It’s assumed that kids will turn up their noses at whole-grain foods like oats, whole wheat bread, and brown rice if offered to them, but that may not be the case.
In another strike against “kid food,” a new study from the University of Florida indicates kids will eat whole grains if they’re offered. In fact, they’ll eat them in equal amounts to foods containing refined-grains, especially if they’re snack foods.
One of the authors of the study, Allyson Radford, said, “We tried to choose foods we thought kids would enjoy, such as cereal bars, macaroni and cheese and SunChips and found that they ate the ready-to-eat snack foods the most.”
“We were interested to see if they would eat the whole-grain foods as much as the refined-grain foods, and so we were pleasantly surprised that they would eat the same amount whether the food was whole or refined.” (more…)
By Layne Lieberman, RD, Culinary Nutritionist and author of “Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy”
A small percentage of the population that greatly benefit from following a gluten-free: These are the estimated 1 to 2 percent of people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease and the 0.2 to 0.4 percent who suffers from wheat allergy.
So what about the rest of us, the 98% of the population that hasn’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy?
Some of the biggest diet buzzwords right now are gluten-intolerance or gluten-sensitivity but there’s no test to determine if an individual actually has this. The truth is, the gluten-free movement has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Despite what’s written in fear-mongering books like “Grain Brain” and “Wheat Belly”, for most of the population there is no reason to go 100% gluten-free. (I do, however, strongly support eliminating processed foods like white bread, cookies, chips, pretzels, and cakes.)
Here’s why most of us should NOT be on a gluten-free diet:
Gluten-free diets recommend substituting rice for wheat. This may not be a good idea in the long-term. Rice absorbs arsenic (and cadmium) from the ground. Small quantities in the diet are of no concern. But when rice (or rice flour) is a staple, as recommended in some gluten-free diets, it can be troublesome and may even result in poisoning.
Restaurant and supermarket gluten-free offerings can be highly processed and packed with calories, sugar, salt and fat. One half of an Uno Chicago Grill Gluten-Free Pepperoni Pizza has 500 calories, 21 grams of fat, 1040 milligrams of sodium and 6 grams of sugar. Yikes! (more…)
Whether you love them, hate them, or aren’t sure what to do with them, there’s no question that carbs are a hot topic when it comes to healthy eating.
Despite what information you may be relying on now, carbs aren’t all-bad. In fact, there are some that are absolutely essential for a healthy diet. It’s important to not overdo it on carbs like sugar. Because there are so many different kinds of carbs, it can be difficult to determine which ones are good and which are bad. The confusion can lead to people cutting carbs entirely, but that isn’t the best solution for your health.
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
Ever notice how hard it is to find a whole grain in a restaurant? That’s why I was surprised—and thrilled—to see “Toasted Farro” on the menu of Washington D.C.’s highly acclaimed Blue Duck Tavern. Farro is an ancient form of wheat grown in the Middle East and Italy; it’s a wild ancestor to the cultivated wheat we use now.
I loved the dish—it was both chewy and hearty. The mild-tasting grain was infused with flavors of lemon and herbs. I managed to wrangle the recipe, below, from Chef Sebastien Archambault. A stickler for using fresh, local ingredients, Archambault grew up in France and Texas and has worked with world-famous chefs such as Alain Ducasse. I guess that unusual upbringing is what it takes to put whole grains on the menu! (more…)
I love food, so I find myself naturally drawn to other people who think like me, cook like me and eat like me. Oftentimes, though, I find people who eat drastically different than me and inspire me to eat better, healthier. One of those people is Sara Forte, author of the blog Sprouted Kitchen.
At Sprouted Kitchen Sara shares a “tastier take on whole foods,” and she delivers on that promise with every recipe she creates. After discovering her blog last fall I quickly snagged her Sprouted Kitchen Cookbookand haven’t put it down since. I find myself poring over it on weekends while meal planning, looking for snip-pits of healthy inspiration and meal ideas and I never come up short.
Sara’s husband Hugh captures all of the images for the blog, and each one in itself is a work of art. Go see for yourself. A delicata squash has never been so stunning.
We recently had the pleasure of picking Sara’s brain on her whole foods approach and her blog. Here’s what she had to say. (more…)
You’ve heard it said before: brown rice is better for you than white rice. But no one ever says why, which leads us to wonder, is anyone really making the switch to the supposedly healthier grain?
According to a recent survey by NPR that included nearly 10,000 participants, roughly 50 percent of those surveyed said they frequently swap brown rice for white rice in their dishes. I suppose from a statistical standpoint, this really isn’t too bad. But considering how much healthier brown rice really is for you, it’s more eye opening than you’d think.
To get the low down on whether or not brown rice really does trump white, we consulted DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD to set the facts straight. (more…)
The benefits of eating whole grains have been extolled numerous times here. Now, let’s get down to cooking them properly. Because a hard outer shell protects the seed of the grain, there are certain preliminary steps to take in order to ensure maximum access to a grains powerhouse concentration of micronutrients.
Soaking grains: All ancient cultures soaked and/or fermented grains in order to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and the effects of phytic acid, which binds to calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestines. Soak grains 6-12 hours, or overnight, which pre-digests gluten and indigestible proteins rendering the grain more digestible. Even one hour of soaking will help to soften grains. Change water before cooking.
Who doesn’t want to get smarter? Who wants to look better or be healthier? Many recent studies have shown how specific nutrients have positive effects on the brain especially in those areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to good blood flow, help maintain mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We know how foods play a great role in our brain. This is the conclusion of several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.
According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are Omega 3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.
Carbohydrate cravings can be pretty intense. Although they’re typically associated with stress, carb cravings can hit for a variety of reasons. The true cause of most cravings among dieters is habit. We have a tendency to grow comfortable with the way we handle our cravings and it quickly turns into a way of life.
Let’s take a step into the confessional: I once was so distraught over a fight with my father (a total cliche, but I swear it’s true!) that I drove to the store, bought a loaf of french bread and ate nearly the entire thing while I thought about what I should do- no joke. Needless to say, that wasn’t my proudest moment but we all have demons to face and apparently one of mine is artisan bread.
It took me some time to gather the common sense and knowledge that supplied me with the tools to fight my carb cravings. I’m happy to say that I rarely notice carb cravings anymore. Here are a few of the tips that brought me success. I hope they work for you too!
Well, they came a month late, but the much anticipated 2021 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have finally been released. The USDA and Department of Health and Human Services work together every five years to update the Dietary Guidelines to reflect changing and new research. The new guidelines aren’t drastically different than years before, but do reflect an urgency to address the growing obesity epidemic.
Learn more in this video recapping the new guidelines:
The average American consumes around 3,400 mg of sodium per day. The new Guidelines recommend reducing that number to 1,500 mg, or 1 teaspoon, of sodium, especially for those who are 51 and older, African American, or have hypertension, diabetes, and/or chronic kidney disease. Many believe that focusing on slashing salt in our diets will in turn also cut our saturated fat intake.
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