Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Smart & Simple Snacks

Simple SnacksDid you know that consuming small snacks in between meals instead of simply eating three big meals per day can increase your metabolism and your curb hunger? Over the years, many Americans have adapted this eating style, but unfortunately, many of these snacks are often high in calories, high in fat, and high in sodium. Between 1977-78, the average daily caloric intake of Americans was 1,803 kcals. This figure rose to 2,374 kcals between 2003-06 due to several factors, one being poor snack choices. So what are some healthy snacks that taste great and will keep me satisfied? Glad you asked. The following are 3 smart and simple snack ideas that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Ah Nuts!
Nuts are a part of a group of foods often referred to as “healthy fats” due to their high monounsaturated fat content, which includes heart healthy omege-3. Nuts are also a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and plant sterols. The dietary recommendation for nuts is equal to one ounce or one handful per day. Nuts make a great snack choice when on the go.

Carrots & Celery
Carrots and celery make great snacks that are not only healthy, but also easy to prepare. These family friendly vegetables are not only good sources of fiber but are also packed with several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C. Next time you are in the mood for a yummy and filling snack, try dipping a celery or carrot stick in your favorite all natural nut butter and enjoy.

Cheerios & Raisins
Did you know that Cheerios may help lower your cholesterol? Did you know that 1 cup of Cheerios is also an excellent source of fiber, which helps to increase satiety? Not only is Cheerios a healthy and delicious breakfast cereal, but it can also be eaten as a yummy snack too. For some added anti-oxidants, combine Cheerios with one small box of raisins or a small handful of dried cranberries.

Snacks should not only be nutritious and delicious, but also should be easy and on the go available. One suggestion is to make your snacks at the beginning of the day or the night before. Then you will be already when it is time for your smart and simple snack.

8 Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthy!

spendingEvery regular grocery shopper knows that food prices are rising.  This can put a lot of financial strain on people and families who are trying to eat healthier.  It is a common misconception that you have to spend more money if you want to eat better.  This is not always true.  For example, a 5 pound bag of potatoes can cost about the same as a bag of potato chips!  But you will be spending more if you are buying the chips than the potatoes.

  1. Make a Shopping List– Avoid one item trips to the store that waste time and gas.  Fewer trips also mean less impulse buys which are usually more expensive and you probably don’t need them anyway!
  2. Proper Portions– Serve smaller portions of more expensive items like meats and cheeses.   Not only will this help you control your weight, but it will help stretch your food dollar.
  3. Plan Your Menus Around Sales– Don’t throw away those store ads you get in the mail or in your newspaper.  They can be very helpful for saving money and pre-planning.
  4. Stock Up– Buy canned and frozen foods, cereals, and even meats when they are on sale.  Wrap meats in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. Don’t Get Coupon Crazy– Only use coupons for the items that you normally buy or are on your shopping list.  It may seem like a good deal, but it’s a total waste if it just sits on your pantry shelf.
  6. High Nutrition / Low Food Costs – Use low cost protein sources like beans, lentils, peanut butter, eggs, canned salmon or tuna instead of pricier meats.  Starches like potatoes, oats, brown rice and barley offer big nutrition with a small price tag.
  7. Grow Your Own– It is surprisingly easy (and cheap) to grow your own food!  Many garden centers have lots of food plants and offer sage advice.  If your thumb is less than green, start off with easy plants like herbs and tomatoes.
  8. Convenience Equals Paying More– The more “processed” a food is, the more you will pay for it. For example, a whole cut-up chicken will cost more than a whole chicken that is not cut-up.  The same goes for cut-up fruits, bagged lettuce, pre-sliced cheese, etc.

Do you have more tips for how to save money while eating healthy? If so, please leave them for us and our readers in the comments below. Happy (healthy) shopping!

Embark on a Great Grain Adventure!

Meagan Mohammadione, RD/LD Emory Bariatric CenterPeople often say that eating healthy is boring but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Bring some adventure to your plate by incorporating grains from across the globe. Using multiple whole food sources to get your necessary nutrients provides many health benefits.

About a quarter of our plates should be filled up with starches, including whole grains. The world provides us with a plethora of great grain options to keep us healthy and provide variety. Travel the globe through eating grains that are native to other countries and banish the boring. Here are two grain options to start your adventure.


Teff – is a grass native to Ethiopia with small seeds which cook quickly. The teff flour is traditionally used to make injera bread and now is used as a grain side dish in cultures in Europe and the US. Teff is an adaptable grain, thriving in both drought and waterlogged soil environments.

– Millet is the name given to a number of different small seed grains grown widely around the world. There are many varieties of millet with Pearl Millet being the most widely used variety. India is the largest producer of millet, with it often eaten as a popped snack, where as in the US, people often feed millet to birds! Americans are now giving millet a second look and seeing the value in consuming it themselves. Millet is a gluten-free grain and therefore can be consumed by people with Celiac disease. Millet contains high levels of magnesium, niacin, B6, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc; however, millet needs to be roasted or germinated before boiling to get the most out of these nutrients. The protein in millet is similar to that in wheat. Millet is often cooked as porridge or with a stew and made into bread and crepes.Teff is a very nutritious grain being a good source of fiber, niacin, iron, thiamin, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and protein. Containing all 9 essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein. It is also a gluten-free product so it can be eaten by people with Celiac disease.

Pump Up the Variety of Your Protein

Protein Sources“Get Your Plate in Shape” by filling it with a variety of foods from each food group in the appropriate portions.  An essential part of your plate is protein-rich foods.  Protein allows our muscles to move, maintains fluid balance, transports nutrients in our blood and regulates our immune systems. Most Americans eat plenty of protein each day, but we may not be consuming it from the right sources or in enough variety. Most adults and older children need 5-7 ounces of protein each day.  Read on for more information about protein-rich foods.

Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs:   Animal products are excellent sources of complete proteins and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and B vitamins.  When eating these foods, make sure they are lower in fat because they can be high in bad saturated fat.  Lower-fat sources of meat and poultry include chicken with no skin, ground beef ≥90% lean, and lean cuts of beef (sirloin side, top sirloin, top round, eye of round, and bottom round steaks all have ≤2 g saturated fat per 3.5 oz).  Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, and halibut not only have protein but also heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.  Try to include these fish on your plate at least 2 times per week.

Beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and grains:  Beans and peas are an excellent substitute for animal products and are a good source of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and zinc.  Aim to buy dry or frozen beans and peas instead of canned to reduce the sodium in your diet.  Nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein and essential vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorus.  Try to include a variety of unsalted nuts and seeds each day.  With all the research linking the nutrients found in nuts/seeds and good overall health, you could say “a small handful of nuts and seeds a day might keep the doctor away!”  And finally, many grains are an excellent source of protein.  Be adventurous and try a different healthy grain each week to increase your total intake.  Examples of protein packed grains are quinoa, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, oats, millet, rye, durum wheat, teff, and spelt.