I. Introduction: What does balanced eating really mean?
- To achieve balanced nutrition: At every meal and snack you eat, have a balance of macronutrients- protein, carbohydrate, and fat to provide sustainable energy. Aim for ~50% of calories from carbohydrate (choose whole grains, fruit, and green leafy vegetables most often); ~20% to 25% from protein; 25% to 30% from fat (<10%>
- If you wait longer than 5 hours to eat, your metabolism slows down, your body gets into a hibernation mode and thinks that you’re living during a famine, therefore you store more fat.
- Eat optimally balanced meals and snacks, within an hour to 1 ½ hours after waking and every 4 hours throughout the day, maximum is 5 hours, to keep your sugar levels stable, increase your metabolism, help prevent fat storage, and to be energized all day!
*Bottom Line for knowing how much to eat: Be “in tune” with your hunger level, listen to your body! Your body knows how much it needs!
II. Food Label Focus: To know if it’s an optimal food to bring home- Look at 3 main items.
- Follow Deborah’s “3 rule” to choose low-fat foods! Look on a food label for the total grams of fat; multiply that by 3, add a 0 at the end or move the decimal place over to the right. Compare that number with the total calories, if less than the total calories, it’s less than 30% calories from fat = LOW-FAT. Example: 5 grams of fat, 180 calorie food, 5 X 3 = 15, add a 0, = 150, 150<180>
2. Fiber is your best friend for increased satisfaction, high fiber foods give you more for your chew!
- Aim for 3 grams or more of dietary fiber per slice of bread/per snack-for example, crackers, sports bars, and 5 or more grams per serving of cereal or per meal.
- High fiber starches include: whole-wheat couscous, sprouted grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, barley, bulgur, brown rice, yams, or winter squash
- High fiber fruits: S or S fruits (edible skin or edible seeds fruit): e.g.,apples, strawberries, blueberries or oranges (get bioflavonoids and fiber from the white part of the orange)
- High fiber vegetables: focus on eating one cruciferous vegetable daily (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips – these have been shown in numerous research studies to offer protection against certain cancers, they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals). Follow the rainbow of colors when choosing your weekly fruits and vegetables to provide a variety of vitamins and minerals (for example, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, chard, kale, collard greens, zucchini, red/yellow bell peppers, apples, berries, pears, oranges, limes).
- When it comes to produce: Aim for 5 a day for your fruits and vegetables. Have 2 fruits and 3 vegetables daily.
*One serving of fruit equals, 1 small fresh fruit (2 inch across), ¼ cup of dried fruit (try to buy naturally dried, unsulfured) or ½ cup canned in it’s own juice or ½ cup fresh fruit or ½ cup unsweetened fruit juice (100% juice) – have maximum of a half cup juice per day mixed with water to prevent the calories from adding up so quickly (eat your fruit rather than drink it, so you get the fiber and increased satisfaction).
One serving of non-starchy vegetables = ½ cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice or 1 cup of raw vegetables.
- Try choosing low sodium foods more often: Aim for less than 150 mg per serving on most products and less than 400 mg sodium per serving for frozen foods. When a food is higher in sodium, please drink a lot of water to flush the sodium through, and balance that high sodium food with lots of vegetables to provide even more hydration and fiber. If you have hypertension, aim for less than 2,000 mg or 2 grams of sodium per day.
III. Learn the 3 D’s- Deciphering Dietary Deception!
Before going grocery shopping, prepare yourself with the dietary deception on food labels with specific ingredients to look for and specific foods that cause concern. The key words to look for are Lite, Free, Diet, Sugar Free – these words often translate into a packaged food that is not clean (meaning contains chemicals that may be carcinogenic, low in fiber (has no satiety value) and can actually increase your appetite, not conducive for weight loss).
- If you see the words diet or sugar-free on the food product– keep it on the store shelf. Diet foods contain artificial sweeteners that can stimulate appetite and often contain artificial colors or flavorings that have been linked to ADHD and cancer. Sugar-free contains artificial sweeteners, which are not healthful, research has linked aspartame specifically to the obesity epidemic; artificial sweeteners are so sweet that they make us hungrier. The cleaner fuel you give yourself, the tastier the food will be and the more satisfaction you’ll receive with each bite.
- Dietary deception is most prevalent in the breads, cereal, crackers, frozen and dairy department: Some examples include: Baker’s Inn 9 grain bread (you would think there would be at least 3 grams of fiber per slice, nope only has 2 grams of dietary fiber per slice, mono and diglycerides, and 210 mg sodium per slice); one of the most known diet foods, “pinch an inch” – Special K Kellogg’s Cereal (has less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 220 mg sodium, and high fructose corn syrup).
- Specific Food Labeling Tip to not be fooled by packaging: Look at the grams of dietary fiber for all starchy foods (e.g., bread, crackers, cereal, rice, pasta), grams of fat, milligrams of sodium on all packaged foods, and the ingredient list.
Red flags to look for in the ingredient list on labels and why:
Artificial colors/flavors– Yellow #5, Red #3, Blue #1, Green #3, etc. = some are suspected of being cancer causing, and may exacerbate hyperactivity
Artificial or processed sweeteners- Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Saccharin, Stevia, Splenda, sucralose, sorbitol, acesulfame, xylitol = may increase risk for cancer,
BHT - butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) preservative= hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) induced by the anti-oxidant food additive, may increase risk of cancer, and when BHT was applied to the skin, it was associated with toxic effects in lung tissue
Caffeine – increases blood pressure, may cause insomnia if ingested late in the day, may affect the developing fetus, mildly addictive, can cause excess energy or hyperactivity in some people
Carmine or cochineal extract = both are derived from female cochineal beetles, which are raised in Peru, the Canary Islands, and elsewhere. They provide a pink, red, or purple color to foods, may be declared as artificial color or color added on food labels and may be allergenic
Cocoa processed with alkali- processes out the benefits of cocoa, the antioxidants (catechins) are leached
Dough conditioners – additives to help improve the quality of the finished dough= may include carcinogenic agents, for example, potassium bromate and may include emulsifiers such as mono-and diglycerides which include saturated fats
Enriched, bleached flour = processed bread, destroys some of the nutrients originally present in the whole grains, enriched with some vitamins but not all those present in the original grain
RED FLAGS (cont’d):
Flaxseed (whole not grounded), flaxseed oil = when the flax is whole, it goes right through, the body does not get the benefits of the omega-3’s, flaxseed oil may increase cancer risk due to high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) - Panax ginseng's most common side-effects is the inability to sleep. Other side-effects include nausea, diarrhea, euphoria, headaches, epistaxis, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, mastalgia, and vaginal bleeding.
Glycerol ester of wood resin = possible allergen, largely unabsorbed, some components are metabolized by the liver
High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids = excess fructose can increase LDL (bad cholesterol level, clogs the arteries), is more readily converted to fat by the liver, increases the levels of fat in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides.
Mono and diglycerides = most likely to cause unwanted effects are those containing long-chain saturated fatty acids, especially stearic acid, increases blood cholesterol.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – flavor enhancer = may cause migraine headaches, chest tightness, wheezing, asthma attacks in those vulnerable
Olestra- fat replacement = may cause diarrhea, loss of important fat-soluble vitamins
Palm oil, palm kernel oil, fractionated palm kernel oil- saturated fat, increases LDL cholesterol
Partially Hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils, trans fat = increases cholesterol level and is carcinogenic
Polysorbate 60, 65- derived from sorbitol - an artificial sweetener = side effects include: Nausea, gas, diarrhea, stomach cramps or anal irritation
Potassium bromate – may increase risk of cancer
Sodium nitrite, nitrites – meat preservatives = may increase risk of stomach cancer
Sodium stearoyl lactylate- Sodium stearoyl lactate (and the similar calcium stearoyl lactate) - an emulsifier used as a dough strengthener in baked goods, is made by combining lactic acid and stearic acid, and then reacting the result with sodium
hydroxide or calcium hydroxide to make the sodium or calcium salt = stearic acid is a saturated fat
Sodium sulfite, sulfites – provokes asthma attacks in those vulnerable, may increase risk for cancer
Sorbitan ester of fatty acids - Mono-, di- and trisorbitan esters of palmitic, stearic, oleic, isostearic and sesquioleic acid = saturated fats
Soy Protein Isolate, soy protein concentrate, isolated soy protein –isoflavones are weak estrogens = eating too much (more than 100 mg a day) could possibly increase risk of cancer
Sucrose syrup – concentrated sugar
TBHQ (TERT-BUTYLHYDROQUINONE) = may induce free radical formation and erythrocyte membrane alterations (cell damage)
IV. EATING “ON THE GO” SNACK IDEAS:
Make your own trail-mix with roasted peanuts (check ingredients for peanuts, no oils added), and raw almonds/other nuts/seeds and raisins or dried blueberries/cranberries (check ingredients for no sugar or additives).
Spread 2 Tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter or soy nut butter on half a sprouted grain bagel/whole-wheat pita/whole-wheat crackers.
Blend 1/2 cup of plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt with vanilla soymilk with 1/2 frozen banana and a handful of frozen strawberries.
Spread pizza sauce/marinara sauce over an English muffin and place a sliced tomato and 1 ounce of Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese or French Yogurt Cheese on top, melt in a toaster oven.
Layer a whole-grain blueberry toaster waffle with 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup fresh berries/defrosted frozen berries.
Scoop 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese into a cantaloupe or honeydew melon half.
Top a half of a cinnamon-raisin sprouted grain bagel with low-fat ricotta cheese and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Combine 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese with 1/2 cup apple sauce and a dash of cinnamon. Sprinkle with Grape-Nuts or low-fat granola.
Roll a whole-wheat tortilla up with scrambled egg whites with 1 egg yolk and salsa.
Stuff half a whole-wheat pita with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and sliced canned (in it’s own juice or water) peaches, pears, or a fresh banana.
Stuff a pita pocket with sliced turkey breast or sliced part-skim milk cheese, tomato, and a squirt of mustard.
Use spreads such as chicken or tuna salad onto whole-wheat crackers.
Mix 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/4 cup strawberry yogurt and sprinkle with Muesli cereal.
Add cereal (at least 5 grams dietary fiber) to plain low-fat yogurt.
Spread 1 Tablespoon of Soy butter (try “I’m Healthy Soy Nut Butter” from Whole Foods) on 2 apple halves.
Spread all-natural peanut butter and all-fruit jam on Ak-mak crackers or a mini-bagel.
Top a mini-bagel with turkey or chicken breast.
Put slivered almonds and roasted peanuts in 1 cup of vanilla yogurt.
Have a box of raisins with soy nuts (try Dr. Soy or Genisoy brand).
Have ½ cup of edamame (fresh soybeans) as a completely balanced snack.
Blend coffee flavored soymilk with ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder and ice for a high protein ice mocha.
Have an ounce of yogurt cheese on “Woven wheat” (available at Whole Foods/Wild Oats/Trader Joe’s) crackers.
Have low-fat string cheese (choose Organic part-skim milk, e.g., Horizon) with an apple or pear.
Melt part-skim mozzarella on a whole-wheat tortilla or toasted wheat pita, put some veggies on top (e.g., tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli).
Spread all-natural peanut butter with sprinkled sunflower seeds in celery sticks and apple slices.
Frozen banana: Peel bananas; dip into cocoa and a dash of honey or pure maple syrup; roll in ground nuts (ground peanuts and walnuts or soynuts), freeze individually in plastic wrap.
Have ½ cup fruit or 2” across piece of fruit with 20 soy crisps, flavor of choice.
NOTE: Incorporate these snacks as part of your meal plan. If you still feel hungry beyond your individualized snack/meal times, nosh on vegetables “free foods”, e.g. bell peppers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc. Also, drink lots of water and hot tea (drizzled with a little agave nectar) between snacks/meals.
6 ounces of tofu (organic, soft or “silken” packed in water, rinse and drain) or ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder or powdered egg whites (available at Whole Foods, in the baking section, Bob’s Red Mill brand)
6 ounces organic plain low fat yogurt (Fage 0% Greek Yogurt is best for lower carbs. to fit in the fruit)
1 small banana
½ cup strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup fruit of your choice (e.g. frozen peaches, mixed berries, or cherries)
4 cups of organic unsweetened soy milk (try “Silk” or Trader Joe’s brand)
Optional –for added fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids, stir in a Tablespoon of ground flaxseed (try Organic Bob’s Red Mill whole ground flaxseed meal) to the cup you drink, so it doesn’t get rancid, you need to drink it right away.
Directions: In a blender, put all ingredients together. If you like a thinner shake, add water and use less milk. Put the top on the blender, chop, blend, and whip. You’re all set for an energizing breakfast or snack. Add a piece of whole wheat/grain toast or a small bowl of >5 grams dietary fiber cereal with the shake for even more sustainable energy. Make this shake the night before, keep it in the blender and store it in the refrigerator. The next morning, just press whip, and you’ve got a quick and easy “on-the-go” energizer.
Serving size: 1.5 cups
Total servings: ~4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
239 Calories, 31 grams Carbohydrates, 16 grams Protein, 6 grams Fat