Showing posts with label sodium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sodium. Show all posts

Nov 25, 2019

How to Squash those Holiday Cravings


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

Apr 4, 2012

3 Great Reasons to Eat More Beans




Eat your legumes!


Yes, beans really are a miracle food of sorts. Packed with fiber and a high water content, they can also help you stay nice and trim. Here are some great reasons why you should make beans a staple in your diet.

Beans are satisfying

Because they contain a lot of fiber and water, they help you feel full and satisfied -- in a good way. The benefit: You eat less food and snack less, which can help you lose weight as you consume less overall calories. Fill up on healthy foods like beans instead of high-calorie foods with no health benefits!

Stay or get thin

Because you stay fuller longer and eat less, that means you'll be thinner, have less weight around the waist and weigh on average 7 pounds lighter than those who do not regularly consume beans, according to a recent study.

Other health benefits

With a slimmer waistline, you'll also have a decreased chance of diabetes and heart disease. The antioxidants present in beans (1/3 of your daily intake) can also help keep the free radicals at bay and provide some protection against cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Tip: If you buy canned beans, find a low- or no-salt version.

Source: fitsugar.com

Mar 3, 2012

Banish That Belly Bloat

What floats your bloat??

Knowing which healthy foods help you lose weight isn't good enough — you also need to know which types of food make you bloated and appear heavier than you really are so you can steer clear of them.


What’s the main culprit of a bloated belly? Sodium. You know, having too much salt in your diet, which typically comes from processed and/or junk food in your diet.

The top 10 sources of food that contribute to belly bloat, according to The Centers for Disease Control, are as follows:
  1. bread
  2. cold cuts and cured meats
  3. pizza
  4. poultry
  5. soups
  6. fast-food burgers and sandwiches
  7. cheese
  8. pasta
  9. meatloaf and other meat dishes
  10. salty snacks (potato chips, pretzels)

Not only can many of these foods add pounds, but they can make you look bloated and larger than your true size. Additionally, too much salt intake can lead to other health problems such as high blood pressure. By avoiding the less healthy foods in this list or at least limiting your intake, you can keep the weight off and the bloating away. Also, be sure to eat mainly whole, natural foods that aren’t processed for a healthy weight and size.

Tips for cutting down sodium

  • Season your food with spices instead of salt
  • When a recipe calls for salt and you are already using other ingredients such as canned tomatoes that contain salt, leave it out
  • Select foods that are "low-salt" or "no-salt." But be careful: foods marked as "reduced sodium" may still contain a lot of it. Aim for no more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.

Call WeightLossNYC™ for your free weight loss consultation at 718-491-5525

Today can be the beginning of a healthier you.


WeightLossNYC™ website: http://WeightLossNYC.com

Source: shine.yahoo.com; mayoclinic.com

Dec 29, 2010

New Year's Weight Loss Resolutions

avocado guacamole

Make Smart Food Choices

Every day we make food choices, and for those of us seeking healthy options often find ourselves tripped up by seemingly safe if not favorable choices, only to find, well, read on..

Men's Health recently exposed unhealthy ingredients lurking in many popular foods, serving up a reminder that we should always read the labels when buying any packaged foods.

Read Nutritional Labels

For regular readers of our WeightLossNYC™ diet blog, you already know to read nutritional labels with special attention to sodium, sugar and fat, and especially artificial sweeteners especially high-fructose corn syrup

We've even advised you that organic foods aren't always good calories. Here are a couple more key examples of how food labels can expose the hype:

Duck the Dip

Even seemingly healthy avocado goes incognito when packaged as "guacamole dip" — watch out for such products offering even as little as two percent avocado. (Do you even want to know what the other 98% is?)
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that American men eat 7% more calories than they did in 1971; American women [are eating] 18% more—an additional 335 calories a day!”

Low Hanging Fruit

Popular yogurt cups with fruit on the bottom are often really laden with so much sugar negating any real benefit of favoring yogurt for your diet. Consider adding your own fresh fruits to healthier yogurt brands.
yogurt diet

Got Questions?

We're here to help. Dr Aron & WeightLossNYC™ staff can help you make smart choices with your diet plan. Consider Antoinette who recently shared with us how her love for her native foods were adapted to suit her weight loss plan.

Aug 28, 2010

Organic Junk Food Is Just as Bad


Organic cookies, gummy bears and ice cream can now be found at grocery stores everywhere. Eating healthy organic food is healthier for you, but organic junk food is where things get tricky. Many people trying to lose weight mistakenly think organic junk food is permissible -- even healthy -- but they are just as bad for you as traditional junk food.

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at University of Michigan found that when faced with an organic junk food item vs. a non-organic junk food item, consumers seemed to think the organic version had less calories and was less fattening even though that was not correct. There is also a misconception that "organic" equals "healthy," which isn't necessarily true.

This is important for those watching their weight, especially as consumer interest in organic food rises.

When grocery shopping, read the nutrition facts and ingredients and watch for the following things to make healthier choices (whether organic or not):

*How many calories does it have?
*How much saturated fat?
*How much sodium?
*How much cholesterol?
*How much sugar?

It's okay to occasionally indulge in an organic junk food item -- just exercise caution (and don't forget to do physical exercise, either!). Even though an organic snack is made with organic unbleached flour and organic sugar it still can make you gain weight, especially if those calories are not used up.

Source: Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2010, pp. 144–150

Aug 8, 2010

Why You Need Water



Drinking water is a must if you are serious about losing weight. A smarter choice than soda or juice, water is pure, and contains no calories, sugars or fat. Not only does it keep your body hydrated to run properly, it can prevent you from eating too much.

These are just some of water's health benefits:

*Increases metabolism and keeps appetite in check
*Improves blood circulation
*Flushes out wastes and bacteria
*Decreases risk of some cancers (colon, bladder and breast cancers)
*Helps your complexion look better

A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who drank water before meals consumed 75 fewer calories per meal on average. This translate to a loss of 14.5 pounds if you eat 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner over one year.

The body can't always tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so we often eat when we are actually thirsty. This is helpful to note, especially since it can cause you to overeat.

Be sure to drink enough water and eat foods with high water content such as fruits, vegetables and soups. Usually eight 8-oz. glasses of water is enough for most adults to stay hydrated, but other factors such as being overweight, exercise activity, hot weather and pregnancy can affect that amount. Drink enough so that you are not thirsty and have about 6.3 cups of colorless urine per day. Too much water, however, may deplete your body of too many necessary salts and can have serious side effects. If you are still unsure about your water intake, discuss it with your doctor.

Sources: Huffington Post, CNN, Mayo Clinic

Jul 29, 2010

Healthy Foods that Fill You Up

legumes and fresh produce

Get a Leg Up on Legumes

Foods that are high in fiber and protein will keep you full longer because they take longer to digest. The meat and bean group has the most protein; it includes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and legumes. Beans and legumes are high in fiber as well, as are whole grains, and fruit and vegetables eaten with their seeds and peels. Vegetables are very filling and very low in calories too.[1]

Dieting Tip: Make a Sensible Start

Planning your daily caloric intake to achieve your target goal takes skill and practice; Making your menu of favorites and alternates for each meal is a helpful diet practice too. You can always switch things around to keep it fresh not boring, but ultimately your motivation is to find healthy nutritious meals you enjoy to eat, not to deprive or punish yourself daily!

Process This: Eat Fresh or Frozen

Americans eat 31% more packaged food than fresh food ... A sizeable portion is … read-to-eat-meals like frozen pizzas and microwave dinners, and salty or sweet snack foods.[2]

Choosy Dieters, Choose This..

Choosing foods with least amount of processing and processed ingredients gives you far more control over the quality as well as the quantity of food. Remember you never need to eat any portion of ANY meal that's before you. Knowing the right amount to eat is as much as having the right foods in front of you to enjoy.

[1]Source Hartley
[2]New York Times

Jun 29, 2010

Sodium Shake-down

sodium intake and nutritional values

“to shake or not to shake?”

Even if you never use a salt shaker at your meals, you may be ingesting far more sodium than your body needs, putting you at increased risk for high blood pressure (hypertension), strokes, cardiovascular disease and, it’s likely, ulcers and heartburn as well.

Yes, our bodies do need salt. It contains sodium which is an essential mineral. The recommended level for most Americans, which includes children, all African Americans, adults over age 40 and anyone with high blood pressure is 1500 milligrams (mg)/day. The recommended level for those who fall outside these categories is 2300 mg. Most Americans consume 3000-8000 mg/daily! Thus, most Americans are consuming two to five times the amount of sodium needed each day!

Weight Loss Tip: Use WeightLossNYC's Free Online Nutritional Calculator

Health experts have sounded a loud warning: Reducing intake to appropriate levels could save 150,000 lives per year, mostly by preempting high blood pressure.

Laudably, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced plans to reduce the amount of sodium in restaurant and processed foods gradually over the next ten years. Will this be enough and fast enough to reverse the effects of high sodium on Americans’ health? It’s certainly a step in the right direction but consumers must also educate themselves and make lower sodium choices.

Most Americans due to time and convenience factors will continue to use some processed foods. The key is to consider the sodium content (as well as fat and calories) on nutritional labels. — A typical example:

  • Tuna fish (half of a 5 oz. can) = 250 mg.
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread = 150 mg.
  • 1/2 can (7.5 ozs) of Trader Joe’s chicken noodle soup = 730 mg.
  • TOTAL = 1130 mg. which is 75% of most Americans’ daily sodium limit

You can easily imagine eating a bowl, instead of a cup of soup, which means 1460 mg. from soup alone with a total sodium count for this ostensibly healthy lunch (it does include heart healthy fish and low fat soup after all) of 1860 mg.! What if you add a few crackers with this lunch (81 mg. for 3 Ritz crackers) or a pickle (280 mg. for a medium one) with the sandwich? Do you feel your blood pressure rising?

Read More Weight Loss Tips from Dr. Aron, Bariatric Physician

Dining out can be an even greater sodium nightmare. Meals, particularly fast food meals, often contain 5000 mg. or more of sodium. Adding sodium can also be a mask for using less than the freshest produce and other ingredients in processed foods. Add preservatives, some of which include sodium and watch those blood pressure numbers rise.

Eat Fresh, Not Processed, Foods

The antidote: eat fresh, not processed. Fresh fish, meat, poultry and vegetables, prepared simply with a couple shakes of salt and desired herbs provides sound nutrition without excess sodium. Add freshly prepared pasta, beans, rice, quinoa or other whole grains for variety and even greater nutritional value.

Eat Fruit Liberally

Eat fresh fruit liberally. Now is the time the Farmers Markets and grocery stores are stocked with an abundance of fresh peaches, plums, melons, cherries. Low in sodium and high in taste, fruits are easy to snack on and don’t pack the sodium that pretzels and other processed snacks do. In the winter when fresh choices aren’t as plentiful, dried fruit in moderation (watch the calories) can replace some of the recommended 2-5 daily fruit servings.

Plan Your Grocery Shopping

As you plan your grocery shopping, think fresh, fresh, fresh! Planning ahead can also save time, a frequent excuse for not eating more healthily. Leftover chicken breasts from dinner can be tossed into a salad or put in a pita pocket with lettuce and hummus for a low sodium and nutritious lunch. Last night’s leftover fruit salad dessert combined with cottage cheese and unsalted nuts is another healthy option.

Read Nutritional Labels

Be creative and read nutritional labels. Look at cooking magazines and websites for healthy menu options. A little planning goes a long way. Also keep in mind that as your taste buds get used to the taste of fresh and not processed, food will taste better, while treating your body better. Eating fresh will also usually mean keeping your calories and cholesterol in check. And your waistline.

Learn more about WeightLossNYC's Diet Plans