It’s important to make each calorie count, especially when you are trying to get back into your skinny clothes.
Many foods are packed with nutrients plus mother nature gave them a little something more that could help keep you even healthier.
Here are some of my favorite healthy suggestions.
Many foods are naturally rich in plant sterols, which have been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. All whole grains, for example, are high in plant sterols. So load up on rice bran, oat bran, whole wheat and brown rice. Other great plant sterol sources include dried peas, dried beans and lentils, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans.
Plant sterols are so good at lowering cholesterol that over the last few years, manufacturers have started adding them to a dizzying array of foods most of us buy every week including bread, cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, milk, muffins, snack bars, and juices. These fortified products carry an FDA-authorized heart-health claim, recognizing that they can be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet. Just be sure to read the labels carefully. While plant sterols are healthful, these products are not necessarily low calorie.
Palm Fruit Oil
Even though palm fruit oil has received a lot of bad press it is surprisingly healthy and can be used in place of olive oil in most cooking applications. Palm fruit oil is the most widely produced edible oil in the world. Red palm fruit oil contains 13 to 15 times more carotenes than carrots and 40-50 times more than tomatoes. Carotenes are the building blocks of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining good vision and supporting our immune system. Carotenes also are potent antioxidants, which are associated with fighting the aging process and some chronic diseases.
The virgin and red varieties of palm oil are also rich in powerful antioxidants called tocotrienol and tocopherols (vitamin E). Plus, this cooking oil won’t raise your cholesterol! While that doesn’t mean you should eat large amounts of chicken wings fried with it, it is reassuring to know that when you cook or bake with it, it will taste great, it won’t raise your cholesterol and it delivered beneficial nutrients.
Being sensitive and proactive on current environmental concerns, the palm oil industry is actively pursuing ISO 14000 standard series discussions and formulations on climate change, life cycle analysis ecolabeling & design for the environment, environmental communications, and environmental management system.
The next time you’re feeling a little sluggish and need an energy boost, reach for a carton of Greek yogurt. People sometimes call Greek yogurt a protein powerhouse since the protein content is concentrated. The typical protein content of an American style yogurt is five grams while Greek yogurts can reach up to 20 grams!
Written by Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, a registered dietician, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. Her new book is called Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She hosted TLC’s groundbreaking series, Honey We’re Killing the Kids!! She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes.