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What exactly is gluten ?

10/10/2017 18:55

Do you know what gluten really is? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. These proteins help you build and maintain your muscle mass.

Many people choose to avoid gluten these days. Some people are gluten intolerant, meaning their bodies cannot digest this type of protein, so they need to avoid products containing gluten.

Others decide to go gluten-free because they feel it’s a quick route to weight loss. But is this really true? Avoiding gluten led to weight loss in the past because there weren’t a lot of gluten-free products around. This meant eliminating bread, pasta, crackers, cereal, and other kinds of starchy foods made form wheat, rye, or barley. The elimination of these foods meant people were eating more lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, so they naturally started to lose a little weight by going gluten-free.

Learn more about gluten and how it plays a role in your diet from registered dietitian Susan Bowerman. For more nutrition advice from Herbalife, check out Susan Bowerman's other videos on her playlist http://hrbl.me/HealthyLivingVIDEOS

Posted in Nutrition Health Articles By Guy Alony

Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Making healthy food choices means taking a close look at your current eating habits, and making small changes that add up to new habits and better nutrition.

Why is it so hard to make healthy food choices? It’s not as if you don’t know which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. But sometimes it’s difficult to make the right food choices when you’re constantly faced with temptation or don’t have a plan.

Not only do you have to make food choices every time you eat a meal or a snack, you’re actually making food choices all day long. Every time you see, smell or think about food—which happens a lot more than you might think—you’ve got choices to make.

The trick to making better food choices is learning how to “trade up”—nutritionally speaking. Look at the foods you’re currently eating and see if you can find some healthier choices to make instead. If your dietary patterns are generally good, and if you’re eating regular meals and snacks and including a variety of foods, then it’s just a matter of plugging in some healthier choices in place of those that aren’t doing you much good.

The first step in improving your diet is to take a good, hard look at your current eating habits. Write down everything you eat for a couple of days. You can’t make changes if you don’t realistically know what you’re working with or where your trouble spots are.

Once you’ve done that, look your food diary over without judging yourself. Just be objective. Look over your eating patterns and the food choices you’re making, and simply acknowledge that there are some things that you probably want to do differently. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for the things you’re doing right.

Cut Back on the Highest Calorie Foods

The next step is to work towards cutting back on the highest calorie foods that you usually eat. Start with the high fat and high sugar foods first. Once you’ve identified the biggest offenders, use the healthy food chart below to help you find healthier swaps. As these healthier food choices get incorporated into your routine, you’ll gradually improve the nutrient quality of your diet, cut calories, and probably find that your meals are more filling and satisfying.

Know What You’re Eating

Once you’ve kept your food diary for a while, you’ll have a good sense for what foods you’re eating. But you also want to learn what’s in the foods that you’re eating. When you shop, take time to read labels. Look at ingredients and the nutrition facts so you can evaluate calories, fat and sugar content in the foods that you buy.

Keep it Simple

One good strategy for making better food choices is to lean toward foods that haven’t had a lot done to them. The closer a food is to its natural state or the less processed it is, the more nutritional value it tends to have. You’ll also be getting less fat, sugar and salt.

Be Realistic

If you’re craving ice cream, trying to satisfy the craving with a handful of celery sticks probably isn’t going to work. Perhaps a carton of Greek-style yogurt with some berries would work for you, or a sliced up frozen banana.

Plan Ahead

It’s easier to make better choices when you plan ahead. When you have a plan for what you’re going to eat for meals and snacks, you’re more committed to eating the healthier choices.

Keep your focus on replacing bad habits with better ones and know that every little bit adds up. As you continue to make better choices, they’ll become new habits, and over time your better choices will be the foods you crave.

Healthy Swaps, Healthier Food Choices

Instead of… Try this…
Refined flour breads, cereals, flour tortillas 100% whole grain bread, cereal, corn tortillas
Sodas, fruit juices Plain or sparkling water with lemon, lime or a few pieces of fresh fruit
White rice, noodles, potatoes Brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole grain pasta, soba noodles, sweet potatoes—or omit altogether and double up on veggies
Cakes, cookies, pies, pastry, ice cream Fresh fruit, frozen fruit (cherries, bananas, mango have a satisfying, chewy texture), nonfat yogurt with fruit
Snack chips, crackers Edamame, raw vegetables with hummus, brown rice cakes, nuts or soy nuts
Mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, gravies, sour cream Mustard, mashed avocado, low-fat salad dressings, salsa, lemon juice, plain nonfat yogurt
High calorie coffee drinks Nonfat latte or cappuccino, herbal tea, hot protein shake
Fatty meats, sausages, etc. Lean meats, poultry breast, seafood, soy meat substitutes

 

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Posted in Nutrition Health Articles By Guy Alony

A salad often seems like a healthy choice, but many are loaded with high calorie ingredients.

When I think of a salad, I picture a beautiful bowl of leafy greens tossed with other colorful veggies like orange carrots, purple onions, bright red tomatoes and yellow bell peppers. A salad like that is the picture of health. But there’s an unhealthy side to salad, too. We use the term salad so loosely now that we call almost anything tossed together in a bowl a salad, as long as there’s something coating it, flavoring it or holding it together.

I’ve seen entrée salads on restaurant menus without a veggie in sight—just an overload of meat, cheese and heavy dressing. Some salads start out with good intentions, in the form of leafy greens and mixed veggies. But then they’re loaded down with crispy noodles, fried chicken strips, cheese or bacon. And if you were to eat at my grandmother’s house, a “salad” invariably consisted of a square of neon-red gelatin nestled in a single lettuce leaf (which was usually not eaten), topped with a dollop of mayonnaise.

Salads Can Have More Calories and Fat than a Cheeseburger

The problem with many entrée salads is that they’re loaded down with fat, so it helps to know where all that fat is coming from. Next time you’re in a restaurant and decide to have just a salad, here are a few things to consider.

  • Ditch the fatty proteins. When you see the word “crispy,” as in crispy chicken strips, it’s just a nicer way of saying “fried.” So, if you’re having an entrée salad with protein in it, look for salads containing chicken, shrimp or fish that’s grilled rather than fried. And watch out for other high calorie proteins, too. Foods like sausages or fatty cold cuts often make their way into main-dish salads.
  • Avoid high fat extras. Many restaurant salads are overloaded with lots of extras that can make the calorie count soar. These fatty calorie bombs include cheese, bacon, fried tortilla strips, crispy fried noodles, onion rings, sour cream and oily croutons.
  • Choose dressings carefully and use sparingly. Dressings are one of the quickest ways to undo the nutritional value of a healthy salad. Creamy or cheesy dressings can cost you 75 calories per tablespoon, and many restaurants serve as much as 8 times that amount. And since that’s what we’re given, many of us assume that’s a normal portion. But few of us can, or should, afford the additional 600 calories and 60 grams of fat that a half-cup of ranch dressing adds to the mix. Always order your dressing on the side, and choose lighter vinaigrettes over creamy dressings. Also, try the fork-dip method: dip your fork into your dressing, take a stab at your salad and repeat. You’ll get a little taste of dressing with each bite, but you’ll be surprised at how little you actually use.

Choosing Salads Wisely

When you choose a restaurant salad, be on the lookout for these high-fat ingredients, and make adjustments accordingly. Most of the time, it’s as simple as asking that an ingredient or two be left out. And maybe swap out a creamy dressing for oil-based vinaigrette and having it served on the side. Just a few simple changes can make a huge difference.

A Southwestern-style salad with lettuce, grilled chicken, a few spoons of black beans, a dab of guacamole and some salsa can be a healthy choice. And it will probably only cost you about 400 calories. But get your salad fully loaded with cheese, creamy dressing and served in a fried tortilla shell, and the calorie count triples to more than 1200.

Similarly, a Chinese chicken salad might sound healthy, since it usually includes greens or cabbage, grilled chicken, some mandarin oranges and toasted almonds. But it’s the crispy fried noodles and the huge amount of dressing that sends the fat and calorie count soaring. Leave out the fried noodles and keep your dressing portion to around a tablespoon, and you’re looking at a reasonable 450 calories or so. If you eat the salad as the restaurant serves it, you’d be eating more than 1000 calories. That’s the fat equivalent of a huge slice of cheesecake and large fries.

Use the same principles when choosing side salads, too. A mixed green salad is usually a great choice if you use just a dab of vinaigrette dressing. Fruit salad—as long as it’s not loaded down with sugary syrup or a sweet creamy dressing—also makes a great side salad. But watch the side salads that are creamy or starchy. Even a small portion of potato salad, pasta salad or mayonnaise-heavy coleslaw can cost you several hundred calories.

When it comes to choosing a salad, the bottom line is this: just because a dish is called a salad, doesn’t automatically make it healthy. So, don’t let the word salad sway you. When making your choice, pay a little less attention to what it’s called and a lot more attention to what’s in it.

Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Posted in Nutrition Health Articles By Guy Alony
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