Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can Chocolate Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

A new study conducted by Brigham Young University suggests that cocoa may help treat type 2 diabetes.  They found that the pancreas’s beta cells release insulin more readily when epicatechin monomers are present.  These monomers are naturally found in cocoa.  

To test their hypothesis, animals consuming diets high in fat were given the epicatechin compounds to ingest.  As a result, these animals lost weight and their blood glucose levels increased.  It is proposed that the epicatechin monomers strengthen the mitochondria in the beta cells, allowing these cells to produce more ATP and thus release greater amounts of insulin.

However, these benefits would likely only come with the consumption of large amounts of chocolate, something that brings much sugar and fat into the diet.  Because of this, the focus of this research has now shifted into the isolation of these monomers, leading to the potential creation of a new treatment for those with type 2 diabetes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sugary Drinks at Mealtime

Recent studies looking at the effects of consuming sugary drinks with meals are finding that doing so may be “priming” the body to store more fat, especially with meals high in protein. There are a couple mechanisms responsible for this impact. For one, not all of the additional calories from the beverage are expended for energy. In addition, these extra calories in the beverage did not make participants feel more satisfied. Also, fat oxidation is reduced and less energy is required to metabolize the meals.  Finally, the combination of sugary drinks with high-protein meals was found to increase cravings for salty and savory foods in the hours following the meal, which can lead to even more calories being consumed.  Thus, if you want to have a sugary drink, try having it between meals as a snack rather than at mealtime to attempt to alleviate some of the fat storing effects.

Find this and more at:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Maple Brown Sugar Baked Oatmeal Recipe

This make-ahead baked oatmeal is perfect for busy mornings, and can be served topped with cold milk, brown sugar, fresh berries, or by itself!

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the quick cooking oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Whisk in milk, maple syrup and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Lightly spray an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish (or comparable dish) with cooking spray and pour the oatmeal mixture in.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until set and golden brown.
  6. Enjoy as is or serve with more milk, brown sugar, fruit and chopped nuts.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Serves 6
Calories: 194; Total fat: 4g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 37mg; Sodium: 206mg; Carbohydrates: 36g; Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 22g; Protein: 5g; Potassium: 169mg; Phosphorus: 148mg
This recipe, along with allergen substitutions can be found at:

Friday, August 11, 2017

No More Midnight Munchies

There are multiple reasons a person snacks before bed including: boredom, stress, habit, and being tired. Before you eat after dinner make sure you are actually hungry.  This can be done by asking yourself if you could be just thirsty, tired, or bored instead. The go-to late night snacks are often not nutritious and lead to the consumption of “empty” unneeded calories. Try these tips to end late night cravings:

· Eat Nutritious Meals Regularly: This ensures steady energy throughout the day and can help with appetite controlling hormones. Include adequate protein and fiber in your diet as they can leave you feeling full longer. 
· Get Sleep: Strive for 7+ hours of sleep a night. Studies show that less than 6-7 hours of sleep can affect gut hormones. With adequate sleep you can curb late night snacking by avoiding overeating due to fatigue.
· Limit Distractions: Our enjoyment and satisfaction with meals is altered when distractions are present. We focus more on the other tasks we are trying to do than on what we are eating or how much we have eaten. Turn off the screen, as leaving it on can lead to mindless eating and getting distracted to the point that we forget we have even snacked. 

If you must choose a lighter option, choose things like yogurt, fresh fruit, or air popped popcorn. If still craving something salty or sweet enjoy a small portion and don’t forget to brush your teeth. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August is All About Kids

August is entitled “Kids Eat Right Month” because a child’s diet has proven to be of the utmost importance when paving the way to a long life of good health.  Below are some tips to keep your kids and the rest of the family healthy.

·      Be active!  It is recommended that kids get 60 minutes of vigorous play each day.  This could be as simple as a few games of tag, or something more involved, such as team sports.
·      Eat together.  Studies have shown that family bonding and health increase when that family enjoys meals together.
·      Plan family activities.  Make physical activity a family tradition by frequently planning dance parties, walks, hikes, or any other sort of active excursion!
·      Get the kids involved. Let your kids into the kitchen once in a while to help out with meal planning and prep.  This will allow them to understand nutritious, healthy foods and their preparation.

To find more materials, such as recipes, tips, and information on Kids Eat Right Month™, follow this link:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eat for Energy!

With busy and often stressful schedules, it is easy to feel like you’re dragging. Energy comes from food, so here are some tips for eating to feel more energized throughout the day!

Eat Often
It is recommended to eat every three to four hours for a more efficient metabolism and to keep you from making poor food choices.

Be Mindful of Your Hunger and Fullness
It is important to listen to your body and feed it when you feel hungry, but try not to eat to feel super full. Rather, simply eat until you’re no longer hungry by consuming smaller portions.

Balance Your Plate
When putting together a meal, include a variety of foods such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. And don’t leave out the more beneficial fats like olive oil!

Snacks can be used as a source of energy between meals. When choosing a snack, grab protein and fiber pairs, such as a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts.

Skip the Energy “Zappers”
Sugary drinks and energy drinks may have you feeling full of energy for a short period of time, but often leave you crashing. Do your best to keep your thirst quenched with water.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Functional Foods

Functional foods can be found in grocery stores everywhere, but what are functional foods and why are they important to incorporate in one’s diet? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, functional foods are "whole foods along with fortified, enriched or enhanced foods that have a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed as part of a varied diet on a regular basis at effective levels based on significant standards of evidence."  However, the term “functional” is currently not regulated by the FDA, so it is up to consumer to evaluate the claim.

Functional foods can be divided into several categories including conventional foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts), modified foods (yogurt, cereals, orange juice), medical foods (special formulations of foods and beverages for certain health conditions), and foods for special dietary use (infant formula and hypoallergenic foods). 

Incorporate functional foods in your diet by eating these nutrient dense foods:
· Sardines and/or Salmon for a protein with lots of omega-3 fatty acids which can help with heart disease or joint pain. This functional food is also known to help improve brain function.
· A variety of nuts such as cashews, almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Not only are they a yummy snack, but they can help maintain blood sugar levels while also lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
· Whole grains, such as barley, that are packed with fiber can help lower cholesterol.
· An assortment of beans - a source of protein, potassium, folate, and fiber.
· Multiple berries, including strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, as they are low in calories and contain anthocyanin pigments which have been shown to have multiple health benefits.