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Whole Grains Health

Becoming an expert with food substitutions



There may be times when you miss one or more ingredients for a recipe, want to swap ingredients to change the flavor profile of a dish, or want to make a particular recipe healthier. Some chefs are reluctant to deviate from a printed recipe, but with a little practice, creativity, and knowledge of how ingredients work in a recipe, you can find a number of new favorites.

If you are missing an ingredient for a recipe, the first thing to do is to determine what role that ingredient plays in the recipe. Should it add moisture, flavor, texture, leavening agent, color, or some other function? You can then think about possible other ingredients that can do the same thing. For example, if you’re trying to cut the calories in a quick bread recipe, instead of using the higher-calorie oil as a liquid ingredient, you can replace some or all of the oil with non-fat buttermilk or yogurt plus some milk. Both would provide additional nutrients as well.

Changing the nutritional profile of a recipe is a common reason to swap ingredients. In some cases, you may want to reduce or change less healthy ingredients and / or add ingredients that provide important nutrients. Examples of less healthy ingredients are those high in sodium, saturated fat, added sugar, and / or calories with minimal nutritional value.

When it comes to reducing sodium levels, you can buy lower-sodium versions of the ingredients. These can be broth, canned or glass products (beans, tomato sauce, some condiments), salty condiments, etc. Instead of buying pre-made marinades or salad dressings, consider making them from scratch, where you have complete control over the contents. Instead of high-sodium spices, you can use fresh or dried herbs, mustard, vinegars, unsalted rubs, or other spice mixtures.

Processed meats and cheeses are other sources of sodium (and saturated fat). Limit the use of these in your recipes by reducing the amount used and replenishing them or replacing them with unsalted protein foods. An example would be a pasta dish that calls for sausage. One idea is to use a lower sodium / lower fat version. Another would be to use mostly cooked chicken or seafood with just a small amount of the higher sodium sausage for flavor.

In the case of saturated fat, in addition to processed meat, other high-fat meats, poultry skin, coconut oil, and high-fat dairy products (cheese, cream, butter) are the sources that you may want to limit. For the meat, you can replace it with skinless white poultry, pork tenderloin, fish / seafood, beans / lentils, or soy products.

Instead of butter or coconut oil, you can use olive or canola oil (or any other unsaturated oil). If you want the taste of butter in a recipe, use mostly heart-healthy oil and only a very small amount of butter. The oil then gets a buttery taste. In addition to heart-healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and avocado are better fat options than the saturated fats.

Instead of using large amounts of high-fat cheese in a recipe, you can use low-fat cheese or a light grated cheese with a strong flavor like parmesan (since it has a more concentrated taste, you will need less). For chowders or sauces that crave cream, try using condensed milk, which is more concentrated than regular milk, so it has a creamier texture (and adds some protein / calcium).

To reduce the added sugar in a recipe, in most cases you can use much less than what is stated in the recipes. You can also add sweetness by adding fruits, extracts, citrus peel, or sweet spices. For recipes that call for flavored yogurt, you can use half pure and half flavored to reduce the added sugar.

As mentioned earlier, you may also want to make ingredient swaps to increase the nutritional content. Examples could be fiber, calcium, protein, and the many nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. For fiber, you can replace a high percentage of the white flour with whole grain or bean flour in most recipes. Another idea would be to grind oats and nuts to use in place of some of the white flour. This works well in quick breads, muffins, and pancake / waffle batter.

Adding beans or lentils to a dish really increases the fiber content as well as the protein. You could either replace or supplement the animal protein. Another easy swap is to swap a refined cooked cereal with a whole grain version – brown rice, whole grain or bean pasta, farro, quinoa, etc. can usually be swapped out.

Adding fruit or vegetables to a dish also increases the fiber content. They also provide a wealth of other important nutrients. Examples could be using pureed squash or butternut squash in a soup, quick bread, or pancake batter. You can add a variety of fruit options as toppings or ingredients in many sweet and savory dishes, such as: B. in a grain bowl or a salsa recipe.

To add calcium, you can use low-fat milk instead of water to make boiled cereals. Try a topping of yogurt and fruit instead of syrup on French toast (with wholemeal bread, of course), pancakes or waffles. Almonds are one of the few nuts that contain calcium. Add these to salads, hot granola, cooked cereals, and baked goods. Dark leafy vegetables contain calcium. These can be used in salads, sandwiches, soups, or sautéed as a bed for eggs or other protein foods.

An easy way to increase the phytonutrients is to increase the amount of fruits / vegetables in a recipe, which often lowers the calorie content as well. This works great for soups, pizza, stir-fries, salads, grain bowls, wraps, pita bags, or other one-course dishes. Using different cooking techniques in cooking the vegetables that are added to a dish can create a variety of tastes and textures. For example, fried or grilled vegetables can be a nice change in a salad, wrap or on a pizza.

So be brave and have fun replacing your recipes for better health!

Pam Stuppy

Pam Stuppy, MS, RD, LD is a registered, licensed nutritionist with nutritional advice offices in York, ME and Portsmouth, NH. She has also been a nutritionist for Phillips Exeter Academy, holding workshops nationwide, and providing advice on sports nutrition. (See for more nutritional information, some healthy cooking tips and recipe ideas).

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Whole Grains Health

Harness the power of the body’s hormones for better health



When a hormone is out of whack, you can feel like you’re stuck in the mud or strapped to a runaway horse. Just ask someone with untreated Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease (these are high or low thyroid levels), hypogonadism (low testosterone or estrogen deficiency), or uncontrolled diabetes. Because hormones are the chemical messengers of your body and have a direct influence on your metabolism, energy level, hunger, cognition, sexual function / reproduction and mood.

There are around 50 hormones in your body and many more hormone-like substances (brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and active vitamin D2 for example). Your pituitary is the “master gland,” it tells other glands to secrete hormones. The other hormone-producing glands are the pineal and adrenal glands, as well as the thymus, thyroid and pancreas – men also produce hormones in their testicles (testosterone) and women in their ovaries (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). Aside, about 25% of testosterone in women is produced in the ovaries, a quarter in the adrenal gland and half in the peripheral tissue.

It only takes a tiny amount of a few hormones to make big changes in every inch of your body. Therefore, if they are out of whack, it can cause you serious problems. In America, type 2 diabetes is the most common hormone-related disease. This happens when you become insulin resistant and this hormone, which is produced in the pancreas, can no longer regulate blood sugar levels, causing a cascade of health problems from atherosclerosis to neuropathy to kidney disease.

Here’s how you can calm your hormones – and restore your health:

Eat Smartly. The endocrine glands are happy when you eat healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds; high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables; lean animal protein such as salmon; and plant-based proteins like 100% whole grains and legumes / beans. This mix of nutrients lets your appetite regulating hormones leptin (I’m full) and ghrelin (I’m hungry) signal you accordingly so you don’t overeat. Overeating and obesity regulate many hormonal systems.

In addition, a healthy diet will nourish your thyroid hormones, which also help regulate weight. Perhaps most importantly, a healthy diet regulates the work of trillions of microbes in your gut biome that help regulate hormone production and produce hormone-like substances.

Cope with stress, sleep peacefully. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. When chronically elevated, it can reduce the activity of your hypothalamus, which in turn can lead to imbalances in the messenger substances that affect sleep, eating, sexual activity, and cognition and mood. Then you can get tired and gain weight. Therefore, it is important to regularly exercise, meditate, take deep breaths, hang out with friends, volunteer to help others, and / or talk to a therapist. Healthy sleeping habits are also important for reducing stress and regulating hormones. Growth hormones, testosterone, cortisol and insulin are released during sleep. And studies show a link between chronic lack of sleep and depression and weight gain. For sleep hygiene information, visit

Reduce Chronic Inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune response is overstimulated to conditions that interfere with the peaceful functioning of your body. This can happen if you are overweight or obese, addicted to sugar and fast foods, smoke or drink too much, or are constantly under stress. These factors can trigger hormonal changes, such as insulin resistance, low testosterone and vitamin D levels, and increased cortisol, and they power your sympathetic nervous system, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pupil size, and making your blood vessels narrow .

Plus: Eating healthy foods and managing stress and sleep will help reduce inflammation throughout your body and stabilize your hormones, but you can’t get real success if you’re sitting – 150 minutes or more of exercise per week is essential.

So make friends with your hormones and these powerful messengers will send you good news about your energy levels, sleep satisfaction, aging rate, and happiness.

Mehmet Oz, MD is hosting “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, MD is the Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus. For the healthiest way to live, tune in to The Dr. Oz Show or visit

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, MD

and Mehmet Oz, MD

King Features Syndicate

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Whole Grains Health

Types of Millets And How Beneficial it is in Losing Weight



Weight Loss Tips: Millet is an essential part of the whole grain family like rice, oats or quinoa. It is originally grown in Asia thousands of years ago. It’s gluten-free, filled with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Millet is not only famous in India but has also gained in value in western countries.Read also – Weight Loss in Real Life: I was 104 kg, a visit to my daughter’s school changed everything

Millet is high in protein. It contains five grams of protein and one gram of fiber. Both of these ingredients help keep the stomach fuller for longer and reduce the snack habit between meals. This helps in shedding those extra pounds without compromising on your diet. Also Read – Weight Loss: Is It Safe To Eat Only Liquid Food When Losing Weight? Expert speaks | Exclusive

What Are The Health Benefits Of Millet?

Millet is high in antioxidants that help flush harmful radicals out of the body. It contains antioxidant components like quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other beneficial catechins. These help in eliminating toxins and neutralizing enzymes. It prevents health problems. Also Read – 6 Possible Reasons For Unexpected Weight Gain Explains The Nutritionist

Not only is millet very nutritious, it also has a good amount of fiber stored in it. It helps with digestion and prevents constipation, gas and acidity. It helps avoid digestive problems and prevents gastrointestinal cancer and kidney / liver problems.

  • Reduction of cardiovascular risks

Millet is high in and essential fats that help provide the body with natural fats. It also helps in preventing fat from being stored in the body. Along with this, it lowers the risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. It contains potassium, which helps to keep an eye on blood pressure and increases blood flow.

What are the different types of millet?

Ragi is known for its iron content. It helps in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is high in calcium and potassium. Due to the high proportion of fiber, it keeps the stomach fuller for a longer period of time.

Jowar is loaded with nutrients like vitamin B, magnesium, and antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins. It helps boost metabolism and improves the quality of hair and skin. The presence of magnesium helps in strengthening bone and heart health.

Bajra is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It’s low in calories and considered the best grain for shedding pounds. It keeps your stomach fuller for a long period of time without increasing your daily calorie count.

Amaranth is high in fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It helps improve brain function and prevents certain neurological diseases. It helps build muscle and maintain digestive health. It is also noted that amaranth has more nutrients than quinoa.

Kangni is known as semolina or rice flour. It helps in strengthening the immune system and balancing blood sugar levels as it is high in iron and calcium. It also serves as a better option for shedding those extra pounds. It usually includes low cholesterol, good digestion, and helps in building good heart health.

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Whole Grains Health

Adherence To a Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Diabetes



Author: Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Role of the Mediterranean Diet: Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can potentially reduce the risk of developing diabetes for the US population.

A Mediterranean diet is one of the few healthy eating habits that has been linked to significant health improvements. It is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and olive oil and is more common in European countries. It is recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. In addition, it is linked to a reduced risk of diabetes in Mediterranean and European countries. However, it is unclear that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes in the US population. In a large US cohort study with black and white men and women, this study investigated whether Mediterranean eating behavior is linked to the risk of diabetes.

This study was a prospective cohort study that included patients in previous research, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which looked at the causes of heart disease in over 400,000 adults in the United States. In this study, data were collected from 11,991 participants on their first visit. Participants were excluded if they were Asian or Indian due to the small sample size; were black and from Maryland and Minnesota, unable to decipher the influence of geographic region on race; if they have a history or history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer; or if they were derived from the answers to the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or if they had ten or more missing FFQ elements.

One of the statistical methods was an FFQ questionnaire to record the food intake of each patient on their first and third visits. The data recorded from the survey was used in the scores for the Mediterranean Alternative Diet (aMed). The scores ranged from 0 to 9 points, with 1 point being awarded if the patient reported consuming vegetables, fruits, or legumes himself, and 1 point if the patient reported consuming red or processed meat. The higher the aMed score, the higher the adherence to a Mediterranean diet. They also used Cox’s proportional hazard regression models to estimate the hazard ratios and confidence intervals for the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes. Incidence diabetes was defined as: if the patient was diagnosed by a doctor, had taken diabetes medication in the past two weeks, had a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg / dL or more, or a non-fasting blood sugar of 200 mg / dL or above. Variables were also used in the Cox regression analyzes, including energy intake, age, gender, race, educational level, smoking status and physical activity, and clinical mediators of diabetes. They were all stratified by race and body mass index (BMI).

During a median follow-up of 22 years, this analysis found 4,024 cases of diabetes among the 11,991 participants. In summary, aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were higher in blacks than whites, but the risk of diabetes was reduced by up to 17% in both races. In addition, the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were found to be stronger in patients with a healthy baseline BMI, indicating that obesity or overweight outweighs the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet, as shown in the ARIC study and other U.S. Population. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that following a Mediterranean diet without weight loss may not reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight or obese populations. While following a Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of diabetes in people with healthy BMI, the discussion about restricting calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight should remain one of the most important tasks of diabetes prevention. Overall, eating and following a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of diabetes in a community-based US population, especially for black and normal weight individuals. Future studies should be conducted to determine whether a Mediterranean diet that results in clinically meaningful weight loss can reduce the future risk of diabetes in those who are overweight or obese.

Practice pearls:

  • Diets high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil have been linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes in the US population.
  • There are stronger associations between adherence to the Mediterranean pattern and incidents of diabetes among blacks compared to the US white population.

O’Connor, LE, Hu, EA, Steffen, LM et al. Adherence to Mediterranean eating habits and risk of diabetes in a prospective US cohort study. Nutr. Diabetes 10, 8, (2020).

Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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