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9 best plant-based proteins to add to your diet

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Almost a quarter of Americans say they eat more protein from plant sources than they did a year ago. This is the result of a recently published food and health survey carried out on behalf of the International Food Information Council (IFIC). Still, the number of people who tried a plant-based diet in the past year has not changed from the previous year.

Ali Webster, Ph.D., a registered nutritionist and director of research and nutritional communications at IFIC, said it means people are experimenting more, but not necessarily making major changes to their culinary identities. “For most people, choosing plant-based protein doesn’t mean going without animal protein – they eat both,” said Webster.

If you’re curious about the plant-based protein trend or just want to add new foods to your meal plan, here are some pointers – plus nine plant-based protein options, both whole and prepared foods, to check out.

Should You Try Vegetable Protein?

The short answer is yes! Ingesting more vegetable protein instead of animal protein can help lower the saturated fat in your diet, add more fiber and nutrients to your plate, and lower the risk of various health concerns. And of course, swapping out some of your animal-based foods for plant-based foods is a great way to lessen your environmental footprint.

Increasing your plant intake is easy! Try adding one of these plant-based proteins to your next meal:

1. Hemp seeds

These super seeds contain 10 grams of protein in a three tablespoon serving. Hemp hearts are peeled seeds and can be eaten straight out of the bag. Because they’re about the size of grains of rice, they’re not ideal for nibbling on. Instead, they are easy to use as a topping for avocado toast, sautéed vegetables, or oatmeal. Their mild taste (think macadamia nuts or pine nuts) makes them a natural addition to numerous meals and snacks.

2. Peanuts

Peanuts aren’t a tree nut, but they contain more protein than any other nut, with 7 grams of this powerful nutrient per ounce serving. Additionally, they have 3 grams of fiber and are a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, and folic acid. Not only are they great for nibbling, but they also add crispness to salads, stir-fries and oats overnight.

3. Quinoa

Whole grains contain some plant-based protein, but none are richer than quinoa (which is ironic since quinoa is actually a seed). For comparison, cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein per cup, while the same serving of cooked oatmeal contains 5 grams of protein. Quinoa can be swapped out for other grains like brown rice (which also has 5 grams of protein per cup) in almost any recipe. But you can also experiment with quinoa as a hot breakfast cereal by pouring spices like cinnamon over it and mixing it with unsweetened dried fruits and nuts. When you have leftover quinoa, sprinkle it over a salad or sauteed vegetables.

4. Impulses

This is the bulk category for beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas – and they’re an easy way to boost your plant-based protein intake. Depending on the variety, these foods provide around 8 to 18 grams of protein per cup, as well as other nutrients like fiber, folic acid, and magnesium. If you are new to these foods, try them in dishes that you eat regularly. For example, add peas to your mac and cheese, or use chickpeas with mayo and other condiments instead of egg salad. They’re also great for soups and stews.

Add these convenience products to make eating healthy even easier:

5. Barney Butter unsweetened powdered almond butter

Eating enough protein can be a challenge at times – especially at breakfast – and a few tablespoons of protein powder can help you overcome the hurdle. This version is unsweetened, practically tasteless, and breaks down easily into oatmeal and smoothies. A two-tablespoon serving contains 6 grams of protein. This may be enough when you add it to a meal with another source of protein such as milk, nuts, or plant-based seeds. But if not, or if you are an athlete or someone with higher calorie and protein needs, adding more is easy.

6. Beyond Meat Beyond Meatballs

If you’re curious about plant-based meat, try these meatballs in your next pasta dish. A five meatball serving contains 19 grams of protein, mostly from peas. They are already shaped and seasoned so all you have to do is figure out how to serve them. Meatball hero, anyone?

7. Dr. Praeger’s perfect burger

One of the easiest ways to try plant-based protein is with a vegetarian burger that provides 20 grams from a source of peas. Simple ingredients include sweet potato, butternut squash, and carrot puree, but they’re mixed in so fussy eaters won’t notice. As with any burger, the perfect way to eat it is with all the ingredients served on a whole wheat bun or English muffin.

8. Curl unsweetened original plant-based milk

While almonds contain about 6 grams of protein per ounce, one cup of almond milk contains about 1 gram. On the other hand, Ripple’s plant-based milk contains 8 grams of pea-based protein – an equal addition to a cup of milk. It’s also fortified with nutrients from dairy products like calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. It’s the perfect plant-based companion for a bowl of muesli or oatmeal and an excellent liquid base for smoothies.

9. Wildwood Organic Gluten Free Baked Tofu

A 3-ounce serving of this sprouted tofu contains 16 grams of protein, including all nine essential amino acids. Tofu picks up the flavor well, but many people are unfamiliar with squeezing it to remove the liquids and cook it. This handy product is pre-seasoned and cooked so you don’t have to find out! If you are new to tofu, cut it into cubes and add it to fried vegetables.

If you’re not used to plant-based proteins, start with the more familiar ones like peanuts and peanut butter, but try to use them in interesting, new ways. For example, instead of PB&J, use peanut butter to make a sauce for stir-fries or a dip for vegetables. Alternatively, start with a familiar meal and swap out the protein source. Taco lover? Try replacing some or all of the ground beef with black beans.

You may have heard that you need to combine plant-based proteins because most plant-based foods are deficient in one or more of the nine essential amino acids that animal foods provide. However, this advice is out of date. As long as you get enough plant-based protein from various sources throughout the day, you will get all of the essential amino acids you need. Your liver stores them so they are available when you need them, as long as you consume a range of plant-based proteins or eat a mix of plant and animal foods and meet your calorie and protein needs.

Do you need inspiration to cook? Try these recipes:

Quinoa tabbouleh

Mike Smith / TODAY

Al's veggie burger

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Bean and avocado tacos with quickly pickled jalapeños

Melissa Clark

Garlicky tofu

Getty Images warehouse

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Nutritional psychiatry – Independent Education Today

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We all know coffee is a pick-me-up because the caffeine it provides gives us a boost of energy and focus after drinking. Likewise, most of us have felt the need to nod off after a large feast and feel distracted or drowsy if we go too long without food or drink.

Today there is a growing awareness of this fascinating connection between food and mood, which experts refer to as “nutritional psychiatry”. As a relatively new discipline, it enables the formal study of the effects of what, when, and how we eat on the structure and function of our brain and, by default, on how we think, feel and behave in the short and long term.

First, researchers in the field examined data already collected on people’s diet and lifestyle and discovered interesting associations between Mediterranean, Finnish and Japanese traditional eating habits and better mental wellbeing.

Spurred on by the compounds they discovered, experts then began conducting “intervention studies” with results showing that those who ate a modified Mediterranean diet based primarily on plant-based foods improved mood and even depression Compared to those who resulted in their “normal”, unhealthy eating style.

It is important to note how different foods and drinks make you feel, not just in the moment, but in the hours leading up to the next meal and in the days that follow

Nutritional psychiatry is still in its infancy and there is still a lot to be done, but these findings are already to be taken seriously. British Nutrition Foundation scientists state, “It is possible that dietary recommendations will be recognized not only as a means of reducing the risk of chronic physical illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, but also as a way to protect our mental well-being.”

At this point there has perhaps never been a more important reason to take healthy eating seriously.

Here we outline the most important nutritional steps to support your mental health.

● Make every bite a matter of concern. In other words, eat meals and snacks that are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidant super-nutrients that can help reduce inflammation and protect brain cells right from stress.

● To do this, cook from scratch with nutritious ingredients like lentils, soybeans and peas, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and tofu. Eat fatty fish and lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains once a week. Snack on simple options like yogurt, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

● Limit your intake of highly processed foods and additives that cause brain tissue damage.

● Increase high fiber plant foods. These include fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Switch to whole grain, starchy carbohydrates like brown pasta and rice and whole grain breads. Fiber plays a vital role in mood by helping beneficial bacteria in the gut thrive. These beneficial bacteria, in turn, stimulate increases in the amount of serotonin we produce, which helps regulate sleep, appetite and pain thresholds, and lift our mood.

● Stay hydrated. Even small losses of fluid can affect our well-being and lead to stress, tiredness and poor concentration. Drink when you are thirsty as we need more fluids in hot weather, when exercising, in a humid atmosphere, and in air-conditioned environments. If your urine is pale in color and has no flavor, this is a good sign that you are making up fluids.

It is important to note how different foods and drinks make you feel, not just in the moment, but in the hours leading up to the next meal and in the days that follow. For example, treat yourself to a traditionally modified Mediterranean diet for three weeks and note how you are feeling physically and emotionally. The changes could be the incentive you need to change your diet for a lifetime.

W: www.chandcogroup.com/education

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Why do we love fast food so much? This study reveals all – Doha News

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A recent BBC study found a direct link between highly processed foods and major health risks.

Highly processed foods (UPFs), or heated, pasteurized, canned and dried foods that are chemically produced in factories, are associated with significant health risks much more serious than weight gain, according to an experiment devoted to BBC News.

Highly processed foods are products that are consumed by the vast majority of people in the world, such as: Soft drinks, chips, chocolate, candy, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereals, packaged soups, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, french fries and much more.

Dr. Chris van Tulleken did an experiment on himself for a month where he ate highly processed foods for a total of 30 days, and of course it didn’t go well.

The experiment was part of the British doctor’s documentation “What Do We Feed Our Kids?” which aired on the BBC last month. The documentary follows Dr. Tulleken, who followed a diet consisting of 80% highly processed foods for four weeks to study the effects of such food consumption on human health and wellbeing.

Throughout the experiment, Dr. Tulleken had some unpleasant symptoms and, as expected, his health began to deteriorate.

In a month of unhealthy eating, he developed Heartburn, lethargy, constipation, hemorrhoids, lack of sleep and weight gain of 7 kilograms.

“I felt 10 years older,” he said, adding that he didn’t know “it was all about food until he stopped following the diet.”

The diet that Dr. Tulleken followed, was made up of “many foods that are high in calories (high in energy) and likely to be high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat, such as fried chicken, fixed meat pizza, and chocolate pudding with very little fruits and vegetables and probably very little fiber. It is therefore not surprising that he gained weight and did not feel well “, British Foundation for Nutrition specified.

Also read: Qatar is going vegan? Plant-based Eat Just raises $ 200 million in Doha-led funding

“Global dietary guidelines are already advising us to eat less of these foods because we know that consuming them in large quantities is detrimental to health. In other words, since such a nutritional pattern is unlikely to provide all of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber we need for good health, and would exceed the recommendations for saturated fat, sugar, and salt, no nutritionist or health professional would recommend it. ”It added .

Some “healthy” foods appear to be unhealthy

Among the revelations from the study is the fact that ultra-processed foods aren’t just limited to fast foods or snacks. In fact, many of the products recommended for “healthy eating” fall under the ultra-processed food category.

The foundation noted that “the ultra-processed definition includes foods that can be part of a healthy diet, such as: B. Whole-grain bread, low-fat, reduced-sugar yogurt, whole-grain breakfast cereals, fish fingers or baked beans, which can provide important nutrients ”. on nutrition ”, although many people do not acknowledge this fact.

Scientific proof

Together with Dr. A study was conducted on Tulleken’s experiment to scientifically substantiate all of the health effects the doctor experienced within the month.

“It found that those with a high intake ended up consuming more than 500 calories a day compared to those who were on a low ultra-processed diet,” said the BBC.

Such a diet has also been found to increase the hunger hormone, which stimulates appetite, and decrease the hormone that causes satiety, which explains why fast food lovers tend to gain weight faster, and in some cases, gain weight To suffer from obesity.

However, this is only a side effect of an unhealthy, highly processed diet.

Also read: Made in Qatar: More local product outlets are springing up this season

“Other previous studies have shown a link between prolonged consumption of these foods and a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and even depression,” the BBC reported.

The study also found that such types of foods had an impact on eating habits, and found that people tend to eat much faster than those following a low ultra-processing diet.

Some studies link slow eating to feeling full, but highly processed foods “are very easy to chew and swallow,” said Dr. Tulleks.

Food manipulation and mind control

Food and nutritionist Emma Beckett explained why people crave certain types of foods, which in most cases are highly processed foods.

These products are often designed in such a way that they achieve our “satisfaction points”, ie the ideal salt, fat and / or sugar content; and to be just below the point of “specific sensory saturation”, which is insufficient. After that we don’t want any more. “

In other words, delicious fast food and our favorite snacks are made in a way that messes up our minds, making us crave more. High consumption of such foods can potentially lead to addiction.

DR. Tulleken learned that “eating highly processed foods is just something my brain made up without my craving.”

According to the BBC report, scans of Dr. Tulleks, like “regions responsible for reward are linked to regions that drive repetitive, automatic behavior”. This means that his brain became addicted to ultra-processed foods.

“One of the side effects of delicious food is that it is very difficult to stop,” the doctor admitted.

These types of foods can trigger a mechanism known as “optimism bias,” added Dr. Beckett added.

“The satisfaction from eating these foods comes right away, but the negative effects take time to believe that we will have time to change our eating habits later,” she said.

In addition, the media is another major player in the mind game. Marketing plays an important role in controlling and directing consumer behavior – it has the power to get consumers to buy a product they never wanted or needed.

“A lot of our food choices are unconscious and out of habit we don’t always think about what’s healthy, and the more we see these foods in stores, in the media and in advertising, the more likely we are to buy them. “Remarked Dr. Beckett.

Why do we eat ultra-processed foods?

Not all processed foods are necessarily unhealthy or pose a risk to our health, emphasized Dr. Beckett.

“Processed foods include some really important and healthy foods like canned vegetables, pasta, rice, bread, and high-fiber breakfast cereals,” she said.

“But above all, we must not forget that food is much more than the sum of its components. Eating is more than just a necessity.

“It’s part of our satisfaction, part of our culture, our community, our social connection and much more.

“What we really need is to help people balance happiness and health,” she concluded.

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Make your next barbecue a healthy one

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Summer tends to mean more outdoor dining options. Whether you are hosting a meal event, packing a picnic, participating in a social activity and bringing food, or just preparing a meal for the family, why not consider some delicious options that also promote better health.

Typical grilled dishes often contain processed and / or high fat meats, lots of refined starches, foods high in sodium, desserts and beverages with added sugar, snacks that are high in calories but low in nutrients, and with a minimal amount of fruits and vegetables. These can be detrimental to health, especially if consumed frequently.

In considering some outdoor eating goals, in addition to improving the quality of the food on offer, it is essential that the food be kept at a safe temperature. This means the provision of cold rooms (< 40 degrees) or keeping hot foods hot (> 140 degrees) until the time of consumption. This goal is not only intended for protein foods such as meat, but also for other products. All food has the potential to harbor microbes that grow in this temperature range and can potentially lead to disease.

The way food is grilled also has an impact on food safety. Indirect cooking is a better plan than direct heat, which leads to char. Marinating can also reduce the production of substances that are created during grilling that can otherwise contribute to health problems.

When deciding what to prepare, think about ingredients that fit a healthy profile. This means lean, less processed meat, skinless poultry, fish, seafood, vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soy products, a strong emphasis on fruits and vegetables, minimal amounts of added sugar. Sodium, saturated fat, and the use of whole instead of refined grains.

The taste of food can be enhanced with fresh herbs, unsalted spices and rubs, homemade dressings with various vinegars, mustard, olive oil, lemon or lime juice or peel, and fresh or roasted onions, garlic, spring onions and shallots. Pesto or a light rubbing of strong cheese like parmesan can add flavor to foods like a cold pasta salad.

For snacking, baked whole grain or bean chips and various raw vegetables with salsa, guacamole, hummus or other bean dip are good choices. Popcorn (without a lot of butter or salt) is always a hit. How about a trail mix made from nuts, whole grains and some dried fruit?

As a starter, you can serve bite-sized pieces of wholemeal bread spread with pesto or herb goat cheese with halved grape tomatoes and fresh basil. You can cut across slices of Thai salad wraps or a whole grain wrap with healthy fillings. A cold fruit soup with berries, peaches, mango or other fruits and yogurt can be served in small cups. Fruit skewers on small wooden skewers look colorful. How about a thick slice of heirloom tomato with a devilish egg or a caprese salad made from tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil – both sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.

As a main course, some protein items can be served alone with side dishes or incorporated into other dishes. For example, grilled fish is great in a fish taco. Kabobs make a wide variety of vegetables possible. Grilled chicken or shrimp can be the protein in a meal with vegetables and cooked whole grains. Plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds work well in a variety of salads and cereal dishes. Veggie burgers or marinated tofu are some of the plant-based main dishes.

A grill basket is a practical grill accessory. It can be used to grill vegetables or to sear them on the grill. An example would be to marinate raw chicken in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic, then stir frequently with bite-sized vegetables (peppers, onions, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, etc.) and grill until all the ingredients are cooked through.

With the side dishes, the possibilities are almost unlimited. In addition to the summer favorite, corn on the cob, there are numerous salads and mixed varieties. A refreshing side dish would be a bowl of fresh fruit with mint leaves or a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Grilled vegetables, especially when seasoned, can provide unique flavors as a stand-alone product or can be added to mixed dishes. Spices can be as varied as vinegar or lemon juice with olive oil, a lime / caraway / olive oil dressing, a pinch of roasted nuts or seeds, a lightly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, dill or coriander), or a dressing with curry spice. These spices can also be used on a fresh lettuce with various vegetables or as a substitute for mayonnaise in coleslaw.

A delicious salad can be prepared from steamed corn on the cob, halved grape tomatoes, diced mozzarella balls, chopped avocado, chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley) and a lemon / olive oil dressing. You can add other proteins to this dish, such as chicken, shrimp or edamame and / or dark leafy vegetables.

One-dish meals can be based on a cooked whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, farro or wheat berries. For more flavor, you can cook these in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Add any number of options to the grain, such as: B. grilled, roasted or raw vegetables, raw / sautéed / roasted onions (spring onions, red or white onions, garlic or shallots), dried or fresh fruits and one or more protein products (poultry, fish or other seafood, lean meat, low-fat cheese , Beans, lentils, tofu, edamame, nuts, seeds). Add some chopped fresh herbs and a dash of vinaigrette.

When it comes to drinks, think of options with minimal added sugar. This can be water, flavored water, or water with added fruit slices. How about a “Make your own smoothie” station? Offer a variety of fruits, leafy greens, fresh mint, yogurt, milk or soy milk, and maybe some spices like cinnamon.

For a healthy dessert who doesn’t like the summer favorite – watermelon!

So, with a little creativity and planning, you can offer delicious and healthy summer dishes for friends and family at your next summer dinner or dinner event.

Pam Stuppy

Pam Stuppy, MS, RD, LD is a registered, licensed nutritionist with nutritional advice offices in York, ME and Portsmouth, NH. She has also been a nutritionist for Phillips Exeter Academy, holding workshops nationwide, and providing advice on sports nutrition. (See www.pamstuppynutrition.com for more nutritional information, some healthy cooking tips and recipe ideas).

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