Spring Clean Your Diet

Spring Clean Your Diet

How to read a food label

 

 

 

 

 

Trans Fats, saturated fats, sodium – oh my! Do you know what’s lurking in your pantry? Spring is on its way, the flowers are in bloom, the grass is turning greener, and Mother Nature is creating beauty all around us. There’s no better time to spring clean your diet, clear your refrigerator clutter and swap unhealthy products for healthier ones.

Processed foods make up a large portion of grocery store goodies and unfortunately a lot of those unhealthy choices make their way into our homes. You might pass a junk food only once in the grocery store, but you’ll pass it every day at home. If it’s there, you’re going to eventually eat it. This pantry “clean out” is going to help you and your quest for healthier eating.

Step 1: Check the ingredients. Remove any food product containing the words “partially hydrogenated” or “fully hydrogenated” oil. These foods contain trans fats, even though the label claims they have none.

Step 2: Toss any food product that has a calorie content of over 200 calories per serving.

Step 3: Throw out any food product that has over 10 grams of fat per serving.

Step 4: Get rid of any food product that has more then 12 grams of sugar.

Step 5: Chuck canned goods or frozen goods with more than 500mg of sodium.

Now it’s time to stock up! Use these five simple tips for stocking a healthy pantry:

Tip 1: Seek out products that have 200 calories per serving or less.

Tip 2: Look for products that have less than 10 grams of total fat and no “partially hydrogenated” or “fully hydrogenated” oils in the ingredient list.

Tip 3: Find processed products that have less than 300mg of sodium.

Tip 4:
Search for cereals, granola bars, and snack goods that have less than 8 grams of sugar, and yogurts with no more than 12 grams.

Tip 5: Find grain products that have more than 3 grams of fiber and ingredient lists with the words “whole grain” or “100% whole grain.”

Bonus tip: To add some extra goodness to your spring clean out, replace your big-brand peanut butter with a delicious, all-natural, non-GMO gourmet nut or seed butter. Betsy’s Best Peanut ButterAlmond Butter and Sunflower Seed Butter include healthy ingredients that enhance flavor and nutrition. In addition to nut or seed, each serving of Betsy’s Best includes chia seeds, cinnamon, Himalayan pink salt, honey and a touch of pure stevia. Healthy and delicious!

Going Green – How To Add Vegetables to Your Diet

You know they are healthy for you, your mother told you to eat them when you were little to make you strong, but are you getting enough green vegetables in your diet? Becoming a green eating machine is not as difficult as you may think. You just have to know how to add it into your diet. Here are some ways to sneak in those greens. Your health depends on it!

Smoothies: What better way to get your greens vegetables than to drink them! Mask the taste with fruit and you won’t even know you are eating spinach. Here is an easy green recipe: 1/2 banana, 1/2 c blueberries, 1 c almond milk, 1 T Betsy’s Best, 1 T chia seeds, 3/4 c fresh spinach leaves. Blend and serve.  (Check out all of our healthy smoothie recipes.)

Omelets: Turn your breakfast into a veggie fest by adding spinach, arugula, beet greens, parsley or cilantro and salsa into your eggs for a delicious twist!

Grilled: Roasting veggies is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a flavorful dish. Grilled endive and radicchio are not commonly grilled foods but are flavorful companions to peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Baked: Baking or roasting veggies is as easy as 1-2-3. Throw some kale on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 min. You can also roast Brussels sprouts for a dish that is delish!

Shredded: When shredded finely, even tougher greens become easy to handle. You can shred these greens for a healthy garnish on mashed potatoes or mix them into your favorite salad.

Wrap them up!: Instead of using a tortilla, crunchy greens that contain a good amount of water, such as Swiss chard, bok choy, escarole, or romaine make fantastic wraps for a variety of fillings, ranging from roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic to teriyaki chicken with mandarin oranges.

So being creative is just half the fun….the other half is eating your creation! Think outside the box on ways to eat those green leafy vegetables and watch yourself as you get lean!

Betsy's Best Signature with a Heart

HO HO HO – Healthy Holiday Habits

Healthy holiday habits to keep fit and merry

Are you wondering how to stay healthy over the holidays? This season, give yourself the best gift: the gift of good health! Develop healthy habits that extend well beyond the holidays with these helpful tips to stay fit and grateful for your health:

Picture your ideal holiday

Who would you spend it with? What would you do? This season, try to recreate the image you just described. You’ll gain a healthier satisfaction from this accomplishment than you would from indulging in another piece of fudge or second serving of stuffing.

Keep serving sizes in mind as you fill up your holiday plate

Meat should be roughly 3-4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards), cheese – 1 oz (the size of 4 dice), bread – one slice/or half a cup (half the size of a baseball) and fats – 1 teaspoon (the size of your thumb).

Don’t deprive yourself over the holidays

Eat the treats you really enjoy and skip the ones you can live without. If you look forward to your mom’s Christmas fudge every year, have a piece or two of that – instead of the fruitcake you aren’t crazy about.

Choose a healthy alternative to traditional food and drinks

Low-fat eggnog tastes just as good as the loaded version. An even better choice is spiced cider or wassail. Steamed shrimp is also a delicious alternative for Swedish meatballs. And of course, the veggie tray is a much safer choice compared to the cheese and cracker platter – just watch the dressing!

Fill up on healthy food before a feast

Eat a healthy, balanced meal with plenty of veggies before heading to a holiday party where there will be many temptations. Also try to limit your alcohol consumption, there can be anywhere between 90-400 calories per alcoholic beverage!

Utilize the power of exercise

You can easily burn away those extra calories consumed at a big holiday meal. Suggest a family walk or bike ride around the neighborhood after dinner. You’ll burn calories, get some fresh air and spend time with your family doing something active.

Bonus tip: Help friends and family stay healthy during the holidays too! Instead of bringing a plate of sweets or a gift basket loaded with high-calorie, sugar-rich treats, bring a few jars of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters. You can even put together your own gift basket with healthy treats and a few jars of Betsy’s Best. Or bring your hostess a jar! It’s a unique alternative to the usual bottle of wine and sure to make your hostess gift stand out from the rest.

Have yourself a very merry, healthy holiday season!

5 Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

5 Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Understanding the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and adding them to your diet is very important.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to decreased:

  • Levels of inflammation
  • Risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Memory loss.

The standard American diet is, for the most part, very deficient in Omega 3’s. By increasing your intake, preferably through the right food sources, you can drastically improve your overall health.

The topic of fats as part of a healthy diet is very complex and expanding constantly.  However, there is very strong evidence in favor of eating more foods which are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. By doing so, people will improve their health and well-being:

Betsy’s Five Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Fatty Fish: Albacore tuna, mackerel, anchovies, and fresh caught salmon are the best sources of Omega 3’s. These fish eat the less soluble form of Omega 3’s (ALA) through seaweed. The fish then convert it to the most beneficial form for our bodies (EPA and DHA).

  • Tip: If you are on any type of diet that allows the consumption of fish or fish products, eating these types, or supplementing with a 1000-1500 mg daily dose of fish oil, would be an excellent step in improving your health.

Almonds: On top of being an excellent source of antioxidants, protein, and beneficial vitamins and minerals, almonds are an excellent source of plant-based Omega 3’s.

Flax Seed: These fiber- and omega 3-packed seeds can be an easy addition to your diet, by sprinkling them on oatmeal, cereals, salads, and smoothies. However, make sure to grind or buy already ground seed so your body can fully absorb the amazing nutrients flax has to offer.

Chia Seed: These may be one of the smallest but most nutritious foods in the world. Chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons, and are en excellent source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and of course Omega 3 fatty acids.

Avocado: In addition to being a great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, avocados have fiber and at least 20 important vitamins and minerals.  They are a creamy ingredient to add into smoothies and other great recipes.

Get Omega-s Fatty Acids In Each Serving of Betsy’s Best

Omega 3’s are loaded in each serving of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters!  That is one reason we pack nutrient dense chia seeds into every jar.  That nice crunch you hear when you bite into Betsy’s Best is popping healthy omega’s into your body.

Not only that, but with the healthy omega’s you also get a great serving of fiber from the seeds and nuts.  Omega + fiber = A HEALTHY HEART!  So dig in and make your heart and mouth happy!

Nutty For Mediterranean-style Diets

Nutty For Mediterranean-style Diets

Among the healthiest and easiest ways to eat are Mediterranean-style diets. This style of eating focuses on flavorful health and satisfying foods such as:

  • fish
  • fruits and vegetables
  • legumes
  • whole grains, and
  • nuts and seeds!

It is a well-know fact that seafood, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes have always been high on the list of the healthiest foods. Nuts, however, are new to the list of healthiest foods.

Nuts as Part of a Healthy Mediterranean Eating Plan

The fat, protein, and fiber in nuts and nut butters help you feel full longer. This means you may eat less during the day. By helping induce a feeling of satiety, nuts and nut butters may help people feel less deprived and not like they’re “dieting.” Just remember to practice portion control and to keep nuts to a small handful!

Nuts and nut butters are a powerhouse of a snack. They provide protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Satisfying and flavorful, almost everyone enjoys including nuts and nut butters in their diet. If you enjoy healthy foods, it is much easier to stick to a healthy diet.

The Benefits of Mediterranean-style Diets

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found three times as many people trying to lose weight were able to stick to a Mediterranean-style moderate-fat weight loss diet that included nuts, peanuts and peanut butter versus traditionally recommended low-fat diet. (International Journal of Obesity, Oct. 5, 2001).