Category: Carbohydrates

Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Banana Bites

Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Banana Bites

chocolate-dipped-almond-butter-banana-bites

Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Banana Bites

These chocolate dipped almond butter banana bites are a delicious and healthy treat perfect for any time of day!

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Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Banana Bites

You could make these using any nut butter you like. I made them using homemade coconut maple almond butter.

Ingredients
  • 3 large bananas
  • ⅓ cup nut butter of choice
  • ½ cup melted chocolate of choice (dark chocolate has anti-oxidants)
Instructions
  1. Slice bananas into slices about ¼-1/2 inch thick.
  2. Spread a little nut butter onto a slice and sandwich two slices together.
  3. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid, at least an hour.
  4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and remove frozen banana bites from freezer.
  5. Dip each banana bite in chocolate and place back on wax paper. Freeze for another hour.
  6. Transfer and keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
4 Sneaky Sources Of Sugar!

4 Sneaky Sources Of Sugar!

Life is sweet, all right—so sweet that that the typical person will consume about 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, or sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in food.1 Compare that to the maximum of 5 percent of daily calories, or about 6 teaspoons, that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends, and it’s clear that our diets are a bit too sweet.2

One regular soda may have as much as 45 grams (11 teaspoons) of sugar, which is nearly double the recommended upper limit recommended by the World Health Organization. A 32-ounce serving of sweet tea contains 70 grams (17 teaspoons)!

And the not-so-sweet news is that high intakes of added sugars can sour your health. Beyond the concern over raising the risk for type 2 diabetes and weight gain, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that people who obtained 10-24 percent of their calories from added sugar were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than those who consumed less.3

Unfortunately, cutting back isn’t as easy as ditching obvious sources such as sodas and Cap’n Crunch. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about 75 percent of packaged foods on store shelves now contain some sort of added sweetness.4 Even if you’re making a conscious effort to stay away from traditional dessert-like items, you can still find just as much sugar in the so-called “healthy” snacks that rule the interior aisles of the grocery store.

It’s clear that food manufacturers want you to eat felonious amounts of sugar, even if you bid adieu to dessert. And it seems they’re spreading it across all kinds of seemingly innocent foods to deliver it to you.

Don’t be an accessory to that crime and fall prey to these sneaky sugar smugglers. Here are four sneaky sources of sugar to watch out for!

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the vast array of yogurt options now available in the dairy aisle. And if you don’t choose carefully, you could end up spooning enough of the sweet stuff to make it a challenge to hold on to your abs. Case in point: vanilla-flavored yogurt.

While it may seem healthier than fruit-on-the-bottom versions, vanilla yogurt can be just as much of a sugar bomb. Typically, a serving of vanilla yogurt contains three times as much sugar as its plain counterpart. In fact, up to half of the calories in a nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt can come from added sweetness.

Sweet Nothings: To help keep your sugar intake in check, stick to a yogurt with a label that says “plain.” If you are yearning for that warming vanilla flavor, simply add a splash of pure vanilla extract. And of course, if you’re striving to look like a Greek god or goddess, be sure to grab protein-packed plain Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt.

Cow’s-milk alternatives have become supermarket staples. Whether you follow a vegan diet, are lactose intolerant, or are simply looking to shake it up, there are plenty of plant-based milk options for you to choose from.

While it may come as no surprise that chocolate or vanilla flavors also bring with them gut-busting sugars, what is less obvious is the sugar added to those labeled “original.” The vast majority of original milk alternatives have an ingredient list that contains a sweetener such as evaporated cane juice—just another euphemism for sugar.

yogurt

Sweet Nothings: If you include these drinks in your diet, select those that contain the word “unsweetened” on the package. Do so, and you’ll take in 6-7 times less of the sweet stuff.

Staple peanut butter brands have long been known to infuse sugar and other sweet derivatives into their nut butters, but even more upscale brands are becoming known for their added sugary goodness. In recent years, the market has exploded with various guises of nut butters. Yes, I’m talking about your favorite chocolate coconut butter and white chocolate peanut butter treats.

Sure, the sweeteners they use might be stuff like fruit-juice concentrate, maple syrup, or honey, but your body essentially breaks it down just like table sugar. In fact, a 2015 Journal of Nutrition study found that honey produces similar alarming metabolic effects—such as increased inflammation and blood triglycerides—as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup when consumed in the same amounts.5 Both of those unwelcome metabolic effects raise your risk for heart disease.

Given that one serving—which is one bite—may contain upwards of 15 grams, it may be best to stick with a simpler version of delightful nut butter. And no, I’m not talking about the reduced-fat nut spreads. Such products often contain more sugar to make up for the loss of flavor when fats are stripped away.

Sweet Nothings: Nut butters can deliver some great stuff like healthy fats and must-have vitamins and minerals, but to make sure these come without the sugary baggage, read the ingredient label. You basically just want nuts and perhaps a touch of salt or other flavorings like cinnamon or cocoa.

Don’t forget that the other common red sauce—ketchup—is also a frequent sugar smuggler, containing 4-6 grams per tablespoon!

Mama Mia, shouldn’t tomato sauce just be, well, tomatoes? Sadly, this is another example of how some food companies are trying their darnedest to keep your diet nice and sweet. Manufacturers add sugar to extend shelf life, reduce acidity, and help mask the lack of natural sweetness present in the less-than-stellar tomatoes jammed into the jars or cans.

Some of the sugar listed on the nutrition panel of tomato sauce is naturally present in tomatoes. However, if the number starts moving well past a couple of grams, it’s a good tip-off the brand has pumped in extra.

peanut-butter

Sweet Nothings: Luckily, plenty of tomato-sauce options on store shelves contain no added sugar, but finding them requires some label-sleuthing. You can also buy plain canned diced tomatoes (Italian-style San Marzano tomatoes are the gold standard for sauces) and rustle up your own sauce by simmering the tomatoes with seasonings like onion, garlic, smoked paprika and basil.

To avoid falling into a sugar trap, you first have to become familiar with all the code words for it that can populate ingredient lists. Some may sound healthier than others, but once they pass your lips, there is not that much difference in how they work in the body.

Use this list to diligently inspect labels, and never mind whether a labels says something like “no sugar added”. You’ve got to read the ingredient list to know for sure.

 

sugar-tomato-sauce

Use this list to diligently inspect labels, and never mind whether a labels says something like “no sugar added”. You’ve got to read the ingredient list to know for sure.

  • Agave
  • Barley malt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Date sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose
  • Sorghum syrup
Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup

Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

2 28-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed (I used less dry basil)
2 tsp of oregano
1 tsp sugar (I used organic maple sugar)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until tender, about three to four minutes. Add in chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Pour in the two cans of tomatoes (juice and all) and the vegetable stock. Stir in the basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and allow to simmer ten minutes. At the end, stir in the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese until well blended. Use either an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup if you prefer a smooth texture. Garnish with chopped basil and grated cheddar cheese if desired.

Source: morefruitplease.net

Beet Salad with Ginger Dressing

Beet Salad with Ginger Dressing

The sweetness of beets is a natural match for ginger’s spicier side. Beets can be roasted up to 3 days ahead of time; simply bring them to room temperature before serving.

INGREDIENTS

6 small beets (about 2 pounds), scrubbed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, preferably white
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beets in parchment-lined foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool briefly, then rub with a paper towel to remove skins. Cut into 3/4-inch wedges.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Toss beets in dressing and sprinkle with pistachios.
Why Low Carb Diets Don’t Work for Most People

Why Low Carb Diets Don’t Work for Most People

Have you been trying to follow a low carb diet for years?  The truth is that low carb diets just don’t work in the long run.  Most people crave carbohydrates, and if you remove them from your diet altogether, it will make you want them even more.  Here are a few reasons why low carb diets do not work for everyone.

They make you stressed out and sad

If you find yourself having a short temper and yelling at the kids and your husband it might because you are depriving yourself of carbs.  People who eat carbs are calmer, happier and more focused than those who are carb-deprived.  In fact, those who don’t eat carbs are routinely stressed out.  Your stress is caused because carbs boost mood-regulating chemicals that reduce stress in the brain and foods that are fatty and high in protein can deplete them.

Low carb diets can make you fatter

Low carb dieters feel lots of stress and depression, and this can derail their weight loss efforts.  Your efforts may fail because stress causes the production of higher levels of hormones including cortisol that will effectively increase your appetite and cause you to go on a major binge.

It is not possible to sustain a low carb diet!

You may be able to do a low carb diet for six weeks or a few months, but if you try to do it for a lifetime, it is much harder to follow.  Only about 75% of people who use a low carb plant can stay on that diet for the long term.

Low Carb Diets Cause Belly Bloat

Belly bloat is a major symptom of constipation that is a side effect of following a low carb diet.  For those who are trying to follow a low carb diet, the constant constipation is a problem while about 30% of the non-dieting population or 35% of dieters who eat more carbs are also constipated.

A Low Carb Diet Can make you feel Deprived

Most low carb diets fail because a person ends up craving carbs.  When you stop eating carbs, it is impossible to avoid the pitfall of a binge when you let your guard down.  If you are on a diet, the first place you will see, metabolic changes is in the gastrointestinal tract.  Metabolic changes can cause constipation because you are no longer eating as much fiber as you once did with high carb foods including bread and pasta.  Dropping fiber intake will increase constipation.

If you follow a low carb diet the right way, you are replacing starchy foods with high fiber vegetables that help to reverse constipation by providing increased fiber.  It is important to eat as many as five servings of low-carb vegetables every day including lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower to keep bowels healthy while not interfering with the progress of the weight loss.

A low carb diet helps you to lose weight because it ignites fat burning processes that are called “dietary ketosis.”  The keytones are also believed to provide an appetite suppressant effect.  Low carb dieters also face fast dehydration, so it is important to consume a lot of extra water every day.   It is important to drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated, and this can help to alleviate constipation.  The other main low carb diet issue is bad breath.  Ketones produced can produce a fruity odor or chemical odor.  The smell is coming from metabolic changes so is not dental-related, meaning that no amount of brushing or flossing is going to help with the bad breath issue.  Drinking more water can also handle this problem.

Some people can handle a low carb diet well while others fail miserably.  What you must remember is that dietary changes are generally for life, not just for the short term, so you need to decide what you can tolerate for lifelong changes in your diet.

Why Grains are an Unhealthy Choice

Why Grains are an Unhealthy Choice

We have all heard a lot of different reasons from the time that we were young about why we need to eat grains and how they are healthy for our bodies. The emerging evidence is that this is no longer true for a variety of reasons.

Here are the reasons we have been told that we need to eat grains:

  1. You need the fibre! For years, we have been told that we need the fibre that grains provide, but the truth is completely different.  In fact, scientists have discovered that high-fibre foods can rupture the gastrointestinal tract by banging up against the cells that line it and rupturing their outer covering.  The result is that it the lubricating mucus is increased.  If a person has irritable bowel syndrome, they should consider not eating grain because they truly do not need it.  In fact, there are a lot of fibres contained in vegetables that cover and replace what you would get from grains.
  1. Grains contain minerals and vitamins. Yes, you need to ingest the necessary vitamins and minerals for your body including B1, B2, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium, but you do not need to eat carb-dense grain that is bulky.  Eat a giant salad instead!
  1. Grains are the foundation of the food pyramid. This thinking has not been examined for many decades, and it is completely wrong.  In fact, grains are the most pointless food in a healthy diet.
  1. Grains contain lectins that bind to insulin receptors, human intestinal lining and attack the stomach lining. They can also be the cause of leptin resistance that worsens metabolic syndrome.
  1. Grains also contain gluten that is found in barley, rye and wheat and is a composite of the proteins glutenin and gliadin. People who are gluten intolerant can suffer from deficient vitamin D3 and calcium levels, bone defects and hyperparathyroidism.  Some people are not celiac, but they test positive for anti-gliadin IgA in their waste products. If this is in stool, then it is because your body is trying to fight the threat of gluten.
  1. Phytates, also contained in grain, cause minerals to be bio-unavailable, so it renders the consumption of cereal grain pointless.
  1. Modern grain milling is very efficient and fast. It gives the processing plant a large amount of control over how the grain is separated and creates flour that lasts forever.  It can be shipped over long distances to provide food for massive populations.  It remains pest free because there is nothing in it that pests want or need nutritionally.   It was the very first processed food and allows shelf stable foods to be created months ahead of the time of their distribution.
  1. Grain milling eliminates the proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that are found in bran, germ and shorts. The middlings are the nutritional portion of the grain that is used in animal feeds, ironically.
  1. Although white flour is harmful and contains no known nutrients, it is one of the most widely used products worldwide.
  1. Wheat has been engineered to be drought and pest resistant. It is simple to harvest, giving farmers a higher yield per acre.  The biological manipulation that has hybridized wheat, which has increased the gluten, creating an end product that results in fluffier baking products.  Today we are eating grains that are bleached, chemically treated and converted into a “food” that no other living animal on the planet will eat.

Simply put, there is no good reason for people to eat grains or to rely on them as part of their diet.  We don’t need grains in our diet as part of our survival.  They are a natural pest deterrent in the wild and are not something you want to put into your body.