Tag Archives: enjoy or avoid

Enjoy or Avoid: The Truth About Eggs

The egg is a tasty and nutritional food that can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner and is used in making many other meals. For the longest time, eggs had a bad rep as an unhealthy and nutritional untouchable food due to the controversy about cholesterol, high calories and bad fats. It wasn’t until recently that we all got the facts right. Just like most foods, eggs can be healthy for you when eaten in moderation. Eggs don’t completely live up to their reputation.

The myths:       

  • Eggs are a nasty fat and cholesterol filled food that makes them an enemy to anyone on a diet.
  • Eggs raise blood cholesterol levels.
  • Eggs clog arteries especially since they raise dietary cholesterol levels.
  • Cholesterol is fat.

The truth:

  • You shouldn’t throw out the yolk and eat only the egg whites. By doing this you are throwing out the most nutrient packed, antioxidant rich, vitamin packed and mineral loaded portions of the egg.
  • Egg yolks contain B-vitamins, trace minerals, folate, vitamin A, lutein and many other powerful nutrients.
  • The proteins in the egg whites aren’t as powerful without the egg yolks to balance out the amino acids and make protein more bio-available.
  • The egg is a nutritional powerhouse.

The benefits:

  • Eggs are great for the eyes and can help to protect against macular degeneration as the result of carotenoid content.
  • Eggs can help to lower your risk of developing cataracts.
  • Egg consumption may be able to help prevent the occurrence of blood clots, stroke and heart attack.
  • Eggs are a great source of choline, which can help regulate the functions of the brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
  • Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.

Enjoy or Avoid: Red Meat

With warmer weather just around the corner, it is time for many individuals to fire up the grill and enjoy a hamburger or two. However, there are reasons why you should cook your meat thoroughly. Since a vegetarian diet is not for everyone, there are plenty of reasons and benefits from scaling back on your burger cooking this year.

Perhaps the biggest reason for reducing your red meat intake is that you’ll live longer. Numerous studies have indicated that eating red and processed meats regularly can increase your risk of developing heart disease and cancer. This is largely because of the high levels of cholesterol and saturated fats found in red meat. A study released in the Archives of Internal Medicine is the first to link red meat with an increased risk of death. This study found that by replacing one dish of red meat per day with a healthier, protein-packed choice – such as poultry, fish or legumes – can decrease the risk of an early death by seven to 19 percent.

Still not convinced? By cutting back on red meat, you’ll be eating more nutritious meals. If you have a delicious steak on your plate, healthy sides such as veggies can become neglected. When you don’t have a sizzling piece of meat in the center of your plate, you are more likely to finish the healthier foods on your plate. By eating healthier foods, your body is getting the vital nutrients it needs to function on a daily basis.

Cutting back on red meat is not only beneficial for yourself, but for the environment as well. It is important to realize that meat production requires a great deal of energy, food and water resources.

What can you do to start cutting back your red meat consumption? Experts recommend starting with the processed meats – such as bacon or sausage. Processed meats carry the highest risk of premature death with them. Next, try limiting yourself to eating only two to three servings of red meat per week. You can enjoy the benefits of a healthier meal plan without completely eliminating red meat from your diet.

Enjoy or Avoid: A Healthier Sunday Brunch

Perhaps Sundays are one of your favorite days of the week. Sundays are a time to relax and take time for yourself or meet up with family and friends. For many, this comes with the tradition of Sunday brunch. Belgian waffles, muffins, maple syrup, whipped cream, bacon, sausage and many other delicious treats it is easy to overindulge. When you overindulge, this may mean spending the afternoon in a food-coma. It doesn’t have to be this way though. You can enjoy your Sunday brunch without ruining the rest of your day.

Consider topping your pancakes with at least one fruit (however, remember the more the better). Cherries, apples, bananas, blueberries and raspberries can make great (and healthy) additions to your pancakes. Fruit is sweet and may even cause you to skip out on smothering your pancakes with maple syrup.

Remember that grains make a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal, brown rice or quinoa all make for hearty, satisfying, delicious and healthy breakfast options. To make these foods even more appealing, consider adding nuts, fresh fruit or a little yogurt.

Don’t forget about protein and fiber. You can put your cravings for eggs to good use! Mix eggs with vegetables and beans for plenty of protein and fiber. This will give you plenty of energy to help keep you enjoying your entire Sunday. You’ll have plenty of energy for all your favorite Sunday activities – even if that means cheering your favorite football team on in front of the television.

Opt for a healthy spread for your bagels. Remember that cream cheese is a much more healthy option than butter. Cream cheese contains less calories and saturated fat than butter. Another option is nut butters. These butters are high in protein and good for you.

Opt for muffins and cereal with whole flaxseeds. This can add fiber to your diet as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for improving your overall health.

If opting for cereal, consider mixing multiple different cereals together. This will give you a variety of tastes and textures, while increasing the nutritional value of your meal.

You do not have to sacrifice what for some is the best meal of the week. The trick is to watch your portion sizes and choose healthy brunch items.

Avoid or Enjoy: Diet Soft Drinks

If you enjoy an ice cold, diet soft drink from time to time, you may have noticed your favorite drink making the news from time-to-time. In early March 2012, a watchdog group released a report saying that drinks such as Coke or Pepsi contain high levels of a chemical known as 4-MI, which is used to make the brown-coloring of soft drinks. This group has indicated that 4-MI can cause cancer.

The controversial report led to Coke and Pepsi reducing the amount of 4-MI in their soft drinks; which in turn lowers the possibly carcinogenic properties of your favorite beverages. With a link to causing cancer in animal studies, California has even added it to a list of unsafe chemicals. This means soda companies are faced with the issue of having to add a label with a cancer warning on their products if they had decided against decreasing the amount of 4-MI in their products.

As the controversy continues to stir around what may have been your beverage of choice, here are some more reasons why you may want to cut back on your diet soda intake:

  1. Weight gain. Researchers are not sure the exact reason why weight gain occurs when consuming diet soda. However, a majority of researchers do agree that there is a link between diet soda consumption and weight gain. Studies have shown that diet-soda drinkers are more likely to be making poor lifestyle habits, which can lead to excessive weight gain. Researchers have also indicated that artificial sweeteners can mess with your body. The artificial sweeteners found in many diet sodas can confuse the body by causing it to crave real sugar – which is something you are depriving the body of when you drink diet soft drinks.
  2. Increased risk of disease. Studies should that making a habit of drinking diet soda can increase your risk for developing osteoporosis or diabetes, as well as having a stroke.
  3. Diet soda can be damaging your body. Diet soda can harm your kidneys and teeth. Diet soda can decrease your kidney function by as much as 30 percent if you drink two or more diet drinks per day. The phosphoric acid in diet drinks can dissolve the calcium in tooth enamel, which can leave your teeth weak.

Will you be cutting your diet soft drink intake?