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Whole Grains Health

The Best Healthy Restaurant Meals You Should Order



There is a lot of bad news about excessive calorie, fat and sodium content in restaurants. But it’s not all doom and darkness out there! The menu labeling required today for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations in the United States enables smarter choices.

And that’s great news for you: while finding low-calorie and low-sodium options isn’t always easy, it’s not impossible either. Whether you eat out or order, there are healthy meals in the restaurant!

Here are 10 restaurant dishes that are a little healthier when you don’t feel like cooking. To always have the best options on hand in your own kitchen, don’t forget to stock up on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now.


Meal to order: spaghetti with marinara sauce and grilled chicken in the Olive Garden

Per serving: 660 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,510 mg sodium, 89 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 33 g protein

You may think a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce is the most nutritious choice in an Italian restaurant. Close – but adding lean protein is a large Improvement. The “Create Your Own Pasta” menu option from Olive Garden makes it easy to customize a pasta meal. The extra protein in the chicken will keep you full longer and add relatively fewer calories in exchange.

Cooked tomatoes in the Marina Sauce Pack Lycopene, a powerful plant compound that prevents cell damage. Don’t let the sugar content discourage you: almost everything is found Naturally in the tomatoes in the sauce. While this dish has a little too much sodium in it, it’s well worth it on so many other levels.

Panda Express stir fryPanda Express / Facebook

Meal to order: Black Pepper Angus Steak, Super Greens and a half order of steamed white rice at Panda Express

Per meal: 520 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 1,280 mg sodium, 77 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 31 g protein

You don’t always have to order chicken or vegetarian options to get the healthiest menu option! The lean cut of beef used in Panda Express’s Angus Black Pepper Steak keeps the total and saturated fat content on the lower side. Beef is an excellent source of leucine, an amino acid that triggers muscle production in the body, and choline, which helps protect memory. Broccoli, cabbage, kale are the trifecta of dark leafy vegetables that are high in fiber and vitamin K for bone health.

This meal goes better with brown rice, and while it’s not an option with Panda Express, eating with white rice isn’t all that terrible. While there is no information on trans fat on the Panda Express website, this meal is likely only about half a gram in, which is what the experts recommend.

Whopper Jr. Burger KingCourtesy Burger King

Meal to order: Whopper Jr. at Burger King

Pro burger: 315 calories, 18 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 390 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates (1 fiber, 7 g sugar), 13 g protein

When you crave a juicy burger, there is nothing else to do. We get it! But you don’t need a monster burger derailing your healthy eating plan to satisfy your craving. Sure, the Whopper Jr. at Burger King doesn’t get an award for fiber. It’s on a white bun; it’s not particularly rich in protein; and the lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion don’t offer much. But it’s relatively low in saturated fat.

With a very reasonable 315 calories and 390 milligrams of sodium, the Whopper Jr. gets the job done.

Are you looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

Jersey Mike Roast Beef Provolone Mini SandwichCourtesy Jersey Mike

Meal to order: Roast beef and provolone (mini size on wheat bread) at Jersey Mike’s

Per serving: 540 calories, 26 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 655 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 37 g protein

Roast beef is surprisingly lean, and while this smaller sandwich contains about a third of the total fat adults need in a day, most of it is heart-healthy. Plus, 37 grams of protein is enough to keep you full for hours and this sandwich won’t raise red flags for sodium.

Order this sandwich made with wheat bread, which probably means “whole grain bread” since Jersey Mike’s nutrition calculator says it has more fiber in it!

cpk pizzaCourtesy California Pizza Kitchen

Meal To Order: Seared Artichoke Spinach Thin Crust Pizza and Chicken at California Pizza Kitchen

Per serving (2 slices): 440 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 940 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 24 g protein

Pizza doesn’t need to be eliminated entirely if your focus is on healthy eating. While it’s always a good idea to top your cake with vegetables instead of high-fat salty meat (we’re looking at you, hot peppers!), It’s okay to skip a cauliflower crust in favor of a thin crust.

The thin crust of this toasted artichoke and spinach pizza at CPK reduces calories and carbohydrates without compromising eating satisfaction. Artichokes are especially rich in magnesium – a mineral you need for energy production, bone health, and much more. Even without meat, the protein content for two slices is a surprising 24 grams, which is ideal for a pizza meal.

Bonefish grill salmonCourtesy Bonefish Grill

Meal to order: Atlantic salmon (small) with mango salsa, seasonal vegetables (green beans) and jasmine rice in the Bonefish Grill

Per meal: 620 calories, 28 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 910 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 44 g protein

Most of us don’t eat enough fish because we don’t like to cook it at home. This salmon entree is the perfect opportunity to include one of the two fish dishes that experts recommend every week.

Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish in the sea; The excellent omega-3 fatty acids support heart and brain health and reduce inflammation in the body. Combine salmon with seasonal vegetables and jasmine rice to keep the balance. But note: most of the sodium in this meal is added to the rice. So if you’re looking for a meal with a lower salt content, skip that and double the veggies.

Longhorn SteakhouseCourtesy Longhorn Steakhouse

Meal to order: Flo’s filet (6 oz), plain sweet potato, and freshly steamed broccoli at Longhorn Steakhouse

Per meal: 660 calories, 23 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 650 mg sodium, 66 g carbohydrates (13 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 46 g protein

The low saturated fat content of Longhorn Steakhouse’s Flo’s Filet, as well as the relatively small servings, make it a great choice for enjoying a delicious steak. Don’t let the 20 grams of sugar in this meal worry you. Almost everything comes naturally in the sweet potato and no sugar is added. Experts recommend limiting this.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and contain carotenoids, which give the potato its bright orange hue and also act as protective antioxidants in your body. The broccoli can be steamed fresh, but it also has added fat so you don’t have to add more.

del taco 8-layer vegetarian burritoCourtesy Del Taco

Meal to order: Del Taco’s 8-layer veggie burrito at Del Taco

For burrito: 530 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,350 mg sodium, 70 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 18 g protein

The combination of beans and cheese is largely responsible for the impressive protein content of this meatless meal from Del Taco, which also provides 20% of the daily iron value – a nutrient missing in many women’s diets. This vegetarian burrito contains 9 grams of fiber, which is more than a third of the recommended daily allowance, and 35% of the daily value for calcium. Not too shabby!

The only disadvantage? The sodium level. However, you are unlikely to find a lower sodium burrito on a restaurant menu as most of the ingredients appear to have salt added. Cut down on salty foods for the rest of the day to limit your sodium intake.

Panera Asian Sesame SaladPop of Red / Twitter

Meal to order: Asian sesame with chicken (whole portion) at Panera Bread

Per meal: 430 calories, 23 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 720 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 31 g protein

Surprise! Salads aren’t always the most nutritious choice – especially when you start piling up pieces of bacon, seeds, cheese, and greasy dressings. Panera Bread’s Asian sesame with chicken salad, with its appropriate calorie and sodium content and excellent protein content, combines excellent taste and good nutrition. It’s a little high in fat, probably from dressing.

Pro tip: most of the fat is unsaturated, but ask about the bandage on the side to reduce fat intake!

ChipotleChipotle / Yelp

Meal to order: burrito bowl with coriander, lime and brown rice, vegetables, pinto beans, Monterey Jack cheese, roasted chilli corn salsa and romaine lettuce at Chipotle

Per meal: 555 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,070 mg sodium, 80 g carbohydrates (15 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 22 g protein

With careful planning, bowls can be nutritious, balanced meals. When ordering from Chipotle, set your bowl on brown rice to add more whole grains to your eating plan.

Pinto beans provide protein, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Choosing them as a source of protein can also meet the recommendation of consuming 3 cups of legumes a week. The excess sodium in most Chipotle toppings, including the toasted chili corn salsa, is the only downside. In this case, the diet and taste benefits outweigh the sodium content.

Whole Grains Health

Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics Celebrates Eighth Annual Kids Eat Right Month™



The Academy of Nutrition and Diets and its foundation celebrate Kids Eat Right Month ™ every August.

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In August, the Academy and its foundation celebrate the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles for children and their families as part of their annual Kids Eat Right Month ™.

“Big growth spurts traditionally take place between the pre-teen and teen years as children go through puberty,” said a registered nutritionist Amy Reed, on Cincinnati-based national spokesperson for the academy. “Pre-teens and teens can grow at least 5 inches per year during this time and gain up to 6.5 pounds per year during this time. As their bodies grow in size and proportion, their appetites grow too.”

“Registered dietitians, who are food and nutrition experts, can help children meet their nutritional and exercise needs,” says Reed. “If your child is an athlete, it is important that they not only eat to grow but also support their increased activity.”

Reed encourages parents to consult with their child’s doctor about their child’s growth and any nutritional deficiencies.

“Offer your child a wide variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean protein foods, whole grains and dairy products, or fortified soy alternatives, to encourage growth,” she says. “Teenage children and teenagers may not always eat the foods a parent serves, but the more offered those foods, the more likely they are to eat them.”

“Children who are experiencing a growth spurt may need at least two snacks a day. Teen-friendly snacks are easy to get hold of and easy to eat, ”says Reed. “Simple things like fruits, whole grain crackers with peanut butter, and low-fat cream cheese can usually satisfy that hunger. Encourage them to drink plenty of water as thirst can sometimes be misinterpreted as hunger.”

Maintain consistent family meal times to avoid overeating close to meals, Reed says. “Discourage thoughtless snacks while watching TV or playing video games. Encourage them to take action by walking or exercising.”

“Parents should make sure they are ‘on the ball’ by eating nutritious foods, participating in regular physical activities, and giving their children a positive body image,” says Reed. “Children emulate their parents, so it is important that parents lead by example with their own healthy habits.”

Kids Eat Right Month ™ was launched in 2014 to mobilize registered nutritionists in a grassroots movement to spread messages about healthy eating to help families adopt nutritious eating habits.

Check out the media materials for Kids Eat Right Month for the 2021 campaign graphics, infographics, and more. To find a registered nutritionist near you, use the Academy’s Find a Nutrition Expert online service.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics represents more than 112,000 graduate nutritionists and is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The academy is committed to improving the health of the country and promoting the dietitian profession through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at

Foundation of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 charity dedicated solely to helping nutritionists and dieters by empowering them to help consumers lead healthier lifestyles. With its scholarships, awards, research grants, grants, public education programs, and disaster relief efforts, it impresses with members of the academy and across the profession. Through philanthropy, the foundation empowers current and future food and nutrition practitioners to optimize global health. Visit the foundation at

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Whole Grains Health

Bad inflammation will make your health sputter – Sooke News Mirror



Ron Cain | Contributed

The food industry is consumed by the need for ever-increasing profits and has no problem undermining public health and increasing food addiction for the benefit of shareholders.

Diet-related inflammation is worrisome.It is synonymous with not changing the oil in the car for too long, draining the oil and putting the dirty oil back in. Yes, the car is still running, but at some point it will suffer from significant engine damage that will put you in a crisis.

Almost everyone with common sense takes care of their car so it doesn’t get stranded on the side of the road. So why can’t we take care of our health to the same extent?

If your car engine makes strange noises when it starts, most will call and schedule an appointment to check it out. If you go hiking and can’t keep up, the next day your body aches all over and your knee explodes – some people keep lighting a cigarette and sitting on the couch with a pizza until the knee feels better.

We should listen to our body and treat it proactively.

I never found out why people work so hard to retire at 60 or 65 after 50 years only to have a short and crappy retirement due to health complications.

One in four deaths in North America is due to heart disease affected by inflammation in the body.

How your body reacts to food and the extent of inflammation are not the same between people. The response can vary enormously. The older we get, the stronger the reaction.

A University of BC study found a link between systemic inflammation in the body and Alzheimer’s disease. Before, we assumed that Alzheimer’s caused inflammation in the brain. Finding a drug to treat the disease is more glorious than devoting resources to educating people about prevention. My mother and sister are both in the terminal stages of this disease and that gives me the motivation to be as healthy as possible.

Fat and sugar are the two most critical factors that should be approached with caution.

The North American diet is very high in refined sugar, processed foods, and fat. Long-lasting, mild inflammation irritates the blood vessels – much like unwanted relatives who decide to stay longer.

The process of reducing inflammation in the body involves several steps: increasing anti-inflammatory foods in your diet; Reducing foods like sugar, white flour, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meats, and processed deli meats that cause inflammation; Control of blood sugar levels; Exercise; decrease; Coping with stress.

So what to eat

The good news is that the foods we need to eat to reduce inflammation are the same foods we need to maintain an ideal weight, have energy, improve our memory, etc.

Foods high in anti-inflammatory molecules like polyphenols can be found in colorful vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods. Dump baking with white flour and snacks with fiber-rich nuts, vegetables, and whole grains instead. Eat foods high in omega-3s such as fish and take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.


Ron Cain is the owner of Sooke Mobile Personal Training. Email him at or find him on Facebook at Sooke Personal Training.
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Whole Grains Health

Trying to control your waistline? Add whole grains to your diet



Repeated studies have linked higher intake of whole grains to protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

nehopelon / iStockPhoto / Getty Images

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If you don’t eat whole grains on a daily basis, you should rethink your menu.

According to researchers at Tufts University in Boston, this can help you control your waist size, blood sugar (glucose), and blood pressure as you age. And it doesn’t take much. The sweet spot, it seems, is three whole grain servings a day.

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Repeated studies have linked higher intake of whole grains to protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

The latest results, published earlier this month in the Journal of Nutrition, suggest that whole grains protect against chronic disease by reducing the increase in risk factors that appear over time.

What are whole grains?

All grains – such as wheat, rye, barley, spelled, oats – start out as whole grains, which are made up of three layers: the outer bran layer, which contains almost all of the fiber; the inner germ layer, which is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats; and the starchy endosperm.

Eating whole grains and 100 percent whole grains means you are getting all parts of the grain kernel.

Processing whole grains into refined flour removes the bran and germ layers, which results in the loss of most of the fiber, a quarter of the protein in the grain, and a significant amount of at least 17 nutrients.

About the new study

The researchers compared how consumption of whole grains and refined grains affected changes in five risk factors for heart disease and stroke: waist circumference, fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, blood triglycerides (fats) and HDL (“good”) blood cholesterol.

They did this by studying the diet and health of 3,121 middle and older adults every four years over a period of 18 years. The participants were 55 years old on average at the start of the data collection.

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People who ate at least three servings of whole grains a day (compared to half a serving or less) saw smaller increases in waist size. In each four-year period, the waist size of those who ate few whole grains increased by half an inch compared to those who ate more whole grains. The protective effects of whole grains on the waist circumference were greatest in women.

Whole grain eaters also had smaller increases in fasting blood sugar and blood pressure over time.

In terms of refined grains (like white bread, white pasta, and white rice), the results showed that people who ate four or more servings a day (compared to fewer than two) had greater increases in waist size and smaller decreases in triglycerides in the blood recorded the period of study.

Benefits of whole grain products

Eating whole grains high in fiber can help you feel full and overeat. The soluble fiber in whole grains can also help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin after a meal. This, in turn, can favor fat burning rather than fat storage.

Whole grains are also good sources of magnesium and potassium, minerals used to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. And many whole grains contain prebiotic carbohydrates, which power beneficial gut microbes.

How to increase your whole grain intake

A serving of whole grains is the same as one slice of 100% whole grain bread or half a cup of cooked whole wheat pasta or whole grains (including oats, brown rice, farro, millet, and peeled barley).

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Read the labels on packs of whole wheat bread, crackers, and breakfast cereals. If “100 percent whole grains” isn’t listed, scan the ingredients list to make sure the product doesn’t contain any refined grains (such as wheat flour).

When buying rye bread, look out for ingredients that indicate whole grains, such as whole rye flour, rye meal, rye kernels, and rye flakes.

Don’t be fooled by claims about added fiber. Wonder White + Fiber bread, for example, is not a whole grain bread. Neither is Catellis Smart Pasta. Both are refined grain products with added oat shell fibers (and inulin in the pasta).

If you avoid wheat, rye, and barley because they contain gluten, include gluten-free whole grains in your daily diet, such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth, and gluten-free oats.

Batch cook whole grains so you can add them to meals. Throw cooked quinoa, bulgur, or farro into green salads; add barley, red rice or spelled berries to soups, stews and chilies; or make whole grain bowls with freekeh or brown rice.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based nutritionist in private practice, is the director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD

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