Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~Hippocrates

Archive for May, 2012

Why Diets Fail


Let’s begin by understanding the way the body works. The body is most efficient when calories taken in equal those expended in activity. The quality of those calories matters. Nutrient dense foods give us the most “bang for the buck.” Cells use glucose to fuel metabolic activity, which comes from the carbs we eat. Excess intake is stored as fat.

When we gain weight, we increase the number and size of fat cells. When we lose weight, the cells shrink, but the number of cells remain. Further, empty fat cells want to fill back up. That’s what causes yo-yo weight gain and loss.

Another issue when calories are reduced, is that the body prefers to break down muscle mass rather than fat stores. When dieting ends and the regular diet is resumed, fewer calories are needed, so weight is more easily regained – but it is fat, not the lean muscle mass lost. The end result is that we have replaced lean body mass with fat. Why is this so?

Each kilogram of fat tissue burns only 1 Kcal of energy
Each kilogram of muscle tissue burns 22 Kcal of energy

That is why it is desirable to have a greater percentage of lean muscle mass than fat.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging and discouraged. Here are 2 things you can do to make weight loss stick and improve your health.

Exercise. I can’t stress this enough. Exercise has its obvious cardiac benefit, but it also builds that lean body mass that so efficiently burns calories.

Give up traditional or fad diets. THEY DON’T WORK! I repeat, “DIETS DON’T WORK.” “But,” you say, “I lost __ lbs.” Yes, you did. It was lean body tissue – and, you gained the weight back – and it’s now fat – and you may have done it multiple times, increasing the percentage of body fat.

Instead, change one thing at a time as you endeavor to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. Lose weight slowly; no more than 1 lb. per week, for sustained weight loss.

Make a commitment to your health. Enjoy advanced age by remaining fit and healthy. See other posts on this blog for more information.

Curried Broccoli Salad


What is better on a hot summer day than a nice cool, crisp salad? There is a bit of mayo in this however, so observe food safety rules. Don’t serve out in the sun or keep it out in the heat longer than an hour. Refrigerate until serving or put the bowl on ice for extended time. We don’t want sick guests now, do we? A change from the boring old green mixed salad, this colorful salad is high on heart healthy veggies, nuts and curry.

Curried Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli, florets and 1/2 inch of stems, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 C chopped red or Vidalia onion
1/2 C cashew pieces
1/4 C dried cranberries
3/4 C light Hellman’s mayo
Curry to taste. (Curries vary widely, so use as much or as little as you like in terms of spiciness)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Boil a pot of water. Throw the broccoli and carrots into the boiling water for 30 seconds and drain immediately. Allow to cool. When cool, put the vegetables into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and toss to coat. Adjust curry, salt and pepper to your liking. Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 for a main vegetarian course.

Beet Salad You Will Love


Many of us grew up disliking (OK, hating) beets. They were those sour-tasting things from a can and if you splashed any juice on you, it ruined your clothes. (This was before oxidizing stain stick treatments).

Then I tasted REAL beets. The ones that come with the greens on top (which can also be cooked and eaten). What a difference. If you cook them just right, they retain some of the crunch and natural sweetness. They can also be roasted, but I’ll save that for another recipe. Beets are very high in antioxidants and protect against heart disease. They lower your risk of stroke, reduce blood  cholesterol and have anti-aging properties. Walnuts contain heart healthy polyunsaturated Omega 3 fats and antioxidants. They lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and are protective for blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and several cancers (breast, colon and prostate). Eat up.

This recipe is simple to prepare and lasts a full week in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh, beets, boiled until soft

3/4cup chopped walnuts

3 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs. mustard (I use grainy but any will do)

2 apples, julienned

1 Tbs fresh tarragon leaves (do not use tough stems)

Method:

Remove greens from beets. Save for sautéing in another recipe. Scrub and peel the beet roots. Smaller beets cook faster; if using large beets, allow more time for cooking. When done, julienne the beets and cool. While the beets cook, mix the vinegar, mustard and tarragon leaves for the dressing. Cut the apples when you are ready to assemble the salad so they don’t brown. When the beets are cooled to room temperature, mix them with the apples, walnuts and dressing. Toss to coat and enjoy!

PS-If you like more fermentation (pickling) you can leave the mix overnight before eating.

 

 

Follow up on Healthy Dining Out


Because it is hard to know what is in each menu dish (and the waiter/waitress often doesn’t know either), here is a quick and dirty way to know which foods to select and which to avoid, to reduce the fat in your meal.

AVOID:

  • Battered, breaded
  • Pot pies
  • Crispy
  • Tempura
  • Parmesan
  • Alfredo
  • Cheese sauce
  • Buttered, buttery
  • Hollandaise
  • Au gratin
  • Casserole
  • Prime meats
  • Hash (browns, corned beef, etc.)
  • Braised
  • Fried, deep-fried
  • Creamed

Instead, look for these words, which indicate the meal is prepared with less fat:

  • Poached
  • Broiled
  • Sautéed (without breading)
  • Flame broiled, grilled
  • Steamed
  • In own juices
  • Loin and flank meat cuts
  • Roasted
  • Baked
  • Teriaki (high in sodium)
  • Marinara or tomato sauce
  • Picante, pico de gallo, salsa

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: