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Whole Grains Health

How do you spot ‘ultra-processed foods’ – and what are the tasty alternatives?



What kind of granola should you pour in your breakfast bowl?

Making the right choice has become more difficult after it became known that many are “ultra-processed foods” (UPFs) – products that research is now linking to health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression brought.

A study by Imperial College London earlier this summer showed that they are also linked to obesity in children – the higher the percentage of UPFs that children consume, the greater their risk of becoming overweight or obese.

These foods have permeated our diets: from the biscuit in your cup, the bread in your sandwich, the pizza or lasagna for your dinner, and the hot chocolate before bed, UPFs are everywhere. It is estimated that one in five British adults is on a diet with a UPF of 80 percent.

Wean yourself off of the healthier options

Wheat meal

£ 2.10 for 24 ‘cookies’

Ingredients: 100 percent whole wheat

Oatmeal shredded wheat

£ 2 for 370g

Ingredients: 100 percent whole wheat

Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli

£ 3 for 650g

Ingredients: oat flakes, wheat flakes, dried fruits, barley flakes, sunflower seeds, nuts

Rude Health Bircher Muesli

£ 3 for 400g

Ingredients: oats, apple, raisins, banana

Quaker Oat So Simple Porridge Sachets

£ 2.75 for 10 bags

Ingredients: oatmeal

Jordan’s natural granola

2 pounds for 1 kg

Ingredients: whole grains, dried fruits and nuts

Jordan's natural granola Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli

Jordan’s Natural Muesli and Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli

Rude Health Bircher Muesli Quaker Oat So Simple Porridge Sachets

Rude Health Bircher Muesli and Quaker Oat So Simple Porridge Sachets

They’re often cheap, convenient, and ultra-tasty – many are also fortified with added vitamins or fiber so they can make “healthy” claims too.

So what does “ultra-processed” food do? In essence, it is anything that “has been formulated mainly or wholly from substances extracted from food, or derived from food ingredients, or synthesized in laboratories,” as defined by experts at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil who have pioneered identification are foods and their risks.

But they are usually foods that contain ingredients that you would not find in your kitchen – and that are wrapped in plastic.

The problem is that highly processed foods are not only often easier to chew and swallow, but they also circumvent our body’s natural understanding of satiety.

In fact, research by Dr. Kevin Hall, a nutritionist at the US National Institute of Health, says we eat almost 60 percent more calories per minute with UPF than we do with unprocessed foods.

This seems to make it too quick for our bodies and brains to notice how many calories we are consuming.

Making the right choice has become more difficult after it became known that many are

Making the right choice has become more difficult after it became known that many are “ultra-processed foods” (UPFs) – products that research is now linking to health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression brought

And one of our main sources of UPFs is packaged breakfast cereals. Most of them are ultra-processed, even if they look “healthy” because they contain added sugar, salt, colorings, flavorings and preservatives and are puffed or modified.

“Unfortunately, children’s breakfast cereals are a nutritional disaster,” says Dr. Anthony Fardet, a researcher who specializes in preventive diets and processed foods, including cereals (and author of peer-reviewed studies and books on the subject).

“Almost 100 percent of breakfast products are ultra-processed and we no longer give our children muesli, but sweets.”

Not only are they generally high in sugar and fat and (usually) less in fiber and protein, but they’re also less demanding on chewing textures. “Their ‘recombined’ and artificial textures mean we chew less and the food spends less time traveling through the digestive tract – both of which are necessary to stimulate the release of the satiety hormone leptin,” he explains.

Take for example Sugar Puffs – now known as “Honey Monster Wheat Puffs”. This muesli consists of 22 percent sugar (with two and a half teaspoons in a 30 g bowl), with another eight items on the list of ingredients, including more “sugar” (glucose syrup, honey, soluble gluco fiber, caramelized sugar) syrup) plus stabilizer, Sunflower oil as well as vitamins and minerals. Even healthy-sounding cereals like Shreddies and Weetabix contain malted barley extracts, which appear harmless but are not a natural product, says Dr. Fardet. It’s a mark of ultra-processing and a way of adding sugar to the ingredient list without “sugar”.

The addition of sugar, syrups and sugar derivatives increases the glycemic index (GI) of a grain – a measure of how quickly food is converted into blood sugar in the body: the lower the value, the longer it takes to digest and the slower it increases Blood sugar level.

Table sugar has a GI of 65, but Dr. Fardet says that barley malt extract is metabolized very quickly by the body, similar to high maltose syrup, which has a GI greater than 80. Malt extracts. Not only do they add sweetness and a brown color, and glucose syrups are added to improve the texture of the food and prevent the sugar content from crystallizing out.

The usual breakfast cereal additives also include “sunflower lecithin” (e.g. in Curiously Cinnamon), an emulsifier that helps to stabilize a fat-sugar mixture.

Tocopherols also appear in many grain products – like ascorbyl palmitate, another popular additive, these are preservatives, but Dr. Fardet says both also conveniently increase vitamin E and C levels to allow nutrition claims on a cereal box label. We are often told that vitamins and minerals added to breakfast cereals make them a source of nutrients.

Michael Gibney, Professor of Nutrition and Health at University College Dublin, told Good Health, “Extra vitamins help achieve good micronutrient absorption,” although he points out that “when milk is added, it is the dominant source of Micronutrients ”. .

Professor Gibney, a former chairman of the International Breakfast Research Initiative (which is funded in part by Nestle’s parent company to study the nutritional effects of breakfast), adds that all food additives “have been extensively researched and approved for use around the world “- and” Commercial breakfast cereal with added milk is a low-fat, nutrient-dense food that is inexpensive, tasty and convenient “.

Added vitamins are not considered markers for ultra processing. However, says Dr. Fardet, “don’t make these foods healthier – these breakfast cereals are no better than micronutrient-sprinkled confectionery”.

But “puffing” or “extruding” (a process that turns a grain of wheat or rice into a “biscuit,” “pillow” or “petal”) are markers for UPF, argues Dr. Fardet.

“Puffing and extrusion cooking use ‘denaturing’ technological processes that make the starch highly digestible, which greatly increases the glycemic index,” he says. So while a grain of wheat might have a GI of 41 and porridge is 61, shredded wheat is 69, Weetabix is ​​70, Rice Crispies is 82, and Cornflakes is 84.

Indeed, as the British Dietetic Association explains: “A bowl of bran flakes is just as much a UPF as a chocolate rice cereal or a choc chip biscuit muesli.

“This is despite the fact that the bran flakes are a good source of fiber and are enriched with numerous vitamins and minerals and often contain relatively little sugar.”

Shredded wheat is an exception. Although it has a higher GI than whole grains (the finer the particles, the higher the GI), it doesn’t count as a UPF because the grain matrix doesn’t “explode” in the same way, says Dr. Fardet.

That distinction, he says, is key to how our bodies metabolize the grain. “Flakes” are crushed, steamed and dried grains – with a mixture of brown skin and white core, as you might find in your natural muesli.

“Petals” are whole or broken grains that are steamed with sugar, malt and salt, rolled into shapes and roasted – like corn flakes, for example.

Thankfully there is a growing selection of packaged cereals left with only natural ingredients that are minimally processed as we explain.

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Whole Grains Health

The Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diets



Many people follow a vegetarian diet to improve their health. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But this diet also has disadvantages. When thinking about following a vegetarian diet, consider these pros and cons to make sure it is right for you.

Pros: A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are at the heart of a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet. These foods provide an abundance of health-protecting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can lower the risk of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

Cons: Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

On the other hand, if your vegetarian diet includes a lot of highly processed foods instead of whole plant foods, the risk of some chronic diseases may even increase. There are plenty of junk foods that can fit into a vegetarian diet but are not good for you – think soda, chips, and cookies, among others. Packaged vegetarian meals and snacks can contain high amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Remember, as with any diet, there are ways to make a vegetarian diet healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

Pros: You have options when it comes to going vegetarian.

You can determine the type of vegetarian eating plan that will work best for you. Some people cut meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but eat eggs and dairy products. Others only allow eggs or only dairy products. Some occasionally contain seafood. A vegan diet eliminates all foods that come from animals, even things like honey.

Downside: You may be nutritionally deficient.

Some essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron are not found in many plant foods. Vegetarian diets can provide these nutrients as long as food intake is properly planned, but supplementation is sometimes required. The main sources of these nutrients for vegetarians include:

  • Vitamin B12: Found in animal products such as eggs and milk (as well as meat, fish and poultry). Also found in some fortified grains, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and soy milk.
  • Vitamin D: In addition to eggs and fish, it is also found in fortified vegetable milk and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also obtained from exposure to the sun.
  • Calcium: In addition to dairy products, calcium is found in fortified plant-based milk, grains, juice, tofu, kale, kale, broccoli, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: You can get iron from eggs, but also fortified grains, soy, spinach, Swiss chard, and beans. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or tomatoes to increase your intake.

Starting a vegetarian diet can be difficult when shopping for groceries, dining out, and dining in social settings. Over time this will get easier, but will require some work. Read the product labels and familiarize yourself with common animal ingredients like casein, whey, and gelatin. In restaurants, remember that meatless meals can be made with dairy or other animal products such as beef or chicken broth. So ask questions to make a choice that is right for you. If you’re eating at home, it’s best to bring a vegetarian dish that anyone can enjoy.

If you are committed to a vegetarian lifestyle, a registered dietitian can provide helpful tips to better meet your nutritional needs.


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Whole Grains Health

Falling for weight loss myths



I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at or visit

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Whole Grains Health

How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic



Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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