What if I asked you to choose between two options:
Option A- Lose weight and gain it all back within a year or twoOption B- Lose weight and keep it off for 5 or more years
You’ve probably heard that fiber is good for you, but are you eating enough? Research indicates that for optimum health, we should consume between 25-38 grams of fiber per day. The average consumption in America is around 15 grams per day, with many people taking in much less than that. Fiber is a carbohydrate but it’s a very special one. A molecule of dietary fiber is similar to a starch molecule in that they are both long chains of glucose molecules joined together. However, the type of bond that joins the glucose molecules together in fiber molecules is unique and indigestible for humans. This means we don’t absorb any of the calories from fiber, which makes unprocessed high fiber incredibly helpful for weight management. Secondly, eating a meal rich in fiber increases satiety (fullness) therefore you can understand why a recent study found that the most successful weight loss individuals eat about one-third more fiber than those struggling to lose weight even while dieting. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/fiber-the-least-sexy-weight-loss-tool/1940/)
There are two types of dietary fiber, both of which support weight management. Most dietary fiber is insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is found in vegetables, whole grains, nuts and the edible skin of fruit (for example the peach skin or apple peel). Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and speeds intestinal transit time, preventing constipation and lowering the risk of digestive troubles like hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and importantly, colon cancer. Soluble fiber, so called because it is soluble in water, is the type of fiber that absorbs water and thickens. For example, pectin, a soluble fiber from apples, is used to thicken jams. Soluble fiber is found in the flesh of fruit, legumes (beans and dried peas), oats, barley, peanuts and ground flax. The health benefits of soluble fiber include lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, improving blood sugars, lowering risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. At Healthy Steps, our Mediterranean meal plans are packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, around 40 grams per day, helping you improve your health and lose weight without feeling hungry.
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lindsay Pasdera
Did you see the headlines yesterday regarding the effectiveness of Mediterranean eating plans compared to low-fat ones? The news is based on a research study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology which compared weight loss results in thousands of individuals, randomly assigned to either a Mediterranean meal plan or a low-fat diet. Despite the higher fat intake in the Mediterranean group, they lost significantly more weight. At Healthy Steps, we’ve been educating our patients on Mediterranean-style eating since our inception. Call us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our Nutritionists to learn how to follow a Mediterranean eating plan in your home.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lindsay Pasdera
Have you heard of all these cook-at-home delivery boxes? Companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Sun Basket will ship an insulated box to your door with the all ingredients needed to make three home cooked meals for your family, along with step-by-step instructions. I tried one out this week…here’s my take on the experience.
I chose Sun Basket, mainly because it offers organic ingredients, lower carbohydrate options, and is local (San Francisco based). I also love that you can return all the packing materials so Sun Basket can reuse and recycle for you. I choose three dinners for two people. The cost is normally around $68, but since it was my first week, I took advantage of their “3 meals free” promotion and paid around $34.
Sun Basket has paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and pescetarian options each week. I had seven dinner options to choose from. I selected Pork loin with caramelized onions and honey-glazed root vegetables, Moroccan salmon in chraime with mint couscous, and low-carbohydrate steak with roast broccolini and tomatoes.
Here’s everything laid out for the first meal:
Grain-free Waffles (Makes 6 servings)
1 cup garbanzo bean or chickpea flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg, separated
5-6 oz plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4c milk of your choice
1/4c canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Non-stick cooking spray
1. Preheat your waffle iron.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolk, yogurt, milk, oil & vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined (batter will be very thick).
4. In a different bowl, beat the egg white with a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the egg white into the batter.
5. Spray the waffle iron with the cooking spray and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for making waffles.
Cherry Vanilla Sauce
Did you see USA Today’s article, “Want a healthy body? It’s all about that fat and muscle, not your BMI”? It’s based on recent research out of the University of Florida, explaining how important body composition is to health? Body composition is so much more than a number on the scale: it includes your percentage of body fat, lean mass and fluid status. Read up to see how body composition predicts health outcomes, and then come in to our office for a personalized body composition test through Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) today!
Did you see this great article in the Science section of yesterday’s New York Times? In it, Dr. Richard Isaacson, the director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, answers the question, “Could a low-fat diet contribute to memory problems?” His dietary recommendations sound a lot like what we’ve been saying here at Healthy Steps for years! Our program emphasizes the brain- and heart-healthy DHA & EPA omega-3 fats and the monounsaturated fats quintessential to the Mediterranean diet. We also guide our patients to limit consumption of pro-inflammatory omega-6s and dangerous trans fats. Want to understand more about how omega-3s and omega-6s impact inflammation (and therefore, risk of obesity, heart disease and even alzheimer’s)? Check out this video by our Medical Director Dr. Robert Woodbury.
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN