Thursday, 27 February 2014

Choosing Healthy Protein Foods

1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.
For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Don’t stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foods—for example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinner—will ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks (amino acids) you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

3. Try a meatless Monday—or more. Diets high in plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits, so try mixing some vegetarian proteins into your meals. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources are often less expensive than meat. Eating plant protein in place of meat is also good for the planet. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process animals for meat, so going meatless could help reduce pollution and has the potential to lessen climate change.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know their long-term effects.
  • Scan the Nutrition Facts label before you buy highly-processed vegetarian “fake meat” foods, since these are often as high in sodium—or higher in sodium—than their processed red meat counterparts.
5. Shift the balance of carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of triglycerides and protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular disease. This shift may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Source: The nutrition source

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tips On How To Keep Pre-Diabetes From Turning Into Diabetes

Pre-diabetes is determined by your fasting  blood glucose ("blood sugar") level.

Normal fasting glucose                                70 - 100mg/dl
Pre-Diabetes(impaired fasting glucose)       101 - 125mg/dl
Diabetes                                   126mg/dl or higher on two occasions


- Include daily physical activity

The muscles use sugar/glucose for energy, activities like walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming etc help to lower your blood glucose. Aim for 30-60 minutes or more per day.


-Lose weight if you are overweight

Extra body fat contributes to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes, cut your calorie intake by 250-500calories per day. For example
- Reduce your portion sizes
-Reduce your intake of high carbohydrate food such as bread, pasta, rice, chips, cookies and other sweet desserts etc
-Limit nuts to a small handful (1/4cup or less) per day
-Choose Low calorie dressings or use regular salad dressing sparingly


-Reduce intake of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, carbohydrate intake usually needs to be reduced and spread evenly throughout the day, foods such as bread, garri, semo,cassava, chips, fruit juices, sugars etc


- Don't eat too much carbohydrate at one meal or snack. Combine a carbohydrate food with lean protein (fish, skinless chicken) and unsaturated fat for balanced meals and snacks

- Try a lower carbohydrate breakfast e.g a slice of whole grain bread (wheat bread) with an egg white omelet

- Choose high fiber, unrefined, whole grain carbohydrate (oatmeal, brown rice, wheat bread etc) you still must watch your portion sizes

-Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fats (diary and animal products), trans fat (fast foods and many packaged foods) and cholesterol (egg yolk, organ meats etc). Foods high in unsaturated fats e.g (olive oil, nuts, avocado, fatty fish) can be included.

 *Remember high fat foods are high in calories*

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and it is not stored in large amounts in the body. Any extra is lost in through the urine. You need to include vitamin C rich foods in your diet everyday, it is important for growth and repair of bones, teeth, skin and other tissue.
- Absorb the iron from plant foods (such as grains and vegetables).
- Keep your gums healthy.
- Protect you from bruising and helps to heal cuts and wounds.
- Produce the tissue that holds muscles and bones together.
- Form and repair blood, bones and other tissues.
- Possibly reduce the risk of some cancers and may prevent the signs of aging because it is an antioxidant.

Everyday we need to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C to make sure we get what our bodies need to stay healthy.

How Much Vitamin C You Need
Age in years
Daily Vitamin C Needs
Men 19 and older
Women 19 and older
Pregnant Women 19 and older
Breastfeeding Women 19 and older

Too little vitamin C may result in skin bruising, bleeding gums, poor healing of wounds, loose teeth, tender joints and infections.     
You can get enough vitamin C by eating a healthy diet, for  most healthy people there is no need to take a vitamin C supplement, consuming very high amounts of vitamin C (such as in supplements) can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps and other health problems.
The best sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruit. Other food groups do not contain much vitamin C.

Vitamin C (mg)
Red bell pepper, raw
1 whole
Green bell pepper, raw
1 whole
Strawberries, raw
1 medium
Grapefruit juice
1 medium
Broccoli, raw
Mango, sliced
1 cup/250mL
Tomato, raw
1 medium
Potatoes, cooked
1 medium
Lettuce, raw
1 cup/250mL
Cooking vitamin C-rich foods or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin C content. Microwaving and steaming vitamin C-rich foods may reduce cooking losses. The best food sources of vitamin C are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetables.

Meal Ideas
 - For breakfast, top your cereal or yogurt with sliced strawberries
 - Add dark green vegetables to soups, salads, omelets and pasta.
 - Spice up salads with apple slices or grapefruit segments.

Tip: Sprinkle lemon juice on cut up veggies and fruit, like potatoes, avocados and apples. The vitamin C will keep them from turning brown