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How to Squash those Holiday Cravings

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Nov 25, 2019

Butternut Squash Healthy meals are easy

eat healthy vegetables

Filling up on veggies is a top rule for anyone wanting to eat healthier, yet that doesn't have to sound boring. Check your favorite produce store for winter squashes, including the amusing shaped butternut squash. Like its cousin the sweet potato, it's often overlooked as a starch, yet the orange interior reflects it is rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body.

One cup of Butternut Squash (cubed and cooked) yields 127% of the US RDA for Vitamin A, with 80 calories, 4g sugar, 21g of carbs. Far more favorable than mashed potatoes with (or without) gravy! Factor in the 7g of fiber and you're on your way to RDA daily mark of 25-30g fiber per day.

Beta carotene, as one of the team members of antioxidants, on its own offers many nutritional benefits. Butternut Squash also has ample potassium (more than the benchmark banana) plus 30% of your daily RDA of Calcium. Other minerals at hand include Iron and Niacin, along with Vitamin E.

Winter Wondering

Other winter squashes you can try - (measuring nutrients to the one cubed cooked cup)

  • Acorn Squash has more fiber and potassium, though less vitamin A than Butternut. 9 grams fiber per cubed cooked cup, potassium (896 mg).
  • Pumpkin Squash has both alpha and beta carotene. Alpha carotene also converts vitamin A in the body; Pumpkin Squash has twice as much of alpha than Butternut.
  • Spaghetti Squash is yellow and can even be used as an alternative to spaghetti. Lower in calories and carbohydrates than the other squashes mentioned here, but also lower in fiber. As a pasta substitute though, you'll consumer only 42 healhty veggie calories not pasta carb 200 calories.
Feeling Preppy

Summing it up with preparation, all of these can simply be sliced and roasted, with familiar spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or clove or allspice. For easier prep you can often buy these pre-cut in stores, though caution on canned variants due to added sugars. You can even puree squashes to make satisfying soups and sauces too. Some folks even suggest smoothies, accompaniments such as apple, nut butter and soy or almond milk.

Hungry for More

Learn more healthy dieting and meal structures from Dr Oksana Aron at WeightLossNYC.com

Sources: Consumer Reports, Pexels

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She lost 60 lbs before her 60th birthday

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Jul 2, 2019

She’s lost 60 lbs before her 60th birthday — and heading for 20 more

Her kids now in college, she looked at what she wanted to be in this next stage of her life; With most of her 83 pound weight loss goal achieved she joyfully reflects on her healthy regimen with just 20 more pounds to go before her 60th birthday.

Prep School

She’s worked out a solid routine of three healthy meals a day without any mid-meal snacks. Obviously the early weeks were the most daunting, laying down the foundation for what has become her success story 8 months later.

Managing the daily challenges of real life setup some more obstacles in her path: managing the social obligations and even day to day cravings. She worked out some new strategies along the way to making better life habits and healthy choices.

Healthy Meal choices

Some of her magic spells include mashed cauliflower, and wine-free spritzers en verre

Congratulations!

Share your weight loss success story with us like Nancy did.

Images (c) 2018, Cite: Nancy Marland

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How Much Sugar is Hiding in Your Diet?

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Apr 13, 2019
Is Sugar hiding in your food?

Food labels often don't tell the full story. Viewing the ingredient list can often give you more details than the numerical summaries indicate.

Many foods are marketing as having less sugar than they do by using other names for the sugars that are added. Dozens of terms including fruit juice concentrate, beet sugar, [barley] malt syrup, evaporated cane juice, corn sweeter (and many other corn syrups including the nefarious HFCS) are just some of the more innocent sounding names of added sugars.

Despite attempts back in 2016 to have FDA mandated labeling for added sugar, efforts have stalled:

“Currently, the official Nutrition Facts Label does not require disclosure of the amount of "added sugar" in a product. "Added sugar" is the amount of sugar in a food or beverage item beyond what naturally occurs in the item.” [1]

Ultimately the best plan is to seek and eat least-processed foods and prepare them with ingredients you fully know. Barring that, start to take note of the colorful names in your ingredient labels and start to educate yourself on what items are really in your foods and if they are counter-productive to your goal to lessen sugars in your diet.

As always, you can discuss your food concerns with Dr. Aron during any of your visits. She can help you make healthy food choices for your weight loss dieting needs.

Sources: [1] Forbes, Here is how sugar is hiding in your snacks

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