Category Archives: Diets and Weight Loss

How to Eat Low Carb at Burger King

burgerking

How to Eat Low-Carb at Burger King 

Burger King is the second largest hamburger fast food chain restaurant, so it’s often convenient. But how does it stack up in terms of offerings for those of use who are cutting carbs? Here’s how to find your way around the Burger King (BK) menu.

 

Find Information About Carbs

There is a nutritional information brochure at Burger King, but it won’t tell you about custom options such as ordering a burger without the bun.

 

 

But some of that information is available online:

 

Nutritional Information: Information, including carbohydrates, on all the standard Burger King menu items. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell about the individual components. McDonald’s does this, and it’s very helpful. You might be able to guess about the condiments by looking at the McDonald’s tool.

 

Ordering Burgers

Obviously, ordering burgers without the bun is the way to go. You will get the burger in a plastic container with most of the condiments. As with many other places, mayo seems to be considered a condiment for the bun, not the burger, and you won’t get it unless you ask for it. You may have to ask for a knife and fork to go with it. Hamburgers have zero carbs, but some of the condiments have carbohydrate. Other than saying that the ketchup has 3 grams of carbohydrate and the mayonnaise zero, BK does not give information about the condiments.

 

Other Sandwiches

The best bet on other sandwiches is the Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich without the bun at 3 grams of carbohydrate. If you get the Veggie Burger bunless, it will cost you 19 grams of carb, and the rest of the sandwiches go up from there.

 

Salads

Salads at BK are, unfortunately, a little disappointing.

 

 

In particular, the last time I checked them out the side salads were almost entirely iceberg lettuce. A thin slice of tomato and a few tiny carrots complete the “Garden Salad”. The base for the meal salads was a little better, as it had the more-nutritious romaine lettuce included.

 

The only low-carb meal salad option is the Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad, at 8 grams of net carbohydrate (not counting dressing and skip the croutons). The Tendercrisp Chicken Salad has 23 grams of net carbs because the chicken is breaded.

 

The dressings, as always, contain a wide range of carbohydrate. The best one is the Ranch Dressing at 2 grams of carbohydrate per packet. Do NOT get the Fat Free Ranch Dressing, as it contains

 

15 grams of sugar! The Creamy Caesar and Light Italian dressings could also reasonable choices, at 4 and 5 grams, respectively. And you don’t have to use the whole thing, of course.

 

Sides and Desserts

The only real possibility is the Fresh Apple Fries (which aren’t fried, BTW) at 5 grams net carbs. Skip the caramel sauce of course.

 

If you just want a Chicken Tender or two, they are a little over 2 grams of carb apiece. Choose the Ranch dipping sauce at 1 gram per container.

 

Breakfast

There are a couple of omelet sandwiches that you could get without the bun, but there is no information about carb counts in that case.

 

 

Beverages

Obviously water, diet sodas, and coffee are the zero carb options (or almost so). Don’t be tempted by the iced coffee, with a diet-busting 66 grams of carbohydrate. And believe it or not, the shakes go up to 154 grams of carbohydrate and 960 calories!!

 

With care, an occasional meal at BK won’t break your diet, but there isn’t enough nutrition available there to make it a habit

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

L Dotson

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-Well

 

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Best and Worst Choices for KFC Foods

kfc

Best and Worst Health Choices at KFC

 

Most healthy eaters consider chicken to be a diet-friendly food. But the menu at Kentucky Fried Chicken can challenge even the most dedicated dieter. If you check KFC nutrition facts, you’ll see that many menu items are loaded with fat and calories—including the chicken. But it is possible to eat at KFC when you’re trying to lose weight and even to make healthy choices on the menu.

 

Analyzing the KFC Menu

The KFC menu is built around items that are fried.

 

 

So even though chicken is usually a good source of lean protein, most of the chicken items on this menu are going to less healthy. In addition, the side dishes—primarily comfort foods like mashed potatoes, corn bread and macaroni and cheese—will increase your fat and calorie intake while providing very little nutritional value.

 

However, there are a few grilled selections on the Kentucky Fried Chicken menu that are better for your health. For example the Grilled Chicken Breast provides just 180 calories and 6 grams of total fat. You’ll also get 31 grams of metabolism-boosting protein when you choose this food.

 

Most Popular KFC Food

Original Recipe and Extra Crispy Chicken are very popular choices at KFC. But the Original Recipe Chicken Breast is loaded with fat and sodium (see label). If you select the Extra Crispy Chicken Breast, you’ll consume 390 calories, 23 grams of fat and 870 milligrams of sodium.

 

Extra Crispy Tenders are also a menu favorite at KFC.

 

 

A single order provides 140 calories, 7 grams of fat 10 grams of protein and 310 milligrams of sodium. And wings are another popular food. An order of KFC Chicken Hot Wings provides 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 160 milligrams of sodium. But a serving size is just 22 grams, which is very small. You are likely to consume several servings of this food.

 

Sandwiches and wraps are also popular at KFC. The Crispy Twister, for example, includes a tortilla, extra crispy tenders, mayo, tomatoes, shredded cheese and lettuce. There are 630 calories in the KFC twister wrap, and 34 grams of fat.

 

Healthiest Options on the Kentucky Fried Chicken Menu

Grilled items will be best for your diet at KFC, but if you love the taste of fried chicken, you still have options. Choose one of these meals to keep your fat and calorie intake in control.

 

Traditional KFC Meal: 480 calories

 

Original Recipe Chicken Breast: 320 calories

Corn on the Cob: 70 calories

Mashed Potatoes: 90 calories

Grilled Chicken Meal: 385 calories

 

Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast: 180 calories

Green Beans: 25 calories

Biscuit: 180 calories

Crispy Chicken Salad Meal: 450 calories

 

Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad: 330 calories

Marzetti Light Italian Dressing: 15 calories

 

Cornbread Muffin (half muffin): 105 calories

 

 

Least Healthy Choices on the KFC Menu

 

 

One of the reasons that a Kentucky Fried Chicken meal is challenging for dieters is that many menu items are served family-style. This can make portion control very difficult. In addition, many of the most popular foods at KFC are fried. So even though they provide a dose of healthy protein, it comes bundled with fat and calories.

 

To stick to your diet when you eat at KFC, follow these three rules to avoid common mistakes that can send your daily fat and calorie intake through the roof.

 

Order only single-serve items. Skip the family-style buckets and platters – even if you are eating with a group. That way you know you are consuming only the calories that are posted on the menu board. You may also want to avoid KFC’s popular Go Cups if you are trying to slim down. You don’t get enough food to justify the 500 (or more) calories you’ll consume when you eat one.

Be smart with salad choices. Salads are usually healthy, but there aren’t any grilled salad choices at KFC. Each of the entree salads at Kentucky Fried Chicken comes with fried chicken on top. And the calorie counts listed do not include dressing. You can include these in your diet (see the meal listed above) if you crave crispy chicken, but a healthier choice is to order the side salad and add a piece of grilled chicken on top.

Be selective about sides.  The KFC sides you choose can make or break your entire meal. So check the nutrition facts for your favorite dish before you order. The healthiest side dish is Green Beans with only 25 calories and zero grams of fat. Potato wedges are the worst with 290 calories and 15 grams of fat. You might also want to skip the BBQ Baked Beans. Even though beans sound healthy, this recipe will add 210 calories to your total intake.

Lastly, remember to drink water instead of soda when you visit KFC or any fast food restaurant. It’s a better choice for your body when you consume the high sodium levels that you find in many fried foods. And try to make your food choices before you go. That way you’re not distracted by the pictures on the menu board and you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

M Frey

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-Well

 

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Best and Worst Food Choices at McDonalds

eggmcmuffin

Best and Worst Health Choices at McDonald’s

 

Analyzing the McDonald’s Menu

 

McDonald’s and many other fast food restaurants post calorie counts for each of their food products.

 

 

But if you are in the drive-thru lane you might not have time to grab your calculator and do the math. So be safe and stick to sandwiches that include grilled meat or chicken to keep the calorie count low. You’ll also boost your daily protein intake with those choices.

 

It’s also a good idea to skip the French fries and choose fruit instead. If you want to indulge, get a small size of fries and choose a smaller sandwich. And your best bet for saving calories? Skip the soda! Get water and add lemon to make the water taste better.

 

The best way to stay healthy at McDonald’s is to order a la carte. That means you bypass the popular Value Meals and only order the menu items that you love so you don’t waste calories on foods you don’t need.

While you might imagine that burgers rule at McDonald’s, French fries, chicken sandwiches, and chicken nuggets are also very popular. Even breakfast items rank very high on the McDonald’s must-have list. These are calorie counts for some of the most popular items:

 

A 4-piece order of Chicken McNuggets provides 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbohydrate.

 

The more popular 10-piece order of Chicken McNuggets provides 440 calories, 27 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbohydrate. Double those numbers for the 20-piece chicken nugget calories and nutrition.

An Egg McMuffin provides 290 calories, 12 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein and 29 grams of carbohydrate.

A McChicken sandwich provides 350 calories, 15 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrate.

One Quarter Pounder with Cheese provides 540 calories, 27 grams of fat, 31 grams of protein and 42 grams of carbohydrate.

A Filet-O-Fish sandwich provides 390 calories, 19 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrate.

A Cheeseburger provides 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbohydrate.

If you choose to enjoy your meal with one of McDonald’s popular sweetened drinks, you’ll have to add more calories. A large McDonald’s Sweet Tea contains 160 calories and a large Coca-Cola contains 300 calories.

Healthiest Options on the McDonald’s Menu

There are some items that are lower in calories. Depending on the meal you choose to enjoy, there are several different ways to enjoy a full meal for under 500 calories.

 

McDonald’s Breakfast Under 500 Calories

There are some items you should avoid if you are watching your waistline.

 

 

The Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle provides 550 calories. And the Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddle doesn’t fare much better at 420 calories. These items, however, should keep you satisfied and won’t ruin your daily calorie count:

 

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 310 calories

Apple Slices: 15 calories

Coffee: 0 calories (no cream or sugar)

Lowfat Milk: 100 calories

Total: 425 calories

 

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: 150 calories

Iced Latte: 60 calories (medium with nonfat milk)

Hash Browns: 150 calories

Total 360 calories

 

Egg McMuffin: 290 calories

Hash Browns: 150 calories

Black coffee: 0 calories

Total: 440 calories

Low-Calorie McDonald’s Lunch or Dinner

Most dieters will visit McDonald’s for their popular lunch or dinner burgers and fries.

 

So can you enjoy these popular favorites and still keep your weight loss program on track? Yes! Just stay away from the super-sized items and high-fat condiments like mayonnaise and cheese.

 

Milk: 100 calories (1% low fat)

Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese or tortilla strips): 260 calories

Fruities (Mandarin orange): 35 calories

Total: 395 calories

 

Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 380 calories

Side Salad: (no dressing) 20 calories

Water: 0 calories

Total: 400 calories

 

Hamburger: 250 calories

Kids Fries: 110 Calories

Small Diet Soda

Total: 360 calories

 

Cheeseburger: 300 calories

Side Salad: 20 calories

Newman’s Own Low Fat Dressing: 80 calories

Water

Total: 400 calories

 

Hamburger: 250 calories

Small fries: 230 calories

Water

Total 480 calories

Unhealthiest Food on the McDonald’s Menu

As you might expect, the fries won’t do wonders for your diet. An order of large French Fries contains 510 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 66 grams of carbohydrate. And you might also want to avoid the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese which will add 780 calories and 45 grams of fat to your daily total.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

M Frey

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-Well

 

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Study Confirms Preservative in Cereal Promotes Obesity.

cereal

Study Confirms Preservative in Cereal Promotes Obesity

 

Many animal studies have suggested that chemicals added to breakfast cereals and other common products are adding to America’s obesity crisis, but showing exactly how the process happens in humans has been difficult. Scientists at Cedars-Sinai have solved the problem.

 

The researchers tested three chemicals that are common in modern life. Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) is an antioxidant commonly added to breakfast cereals and other foods to protect nutrients and keep fats from turning rancid; perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a polymer found in some cookware, carpeting and other products; and tributyltin (TBT) is a compound in paints that can make its way into water and accumulate in seafood.

 

The investigators used hormone-producing tissues grown from human stem cells to demonstrate how chronic exposure to these chemicals can interfere with signals sent from the digestive system to the brain that let people know when they are “full” during meals. When this signaling system fails, people may continue to eat, thus gaining weight.

 

“We discovered that each of these chemicals damaged hormones that communicate between the gut and the brain,” said Dhruv Sareen, Ph.D. When the three chemicals were tested together, the result was even more pronounced.

 

Of the three chemicals tested, BHT produced some of the strongest detrimental effects, Sareen said. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a chemical allowed to be used as a food additive to prevent oxidation.

 

 

BHT is on the Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS — generally recognized as safe — list. It is used in foods, such as cereals — although some food manufacturers have eliminated it from their products — and is also used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Some studies, however, have indicated that in addition to weight gain, BHT also increases the risk of cancer, and can cause liver enlargement.

 

Sareem said that while other researchers have shown the compounds can disrupt hormone systems in laboratory animals, the new study is the first to use human pluripotent stem cells and tissues to show how they may disrupt hormones that are critical to preventing obesity in people.

 

Sareem’s research found that the chemical damage occurred in early-stage “young” cells, suggesting that the findings may indicate that a defective hormone signaling system could perhaps impact a pregnant mother as well as her fetus in the womb.

 

More than 80,000 chemicals are approved in the United State for use in everyday items such as foods, personal care products, household cleaners and lawn-care products, according to the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While the program states on its website that relatively few chemicals are thought to pose a significant risk to human health, it also states: “We do not know the effects of many of these chemicals on our health.”

 

It has been difficult to test these chemicals on humans because of the health risks of exposing human subjects to possibly harmful substances, so many widely used compounds remain unevaluated in humans for their health effects, especially to the hormone system.

 

“By testing these chemicals on actual human tissues in the lab, we potentially could make these evaluations easier to conduct and more cost-effective,” Sareen said.

 

Earlier studies have suggested that BHT increases the risk of cancer, and can cause liver enlargement.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure with Onions

onion-flower

Lower Your BP with Onions

 

Lower your Blood Pressure with a daily dose of onions.

 

In a Spanish study, eating 1/3 cup of onions daily, any kind of onions,

 

it cut patients blood pressure by 21% in five weeks. Onions are

 

rich in quercetin, a natural diuretic that lowers pressure by

 

flushing our excess fluids and salt. Many people stop eating onions

 

because of bad breath worries, but please put them back in your

 

diet and make sure any older people put them back in their diets

 

also, to avoid congestive heart problems.

 

If you are having any concerns, please call us and ask to set up a consultation.

 

Picture:  Onion Flower

 

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Archived

 

312-972-Well

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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The Link Between Sugar and Depression

staring

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

 

Men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years than those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day

Other studies have also linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, showing a low-sugar diet is an important part of the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems

Sugar increases your risk of depression by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, suppressing BDNF, affecting dopamine, damaging your mitochondria and promoting chronic inflammation

 

How Sugar Raises Your Depression Risk

A number of other studies have also identified mechanisms by which excessive sugar consumption can wreak havoc with your mental health. For example, eating excessive amounts of sugar:

 

  • Contributes to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in mental health.

 

  • Suppresses activity of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone that promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels tend to be critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, and animal models suggest this may actually be a causative factor.

 

  • Affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system9 (hence sugar’s addictive potential10,11,12) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.13

 

  • Damages your mitochondria, which can have body-wide effects. Your mitochondria generate the vast majority of the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) in your body. When sugar is your primary fuel, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals are created, which damage cellular mitochondrial membranes and DNA.

 

Needless to say, as your mitochondria are damaged, the energy currency in your body declines and your brain will struggle to work properly. Healthy dietary fats, on the other hand, create far fewer ROS and free radicals. Fats are also critical for the health of cellular membranes and many other biological functions, including and especially the functioning of your brain.

 

Among the most important fats for brain function and mental health are the long-chained animal-based omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, but DHA is actually a component in every cell of your body, and 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA.

 

  • Promotes chronic inflammation which, in the long term, disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, thereby raising your risk of depression. A 2004 cross-cultural analysis14 of the relationship between diet and mental illness found a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk for depression and schizophrenia.

 

It also concluded that dietary predictors of depression are similar to those for diabetes and heart disease. One of the hallmarks of these diseases is chronic inflammation, which sugar is a primary driver of. So, excessive amounts of sugar can truly set off an avalanche of negative health events — both physical and mental.

 

Inflammation May Be the No. 1 Risk Factor for Depression

Another previous study published in the International Breastfeeding Journal15 found inflammation may be more than just another risk factor. It may actually be the primary risk factor that underlies all others. According to the researchers:

 

“The old paradigm described inflammation as simply one of many risk factors for depression. The new paradigm is based on more recent research that has indicated that physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation. These recent studies constitute an important shift in the depression paradigm: inflammation is not simply a risk factor; it is the risk factor that underlies all the others.

 

Moreover, inflammation explains why psychosocial, behavioral and physical risk factors increase the risk of depression. This is true for depression in general and for postpartum depression in particular.”

 

In another study,16 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.” Here, they refer specifically to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also found depression is closely linked to dysfunction in the gut-brain axis, in which gut inflammation plays an important role.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Are Also Strongly Associated With Depression

Unfortunately, many are under the mistaken belief they can protect their health by swapping refined sugar for artificial sweeteners. Nothing could be further from the truth, as research suggests artificial sweeteners may actually be more detrimental to your health than regular sugar. For example:

 

  • In a 1986 evaluation of reactions to food additives,17 aspartame (in commonly consumed amounts) was linked to mood alterations such as anxiety, agitation, irritability and depression.

 

  • A 1993 study18 found that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame, suggesting its use in this population should be discouraged. In the clinical study, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

 

  • In 2008, researchers asserted that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders and may compromise emotional functioning.19

 

  • Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in 2013 found that consumption of sweetened beverages — whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners — was associated with an increased risk of depression.20,21 The study included nearly 264,000 American adults over the age of 50 who were enrolled in an AARP diet and health study.

 

At the outset, participants filled out a detailed dietary survey. At a 10-year follow-up, they were asked whether they’d been diagnosed with depression at any point during the past decade.

 

Those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks. Regular soda drinkers had a 22 percent increased risk.

 

To Cure Depression, Be Sure to Address Root Causes

According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,22,23 affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.24 According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.25

 

While a number of different factors can contribute to depression, I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role. There’s no doubt in my mind that radically reducing or eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet is a crucial step to prevent and/or address depression.

 

One simple way to dramatically reduce your sugar intake is to replace processed foods with real whole foods. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower odds of depression and anxiety,26,27 an effect ascribed to antioxidants that help combat inflammation in your body. Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, so it’s important to eat a varied whole food diet.

 

Another major contributor to depression and anxiety is microwave exposure from wireless technologies, which I address below. To suggest that depression is rooted in poor diet and other lifestyle factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

 

Considering the many hazards associated with antidepressants (the efficacy of which have been repeatedly found to be right on par with placebo), it would be wise to address the known root causes of depression, which are primarily lifestyle-based. Drugs, even when they do work, do not actually fix the problem. They only mask it.

 

Antidepressants may also worsen the situation, as many are associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term. So, before you resort to medication, please consider addressing the lifestyle strategies listed below.

Nondrug Solutions for Depression

Limit microwave exposure from wireless technologies

 

Studies have linked excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.28 Power lines and high-voltage cables appear to be particularly troublesome. Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research from the University of Illinois.29

 

Research30 by Dr. Martin Pall reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.

 

Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When that happens, about 1 million calcium ions per second are released, which stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO) inside your cell and mitochondria. The NO then combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which in turn creates hydroxyl free radicals, which are the most destructive free radicals known to man.

 

Hydroxyl free radicals decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.

 

Hence, health problems such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.

 

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Call us for information and help with preventative medicine.  If you are not comfortable with that, make sure your physician is certified or had done a specialty in preventative medicine. The trick question to ask is, where did you go to school for that.   Easy to look up, not many schools offer it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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The Path to a New You, Starts in the Kitchen

newpath

The Path to a New You, Starts in the Kitchen.

 

Add these 21 must-eat foods to your menu.

 

When you’re choosing recipes to help you and your family, focus on foods that haven’t been heavily processed with artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, or excess sodium. Be especially wary of packaged products promoted as diet foods. They may be lower in calories and fat, but they’re often higher in artificial sweeteners and sodium, ingredients manufacturers add to make the product taste better and encourage you to eat more.

 

For the foods below, we’ve included the factors that make them smart choices as well as a healthy recipe that incorporates that ingredient. You’ll find foods that satisfy your appetite with lean protein and monounsaturated fats. We’ve also included plenty of high fiber foods on our list as well. Do you want low-calorie ingredients? You’ll find lots of those superfoods too.

 

  1. Almonds | Fiber, Monounsaturated Fat
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar | Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
  3. Avocado | Monounsaturated Fat
  4. Beets | Diuretic, Low Calorie
  5. Brussels Sprouts| Fiber, Low Calorie
  6. Cauliflower | Fiber, Low Calorie
  7. Chia Seeds | Fiber, Protein
  8. Chicken | Low Calorie, Protein
  9. Egg | Protein
  10. Greek Yogurt | Protein
  11. Green Tea | Catechins
  12. Kale | Fiber, Low Calorie
  13. Mangoes | Fiber
  14. Oatmeal | Fiber
  15. Quinoa | Fiber, Protein
  16. Raspberries | Fiber, Raspberry Ketones
  17. Salmon | Protein
  18. Squash | Fiber, Low Calorie
  19. Turkey | Protein
  20. Walnuts | Monounsaturated Fat
  21. Zucchini | Diuretic, Low Calorie

 

Please adjust this for your needs and for the medications you are taking, and the medical conditions you may have.  Example: If you have a dairy restriction, no yogurt.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Health Care and Preventative Medicine

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy-Chicken-and-Broccoli-Casserole-600x400

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

 

Creamy casseroles are a favorite when the weather gets chilly, but they’re not always Paleo diet friendly. This easy broccoli casserole recipe layers chicken with vegetables for a filling and comforting meal. Crisp bacon and crunchy almonds give it that casserole-like top, without starchy breadcrumbs or cheese.

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 head(s) broccoli cut into thin slices

3/4 head(s) cauliflower cut into thin slices

1/2 pound(s) mushrooms sliced

2 piece(s) chicken breast(s), boneless skinless (4-6 oz)

1 cup(s) coconut milk, full fat

1 large egg(s)

1/2 cup(s) chicken broth

1/2 cup(s) almonds sliced

4 slice(s) bacon cooked and crumbled

1 tablespoon(s) coconut oil for cooking chicken

1/8 teaspoon(s) sea salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon(s) black pepper to taste

Instructions

 

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 TB coconut oil or other cooking oil of your choice when hot.

Season chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper if desired and sauté for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice until fully cooked. Chop into bite-size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Layer the broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and cooked chicken in a (9×13) casserole dish, seasoning with salt and pepper between each layer.

In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the coconut milk with the egg and chicken broth until well combined. Pour over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with almonds and bacon. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until almonds are lightly toasted and casserole is bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

Sausage and Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

Sausage-and-Zucchini-Breakfast-Casserole-3.jpg

Sausage and Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

 

This quick and easy Paleo dish takes a classic combination of sausage, mushrooms and thyme and adds eggs and zucchini to make a filling and delicious breakfast casserole. We recommend assembling the casserole the night before, and then baking it in the morning – it will save you a ton of time and you will have a piping hot breakfast to start off your day right!

 

Ingredients

 

3 medium zucchini trimmed

4 large mushroom(s), white button or cremini halved

1 large onion(s), yellow peeled and quartered

1 pound(s) sausage, ground breakfast

1/2 tablespoon(s) thyme, fresh (optional)

2 tablespoon(s) almond flour

6 large egg(s)

1/2 teaspoon(s) garlic, granulated

1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place a grater blade on a medium or large food processor (or just use a box grater to shred the veggies by hand). Grate the zucchini, mushrooms and onion. With a paper towel, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini.

Scrape the veggie mixture into the bottom of a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and lightly pat down to form an even surface.

Crumble the raw sausage on top of the veggies. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and almond flour.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, granulated garlic, sea salt, and cayenne (optional) and whisk until eggs are a pale yellow (about 30 seconds).

Pour egg mixture evenly over sausage and veggies in the baking dish. It should sink to the bottom of the pan.

Place in oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until browned on top and cooked through. There will be some residual water from the vegetables.

Cool at least 15 minutes. Slice into 4 servings and enjoy warm or cold.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Forget the Diet! Eat your Way Fit!

nutrienddensefoods

 

Eat Your Way Fit With Nutrient-Dense Foods

The Benefits of Nutrient Density Instead of Diet for Weight Management

 

Going on a diet can feel overwhelming and the results typically unsatisfying. Diets and diet trends are a billion-dollar market targeting consumers who want to lose fat and gain muscle. Many diets also lack nutrients, according to research.

 

Have you considered not dieting? Instead of continued caloric restriction leaving you hungry, tired, and frustrated, maybe a different approach would be better.

 

 

How about trying nutrient-dense foods as an alternative to reduce body fat? This is not a diet but simply a change in the kind of food you eat to achieve a healthy body. The idea is to eat cleaner, not less, as a lifestyle.

 

Eating nutrient-dense foods even allows you to eat more and still lose fat. This is often hard to grasp for long-term dieters used to severe calorie restriction for reducing fat. The difference is the quality of nutrient-dense foods vs the calories and how they function in our body.

 

What Are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods contain macro and micronutrients important for our health. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats providing calories (energy) to our body. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals also coming from nutrient-rich foods. We require all nutrients in varying quantities for optimal fitness. Research indicates nutrient-rich foods help boost our metabolism and enable us to efficiently lose body fat.

 

Protein is the powerhouse macronutrient for muscle recovery. Select healthier options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, or albacore tuna over processed cold cuts or ham. Eating nutrient-dense protein means keeping it cleaner and leaner.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source macronutrient for optimal health and fitness. Nutrient-dense carbs include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating processed foods, white products and pastries if you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

Fats are the secondary energy source macronutrient for optimal body functioning. Keep your fats nutrient-rich by avoiding saturated fast foods, creamy salad dressings, and cheesy casseroles. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and natural peanut butter to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

How Do They Reduce Body Fat?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients and low in calories allowing us to eat cleaner not less to reduce body fat. Superfoods or real foods are also common names for nutrient-dense foods. They’re easily digested and nutrients utilized for proper body functioning. Chronic studies indicate eating nutrient-dense foods as an effective and healthy way to lose weight.

 

Research shows optimal body fat levels are better achieved when we focus on food quality rather than calorie counting. This is more of a statement of how nutrient-dense foods are full of essential nutrients but lower in calorie. We can eat more for lesser calories and feel satisfied throughout the day.

 

In order to lose body fat, our body requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating nutrient-dense foods stimulates our metabolism and creates a fat-burning machine. Our body functions better supplied with the energy required to burn fat and gain muscle.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient-dense foods help reduce body fat through several functions:

 

Provides the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for optimal body functioning.

Increases our metabolism and stimulates the body to effectively burn body fat.

Balanced nutrients maintain our energy level for improved workouts.

Proper nutrient amounts help regulate blood sugar favoring normal values instead of spiked glucose (sugar). Controlling our blood sugar is essential to reducing body fat.

Promotes satiety and curbs cravings.

Improves leptin hormone function in the body and better regulates fat stores.

The Research

Research is an important step to obtain evidence that supports or opposes scientific claims. Many diets are flooding the market with grandiose promises but without positive clinical findings to back it up. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take the time to research the facts before trying the next diet trend.

 

Chronic studies on nutrient-dense foods show positive feedback for fat loss. They’re high antioxidant values are indicated to reduce the risk of disease and hypertension. Research shows nutrient rich foods as an effective way to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

 

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares nutrient intake and links to obesity. A large study group was divided by body mass index (BMI) levels ranging from normal weight, overweight and obese. The research indicated those participants who were overweight or obese had low intakes of micronutrients and high nutrient deficiencies. The normal weight group consumed a regular menu of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Other research on using nutrient-dense foods to break the cycle of obesity appears in the National Institutes of Health. A workshop was conducted examining improved quality of life and health at every age eating nutrient-dense foods as preventative medicine. It was indicated using the nutrient density approach as a valuable nutritional education tool. It was explained eating nutrient dense foods could help resolve nutrient deficiencies and decrease the risk of being overfat or obese.

 

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine examined the effects of nutrient-dense foods on long-term weight loss. Research participants were seeking dietary counseling to lose weight. The trial included a high nutrient density meal plan with recipes for each volunteer. The patients were followed for a two-year period recording total weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Some participants dropped out but those 33 continuing after one year lost an average of 31 pounds. Nineteen patients returned for the two-year follow-up and each lost an average of 53 pounds. Significant decreases in cholesterol and improved blood pressure were also recorded.

 

The common thread with all research feedback is nutrient-dense foods have the “potential to provide sustainable, significant, long-term weight loss.” Additionally, nutrient rich foods are shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nutrient-dense foods as a lifestyle appears to greatly reduce body fat and improve our health in general.

 

Are Some Nutrient Dense Foods Better Than Others?

National nutrition guidelines recommend eating nutrient-dense foods to help reduce chronic disease and obesity. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition recommends a science-based nutrition profiling system assigning a nutrient value per food.

 

A study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a classification scheme for powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Powerhouse foods are described as those helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. So, yes there will be foods higher in nutrient value than others.

 

Nutrient-dense foods with a value greater than 10 are considered powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) according to the study. The following PFV value system is provided to improve our understanding and health benefits of nutrient-dense foods:

 

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables Value System

Food

Nutrient Density Score

 

Food      Nutrient Density Score

Watercress         100        Scallion 27.35

Chinese cabbage              91.99     Kohlrabi               25.92

Chard    89.27     Cauliflower         25.13

Beet green          87.08     Cabbage              24.51

Spinach 86.43     Carrot   22.60

Chicory 73.36     Tomato 20.37

Leaf lettuce         70.73     Lemon   18.72

Parsley  65.59     Iceberg lettuce  18.28

Romaine lettuce               63.48     Strawberry          17.59

Collard green     62.49     Radish   16.91

Turnip green      62.12     Winter squash    13.89

Mustard green   61.39     Orange  12.91

Endive   60.44     Lime      12.23

Chive     54.80     Grapefruit (pink/red)       11.64

Kale       49.07     Rutabaga             11.58

Dandelion green              46.34     Turnip    11.43

Red pepper         41.26     Blackberry           11.39

Arugula 37.65     Leek       10.69

Broccoli 34.89     Sweet potato     10.51

Pumpkin               33.82     Grapefruit (white)            10.47

Brussels sprout  32.23

nutrient density calculated as average percent daily value based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet, meeting criteria for 17 nutrients as provided by 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 meaning the food provides on average 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal.

 

Another highly referenced nutrient density chart was developed by nutrition expert and board-certified physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He believes your health is directly related to the nutrient density of your diet. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI). The ANDI ranks common foods “on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.”

 

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score      Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score

Kale                                 1000                                       Sunflower                                   64

Collard Greens                 1000                                      Kidney Beans                      64

Mustard Greens               1000                                     Green Peas                                                        63

Watercress                       1000                                           Cherries                                   55

Swiss Chard                      895                                         Pineapple                                     54

Bok Choy                           865                                          Apple                                                         53

Spinach                              707                                     Mango                                               53

Arugula                              604                                      Peanut Butter                                  51

Romaine                             510                                      Corn                                                   45

Brussels Sprouts               490                                      Pistachio Nuts                                  37

Carrots                              458                                       Oatmeal                                            36

Cabbage                          434                                         Shrimp                                                36

Broccoli                              340                                      Salmon                                               34

Cauliflower                        315                                      Eggs                                                    31

Bell Peppers        265        Milk, 1%              31

Asparagus           245        Walnuts               30

Mushrooms        238        Bananas               30

Tomato 186        Whole Wheat Bread       30

Strawberries       182        Almonds              28

Sweet Potato     181        Avocado              28

Zucchini               164        Brown Rice         28

Artichoke             145        White Potato     28

Blueberries          132        Plain Yogurt, Low Fat      28

Iceberg Lettuce 127        Cashews              27

Grapes  119        Chicken Breast   24

Pomegranates    119        Ground Beef, 85% lean   21

Cantaloupe         118        Feta Cheese        20

Onions  109        French Fries        12

Flax Seeds           103        White Pasta        11

Orange  98           Cheddar Cheese               11

Edamame            98           Apple Juice         11

Cucumber            87           Olive Oil               10

Tofu       82           White Bread       9

Sesame Seeds    74           Vanilla Ice Cream             9

Lentils   72           Corn Chips          7

Peaches               65           Cola       1

Bottom Line

Many diets lack nutrients only certain foods can provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods will allow you to skip the diet, eat more, and still lose fat.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

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