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Not All Grains Are Equal

healthy grains
grains whole
Not All Grains Are Created Equal

Today the diet craze is “no carbs”, Try grains…  Many people are staying away from rice and other grains because they think they are bad carbohydrates.   Whole grains are healthy carbohydrates which contain all three parts of the grain.  The grain kernel is full of fiber which keeps your tummy full longer.  The fiber in the kernel is also good for your cholesterol.  It is the refined or processed grains that have the germ and bran removed  which are not so healthy for you.

Here are some healthy grains for you to enjoy that will keep your weight under control.

Brown Rice is way healthier than white rice.  It can also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Freekeh is another whole grain that packs 13% of your daily fiber in 1/3 cup cooked.  It contains zinc and manganese which helps build a strong immune system.

Amaranth is full of calcium and essential amino acids which build and repair tissues in the body.

Oatmeal is another great grain which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.  This is a smart choice for those with diabetes.

Millet has 3 grams of protein per 1/2 cup cooked.  It also has magnesium which is great for bone health.

Sorghum has fiber, iron, and phytochemicals that are good for your heart, and can protect you against some cancers.

Wheat Berries has 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup cooked.  It also contains iron which helps oxygen levels in the body.

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Snacks that Actually Lower your Cholesterol

healthy snacks
Cholesterol lowering Snacks

Snacking is something that everyone does every day.  We snack for all kinds of reasons whether it is to get energy or because we are bored at work.  The average person consumes more than 600 calories from snacking each day.    It is important to choose  healthy snacks so you avoid adding inches to your waistline.

Snacking can also be a  big contributor to your cholesterol level.  Choosing the right healthy snack can actually lower your LDL or “bad”  cholesterol.  Choosing the wrong snacks can cause your bad cholesterol levels to increase.

Skip the chips or other vending machine processed snacks which are “bad” for you.   Try these healthy snacks that will help you lower your LDL level:

Apples are full of anti-oxidants.  Eating 2 per day can help slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent the build up of plaque.  Be sure to bring apples to work to snack on and they go great with some organic peanut butter!

Grapefruit contains liminoids which are phytochemicals that destroy LDL.  If you take statin meds, you may not be able to eat grapefruit so be careful.

Nuts and Seeds are also cholesterol busters!  Seeds like pumpkin, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are filling and healthy.  Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios can lower your  bad cholesterol.  Just be sure not to eat too many nuts as they are high in calories so 1/4 cup per day is adequate.

Oat Bran is full of water soluble fiber and is also great for lowering cholesterol levels.  Enjoy a bowl of oat cereal for breakfast or for an afternoon snack!