Friday, January 22, 2010

Nutrition and Eggs - Another Food Myth Laid to Rest

By Tina Marian

Deciding to eat healthy, nutritious and truly natural food is one of the best things you can do for your quality of life. Decision made, you would think determining the quality of the food you eat would be a fairly straightforward process. No so -- the facts about nutrition and eggs are yet another example of what I've come to call 'a food myth.'

Unfortunately, what ends up in your shopping cart, and in turn your body, is often based on incorrect information -- information that, once put forth by some marketing department or other, proliferates wildly, becoming the 'truth' upon which we base the dietary decisions so integral to our health.

Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat; the story about them is also one of the best (or worst) examples of a food myth that comes to mind. Unfortunately, eggs have been vilified by many who believe their consumption contributes to the cholesterol problem.

A recent study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry identified several different peptides in eggs that actually act as natural ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, a group of pharmaceuticals that are used primarily in treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.)

Many people routinely avoid eggs because of the cholesterol propaganda to which they have been linked in recent years. The original study that put eggs on the dangerous food list was done by the Cereal Institute 50 years ago, and was conducted using dried egg yolk powder.

Louise Gittleman, author of Your Body Knows Best, states that, "Recent refutations of that study point out that dried yolk powder, in and [only] of itself, is toxic to blood vessels because it has been oxidized. No subsequent studies have been able to prove any cholesterol dangers or any other kind of dangers from eating eggs."

In reality, it's hard to say enough good things about eggs. Eggs are nature's most perfect food - providing better quality protein than milk, beef, whey and soy. They contain all nine essential amino acids and are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that support your eyes, brain and heart.

In addition, egg yolks contain choline, a chemical similar to the B-vitamin family, which is essential for heart and brain function and for the health of your cell membranes. Choline also protects our livers from cholesterol and fat build-up, is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and more.

In terms of preparation, take care not to overcook eggs, as the cooking process can damage vital nutrients. Overcooking can cause the cholesterol that is natural in the egg to become oxidized. The best way to eat eggs is soft-boiled, poached or sunny side up.

Throwing a raw egg into a super nutritious shake is also a great, easy way to add eggs to your diet. If the idea of raw eggs bothers you, just remember that the meringue on a pie and the dressing on your favorite Caesar both contain raw eggs.

Choose free-range organic varieties and try to purchase your eggs directly from a farmer to ensure quality. As to storage, in Europe and South America, eggs are stored on the counter and not in the fridge. Neither method is right or wrong; store them where they are least likely to lose moisture.

Another food fallacy laid to rest. Unless you are allergic, eggs have an important part to play in good nutrition.

Tina Marian holds a rare combination of certifications that straddle both the world of allopathic and that of alternative medicine: she is both a Registered Nurse (of 34 years) and a certified Integrative Health Counselor. For your free full hour consultation go to Just one simple conversation could change your life for good.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weight Control and Meal Planning

If you are overweight and serious about losing extra pounds, the solution is simple _consume fewer calories and get more exercise. Do this on a moderate, regular schedule _no crash or fad diets and no furious exercise programs. It takes 3,500 calories to make one pound of body fat, so by cutting only 500 calories a day, a dieter can lose one pound in a week. This is a safe amount to lose and an effective way to diet.

Cutting down on calories does not mean cutting down on nutrition. A wise weight-control diet will be based on the Four Food Groups. Accumulating extra weight is a long-term process, and so is getting rid of it. Just as gaining extra pounds is due largely to poor eating habits, losing them will depend upon developing new eating habits _habits that once established ought to last a lifetime.

Meal Planning
Planning for nutritionally balanced, appetizing meals will become second nature to you if you understand the Four Food Groups and use the guidelines of the Daily Food Guide. Put together a variety of foods from the four groups, adding from the Other Group for flavor and fun, and you can hardly go wrong. Try to include foods that have well-rounded nutrient personalities, with a combination of food values (protein, calories, vitamins, minerals, etc.). Choose foods wisely so you benefit from everything you eat.

Breakfast should provide at least one fourth of the daily food needs. If the usual breakfast foods leave you cold, try an appealing array of cheeses, muffins or breads, fruits, and yogurt. After all, lox, cream cheese, and bagels are a common breakfast combination.

Make lunch worth something by selecting a meat, fish, or egg sandwich (on enriched or whole grain bread). Add something from the Fruit and Vegetable Group as a garnish or go-with. Cheese, fruit, and enriched bread or crackers are even easier to fix and still supply what you need to get on with the day.

Usually the evening meal is planned around a main dish. A green or yellow vegetable, rich in vitamins, will complement any main dish. Salads and breads are frequent accompaniments to dinners and suppers. Vary the greens you use in tossed salads. When a tossed salad doesn't seem to fit the bill, offer fruit salad, cole slaw, or a relish tray. Muffins, biscuits, or French bread can add a special touch to a meal, too. Desserts should be chosen to complement the dinner. Choose a light dessert, such as sherbet or fruit, to follow a heavy meal.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why You Should Consider Low Carb Cooking

By Ryan Yerffle

If you have always struggled with your weight, then you might want to consider making a few lifestyle changes. This means that you are not just going to start a diet that can end in a few weeks time. With a lifestyle change, you will be starting some changes that can more or less become permanent primarily because of the healthy effects they bring. One such example is taking on low carb cooking. True, you can always start your usual diet but if you do not really change the way you cook, there is a high chance that you simply go back to your old eating habits. In the end, the diet that you have worked hard for can become useless.

Low carb cooking entails utilizing recipes that create foods and meals that are low in carbohydrates. Yes, each person needs carbohydrates but the problem lies in the fact that most of us simply consumes more than what is actually needed. Now, if you lower down your carbohydrate intake, you can definitely lose much of your unwanted pounds as carbs turn to stored fats if unused or unburned by the body.

When planning to start a low carb diet, it would be more practical to learn low carb cooking. This means that you will not just rely on ready to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates but you can make low carb meals right in your own kitchen. You would not need to feel frustrated with restaurants that do not serve foods that are low in carbs. Learning how to cook your own meals gives you a power of self efficiency. You do not have to rely on a health store to put up a healthy instant meal for you. You also do not need to spend as much because you can buy raw ingredients and come out with the perfect dish on your own. If you know how to cook low carb dishes, then you can maintain your lifestyle change more effectively.

Of course, starting this kind of lifestyle change is not about eliminating carbohydrates from your meals. You simply lower them in line with what your body really needs. You have to remember that eliminating them totally from your diet is unhealthy so you have to create a kind of balance.

If you seriously consider learning low carb cooking, then you can maximize the vast rich of resources around you. You can dig around the Web to find low carb diet recipes. This would not be a difficult task as there are quite a number of websites which focus on healthy cooking. If you are new to this kind of healthy living, then you can also find online support groups quite helpful. Not only will you find new cooking and meal ideas but you can also become part of an online community that supports healthy eating and cooking.

Going for low carb cooking is definitely healthy and easy. You can also use this lifestyle change to lose the pounds that you have always wanted off your body. In the end, low carb cooking and eating brings you nothing but health and aesthetic benefits.

Ryan Yerffle tries to stay warm during the long cold winters in Chicago. He likes to sit inside by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa instead of braving the frigid cold outside. Ryan has a site with reviews of indoor outdoor thermometers, as well as a review of an Acu-Rite thermometer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Peanut Butter is Actually Good For You

By Miles Keeler

Peanut butter is made from peanuts which are not truly nuts like walnuts or cashews. Peanuts are part of the legume family that contain chickpeas, fava beans and lentils. Peanut butter really fills you up when you eat it and it helps to suppress your appetite. While they are high in fat, peanuts are mostly made up of unsaturated fats that do not raise cholesterol levels.

In fact, the December 1999 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the peanuts in peanut butter lowered blood cholesterol levels much like olive oil does. Most peanut butters, even the store bought varieties contain only trace amounts of trans fats, if any. In a study completed by researchers at Purdue University, they found serum triglyceride levels reduced by up to twenty four percent when peanuts were added to the diets of healthy men and women for over 30 weeks. The reduction of the triglyceride levels meant a possible reduction in heart related diseases by up to six to eight percent.

Natural or organic butters retain the heart healthy benefits of peanuts and contains less salt and sugar than store bought brands. Some store bought varieties of peanut butter may indeed contain trans fats because of the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil to help with separation, but the trans fats are in such low levels the FDA grants them a zero rating. The FDA also allows peanuts to be advertised as providing health benefits. Besides protein and unsaturated fats, peanuts contain folate, fiber, copper, magnesium and arginine.

Miles has been writing about health, fitness and nutrition for over three years now. He is a lifelong fan of the NFL Denver Broncos and the Denver Broncos blog by Horvil Tiki.