Low Fat, Yet Creamy?

Today is Friday, January 17

 The Topic or Question of the Day?

Do you know what makes food products taste rich and creamy?

Answer:  Carrageenan, Xanthan gum, Guar gum, carob bean gum, locust bean gum, inulin, and pectin.  What is with all the gums and oddly named ingredients?  My Dad used the phrase, “You gummed it up,” meaning, I made a mess or ruined something.  I believe the food industry is “gumming up our foods” and I also see a connection with many gastrointestinal problems from these additives.  Foods such as salad dressing, yogurt, ice cream, milk, almond/coconut milk, coffee creamers, and cream soups often contain ingredients that make a food taste and feel rich and creamy. These ingredients are used in many low fat or fat free products to make them low calorie by taking fat out, or by taking a fluid food and thickening it to have that good mouth feel.  I urge you to read food labels and the ingredient lists. 

I am not an alarmist, but over the years, I see these ingredients permeating our food supply.  I spent over an hour at the grocery store looking for items that do not contain these ingredients.  I only found one type of cottage cheese (Daisy), 3 types of yogurt (plain Fage, plain Chobani, and plain Voskos), and 1 coffee creamer (Coffeemate Naturals, sweet cream flavor) at my grocery store that did not contain one or more of these phonies.  You can find foods that are pure, but will take some time and effort.

Inulin is a fiber infiltrating many of our food products and is found naturally in the Chickory root and Jerusalem artichoke.  It doesn’t digest in our upper GI tract and reaches the colon where it is fermented by intestinal bacteria.  People react differently to various amounts of inulin with side effects from mild to severe.  A balanced article, presenting both sides is:  Inulin:  Friend or Foe by Patty Donovan. 

The ingredient that scares me the most is carrageenan.  It is manufactured from seaweed and algae.  I have read numerous articles both defending and condemning carrageenan and I have also seen many people negatively affected by consuming it.  I encourage you to read articles for yourself and decide.  Like I said, I am not an alarmist, but if I can find a product I like without these fillers, I would rather eat the real food whenever possible.  

Tip or Quote of the Day:

Try not to buy fruited yogurt, as most contain the ingredients mentioned above.  Use plain yogurt with out these fillers and add honey, pure maple syrup, or honeyed fruit if you like your yogurt sweet.

Take action today:

* Research some articles and think for yourself.   

* Try making honeyed fruit for your plain yogurt.

 Honeyed Fruit

Place any fresh or frozen fruit in a saucepan such as peaches, berries and pears and barely cover with cool water.  Sweeten to taste with honey.  Bring to a boil for a few minutes until reduced a bit.   Chill in glass container.  Lasts at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.



Read Labels Carefully


A Call To Action

Today is Thursday, January 16th

 The topic or question of the day:

 A Call to Action

Making slow changes in your day to day life can produce huge benefits.  It begins with thinking about food and taking action.  Did you know your body and your brain are tethered? Hippocrates said what goes on in your brain goes on in your body.  Another way of saying it from Proverbs is “As a man thinketh, so he does”.

With 2/3 of our population overweight, I don’t know many people who are not trying to lose weight or eat healthier.  The food industry and media are defining what is healthy for us, and we are mindlessly taking accepting what is said.  I ask you to THINK for yourself and examine yourself to see if you are falling prey to the gimmicks. 

Healthy weight loss does not happen fast.  Today we are going to talk about fat.   The “experts” are correct when they report that fat is 9 calories per gram, double compared to protein or carbohydrate.  This is why sliming down fat intake can cut your waistline. Instead of abruptly deciding no more fat…start slowly by tracking your visible fat and check out a food label or two.  Visible fat is fat YOU put on or in your food.  Salad dressings, butter, margarine, sour cream, mayonnaise, gravy, cream sauces, peanut butter on toast!  Try to use less visible fat this week or eliminate a good amount of it.  If your mayonnaise falls off your knife before it gets to your food, you took too much.  Use spray oils, make dips less fatty, or gravy with cornstarch and Hauser broth.  Use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese in recipes.  Make faux guacamole with thawed frozen green peas, pureed and add cilantro, chopped onions and tomatoes, lime juice and garlic.  We love the taste and feel of fat in our mouths, but like many things, intake must be moderated. 

Procrastination or lack of motivation tends to prevent succeeding with such changes.  I hear this statement often… “I just don’t want to mess up my kitchen!”  I encourage you to clean your Food Cookery if needed and try recipes using real food. Tomorrow we will talk about fake fats, the phony’s that you will want to avoid.  Stay tuned.

Tip or quote of the day:

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  We don’t tell ourselves – I am never going to write a symphony.  Instead we say- I am going to write a symphony, I’m just going to start tomorrow.  Never forget: This very moment we can change our lives.  Sit down and start doing the work”. – Steven Pressfield

Take action today:

1.  Get into your Food Cookery (kitchen) and make something!

2.  Take note of your visible fat usage

3.  Start writing your symphony

 Peanut Carrot Dip

Mix peanut butter with purred carrots.  Homemade, baby food, or canned carrots, rinsed, drained and pureed will work.  Mix a percentage that tickles your taste.

For example:  70:30, 60:40, 50:50 ratios of peanut butter to pureed carrots.  This cuts way back on the FAT content.  Use as a dip for celery, mini shredded wheat, sliced apple rings or spread as peanut butter on a whole grain cracker.  Cinnamon can also be added.

2 T regular peanut butter = 22 g fat. 

2 T of a 50:50 version = 11 g fat