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Whole Grain Benefits

12 Best Snacks for Weight Loss

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  • Healthy weight loss snacks are nutritious, portioned and balanced.
  • Some examples are an apple with peanut butter, a banana and almonds, or a protein bar.
  • You can also try hummus and carrots, fruit and plain Greek yogurt, and homemade trail mixes.
  • Check out the Insider Health Reference Library for more advice.

If you and your doctor have decided that losing weight is the best course of action for your health, then lifestyle and diet changes are likely needed.

That can mean replacing high-calorie snacks that lack nutrients, like potato chips, with healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Unfortunately, many American snack foods are highly processed, high in calories and low in nutritional value. These types of snacks can make you feel sluggish and lead to weight gain,” says Amber Ingram, a registered dietitian at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

On the other hand, she says that a healthy, balanced snack can boost your energy and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Ingram says some rules of thumb for healthy snacking are:

  • Nutritious, meaning they contain a nice mix of vitamins and minerals.
  • Portion controlled, like a single apple or orange.
  • Balanced, meaning ideally it contains protein and one complex carbohydrate – which helps to keep you full. A healthy fat can also be a great addition, but it’s not necessary for a balanced snack.
  • About 150-250 calories

Here are 12 healthy snack ideas recommended by nutritionists.

1. An apple and natural peanut butter

  • One medium apple: 95 calories
  • One tablespoon of natural peanut butter: 95 calories
  • Total calories: 190

Snacks that contain protein can help you feel full for longer, which can reduce overeating and subsequent weight gain.

Natural peanut butter is a great source of plant-based protein, and apples are high in soluble fiber, which studies have shown may help promote weight loss and reduce the risk of cancer.


diabetes

, and cardiovascular diseases.

2. Cottage cheese and pineapple

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 2% milk: 90 calories
  • Half a cup of pineapple: 41 calories
  • Total calories: 131

In addition to the protein that keeps you full, cottage cheese is also packed with calcium, which can support bone health.

You can pair it with pineapple, which contains bromelain — a compound with anti-inflammatory benefits that may also aid in digestion, says Ingram.

Plus, a sweet, healthy fruit like pineapple, melon, or mango is perfect for adding a flavor explosion to a snack.

3. Fruit and plain Greek yogurt

  • A cup of strawberries: 53 calories
  • A can of plain yogurt: 100 calories
  • Total calories: 153

While yogurt may seem like a healthy choice, many flavored varieties are loaded with added sugar. Added sugar can easily lead to excess sugar consumption, which has been linked to obesity.

You can avoid added sugars by opting for plain Greek yogurt, says Alicia Beltran, MS, a nutritionist at Baylor College of Medicine.

Add flavor and sweetness by adding your fruit of choice. Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, are a great option because they’re loaded with antioxidants that help reduce the risk of conditions like kidney and cardiovascular disease caused by free radical damage.

Plus, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which may have benefits like maintaining a healthy microbiome and cardiovascular health.

4. Hummus and carrots

  • Two tablespoons of hummus: 60 calories
  • A cup of raw carrots: 50 calories
  • Total calories: 110

This snack has two benefits: First, the hummus is a good source of protein and fiber, both of which help keep you feeling full and satisfied, Beltran says. And second, carrots contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A can benefit your eyesight, immune system, and cholesterol.

Eating more vegetables in general can also help


weight loss

because vegetables are more filling, which a 2014 study of overweight adults found may help control hunger.

5. Cream cheese with cashew nuts as a side dish

  • A light mozzarella string cheese: 50 calories
  • A quarter cup of cashews: 197 calories
  • Total calories: 247

The combination of spreadable cheese and cashews packs healthy fats and proteins that don’t cause a blood sugar spike that might make you tired and sluggish later, says Allison Childress, PhD, nutritionist and assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University.

Choosing light or low-fat versions of snacks like cheese is an easy way to cut fat and calories on your weight-loss journey.

Plus, nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and macadamias are heart-healthy and can help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

6. A banana and almonds

  • One medium-sized banana: 105 calories
  • A quarter cup of almonds: 207 calories
  • Total calories: 312

“This snack combines the carbs of bananas with the fat, fiber and protein of almonds for a balanced, filling snack,” says Childress.

The banana is high in potassium, and nutritionists recommend bananas as a weight-loss snack. This is because bananas contain pectin and


resistant starch

, that’s enough.

Note: This snack has a little more calories than the others on this list, so it might not be a snack you want to reach for every day.

7. Wholemeal Toast with Peanut Butter

  • A slice of whole wheat bread: 110 calories
  • One tablespoon of natural peanut butter: 95 calories
  • Total calories: 205

Bread is often vilified in weight loss diets like keto and Whole30 for its high carb content. But if you eat the right type of bread, you can still enjoy a slice every now and then.

In fact, a small 2012 study found that overweight participants who ate bread as part of a restricted-calorie diet were more likely to stick to the diet than those who were told to avoid bread altogether.

Just be sure to avoid white bread and other refined grain options like bleached flour. These typically have little to no fiber. Instead, opt for whole grain breads, which provide more fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and folic acid.

You should also consider toasting your bread, as research suggests it can lower the glycemic index — a measure of how likely a food is to spike blood sugar. However, more studies are needed to determine how much toasting lowers the GI for whole grain bread and how this might affect weight loss.

8. A protein bar

  • One Quest protein bar: 190 calories

If you’re looking for easy on-the-go snacks, try some protein bars. However, be sure to read the label and make sure they aren’t loaded with added sugar.

A 2020 review found that a high-protein diet can be beneficial for losing weight and preventing weight gain over the course of six to 12 months, whether you’re on a low-calorie diet or not. Additionally, the review found that a high-protein diet may promote feelings of fullness or satiety.

Childress recommends Quest bars, which contain about 15 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein, and just 2 grams of sugar. Other brands with a healthy balance of fiber and protein and low in sugar include ONE and Alani Nu, says Childress. Experiment with different protein bars and find out which ones are your personal favourites.

Best protein bars

Checking the protein bars


Amazon

We test and recommend the best protein bars. Check out our selection:

9. Homemade Trail Mix

  • A quarter cup of trail mix: about 160 calories

Of course, buying pre-packaged trail mix is ​​an option, but Beltran suggests going the DIY route because you can more easily control total calorie count by choosing what’s in it. Beltran says some healthy options should be included:

  • almonds
  • cashew nuts
  • pecans
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • raisins
  • Dried cranberries

Since trail mixes usually contain high-calorie foods like dried fruit and nuts, moderation is key. Make sure you measure out a quarter cup before snacking instead of eating straight from a bag for portion control.

10. Crispy chickpeas and a hard-boiled egg

  • 1/4 cup crispy chickpeas: 161 calories
  • One large hard-boiled egg: 78 calories
  • Total calories: 149

Roasting chickpeas makes them nice and crispy — a bonus if you’re trying to lose weight, as researchers have found that foods that make a lot of noise when eaten lead people to eat less overall.

Also, eggs are good for weight loss as they are high in protein and nutrient dense while being low in calories.

11. Fruit smoothie with protein powder

The total calorie count depends on the ingredients you choose for your smoothie. In general, opt for a mix of fruits and vegetables such as:

  • 1 medium banana (105 calories) and a bunch of baby spinach (27 calories): About 132 calories
  • 1 medium apple (65 calories) and a handful of celery (20 calories): About 85 calories

One thing to keep in mind about smoothies is that they contain less fiber than if you were to eat those foods whole. As a result, your blood sugar may be more likely to rise. To slow digestion and prevent a spike in blood sugar, add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie.

12. English muffin with avocado

  • One half of a whole wheat English muffin: 65 calories
  • A quarter of an avocado: 81 calories
  • Total calories: 146

Avocados are high in healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats and rich in nutrients that make them good for heart, eye, and skin health. Plus, the fiber in whole grains can help you feel fuller and promote good gut health.

A 2019 study found that among non-obese people, those who consumed avocados were less likely to gain weight than those who did not consume avocados.

Insider snack

There are so many options for delicious and nutritious healthy snacks to eat while trying to lose weight. Be mindful of portion sizes and always remember that moderation is key.

Also, Beltran says you should make sure you’re really hungry before grabbing a snack, rather than just eating out of boredom, stress, or distraction.

The right healthy snacks will keep you full until your next meal and can help you lose weight.

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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