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Whole Grain Benefits

7-day meal plan to help lower triglycerides

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Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. Certain health conditions, medications, lifestyle habits, and genetics are possible causes of high blood triglycerides.

High levels of triglycerides can be a risk factor for various health conditions. Food choice is one of many factors that can affect triglyceride levels. Doctors may advise a person to change their diet to lower their triglyceride levels. A diet high in saturated fats, added sugars, excessive alcohol, and refined carbohydrates can increase a person’s triglyceride levels.

This article explores what triglycerides are, healthy triglyceride levels, foods that can lower triglycerides, and types of diets to lower triglycerides. It also describes a 7-day meal plan to lower triglycerides and explores other ways to lower them.

Triglycerides are a lipid, or type of fat, in the body. The body stores most of its fat as triglycerides, making it the most common type of fat. A doctor can measure triglyceride levels with a blood test.

Triglycerides migrate through the blood in round particles called lipoproteins. People can consume triglycerides directly through fatty foods like oil and butter. When people consume more calories than they need from other foods like carbohydrates, the excess energy is converted into triglycerides and stored as such.

Triglycerides are one of the body’s most important sources of energy. But high levels of triglycerides in the blood can increase a person’s risk for:

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are two typical levels of fasting blood triglycerides. The first is less than 75 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL) for children under 10 years of age. The second is lower than 90 mg / dL for children over 10 years and adults.

A doctor can diagnose a person with high triglycerides (also known as hypertriglyceridemia) if their fasting blood triglyceride levels are consistently 150 mg / dL or higher.

Some people can be genetically predisposed to high triglyceride levels. Doctors call this familial hypertriglyceridemia. Triglycerides in the blood are often higher in men than women and tend to increase with age.

According to a 2011 data sheet from the American Heart Association (AHA), people should focus on consuming the following foods to control their triglyceride levels:

  • oily fish, such as sardines and salmon
  • all vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, green beans and butternut squash
  • all fruits, especially citrus fruits and berries
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and milk
  • high fiber whole grains like quinoa, barley, and brown rice
  • Beans, nuts, and seeds that contain fiber and unsaturated, healthy fats

The AHA also advises people:

  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • limit added sugar to no more than 10% of your total daily calories
  • keep the carbohydrates at 50-60% or less of your total daily calories
  • limit dietary fat to 25–35% of their total daily calories
  • Choose unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds versus saturated and trans fats found in animal products and processed foods

A person can make changes to their diet to lower their triglyceride levels. These changes can include:

Low carbohydrate diet

People whose daily caloric intake consistently exceeds 60% carbohydrates are at higher risk of high triglycerides, especially if those carbohydrates come mainly from refined grains. When a person eats more calories from carbohydrates than they need, their body stores the excess carbohydrates as fat.

A person looking to reduce triglycerides should avoid refined carbohydrates like baked goods and try to consume more unrefined high fiber carbohydrates like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Try replacing high-sugar products with fruits like berries, which can help reduce sugar cravings.

High fiber diet

When a person increases their fiber intake, they can slow down the absorption of fat and sugar in the small intestine. This lowers the triglyceride level in the blood. Research suggests that adults who are overweight or obese can lower their triglyceride levels and improve their overall health by increasing their fiber intake.

A person can consume more fiber by eating foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits.

Oily fish

Oily fish contain a heart healthy type of fat called omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself and must therefore be ingested through food.

According to the AHA, a person should eat two servings of fatty fish a week to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. Research suggests that eating salmon twice a week may help lower triglycerides in the blood. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are examples of oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Vegetarian diet

Research has shown that a vegetarian diet can help lower total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. But reviews of studies published in 2015, 2017, and 2020 found that there was no association between a vegetarian diet and a decrease in triglycerides.

While some studies suggest possible health benefits of a vegetarian diet, it does not mean that every vegetarian diet is healthy. A well-planned, nutritious diet – whether vegetarian or otherwise – plays a role in maintaining a healthy body.

Here is an example of a nutritional plan to reduce triglycerides. It is important to note that this is just one example of what someone might be eating as everyone’s nutritional and calorie needs are different.

day one

  • Breakfast: Old-fashioned oats made with low-fat or plant-based milk, topped with berries and seeds.
  • Having lunch: Vegetable and lentil soup with whole grain crackers.
  • Dinner: Tofu butternut squash curry with cauliflower rice.
  • Snack: A banana and almonds.

Day two

  • Breakfast: Salmon, wholemeal rye bread and a poached egg.
  • Having lunch: Whole grain sardines with a garden side salad and oil-based dressing.
  • Dinner: Stir fried chicken and vegetables with brown rice.
  • Snack: A boiled egg and fresh fruit.

Day three

  • Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with low-fat yogurt and berries.
  • Having lunch: A spinach, avocado and tomato salad with black beans and quinoa.
  • Dinner: Vegetable and bean chilli with a side of kale.
  • Snack: Celery sticks and almond butter.

Day four

  • Breakfast: Whole grain muesli with low-fat or plant-based milk and fresh fruit.
  • Having lunch: Barley wrap with tuna, lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon or mackerel with steamed vegetables and brown rice.
  • Snack: Walnuts.

Day five

  • Breakfast: Poached eggs on wholemeal toast.
  • Having lunch: A tuna or chicken sandwich with whole wheat bread, hummus and a garden salad.
  • Dinner: Grilled steak with steamed vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Snack: Fruit salad and low fat Greek yogurt.

Day six

  • Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado and a hard-boiled egg or smoked salmon.
  • Having lunch: Chickpeas and quinoa over green salad.
  • Dinner: Barley, vegetable and chicken soup with whole grain crackers.
  • Snack: A homemade smoothie made from low-fat Greek yogurt and berries.

Day seven

  • Breakfast: Oat flakes with low-fat or plant-based milk, topped with fresh fruit.
  • Having lunch: Sardine salad served on a wholemeal bread roll, with garden salad.
  • Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and drained red kidney beans and garden salad.
  • Snack: Strawberries.

In addition to changing their diet, a person can also do the following:

exercise

Research from 2014 suggests that regular aerobic exercise can increase the amount of good cholesterol, or HDL, in a person’s blood. This can help lower triglyceride levels.

The US Department of Health’s physical activity guidelines recommend that a person exercise aerobics for at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes five times a week. Aerobic exercise can include activities such as jogging, cycling, or swimming.

A 2019 study showed that people with heart disease who exercised 45 minutes five times a week had significant decreases in triglyceride levels.

additions

Various dietary supplements can help lower triglycerides. A person should discuss taking supplements with their doctor to avoid drug interactions. Since diet supplements and vitamins are not regulated by the FDA, people should be careful trying a new one.

The following supplements can affect triglyceride levels:

  • Curcumin. A 2017 review found that curcumin supplements can lead to significant decreases in triglyceride and bad cholesterol, or LDL.
  • Fish oil. These supplements are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to reduce triglycerides and other heart disease risk factors.
  • Fenugreek. Research from 2014 suggests that fenugreek seeds may help reduce triglycerides in the blood.
  • Guggul. An animal study suggests that this herbal supplement might be as effective as prescription drugs at lowering triglyceride levels.
  • Garlic extract. Various animal studies have shown that garlic extract can help lower triglyceride levels due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, in the blood.

A low-carb, high-fiber diet that includes oily fish can help lower triglycerides. Other ways to lower triglycerides include limiting your intake of added sugars, limiting alcohol levels, limiting carbohydrates to 50-60% or less of total daily calories, and limiting saturated and trans fats. Regular exercise and certain supplements can also help control triglyceride levels.

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News

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For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, theatre@parkland.edu or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at TKleparski@parkland.edu or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.

STEVICK CENTER ACTIVITIES

Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bingo:

  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.

Bridge:

  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.

Euchar:

Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.

HOT LUNCH PROGRAM

The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.

Sunday:

  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.

Tuesday:

  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.

Tuesday:

  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.

Tuesday:

  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.

Friday:

  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or 217-359-6500.

CURRENT NEEDS

Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice

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By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?

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In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.

Summary

Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!

Summary

When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.

Summary

Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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