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Whole Grains Health

Is Cereal As Unhealthy as You Think? The Answer Will Surprise You

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Granola is such a staple in the American diet that people eat it more than any other classic breakfast (toast and bacon come second and third), and four in five Americans eat it with dinner, according to a YouGov poll. However, grains have been defamed as a sugary, highly processed food that is largely devoid of natural nutrients (other than what has been re-added in the form of fortified B vitamins).

If you’re one of those healthy consumers who has ever wondered how awful cold cereal really is for you, then you probably turned the box over to read the label on the side wall. Most ingredient lists show that packaged grains contain processed grains, as well as a list of things that cannot be pronounced. But here’s the surprise: Muesli may not be as bad as you think – as long as you choose carefully what goes in the bowl.

Are Grains Healthy?

It goes without saying that granola will never fall into the same category as chickpeas or kale for its nutritional value, but cold granola has some redeeming properties. The catch? This only applies if you choose whole grain cereals.

Although most Americans eat enough whole grains, few eat enough whole grains, while over 40 percent don’t eat any at all, as found by the Whole Grains Council. This is a worrying trend as whole grains can reduce the risk of numerous diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and as a bonus, could help you manage your weight. “Half of the grains you eat every day should be whole,” says Catherine Fody Flanagan, MS, RDN, CDN, VLCE, a nutritionist in Long Island, NY. If you follow the dietary guidelines, that’s at least three to five servings (one cup of ready-to-eat whole grain muesli counts as one serving).

Whole grains, however, are only part of the story, because when it comes to whole grains, it starts with fiber. These whole grains are loaded with fiber (soluble and insoluble), which makes these cereals a healthy source of carbohydrates, especially if you follow a plant-based diet, says Lauren Hubert, MS, RD, a nutritionist based in Boston. The shocker? Only five percent of women and nine percent of men in the United States get their daily fiber needs (25 grams for women, 38 for men), according to a study presented at a recent meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

And you can’t ignore the other nutrients found in whole grains. These include minerals like iron, selenium and magnesium, as well as B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. Each has unique advantages, says Flanagan. Iron, for example, helps carry oxygen in the blood, while magnesium helps build bones and B vitamins are involved in energy production and maintaining a healthy nervous system. In fact, a study by Advances of Nutrition concluded that consuming ready-to-eat grains regularly can help ensure people get the nutrients they need and can even help reduce their risk of obesity or diabetes or heart disease.

What to look for in a muesli

Don’t be fooled, all grain products are healthy because they are not. As Hubert says: “Not every grain is the same.”

Finally, some grains use processed and refined grains that are fiber-free and high in sugar for flavoring. “Too much sugar, especially at breakfast, can lead to a high rise in blood sugar and then a fall, which can lead to lethargy, increased hunger and overeating,” says Hubert. These effects are even worse when you eat a high-sugar breakfast cereal source with no protein source. And of course, high-sugar foods, which many children’s cereals are considering, increase their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and numerous other health problems, says Flanagan.

Take into account the high calories of added sugar, even the added fat, and you have now made cereals a health hazard. As Flanagan notes, high fat intake can increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, to name a few.

Also, who sticks to serving size when it comes to these nutrient-poor cereals? If you keep dipping your hand in the box to pull more out because you’re so addicted to the sugary taste, you run the risk of overeating, which can lead to weight gain, Hubert says.

How to choose a healthy grain

With the plethora of cold cereals out there, including vegans, how do you find the healthiest ones? You already know the most important criteria, namely that the grain is whole grain. “Look for a 100 percent whole grain muesli with 16 grams of whole grains per serving, or at least eight grams of whole grains if it also contains refined grains,” says Flanagan. Adults should consume at least 48 grams of whole grains a day, which is why she says you don’t need to save cereal for breakfast. Eat it as a snack instead of foods like salty chips and crackers.

Check to see if cereals are at the top of the ingredients list. Finding the Whole Grain Council’s Whole Grain Council stamp is a great way to verify that the grain is whole grain. Bonus? Opt for those with sprouted grains, as sprouting can increase nutrients and their bioavailability, Flanagan adds.

At the same time, check the fiber content of the grain. While Hubert recommends looking for one with two to four grams per serving, Flanagan says it should provide at least five grams of fiber per serving.

Next, look for a sugar content less than five grams per serving. Another guideline when it comes to sugar? Check how many grams of sugar are in relation to grams of total carbohydrates. “The closer the sugar grams are to the total carbohydrates, the higher the added sugar content,” says Flanagan. Make sure the carbohydrate content comes from fiber.

Some of the healthiest whole grains can be found in kashi, muesli, grape nuts, shredded wheat with no frosting, as well as classic steel oats, where you make oatmeal with no added sugar.

Whole Grains Health

‘ABCs’ of primary and secondary CVD prevention have expanded over the years

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Blumenthal R. Opening session. Presented at: American Society for Preventive Cardiology Congress for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease; 23-25 July 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
Blumenthal does not report any relevant financial information.

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The ABCs have been providing a roadmap for primary and secondary CVD prevention since 1999, according to a spokesperson for the American Society for Preventive Cardiology on CVD Prevention virtual congress.

Roger S. Blumenthal

Since then, the ABCs have been expanded and adapted to changing guidelines and newer evidence-based care approaches. Cardiology today editor of the Prevention Department Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, FACC, FAHA, Kenneth Jay Pollin Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, discussed these changes and more during his talk.

Heart shaped puzzle pieces

Source: Adobe Stock

Blumenthal said the ABC structure originated in the 1999 American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology guidelines for the treatment of stable angina, chaired by Raymond J. Gibbons, MD.

“We have modified the ABC approach to an ABCDE approach over the years,” said Blumenthal. “For this talk we added an ‘F’ for failure or heart failure as seen in the 2019 Primary Prevention Guidelines,” said Blumenthal.

He said that in its current form, a draft of the “ABCDEF” of CVD prevention would read:

A (Assessment and Aspirin) Adults 40 to 75 years of age should be routinely screened for traditional CVD risk factors, and clinicians calculate the 10-year risk for ASCVD using the pooled cohort equations. According to the presentation, low-dose aspirin (75 to 100 mg per day) may be considered in adults who have currently or recently smoked, a family history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia with statin intolerance, subclinical arteriosclerosis (coronary artery calcium Score>.) Have 100) or in patients with a 10-year ASCVD risk of at least 20%.

B (blood pressure) In adults with elevated blood pressure, including those requiring medical therapy, recommended measures include weight loss (if overweight), a healthy diet, sodium reduction, potassium supplementation, increased physical activity, and limited alcohol consumption.

C (Cholesterol and Cigarette Cessation) statin therapy is the first-line approach to primary prevention in patients with elevated LDL, diabetics or patients with a sufficient risk of ASCVD. In addition, nicotine replacement or other pharmacotherapy are recommended to aid in smoking cessation. All adults and adolescents should avoid secondhand smoke.

D (Diabetes / Glucose Management and Diet / Weight) Clinicians should encourage patients to improve their consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fish to reduce risk factors; Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; reduce dietary cholesterol and sodium; and minimize your intake of processed meats, refined carbohydrates, and sweetened beverages.

E (exercise / education) – Sedentary behavior should be avoided and people should participate in 300 minutes of moderate or 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.

F (Heart Failure) The sequential introduction of evidence-based RF therapies, including ACE inhibitors / angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, aldosterone antagonists, angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors, and SGLT2 inhibitors, can reduce both the relative risk of death and the 2-year mortality rate is reduced by patients with HF.

“If you take our guidelines and put them in an ABC approach, we’ll start with pharmacists assessing cardiovascular risk,” said Blumenthal. “We also need to keep in mind that the ultimate decision rests with the patient on how aggressively we are drug management or how long we focus on lifestyle. Of course, the healthcare professional has to present the data in a way that patients can understand. “

References:

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American Society for Preventive Cardiology

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Whole Grains Health

Serena Siddiqui: Shape Your Future Recipe Contest Winner

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AAs part of their mission to educate Oklahomans to make healthy choices, Shape Your Future (shapeyourfutureok.com) partnered with TulsaKids to find a young chef who can create a healthy, delicious recipe using fruits or vegetables. Shape Your Future encourages everyone to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal, and 9-year-old Serena Siddiqui’s creation hit the mark. Her salmon tacos recipe is a winning combination of lean protein, whole grains, and colorful vegetables that are delicious, healthy, and visually appealing.

Young people like Serena can point the way to a bright future for Oklahoma. The state ranks 47th nationwide for health and has some of the highest childhood and adult obesity rates in the United States. Shape Your Future aims to change these statistics by educating all Oklahomans about healthy choices. They want families to know that in addition to eating fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water, children do 60 minutes of physical activity a day and adults 30 minutes a day. And of course, tobacco-free is always the best choice for a healthy lifestyle.

Serena used her passion for healthy eating to create this year’s winning recipe. Their unique twist on tacos combines omega-3 wrapped salmon with tasty spices and colorful vegetables to make it a dish worthy of family evenings!

TK: How did you come up with your award-winning recipe?

Serena: I thought about healthy options that we eat on a daily basis. I drew pictures of different foods and ingredients that I like: avocados, salmon, sweet potatoes, and lettuce. With the help of my mom, I created a recipe that not only tastes good, but is also healthy and easy to prepare.

TK: What did you learn from this experience?

Serena: I learned that eating healthy can be better than junk food. Almond flour tortillas are healthier than regular tortillas and taste the same!

TK: How did you develop your interest in cooking?

Serena: I watch my mother cook all the time and enjoy helping out in the kitchen. And in my mind I thought that one day I wanted to cook dinner for my family.

TK: What do you like to cook best?

Serena: Homemade pizza with my aunt.

TK: What is your advice to other children who want to cook and eat healthily?

Serena: Don’t eat out a lot. Eat vegetables and fruits at every meal. If you want to try something new, try it at least six or seven times until you have decided whether you like it or not.

TK: What are you and your family doing to eat healthily?

Serena: My mom and I go to the grocery store and she lets my sister and I choose the protein and vegetables we’re going to cook for dinner tonight. Our family doesn’t usually eat dessert – only on special occasions.

TK: What is your favorite place to eat in Tulsa?

Serena: My favorite restaurant in Tulsa is Olive Garden. I love their salad and breadsticks. I also like sushi from Sushi Hana and Sprouts. One of my other favorite restaurants is Amazing Thai.

TK: What hobbies do you have besides cooking?

Serena: I like to draw in my sketchbook. I also love reading and doing science experiments. My favorite experiment is making slime and trying new recipes to make slimes of different consistencies.

TK: What do you want to do in the future?

Serena: When I grow up, I want to be an astronomer because I think space is great and there is no gravity there!

TK: Who inspires you?

Serena: I’ve read biographies about Ellen Ochoa and Harriet Tubman. They inspired me because they were both women who changed the world.

TK: What’s funny about you?

Serena: This year I went to Hawaii for spring break and went surfing with my uncle. I loved it because I like to try new things even when it’s not what I want to do. I ended up enjoying it and can’t wait to do it again!

Serena’s salmon tacos

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 large tomato (chopped)
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ onion (chopped)
  • Chopped coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of salmon
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Almond flour or whole grain tortillas
  1. Chop the avocados and place in a bowl. Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander and chopped onions. Stir in cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Squeeze out the lime juice and mix in for more flavor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place salmon on foil, add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook the salmon for about 20 minutes until it flakes with a fork. You can also wrap the tortillas in foil and heat them in the oven.
  3. Take the salmon out of the oven and cut, chop or break into pieces. Put some of the salmon in a tortilla, pour the avocado salad and enjoy!

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Higher Levels of This 1 Thing in the Blood Is Linked to a Longer Life, According to New Research

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Grilled fish with peperonata

Being optimistic about eating these 9 foods (beans, whole grains, and salmon for victory!) And following these 7 secrets have been shown to help improve your chances of living longer, healthier lives.

And now new research is adding one more detail that certainly can’t hurt in our entire longevity landscape. A study published June 16 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Higher omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are associated with a 5 year longer life expectancy than their counterparts with low omega-3 levels.

We’ve known for years that omega-3 fats – the heart-healthy kind in salmon, mackerel, sardines, these 8 vegan sources, and more – can reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. And this study builds on the evidence that omega-3s are a boon to our health.

Scientists from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) in Barcelona, ​​the Fatty Acid Research Institute in the United States, and several universities in the United States and Canada spent 11 years studying data from 2,240 people over the age of 65 enrolled in the Framingham Junior Cohort. Their goal was to find out how the level of fatty acids in the blood could be related to mortality. Four types of fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids, contribute to longer life expectancy.

“Higher levels of these acids in the blood as a result of the regular intake of oily fish in the diet increases life expectancy by almost five years,” says Aleix Sala-Vila, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular. of the IMIM Risk and Nutrition Research Group and author of the study. For comparison: “A regular smoker will reduce your life expectancy by 4.7 years, just as you would if you have high levels of omega-3 acids in your blood.”

A mere 1% increase in omega-3 fatty acids in the blood is enough to move the needle, confirms Dr. Sala-Vila in a research report by the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques in Barcelona. The appropriate intake recommended by the National Institutes of Health: 1.1 grams per day for adult women and 1.6 grams per day for adult men. For reference, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil is 7.26 grams, 1 ounce of English walnuts is 2.57 grams, 3 ounces of wild Atlantic salmon is 1.57 grams, and 1 tablespoon of canola oil is 1.28 grams.

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Related: Healthy Omega-3 Recipes

While they have yet to test this theory on a larger pool of people outside of the U.S. and with wider economic and racial diversity, Dr. Sala-Vila states that the length and scope of this study mean that “what we found isn’t,” It reinforces the idea that small changes to diet in the right direction can have a much stronger effect than we think, and it’s never too late or too early to make these changes. “

Whole foods are always the best choice over supplements, although the latter can help fill in the gaps if needed. Because oily fish is high in protein and recommends two of the stronger forms of omega-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; both are easier for the body to use than alpha-linolenic acid), or ALA, found in plant sources) the American Heart Association to eat two 3½-ounce servings of low-mercury, oily fish at least twice a week.

If you think you’re shy, a quick home test like this Omega Quant Omega-3 Index Blood Test Kit (buy: $ 49.95, Amazon) may confirm or deny it. Just use the kit to submit a blood sample and you will be emailed your current omega-3 blood levels within a week or two.

Next up, doing this daily walking exercise can help you live longer.

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