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Posts Tagged ‘DASH Diet’

Skipping meals backfires

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Skipping meals is a common practice among people trying to lose weight. We skip breakfast, eat a very small lunch and then plan to have a normal evening meal. Unfortunately, this method of calorie control almost always backfires. We arrive home, head straight for the fridge, and eat whatever we see first – quickly followed by what we see second, third, and so on. We are so hungry, we eat without thinking about what is going into our mouths. We also tend to eat much more quickly than is advisable, so fast in fact that our brains don’t get the message that our stomachs are full until long after we’ve eaten more than necessary.

Eating too much at night starts a cycle of not being hungry in the morning, skipping lunch, and then gorging again at night.

A much more sensible – and effective – way to practice weight control is to eat reasonably throughout the day, pay close attention to hunger cues and respond appropriately. Eating for the wrong reasons such as anger or stress or boredom is the impetus for mindless eating. Eating only when you are truly hungry assures your body you are listening to it and not overriding hunger and fullness cues. Be sure to eat healthy options as often as you can.

A huge key point is to eat until you are satisfied (but not stuffed) all day long. Denying a delicious and nutritious breakfast and lunch is denying your body the nutrients it needs to fuel productivity for the day. Choose foods that are in line with your DASH goals like high fiber foods (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that fill you up. And your DASH servings of low-fat dairy, eggs, and meat (all rich in protein) will help keep you feeling full.

Spend some time thinking about foods you enjoy that will help you accomplish this goal and make sure to have them handy. Any of the following, along with a serving or two of fruits or vegetables is a great choice: (more…)

Red meat controversy

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Oh my, the researchers are at it again. Giving us conflicting information. About beef. No wonder folks have trouble with what to eat.

At Harvard School of Public Health, authors of one such recently published study takes a strong stand that red meat is bad for you. Period. End of sentence. They reviewed food records of subjects in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study for nearly 25 years. They found even a 3-ounce daily serving of red meat was associated with a 13% increased risk of dying during the study. Adding one serving of processed red meat, like hot dogs or bacon, led to another 20% increased risk of dying.

Curious, no one really knows why it’s so bad for you. Some say the iron and saturated fat contribute to heart disease and diabetes. There’s those nitrates for curing and high-temperature cooking that creates harmful cancer risk.

Scary. Lots of Americans eat this way. Bacon, eggs and toast in the morning, hamburger at lunch, and steak tips or roast for supper. Wonder why they don’t believe the research?

Maybe because of THIS study comparing DASH (voted #1 overall diet for any reason in America) to the BOLD diet - The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet. Note the word lean red meat. The DASH diet included lean red meat, white meat and animal protein in their diet but it’s main focus was fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low or no-fat dairy. BOLD’s primary source of protein was, you got it, lean red beef. Both diets reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) so BOLD is saying ‘eat lean red meat – it does a body good.’ And oh, tell those DASHers to eat more lean red meat!

Oh, guess who funded the BOLD trials? Yep, ding ding ding you won the door prize – America’s Beef Farmers and Ranchers through their Beef Checkoff Program. Well, don’t that beat all?

Who to believe? Well, studies need to be replicated – many times before their point becomes a sticking point. When that happens, we can usually take stock in the results. In the meantime, while someone’s out there replicating BOLD (and I hope it’s not the Beef Council), I know for sure that the ‘red meat is bad for you’ theme has held true over and over again.

If you want to believe that too, get your labs checked.

  • Start with substitutions for red meat, like fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Consider plant proteins like legumes, soy foods and seitan (wheat gluten).
  • Up the ante on whole grains like oats, quinoa, kamut, and wheat berries.
  • Lower the fat in dairy. Go easy on cheese.
  • Then, a year later, get your labs checked again. Call me and tell me what they tell you.

Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 12. Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from 2 prospective cohort studies.



Overweight teens – stop the pressure

Monday, August 29th, 2011

As a chubby 12 year old, I know too well the feeling of being a pink pudgy in my Sweetheart Dance dress, how my body was not the right fit for hip-hugging jeans with 2-inch zippers (the result now fondly known as ‘muffin tops’), and being constantly critical of myself. Thanks to a caring mom, The Teenage Diet Book, and a lifetime membership to the Grecian Health Spa (no they are NOT still around as they promised), I found my natural weight in no time. Point being, changing to a healthier diet and exercising more, is the key to change regardless of how you do it.

Today, as the dietitian for an online nutrition education program, I just made the realization, after reading research findings on the DASH diet for teens, that I did then exactly what the DASH diet recommends now. High fat, high starch, high calorie food choices (like hot dogs, hamburgers and OMG, remember Hamburger Helper? It was the new thing then and we had it 3-4 times a week!) were replaced with low fat milk and low sugar cereal, lots more veggies on my plate and less meat and potatoes, and the indulgent grapefruit sections (tidily placed in glass jars and sold for bunches of dough but well worth it) that replaced ice cream at night. Plus, appropriate serving sizes became clearer to me.

DASH’s full name is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension but even as an evidence-based hypertension approach, it has been voted #1 diet in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. The teen study started with 9-year olds. Those eating more DASH-like gained the least amount over 10 years. That’s huge news! DASH has been proven to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol as well as weight. Whether you’re a kid, adolescent, or adult of any age, the DASH eating style is for you. Emphasizing low-fat dairy, fish and lean meats, nuts, fruit, whole grains, vegetables and legumes means means healthy overall, not just weight.

Eat Right with Color

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Sixty percent of families spend less than 15 minutes preparing dinner says the American Dietetic Association. Rachel Ray has published tons of “meals in 30-minutes” cookbooks. If the ADA is right, that seems too long for most of us. We live hustle and bustle lives and look for quick, simple and nutritious ideas to round out our meals.

Ease into healthier meals with Eat Right with Color ideas (theme for National Nutrition Month last month). Adding color to your plate ensures full and vibrant (fruit and vegetable) nutrition to your body. The chart below explains the nutrients these colorful foods yield.

Add to the palette of the day’s first meal (use a base of oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt or cottage cheese):

  • Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
  • Dried cranberries, raisins or apricots
  • Sliced banana and cinnamon
  • Avocado (to the quinoa or brown rice)

Midday meal color:

  • Mixed greens salad with tomato, yellow/red/orange bell pepper slices, blueberries, orange slices, carrots, strawberries and top with fruity vinaigrette
  • Top sandwiches and burgers with dark green lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts
  • Add a side of steam-in-the-bag veggies
  • Reach for a veggie stir-fry and brown rice

Snack hues:

  • Apple slices dipped in peanut butter or humus or with a string cheese
  • Grapefruit or orange sections
  • Dried fruit mixed with unsalted nuts and seeds (mini-chocolate chips for fun)
  • Mixed fruit cut up with a drizzle of maple syrup

Super supper rainbow sides:

  • Arugula salad (from a bag) splashed with lemon caper vinaigrette
  • Baked sweet potato (microwaving is quicker)
  • Carrot pennies – slice and steam and add a drizzle of olive oil and cinnamon
  • Stir-fry broccoli with a dab of hoisin sauce
  • Roasted rosemary new potatoes (use frozen potato chunks)
  • Curried green beans

Adapted from www.DASHforHealth.com

Someone Told Me Pasta is Bad

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Spaghetti I couldn’t believe it. “Why,” I asked, “is pasta bad?”

It seems erroneous information has spread from the camp of high-fat, high-protein aficionados who said pasta was bad. Something about stimulating insulin production that causes release of ghrelin that tells us we’re hungry. So we eat. More and more and more. And store fat and more fat and more fat. (more…)