Saturated fat

Sweet on sweets!

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It seems there are two types of snackers: the sweet tooth-aholic or the salt/carb craver.  Choosing healthy snacks to satisfy either craving does not have to be difficult!  Many times we just need a few fresh ideas.

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It is important to remember those in between meal snacks for our metabolism and strength, especially if you are working out, walking vigorously and exercising daily.  Foods are our fuel and our friends!  Of course, the cleaner, greener and leaner the better.

In case you are fresh out of ideas, here are some simple sweet snacks that are each 50 calories or less!

1. Kellogg’s Bite Size Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats  (I love these!)

These super-tasty sweet treats feature a satisfying crunch (it helps that whole grain wheat is the first ingredient). Six Mini-Wheats will cost you just 47 calories–and you’ll get a gram of filling fiber, too.

Nutrition facts for six Mini-Wheats: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

2. Antioxidant-Rich Fruit: Raspberries

Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, raspberries are among the Cleveland Clinic’s list of 40 best foods for heart health. Research suggests they help lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol, plus they’ll tide you over as a delicious snack.

Nutrition facts for 3/4 cup raspberries: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

3. Light and tasty Popsicle.  You’ll get 15 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in one 50-calorie frozen pop. Pick from yummy cherry, grape, and tropical flavors.

Nutrition facts for one bar: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

4. Low-calorie ice cream treat.  Yes, even a root beer float!

Pour fizzy diet root beer over 1/4 cup of light vanilla ice cream for a treat that will take you back to your youth. Toss your glass in the freezer 10 minutes before dishing for the full frosty effect.

Nutrition facts for one root beer float: 50 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium

5. Jell-O sugar free cup with cool whip

Single-serving containers of Jell-O make calorie counting oh-so-easy! The gelatin has just 10 calories, the whipped topping adds 25.

Nutrition facts for Jell-O with Cool Whip: 35 calories, 2 g fat (2 g sat fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium

6. A fresh piece of fruit, such as a high-fiber peach.

Increasing your fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day) can significantly lower your heart disease risk, and a peach provides nearly 2 grams. For a special treat, cut one in half and grill both sides to caramelize the natural sugars.

Nutrition facts for one peach: 38 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

7. Tea with Sugar

Calorie-free white, black, red, and green teas have all been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants, which help ward off disease. Add a dash of sugar or tsp of honey to sweeten things!

Nutrition facts for a cup of tea: 0 calories, 0 g fat, mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

8. Mott’s No-Sugar-Added Healthy Harvest Applesauce

This tasty fruit-filled applesauce kicks up your vitamin C quotient: Each 50-calorie snack cup provides 25 percent of your daily needs.  As an extra bonus, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  🙂

Nutrition facts for one snack cup: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

9. Decadent Chocolate Treat!  Dove Dark Chocolate Promise

Sometimes all you need is one decadent bite of really good chocolate. Plus, the dark kind is full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts for one chocolate: 42 calories, 3 g fat (1 g sat fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

10. Quaker Quakes Caramel Corn Rice Snacks

Pop five of these mini rice snacks in your mouth and you’ll forget you’re dieting. The sweet crunch comes without fat or cholesterol and is delightfully low in sugar, too.

Nutrition facts for five rice cakes: 43 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium

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Bonus #11:  Swiss Miss Fat-Free Hot Cocoa with Calcium

The antioxidant level in cocoa is even higher than in red wine. Plus, one mug provides as much calcium as a glass of milk. Add a cinnamon stir stick for no additional calories.

Nutrition facts for one mug: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

Bonus #12:  Why not try Shakeology?  Truly, this is my healthiest meal of the day.  Replace one meal with Shakeology to help you lose weight, reduce cravings (I have found it increases my cravings for healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables), feel energized, and improve digestion and regularity.

I think I am going to grab some Mini-Wheats and get back to work now.

Wishing you a sweet day,

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P.S. If you are interested in checking out all the flavors of Shakeology, including Vegan, you can do that here:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/Dbluuendy?bctid=29768318001

What’s the hype about coconut oil?

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Recently I have been seeing many articles, comments and posts about the health benefits of using coconut oil, so I decided to do some research.  Not only does coconut oil taste great, but the health benefits are amazing!

Here is what I have discovered:

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Diabetes

Coconut oil is the one fat that diabetics can eat without fear. Not only does coconut oil NOT contribute to diabetes, but it helps regulate blood sugar, thus reducing the effects of the disease. Of special note, according to Charles Mattocks (2011), is that Island people have consumed large amounts of coconut oil for many generations without ever encountering diabetes, but when they abandoned it for other foods and oils, the results were not good.

Weight Loss

The connection between coconut oil and weight loss is very, very interesting. Farmers in America discovered this early last century when they tried to fatten their cattle by feeding them coconut oil. Instead of gaining weight, their cattle lost weight! So again, this is not news. Do a simple Internet search such as “benefits of coconut oil” and you will get plenty of details.

Bone and Dental Health

Coconut oil improves calcium and magnesium absorption in the body, which in turn is greatly beneficial to dental and bone health. The improved calcium absorption created by coconut oil use ceases tooth decay and aids in the development of strong teeth. The combined increased calcium and magnesium absorption are of great benefit to middle-aged men and women who may become afflicted with osteoporosis.  Coconut oil seems to be a fantastic preventative for a healthy diet.

Coconut Oil: A Good Saturated Fat?

This is important!  You may ask, isn’t coconut oil a saturated fat? And aren’t saturated fats harmful? Yes, coconut oil consists of 90% saturated fats. But whether or not saturated fats are harmful depends on who you ask. Among mainstream nutritionists, the idea that saturated fats cause heart disease is an “absolute truth” that is never questioned. Those who question this belief, however, point out that mankind has been consuming mainly saturated fats – in the form of butter, lard, coconut oil, etc – for thousands of years, yet heart disease was rare before the 1920’s. Pay attention here: if anything, the rise of heart disease in recent decades may correspond to the increasing use of polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn, safflower and canola, as well as margarine.

Conclusion

Coconut oil has done wonders for the way some people feel.  I would point out, however, that if you suffer from diabetes or heart disease, even high blood pressure or high cholesterol, please consult you doctor before you try coconut oil.

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Me?  I normally use olive oil for my cooking, but I am going to mix things up a bit with coconut oil.   I love the flavor of coconut, do you?

I hope this post helped provide you with some valuable information about adding coconut oil to your diet.

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