Tag Archives: diet tips

Bread and pasta

Change Up Your Diet By Avoiding Bread, Pasta, and Chocolate

For many of us, the idea of avoiding bread, pasta, and chocolate is akin to depriving ourselves of air, food, and water. In fact, if most of us were told that were suddenly required to eliminate these three things from our diets, a good percentage of us would probably find our meals shrunk to half the size, leaving a large chunk of the population both clueless and dinner less. And that definitely puts the kibosh on the chocolate spaghetti you were thinking of making for dessert tonight.

Carbohydrates are a vital part of a nutrient-rich diet. They’re naturally occurring sugars that supply our bodies with energy and help with glucose production. However, when it comes to carbohydrates, as with everything else, its all about making the right choices.

Simple and Complex Carbs
Our bodies need carbohydrates to keep healthy there are two types. Complex carbs take our bodies a reasonable amount of time to digest, and, as a result, glucose is released at a reasonable rate. Simple carbohydrates release the sugar at a much higher rate, causing sugar levels to spike and, bring on hunger, increasing food cravings, and

Bread
Bread, namely white bread, is the most commonly consumed carbohydrate, and, fortunately, it is also the one easiest to remove. Here are a few replacement ideas.

Lettuce Wraps
If you’re new to the lettuce wrap, romaine is the best flatbread replacement while radicchio and butter lettuce are excellent alternatives to sandwich bread. Just fold the lettuce around your favorite filling or use two pieces, one on top, one under.

Whole Grains
If you can’t envision life without bread, go for the whole grains, enriched with germ intact, if possible.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms
A veg with some substance, portobello mushrooms can be a great and delicious substitute for a sandwich bun, and are also a great source of vitamin D.

Pasta
Like bread, pasta is a processed grain and is best when consumed in a whole grain variety. If you’re thinking of kicking pasta off the shopping list, here are some backup ideas.

Veggies
Zucchini sliced into long ribbons can serve as a substitute for fettuccine noodles and lasagna, and broccoli slaw and spaghetti squash can replace spaghetti noodles when blanched lightly.

Quinoa
You may not be sure of how to pronounce it, but quinoa (“keen-waa”) is a low carb, high protein grain that can be a great pasta replacement in salads and soups.

Shirataki Noodles
These carb-less, low-calorie Japanese noodles owe their consistency to yam starch. That said, you may find a difference in texture from your typical wheat noodles, but shirataki noodles are a healthy pasta alternative.

Shirataki Noodles

Chocolate
Although you may have heard of dark chocolate as an antioxidant superfood, chocolate in large quantities is not a recommended source of nutrition. It provides only simple carbohydrates and is bad for teeth and digestion. For an alternative source of sweetness try:

Fruit
Try keeping a Tupperware container full of fruit for when the sweet cravings hit.

Cocoa powder
Try making chocolate pudding with cocoa powder, skim milk and a sugar substitute.

Get the good stuff
If you must eat chocolate, go for quality over quantity. Chocolate with high cacao content and low sugar contain a high antioxidant level and is good for you in small quantities. Try to avoid “candy chocolate” that is more likely to contain artificial flavoring and colorings.

Let us know how you manage to survive without pasta, bread, and chocolate. What are your favorite go-to substitutes?

Enjoy A Daily Serving Of Almonds

Woman eating almonds
Let’s face it. There are a lot of nuts out there. There’s the peanut, the pistachio, the macadamia, the pine nut, the cashew; the list goes on. But perhaps the most ambitious member of the nut family is the almond. Since 2005, almonds have been taking America by storm, growing in demand by more than 220%. As of today, the average American consumes over two pounds of almonds per year. And why shouldn’t the almond get its due? We owe a lot to the almond! Without the almond, there would be no Hershey’s with Almonds, Snickers with Almonds, almond milk, Rocky Road Ice Cream, and perhaps, most devastatingly, Almond Joy! So what is behind the Almond Seduction of America? Let’s investigate!

1.  Almonds prevent heart disease
Almonds contain mono saturated fatty acid, or MUFA, as well as antioxidants. The presence of flavanoids in the skin of the nut, works along with Vitamin E to decrease inflammation and improve the function of your arteries.

Almonds also pack in the nutrients when it comes to keeping the heart health. They contain, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium and helps to lower “bad cholesterol.”

2. Almonds are good for your brain
That’s why people who eat almonds are so smart! Almonds are unique in that they contain L-carnitine and riboflavin, nutrients which are known for their abilities to accelerate neurological activity and decrease cognitive decline. The elderly are advised to eat almonds regularly because of the association between nuts and the reduction in brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease.

3. Almonds are good for your skin
Almonds contain loads of Vitamin E and antioxidants that reduce the signs of aging.The concentration of nutrients like catechin, flavonol antioxidants, and epicatechin fights skin cancer and reverses damage and stress from pollution, an unhealthy diet, and exposure to UV light. The healthy fat content in almonds also improves circulation, helps to hydrate skin and heal wounds.

4. Almonds Keep Blood Sugar Level Down
Remember those MUFAs we were talking about? Well, they do more than prevent heart disease. They also slow down the rate of sugar entering the blood stream and control insulin resistance. Almonds also help to decrease risks associated with diabetes, like oxidative stress, obesity and inflammation.

5. Almonds Help You Lose Weight
Almonds got a bad rap for a while because of their high fat and calorie content, but then scientists found out it was mono saturated fat and, now its all good! Besides healthy fats, almonds also contain dietary fiber which keeps you full and prevents the temptation to overeat and over snack.

According to the Nurse’s Health study, these nuts also support an active metabolism and according to a 2003 article in the International Journal of Obesity, women who consumed almonds experienced more weight reduction then those who did not.

If your an almond lover, let us know what you do with your nuts! We always appreciate your comments, advice, and suggestions.