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Whole Grain Benefits

Calories, Benefits, Downsides, and Recipe

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Avocado toast is ubiquitous on breakfast menus these days. From small cafes and upscale restaurants to fast-food chains, you’re almost guaranteed to find some form of this meal on the menu.

Whether you order it while dining out or make your own, avocado toast is the perfect canvas for a variety of sweet and savory toppings.

But some people question if eating avocado (a high fat food that is also calorie dense) or eating toast (a carbohydrate-rich food) can be part of a health-promoting, well-rounded dietary pattern.

This article explores the nutritional value and possible health benefits of avocado toast, and it offers guidance on how to make your own for optimal nutrition.

Avocado toast, in its simplest form, is bread toasted and topped with either mashed or sliced ​​avocado. But many people will add toppings like eggs, fruits, vegetables, seasonings, and more.

It’s become a popular breakfast and brunch item, enjoyed both at home and at restaurants.

As public nutrition messaging has begun to embrace dietary fat in recent years — especially fat derived from plant-based sources like avocado — avocado toast has become a favorite among health and fitness enthusiasts.

The calories and other nutrition facts will vary depending on how you make your avocado toast.

Nutrition facts for avocado toast made on a 1-ounce slice of whole wheat bread with half of a medium avocado (50 grams) are (1, 2):

  • Calories: 195
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • carbs 20 grams
  • fiber: 8 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Potassium: 425 mg

If you order avocado toast at a restaurant, make it with different bread, use more or less avocado, or add toppings, the actual nutritional composition will vary.

For example, the nutrition facts for one piece of avocado and roasted tomato toast from popular coffee chain Dunkin’ are (3):

  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Sodium: 630 mg
  • carbs 37 grams
  • fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Potassium: 626 mg

Avocado toast at Dunkin’ is made with avocado mixed with lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper, and it’s served on sourdough toast with roasted tomatoes.

Adding to or adapting the recipe will change the nutrient value of your toast. For example, toppings like eggs, smoked salmon, and hemp seeds would boost the protein and healthy fat content.

Fruits and vegetables can add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to make your avocado toast an even more nutritious breakfast or snack.

Avocado toast can be part of a weight loss plan.

Eating avocados has been linked with lower body weight, lower body mass index (BMI), and a smaller waist circumference (4, 5).

Some small studies have shown that consuming an avocado every day may lead to weight loss. It’s important to note, though, that much of the research in this area is funded by the Hass Avocado Board, so there’s potential for bias in these reports (6, 7).

Remember that weight loss isn’t caused or stymied by specific foods, but replacing certain foods with others — like using avocado on your toast instead of pork bacon, which is high in saturated fat, for example — may help support that goal.

Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, two nutrients that have been noted for their roles in aiding weight loss (8, 9).

In addition, diets high in monounsaturated fat, such as the Mediterranean diet, are linked to lower body weight (10).

A review of several studies suggests that fat, especially poly- and monounsaturated fats, can increase feelings of fullness as well as reduce the release of hunger hormones in the body, which may contribute to weight loss (11).

If weight loss is your goal, you may want to choose whole grain bread and consider adding a protein source like an egg to your toast. It’ll help keep you full.

In addition to being delicious, avocado toast offers many health benefits.

Avocado toast offers monounsaturated fats

A half-cup of avocado provides 11 grams of monounsaturated fats. This type of fat has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lower levels of inflammation (12, 13, 14).

Monounsaturated fats may also improve blood sugar management and other health outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes (15, 16).

Avocado toast is an excellent source of fiber

People often think of avocado only as a good source of fat, but a 1/2 cup of the fruit also provides 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the Reference Daily Intake (1).

When paired with whole grain bread, the fiber count increases even more.

Fiber slows digestion, helping you feel full longer. It’s also linked to numerous positive health outcomes, as it plays an important role in good health and can promote healthy digestion [17, 18].

Avocado toast provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Avocado is an excellent source of B vitamins, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C (1).

It contains a variety of phytonutrients, including tocopherols, carotenoids, phenolics, and phytosterols. These antioxidants are linked to heart health, eye health, and skin health (19).

Whole grain bread also contains B vitamins and may contain minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium (2).

While avocado toast offers many potential health benefits, it may not be the best choice for everyone.

First, avocado toast lacks a significant source of protein, which is an important part of a balanced meal. But that’s easily rectified by topping it with an egg, smoked salmon, tempeh “bacon,” or beans.

In addition, some avocado toasts can easily go from nutritious to more indulgent with toppings like pork bacon or a lot of cheese, which would add saturated fat. Excess saturated fat is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer (20).

It’s also important to consider the type of bread you use and how much of it you eat per serving. White bread, which is a type of refined carbohydrate, is linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease when eaten in excess (21).

Lastly, there are some concerns about the environmental impacts of eating a lot of avocados, mostly related to transporting them around the world from California and Mexico.

A basic avocado toast is pretty simple. Just toast your bread and top it with either mashed or sliced ​​avocado and a pinch of sea salt.

However, there are so many interesting and tasty ways to level up your avocado toast. Here are a few ideas for toppings:

  • Egg any style (hard boiled and sliced, scrambled, poached, or fried), sliced ​​tomato, and everything bagel seasoning
  • smoked salmon with sliced ​​cucumbers and chives or dill
  • sliced ​​strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • sliced ​​radishes and arugula with fresh ground pepper
  • tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella
  • Black beans, salsa, and shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Crumbled goat cheese and fresh, sliced ​​figs
  • red onion, chopped jalapeño, and corn
  • hemp seeds or sunflower seeds with a squeeze of lime

Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix and match toppings for a sweet or savory meal.

Avocado toast is a filling breakfast or snack that offers many potential health benefits. The nutritional value will vary depending on how you make it or where you order it.

Avocados provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to overall health and a reduced risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Avocados may also aid in weight management.

When paired with whole grain toast, you’ll eat even more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, getting even more health benefits.

Avocado toast is delicious on its own, but it can be even tastier with your favorite toppings. Top with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds for an extra nutritional boost.

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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