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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Why counting calories doesn’t add up



We all know that eating fewer calories helps us decrease. But most of us don’t realize that how our bodies use that energy really matters, as Jo Macfarlane finds out

“Consume fewer calories, we are told, and we will lose weight. While this remains true, the problem is that it isn’t the full story. The mistake is that not all calories are created equal. ‘

A two-finger KitKat on one side. A small handful of nuts in the other. Both contain around 100 calories. Which would you choose if you were trying to lose weight? Does it even matter? That’s the tricky question at the heart of the whole concept of calories – those numerical measures of energy that appear on the nutritional labels of everything from canned soup to loaves of bread. Calorie claims are a legal requirement for packaged foods and beverages designed to help us make healthier eating choices and meet our recommended daily limits – currently 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

Starting this April, many cafes, restaurants and takeaways will be forced to display calorie information on every food and drink they sell thanks to the government’s obesity strategy. It makes sense on the surface. Many of our most devastating diseases are related to poor diet, and the bottom line is that we overeat. There is evidence that showing the calorie content can help us think better about what and how much we are eating.

Eat fewer calories, we are told, and we will lose weight. While this remains true, the problem is that it isn’t the full story. The mistake is that not all calories are created equal. But with so many diets out there – from the popular weight loss app Noom, which uses a traffic light system to organize foods by calorie content, to the intermittent fasting trend that tells us when we eat is just as important like what we eat – it’s no wonder we’re confused or that around 95 percent of diets fail.

What does basic research tell us? And can we really trust the calorie counts on the packaging? The answer to the latter is a resounding no, according to one of the country’s leading experts in the field. Dr. Giles Yeo, an obesity specialist at the University of Cambridge’s Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, says calorie counts are useful but not the full story. If we just look at the calorie content, we are ignoring not only the source of those calories, but the way the body metabolizes and digests the food we eat.

The important question, explains Dr. Yeo, is not “how many calories is in that?” But “how many calories can my body use from it?” Most people have no idea that the number of calories you see everywhere is wrong, ”he says. “Nobody lies or makes up numbers. But we don’t eat calories – we eat food that our bodies get calories from. The process of digestion and metabolism itself consumes energy and calories, which vary based on food intake. So it is the number that is left of the grand total that you see on the package that matters most. ‘

Vegan burgers and oat milk are far less healthy than we think.

This is the true calorific value of a food – a concept called “caloric availability” – and you won’t see that on any food label. It’s not impossible to add, says Dr. Yeo, because we already know the calorie availability of each of the main components of our diet – protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Once you understand the concept, you can see that where our calories come from is really important.

A protein calorie, for example from meat, fish, eggs, beans or tofu, will fill you up more than a calorie calorie is fat or carbohydrate because of the way they are digested in the body. Protein continues to travel through the intestines before being digested and absorbed. This triggers the release of gut hormones, which send signals to the brain telling us we are full. Protein is also more chemically complex than fat or carbohydrates, so more energy is required to metabolize it. So if we consume 100 calories of protein, scientists know that our bodies use around 30 calories to process and 70 are available for other uses. This is in part why high protein diets – like the Atkins or Keto plans – help us lose weight. And that’s why a handful of nuts trumps a KitKat every time we want to lose weight and stay healthy.

The same amount of fat, on the other hand, will leave us 98 calories after digestion, while the carbohydrates will vary between 90 and 95, depending on whether they’re refined like white bread and pasta or complex and whole grains. The fiber content of a food also plays a major role. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate and works to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Dr. Yeo says, “It’s mostly protein and fiber that make our bodies work harder. The side effect of these foods is that you consume fewer calories, which is great if you want to lose weight. And when your body is working harder to digest something, it is a good sign that you are eating good quality food. It’s better for you and contains more nutrients. ‘

What makes things even more complicated is that each of us has our own metabolism, which can also affect how quickly or slowly we process calories. Registered nutritionist Clare Thornton-Wood, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, says: “The calorie labels on the packaging are just a guide, because the number of calories we use depends on our height, age, muscle mass and lifestyle. I could burn 500 fewer calories in a day just sitting at my computer and not moving. We should consider these things – as well as what we eat. It is absolutely true that not all calories are created equal. ‘

Dr. Yeo explains that the big problem in modern life is that we are “ingesting too much food that our body doesn’t have to work hard to extract the calories from.” He speaks of ultra-processed foods that have gone through a mechanical or technical process.

Around 50 to 60 percent of all the calories we consume in the UK come from such foods. And it could be catastrophic to our health. These foods – most commonly products like pizza, sausages, bacon, reconstituted meat, and ready-made meals – have higher salt, sugar, and fat content to make them taste good. And because they’re less fiber and protein, the evidence shows we are consuming more to make up for it.

One study followed 20 healthy adults for two weeks and allowed them to eat as much or as little as they wanted. Half were on an ultra-processed diet while the other half were on a whole foods diet. Both diets had roughly the same number of calories per serving. But those on the processed diet ate about 500 more calories a day and gained an average of two pounds.

There is also ample evidence that more people are obese in countries where highly processed foods make up a greater proportion of the diet. Even options that we believe are “healthier” fall under the ultra-processed category. “Vegan burgers and oat milk are marketed as healthy, but by definition they are processed within an inch of their life,” adds Dr. Yeo added. “If you think you can get as many nutrients from them as you get from real food, you are wrong. Often times these products simply have better PR. ‘

Most experts agree that the way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie consumption. But instead of chasing after restrictive strategies that only work short-term because they can’t be sustained – such as cutting out carbohydrates or fat or just eating meat – the key to eating as many “real” foods as possible is naturally one have lower calorie availability and higher nutrient content. These are whole grain products, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean meat, fish or proteins such as nuts and tofu.

“If we can get the government and industry to show calorie availability instead of calorie content,” says Dr. Yeo, “this means people can make an informed decision – which could make a world of difference.”

Dr. Giles Yeo’s book Why Calories Don’t Count: How We Got The Science of Weight Loss Wrong is published by Orion at a price of £ 14.99. To Order a copy by September 12th for £ 12.74 at or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £ 20.

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Popular Frozen Foods That Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians



Filling your freezer with healthy foods is one of the smartest strategies you can use when trying to shed a few pounds. Think of it this way: when you have frozen products and lean protein with you, you have a convenient, nutritious meal option – meaning you are less likely to resort to those processed snacks or high-calorie take-away items.

The best, Most foods do not lose any of their nutritional value when frozen, So you can be sure that your body is taking advantage of these vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.

Nonetheless, not all frozen foods are created equal – at least from a health perspective. While some products can help you lose weight, others can do just the opposite thanks to high levels of fat and sodium. So if you’re looking to lose weight, we recommend adding a handful of popular frozen food dieters to your shopping list.


When in need of a simple weekday dinner after a long day at work, it’s hard to beat a veggie burger. Many of them are crammed with high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, and some even have a protein content comparable to that of meat. That means you’ll feel full for hours, says Melissa Mitri, RD for Wellness Verge.

“They usually only have 150 calories or less, which makes them a solid choice for a weight loss plan,” says Mitri. “Also, research shows that consuming more plant-based foods can aid weight loss and overall health.”

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frozen edamameShutterstock

Frozen edamame serves as a phenomenal afternoon snack or as a high-fiber addition to stir-fries, grain bowls, and salads. And at around 17 grams of protein per cup, it’s one of the most filling plant-based snacks around. This is what Gabbie Ricky, MS, RDN strongly recommends keeping some edamame in your freezer. Did we mention that research shows that eating a high protein diet helps control your appetite and aid in sustained weight loss?

frozen spinachShutterstock

With little to no fat and high in fiber, it’s no wonder why spinach is a popular weight loss food. Fresh spinach can wilt in the refrigerator after just a few days, which is why it is worth buying it frozen – so you always have something to hand for side dishes, casseroles and more.

“Frozen spinach can be easily added to a variety of dishes including pastas, smoothies, and soups,” says Holly Klamer, MS, a registered nutritionist with MyCrohn’sandColitisTeam.

A 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that obese adults adding 5 grams of spinach extract to their meal reduced their appetite and craving for food for several hours. Another 2014 study in Appetite found that consuming 5 grams of spinach extract daily resulted in 43% greater weight loss than a placebo. This effect can likely be attributed to the thylakoids – plant membranes associated with a greater feeling of satiety because they delay fat digestion.

In other words, spinach can help you eat less by suppressing your appetite, which can lead to weight loss in the long run. Here’s an important effect of eating spinach, science says.

greek yoghurt barsShutterstock

When your sweet tooth strikes, you definitely want to have a box of these creamy goodies in your freezer, says Sarah Williams, MS, RD, Founder of Sweet Balance Nutrition.

“Greek frozen yogurt bars are a great low-calorie dessert option for weight loss,” she explains. “When people try to lose weight, they often avoid sweets altogether – which usually leads to burnout. Instead, add small treats regularly to keep them from feeling deprived during weight loss. “

As an added bonus, since they’re made from yogurt, these frozen treats often come with a healthy dose of protein and bowel-boosting probiotics.

frozen berriesShutterstock

Storing berries in the freezer is a good idea, according to Ricky, as you can add them to smoothies and baked goods without even having to defrost them.

Berries contain less sugar than many other fruits and are remarkably high in fiber. That might help explain why a 2015 study in Appetite found that people who were given a 65-calorie berry snack ate less food on a subsequent meal than those who were given candies of the same calorie content.


“Frozen shrimp are a low-calorie, high-protein food that can help keep you feeling full long after you’ve eaten,” says Klamer.

In fact, just a 3-ounce serving of shrimp has a whopping 12 grams of protein and only 60 calories.

Try baking, sautéing, or air-frying frozen shrimp and adding them to tacos, salad, and pasta for a more persistent meal.

frozen salmonShutterstock

When it comes to seafood, Mitri says salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that is not only high in protein, but also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats can have anti-inflammatory effects in the body and were shown to have potential anti-obesity effects in a 2010 nutritional study.

Whether you’re baking, roasting, or grilling, frozen salmon fillets can make for a super-filling salad topper or an appetizer for dinner. Pro tip: sub-salmon for beef for a healthier homemade burger.

Cauliflower riceShutterstock

Cauliflower “rice” has just 29 calories and 4.7 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving, making it an excellent rice swap for weight loss.

“You can easily add cauliflower rice to stews, casseroles, and even as a substitute for traditional rice in any dish you would normally serve,” says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. “Frozen cauliflower rice is probably the most versatile and convenient of them all. It cooks in minutes and provides almost as many nutrients as its fresh counterpart.”

If you’re struggling to get used to the idea of ​​cauliflower rice, Ricky suggests replacing half of your traditional rice with this low-carb alternative.

For even more weight loss tips, read these next:

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Adults who consume the most dairy fat are less likely to develop heart disease, study finds



One study suggests that adults who eat a dairy-rich diet are up to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease.

Previous research has generally gone the other way, linking dairy products to heart problems because things like milk and cheese are high in cholesterol and fat.

But the latest Australian study suggests that the other nutrients in dairy products have protective effects on the heart and help it function normally.

They said people should stick to dairy products, which have fewer additives and are not sweetened or salted.

Heart and circulatory diseases are responsible for around 160,000 deaths a year in the UK while they are responsible for 655,000 deaths in the US.

However, the study’s experts claimed that the type of dairy product consumed, rather than the fat content, could be responsible for the heart problems

Co-lead author Dr. Matti Marklund of the George Institute for Global Health in Australia said it was important to eat dairy products.

“While some dietary guidelines continue to suggest consumers choose low-fat dairy products, others have moved away from that recommendation.

“Instead, it can be suggested that dairy products can be part of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on choosing certain dairy products – for example yogurt instead of butter – or avoiding sweetened dairy products with added sugar.”

What should a balanced diet look like?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of different types of fruit and vegetables every day. Count all fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits and vegetables

• Basic meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber per day: This corresponds to the consumption of everything: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 wholemeal cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy products or milk alternatives (such as soy drinks) and choose low-fat and low-sugar options

• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat, and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups / glasses of water daily

• Adults should consume less than 6 g salt and 20 g saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

He added, “Although the results can be influenced in part by factors other than milk fat, our study does not suggest harm from milk fat per se.”

In the study – published today in the journal Plos Medicine – researchers tested the blood of 4,000 people in their 60s from Sweden.

They followed participants for 16 years and recorded the number of cardiovascular events and deaths that occurred.

The results were compared with another 17 similar studies involving 43,000 people from the US, Denmark and the UK to confirm their results.

The data showed that people who ate more milk fat in their diet had 25 percent fewer heart problems than those who ate less dairy products.

The study did not record what type of dairy product each participant consumed.

The lead study author Dr. Kathy Trieu of the George Institute of Global Health Australia said it was important to only eat healthy dairy products.

She said, “Growing evidence suggests that the health effects of dairy products are type – like cheese, yogurt, milk and butter – rather than fat, raising doubts as to whether milk fat avoidance is beneficial for those overall cardiovascular health. ‘

Professor Ian Givens, a food chain nutrition expert at Reading University who was not involved in the study, said the results were largely in line with previous publications.

He told Science Media Center, “This study used fatty acid biomarkers to specifically target milk fat because it is high in saturated fat, which is widely believed to increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

“As the authors say, there is growing evidence that the health effects of dairy products depend on the type of food.

“There is perhaps the most evidence for hard cheese, where a number of studies show that the physical and chemical dietary matrix reduces the amount of fat the body absorbs, resulting in moderate or no increases in blood lipids, risk factors for cardiovascular disease are.”

Several studies have shown that consuming more dairy products may be linked to improved heart health.

Researchers have pointed to the high nutritional content in dairy products to explain this boost to the cardiovascular system.

They are an important source of vitamin B12, which is used to build red blood cells and keep the nervous system healthy.

They also contain potassium, which plays a vital role in maintaining nerve and muscle health.

But many dairy products have already earned a bad rap for their high saturated fat content, which has been linked to heart disease.

A British Heart Foundation spokesman previously said: “Dairy products do not need to be excluded from the diet to prevent cardiovascular disease and are already part of the eatwell guide, which forms the basis of our recommendations for healthy eating in the UK.”

They added, “It is currently recommended to choose low-fat dairy products as our total saturated fat intake is above recommendations.”

Other studies have also suggested a link between increased consumption of dairy products and better heart health.

The UK produces more than 16 billion liters of milk each year, nearly 7 billion of which are consumed by consumers.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

These Are the 3 Healthiest Types of Rice You Can Eat



Whether you’re serving arroz con pollo, a tasty stir-fry, or a mushroom risotto, rice is a staple in most diets and kitchens. “In addition to being affordable and accessible, rice is relatively easy to prepare,” says Claire Carlton MS, RD, LD / N, a North Carolina-based nutritionist and digestive health expert. “Rice is also a high-fiber source of nutrients and naturally gluten-free.”

a close up of food on a table: IriGri8 / Getty Images

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IriGri8 / Getty Images

Of course, there are tons of healthy grains to choose from, but rice is among the most easily available, especially white and brown rice. Plus, rice comes in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes, each with their own unique tastes and health benefits. We asked experts to point out which grains of rice have the healthiest benefits and to name the good, bad, and ugly in the brown rice and white rice diet.

Video: The 3 Healthiest Rice You Can Eat (Really Easy)

These are the 3 healthiest types of rice you can eat

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Black rice

Though sometimes harder to find, black rice is the number one nutritional rock star when it comes to rice varieties. It’s high in fiber and nutrients that help lower cholesterol, promote healthy digestion, and fight off chronic diseases. “Black rice has been shown to have the highest antioxidant content of all rice varieties, largely due to the content of anthocyanins – a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that gives the grains their dark purple hue – as well as flavonoids and carotenoids.” explains Megan Roosevelt, RDN, a registered LA-based nutritionist and founder of Your black rice bowl can also give you a hearty protein boost, serving nearly 10 grams in a boiled cup.

RELATED: 6 Great Sources of Plant-Based Protein for an Extra Boost of Fuel

Wild rice

Another healthy rice winner is this chewy long grain version that is native to North America. As with black rice, the high fiber content of these brown and black grains aids digestion and lowers cholesterol levels. Wild rice is also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, says Roosevelt.

Brown rice

With its nutty, dense texture, brown rice is one of the better starch options available to you, high in B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. “It’s also a whole grain and high in fiber that helps stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety,” said Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP, a California-based functional medicine doctor and clinical nutritionist. “Brown rice also gets your digestive tract moving as it feeds healthy bacteria into your intestines.”

TIED TOGETHER: How to cook perfectly fluffy rice every time

The word on the diet of white rice

While it may be tastier to some, white rice isn’t nearly as good to you as the more colorful varieties. “It was processed to remove the shell, bran, and germs where most of the food is,” says Roosevelt. “It gives it a softer texture than wild or brown rice, but it is less nutritious, lacks fiber, and has a higher glycemic index.” That being said, many brands of white rice are artificially fortified with folic acid, calcium, and iron, which amplifies their benefits somewhat. Also, the lower fiber may be preferable to those dealing with digestive issues.

Do I have to worry that rice is high in arsenic?

As you may have heard, rice is high in arsenic, a known carcinogen that contributes to higher levels of cancer, diabetes, heart, and autoimmune diseases. “Adults are advised to eat no more than two servings a week, including rice syrup and rice flour, which may appear on the labels of some prepackaged foods,” warns Petersen. “Short grain rice contains less arsenic than long grain rice. A study by Consumer Reports also found that brown basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan is one of the safest sources of rice.”

Here’s the good news: you can reduce the carcinogen levels in your rice with the right cooking techniques. Petersen recommends rinsing the rice about five times in a sieve first. Then cook the rice like pasta, using a water to rice ratio of 10 to 1 instead of the typical 2 to 1 ratio. Once the rice is cooked through, drain and rinse again. To counter any side effects, she also recommends serving your rice with foods high in antioxidants, such as dark leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and turmeric. Once cleaned, your brightly colored rice grains can be a tasty, nutritious addition to your weekly diet.

a close up of food on a table: all the healthy benefits of consuming these tasty little grains.

© IriGri8 / Getty Images
All the healthy benefits of consuming these tasty little grains.

TIED TOGETHER: 17 Simply Delicious Rice Recipes You’ll Want To Make Tonight

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