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Whole Grain Benefits

10 Common Breakfasts and How to Make Them Healthier

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Although breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, it definitely depends on what you eat with your morning meal.

A healthy breakfast should include a variety of nutritious foods high in fiber, protein, and healthy fat to start your day on the right foot.

Unfortunately, many of the most popular breakfast foods are highly processed or lacking in these important nutrients.

Here are 10 ways to give some of the most popular breakfast items like pancakes, muffins, and toast a healthy upgrade and start the day off right.

While breakfast cereals are often viewed as nutritious choices for children and adults, many types are highly processed and high in refined grains and added sugars.

Consuming too much added sugar can contribute to a variety of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems (1).

Refined grains also contain less fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient that will help you feel more satisfied after you have finished eating a meal (2).

One benefit of cereals is that many varieties are also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B12 (3).

Ideally, look for low-sugar breakfast cereals made from whole grains like oats, brown rice, or wheat bran. Combine your cereal with some plain yogurt or milk and fruit to balance your meal.

summary

Many breakfast cereals are highly processed and high in refined grains and sugars. Ideally, look for grains that are made from whole grains and low in sugar.

Pancakes and waffles are popular choices for weekend breakfasts at home or in restaurants.

Although they contain more protein than some other breakfast items, pancakes and waffles are usually made from white flour, a refined cereal that isn’t high in fiber.

Additionally, pancakes and waffles are typically topped with maple-flavored pancake syrup, which is high in fructose corn syrup and high in sugar.

One tablespoon of pancake syrup has 8 grams of added sugar, and it’s easy to pour a few tablespoons on your pancakes and eat more added sugar than is recommended in a day (4,5).

To add a healthy twist to pancakes or waffles, try whole grains or nuts instead. Try whole wheat flour, oat flour, or almond flour. Eating more plant-based whole foods with fiber is linked to decreased insulin resistance (6).

You can also top them with fresh fruit, natural yoghurt, nut butter or some pure maple syrup.

summary

Pancakes and waffles are often made from refined flour and topped with syrup. Try whole wheat or nut flour and combine it with healthy toppings like fresh fruit, yogurt or a little pure maple syrup.

Toast topped with margarine may seem like a classic breakfast option.

However, white bread is made from refined flour, which means it is lacking in fiber and essential nutrients.

Additionally, some types of margarines contain trans fats, a type of fat that can increase inflammation and contribute to heart disease (7).

Instead, opt for whole grain bread whenever possible and choose healthier toppings for your toast, such as sliced ​​avocados, nut butter, hummus, or ricotta.

summary

White bread is made from refined flour and some margarines contain trans fats. Using whole grain bread and choosing healthier toppings can be a better breakfast option.

Muffins are a popular breakfast item, usually made from refined flour, vegetable oils, eggs, and sugar.

Muffins that are sold in bakeries, cafes, and grocery stores are also often huge, resulting in higher sugar and calorie content than most people think.

In fact, a popular coffee chain’s chocolate chip muffin contains 36 grams more sugar (that’s 9 teaspoons) than the chocolate-glazed donut (8, 9)

There are many healthy muffin recipes you can make at home, often using ingredients like whole wheat flour, fresh fruit, or Greek yogurt.

Alternatively, enjoy store-bought muffins as an occasional treat and try saving half for later and adding a hard-boiled egg to give you some protein and keep your serving sizes in check.

summary

Muffins are usually high in refined flour, calories, and added sugar. Try making homemade muffins with healthier ingredients and enjoying them as an occasional treat.

While fruit juice seems like an easy way to increase your fruit consumption, many fruit drinks on the market are actually very low in fruit and sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Although 100% fruit juices provide more nutrients, they are often high in natural sugars and lack the fiber you would get from eating whole fruits, which will help you stay full (10).

Choose whole fruits over juice, and if you love juice, dilute it with water or seltzer to reduce the sugar in your cup.

You can also try making smoothies with your favorite fruits and vegetables for a refreshing drink that has more of the beneficial fiber in these ingredients.

summary

Fruit juice is high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Instead, try making homemade smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Toaster pastries are an undeniably quick and easy breakfast option. However, they are also highly processed and typically contain refined flour and added sugar.

They’re also low in protein, an important nutrient that can help reduce hunger and increase feelings of satiety (11).

Some companies have started offering high protein, low added sugar toaster cookies, which can be a healthier alternative to many popular brands.

If you’re feeling creative, you can even make it at home using whole wheat flour, fresh fruits, and natural sweeteners.

summary

Toaster cookies are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, but low in protein. Some companies offer healthier varieties, or you can try making your own at home.

7. Scones with jam and cream

High-sugar and high-calorie scones are topped with jam and are more of a dessert than a well-rounded breakfast.

Scones are made by mixing refined wheat flour, butter, and sugar with the flavors you want. Then the dough is shaped and baked.

They are usually topped with cream and jam or jelly. The end result is a high-calorie, sugary breakfast low in fiber and protein.

Studies have shown that fiber has many benefits, including keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range. It also makes you feel full so you don’t get hungry right after breakfast (12).

While scones probably shouldn’t be a staple in your morning meal, they can fit into a healthy, balanced diet and be consumed in moderation.

Choose from wholemeal flour varieties and top off your sweet or savory scones with fresh fruit, cream cheese, ricotta or pesto.

summary

Cream and jam scones are high in sugar and calories but low in fiber. While they can be enjoyed in moderation, try whole grains and add healthier toppings.

A bowl of natural Greek yogurt with berries is a great example of a healthy and balanced breakfast.

Unfortunately, many popular varieties of fat-free flavored yogurt are packaged with added sugar, with some varieties containing around 60% as much sugar as vanilla ice cream (13, 14).

Additionally, you might be tempted to buy non-fat yogurt to conserve calories, but fat is an important nutrient that helps slow down your stomach emptying so you can feel full longer (15).

Removing the fat from dairy products and adding a lot of sugar turns a nutritious breakfast option into a food better as an occasional treat.

Instead of buying yogurt with added sugar, opt for plain yogurt and enhance the flavor with tasty ingredients like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds.

summary

Non-fat sweetened yogurt is very high in sugar and lacks the natural milk fat that can add fullness. Unsweetened yogurt is a better option and can be easily sweetened with your favorite toppings.

While granola bars may sound like great breakfast options, in terms of diet they are often quite similar to candy bars.

In fact, many muesli bars only provide 1–3 grams of fiber and are low in protein at just a few grams per serving (16, 17.

Additionally, some of the most popular brands contain a combination of added sugars, including sugar, corn syrup, and honey, along with other ingredients like chocolate chips or dried fruit.

Large amounts of these sugars can increase blood sugar, insulin levels, and inflammation (18).

Look for granola bars that are low in sugar and made from nutrient-rich ingredients like oats, nuts, and seeds.

You can also make homemade granola bars using ingredients like oats, nut butter, coconut flakes, and dates.

summary

Many types of granola bars are high in sugar but low in fiber and protein. It’s best to choose low-sugar granola bars made from nutrient-rich ingredients or try making your own granola bars at home.

10. Processed gluten-free breakfast foods

Gluten-free diets have become very popular in recent years due to concerns about the possible negative health effects of gluten (19).

While there’s no harm in avoiding gluten, many gluten-free foods are highly processed and use refined ingredients like rice, potatoes, and tapioca, which can cause blood sugar spikes (20).

In addition, gluten-free pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods are typically low in protein and fiber, similar to traditional wheat-based versions of these foods.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, there are plenty of nutrient-dense and minimally processed breakfast options, including gluten-free oatmeal, egg cups, smoothie bowls, and vegetarian frittata.

summary

Many gluten-free packaged foods are not only low in protein and fiber, but also heavily processed and refined. There are a variety of other breakfast foods that can fit into a gluten-free diet, such as oatmeal, eggs, and smoothies.

Breakfast has the potential to set you up for a great day by providing a hearty dose of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

However, many popular breakfast foods lack these important nutrients and can cause you to go hungry long before noon.

Try some of the healthy options outlined above to give your morning meal a nutritious upgrade.

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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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Whole Grain Benefits

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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