30+ Healthy Snacks Under 200-Calories (download your copy today!)

Are you a snacker? 

Snacking is definitely a good thing as long as you’re smart about it.

Eating a snack or two between meals can take the edge off your hunger so that you don’t overeat at meal time.  The best healthy snacks provide a boost of energy during the day and help to keep you mentally focused.  On the flipside, picking all day long —particularly on foods of little nutritional value—can result in eating too much and even contribute to unwanted weight gain. The key is taking a smart approach to snacking.

SNACK SMART WITH THESE 3 TIPS

  1. Snack because you are genuinely hungry. Make sure you are not snacking because you are bored, anxious, lonely, frustrated, or tired. Pay attention to how you are feeling and if you are truly physically hungry (growling stomach, headache, lack of energy or focus), have a snack if it’s not mealtime.  Most people tend to feel hungry about every 3 – 5 hours throughout the day.
  2. Use snacks to fill the gaps in your diet. Snacking can help you get in all the nutrients you need for optimal health.  In order to thrive, our bodies need a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients throughout the day. Getting all we need in just three meals a day can be difficult.  Use snacking as a way to boost your intake of key nutrients like calcium, protein, and fiber. That means avoiding unhealthy snacks like chips and candy and opting for fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and whole grains.
  3. To ensure the most nutritious snacks, plan ahead. This way you avoid deciding while standing in front of the vending machine at 3 p.m. while feeling hangry.  You will have already made a healthy mindful choice.  Be sure to add snack options to your grocery list so you have what you need on hand.  Take it one step further and pre-portion snacks in bags or containers so all you have to do is grab a couple on your way out of the door in the morning.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Healthy Snacks Under 200-Calories for 30+ healthy snack ideas.

Lorraine

PS…

If you need more than snack ideas, I’m here to help.  Please get in touch and let’s have a conversation about your health and fitness goals.  Start the New Year off right with healthy eating action plan.

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Do This One Thing and Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving (+ holiday recipe)

With Thanksgiving happening this week, there’s been a lot of food talk going on around my office lately.  Clients are scheduling last-minute strategy sessions for tips on how they can avoid overindulging and stay on track with their healthy eating plans.

Are you worried about going overboard on Thanksgiving and gaining weight?

There is one incredibly simple yet highly effective thing you can do to avoid this.

Set an intention for how you would like to feel after the meal and hold yourself accountable by writing it down.  Share your intention with a loving friend or family member for extra support.  Maybe they will join in and do it with you.  That’s it!

journaling

Of course, you need to be serious about it or it’s not going to work.  If you honestly want to feel well at the end of the day on Thanksgiving, set this as an intention and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It really works.

Give it a try and let me know how you make out by adding a comment below.

Before you go, grab a copy of my Cranberry Fruit Relish recipe.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been making this since 1984.  It’s that good!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Wishing you lots of love and peace.

Lorraine

 

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Countdown to Thanksgiving: 5 tips to keep you feeling well (+ holiday dessert recipe)

Thanksgiving is meant to be just that – a day to give thanks – but a lot of people find this time year incredibly stressful. There are worries about family dynamics, meal preparation, and overeating that can turn the day from thankful to dreadful.

To help keep your Thanksgiving as happy and healthy as possible, I’ve come up with 5 tips to boost your mood and nourish your body during the next couple of weeks leading up to turkey day.

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1. Eat to feel good. Overeating (or being too restrictive) doesn’t feel good physically or emotionally. It can lead to digestive distress, bloating, brain fog, lethargy, guilt, and even depression. Be mindful when you eat.  Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after a meal or snack. Mindful eating is the best way to satisfy your appetite and leave you feeling energized; and it’s a very effective strategy to help manage your weight during the holidays as well.

2. Get outside and go for a walk. Sunlight, fresh air, and exercise have been shown to be instant mood boosters. Getting outside (especially in nature) and going for a brisk walk can help you deal with the stress and anxiety – even the sadness – that we so often experience during the holiday season.

3. Relax – it’s all good. Sh!t happens (as the saying goes) and all too often things don’t go our way. This can be extremely stressful especially when there is so much to do. Instead of trying to control everything, focus on controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest. How, you ask? Start by taking six to 10 slow deep breaths or try these quick breathing exercises to relax.  Another simple strategy to help you de-stress is meditation.  If you think you can’t do it, check out this video  and see how anyone – even a skeptic like you – can learn how to meditate. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet corner.

4. Hydrate and feel great. It’s so easy to forget about drinking water during the day especially when you have a lot to do. This can very quickly lead to dehydration and cause more than just thirst and dry lips. Dehydration can set the heart racing and make you feel light-headed, dizzy, and even alter your mood according to two studies conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.  Be sure to drink enough water to stave off those “thirsty” mood swings and keep your body feeling energized.

5. Get your zzZs. Not only does adequate sleep help you feel good and look your best, it is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Here are some of the health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep. Do your best to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night especially the day before Thanksgiving; you will have more fun. If you struggle with this, check out these tips to help you get your zzZs during the holidays.

Lorraine

PS…
Click here for my Naturally Sweetened Apple Pie recipe.  Enjoy it!

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10 Tips to Help You Stop Overeating (+ Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe)

Has this ever happened to you? Not hungry, you walk into a room, see food, and grab some just because it’s there. That just happened to me yesterday. I wasn’t thinking about food or feeling hungry at all when I walked into the break room at my office and saw cookies on the table – homemade chocolate chip (my fav). They looked and smelled awesome so I grabbed one and ate it without a thought.

overeating

Why do we so often find ourselves eating mindlessly?

There are various reasons why we eat without thinking.  Some people eat because they are bored and it gives them something to do.  Others eat out of habit; for example, snacking while watching TV.  And it’s not at all uncommon to eat for emotional reasons as a way to make ourselves feel better.

Oftentimes we mindlessly follow cues from the outside world that tell us when and what to eat. Just seeing or smelling food is enough to make us want to eat.  It doesn’t take much brain power or effort to pick up a fork (or a cookie) and start eating – bite, swallow, repeat.  Unfortunately, overtime mindless eating can lead to excess body fat and eventual health problems.

Use these 10 tips to stop the mindless overeating.

  1. Before you start eating, think about why you are about to eat.
    • Are you feeling truly hungry (growling stomach, low energy, headache, can’t focus)?
    • Do you want to soothe emotions such as boredom, loneliness, stress, or sadness?
    • Would you like the experience of tasting a food that looks appealing?
  2. Use the Mindful Eating Journal to help you keep track of what, when, and why you are eating.
  3. Write down 3 or more things you can do instead of eating when you want to eat for emotional reasons. For example, you could read a book, take a walk, call a friend, or enjoy a cup of hot tea.
  4. Arrange your environment to support a healthy approach to eating. Try these strategies:
    • Use smaller bowls and plates. You’ll naturally end up with smaller portions.
    • When loading up a plate, cover half of it with vegetables.
    • Put healthier, lower-calorie foods like cut-up veggies in the front of fridge where they are easy to reach. The cheese can go in a drawer out of sight.
    • Get rid of the cookie jar and replace it with a fruit bowl.
    • When putting away leftovers, placing the most tempting items in foil or an opaque container so they’re easier to put out of mind.
    • Instead of eating straight from a package, transfer food to a plate or bowl so you can see the portion size.
    • If you stockpile foods, put them out of sight until you really need them.
  5. When you want to eat just because food is there and it looks good, set limits. Decide on a reasonable portion before you take some. Then go ahead and enjoy the experience but realize that the eating more will not taste any better; and you might regret it.
  6. After a meal, wait 15 – 20 minutes before eating a second helping or dessert. This will allow your stomach the time it needs to tell your brain that it has had enough.
  7. Eat breakfast every day and have it at about the same. This will help to create a healthy eating pattern and avoid extreme hunger by mid-morning.
  8. Aim to eat every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day. Eat a snack if your meal is more than 4 hours apart to avoid extreme hunger. Always have healthy snacks on hand just in case.
  9. Keep your body well hydrated. Drink water with and in between meals. This healthy habit will keep you well hydrated and help to avoid confusing thirst with hunger.
  10. Focus on the food while you are eating and avoid distractions. Slow down! Smell, taste, chew, and enjoy your food. Do not eat while watching TV, reading, or surfing the internet as this may cause you to eat more food than your body needs.

Lorraine

PS…
Click HERE to grab your RECIPE for Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread. Eat mindfully and enjoy!

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My thoughts on the documentary, What the Health

Avocado toastLately I’ve been getting an influx of calls and emails from worried clients who watched the Netflix documentary, What the Health.  People are concerned – and for good reason.  One client emailed, “Well now what?  Apparently, I’ve been doing everything wrong!”  Another client made an appointment for his entire family (wife and 2 daughters) wanting me to teach them all how to become vegans.

I watched the film and to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t easy for me to get through it.  I seriously wanted to turn it off after the first 5 minutes, but felt compelled to keep watching.  I went back and forth from anger to laughter.  Not because I don’t believe in the health benefits of a plant-based diet. I do!  My issue was with the fear-mongering and misinformation presented by the film-maker.

To learn more, read this excellent review of the documentary written by one of my dietitian colleagues who just so happens to be a vegan.

Lorraine

PS…

If you want to become a vegan, learn more about a vegetarian diet plan, or just get tips on how to eat healthier, call me.  I will teach you what you need to know without all the scare tactics.

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Calling all parents: tips on raising healthy eaters and being one yourself.

As the new school year gets underway, I’ve been getting more calls than usual from parents wanting to schedule appointments for their children.  This is the time of year when kids are visiting their pediatricians for immunizations and school-required physicals.  Some of them are being told (often with fat-shaming remarks) that they are overweight or obese and some are being diagnosed with pre-diabetes and diabetes.  They leave their doctor’s appointment with instructions to call the nutritionist.

Both parents and kids are often apprehensive about meeting with the nutritionist (me).  Most likely there has already been some tense discussion and arguing about food and body size going on at home.  Understandably, parents are worried about their kid’s health and kids are worried that they are going to be fat-shamed (again) and asked to give up their favorite foods.

There is often a certain expectation by parents that I’m going to “fix the problem” by putting their child on a weight loss diet. That would be a huge mistake on my part and would likely make things worse.  Kids who feel bad about their body size and start dieting are at about three times greater risk for binge eating, weight gain and other eating disorders.

If dieting and fat-shaming are not the answer, what then?

As a parent, you are in the unique and powerful position to model healthy eating habits for your kids.  This starts with getting clear on what “normal eating” is. Although this may seem like simple common sense, it is not.  We live in a country in which roughly fifty percent of adults are forever dieting to the extent that many people don’t know what it’s like to simply eat normally for good health.

GIRL WITH MUFFIN

In order to raise healthy eaters and be healthy eaters ourselves, we need to understand and practice normal eating.  One of the best definitions on normal eating I’ve ever read comes from Ellyn Satter, MS, RDN, MSSW.

WHAT IS NORMAL EATING?

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should.
  • Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.
  • Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way.
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be under eating at times and wishing you had more.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for any indiscretions along the way.
  • Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
  • In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

PARENTS…

A healthy diet for your kids (and you) is not “dieting”.  The very best way to raise a healthy child with a good attitude about food, a positive body image, and a healthy weight is to model and support normal eating in your home.

Lorraine

PS…

Do you need help planning and prepping meals? CALL ME.  I help busy parents with hectic schedules find simple ways to get delicious meals in the lunch bags and on the table with ease.  Keep yourself and your family healthy and feeling good.  Let’s talk!

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Back-to-school meal planning made easy. Delicious recipes…

It’s that time of year again.  The summer is quickly coming to an end and school is back in session.

Need some help creating a healthy family meal plan you can stick with? 

Check this out –

This weekly anti-inflammatory plan contains simple, delicious recipes for 3 days each week. Each day includes 2 meals – breakfast and dinner – and 1 snack.

Cook only three days and feed your family nourishing meals for the entire week. 

The plans are interactive and fully customizable making menu planning a snap.  You can easily rearrange recipes to suit your schedule, and you can substitute different recipes if something doesn’t suit your tastes or preferences.  It’s easy to create a grocery list once you’ve finalized your week’s menu; and there’s an app version allowing you to access your food planner, recipes, and grocery list on the go!

Go ahead and try out this family meal planner for FREE for 24-hours. Once you see how easy and helpful it is, you can jump on board and ease the back-to-school stress for you and your family.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that I will earn a percentage of subscriptions fees if you sign up via my Gathered Table page.  However, I am serious about never endorsing any product or service that I don’t personally and professionally believe in, whether or not there is money involved. This goes without saying to those of you who know me; and for those of you who don’t know me well, I really (really!) mean it.

Lorraine

PS…

Get the school year off to a great start with these Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plans and keep your family well-nourished and healthy all year long.

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How probiotics can help with weight loss

Your body is home to trillions of tiny living creatures (aka bacteria) – and that’s actually a good thing.  These healthy probiotic bacteria—particularly those in your gut—may improve digestion, boost immunity and—according to some preliminary studies — they may even help you maintain a healthy weight.  Probiotics have physiologic functions that can affect food intake, appetite, and body weight.

One of the most effective ways to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut is to eat fermented foods — they provide a healthy dose of probiotics.  Read on to learn what foods have probiotics.

siggis

Add these fermented foods to your diet.

Yogurt labeled with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal guarantees 100 million probiotic cultures per gram (about 17 billion cultures in a 6-ounce cup) at the time of manufacturing.  Even yogurts without this seal usually contain some probiotics.

Guide to choosing the best yogurt

Kefir is another probiotic-packed food. It is a fermented product made from cow, goat, or sheep milk. It has a tangy flavor similar to yogurt however kefir is liquid making it perfect for blending in a smoothie. Kefir is cultured up to eight times more than yogurt so it develops more of the good bacteria.  It can even have up to twelve different types of bacteria and is a good source of protein and calcium as well.

Fall greens and kefir smoothie

Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, barley, or brown rice. It has a savory nutty (umami) flavor which makes it a great addition to soups, marinades, and vinaigrettes.  It is high in sodium but a little goes a long way.  It is actually the high salt content that protects the good bacteria from contamination.

7 delicious ways to use miso paste

Tempeh is another fermented soybean product that is created by adding a tempeh starter – which is a mix of live mold. When it sits for a day or two, it becomes a cake-like product.  It contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete source of vegetarian protein.

10 delicious vegan and vegetarian tempeh recipes

Sauerkraut is made from just cabbage and salt.  When placed in an airtight container, millions of good probiotic bacteria are produced.  These bacteria live on the cabbage and convert the natural plant sugars to lactic acid which aids in digestion and helps the absorption of nutrients in the gut.  These probiotics are also what gives sauerkraut its sour taste.  Be sure to choose only refrigerated sauerkraut.  Canned sauerkraut has been pasteurized and this kills the probiotics.

Apple sauerkraut cheddar quesadillas

Kimchi is the spicy Korean version of sauerkraut and the refrigerated varieties are the best. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store near pickles and sauerkraut.

Easy homemade kimchi

Lorraine

PS…Do you need help creating a better eating plan so you can get to your personal best weight and optimal health?  CALL ME.

I help chronic dieters with busy schedules find simple ways to eat better so they can achieve their personal best weight and maintain it with ease, have more energy and better health, enjoy eating again, and stop dieting once and for all.

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5 Healthy Cook-Out Tips (+ decadent grilled dessert recipes)

Can you believe it’s August already? As usually, the summer is flying by. There’s only one more month (yikes!) before the official end to summer. What have you been up to this summer?

I’ve been spending time outdoors hiking in the woods of New Jersey.

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I’ve also been spending time at the Jersey shore walking the beaches.

jersey

In addition to my time spent relaxing, I’ve been working. This summer I had the opportunity to get out of the office and in to the community spreading the message of eating for optimal health. I went to a local firehouse to meet with firefighters as well as employees of a large corporation to discuss simple changes that they can make to improve their diet and health.

fire fighters

Since it’s BBQ season, I decided to provide the corporate employees with healthy grill recipes and cook-out tips. Continue reading to learn more…

CHOOSE HEALTHIER (cook out) PROTEINS

Skinless chicken breast, lean ground poultry, and fish are the healthier choices. The good fats in fish like salmon and trout have heart-healthy benefits. And when you grill with skill, you and your guests won’t even miss the red meat, which is generally higher in unhealthy saturated fat.

If you choose beef, go for the leaner options such as flank steak, top loin, sirloin, tenderloin, and 93% (or higher) lean ground beef. For pork, choose trimmed chops or tenderloin. Always marinate your meat. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends marinating meat for at least 30 minutes to help reduce cancer risk. Scientists are unsure why, but it appears that the marinade acts as a barrier to protect against carcinogens. Check out these healthy marinade recipes.

Definitely, skip the processed meats. Grilled hotdogs and sausage, even the lean varieties such as turkey hot dogs or chicken sausage, contain cancer causing preservatives. The American Institute for Cancer Research has linked consumption of processed meats to an increased risk of in colorectal cancer. If hot dogs are a must, consider using a variety without added nitrates, such as those from Applegate Farms.

Venture outside your grilling comfort zone and try something new. Non-traditional forms of meat such as buffalo, ostrich, venison (deer), pheasant, and quail tend to be very lean. These meats may not be available in your local grocery store but can be purchased online or at special retail stores like Fossil Farms in Boonton, NJ.

Also, try non-animal based protein like grilled tofu.

Healthy grilled protein ideas:

  • Wrap marinated fish fillets in foil and toss on the grill.
  • Create colorful chicken kebabs using veggies like red onion, yellow peppers, and green zucchini.
  • Add minced portabella mushrooms and onions to the turkey burgers or chicken patties to make them more juicy and savory.

BUILD A COLORFUL (cook out) PLATE

Take the focus off meat and grill up some vegetables. Think color – lots and lots of color. Just about all of your favorite colorful veggies (and fruits; more on this later) can be grilled alone or in kebabs. The trick to grilling perfect veggies is to cut them into uniform pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. Brush each piece with a good quality EVVO to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Alternatively you can use a grill basket or wrap veggies in aluminum foil packets to keep them out of the line of fire.

Grilled veggies in foil packets –

  • Preheat grill to medium. Cut heavy-duty foil in to 12-by-18-inch pieces.
  • Place sliced veggies in a large bowl; add ¼ cup bottled light Italian dressing or better yet, make your own dressing; toss to coat. Divide vegetables evenly among foil pieces. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.
  • Fold long sides of foil toward each other, crimping edges to seal. Fold and crimp remaining edges, forming a sealed packet.
  • Place packets, seam side up, on grill. Close grill and cook for 20 minutes. To check for doneness, remove one packet from grill, open carefully (poke holes to release some steam) and taste a vegetable. It should be crisp-tender.

Vegetables that are perfect for grilling include asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, corn, eggplant, onions, mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.

INCLUDE HEALTHIER (cook out) SALADS

Potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni salad are all popular barbecue side dishes. Generally, they are overflowing with mayonnaise (and starchy carbs from the potatoes and macaroni) making them high in fat and calories. For a more nutritious option, go for the coleslaw. It’s made from heart-healthy cabbage, a cruciferous veggie that’s packed with anti-oxidants and fiber. With a few recipe tweaks, you can make a delicious and healthy side for your next cook-out.

Healthier coleslaw:

  • Skip the mayonnaise in favor of a dressing made of 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons apple juice, and 2 tablespoons vinegar.
  • Add shredded carrots, shredded celery stalks, 1 diced apple, and about 1/3 cup raisins to your coleslaw to give it some extra zip and a punch of nutrients.

Also, consider including a bean salad at your next cook out. It’s a delicious side dish with lots of healthy fiber and less fat.

GO FOR BETTER (cook out) BUNS

Whole-grain buns and bread will complement your healthy cook-out with extra fiber, flavor, and texture. If you’re watching your calories and carbs, try a whole wheat pita pocket, an open-faced burger, or a lettuce wrap.

DON’T FORGET THE HEALTHIER (cook out) DESSERTS

For a decadent dessert with a healthy twist, try grilling fruit. The natural sugars caramelize in the high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. Try grilling sliced apples, bananas, pears, peaches, pineapple, figs, nectarines, mangoes, or watermelon.

Lorraine

PS…
Do you need help creating a better eating plan so you can get to your personal best weight and optimal health? CALL ME.

I help chronic dieters with busy schedules find simple ways to eat better so they can achieve their personal best weight and maintain it with ease, have more energy and better health, enjoy eating again, and stop dieting once and for all.

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9 foods that lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation (+ must try recipe)

The key component of a diet to lower cholesterol is a plant-rich eating plan. Include plenty of whole fruits and vegetables, unrefined whole grains, and protein mostly from plants. Aim for at least 75% plants and no more than 25% animals. This style of eating is anti-inflammatory as well, and will decrease your risk of chronic disease.

Be adventurous and expand the variety of foods you put in your shopping cart and mouth. It may take some time to get used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to reduce cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that affect some people who take statins.

Just as important, fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are good for your body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. They are natural anti-inflammatory foods that help keep blood pressure in check, support a healthy weight, and help arteries stay flexible and bones strong. These foods are good for digestion, vision, and mental health as well.

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9 FOODS THAT HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL AND DECREASE INFLAMMATION –

1. Oats. An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. This will gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber which has been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol-rich bile and blocks it from being absorbed in the intestines. Fiber-rich foods have other heart-health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and decreasing inflammation.

2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats, barley and other whole grains such as quinoa, rye, brown rice, bulgur (cracked wheat), and millet can help lower the risk of heart disease – mainly via the soluble fiber they contain.

3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, keeping you full for longer after a meal. There are many choices – navy, kidney and butter beans, lentils, garbanzos, and black-eyed peas. Beans are a very versatile food that can be prepared in many ways.

4. Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, kale, okra, and sweet potato. These vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber as well as prebiotics. Prebiotics serve as food for the beneficial bacteria that live in the human gut. When these bacteria ferment the fiber, gas and short-chain fatty acids are produced. These SCFAs have been linked to a reduction in blood cholesterol levels.

5. Nuts and Seeds. Studies show that eating nuts and seeds is good for the heart. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Eating just 2 ounces (1 ounce = about a handful) of nuts a day can lower LDL by about 5%. Nuts and seeds have additional nutrients that protect the heart such as vitamin E which stops the development of arterial plaques.

6. Vegetable oils. Use monounsaturated olive and canola oil in place of butter, lard, and shortening to help lower bad LDL cholesterol. Limit corn, sunflower, safflower, soy, and cottonseed which are highly refined, used excessively in processed foods, and cause inflammation when consumed in excess.

7. Apples, grapes, citrus fruits, and berries. These fruits are rich in pectin, a water-soluble fiber. Pectin is sticky and lowers bad LDL cholesterol by attaching to cholesterol-rich bile within your intestines and carrying it out before it’s absorbed.

8. Fatty fish. Eating salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel at least two times a week can lower bad LDL cholesterol by replacing saturated fat in meat and by providing omega-3 fats. Omega-3s increase good HDL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides, inflammation, blood pressure, and the formation of arterial plaques.

9. Avocados. Rich in monounsaturated fat, avocados help to raise levels of good HDL cholesterol while lowering bad LDL cholesterol when consumed in moderation. In addition, avocados are a good source of heart healthy potassium, B- vitamins, and fiber.

FOODS TO LIMIT/AVOID –

Saturated fats. Typical sources of saturated fat include animal products, such as red meat, whole-fat dairy products and also a few vegetable oils such as palm oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. Saturated fat can increase your levels of bad LDL cholesterol.

Trans-fats. The right amount of trans-fats to consume is zero! Trans-fats are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that turns liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine or shortening and that prevents liquid vegetable oils from turning rancid. These fats have no nutritional value – and we know for certain they are bad for heart health. Trans-fats increase bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while reducing levels of HDL cholesterol.

Recently, the FDA banned trans-fats from the U.S. food supply. The phasing-out process will begin in 2018 and is expected to take three years. The encouraging news is that many major food suppliers and restaurants have already substituted healthier fats for trans-fats.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS –

Salt and sodium: excess sodium consumption can increase blood pressure and cause the body to hold onto fluid. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Cut back on salt and limit sodium to no more than 2300 mg per day; and even less if you have pre-hypertension or hypertension.

Weight and exercise: being overweight and not exercising can affect fats circulating in the bloodstream. Excess weight may boost harmful LDL cholesterol, while inactivity depresses protective HDL cholesterol. Losing weight (if needed) and exercising more can reverse these trends.

Do you need help creating a better eating plan so you can get to your personal best weight and optimal health? CALL ME.

I help chronic dieters with busy schedules find simple ways to eat better so they can achieve their personal best weight and maintain it with ease, have more energy and better health, enjoy eating again, and stop dieting once and for all.

Lorraine

PS…HEART-HEALTHY RECIPE:  White Bean Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

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