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Posts Tagged ‘yogurt’

The new year is upon us which means everyone has made their New Year’s Resolution. Did you make yours about weight loss? Every year mine revolves around weight loss. Weight loss and I have a love-hate relationship. Some years are good and other years not so much.  I would like to share with you my personal struggles and how we can work together to lead healthier lives.

A few years ago I worked really hard at following a weight loss program and lost 40 pounds. I felt amazing! I had more energy and my self-confidence really improved. However, the next year, work became very stressful. Over the following years, I’ve gained all of it back, plus a little more, through emotional eating and other life changes. I self-sabotage my efforts. I don’t just fall off the “diet” band wagon; I fall off and set it on FIRE! It’s a vicious cycle that I’m putting an end to now.

Maybe you’re like me and have made decisions in the past to crash diet, and you’ve messed up your metabolism. You weigh yourself every week and when the weight isn’t coming off fast enough you feel a sense of failure and give up.

As a professional, I know and have read all the right things to do. There are blog posts on Healthy Habits and articles on how to Start Losing Weight.  But, old habits are hard to break. Personally, I have a major sweet tooth and sugar is very addicting.

Today, I’m asking you to join me in taking baby-steps to a healthier you. It may take longer, but the tortoise beat the hare, remember?

My plan of action is to make small changes over a certain period of time. I want to give myself time to take action and evaluate my success. I also want to identify my unhealthy eating triggers. Therefore, I’m allowing myself two weeks to make each change. This way I can make a small change the first week and then brainstorm ways to avoid unhealthy triggers the second week. I will start by changing my breakfast foods, then I will move onto snacks, dinner, lunch, and finally, beverages.

Since I’m starting with breakfast, I’ve identified a couple of go-to recipes I plan to use to give myself a kick start:

1. For mornings on the run, I’ll grab a low-fat Greek Yogurt, a small piece of fruit, and a piece of Sprouted toast with a small smear of all-fruit jam. Personally, I have found that sprouted bread is more gentle on my blood sugar. However, you could substitute your favorite whole grain bread.

french toast

2. For Saturday morning breakfast with my family, I love to make Cinnamon-French Toast. I’ll again use sprouted bread, and I’ll replace the whole eggs with egg whites. A little light syrup and some fresh berries will make this feel like such a treat!

3. Some days I’m way ahead of the game and have Overnight Oatmeal in the refrigerator ready to go.

What are your favorite go-to breakfasts?

 

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension,  Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

 

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Losing Weight: Getting Started. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html

Godman, H. (2017). Are Sprouted Grains More Nutritious than Regular Whole Grains? Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sprouted-grains-nutritious-regular-whole-grains-2017110612692

Spires, C. (2016). Diets or Healthy Habits? Live Healthy, Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2016/10/24/diets-or-healthy-habits/

 

 

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yogurt1If you are like a lot of people, you’ve probably spent some time standing in front of the yogurt section of the dairy aisle, wondering what kind of yogurt to purchase. There are so many options to choose from that it can literally feel a little overwhelming. How is Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt? Is it worth the extra expense? Let’s take a look.

Both yogurts contain two primary ingredients–milk and bacterial cultures. The bacteria ferment the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk, producing lactic acid. After fermentation is complete, the liquid “whey” is strained off the solid yogurt. Regular yogurt is strained twice, leaving a little liquid in the end product (which is what you see accumulated on the top of your yogurt when you remove the lid). Greek yogurt is strained three times, removing most of the liquid. That extra straining is what gives Greek yogurt a thicker consistency (and stronger flavor) compared to regular yogurt.

Because so much liquid volume is lost through that third straining it takes about four cups of raw milk to produce one cup of Greek yogurt. In comparison, it only takes one cup of raw milk to make a cup of regular yogurt, which helps explain the higher cost associated with Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt contains more protein and less carbohydrates, making it a better choice for diabetics. But no matter which type you select, read the food label. Compare types based on:

  • PROTEIN: A typical 6-ounce Greek yogurt has 15 to 20 grams, which is the same as 2-3 ounces of lean meat. Regular yogurt provides about 9 grams.
  • FAT: There’s fat in yogurt? Yes, depending on the type of milk used. Full-fat Greek yogurt packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance in a 7 ounce container. Regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in an 8-ounce serving. If you’re going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.
  • SODIUM: Greek yogurt is much lower in sodium than regular yogurt, making it a healthier choice if you’re watching your salt intake. One cup of Greek yogurt contains 65 mg of salt, while the same size cup of regular yogurt contains 159 mg of salt.
  • CALCIUM: Regular yogurt provides 30 percent of the federal government’s recommended daily amount. A 6-ounce cup of Greek yogurt typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation.
  • SUGAR: Sugar content is usually higher in regular yogurt, but much depends on additional ingredients added such as fruit and/or granola-type toppings.

Final Thoughts

Yogurt is an important probiotic, adding live bacterial strains to your colon that enhance and support your microbiome. No matter which type you choose, your body wins from that perspective alone. But experiment with the different types and flavors until you find one that fits both your nutritional and taste criteria.

Sources:

 http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/ask-the-expert/ask-the-dietitian/archives/what-is-the-best-kind-of.html

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/09/30/greek-yogurt-vs-regular-yogurt-which-is-more-healthful

Writer: Marie Economos, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County.

Reviewer: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

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cowsYou may have noticed lately there is more “chatter” about the benefit of eating meat and/or dairy products from cows that graze on grass rather than grain products.  That’s because more and more people are looking at grass feeding as an important component of an animal’s food composition.  The quality of any food you eat depends on where and how it was grown—and that pertains to plant foods as well as animal foods. If you care about where your food comes from, shouldn’t you also care about where your “food’s” food comes from?

So what is a cow’s natural diet?  When our parents and grandparents were growing up, they ate beef from animals that primarily “grazed” or “browsed” in a pasture.  Grazing means eating pasture grasses such as bluegrass, ryegrass, Bermuda grass, fescue, and so forth.  Browsing is what a cow eats when it nibbles on leaves, twigs, and bark. Both of those food sources are compatible to ruminant animals.  Ruminant animals we eat include cattle, goats, sheep, deer, buffalo, and elk.  Their four-part stomachs allow them to slowly digest grasses, leaves, and bark. Basically they chew, swallow, partially digest the food in their first stomach, regurgitate it back into their mouth, and then chew again.

The majority of beef we eat today comes from cows fed a grain-based diet.  Their food sources consist of TMR’s (total mixed rations) and “concentrates.”  TMR’s may contain corn, silage, hay, soymeal, and other fillers. Concentrates include cereal grains, the by-products of milling or processing those grains, and the by-products of distiller grains. Today’s cows eat an amalgamation of many feeds mixed in the correct proportions to give the animal what it needs for its stage of growth or production.

usdaWhat’s the difference between grass-fed and pasture-raised?

Grass-fed –Animal is grass fed with little-to-no grain.

Pasture-raised – Animal is free range and eats primarily grass but may also may have been supplemented with grains in the winter when the pasture was snow covered.

How does grass-fed beef differ from grain-fed beef?

Saturated, poly-, and mono-unsaturated fat content in grass-fed beef tends to be a little less or about the same as grain-fed beef. Omega 3 fatty acids are higher in grass-fed beef, as well as CLA’s (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA is a type of fat that confers health benefits such as better blood sugar regulation, immune system support, heart health, and aids in weight loss.

Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences, after a thorough review of current research, found little evidence that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment over grain-fed beef. Both types of beef deliver the important factors of nutrition in the human diet of protein, iron, and zinc in equal proportions.

Cost and Convenience

Grass-fed beef, milk, and yogurt are more expensive than grain-fed beef, milk and yogurt. They are also a little harder to find.  Most franchise grocery stores carry both options, but smaller, independent grocers will probably defer to grain-fed. Some farm markets may specialize in grass-fed vendors, or, depending on where you live, you may be able to buy direct from the farm.  You’ll probably have to buy in bulk to decrease the price, and then will need a freezer to store the surplus.

Taste

I once worked with a woman who insisted she could tell what kind of grass a cow grazed on when she drank milk. She must have had a very refined palate, because all milk tastes the same to me.  But I was a kid who liked school cafeteria and hospital food, so what do I know? Both grain-fed and grass-fed food products can be really good or really bad, depending on your taste buds. Try out a grass-fed product for yourself (when you can get a good buy) and see how it tastes and if it is worth the extra expense to you.

Written by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Sources:

http://agricultureproud.com/2012/09/27/ask-a-farmer-does-feeding-corn-harm-cattle/

http://extension.psu.edu/animals/beef/grass-fed-beef/articles/telling-the-grass-fed-beef-story

http://animalscience.tamu.edu/2013/12/07/ground-beef-from-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-cattle-does-it-matter/

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vending machineMany of us get the urge to grab a snack from the vending machine.  You know that when you do, most of your choices will be the high calorie, high fat or sugar selections you may crave. 

The next time the urge hits for a snack from the vending machine, take a minute to select a healthier option.   Are there healthy options?  Yes, you can find them & here are some ideas.

  • If fresh fruits or vegetables are available, select those from your vending machine. 
  • If you want a salty snack, choose pretzels or baked chips over regular chips.
  • If microwave popcorn is available, choose the no butter or light variety.  Look at the number of servings on your bag and watch your serving size if you are counting calories.
  • Tomato or vegetable juice and pretzels make a low calorie snack choice. 
  • Whole grain cereal bars or low sugar granola bars are tasty.
  • Non-fat yogurt is available in many flavors and can help you get one of your Calcium servings.
  • Unsweetened applesauce or fruit cups packed in their own juice works for a sweet craving.

Some worksites and vending machines have healthy options labeled for you.  This makes it easier to make a better selection. 

What else can you do?  Save money and pack a snack from home.  

A simple thing that you can do to help with the “snack attack” is to bring a healthy snack from home.  Perhaps you can bring in a piece of fresh fruit or some raw vegetables.  Non-fat or low fat yogurt is portable and great for a snack.  Maybe you keep a bag of pretzels at work to share with co-workers.  Remember to keep them in the break room or lunch area so that you aren’t tempted to snack on them all day.

WANT TO WIN A PRIZE?  If you share a healthy snack or tip for our readers and are the 5th person to post a comment; you’ll win a reusable grocery tote. 

Fresh FruitThe next time you get the urge for a snack, don’t run to the vending machine; pause and think about choosing a healthier option. 

If you go for the unhealthy version (and we all have times that we do) – get back on track with your next meal.  Let it go and move on.  Don’t use that as an excuse to overindulge.  Refocus on your healthy eating behaviors.  Think about moving more to burn those extra calories.  Take a walk around the block or park your car further from your destination.  Get motivated, make healthy choices, drink your water and move more! 

Happy Snacking!

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