Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

whole grain



3 Health Food Fake Outs and 3 Healthy Alternatives

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, TheBestLife.com Lead Nutritionist

When you see “whole grain,” “low fat,” and other health buzzwords on a food label, you might assume you’re picking up a more nutritious choice. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some products don’t offer much of an advantage compared to the original or, even worse, aren’t inherently healthy at all. Let me share a few examples.


Health Food Fake Out: Neufchatel (cream cheese with 1/3 less fat)

It’s true that this product has about a third fewer calories and saturated fat grams than regular. But still, just 2 tablespoons (an ounce) contains 3 grams of saturated fat—that’s a sixth of your daily limit on an 1,800-calorie diet. And the 33 milligrams of calcium it provides aren’t worth it.
Read Full Post >



Test Your Cereal Smarts to Buy a Better Breakfast

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

I’ll admit it—I’ve given unsolicited advice to total strangers in the cereal aisle, but only when they look truly bewildered. It’s my nutritionist’s instinct, what can I say? Believe it or not, choosing a healthy cereal is not as complicated as you might think, especially when you follow a few simple steps.


Start with the ingredient list. Check to make sure all grains are whole. Examples of whole grains: barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, triticale, whole rye, whole wheat, and anything else with “whole” in front of it. For more on what is and isn’t a whole grain, click here. I’d avoid sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame K, aspartame (Nutrasweet), and any other artificial sweetener—you don’t need these in a cereal.
Read Full Post >



Kashi’s New Steam Meals Make a Healthier Dinner for One

Kashi has just launched a new product line. Instead of adding a new breakfast cereal or another on-the-go granola bar, they’ve added a whole new line of easy-to-prepare steam meals. The bags come microwave-ready so all you have to do is find it in the freezer aisle, throw it in the microwave, and serve.

These steam meals come in four different flavors, each containing an average of 35 grams of whole grains, 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and only 9 grams of fat. Different flavors vary. Each are the same in that there are no artificial ingredients and they’re all minimally processed. The bags come in a single-serving size making it easy for you to not over indulge, however, multiple bags will need to be bought if you plan on serving the whole family. Listed below are the four different flavors currently available.

Sesame Chicken

This meal contains natural white and grilled chicken, 7 whole grain sesame pilaf, carrots, edamame, red peppers, and roasted green beans. It’s all topped off with a spicy citrus sesame sauce that seems to be not too heavy nor not too light. The nutritional facts are 35 grams of whole grains, 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of fat (guideline is 3.5 grams or less). The meal has 300 calories, which is inline with nutrition guidelines for a meal like this. It does slightly exceed the 600 milligrams or less guidelines for sodium.
Read Full Post >



The Whole Truth About Whole Grains

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Whole grains are a complete package. They’re tasty, nutritious, filling, and versatile. Yet, 93% of us don’t meet the three ounces a day requirement. In fact, the average American only eats about one ounce.

Whole grain is the seed of plants in the grass family – such as rice, corn, oats, barley, rye, and amaranth. The seed, called a kernel, has three layers: bran, the tough outer layer; endosperm, the starchy inner layer; and germ, the kernel’s reproductive machinery deep inside the endosperm.

Each layer has a unique nutritional value. The bran is rich in fiber; the endosperm is energy from starch; and the germ is flush with vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated oils. The fibers in the bran and endosperm work to cleanse the GI tract and to promote fullness and the slow release of blood sugar over time.


Read Full Post >



Celebrate National Panini Month with Five Healthy Sandwich Tips

August is National Panini Month and with temperatures too hot for the oven in most parts of the country, there is no better time to whip up a healthy version of your favorite pressed sandwich.

Though there are a number of ways to make a healthy panini, Chef Tiffany Collins offers some tips about how to take ordinary ingredients, combine them in inventive ways and easily grill them on a panini press for a delicious, crunchy sandwich that won’t derail your diet.

Pick whole-grain breads to make your panini healthy and satisfying. When you’re choosing bread for your sandwich, opt for bread that is rich in fiber. Some wheat breads are not actually made with whole grains, so read labels carefully before you purchase. If the first words on the ingredient list are not “whole grain” or “whole wheat,” it is not really a whole grain.


Read Full Post >