Now there is a way to calculate which fruits and veggies are the most nutrient dense. ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.” An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. A value of 1000 being the most nutritious per calorie, and 1 being the least. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micro-nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities.
Start looking for ANDI scores at participating grocers.
Muscle Vs. Fat – The Benefits of Building Lean Muscle
If you have recently started working out, and the scale isn’t budging, or even worse, it keeps going up, but your clothes are fitting better and you are feeling smaller, don’t be discouraged.
The scale is just one tool used to measure your weight loss progress. A greater indicator is the way your body is changing and how your clothes are fitting. Before you toss the scale out the window there is a bit of critical information you must learn about Fat vs. Muscle.
Did you know that even though 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat weigh the same, if you put them on the scale together fat takes up so much more mass then the same weight in muscle? This photo shows a clear picture of the difference in their mass. Sometimes your weight may not adjust much but when you replace fat with muscle you will be so much smaller and tighter.
Another benefit of building lean muscle is the amount of resources (calories) it consumes to maintain. Your body really does burn more calories maintaining muscle than it does maintaining fat. Which means that building muscle increases your metabolism.
You Did It!!!
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Please send us your testimony so that we may inspire other’s and of course… REWARD YOU!
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The IMPORTANCE of Portion Control
A simple change can create BIG results. Portion control can be a key part in your weight loss journey. Start by making a more conscience decision about the food you are putting on your plate. Avoid the misery of overstuffing and give your body the chance to tell you when it’s full.
The most important factor is creating new habits that will last a lifetime and support a HAPPY, HEALTHY YOU!!
Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef—though they’d taken in a fraction of the calories and fat.
In one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt full for longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast. Think beyond breakfast, too: eggs boost a salad’s staying power and make for a satisfying snack.
For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber. And recent research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that boosting your fiber intake may help you to prevent weight gain—or even encourage weight loss.
4. Low Calorie Desserts
OK, so this isn’t exactly a “health food,” but we welcome the news that it may be easier to stick to your diet if it includes a little sweet treat. According to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, banning sugary foods could lead to overeating. One reason may be that removing access to sweet foods stimulates the release of a molecule in your brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), produced when you’re afraid, anxious or stressed, says Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., lead study author. And increased stress levels may lower your motivation to eat more nutritious foods, making it more likely that you’ll binge on junk food.
Research published in the journal Appetite has shown that people who start a meal with vegetable soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal.
Eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Here’s why: in the study, eating “slow-release” carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat. Want options beyond oatmeal?
7. Hot Chile Peppers
In one study, consuming a little hot pepper (in tomato juice or in capsules) 30 minutes before a meal helped study participants feel less hungry and eat about 10 percent less.
Chew more to curb hunger. That’s what researchers concluded in a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which they asked participants to chew a 2-ounce serving of almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. Participants got maximum satisfaction—they felt fuller longer—from the nuts when they chewed 40 times. Chewing more may cause a greater release of fat from the almonds, which triggers hormones that curb hunger, speculates Rick Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, study author and an EatingWell advisor.
Apples, almonds, broccoli. If you eat the same things every week, you may be missing out on an easy way to boost your health. “Many of us pass up foods that are nutritional powerhouses, because we don’t know how to prepare them,” says Angela Ginn, RD, a nutritionist in Baltimore. Bust out of your culinary rut with these five disease fighters.
Why? A great low-calorie, high-fiber veggie packed with antioxidants that help ward off cancer-causing free radicals.
How to Enjoy: Find bamboo shoots in the canned-food section of your supermarket. Add to salads, stir-fries, and soups.
Why? Rich in protein and phytosterols, these little treats have been shown to reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
How to Enjoy: Eat them plain for an afternoon snack or sprinkle some on top of your salad for added crunch.
Why? This leafy green is loaded with potassium, which helps to balance electrolytes and prevent muscle cramps.
How to Enjoy: Simply saute Swiss chard and garlic in olive oil for a delicious side dish.
Why? Kiwis have more immune-system-strengthening vitamin C than grapefruits, oranges, or strawberries.
How to Enjoy: Switch out your usual berries with kiwis to put on Greek yogurt, or toss them in your favorite salad.
Why? Beets are rich in folic acid, which has been show to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in blood linked to heart disease.
How to Enjoy: Roast beets to bring out their sweetness. Drizzle them with olive oil and place in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes to an hour.
~By Danielle Paquette
The standard salad-bar option of iceberg lettuce is very low in calories, only 8 per cup, but contains very few nutrients. Instead, opt for spinach, spring mix or romaine lettuce. They, too, are low in calories, but also contain folate, vitamin C and eye-healthy lutein and zeaxanthanin.
Pile on the colorful veggies! Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and cabbage are all great toppings that deliver good-for-you antioxidants (thanks to their richly colored pigments) for very few calories. One vegetable to maybe put a cap on is corn: 1/2 cup has 88 calories (the same amount of broccoli has only 16). Don’t keep it off your salad plate altogether, though—this summertime favorite still has a substantial amount of fiber, folate and vitamin C.
Like vegetables, fruit tossed onto your salad will give you an added boost of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Some tasty and super-healthy options include berries, peaches, melon, apples or grapefruit. The key to adding fruit to your salad is going fresh: you’ll avoid added sugars and save calories by skipping dried and canned fruit. For example, 2 tablespoons of raisins and 1 cup of grapes both have the same number of calories.
Protein (Chicken, Eggs, Ham, Beans & Tofu)~
Studies show that eating protein helps you feel full longer so you don’t get hungry. Add lean chicken or a hard-boiled egg to your salad. A bonus for eggs is that they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help keep eyes healthy. Skip ham, which often contains a lot of sodium (three 1-ounce slices have more than 25 percent of the recommended daily limit).
Good vegetarian protein sources include tofu and beans. A 1/2 cup of black beans contains nearly 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Chickpeas are a common salad-bar topping and while they can be a filling, fiber-rich option, they’re a bit more calorically dense (1/2 cup packs 145 calories).
Replacing creamy dressings, such as ranch (73 calories, nearly 8 grams of fat per tablespoon) and blue cheese (76 calories, about the same amount of fat), with a noncreamy Italian (43 calories and 4.2 grams of fat) or balsamic vinaigrette (45 calories per tablespoon and 4.5 grams of fat) practically cuts your calories and fat in half.
The best option, if available, is to drizzle on a little heart-healthy olive oil (1 teaspoon has only 40 calories and 5 grams of fat) and your favorite vinegar (cider vinegar, for example, has just 3 calories per tablespoon).
Cheese is another source of protein, which helps add staying power to salads. If possible, keep the calorie count down by topping your salad with low- or fat-free options.
If only full-fat cheeses are available, pick ones with strong flavors, such as feta, blue, Parmesan or aged Cheddar—and count on just a little bit going a long way to keep the calories and saturated fat in check. Of those more pungent cheeses, feta offers the fewest calories at 74 per ounce. Blue, Parmesan and Cheddar have 99, 116 and 113 calories per ounce, respectively.
Choose Carefully or Avoid:
Be choosy when it comes to salad toppers.
• Nuts and Seeds: Nuts offer healthy fats and some protein, but they’re high in calories, so pay close attention to how many you add. A small handful of almonds (22 to be exact) contains 169 calories and 14 walnut halves boasts 185 calories. You can be a bit more generous with the pistachios: one serving is 49 nuts, for 162 calories. For added crunch, try a sprinkle of sunflower seeds; while these also are relatively high in calories (47 per tablespoon), they contain healthy fats and are full of antioxidants too.
• Olives: Olives are a low-calorie choice at about 7 calories each. They do, however, deliver a fair amount of sodium: depending on the type of olive, 1/4 cup could deliver as much as 717 mg of sodium. Go for green—they’re the lowest in calories and have the least amount of sodium.
• Bacon bits: Two words: Skip these. Bacon bits—and similar add-ons, such as crunchy onions—look appetizing when you’re standing at a salad bar, but they can be high in sodium and “empty” calories.
• Croutons: Pass on these too. A 1/2 cup may contain almost 100 calories and 247 mg of sodium. If you must have croutons, choose ones that are whole-wheat or whole-grain.
Find out the healthiest smoothie ingredients and 10 to ditch.
Whether you enjoy smoothies for breakfast, a snack or even dessert, they’re a great way to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
But depending on the ingredients they’re made with, smoothies can quickly turn into unhealthy calorie-bombs filled with sugar and saturated fat. The healthiest way to enjoy a smoothie is to make your own so you know how much of and what foods you are getting. Wondering how to make a smoothie? A good smoothie should contain a blend of ingredients with protein and fiber to help keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Best High-Protein Smoothie Ingredients
• Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
• Nonfat or low-fat plain milk
• Natural peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Plain soymilk
• Plain almond milk
Best Fruits for Smoothies
Use fresh fruit, frozen fruit or fruit canned in water or its own juice.
• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Best Vegetables for Smoothies
Use raw vegetables.
Healthy Smoothie Additions for Flavor and Additional Nutrition
• Chia seed
• Old-fashioned oats
• Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
• Vanilla extract
• Coconut water
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
Smoothie Ingredients to Ditch
To keep your smoothie as healthy as possible, avoid adding these ingredients, which provide a lot of calories in the form of sugar and saturated fat, with little or no fiber or other nutrients.
~Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.