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Whole Grains Health

Top Plant-Based Proteins | WTOP



Eating less meat can be better for your health. For years, nutritionists and doctors have told Americans that meat use …

Eating less meat can be better for your health.

For years, nutritionists and doctors have told Americans that meat sparingly is best and that focusing on plant-based foods can provide a number of health benefits. But even with a plant-based diet, getting enough protein is a problem for some. So how do you balance these concerns? Enter vegetable proteins.

Plants do contain some protein, despite what you may have heard, and some types of plants and plant products are actually excellent sources of this important macronutrient that builds muscle, carries oxygen to cells, and supports metabolic health.

Vegetable proteins can meet all of your protein needs.

While animal products such as red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are excellent sources of protein, it is entirely possible to meet all of your protein needs without ever ingesting an animal product. And that can offer health benefits as many Americans consume too many animal products.

Vegetable proteins can help you avoid certain diseases.

Dena Champion, a registered nutritionist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, says “People who eat mostly plant-based proteins are at lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, and other chronic diseases. ”

On the other hand, eating “high amounts of red meat and processed meat is linked to increased cancer rates,” she says.

Vegetable proteins contain other healthy components.

It’s not just the protein in these foods that makes them such a smart choice, says Reema Kanda, a registered nutritionist with the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California. “What makes vegetable proteins so healthy is that they contain many other nutrients that can provide additional benefits for your overall health.”

These other nutrients include:

Antioxidants. These compounds found in plant foods inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can damage cells. Antioxidants help maintain a healthy balance with free radicals, other compounds that the body is constantly making.

Fiber. “Animal protein generally does not contain fiber and can contain unhealthy saturated fat, which can lead to heart disease,” says Champion. But vegetable fiber is full of fiber that is healthy for the heart and intestines. “Plant-based proteins contain fiber, which can be really filling. Most Americans don’t get nearly enough fiber. “

Phytochemicals. Phyto means plant in Greek, so phytochemicals are chemicals produced by plants that are believed to be beneficial to human health. It is also believed that eating foods rich in phytochemicals can prevent diseases such as heart disease, cancer, dementia, and diabetes.

Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals, also called micronutrients, are important for human health and keep the body going. In order to keep the body running optimally, you need a constant supply of various vitamins and minerals every day. Plants provide almost all of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs on a daily basis.

The following slides offer the eight best plant-based proteins you can eat.

1. Quinoa

Although quinoa is usually treated as a grain, it is actually a seed. “Quinoa is a unique ancient grain with a high protein content and all nine essential amino acids,” says Kanda. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and if you have all nine at the same time, “that means it’s equivalent to eating animal protein.”

In addition to the protein content of this pseudo-grain, it also contains fiber. A “one-cup serving” can provide approximately 20% of your daily iron needs. The bonus is that it cooks quickly and is easy to find in supermarkets. “

2. Nuts

“Nuts not only contain protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but also antioxidants,” says Kanda.

“Plant-based proteins like almonds contain compounds that protect the body from oxidative stress that can lead to aging, heart disease, and some cancers,” says Kanda, adding that “a plethora of observational and clinical studies highlight the benefits of consuming Cover nuts “. and seeds. “

Nuts are also a great source of healthy fats that can be beneficial for heart and metabolic health.

3. Lenses

Lentils are part of the legume family, which also includes beans, peas, and peanuts. These plants contain a lot of antioxidants. Kanda notes that half a cup of lentil is “very versatile because lentils are seven times less fat than pork, twice as much protein as quinoa, and four times as much fiber as brown rice”.

Regular consumption of lentils was reduced with a content of:

– blood cholesterol.

– Body weight.

– heart disease.

– High blood pressure.

– diabetes.

– Some types of cancer.

4. Tofu

Champion says tofu is one of her favorite plant-based proteins “because it takes on the taste of anything you cook, which makes it very versatile. It is also a complete protein, so it contains all nine essential amino acids. “

In addition, people who avoid animal products sometimes don’t get enough calcium. But tofu can help with that. “Most tofu is a wonderful source of calcium because it is usually made from calcium. This is really important for people who consume little or no dairy products. “

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas have many names including chickpeas, Egyptian peas, and bengal grams. They are very rich in protein and are easy to add to pasta dishes, puree into hummus and as a thickener in soups and sauces. Champions says she loves them because they are versatile and full of nutrients.

6. Black beans

Black beans are another staple food essential in many culinary traditions for good reason – they’re very high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, and a host of other nutrients that contribute to good overall health.

Beans are also high in folate, which is important for red blood cell production and the development of the fetus. Studies have shown that a diet high in legumes like black beans is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, lower cholesterol, and a lower risk of diabetes.

7. Edamame

Edamame are whole, unripe soybeans that are popular in East Asian cuisine. The pods are boiled and steamed and often served with salt or other spices as a starter in American restaurants. Where typical soybeans are light brown or brownish in color, edamame is a bright green. You don’t eat the fuzzy pods, you squeeze the tender bean.

Soy and soy products have sometimes gotten a bad rap from some people for fear that it could mimic estrogen and potentially increase the risk of breast cancer. However, Kailey Proctor, a certified oncology nutritionist at the Leonard Cancer Institute at Providence Mission Hospital in Orange County, California, says the fiber levels in edamame and other legumes are beneficial for those who have breast cancer or are at risk for development.

“Fiber combines with estrogen in the digestive tract to remove excess estrogen from the body. Estrogen is a hormone that helps breast cells grow, and research shows that prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. “

In addition, a high-fiber diet can help you avoid various types of cancer and lower your cholesterol levels. “Fiber also helps women maintain a healthy weight. Fiber acts like a balloon in your stomach to keep you full longer between meals, so you eat fewer high-calorie foods that can lead to weight gain, ”explains Proctor. “Being overweight or obese has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and 12 other cancers.”

8. Hemp hearts

Hemp hearts are the edible insides of hemp seeds. These high-protein seeds are sometimes used to make vegan versions of milk, cheese, or protein powder. They can be eaten raw or roasted or cooked.

Although they come from the same plant as marijuana or cannabis, they contain virtually no highly inducing THC. You will fail a drug test or get drunk if you eat a lot of hemp hearts.

Their nutty, versatile taste makes them a great addition to salads and stews, but also to thicken soups and sauces. Like other nuts and seeds, hemp hearts are high in fiber and a good source of calcium and iron.

“Hemp hearts are another example of a complete vegetable protein,” says Champion. This means that they contain all nine essential amino acids that are the building blocks of protein.

Good for any type of diet

Even if you’re not following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s still worth adding plant-based proteins to your diet, says Champion. “A lot of people will tell me that they don’t want to be a vegetarian, so don’t bother to include plant-based proteins in your diet. Instead of thinking all or nothing, try a couple of meals, or even one meal a week, that use vegetable protein instead of animal protein. “

And it doesn’t have to be a big production either, she adds. Simple ideas are:

– Swap black beans for meat in tacos.

– Sprinkle hemp hearts on avocado toast or in muesli.

– Adding tofu to a stir-fry instead of meat.

– Thaw frozen and peeled edamame and throw in a salad.

– Have canned or frozen beans handy for an easy, inexpensive, plant-based protein option.

Champion adds that “Vegetables and whole grains also contain protein,” so you may be consuming more protein than you think if you’re making a pan of vegetable tofu that is served over brown rice, for example.

And Proctor notes that flexibility is key to building a diet for health and wellbeing. “It’s really important to look at overall nutritional quality over the long term, not just one particular meal. Mainly focus on plants with lean protein, but don’t be afraid to splurge for a special occasion as food matters more than just food composition. ”

The 8 Best Plant-Based Proteins You Can Eat:

1. Quinoa.

2. Nuts.

3. Lenses.

4. Tofu.

5. Chickpeas.

6. Black beans.

7. Edamame.

8. Hemp hearts.

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Top Plant-Based Proteins originally appeared on

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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