supplements to soups, yogurts, granola bars, baking mixes and even Splenda, a zero-calorie sweetener made from sucralose.
While it’s certainly positive to see people consuming more fiber, Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, the author of bestselling The F-Factor Diet and SkinnyInTheCity.com cautions that as fiber becomes a nutrition trend, companies are adding fiber to foods that are inherently not healthy.
The 17 Day Diet seems to be all the rage these days. Created by Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet was recently featured on The Doctors and the Dr. Phil Show. To go along with this “17” craze, we’re featuring a list of 17 healthy carbs that you should be eating for overall health. With so many healthy options, you’ll never fall into a food rut again!
1. Oatmeal. It may seem boring, but oatmeal is such a delicious and filling breakfast choice. With lots of fiber, five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and only 150 calories, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your bite!
2. Barley. Also high in fiber, barley is great in soups, as a whole-grain side or even as a healthy rice replacement in risotto!
By the time you read this, some of you will still be munching on Thanksgiving leftovers. But I wanted to take a quick look at one of the items on most people’s holiday plates: the sweet potato. Now, most of us are going to have it with all kinds of sweet treatments such as brown sugar, butter, or marshmallow, but if you can stand just adding a wee bit of butter or butter substitute, you are not only in for a treat, but a sweet nutritional surprise.
Maybe the most amazing thing about the sweet potato is how highly regarded it is by health professionals. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranked the sweet potato the most nutritious vegetable of all. (more…)
You know you can mash them with cream and butter. You’ve heard of au gratin – butter and cheese. But did you know that there are plenty of ways to prepare everyone’s favorite starchy vegetable without added fat and calories?
Despite their reputation as diet delinquents, potatoes can actually be a healthy side dish, especially in the winter when people tend to crave comfort and carbohydrates. Instead of letting them derail your healthy eating plans, learn how to prepare them so that they can be part of your healthy, balanced diet. (more…)
We’ve heard the jingle, but few of us know what makes beans such a healthy food. Beans are packed with fiber and protein to help keep you strong and prevent disease. While a lot of people eat their legumes in the form of calorie-laden Mexican refried beans or barbecue baked beans, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the nutritional powerhouse.
Black Beans: Like most beans, black beans are a good source of fiber, which lower cholesterol. When combined with whole grains, like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, black beans are filling and delicious. They’ve also been said to be as rich in antioxidants as grapes and cranberries, two foods that have been touted as “super fruits.” Try them in a fish with black bean salad with a figure-friendly white fish like tilapia. (more…)
If you’re like me and have a serious sweet tooth, sometimes baked goods are just too hard to resist. But with many baked goods being high in trans fats (especially the processed ones or recipes with shortening) and low in nutrition, they’re really best eaten rarely- very rarely.
There is a loophole, though — making your own! When you bake at home you know exactly what’s in your food, so you can nosh guilt-free. In fact, there are tons of tricks to turning a regular recipe into a low-fat recipe! All it takes is a little ingredient experimentation and some time in the kitchen. (more…)
Potatoes get a bit of a bad rap. Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I love a baked potato now and again as a satisfying side dish to a lean protein and tossed salad. But, in a post-Atkins world, that would seem like a diet taboo. Not so, says a new study.
“When it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups. Rather, it is reducing calories that count,” said study leader Britt Burton-Freeman of the University of California, Davis.
The study’s leader went on to say that not only is there no evidence that a healthfully prepared potato is bad for your diet, it can actually be a part of your weight loss plan. (more…)