Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

 

Green bean casserole is a holiday meal favorite and a tradition in many American homes. The classic green bean casserole includes canned cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own sauce, however, you have much more control over the ingredients—choosing your preference of butter or oil, the type of liquid to add, and the thickener to use.

In addition, the green bean casserole we’re all familiar with features a topping of crispy, deep-fried onions, usually from a can. Both of these pre-made ingredients add fat, calories, and preservatives to the dish. This recipe uses all fresh ingredients, and replaces the fried onions with sauteed, making this green bean casserole a much healthier version while remaining familiar and delicious. One thing to note, however, is that this casserole is not very saucy and may not satisfy all diners.

 

Green bean casserole with onion and mushroom

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly slice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ​​almond meal
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 14-ounce bag frozen green beans, thawed

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Put half of oil in a skillet and add about 3/4 of the onion slices. Let them slowly cook. When they start to get soft, add salt and pepper. You want the onions to get soft and sweet, but if you let them cook down for a very long time they will start to lose too much volume.
  3. When they are soft, remove from heat and toss with almond meal. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Chop up the rest of the onion slices and saute the mushrooms in the rest of the oil. Add thyme, stir, and add the thickener. Stir for another two minutes.
  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk with the cream; add to the sauteed onions and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Mix in the beans and put in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the onions on top and cook for 5 more minutes or until topping begins to brown.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Any type of “dairy” product works in this recipe. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, the lowest carb count is in unsweetened soy milk. This recipe combines unsweetened soy milk and cream for richness, but you can use any fat level of milk you want to use, and any combination. Since cream adds some body and thickness, you may need to adjust the amount of thickener if you change the amount of cream.

The type of thickener you use in this recipe is up to you as well. You can use any type of flour or other lower-carb thickeners such as guar gum and proprietary thickeners.

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness!

Health and Wellness Associates

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

When You Drink Soda For The First Time

The food product we suggests you avoid entirely this year (and every year) is soda. Whether regular or diet, it is essentially liquid candy, and studies indicate that drinking it can lead to:

 

  1. Obesity. Drinking a single sugar-containing soda per day is linked to weight gain. Drinking diet soda doesn’t seem to do your weight much good either – over the course of nine years, one study found a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference among participants in a study who drank diet soda compared to those who didn’t.
  2. Diabetes. A daily sugar-containing soda habit increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes by 83 percent compared to women who have less than one sweetened drink per month. And another study showed that artificial sweeteners altered the collection of bacteria (known as the microbiome) in the digestive tract in a way that caused blood glucose levels to rise higher than expected and to fall more slowly than they otherwise would. This suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners contributes directly to rising rates of type 2 diabetes.

****** Sometimes Diabetics have no choice.  But when you do, dont!   Shasta has a diet pop in good flavors that is alright to drink.  It has no aspartame in it at all.

3. Heart disease. One study found a 43 percent increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke among individuals who habitually consumed a daily diet soda compared to those who do not.

4. Kidney issues. Drinking two or more diet sodas daily is associated with a decline in a measure of kidney function in women.

5. Premature birth. One study found that the risk of giving birth prematurely increased by 38 percent among women who drank diet soda daily and by 78 percent among those who drank four or more diet sodas per day.

Bottom line: Forget cutting back on soda (diet or regular) – this is one to eliminate altogether. Opt instead for filtered water, unsweetened tea (the sweetened version would be no better) or sparkling water mixed with a splash of natural fruit juice. After a week or two you will feel better and may be less likely to go back.

 

Contact us at healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Dr Gail Bohannon

Health and Wellness Associates

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Health and Wellness Associates

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Here's why you should be drinking less, plus tips on how to make the transition easier. | Health.com

Drinking diet soda may raise the risk for a severe type of diabetic eye disease that can lead to blindness, a new study says.

The study, published in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, is the first to evaluate the link between soft drinks and what’s called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

“In our clinical sample of people with diabetes, consuming more than four cans, or 1.5 liters, of diet soft drinks per week was associated with a twofold increased risk of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy,” first author Eva Fenwick, PhD, told Medscape Medical News. Fenwick is a clinical research fellow at the Singapore Eye Research Institute and an assistant professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

The study did not find the same results among those who drank regular, sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

More studies are needed to tell whether soft drinks are unhealthy alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, Fenwick says.

Diet soft drinks have been marketed as healthier than regular soft drinks, yet a growing body of evidence has suggested that artificial sweeteners may also harm your health. Past research has linked diet soda to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Some researchers believe that diet beverages may “fake out” the body to assume that it has taken in more energy than it really has. That may lead to more hunger and higher calorie intake in the long run.

The study included 609 adults — 73 with type 1 diabetes , 510 with type 2 diabetes, and 26 with an unknown type of diabetes — at an eye hospital between 2009 and 2010. The average age of the participants was 64.6 years. They came from the Diabetes Management Project, a study of English-speaking adults with diabetes in Melbourne, Australia.

Participants reported how many soft drinks they drank as part of a 145-question food questionnaire. Of the total sample, 46.8% drank regular soft drinks, and 31.2% drank diet soft drinks.

Almost a quarter had proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Those who drank more than four 12-ounce servings of diet soda a week were 2.5 times more likely to have the disease, researchers found. The researchers adjusted results for things that usually make diabetic retinopathy more likely, such as diabetes duration, smoking, and body mass index.

Those who regularly drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks were not as likely to have the disorder.

“Our finding that regular soft drink was not associated with increased risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy could be due to the small numbers of high consumers. We had to merge the high-consumer category with the moderate-consumer category, and this may have masked the true relationship,” Fenwick told Medscape Medical News.

“Although the results of our study must be interpreted within the context of several limitations, they add to the growing body of literature on the harmful effects of diet drinks on a range of health outcomes, including CVD [cardiovascular disease], diabetes, and metabolic syndrome,” Fenwick said.

“Given that diet soft drinks are perceived as a healthy alternative to regular soft drinks, clinicians and patients should be aware that diet soft drinks may not be without risks of their own,” she concluded.

The main component is aspartame that is causing the problem.  I know of only one company at this time , Shasta, that is a diet soft drink without aspartame.  With that one needs to drink one glass of water for one glass of soft drink.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods

 

If your dentist, your diet coach, and your personal trainer haven't already told you to stop drinking soda, then your financial advisor might be next on the list. Your soda habit is not only adding inches to your waistline, but it's expensive as well. For the sake of your health and for the sake of your wallet, now might be a good time to stop drinking soda.

Past tips have discussed the best foods for your heart. Today, we cover some foods and ingredients that are not so heart-healthy. Minimize these inflammatory aggravators in your diet to help promote optimal cardiovascular functioning.

  1. Trans-fats. Found in most margarines, snack foods, processed foods and some cooking oils, these fats (often listed on food labels as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil) can reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Also, avoid heated polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable or soybean oil used for deep-frying. These fats are oxidized or damaged, therefore regular consumption is likely to have a variety of negative health effects.
  2. Animal protein. Excessive animal protein has been shown to raise levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that in high concentrations may contribute to heart disease. Instead of animal protein, try whole soy protein – aim for two servings of whole organic soy, such as tofu or edamame, per day. You should track your homocysteine levels and if elevated, consider B-vitamin supplementation.
  3. Refined carbohydrates. Cookies, cakes, crackers, soft breads, chips and sodas can increase triglyceride levels and lower HDL.
  4. Sodium. Excessive sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. The main sources of sodium intake are breads, processed and canned foods, along with restaurant fare. Adding a dash of salt to your homemade meals is negligible in comparison and may help provide enhanced flavor to keep you eating more at home.

 

Contact us with help determining the right path for you to take.

Health Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

oatbites.jpg

 

Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

3 Hormones That Interfere With Your Weight Loss

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

3 Hormones That Interfere With Your Weight Loss

3hormones

 

Can you relate to any of the following?

  • I follow all the rules, but I still can’t lose the weight.
  • I’m just getting old and my metabolism is slow.
  • It’s genetic. There’s nothing I can do.
  • Maybe I need to accept that I’m fat, and give up my skinny clothes.
  • Nutrition strategies that work for others don’t seem to apply to me.
  • I lose five pounds, and then I regain seven!

I hear these comments frequently from my patients and online community, and most of them don’t know an important secret: the reason for weight loss resistance is that our hormones are out of whack. When it comes to women and weight, hormones can make losing weight very challenging (if not impossible!) when they are out of balance.

Here are the top three hormones that are the most likely culprits when it comes to your difficulty with weight loss, and how you can begin to reset them.

1. Estrogen

Estrogen is the female hormone that gives women breasts and hips, and it keeps joints lubricated. Men have it too, but at far lower levels. But both men and women are at risk of estrogen overload, which is having too much estrogen in the body.

Here’s one action you can take today to lower your estrogen levels and help you lose weight: Eat a pound of vegetables per day. The fiber from the vegetables will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in your body like bad karma.

Aim for 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day for women, and 40 to 50 grams per day for men, but slowly increase your fiber intake in 5-gram increments each day to get to the goal without gas or bloating.

2. Insulin

One in two Americans have some degree of diabesity, which is diabetes plus obesity. When you’re overweight or skinny fat (normal weight but you have too much fat mass), insulin becomes imbalanced and your cells become numb to the hormone. As a result, you experience blood sugar highs and lows, and you store fat because your glucose regulator is broken.
There are many ways to reset your insulin, but a personal favorite is to drink filtered water with apple cider vinegar. A recent study found that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before a high carb meal significantly reduces blood glucose levels in people with insulin resistance1. In fact, apple cider vinegar might work as well as prescription drugs at fixing your blood sugar regulation2.

3. Cortisol

You make cortisol in response to stress, but most of us run around stressed all the time. All those stress hormones wreak havoc over time, and make you store fat — especially in your belly. High cortisol is also linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings. What’s the net result? You get fat.

To reset your cortisol, you need to hit the pause button on your caffeine intake. Slowly wean off caffeine over three days, and notice how your sleep and stress levels improve! There are many more targeted suggestions in my new book, but kick the caffeine first.

My mission is to help people who struggle with weight issues from hormone imbalance. Understanding that permanent weight loss occurs as a result of hormone balance has helped so many of my patients and online community finally get their weight under control and break through weight loss resistance.

When you follow the right program, guided by a trusted mentor and armed with the best knowledge, it’s possible to lose the weight that’s burdened you for so long — and keep it off forever.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

fastfood

With roughly 40 percent of Americans now obese, new research finds that one strategy may be helping Americans stay slim: calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, chain restaurants with 20 or more franchises must now list a meal’s calorie count on their menus and order boards.

And some cities and states — including New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle, and all of California, Massachusetts and Oregon — have gone a step further, imposing broad calorie label mandates in full-service restaurants.

Now, a snapshot of the ordering habits in two full-service, sit-down restaurants suggests the legislative moves are having an impact.

“We conducted an experiment with over 5,500 diners in real-world restaurants and found that calorie labels led customers to order 3 percent fewer calories,” said study author John Cawley. The drop amounted to about 45 fewer calories consumed per meal.

“This was due to reductions in calories ordered as appetizers and entrees,” he added, with little change seen in the calorie count of either drinks or desserts.

That second finding struck Cawley, a professor in the departments of policy analysis and management, and economics at Cornell University, as surprising.

“Before we started, I expected that people would reduce calories in desserts, but they didn’t,” he said.

Why?

“In interpreting that, it’s important to remember that people will change their behavior when the information is new or surprising,” he explained. “People may have already known that desserts are high-calorie and not cut back, but been surprised by the number of calories in appetizers and entrees, and so reduced calories there.”

Cawley calculated that over a three-year period, the calorie cut would lead to weight loss in the range of one pound.

“Not large,” he acknowledged, “but it’s also a cheap policy, and philosophically it’s attractive to allow people to make informed decisions.”

What’s more, “the vast majority of people support having calorie labels on menus, and those who were exposed to them expressed even higher support,” he added.

The findings were published recently as a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research organization.

Both restaurants in the study were located on a university campus.

Dining parties were randomly given a menu with or without calorie-count labels. About 43 percent of the study participants were men. The average age was 34, and about two-thirds were white.

Appetizers contained between 200 to 910 calories, entrees contained 580 to 1,840 calories, and desserts contained 420 to 1,150 calories. Drinks ranged from 100 to 370 calories.

Beyond the 3 percent calorie drop linked to the labeling, the researchers also found that consumer support for labeling went up by almost 10 percent among patrons who were given labeled menus.

And restaurant revenue did not seem to be affected by the type of menu offered, despite long-voiced industry concerns that calorie counts might undermine a food establishment’s bottom line.

Lona Sandon is an associate professor in the department of clinical nutrition with the school of health professions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She said the study makes it “apparent that some people at least pay attention” to labels.

But the move is just “one piece in the big puzzle of addressing the public health problem of obesity,” she said.

“I do not see a drastic change in overweight and obesity rates anytime soon as a result of the menu labeling,” Sandon added.

“On the positive side, it is making people more aware. It may also be making restaurant owners and chefs more aware, which could lead to them putting more healthier options on the menu,” she said. “Between the labeling and changes in recipes, we could get more impact.”

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Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

Health and WEllness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

 

Eat Right to Support Thyroid Function

When you have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, symptoms can include fatigue, depression, constipation, and other more serious health concerns. Fortunately, eating certain foods can help boost the effectiveness of your thyroid — a little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck with a big role in how well your body works.

The thyroid produces hormones that regulate mood, metabolism, energy levels, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Hypothyroidism occurs when this gland isn’t producing enough hormones. Along with taking your thyroid medication, you can bolster thyroid function with a well-balanced diet that includes lots of produce and protein, among other healthy foods, says Gregory B. Dodell, MD, an endocrinologist in New York City. The next time you’re at the grocery store, look for these seven nutrient-rich foods.

salmon

Fish

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines make this food an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, says Virginia Turner, MS, RD, LDN, clinical nutrition manager at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Unmanaged hypothyroidism can increase the risk for heart disease as a result of higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. “Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation, help with immunity, and lower the risk for heart disease,” she adds. Fish is also a good source of the nutrient selenium, which is most concentrated in the thyroid. Selenium also helps decrease inflammation.

nuts

Nuts

Another great source of selenium, nuts make a handy snack that you can take anywhere. They also go well in salads or stir-fries. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are all particularly high in selenium, which helps the thyroid function properly. With Brazil nuts, you only need to eat one or two; with other nuts, a small handful is enough to get your daily nutrients — and be sure to keep an eye on portion size, as nuts are also very high fat.

wholegrain.jpg

Whole Grains

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole-grain foods such as cereal, bread, pasta, and rice are high in nutrients in addition to fiber, which can help with bowel regularity. However, fiber can interfere with synthetic thyroid hormones, cautions Turner. Some people with hypothyroidism choose to avoid whole-grains altogether, but if you do choose to eat them, “the recommendation is to take your thyroid medication several hours before or after eating foods rich in dietary fiber,” she says.

fruitsandvegies.jpg

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

An early symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Low-calorie, high-density foods such as fresh produce are the cornerstone of every successful weight loss program. Include either fresh fruits or veggies at each meal, if possible. Specific foods such as blueberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, and green peppers are also rich in antioxidants, nutrients that are known to lower risk for heart disease.

However, people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, because they block thyroid function.

seaweed.jpg

Seaweed

Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. “Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone,” Dr. Dodell explains. Seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another plus: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.

It is possible to have too much iodine, which can worsen thyroid disease, Dodell cautions. However, according to the American Thyroid Association the likelihood of this is greater if you’re taking supplements that contain iodine. Be sure to talk with your physician before increasing your iodine intake.

 

Dairy as in EGGS

There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, according to a study in the issue of August 2011 issue of the journal “Thyroid”. Eggs not only has added vitamin D, but also significant amounts of calcium, protein, and iodine. Because Hashimoto’s may also lead to changes that contribute to gut issues like heartburn, eggs with good bacteria may help regulate other bacteria, Dodell says.

beans

Beans

An inexpensive and versatile food, beans are a great source for sustained energy, which can be helpful if hypothyroidism leaves you feeling drained. Beans contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial if you suffer with constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism. If you’re new to beans, there are many varieties to try, all of which can be used as the base for entrees, as side dishes, and to enhance soups, salads, and stews. Just be sure not to overdo it — guidelines recommend that adults get 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but excess fiber can interfere with your hypothyroidism treatment.

 

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Amylopectin:    Amy What?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Amylopectin:    Amy What?

 

3 Reasons to Avoid Foods with This Type of Starch

 

We all know that loading up on the cookies, candy and soda can skyrocket blood sugar levels and lead to adverse effects on health. But did you know that the same could be true for certain types of starch as well? Thanks to amylopectin, a type of carbohydrate found in starch, some starches may actually have a similar effect.

 

Amylopectin digestion may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, causing an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol and leading to fat accumulation.

 

This carbohydrate is widespread throughout the food supply and is the main component of starches, including rice, bread and potatoes.

 

However, by opting for foods lower in amylopectin and increasing your intake of high-fiber, low-glycemic foods instead, you can sidestep the negative side effects of this carbohydrate.

 Amylopectin-Graphic-2 (2).jpg

What Is Amylopectin?

The official amylopectin definition is: “a component of starch that has a high molecular weight and branched structure and does not tend to gel in aqueous solutions.”

 

To put it more simply, though, amylopectin is a type of carbohydrate found in the starches that we commonly consume, such as rice, potatoes and bread.

 

Starch is made up of two different polysaccharides, or carbohydrates: amylose and amylopectin. Each starch molecule is about 80 percent amylopectin and 20 percent amylose.

 

Amylose is made up of long, linear chains of glucose units while amylopectin is highly branched. In fact, it is composed of between 2,000 and 200,000 glucose units, and each inner chain comprises 20–24 subunits of glucose.

 

Amylopectin is also considered insoluble, meaning that it does not dissolve in water.

 

This starch molecule has a very similar structure to glycogen, a type of branched polysaccharide that is used to store glucose, or sugar, in your liver and muscles. When comparing amylopectin vs. glycogen, both are highly branched and made up of alpha glucose units, but glycogen has more branches.

 

While starch molecules are considered the main storage form of energy in plants, glycogen is the primary storage form of energy in humans and animals.

 

Amylopectin vs. Amylose

Amylose and amylopectin share some similarities but are also drastically different in the ways that they are digested and processed in the body. As mentioned previously, the differences between these two starch molecules starts with their physical structure. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is made up of thousands of branches of glucose units.

 

Although starches contain both of these carbohydrates, the ratio can make a major impact on the way it’s digested and processed. This is because amylopectin is more easily digested and absorbed than amylose. While this may sound like a good thing, it actually means that eating foods rich in this carbohydrate can lead to spikes in blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels as well as increased belly fat. A high amount of amylopectin can also increase the glycemic index of foods, which is a measure of how much blood sugar levels increase after consumption.

 

Meanwhile, foods high in amylose tend to have higher levels of resistant starch, a type of starch that isn’t completely broken down or absorbed by the body. Resistant starch has been shown to reduce fat storage, increase satiety, lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

Therefore, it’s best to minimize your intake of foods high in amylopectin and instead focus on selecting starches that have a higher ratio of amylose to ensure you’re getting the most health benefits possible from your diet.

 

Amylopectin Function

Amylopectin makes up the majority of the starch molecule, which is the primary storage form of energy for plants.

 

Much like humans, animals and all living organisms, plants need energy so they can grow and function. Plants use a special process called photosynthesis, which involves using chlorophyll to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugar, or glucose, to be used as energy. Any extra glucose is stored as starch, which the plant can then convert back into glucose when it needs an extra bit of energy.

 

In humans, when we eat starch, it is converted to sugar, or glucose, which can also be used for energy. The cells in our bodies depend on this energy to function, making sure that we are able to build and maintain healthy tissues, move our muscles, and keep our organs working efficiently.

 

Like plants, we are also able to keep unused glucose for use later in the form of glycogen, which is mainly stored in the muscles and liver and can be easily converted to glucose when needed.

 

Amylopectin Side Effects

Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Raises Cholesterol Levels

 

 

Increases Belly Fat

  1. Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Foods with a higher amount of amylopectin have a higher glycemic index, which means they can cause a quick increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the transportation of sugar from the blood to the tissues where it can be utilized. When you sustain high levels of insulin over a long period of time, it can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, leading to insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

 

A study from the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition fed 12 participants a diet composed of either 70 percent amylose or amylopectin for five weeks. Compared to amylose, amylopectin led to a greater increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Another animal study from Australia showed that feeding rats a high-amylopectin diet for 16 weeks resulted in a 50 percent higher insulin response as well as insulin resistance.

 

Conversely, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher amounts of amylose delayed carbohydrate digestion and absorption and caused decreased blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

  1. Raises Cholesterol Levels

In addition to increasing blood sugar levels, a diet high in amylopectin could also negatively impact blood cholesterol levels. Research shows that eating foods with a higher glycemic index, such as those that are high in amylopectin, could decrease triglyceride and good HDL cholesterol levels.

 

Studies have also found that insulin resistance, which can occur as a result of an a high-glycemic diet, may be associated with an increase in cholesterol production.  The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center study mentioned above, in particular, found that eating a diet high in amylopectin led to increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to a diet high in amylose.

 

Meanwhile, multiple animal studies have found that resistant starch from higher concentrations of amylose could lead to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in rats.

 

  1. Increases Belly Fat

One of the most visible side effects of amylopectin is its effect on your waistline. That’s because eating lots of amylopectin can increase insulin, leading to an increase in visceral fat.

 

Insulin plays a major role in fat storage and metabolism. It blocks the breakdown of fat and increases the uptake of triglycerides from the blood into the fat cells. Sustaining high levels of circulating insulin can cause insulin resistance as well as an increase in fat storage and a decrease in fat burning, as noted in research out of the University of Toronto in Canada.

 

Additionally, eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as those with a higher ratio of amylopectin, can increase hunger and the risk of overeating, as research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University shows.

 

On the other hand, studies have shown that amylose and resistant starch can enhance fat burning, promote satiety and reduce fat storage.

 

Amylopectin Foods

Although all starches contain some amylopectin, certain types may have a higher ratio of amylopectin than others. Simple carbs that have a high glycemic index are likely to be higher in amylopectin while foods with a lower glycemic index are likely higher in amylose.

 

High-amylopectin foods include:

 

Short-grain rice                White bread                      Bagels                  White potatoes

Cookies                               Crackers                             Pretzels                Instant oatmeal

Puffed rice                         Cornflakes                          Rice cakes

Instead of filling your plate with these foods, consider swapping in a few foods that are higher in amylose instead. These foods can help you maintain normal blood sugar levels, keep cholesterol levels low and prevent fat accumulation.

 

Low-amylose foods include:

 

Long-grain rice                 Oats                      Quinoa                 Sweet potatoes                Bananas

Whole wheat                    Barley                   Rye                       Beans                                  Legumes

 

 

History

Starch has been an integral part of our history since ancient times. Early documentation on the uses of starch is limited; Egyptians supposedly used a starchy adhesive to stick pieces of papyrus together as far back as 4,000 B.C. while in 312 A.D., starch helped proved useful in preventing ink penetration in Chinese papers.

 

However, although starch has been a dietary and industrial staple for centuries, it is only in the last several hundred years that we’ve come to understand more about its unique structure and the way that amylose and amylopectin function in the body.

 

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, often dubbed as the father of microbiology, was the first to observe starch microscopically in 1716. However, it wasn’t until over 200 years later that researchers began to focus on the differences between amylose and amylopectin.

 

In the 1940s, scientists developed more accurate techniques to separate amylose and amylopectin from starch molecules and began studying the highly branched structure of amylopectin. They were also able to discover the amylopectin enzyme that contributes to the synthesis and breakdown of starch, which helped them understand the complexities of its structure even more.

 

Other research into the different types of starch has also been fairly recent. In the 1970s, for example, the concept of resistant starch was initially created. Years later, the Commission of the European Communities officially funded research to form an official definition of resistant starch.

 

As our knowledge about starch continues to increase, we have begun to learn more about how this important dietary component can affect many different facets of health.

 

Precautions/Side Effects

A diet high in starch can negatively impact many aspects of health. It can result in an increase in blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as increased fat accumulation.

 

Ideally, amylopectin should be limited in all diets. However, this is especially important for those who have diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

 

For these individuals, carbohydrate intake should be kept in moderation, and the carbs that are included in the diet should be from nutrient-rich, high-fiber and low-glycemic foods. This can help slow the absorption of sugar from the bloodstream and prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

 

Additionally, many foods high in both amylose and amylopectin contain gluten. If you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, you should swap these foods for gluten-free, nutrient-dense whole grains like millet, quinoa, sorghum, rice or buckwheat.

 

Final Thoughts

Starch molecules are made up of two types of carbohydrates, amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is highly branched.

Amylopectin is broken down rapidly and has a higher glycemic index, meaning it can increase blood sugar rapidly after eating.

Eating a diet high in this carbohydrate can also increase insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels; lead to insulin resistance; and cause fat accumulation.

Conversely, eating foods higher in amylose may have the opposite effect, decreasing cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and blood sugar levels, while also promoting satiety and weight loss.

Foods high in amylopectin include white bread, short-grain rice, cookies, crackers, pretzels and breakfast cereals.

To promote healthy blood sugar levels and achieve optimal health, opt for low-glycemic foods that are lower in amylopectin and high in fiber and use in combination with an overall healthy diet.

 

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