Think Twice

Processed verses Whole Foods

While sometimes an Emergency Meal (July 15th Blog) is needed, we must be careful in regards to processed foods as routine eating. There are times we may need to use processed foods for convenience sake, but whole foods are always best. Label reading becomes of upmost importance, even though labels can be “off” by several percentage points.

Whole foods are much better and should be your first option.

Whole food examples:
Fresh fruits – raw or cooked
Fresh vegetables – raw or cooked
Dried beans, cooked
Plain yogurt, milk, eggs, hard cheeses, cottage cheese without additives
Nuts and seeds
Fresh beef, poultry, fish

5 important “looks” when label reading

# 1 Look at the list of ingredients. If there is more than 3 or 4, think twice.

# 2 Look for the serving size

# 3 Look for the sodium (if 200 mg or more for a serving, think twice)

# 4 Look for the calories from fat (if 25% or more comes from fat, think twice)

# 5 Look for “added sugar” (no more than 25-37 g of added sugar per day)

We will discuss added sugar another day. It is too much to tackle today. Stay tuned.

Dinner with George Jetson?

Today is Monday, March 3rd:

Question of the day:

Dinner with George Jetson?

 People love convenience and protein is popular; especially protein powders and drinks.  What has happened to the protein we used consume?  You know, eggs, cottage cheese, beans, chicken, beef, fish, and soybeans?  Much of today’s protein comes in a wrapper or a tub such as protein bars, powders, and ready- made drinks.  Reminds me of the George Jetson Family cartoon where George, pushed a button and up came their drinks or pill in food form containing all their needs.

I prefer to get protein from real food that does not contain additives.  For some easy whole food protein drinks, combine equal parts of milk with plain Greek yogurt and add some pure maple syrup or honey for flavor.  Another old favorite is blending cottage cheese with pineapple, apricots or peaches.  Cottage cheese contains 13 g of protein per ½ cup and plain Greek yogurt ranges from 19-23 grams of protein per cup.  Milk contains 8 g of protein per cup (tomorrow we will discuss average protein needs).

One of the reasons I do not like manufactured protein drinks or bars have to do with the quality of the protein powder used.  Remember, the ingredients are not closely monitored by the FDA and originate from many questionable sources that will be discussed later this week.

Tip of the day:

Read the ingredients carefully on the yogurt and cottage cheese label.  Cottage cheese and yogurt should only contain milk and live cultures.  Daisy cottage cheese is a brand I particularly like and some good plain Greek yogurts are Fage, Chobani, and Voskos.  Many fake ones will contain inulin, pectin and/or carrageenan.  These are additives that appear to make the product thick and creamy but are phonies!

Take Action today:

Buy the ingredients today for a whole food protein shake and make your own tomorrow morning.