Connect with us

Whole Grains Health

A nutritionist shares the best things to order at Starbucks — and what to skip



Whether you’re out for an adventure or just out and about the city, you can be sure that you will encounter a Starbucks along the way. It’s comforting to know that you can rely on healthy eating no matter where you are. That’s the beauty of Starbucks. Still, there are a few menu options that you may want to skip. Here are the best things to eat at Starbucks and a few things you might want to eat less frequently.

What Makes a Healthy Starbucks Meal?

Restaurant meals typically contain more sodium and saturated fat and fewer vegetables, fruits, and whole grains compared to meals eaten at home. But since we all eat out from time to time, here are some sensible goals to keep in mind when eating at Starbucks:

  • The meals contain at least one serving of vegetables or fruit, or ideally even more.
  • Cereal meals and snacks include whole grains, preferably as the primary cereal ingredient.
  • The sodium content is 800 milligrams or less – just over a third of the maximum you should have in a day.

What can you order from Starbucks

If you’re hungry for a meal, here are some healthy options.

Hot breakfast

Wrap with spinach, feta and egg white

Granted, this offering contains a little more sodium than our target, but it scores points for the predominantly whole grain packaging. It also has a filling combination of fiber and protein with 20 grams of the latter. While this meal contains vegetables, it likely doesn’t contain enough to qualify as a full serving. Still, some are better than none. And you could pick up a banana at the counter to increase your product intake.

Turkey Bacon Cheddar Egg White Sandwich

Turkey bacon is processed meat, so this may not be the best choice for a regular breakfast. But if you decide between this and any of the other breakfast sandwiches, this Sammy is a better option as it has less sodium and more whole grains than the others. In addition, the 17 grams of protein fill you up. Combine it with a fruit cup or a banana to get some fruits and vegetables inside.

Classic oatmeal

This menu option is a perfect alternative for making oatmeal at home. It comes with dried fruits and nuts that, along with the oats, provide 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to fill your tummy. It also comes with a side dish of brown sugar that you can omit or add sparingly. When you have a hearty appetite, reach for any extra nuts and fruits that you have with your oats.

Having lunch

Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl with Black Beans

This meal is on par with the veggie brand but exceeds our sodium goal. That is to be expected when eating. That said, we love the antibiotic-free chicken and plant-based protein combo, which provides a total of 27 grams of this filling nutrient. The bowl also has an impressive 9 grams of fiber.

Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box

Sodium less than 800 mg? Check. A portion of vegetables? Check. It’s nice to find a meal that meets these healthy goals and has 13 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein. This box is likely enough for a moderate appetite, but if your appetite is bigger, have it with a fruit cup by the side.

Grilled Chicken & Hummus Protein Box

Here’s another meal that meets our sodium and vegetable needs. A small nitpick: the naan is made from refined grain (in other words processed white flour). However, you are still getting 7 grams of fiber from that lunch box. If you want a side dish, try the fruit cup or a banana.


Siggi’s yoghurt tub, vanilla

This lightly sweetened yogurt has 15 grams of protein for just 110 calories. Enjoy it with the fruit salad for a more filling snack or a light breakfast. If you make a meal out of it, buy the nuts too. The added crunch makes your meal more filling, with more fiber and healthy fat.

Squirrel brand Classic almonds

This almond tin contains more nuts than a standard serving, but you can save half for later and combine your almonds with one of the fruit options. About 80 percent of Americans don’t get their fruit needs, but since Starbucks has at least three different varieties, it’s easy to get something to go with with your snack.

What to skip (or just move on) at Starbucks

While there are many healthy options on the Starbucks menu, there are of course some less healthy options as well. If you routinely eat nutritious whole foods – especially plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and whole grains – a sugary treat or white bread bagel is no big deal. However, if most of your meals are high in added sugars and refined grains and low in whole plant foods, it can potentially lead to health problems across the board. So eat these menu options less often, but when you do eat them stay present while you enjoy them and move on to a healthier diet for your next meal or snack.


Coffee alone is an antioxidant drink that can help you feel energized and focused. However, many of the add-ins, including the plant-based milk, are heavily sweetened, making your coffee drink more like dessert than a slight mood lift. It’s generally better to avoid these drinks as they can quickly get you near or above recommended daily sugar goals of 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. Case in point: The Honey Almond Milk Flat White contains 24 grams of sugar. The Cinnamon Dolce Latte has 40 grams of sugar. And the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino has 51 grams of sugar. For comparison: The Chocolate Chip Cookie at Starbucks contains 31 grams of sugar.

Bakery products

Certainly a pastry here and there can be part of a healthy diet. But if a Starbucks baked good is an everyday breakfast or snack, it’s likely a habit that could use some attention. The refined grains and added sugar won’t fill you up, leaving you hungry soon after you eat them. Foods made with these types of carbohydrates are also associated with less energy and less alertness. These ingredients have also been linked to inflammation, which can promote health problems from cancer to Alzheimer’s.

It’s probably obvious, but smaller servings are preferable to larger ones. For example, the Birthday Cake Pop has 170 calories and 18 grams of sugar compared to the 480 calorie chocolate brownie with 37 grams of sugar. For an even tamer sweet treat, try the Rip Van Wafel from the packaged snack selection. According to the Starbucks website, it contains 8 grams of sugar. The vanilla biscotti with almonds is another option with a reasonable 10 grams of sugar.

Whole Grains Health

A cardiothoracic surgeon on the one thing she wishes people knew about their heart



As one of only eleven female cardiothoracic surgeons in Australia, Dr. Nikki Stamp a heart surgeon with a mission – to bring inspiration and education to people everywhere.

Dr. Nikki works as a heart surgeon and has a particular interest in heart disease in women and transplants. She also has a strong desire to change the way we think about health and is committed to raising awareness about heart disease in women, which is currently the number one killer among Australian women.

In fact, one Australian woman dies of heart disease every hour and 50 women have a heart attack every day. On this World Heart Day we have Dr. Nikki asked how to keep a happy heart and safely monitor the health of one of our most precious organs.

Do you like what you see? For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter.

1. As a cardiovascular surgeon, what would you like to know about your heart?

I would be happy if people know that caring for their hearts starts at a young age! It doesn’t have to be complex or even popular.

2. What are some of your top tips to make sure your heart stays healthy?

There is a lot of complicated and unreachable advice to stay healthy when, in reality, it is the simple things that are good for your heart. Exercise your body, eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, quit smoking (if you do), sleep well, and talk to your doctor to learn more about your heart. It’s boring advice, but it works!

3. Wearable technology has made tremendous strides in monitoring our health in recent years. What can we learn from monitoring our heart rhythm and health on wearable technology like a Fitbit?

As a surgeon, I’m excited about the potential of wearable technology to help people better understand their health right on their wrist. Fitbit’s EKG app is a fantastic example of this, making it quick and easy to check your heart for common rhythm problems like atrial fibrillation.

This can then provide data that you can share with your doctor, identify important issues early on, and feel empowered about your own health and wellbeing.

4. I think that I am reasonably fit and healthy. Do I still have to monitor my heart rhythm with such a technical device?

In all honesty, it’s never too young to think about its heart. While we think of heart problems that arise when we are older, the truth is that heart disease does not discriminate.

Not only can we see heart problems in young people, but we also know that what we say in our 20s and 30s really lays the foundation for our future health.

5. What are some of the warning signs our heart may need medical attention?

You know your body best, so if you feel like something is wrong, get examined. Things to watch out for include chest pain or discomfort, palpitations that don’t go away, dizziness or fainting, shortness of breath, or realizing that you can’t do things that you normally would.

6. Assuming it’s World Heart Day, go ahead, give us your best heart fun fact?

Your heart starts beating before you are even born and doesn’t stop until you die, beating over 2.5 billion times in your lifetime! That’s so amazing!

All of the products featured in this article are selected by our editors who do not play favorites. When you buy something, we may receive some of the sale. Learn more.

Continue Reading

Whole Grains Health

Tips to Be Fit: Early retirement may lead to earlier death | Health



Retirement is a phase that most of us will go through. But should we just ride into the sunset and accept retirement as a phase we all have to live with? A study of Shell Oil employees found that people who retired at 55 and lived to be 65 died 37% earlier than those who retired at 65. They also found that people who retired at 55 were 89% more likely to retire within 10 years than those who retired at 65. Social security data also showed the trend. Men who retire at 62 were 20% more likely to die than the general population.

The type of occupation you had before retirement also played a role in how long you lived after you retired. One study found that groups who retired from lower-status jobs at the age of 65 were more likely to die within three years of retirement. People with higher quality jobs lived longer after retirement. A greater percentage of those with higher status who retire at 65 have higher education. Studies have also found that the lower the income and educational level, the higher the mortality rate among retirees.

Another issue that affected retirement was how important the job was to the retiree. Retirees who found their identity through their jobs have a harder time adapting to retirement. Some retirees have felt lost, unsure of who they are or what to spend their time with. These feelings can lead to inactivity, increased alcohol consumption, and depression. Working longer seems to reduce the likelihood of early death. Healthy workers who continued to work until they were 66 years old had an 11% reduced risk of death. Even retirees with health problems who worked until the age of 66 had a 9% reduced risk of death. These studies do not imply that you will die soon after you retire. If you retire at 65, you have a 76% chance of living another 10 years, a 38% chance of living an additional 20 years, and a 5% chance of living an additional 30 years. The life expectancy for men in the United States is 78.54 years. Women generally live longer than men and have a life expectancy of 81.1 years. Not all will die soon after retirement.

There are several things you can do to stay healthy in retirement.

Maintain a healthy weight and reduce body fat

Don’t smoke or hang out with people who smoke

Enjoy your family and friends

Plan meaningful tasks like travel, hobbies, and volunteering

See your doctor for regular checkups

Retirement does not mean becoming weak and suffering from age-related changes that are more likely to affect the elderly. Several studies show that strength training exercises help maintain and increase muscle strength and size as you age. When muscle biopsies from men over 50 who lifted weights were compared to those from 20-year-old men, the biopsies looked the same. When biopsies from men over 50 who did not exercise were compared to those from the same 20-year-old men, their biopsies showed typical age-related changes.

A complete workout should include exercises for each part of the body. These include the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, biceps, forearm, thighs, calves, and abdomen (midsection). Start with 2 or 3 different exercises for each part of the body. Gradually work up to 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. If you can do more than 12 repetitions with a weight, the weight is too light. If you can’t do 8 reps with a weight, the weight is too heavy. Do each exercise 1-3 times to start.

We strongly recommend that you have a professional show you what to include in your routine and that you get an OK from your doctor before starting. If you have chronic conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, angina, or diabetes, these must be stable before starting an exercise program.

There is no mythical fountain of youth to stop the aging process after retirement. Aging begins with birth. Good nutrition plays an enormous role in aging gracefully. Many diseases or physical problems related to aging can be attributed in part to poor eating habits. Even after retirement, your body needs carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water to be healthy. Optimal health cannot be achieved without proper diet and exercise. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provide energy (calories) that are necessary for work and normal body functions. Vitamins, minerals, fiber and water have no caloric value, but are still necessary for normal body functions. Most of the nutritional needs of the elderly person are similar to those of their younger counterparts. Make sure you are getting enough calcium, B vitamins, and iron through a balanced diet. Keep a food journal for two weeks to determine what to add to your diet. An active person needs around 10 to 13 calories for every pound of body weight. You should eat 4 to 5 small meals that contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins.

My advice is to work for as long as you enjoy the work. When it comes time to retire, plan the eight hours you’ve worked with eight hours of something that matters to you.

If you have a fitness question or concern, write to Tips to be Fit, PO Box 53443, Philadelphia, PA 19105 or email To find past articles, go to and search for “Tips for Fit”.

Continue Reading

Whole Grains Health

Is Rice Keto? Nope: Here’s Why



Did you join the keto club? The ketogenic diet is a trendy high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating style that is touted for its potential health benefits (like promoting weight loss and treating certain medical conditions).

If you’re new to keto, it may take a while to familiarize yourself with what will and won’t fit in your new diet. Before you cook your favorite fried rice or dig into sushi, you may be asking yourself: is rice keto? Let’s find out.

With the keto diet, most of your caloric intake is obtained from proteins and healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. You will usually try to eat foods that contain a certain ratio of nutrients (like 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent carbohydrates).

Carbohydrates and ketosis

If you drastically reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat, your body can go into a state of ketosis. That’s when your body becomes mega efficient at burning fat for fuel. This can help you lose body fat and can be beneficial for some medical conditions.

Why doesn’t rice help you achieve this state? Rice is a grain, and grain just isn’t a low-carb food. Even brown rice – usually considered a “healthier” option than white rice – is off-limits on a keto diet.

Should you avoid rice altogether?

Rice is high in carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out of your life forever. While rice isn’t keto friendly, it’s still packed with essential nutrients and minerals. For example, it’s a good source of potassium and magnesium.

Keep in mind that while the keto diet has many potential health benefits, this low-carb lifestyle is not for everyone. It can actually have negative effects in certain populations (such as people with type 1 diabetes or people who are pregnant). If you are thinking of getting ketogenic, speak to a nutritionist first. They will help you find a plan that suits you.

Looking for a new staple supplement? We have them! Check out our list of delicious keto-friendly alternatives.

1. Shirataki rice

Net carbohydrates per serving: 1 gram

Shirataki rice (also known as “miracle rice”) is an interesting keto-friendly rice alternative. It is made from flour, which is made from the root of a plant called Konnyaku. What is so wonderful about it? Each serving of Shirataki rice contains only 1 carbohydrate. Also, because this rice is made up of soluble fiber, it can aid digestion.

2. Swede rice

Net carbohydrates per serving: 9 grams

And now for something completely different: turnip rice. Rutabaga is a root vegetable from the same family as cabbage and beets. It is often used as a low-carb substitute for potatoes. It has 9 grams of net carbs per 1 cup serving, but depending on your daily carb goal, it could fit into your keto diet. To make turnip rice, simply chop raw turnips in a food processor, then cook them on the stove.

3. Zoodles

Net carbohydrates per serving: 3 grams

Who needs pasta when you’ve got tons of zoodles? Zucchini noodles are zucchini that are cut into thin threads. They are suitable as a low-carbohydrate substitute for pasta and rice dishes. You can cut them at home with a spiral cutter or buy them ready-made. Zucchini is high in potassium and a 3/4 cup serving has only 3 grams of net carbohydrates.

4. Spaghetti squash

Net carbohydrates per serving: 7.8 grams

In the mood for something warm and hearty that will give you all the cozy vibes? Try spaghetti squash. With just 7.8 grams of carbohydrates per 1 cup serving, spaghetti squash is another great low-carb substitute for rice. To make the spaghetti-like strands appear, cut the pumpkin in half and toast it. When it’s done, use a fork to scrape out the fleshy parts.

5. Grated cabbage

Net carbohydrates per serving: 3 grams

Grated cabbage is far from rice, but it can serve as an easy-to-prepare, low-carb side dish. You can chop up your cabbage with a food processor or just cut it by hand. Not only is cabbage low in carbohydrates, but a study suggested it could play an important role in heart health.

6. Broccoli rice

Net carbohydrates per serving: 6 grams

It has color, it has taste, and it looks like a little tree … it’s broccoli! Broccoli is a cauliflower cousin and another great low-carb substitute for your regular rice dish. To make broccoli rice, simply put the broccoli in a food processor and pulse it until it’s as small as grains of rice. One cup of cooked broccoli has about 6 grams of net carbohydrates and 30 milligrams of calcium, making this vegetable a great non-dairy source of calcium.

7. Cauliflower rice

Net carbohydrates per serving: 6 grams

A popular low-carb rice alternative under #TeamKeto, cauliflower rice is only 6 grams of net carbs per 1 cup serving. In addition, a small study suggested that eating vegetables like cauliflower can have a positive impact on digestion and gut health.

  • The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that limits the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
  • Both white and brown rice are high in carbohydrates, so rice is generally * not * keto.
  • Keto-friendly alternatives to rice include vegetable options with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and zucchini.
  • There is some evidence that a keto diet can play a role in weight loss and even in the management of diabetes.
  • A restrictive low-carb diet cannot be sustainable in the long run. If you have any questions about keto and how it can affect your health, speak to a registered dietitian.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.