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Posts Tagged ‘DASH for Health’

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…)

Yo’ Gotta Love Yogurt!

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
Yogurt Sample TastersSome are thick, some thin, and fat content was different in most of them. No, I’m not talking about my DASH for Health colleagues here but rather, yogurt that ranged from fat-free to full-fat versions, both bovine and goat. We tasted them all – multiple times. The DASH for Health team decided to see for ourselves if plain yogurt could really taste good - I mean really. In a blinded taste test (each team member brought in samples and plated them out of sight of the others and relied on a number on the bottom of the plate for identification of our creamy concoctions), we walked around the table and dug in (and yes, since we’ve worked closely together for 8 years, we double-dipped our spoons – wonder if that affected the taste?).

Fat didn’t seem related to taste – or texture. Which seemed curious to us. Some loved the tartness (while others puckered up), others dove into the thick textured versions, and one team member was ecstatic over the ‘cream on the top’ full-fat organic yogurt. For some plates, I can’t even begin to remember how many times we cried out, “Ack!” “Pthu!,” wondering, “Is that cottage cheese?,” or “Why is it so runny?” One of the all-time favs was a locally made yogurt – Sophia’s Greek Pastry (http://www.sophiasgreekpantry.com) made fresh daily with 2% Vermont milk. I’ve tried it in the past and find it simply too rich to eat but some of our tasters vowed to buy their own double-pints on the way home.

My favorite, pre-test, is Fage’s Total 0% fat-free Greek yogurt – with a drizzle of organic maple syrup, whole roasted almonds, blueberries and a spoonful of ground flaxseed. The protein content of a cup of Greek or Icelandic yogurt is like eating 2-2 1/2 cups of regular plain yogurt and the thick, creamy texture is dessert-like.

Yogurt Tasting SamplesBottom line: Plain yogurt tops the chart for our taste testers over those ‘fruit-on-the-bottom’ (or is that jam?), sugar-ladened, whipped and custardized faux yogurts. Once you identify the brand you resonate with, it can be individualized for taste preference with fresh or dried fruit, natural sugar, and nuts for a healthy, protein and calcium-rich breakfast or snack. Hmmmmm, maybe even that late night, after dinner treat!