Put Potatoes on your plate!

Put Potatoes On Your Plate

 

The lowly potato has gotten a bad rep. Many of us steer clear of potatoes, assuming that they are a fattening starch, or “bad carb”. The truth is, the potato is a powerhouse of good nutrients and dietary antioxidants, which help fight age-related diseases.


Potatoes are a good source of fibre, and of vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-6. B vitamins help to maintain healthy skin, and skeletal muscle tone and increase metabolic rate (more calories burned!). These vitamins also boost the production of red blood cells, which helps prevent anaemia, and also lower the risk of pancreatic cancer, when eaten in food, rather than in a vitamin tablet form. The potato’s complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) help you to feel full longer.

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Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure

Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure

Foods to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

 

After your blood pressure check, the first thing your doctor might ask you is, "how much salt do you eat?" Great question, as salt is the easiest culprit in our diets. The problem is that most of us haven't got a clue what the answer is to that question.
The obvious first thing to cut out is fast food and restaurant dining. Salt is the go-to seasoning for restaurant cooks and chefs, since it's cheap and plentiful.  But what else can you do?

First, take a look at what you're cooking with at home. If you use canned beans, for instance, rinse them well 2-3 times to flush away some of the hidden sodium. You won't get it all, but this does help. When your recipe calls for tomato sauce, reach instead for canned tomato paste - and put the kettle on to boil. If you mix tomato paste with an equal amount of hot water, you will get a richer tomato flavour without the high sodium of tomato sauce. Some brands, such as Hunt's, now offer a No Salt Added version that's even better for you. Add some fresh chopped herbs, or dried herbs, to add depth of flavour. Be generous with the herbs to get an out-of-the-ordinary taste.

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Eating Less Sugar for Better Health

Eating Less Sugar for Better Health

Eating Less Sugar for Better Health

We know that eating too much sugar can cause or contribute to a lot of health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, elevated blood pressure, certain types of cancers, stroke, gallbladder and liver disorders, respiratory problems, and more.

The first thing to do is to track how much sugar you are taking in each day. This involves a little detective work, since sugars often masquerade as other words in the ingredients list. These "disguised" sugars may be listed as "anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar. Other types of sugar you might commonly see on ingredient lists are fructose, lactose and maltose. Fructose is sugar derived from fruit and vegetables; lactose is milk sugar; and maltose is sugar that comes from grain." (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com).

But wait - there are many more!

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The Health Benefits of Lemons

The Health Benefits of Lemons

Health Benefits of Lemons


The sharp, clean scent of lemons gives a hint of the wealth of positive benefits hidden inside. They contain vitamins C, B6, A, E, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, coppe,r calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, folate, and some protein.

Lemons also contain flavonoids, containing antioxidant and cancer fighting elements. They have a positive effect on high blood pressure, fever, diabetes and upset stomach, among many other benefits. They also can fight kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, thus preventing crystals forming in the kidneys.

However, turning to commercial lemonades is a step backwards, because of the chemicals, colouring, and sugar/sugar compounds added. Instead, mix a pitcher of water, fresh lemon juice to taste, and let one or two juiced lemon rinds sit in the bottom of the pitcher for even more flavour. If you want that hit of sweetness, use a bit of honey. Honey itself has many positive compounds, such as potassum, calcium, sodium, fibre and several vitamins and minerals.

Here is a link to a herb-lemon marinade that is excellent with chicken and pork,  from the wonderful chef Ina Garten.  So look for new and exciting ways to add lemons and their juice and zest to your marinades, water, salads and meats!

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Safe Food Storage

Safe Food Storage

 Safe Food Storage

One of the most persistent myths about refrigerated food is that if it smells okay, it's okay to eat it. Wrong. Lots of food can go bad without even a whiff of decay, and can cause you serious and even life-threatening food-borne illness. Refrigeration doesn't stop the clock on decay - it only delays it.

So how long can you safely store food in your fridge? That depends on a few factors.

1.       Is it raw meat or seafood?  the Government of Canada recommends between 2 and 4 days for cuts of meat, 1-2 days for ground meat, 2-3 days for fresh poultry, and 12 hours to 2 days for various types of seafood. Click here for a complete printable list  of all types of food- handy thing to put on your fridge door. 

2.       Is it a leftover? Don't keep them any longer than 3-4 days. Bacteria can flourish without affecting the appearance, smell or taste of food, so get into the habit of keeping a roll of masking tape and a sharpie in your kitchen. Slap a "Eat by ..." label on every leftover in your fridge - and go through your fridge every couple of days to eliminate out-of-date food. If you are not sure that you can eat the leftover in time, freeze it  immediately.

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Carbs- What Should I Be Eating?

 Carbs- What Should I Be Eating?

 wholeWheatBread pexels

There are some “diets” that have gained notoriety in the last several years that suggest we avoid carbohydrates. But carbs-as-evil is a huge misconception. Carbs are the gas in your gas tank! They are essential for boosting energy and improving your mood and emotional state. In fact, carbohydrates are what the body likes to use best as fuel.

The Canada Food Guide suggests that two-thirds of our food should be carbs. But not just any carbs will do the job.

We need to minimize the amount of sugar-laden fuel we eat, such as cookies, candy, cakes, and regular pop. Check labels in the grocery for the amount of sugars listed. Often there is a lot of hidden sugar in food products (ketchup, for example). These types of food will spike your blood sugar, giving you temporary energy, but soon you may experience a “crash” in energy levels. That’s because these simple sugars won’t give you the sustained, longer-term energy boost that complex carbs can. Simple carbs are like fireworks – they give off a big bang, and then fade quickly.

Whole grains in cereals and breads are a great example of good carb nutrition. Our bodies process these foods at a slower pace than simple carbs, and so we feel satisfied longer.  Complex carbs stabilize our energy level and help us to avoid the nose-dive into fatigue and irritability that comes after taking in simple carbs.

 

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Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous Veggies

 Cruciferous Veggies 

 

 When planning a lunch or dinner, we all tend to choose from a small group of vegetables – the tried and true that we know well. Some of the most popular vegetables in Canada include potatoes, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes (technically a fruit, but used as a veggie!). These are all great foods and each brings good nutrition to your diet, but there is another family of vegetables that will add variety and impressive health benefits to your plate – the cruciferous vegetables.

This family includes old standards such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and others that may be less familiar, such as turnip (rutabaga), radish, spinach, daikon, kale, bok choy, and arugula. 

What are the benefits of including cruciferous vegetables in your menus?

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How much sodium do we need?

How much sodium do we need?

 How Much Sodium Do We Need?

 

Sodium is one of the most common sources of flavour in our food, and is found in virtually everything we eat. Overconsumption of sodium is a major factor in our self-inflicted poor health.  Health Canada reports that the average Canadian takes in about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. However, the government-recommended daily limit now is 2,300 mg, with the current medical and scientific communities recommending a limit of 1,500 mg per day.  Check out  the Global news story at this link for more details and stats. http://www.globalnews.ca/health/health/6442577217/story.html

 

The effects of excess sodium on our bodies are wide-ranging. First, it can cause us to retain fluid in our bodies, causing bloating.  This fluid retention can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), which can then be a significant factor in heart disease and stroke. Another by-product of excessive sodium over a period of time can be kidney disease. One of the kidneys' jobs is to filter out and purge excess sodium from the body. Unfortunately, putting that much extra stress on the kidneys over the long term can damage the kidneys - and once they are damaged, kidneys don't recover.

 

There are three main sources of sodium in our diet.

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A Grocery Inventory

A Grocery Inventory

Grocery Inventory 

 

First, write down every category of food in your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. You'll have a list that includes things like meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, (fresh, frozen and canned) grains and pasta, breads, condiments, etc.

Next, create an inventory spreadsheet or document where you can write down how many of each item you have. For instance, under meats, create a section of chicken. Under that, make entries for boneless, skinless breasts, thighs, whole chickens, and anything else you may keep in stock. Under dairy, you can have entries for cheddar cheese, butter, margarine, milk, etc. Leave a couple of blank lines in each major category for special items you don't always stock. This part will take a little time, but you have to do it only once, and update periodically. Then print off a copy and grab a clipboard - here's the eye-opening part.

Take inventory of absolutely everything you have, writing down your count on your inventory sheet. While you are doing this, check the expiry dates on everything you own. You may be astonished to see some long-expired items lurking at the back of the cupboard! Pitch these, and organize your shelves how you like them. Again, this first inventory will take a bit of time, but once you are organized, you can take inventory before you go shopping in much less time. You can take this sheet with you to the grocery store in case you forget just how much of something you already have. And while you are reorganizing, take the chance to get rid of the low-nutrient items such as chips, candy and sugary treats.

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Myths and Misconceptions About Fat

Myths and Misconceptions About Fat

Myths and Misconceptions About Fat

 

What exactly is fat anyway? First, the fat we take in through food is made up of lipids or fatty acids, and it comes in various forms, ranging from liquid oil, such as olive oil, to solid, such as hydrogenated margarine and shortening. However, the fat in our bodies is a type of tissue made up of cells containing stored fat. This fat can be "white fat", which is found in large cell sacs, or vesicles.  Stored fat can also be "brown fat", which is made up of lipid droplets. Let’s address some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding fat.

 "I should cut out as much fat as possible."

Actually, we need a certain amount of fat in our food every day. There are certain vitamins, such as Vitamin A, D ,E and K that are fat-soluble. This means that these vitamins have to have fat on board in order to be absorbed into the body, and they also need fat in order to be metabolized, or broken down. Other vitamins, such as B complex, and C, are water soluble. So we need both fat and water in our diet to get the most nutrition out of our food. Ideally, we should take in as little saturated fat as possible. However, we should eat 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) of unsaturated fat each day. This fat comes from sources such as cooking oil, salad dressings, non-hydrogenated margarine and mayonnaise. This will give us the fat needed to absorb our nourishment properly. About 25-30% of our daily caloric intake should be from fat.

 "Food products advertised as "low-fat" are always a better choice."

Not necessarily. While it's good to cut down on fats, particularly saturated and hydrogenated fats, often food manufacturers replace the missing fat with extra sugar and/or sodium, making a "low-fat" food a poor choice in the end. So it's a good idea to check out the labels on food packaging, and get an idea of how much of each element is in your food.

"The type of fat I eat doesn't matter."

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large burger

Myths and Misconceptions About Fat

 

What exactly is fat anyway? First, the fat we take in through food is made up of lipids or fatty acids, and it comes in various forms, ranging from liquid oil, such as olive oil, to solid, such as hydrogenated margarine and shortening. However, the fat in our bodies is a type of tissue made up of cells containing stored fat. This fat can be "white fat", which is found in large cell sacs, or vesicles.  Stored fat can also be "brown fat", which is made up of lipid droplets. Let’s address some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding fat.

 "I should cut out as much fat as possible."

Actually, we need a certain amount of fat in our food every day. There are certain vitamins, such as Vitamin A, D ,E and K that are fat-soluble. This means that these vitamins have to have fat on board in order to be absorbed into the body, and they also need fat in order to be metabolized, or broken down. Other vitamins, such as B complex, and C, are water soluble. So we need both fat and water in our diet to get the most nutrition out of our food. Ideally, we should take in as little saturated fat as possible. However, we should eat 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) of unsaturated fat each day. This fat comes from sources such as cooking oil, salad dressings, non-hydrogenated margarine and mayonnaise. This will give us the fat needed to absorb our nourishment properly. About 25-30% of our daily caloric intake should be from fat.

 "Food products advertised as "low-fat" are always a better choice."

Not necessarily. While it's good to cut down on fats, particularly saturated and hydrogenated fats, often food manufacturers replace the missing fat with extra sugar and/or sodium, making a "low-fat" food a poor choice in the end. So it's a good idea to check out the labels on food packaging, and get an idea of how much of each element is in your food.

"The type of fat I eat doesn't matter."

salt sprinkled on food

 How Much Sodium Do We Need?

 

Sodium is one of the most common sources of flavour in our food, and is found in virtually everything we eat. Overconsumption of sodium is a major factor in our self-inflicted poor health.  Health Canada reports that the average Canadian takes in about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. However, the government-recommended daily limit now is 2,300 mg, with the current medical and scientific communities recommending a limit of 1,500 mg per day.  Check out  the Global news story at this link for more details and stats. http://www.globalnews.ca/health/health/6442577217/story.html

 

The effects of excess sodium on our bodies are wide-ranging. First, it can cause us to retain fluid in our bodies, causing bloating.  This fluid retention can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), which can then be a significant factor in heart disease and stroke. Another by-product of excessive sodium over a period of time can be kidney disease. One of the kidneys' jobs is to filter out and purge excess sodium from the body. Unfortunately, putting that much extra stress on the kidneys over the long term can damage the kidneys - and once they are damaged, kidneys don't recover.

 

There are three main sources of sodium in our diet.

 Carbs- What Should I Be Eating?

 wholeWheatBread pexels

There are some “diets” that have gained notoriety in the last several years that suggest we avoid carbohydrates. But carbs-as-evil is a huge misconception. Carbs are the gas in your gas tank! They are essential for boosting energy and improving your mood and emotional state. In fact, carbohydrates are what the body likes to use best as fuel.

The Canada Food Guide suggests that two-thirds of our food should be carbs. But not just any carbs will do the job.

We need to minimize the amount of sugar-laden fuel we eat, such as cookies, candy, cakes, and regular pop. Check labels in the grocery for the amount of sugars listed. Often there is a lot of hidden sugar in food products (ketchup, for example). These types of food will spike your blood sugar, giving you temporary energy, but soon you may experience a “crash” in energy levels. That’s because these simple sugars won’t give you the sustained, longer-term energy boost that complex carbs can. Simple carbs are like fireworks – they give off a big bang, and then fade quickly.

Whole grains in cereals and breads are a great example of good carb nutrition. Our bodies process these foods at a slower pace than simple carbs, and so we feel satisfied longer.  Complex carbs stabilize our energy level and help us to avoid the nose-dive into fatigue and irritability that comes after taking in simple carbs.

 

Deb Bailey Personal Trainer - in Home (Now On-line!)
Phone: 519-572-0986
debbailey@rogers.com
Kitchener, Ontario


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