Fats: A Necessary Evil?

April 18, 2014 By: office Comments Off

In the 80s everywhere you went, from the grocery store to your nearest vending machine, that familiar phrase “Low Fat” rang out time and time again. It was almost as though fat was worse for you than the myriad chemicals present in the diet soda or ranch dressing you were consuming. Now, years later, we find things to be quite different. So much so, that a few years back a certain soft drink company rebranded themselves by launching a “Throwback” drink whose singular claim to fame was that it was making use of real sugar again…leaving us all to question, “Well, what was I drinking before?” A return to basics is being touted as the healthiest way toward staying…well, healthy.

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Still, fat has been one of those persistently hounded culprits in the battle of the bulge. And with good reason, I mean…isn’t that what we’re all being told to burn and limit? Fat? Cholesterol? Calories? They are the enemy! Not necessarily. It’s important to stress, as a good part of any diet, the ability to differentiate between good fats and bad ones. So if you’re going to be watching fats as part of your weight-loss regimen, keep these important points in mind to dispel whatever myths you may have been fed about fat in the past.

  • Fats can be divided into two teams…the “hero” fats and the “bad guy” fats. Stick with the hero fats, unless you want to get locked up in a prison of your own creation! “Hero” fats include: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Bad Guy” fats include: trans fats and some saturated fats (excluding the aforementioned ones).
  • Never judge a food product by its label alone. “Fat-free” or “low-fat” isn’t an invitation to gorge yourself on whatever it is you’re consuming. In fact, many of these products have been reently found to include ingredients with addictive properties that leave you coming back for more and overeating, as a result, so watch it!
  • Become a fan of the “FANS” acronym. And keep it in mind when deciding which fats you should be eating more of. Fish, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds contain some of the very best complex fats that your body needs to consistently feel and look its very best.

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So to recap, not all fats you come across are out to get you, it’s just important to be aware of the ones that are!

13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

April 15, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Eugenia Correa, @eucorrea
Originally Published: April 11, 2014 on ‘Blog de BabyCenter’
(translation: Miranda Southwell)

A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.

weight loss camp

A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:

  • You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
  • Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
  • It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
  • Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
  • One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
  • There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
  • When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
  • Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
  • Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
  • Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
  • In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
  • Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.

The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.

Incorporate Whole Foods Into Your Diet & Help With Weight Loss: Part One

June 21, 2013 By: consultant 11 Comments

By: Megan Ware, RDN, LD

The terms “whole foods” and “clean eating” are big buzzwords these days, but what exactly are whole foods and why should you be eating more of them, especially if we are working toward weight loss?

A whole food is a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances. A strawberry is a whole food. A potato is a whole food. Apart from being grown, dug up and shipped, a whole potato is as unprocessed as possible, available for consumption in its most natural state.

Whole foods like potatoes or strawberries may be organic or locally grown, but not necessarily. A whole food is simply a food in its most natural state, with all of its nutrients intact.

The opposite of whole foods are highly processed foods. Let’s take the potato chip for example. Once the potatoes are harvested, they are sent to a processing plant where they are inspected, placed on a conveyer belt, peeled, washed in cold water and impaled into paper-thin slices. The slices then fall into a second cold-water wash that removes the starch released when the potatoes are cut. The potato remnants are chemically treated to enhance their color and passed under air drying jets as they flow into troughs filled with hot oil for frying. Excess oil is drained and the chips begin to cool. Flavored chips are passed through a drum filled with powdered seasonings. Then the packaging process starts. I’m not going to bore you with those details, but I think you can see the difference between eating a whole food, a potato, that was simply grown and harvested, and a processed food, a potato chip, where many of the nutrients the original food had are lost in the refinement process.

Let’s put this in perspective of our normal every day lives. On one end of the spectrum you have someone who grows their own fruits and vegetables, has their own chickens that hatch their own eggs, and raises their own livestock that eats hay from their pasture and drinks the water from their creek. This person knows exactly where all of their food comes from, the components of each food, and any processing that their food endures takes place in their own kitchen.

At the other end of the spectrum is the person who grabs dinner from the fast food drive-through, as 25% of Americans do daily. They have no idea where their food came from, what kind of processing it went through, or how it was cooked or prepared.  The meat in a single fast food burger could come from dozens or even hundreds of cows from all different regions and processing plants. Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for as long as possible without affecting the flavor of the food.

Not all of us have the ability to be self-sufficient and grow our own foods, but we all have the ability to get more involved in our meal preparation. We can set aside time at the beginning of each week to pick out a few recipes, buy locally available produce from our grocery or farmers market, plan our meals for the week and really take initiative to know where your food is coming from and how it was prepared. And what better way to do this then to buy and prepare it ourselves?

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

When you are dining out, don’t be afraid to ask questions. How was this fish prepared? Was it doused in oil or butter? Is it farmed or fresh-caught? The lesson here is that the more involved you are in your food, the healthier your meal will be, and your body will thank you for it, whether you’re working on weight loss or not.

 

Surprise Dad With A Healthy Fathers Day Meal By Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

June 10, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

Father’s day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate his day than with a healthy take on an all American favorite, a steak! Here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we all know how much we enjoy grilling and especially in the summertime, but it’s important to keep in mind a healthy balanced diet should also be incorporated. Balance the meal by including steamed vegetables that can be prepared in foil on the grill as well, or make a rainbow cherry tomato salad topped with a little balsamic vinegar. Let’s not forget about dessert; think of including something cool and refreshing such as fresh watermelon, fruit salad, or Greek yogurt parfaits. Even on holidays you should be able to include all your fruits and veggies!

This recipe makes four so it’s perfect for a nice family lunch or dinner that the whole family can enjoy and take part in preparing together.  If you use spinach as the leafy green you are sure to get one iron packed meal. And don’t forget that if you have leftovers you can simply slice the steak and prepare a lunch sandwich for the following day or include it with a fresh salad.

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon whipped or regular butter, slightly softened
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, or shallot
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, (1 minced, 1 peeled and halved)
  • 1 pound filet mignon, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed and cut into 4 portions of about 3 oz.
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 cups spinach or other leafy green of Dad’s choice

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Mash butter in a small bowl with the back of a spoon until soft and creamy. Stir in 2 teaspoons oil until combined. Add chives (or shallot), 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and place in the freezer to chill.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, rosemary and minced garlic in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of steak. Rub both sides of bread with the halved garlic clove; discard the garlic.
  4. Grill the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill the bread until toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  5. To plate: Divide leafy among 4 plates. Place 1 toast on each serving of leafy green and top with steak. Spread the herb butter on top of the steaks and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Nutrition

Per serving: 303 calories; 14 g fat ( 5 g sat , 6 g mono ); 80 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 5 g fiber; 438 mg sodium; 462 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (46% daily value), Selenium (44% dv), Vitamin C (28% dv), Iron (17% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2 Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

Advice From the Food Pro’s At Shane Weight Loss Camp

May 22, 2013 By: consultant 12 Comments

003You probably hire someone to do your taxes, so why don’t you hire someone to help you with your diet? Getting expert advice on nutrition may not be as expensive as you think. With all the scientific studies, many people find that figuring out their taxes is easier than finding a daily routine they can stick to and keeps them healthy and can help with weight loss. People with diabetes, digestive disorders, food allergies, heart disease, weight problems, and cancer may especially benefit. Your health insurance might cover referrals made for medical reasons. Women trying to get pregnant, breast feeding, trying to lose baby weight or going through menopause are also good candidates.
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts recommends you find a registered dietitian to work with on developing a weekly meal plan, discuss recipes for healthy meals, learn how to understand food labels, and answer your nutrition related questions. Our weight loss resorts Dietitian, Julie Harrington has designed a very user-friendly cookbook loaded with easy, simple and nutritious meals created from the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Program. Using this cookbook can also give you lots of guidance and nutritional information. Working one-on-one with a dietitian will give you advice depending on your age, gender, weight, physical activity and medical history. They should also factor in your lifestyle, food preferences and nutrition concerns.
Beware of so-called nutritionists who might try to sell you unnecessary and costly vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. You should strive to get all your nutrition from food, supplements are often delivered in high doses and the body is unable to process that much at one time. Also food is packaged naturally with other nutrients that enhance absorption of all the good stuff they have to offer.
Regardless of your goals, a registered dietitian will want to know what you usually eat and the times you eat. Try keeping a food journal for a week before your first visit and take pictures of your meals, too. That way the dietitian will know your portion sizes.
Your health insurance, including Medicare, might cover referrals made for medical reasons. This is particularly true for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and digestive and obesity issues.
How well your body functions relies on the fuel you give it. You are important, so take the time and effort to be good to yourself. Lead by example and show your family and friends that you respect yourself by eating healthy not only for weight loss but for your overall health. Help is there for you, so take advantage. Not sure where to start? The Nutrition Staff at Shane are here to help you become the best you can be!

Do Antioxidants Work For Or Against Your Weight Loss Goals?

May 6, 2013 By: office 2,582 Comments

AntioxidantsAntioxidants have been popular in the world of weight loss lately and we have guests at our weight loss camps ask us if antioxidants are as beneficial as everyone is making them out to be. The answer is, it depends. Here are six myths and truths about antioxidants provided by ConsumerReports OnHealth to explain what we mean.

Myth: Antioxidants are all vitamins
Truth: There are thousands of antioxidants and only a limited number of them are vitamins. Antioxidants have the ability to block free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemical fragments that cause damage throughout your body and can cause abnormal cell growth and reproduction.

Myth: All antioxidants are created equal
Truth: According to Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D. and director of the Antioxidant Research Lab at Tufts University says, “Different antioxidants fight different free radicals.” But what’s nice is that all antioxidants work together like a well oiled machine. For instance, vitamin C recycles vitamin E, meaning that when vitamin E blocks a free radical, vitamin C takes the remaining vitamin E and changes it back to its original antioxidant form.

Myth: Be sure to eat pomegranates, berries and other super fruits
Truth: There is no official definition of a ‘super fruit.’ It can mean whatever someone wants it to mean, therefore it does not hold any significance. All fruits and vegetables have a unique blend of healthy components and some of those include antioxidants. By only focusing on ‘super fruits,’ you are missing out on a variety of other beneficial fruits and vegetables.

Myth: You should amp up your intake with supplements
Truth: Don’t focus on supplements when you can get the nutrients you need from food. Clinical trials have shown that consuming nutrients in supplement form does not produce the same results that found when consuming them in foods. Why waste your money on a single supplement that may work when you can buy foods that can provide multiple nutritional benefits?

Myth: If some antioxidants are good, more is better
Truth: We’ve all heard the saying that “there is no such thing as too much of a good thing,” that saying does not apply to nutrients in supplement form. There has been some evidence to indicate that when taken in megadoses (which many supplements come in) it can cause antioxidants to become pre-oxidents which may actually increase the production of free radicals. The opposite result of what antioxidants are intended to perform.

Myth: Packaged food with labels that promise antioxidant benefits will boost your health
Truth: Just because a package advertises antioxidants, does not mean that they carry a health benefit as well. Since antioxidants are desired by consumers, manufacturers will add vitamin C or E and then advertise that their food contains antioxidants. They do this in hopes to drive up the sales and price of their product but in turn do not yield the benefits that consumers expect. Some products may already contain the antioxidant and the manufacturer is not even adding anything to the product.

We are still discovering more about how antioxidants work within our body so the best advice we can give you to promote a healthy diet and help you achieve your weight loss goals is to make sure that you eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes every day. Sometimes staying true to eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods is still the best way to go.

Is The Mediterranean Diet A Weight Loss Diet?

March 14, 2013 By: office 22 Comments

Mediterranean Diet PyramidWe’ve all heard of and maybe have tried the fad diets like SlimFast, South Beach and Atkins to lose weight. But they all seem to have some major nutritional holes in them that aren’t good for you in the long run. Recently, here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we have received a lot of questions about whether or not the Mediterranean diet is good for weight loss and the answer is, no. But, the Mediterranean diet is good for heart health.

According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet focuses on getting plenty of exercise; eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts; replacing butter with healthy fats like olive and canola oil; using herbs and spices to flavor foods rather than salt; limiting red meat consumption to a few times a month; eating fish and poultry a minimum of two times a week; and drinking red wine, in moderation of course. They found that following this way of eating wasn’t necessarily correlated to weight loss but helped lower heart disease and other heart related problems.

How to get started:

  • Eat your fruits and veggies and switch to whole grains: Your meals should consist of a variety of plant based foods that are minimally processed and bought in season. The goal is nine to ten servings of fruits and veggies a day. Start eating whole grain bread, cereal, rice and pasta products.
  • Get nutty: Almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are great to have on hand for quick snacks, plus they are filling. Instead of buying peanut butter that has hydrogenated fat, buy a natural peanut butter.
  • Leave butter behind: Use olive and canola oils for cooking instead of butter or margarine.
  • Spice up your life: Instead of using salt to season your food, use herbs and spices. Not only will they help make your food taste good, they contain health enhancing substances.
  • Go fishing: Eat fresh fish a couple times a week. Stay away from fried fish, unless it has been sautéed in canola oil.
  • Replace red meat: Switch red meat for fish or poultry. When you do have red meat make sure the portions are small and that they are lean cuts. Avoid high fat meats like sausage and bacon.
  • Focus on low-fat dairy: Consume more skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low fat cheese.
  • Raise your glass: Having a glass of red wine at dinner has been shown to help lower heart disease. As long as it’s okay with your doctor, it’s okay with the Mediterranean diet.

Approximately 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and fatalities from heart disease could have been prevented in high risk patents if the individuals had changed their diet to follow more closely with the Mediterranean diet.

The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a clinical trial to see its effects on various heart risks. They ended the study early, due to the startling results. They found that the Mediterranean diet did indeed improve the heart health of the individuals participating and that it was not necessary to continue the trial.

The important thing to remember when changing your eating habits, whether if it’s to improve heart health, lose weight or both, make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Do some research and find some recipes before you start and you’ll have all the tools you need to be on your way to a healthier heart and life.

4 tips to lose the last 10 pounds

February 19, 2013 By: consultant 9 Comments

P1010360Why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?” Weight loss is tricky in that multiple factors play into how much weight is lost, how quickly it comes off and for how long the weight loss is maintained. To successfully lose a sizable amount of weight, a person needs to be committed to significant long-term lifestyle changes. With a lot of effort you can achieve a new steady-state, but it requires a great deal of persistence and effective nutrition and physical activity strategies.

A few tips:

  1. Change up your endurance routine. The goal is to burn more calories. You can do this without increasing the amount of time spent on cardio by upping your intensity. Otherwise, you’re going to have to increase the amount of time committed to cardio whether that’s adding 15 or 20 minutes to your current routine or increasing the number of days per week.
  2. Strength train at least twice per week. When you lose a lot of weight, about a quarter of weight loss comes from muscle if you don’t include a strength-training component to your workout routine. This helps explain why those last few pounds are so hard to lose. Your metabolism has slowed down; therefore, you’re burning fewer calories at rest. The metabolic rate is directly linked to the amount of muscle you have. For every pound of lean muscle mass, you burn about six calories per day. While that doesn’t sound like much, if you lost 20 pounds of fat and kept all of your muscle mass, the five pounds of muscle mass you kept (versus what you might lose without a resistance training program) would help you lose about three extra pounds. Maintain muscle mass while continuing to lose weight by committing to your resistance training routine.
  3. Eat a little less. To have successfully lost weight in the first place you have to have made some significant dietary changes. If you want to continue to lose weight, you’ll need to make further cuts. Assess your approximate daily caloric intake and then come up with strategies to cut an additional 250 calories per day (provided that will still keep you at a healthy calorie level and not at risk for nutrient deficiencies). If you eat 250 calories less per day and do not make any changes to your exercise regimen, you’ll lose those last 10 pounds over the course of the next five months.
  4. If you exercise more, it will come off faster. Anyone can finish a 5K or a 10K but not everyone can finish a marathon. It takes a high level of commitment and ongoing diligence to successfully train for and compete in such a long race.

Weight loss application: Somewhere around 40% of women and 30% of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. Some are successful initially but most are unable to lose and keep off the weight.

Losing weight is tough. Keeping it off requires a constant effort. To achieve and maintain your weight loss goals you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Slowly and steadily progress to your goal with each of the small decisions you make every day take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for the fresh apple instead of the apple pie. After all, being the first one done isn’t the goal, it’s just about having the strength, endurance, and mental toughness to successfully cross that finish line. And if you’re looking to lose your last 10 or first 10 Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is here to help.  With help from our expert Nutritionist, Fitness instructors and Behavior Change coaches, we give you all the tools you need to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

 

Simple Swaps for Baked Goods

June 21, 2012 By: office 2 Comments

Most baked goods are often high in fat and sugar. Muffins, often assumed as a healthier choice, can even sometimes be a “cupcake” in disguise. You may think it’s impossible to create a lower calorie, healthier baked good that is just as tasty as the original.

Try these simple swaps the next time you’re baking.

Ingredient Healthy Substitution
Whole milk (1 cup) 1 cup fat-free or nonfat milk plus one tablespoon of unsaturated oil like canola oil
Heavy cream (1 cup) 1 cup evaporated skim milk 

or

1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat cottage cheese (pureed)

Evaporated whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Sweetened condensed whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fat Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel 

or

low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth

Sour Cream Plain Greek yogurt
Butter (1 tbsp) Vegetable oil
Oil Natural Fruit Purees (no sugar added) 

Examples: Applesauce, Pumpkin Puree, Mashed banana, etc.

Shortening (1 cup) Earth Balance or Smart Balance
1 Egg 2 Egg whites 

or

“flax eggs” = 1 tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 3 tbsp warm water until the consistency of eggs

or

1/4 cup egg substitute

 

Chocolate Chips (1 cup) 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 

or

Carob chips – similar to chocolate chips, produced from a carob plant, with a slightly bitter and nutty undertone, works best with baking when the chips are incorporated in the baked product.

Sugar Reduce sugar by half and intensify sweetness by adding vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. 

or

Honey, Agave nectar

Syrup Pureed Fresh fruit
Fruit canned in heavy syrup Fruit canned in its own juices, or fresh fruit
Flour, all purpose Whole-wheat flour for half what the recipe calls for along with the all-purpose flour 

 

*Note: Whole-wheat flour is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins

Chopped nuts, 1 cup 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts 

* By toasting them brings out their flavor and only need half.

Sweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup toasted coconut + 1/2 tsp coconut extract
Traditional Pie Crust Graham Cracker crust

 

The World of Whole Grain Breads

January 18, 2012 By: consultant 28 Comments

Everybody knows what professionals are saying: eat whole grains, don’t eat refined carbohydrates, and stay away from white bread-that seems to be the generic, go-to saying now-a-days.  But what does that mean when you walk into the bakery section of your grocery store?  There are so many different options; it gets confusing out there in the world of grains and breads! So here are a few tips on how to make sure you are choosing the healthiest possible (and usually the most delicious) breads and grains.

First things first- when you walk into the bakery isle, what do you see? White bread, multigrain bread, 9 grain bread, 12 grain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wheat bread, oats and honey bread, and cinnamon raisin bread – the list goes on and on.  For some reason, there is an incredible variety of “healthy” breads out there, but are they really healthy?

We’ve all heard that white bread is refined and not the best choice for us, but why?  Well, white bread is definitely more processed than whole grain breads.  During manufacturing, they literally remove the “whole grain”.  They take out all the deliciously nutritious stuff like fiber and B vitamins and leave nothing but sugar and empty calories.  Now, I am not bashing white bread, I am simply stating a fact: it provides no nutritional value to its consumers.  But what is the difference between white bread and whole grain bread?  The difference is there is much less to process in whole grain breads because they use the entire grain, they don’t selfishly remove anything from it which keeps it  full of the fiber and vitamins that our bodies crave, making it a much healthier choice.

Now the next problem is how do you know what you are buying is in fact whole grain bread?  It’s simple-you can start by looking at the package and reading how it is advertised.  The problem is that manufacturers very often advertise in a way that may make us believe something is healthy when it is truly not. In order to outsmart them, read the ingredient list. They must, by law, include all of their ingredients in this list.  Looking for the word “whole” – not grain, not multigrain, not wheat – whole!  The word whole will tell you everything you need to know.  If it says “whole” you know, for sure that it is a whole grain product.

Next- you want to make sure it is 100% whole grain/wheat.  This is usually labeled on the front of the product because when manufacturers are actually producing a product that is healthy, they want their consumers to know it.  So if it says “100% whole wheat” you have made a great choice.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our nutrition education classes are designed as an open forum to help you take the guess work out of making healthy choices at the supermarket.  It used to be you walk into the store, you choose your produce, you choose your meats, and you choose whole wheat or white bread.  Today is harder but it is more important than ever that we eat good, healthy food. So take an extra 10 seconds to read the food labels and be good to your bodies.  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

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