Spaghetti and Meatballs

December 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Posted in cheese, Honeysuckle White Turkey Products, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta, spaghetti, Turkey meatballs | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: Spaghetti and Meatballs

 

 

 

Another cloudy day but it’s in the low 50’s, not bad for December! Went to Walmart and picked up a few items that were on sale for Christmas Gifts and picked up a couple of items for tonight’s dinner. Tonight one of my favorites, Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Spaghetti LaRosa Sauce

 

 

I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Spaghetti, my favorite Pasta. Then for my Meatballs I used Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs. The Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs are the best I’ve found, fantastic taste and their 190 calories and 5 net carbs for 3 Meatballs.

 
I normally use Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce but here lately I’ve been using LaRosa’s Original Pasta Sauce. I added my Meatballs and Sauce to a Sauce Pan and then added a small jar of Green Giant Sliced Mushrooms and simmered on low until all was heated. I topped the Spaghetti and Meatballs with some fresh grated Murray’s Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Spaghettironz (1)

Here’s something to absorb: One serving of RONZONI HEALTHY HARVEST pasta has over 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake – but did you know that fiber is good for you in more ways than just digestion?

People with diets high in fiber have a lower risk for weight gain, obesity, development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, but it also helps reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like colon and breast cancer. Fiber may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help lower blood sugar to better manage diabetes.

Dietary fiber is the edible part of plants, primarily carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Fiber may be digested by fermentation in the large intestine. By eating high fiber foods you feel fuller, eat less, with fewer absorbed calories.

Fiber comes in two basic forms – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, oats and barley. It prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber is found mainly in whole grains and on the outside of seeds, fruits, legumes, and other foods. It is like a sponge that swells within the intestine to promote more efficient elimination and alleviate some digestive disorders.

Fiber is found only in plant foods and passes through the digestive tract without being completely broken down. Being indigestible, fiber provides no nutrients to the body, which is why for many years it was removed from processed foods like white bread. But, nutritionists have since discovered that fiber performs valuable functions precisely because it is not digested, and it is essential to good health.

 

Whole Grain Spaghetti

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 2oz (56g) Dry Uncooked
Servings per Container: About 7

Amount Per Serving

Calories 180 Calories from Fat 10

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1g 2%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber 6g 23%

Sugars <1g

Protein 7g

 

 

http://ronzonihealthyharvest.newworldpasta.com/pasta_nutrition.cfm?prodId=003340006502

Spaghetti and Meatballs

November 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Posted in cheese, Honeysuckle White Turkey Products, mushrooms, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: Spaghetti and Meatballs

 

 
A little warmer out today, in the low 50’s. I’m having a new ramp entrance to our kitchen built. I had the old since 2001 when I lost my left leg. So it served it’s purpose but the wood is old and cracking, so it’s time for a new one. A couple of neighborhood guys that build sheds and decks are doing the work for me. Not much else happening besides, what else on Saturday, College Football! For dinner tonight its Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Spaghetti Meatballs LaRosa Sauce 001

 
I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Spaghetti. My favorite Pasta Ronzoni Healthy Harvest. Then for my Meatballs I used Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs. The Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs are the best I’ve found, fantastic taste and their 190 calories and 5 net carbs for 3 Meatballs.

 

 
I normally use Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce but was out of it so I’m using LaRosa’s Original Pasta Sauce. I added my Meatballs and Sauce to a Sauce Pan and then added some sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms and simmered on low until all was heated. I topped the Spaghetti and Meatballs with some fresh grated Murray’s Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt.

 

 

 
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Spaghettironz (1)

Here’s something to absorb: One serving of RONZONI HEALTHY HARVEST pasta has over 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake – but did you know that fiber is good for you in more ways than just digestion?

People with diets high in fiber have a lower risk for weight gain, obesity, development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, but it also helps reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like colon and breast cancer. Fiber may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help lower blood sugar to better manage diabetes.

Dietary fiber is the edible part of plants, primarily carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Fiber may be digested by fermentation in the large intestine. By eating high fiber foods you feel fuller, eat less, with fewer absorbed calories.

Fiber comes in two basic forms – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, oats and barley. It prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber is found mainly in whole grains and on the outside of seeds, fruits, legumes, and other foods. It is like a sponge that swells within the intestine to promote more efficient elimination and alleviate some digestive disorders.

Fiber is found only in plant foods and passes through the digestive tract without being completely broken down. Being indigestible, fiber provides no nutrients to the body, which is why for many years it was removed from processed foods like white bread. But, nutritionists have since discovered that fiber performs valuable functions precisely because it is not digested, and it is essential to good health.

 

Whole Grain Spaghetti

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 2oz (56g) Dry Uncooked
Servings per Container: About 7

Amount Per Serving

Calories 180 Calories from Fat 10

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1g 2%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber 6g 23%

Sugars <1g

Protein 7g

 

 

http://ronzonihealthyharvest.newworldpasta.com/pasta_nutrition.cfm?prodId=003340006502

One of America’s Favorites – Nuts

August 19, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Posted in nuts, One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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A nut is a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed, where the hard-shelled fruit does not open to release the seed (indehiscent). So, while, Some common nutsin a culinary context, a wide variety of dried seeds are often called nuts, in a botanical context, only ones that include the indehiscent fruit are considered true nuts. The translation of “nut” in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases as the concept is ambiguous.
Most seeds come from fruits that naturally free themselves from the shell, unlike nuts such as hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns, which have hard shell walls and originate from a compound ovary. Culinary usage of the term is less restrictive, and some nuts as defined in food preparation, like almonds, pistachios and Brazil nuts, are not nuts in a botanical sense. Common usage of the term often refers to any hard-walled, edible kernel as a nut.

 

 

A nut in botany is a simple dry fruit with one seed (rarely two) in which the ovary wall becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity, and where the seed remains attached or fused with the ovary wall. Most nuts come from the pistils with inferior ovaries (see flower) and all are indehiscent (not opening at maturity). True nuts are produced, for example, by some plant families of the order Fagales.
Order Fagales:
* Family Juglandaceae
* Walnut (Juglans)
* Hickory, Pecan (Carya)
* Wingnut (Pterocarya)
* Family Fagaceae
* Beech (Fagus)
* Chestnut (Castanea)
*Oak (Quercus)
* Stone-oak (Lithocarpus)
* Tanoak (Notholithocarpus)
* Family Betulaceae
* Hazel, Filbert (Corylus)
* Hornbeam (Carpinus)
A small nut may be called a nutlet. Nutlet may refer to one of the following. In botany, this term specifically refers to a pyrena or pyrene, which is a seed covered by a stony layer, such as the kernel of a drupe. Walnuts and hickories (Juglandaceae) have fruits that are difficult to classify. They are considered to be nuts under some definitions, but are also referred to as drupaceous nuts. “Tryma” is a specialized term for hickory fruits.

 

 

A nut in cuisine is a much less restrictive category than a nut in botany, as the term is applied to many seeds that are not botanically true

Hazelnuts from the Common Hazel

Hazelnuts from the Common Hazel

nuts. Any large, oily kernels found within a shell and used in food are commonly called nuts.
Nuts are an important source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife. Because nuts generally have a high oil content, they are a highly prized food and energy source. A large number of seeds are edible by humans and used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted, or roasted as a snack food, or pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics. Nuts (or seeds generally) are also a significant source of nutrition for wildlife. This is particularly true in temperate climates where animals such as jays and squirrels store acorns and other nuts during the autumn to keep from starving during the late autumn, all of winter, and early spring.
Nuts used for food, whether true nut or not, are among the most common food allergens.[3]
Some fruits and seeds that do not meet the botanical definition but are nuts in the culinary sense are:
* Almonds are the edible seeds of drupe fruits — the leathery “flesh” is removed at harvest.
* Brazil nut is the seed from a capsule.
* Candlenut (used for oil) is a seed.
* Cashew is the seed[4] of an accessory fruit.
* Chilean hazelnut or Gevuina
* Macadamia is a creamy white kernel of a follicle type fruit.
* Malabar chestnut
* Mongongo
* Peanut is a seed and from a legume type fruit (of the family Fabaceae).
* Pine nut is the seed of several species of pine (coniferous trees).
* Pistachio is the seed of a thin-shelled drupe.

 

 

Several epidemiological studies have revealed that people who consume nuts regularly are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). Nuts were first linked to protection against CHD in 1993. Since then many clinical trials have found that consumption of various nuts such as almonds and walnuts can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations. Although nuts contain various substances thought to possess cardioprotective effects, scientists believe that their Omega 3 fatty acid profile is at least in part responsible for the hypolipidemic response observed in clinical trials.
In addition to possessing cardioprotective effects, nuts generally have a very low glycemic index (GI). Consequently, dietitians frequently recommend nuts be included in diets prescribed for patients with insulin resistance problems such as diabetes mellitus type 2.
One study found that people who eat nuts live two to three years longer than those who do not. However, this may be because people who eat nuts tend to eat less junk food.
Nuts contain the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic acids, and the fats in nuts for the most part are unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats. Nuts also provide Arginine, a substance that may help make the walls of the arteries more flexible and less prone to blockage from blood clot formation.
Many nuts are good sources of vitamins E and B2, and are rich in protein, folate, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and selenium.
Nuts are most healthy in their raw form. The reason is that up to 15% of the healthy oils that naturally occur in nuts are lost during the roasting process.
Raw or unroasted walnuts were found to have twice as many antioxidants as other nuts. Although initial studies suggested that antioxidants might promote health, later large clinical trials did not detect any benefit and suggested instead that excess supplementation of antioxidant supplements is harmful.

 

 

The nut of the horse-chestnut tree (Aesculus species, especially Aesculus hippocastanum), is called a conker in the British Isles. Conkers are

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

inedible because they contain toxic glucoside aesculin. They are used in a popular children’s game, known as conkers, where the nuts are threaded onto a strong cord and then each contestant attempts to break their opponent’s conker by hitting it with their own. Horse chestnuts are also popular slingshot ammunition.

 

 

Nuts, including the wild almond, prickly water lily, acorns, pistachio and water chestnut, were a major part of the human diet 780,000 years ago. Prehistoric humans developed an assortment of tools to crack open nuts during the Pleistocene period. Aesculus californica was eaten by the Native Americans of California during famines after the toxic constituents were leached out.

 

Ingredient of the Week – Green Tea

May 11, 2013 at 8:10 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, green tea | 1 Comment
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A little about one of my favorite drinks, Green Tea!

 

 

Ingredient of the Week – Green Tea

Stephanie Ocano
Copy Editor / Staff Writer

Green tea is regarded as being the second most popular beverage, behind water, around the world. However, given its plethora of health advantages, it should be first. From its refreshing taste to distinct color, there are a multitude of reasons to support why this drink should be incorporated into your diet.

History: Green tea is said to have first been used in China over 4,000 years ago. There are various legends that tell of the discovery of green tea. According to a Chinese legend, Emperor Shen-Nung discovered the tea in 2737 B.C. when leaves from a tea bush fell into a pot of water he was boiling. Other legends tell of a Chinese countryman who found the tea while on his walk. The tea plant was later discovered to also produce Oolong, black, and red teas, although green tea still remains to be the most popular type of tea in China.

Tea culture was spread to Java, the Dutch East Indies, and other tropical and subtropical areas by the 9th century A.D. In the 16th century, traders from Europe sailing to and from the Far East introduced Europeans to the drink and it became the national beverage of England soon after.

Tea came to the Americas with American colonists and the popularity of the drink led to the British tea tax in 1767. The rest, as they say, is history.

In cooking: The ideal choice of water to brew tea in is spring water, followed by filter water. The minerals removed in distilled water result in the tea tasting flat, which is why it should not be used.

When brewing loose leaves of tea, using a food scale will help measure the right tea to water ratio. Three grams of tea to five ounces is adequate for small teapots, while four grams of tea may be used per eight ounces of water. Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature of 160-170°F and should be brewed for 30 seconds to one minute.

Some alternative ways to enjoy green tea are:

• Make a green tea chai by brewing green tea in hot vanilla soy milk and top it with cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and allspice.

• Combine cooled green tea with fruit juice such as peach or papaya and sweeten it with a teaspoon of honey per cup. Blend the mix and pour it over ice.

Brew 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf green tea in 8 ounces of water for 20-30 minutes to develop flavor and add it to marinades, dressings, soups and sauces.

Benefits: Green tea drinkers appear to have a lower risk for a wide range of diseases. Its powers are virtually limitless and can prevent simple infections to cancer, strokes, and osteoporosis.

Green tea is the least processed tea and therefore provides the most antioxidants. Research linked to health benefits of green tea are based on approximately three cups per day, although even one cup will do a world of wonders to your body and overall health.

According to whfoods.com, in a European study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2006, tea was found to be a healthier choice of beverage than almost any other, including pure water. This is because green tea not only rehydrates but also provides polyhenols which protect against heart disease.
In Japanese studies, green tea consumption has been linked to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. It has also been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lipid peroxides, and fibrinogen, all while improving the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.

Green tea catechins help thin the blood and prevent the formation of blood clots by preventing the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds derived from omega-6 fatty acids.

Green tea minimizes heart cell death after a heart attack or stroke and speeds up the heart’s cells recovery from damage, allowing for tissues to recover and prevent damage to organs.

Polyphenols found in green tea halt prostate cancer at multiple levels by mobilizing several molecular pathways that shut down the proliferation and spread of tumor cells while inhibiting the growth of blood vessels.

Consumption of green tea has been linked to enhance survival in women with ovarian cancer.

The tea’s ability to inhibit telomerase may help children with common malignant brain tumors. It may also reduce the increased risk for colon cancer caused by a high fat diet.

If you smoke, or are around someone who smokes, drinking green tea can provide protection against lung cancer.

Population studies suggest that consuming green tea may prevent the formation of type 2 diabetes.

Green tea protects against liver and kidney disease. Research has also shown that drinking green tea may significantly increase bone mineral density and provide bone benefits similar to those you would obtain through exercise and calcium.

Green tea promotes fat loss, specifically the loss of fat that accumulates in the tissues lining the abdominal cavity and surrounding the intestines and internal organs.

Drinking green tea protects against cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. A cup of green tea may also help prevent or lessen the duration of the flu.

The range of benefits green tea covers are astonishing to behold. If you don’t drink green tea now, you may just want to start boiling some water.

Storage: There are two ways that you can purchase green tea – loose leaves or tea bags. When testing loose tea, crumble a few leaves in your hand and smell the aroma. The freshest, most flavorful tea will smell sweet and grassy. Tea bags can be tested for freshness by removing all the tea from the bag and placing it in a cup of hot water. After a few minutes, remove the bag and taste it. If it tastes like plain, hot water, the tea is fresh. If it tastes like tea, the tea is old and the paper has thus absorbed the flavor.

To ensure the freshness of tea, purchase it in small quantities. It should then be stored in a tight container that is just large enough to contain the tea. Tea exposed to air in a half-empty, large container will continue to oxidize.

It is best to store tea in a dark, cool, and dry place. Tea stored in the refrigerator is vulnerable to moisture and odors from other foods and if frozen, the tea will be ruined through water condensation when defrosted.

Fun Fact: Green tea is found in a multitude of cosmetics. The antioxidants it contains fight against aging and disease and is therefore mixed with other natural ingredients such as aloe, honey, or gingko in moisturizers, shampoos, body creams, and other beauty products.

 

 
http://www.myvalleynews.com/story/71006/

 

Why is Green Tea Good For You? Here Are 7 Reasons

January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Posted in green tea | 1 Comment
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Why is Green Tea Good For You? Here Are 7 Reasons

Author: Kristjan Gunnarsson

 

 
Green tea is not just tasty, warm and energizing. It also happens to extremely good for you. In the last few decades, scientists have studied the effects of green tea on various health problems and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Their findings have been so impressive that green tea is now considered among the healthiest beverages on the planet.

Why is Green Tea Good For You? 7 Proven Reasons

Drinking green tea has been associated with a lower risk of many diseases, some of which are common in the western society.
1. May Reduce Risk of Diabetes

A study in Japanese adults revealed that drinking several cups of green tea per day lowered the risk of diabetes by a whopping 33%.

2. May Make You Smarter, at Least in The Short Term

Green tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee, making it appropriate for those individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.

But tea also has a different combination of stimulants compared to coffee. While coffee has a lot more caffeine, tea also has a unique type of amino acid called L-Theanine which can help with relaxation and focus.

This is the reason green tea provides a more relaxed and focused “buzz” than coffee.

3. May Improve Cholesterol

Green tea has also been associated with improvements in risk factors for heart disease, leading to reductions in triglycerides and LDL (the bad) cholesterol, and increases in HDL (the good) cholesterol.

4. May Lower Your Risk of Cancer

There are many types of cancer that are common in western countries. Consumption of green tea appears to decrease the incidence of several types, including breast, prostate, ovarian and endometrial cancer.

5. May Help Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

Caffeine from all sources, including coffee and tea, may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disease in humans.

6. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning

In two separate studies, green tea has been found to increase metabolism. In the first study, subjects who drank green tea had a 17% increase in fat burning in cells. In the other one, tea drinkers had a 4% increase in total energy expenditure.

A 4% increase would mean that instead of burning, for example, 2,000 calories per day, you would burn 2,080 per day. Not very much, but over the course of months or years that will amount to a whole lot of body fat.

7. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

Given that green tea can enhance the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, it can also help you lose weight. Perhaps this is the reason almost every popular fat burning supplement on the market has green tea in it.

Take Home Message

At the end of the day, green tea is a warm and satisfying beverage. The reason it is so good for health is that it is rich in unique antioxidants and some essential nutrients.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine and don’t tolerate coffee very well, then green tea will probably be your best choice.

Even better would be to drink coffee in the morning, then after lunch switch to green tea. That way, most of the caffeine from the coffee will have left your system before you go to bed, ensuring a restful night’s sleep.

 

 
http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/why-is-green-tea-good-for/

A Guide to Healthy “Keep the Cold Away” Concoctions

November 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Posted in cooking | Leave a comment
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A Guide to Healthy “Keep the Cold Away” Concoctions

By: Pat St. Claire, CNN’s Health Minute
Updated: November 26, 2012

 

It’s technically still fall, but in many parts of the country, old man winter has already arrived. So now might be the perfect time to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of something comforting.

Nutritionists warn drinks can pack a lot of empty calories, so fill your cup wisely.

After a day of being outside in the chilly temperatures, what better time to have a nice cup of something hot and soothing? Tea, hot chocolate, and coffee can warm you to your toes, but which are the best for you?

Green tea: Almost all doctors and dietitians will tell you there’s nothing better than green tea. Touted as a possible prevention for cancer and heart disease, scientists say the studies aren’t conclusive, but the tea does contain antioxidants, that are known to be heart disease busters.

Hot chocolate: Chocolate, especially dark cocoa, is good for you. Packed with flavonoids, cocoa has the potential to prevent heart disease, by opening the blood vessels. Studies have shown dark cocoa can lower blood pressure, cut out bad cholesterol and even prevent diabetes. Making dark hot cocoa with skim milk cuts down on fat. Adding two tablespoons of whip cream, can add 15 calories to one cup.

Coffee: Java gets a bad rap because of the caffeine. But research shows coffee in moderation is good for you. In a recent study out of Harvard, scientists found coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, colon cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and even improve your memory. Add skim milk, and a little sugar and you’ve got yourself a healthy drink.

Know your healthy numbers

July 5, 2012 at 8:13 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A very good and informative article on Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, and Blood Pressure.
Know your healthy numbers

 

Written by
Connie Midey
Gannett

 

The American auto inustry has its Big 3. So do colleges and golf. Here are the Big 3 of health numbers, what they mean and what you can do to reach the targets.

BLOOD PRESSURE

Target numbers:

Less than 120/80.

In recent years, readings between 120/80 and 139/89 have been labeled as pre-hypertension, “a warning that the numbers are creeping up and you need to make lifestyle modifications,” said physician Gregory Johns, a Phoenix internal-medicine specialist.

Readings of 140/90 or higher are considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury.)

Why they matter: “High blood pressure is probably the biggest risk factor for stroke, the (consequence) people are most concerned about,” Johns said.

Sustained high blood pressure makes the heart work harder and can damage heart muscle, and it’s a risk factor for congestive heart failure, heart attack and peripheral artery disease. It also can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, greatly increasing risk for kidney failure in people who also have diabetes, he said.

What you can do: “High blood pressure is extremely common,” Johns said, “but most people have no symptoms. You have to see your doctor on a regular basis to get a blood-pressure check or you won’t know until it may be too late.”

Control blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising for 30 to 45 minutes four or five days a week – enough to elevate your heart rate – and following a healthful diet, he said.

In a trial, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan – low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products – lowered hypertensive patients’ top blood-pressure number an average of 11.4 points and bottom number an average of 5.5 points. Lower salt intake improved results, too.

If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe blood-pressure medicine.

CHOLESTEROL
Target numbers:

Total cholesterol: Less than 200.

HDL (good) cholesterol: 40 or higher for men, 50 or higher for women; 60 or higher is considered protective against heart disease.

LDL (bad) cholesterol: Less than 100.

Triglycerides: Less than 150.

Ratio: Less than 5 when the total cholesterol number is divided by the HDL number.

Helen Hilts of DiabeVita Medical Center sets more ambitious goals: HDL of at least 45 for men and 55 for women, and triglycerides of less than 100.

And she’d add another target number: fewer than 1,000 LDL particles, as measured in a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipid profile. Most cardiologists order the NMR routinely, she said. With other doctors, you might have to request it.

Why they matter: Cholesterol and triglycerides are measured in milligrams per deciliter as part of a lipid profile to assess heart health. The NMR lipid profile measures the size and number of LDL particles.

“For preventing or reversing heart disease,” Hilts said, “the most important (goal) numbers are high HDL, low triglycerides and low LDL particles.”

What you can do: Researchers “are looking very hard for medicines to raise HDL cholesterol, but they haven’t got one yet,” she said. “The best way to raise it now is through exercise.”

Take good-for-the-heart fish-oil supplements and keep blood sugar at safe levels. High blood sugar sticks to cholesterol molecules, she said, and makes them more likely to clog blood-vessel walls.

A low-carbohydrate diet “will raise HDL a little and lower triglycerides a lot,” Hilts said. “And it shifts the population of your LDL from the small, dense kind, which is bad, to the light, fluffy kind, which is good.”

If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medicine.

BLOOD SUGAR (GLUCOSE)
Target numbers:

Fasting: Below 99.

Non-fasting: Below 140.

Hemoglobin A1c: 5.6 or lower three-month average.

For people with diabetes (and not pregnant), numbers indicating good control of the disease are 80 to 120 fasting, below 150 non-fasting and below 6.5 hemoglobin A1c.

Why they matter: Hitting the first target number, measured in milligrams per deciliter in a fasting glucose test, means you’re avoiding the high blood sugar that damages blood vessels.

“The higher the numbers, the higher the risk of complications that can happen with diabetes,” said Dr. Chandana Mishra of Endocrinology Associates in Phoenix.

Microvascular complications involve the kidneys, eyes and peripheral nervous system, the latter sometimes leading to amputations, she said. Macrovascular complications cause heart attacks and stroke.

What you can do: “Diet and exercise give tremendous benefits,” Mishra said. A Diabetes Prevention Program study found that 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity and a 5 to 10 percent weight loss reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

If more help is needed, your doctor may prescribe pills or insulin to control glucose levels. People with diabetes can avoid complications and hospitalizations by closely monitoring their blood sugar, Mishra said.

Probably no Big 3 will play a more central role in our lives over the long term than the numbers that define our blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Good health is the payoff for making time to monitor those numbers, understand what they mean and take steps to balance them.

“Of course, there are medicines that help with all these conditions,” said Scottsdale family physician Helen Hilts of DiabeVita Medical Center.

“But if you can do it naturally, with lifestyle changes, and let your body do its own balancing act, that’s better.”

http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20120705/LIFE07/307050042/Know-your-healthy-numbers?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs

Green Tea Weight Loss Results and Health Benefits Revealed

June 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, green tea | 5 Comments
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Green Tea Weight Loss Results and Health Benefits Revealed

Green tea weight loss is a benefit that many experts agree on as one of the many health benefits. Green Tea diet pills have become popular due to the fact that they are a more natural weight loss supplement as can be seen on HealthAvenger.com

Houston, TX (PRWEB) June 28, 2012

Green tea benefits like weight loss are a large reason why the drink is gaining popularity in western society. Green tea is quickly becoming recognized as one of the best gifts to one’s health, courtesy of Mother Nature. This is why HealthAvenger.com has revealed on their website how weight loss and green tea can benefit someone.

“Green tea is made solely from Camellia sineneis leaves that have undergone a process of minimal oxidation. Even though the actual weight loss will not likely be extremely significant, and not immediate, the polyphenols and caffeine in green tea have been shown to boost one’s metabolic rate. In addition, it does it without increasing heart rate, which makes is safe even for people with elevated blood pressure.”

“Strength and effectiveness vary on how one makes it, and how they ingest it. When properly prepared and drank hot, the actual green tea as a liquid is more effective than taken in pill form- especially when it comes to all the anti-oxidize and anti-carcinogenic properties. Antioxidant properties of green tea reduce toxins in the body and help users lose weight and reduce bloating. This is especially helpful to reduce puffiness in the midsection. Green tea also acts a carb blocker, and is even thought to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.”

Green tea weight loss may not be extreme as some methods, but can be a good addition to one’s weight loss program. The benefits of a green tea diet extend far beyond just shedding excess water weight and a few extra pounds. Some additional green tea benefits include reduced risk of cancer and heart disease and you can’t beat that in one simple drink.

Many people are interested in learning more about green tea and weight loss, so to answer the call The Health Avenger website has posted more information about it plus an informative video detailing more green tea weight loss benefits. There one will find information about what health and weight loss products are worth the effort- such as adding green tea to their diet. To see the article and video one should visit: http://healthavenger.com/green-weight-loss-green-tea

For those who want more information on fat loss and diets, the are giving away a special report on “5 Sneaky Tricks to Triple Your Fat Loss Results Now”. To get access one can go to: http://healthavenger.com/5-sneaky-fat-loss-tips

 

http://www.chron.com/business/press-releases/article/Green-Tea-Weight-Loss-Results-and-Health-Benefits-3670774.php

Nut of the Week – Pistachios

March 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, nuts | 1 Comment
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Pistacia vera Kerman fruits ripening

The pistachio, Pistacia vera in the Anacardiaceae family, is a small tree originally from Persia (Iran), which now can also be found in regions of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Sicily, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, especially in the provinces of Samangan and Badghis, and the United States, specifically in California. The tree produces an important culinary nut.

Pistacia vera often is confused with other species in the genus Pistacia that are also known as pistachio. These species can be distinguished from P. vera by their geographic distributions (in the wild) and their nuts. Their nuts are much smaller, have a strong flavor of turpentine, and have a shell that is not hard.

Pistachio is a desert plant, and is highly tolerant of saline soil. It has been reported to grow well when irrigated with water having 3,000–4,000 ppm of soluble salts. Pistachio trees are fairly hardy in the right conditions, and can survive temperatures ranging between −10°C (14°F) in winter and 40°C (104°F) in summer. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity, and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free-draining. Long, hot summers are required for proper ripening of the fruit.

The Jylgyndy Forest Reserve, a preserve protecting the native habitat of Pistacia vera groves, is located in the Nooken District of Jalal-Abad Province of Kyrgyzstan.

The bush grows up to 33 ft tall. It has deciduous pinnate leaves 4–8 inches long. The plants are dioecious, with separate male and female trees. The flowers are apetalous and unisexual, and borne in panicles.

The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible portion. The seed, commonly thought of as a nut, is a culinary nut, not a botanical nut. The fruit has a hard, whitish exterior shell. The seed has a mauvish skin and light green flesh, with a distinctive flavor. When the fruit ripens, the shell changes from green to an autumnal yellow/red, and abruptly splits part way open. This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop. The splitting open is a trait that has been selected by humans. Commercial cultivars vary in how consistently they split open.

Each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of seeds, or around 50,000, every two years.

The shell of the pistachio is naturally a beige color, but it is sometimes dyed red or green in commercial pistachios. Originally, dye was applied by importers to hide stains on the shells caused when the nuts were picked by hand. Most pistachios are now picked by machine and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary except to meet ingrained consumer expectations. Roasted pistachio nuts can be artificially turned red if they are marinated prior to roasting in a salt and strawberry marinade, or salt and citrus salts.

Like other members of the Anacardiaceae family (which includes poison ivy, sumac, mango, and cashew), pistachios contain urushiol, an irritant that can cause allergic reactions.

Iran, Iraq and Tunisia are the major producers of pistachios. The trees are planted in orchards, and take approximately seven to ten years to reach significant production. Production is alternate bearing or biennial bearing, meaning the harvest is heavier in alternate years. Peak production is reached at approximately 20 years. Trees are usually pruned to size to make the harvest easier. One male tree produces enough pollen for eight to twelve nut-bearing females. Harvesting in the United States and in Greece is often accomplished by using shaking equipment to shake the nuts off the tree. After hulling and drying, pistachios are sorted according to open mouth and closed mouth shell. Sun drying has been found to be the best method of drying. Then they are roasted or processed by special machines to produce pistachio kernels.

The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream, pistachio butter, pistachio paste[18] and confections such as baklava, pistachio chocolate, pistachio halva or biscotti and cold cuts such as mortadella. Americans make pistachio salad, which includes fresh pistachios or pistachio pudding, whipped cream, canned fruit and sometimes cottage cheese. In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first qualified health claim specific to nuts lowering the risk of heart disease: “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”.

China is the top pistachio consumer worldwide with annual consumption of 80,000 tons, while the United States consumes 45,000 tons. Russia (with consumption of 15,000 tons) and India (with consumption of 10,000 tons) are in the third and fourth places.

In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers. In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.

Consuming unsalted, dry roasted pistachios prevents any addition of unwanted fats and additional sodium in the diet that may affect cardiac health adversely and increase hypertension.

Human studies have shown that 32-63 grams per day of pistachio nut can significantly elevate plasma levels of lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol.

In December 2008, Dr. James Painter, a behavioral eating expert, professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, described the Pistachio Principle. The Pistachio Principle describes methods of “fooling” one’s body into eating less. One example used is that the act of shelling and eating pistachios one by one slows one’s consumption, allowing one to feel full faster after having eaten less.

The empty pistachio shells are useful for recycling in several ways. If unsalted, the shells need not be washed and dried before reuse, but washing is simple if that is not the case. Practical uses include as a fire starter just as kindling would be used with crumpled paper; to line the bottom of pots containing houseplants for drainage and retention of soil for up to two years; as a mulch for shrubs and plants that require acid soils; as a medium for orchids; and as an addition to a compost pile designed for wood items that take longer to decompose than leafy materials, taking up to a year for pistachio shells to decompose unless soil is added to the mix. Many craft uses for the shells include, holiday tree ornaments, jewelry, mosaics, and rattles. Scientific research indicates that pistachio shells may be helpful in cleaning up pollution created by mercury emissions.

Why is green tea so healthy?

December 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, green tea | 5 Comments
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Why is green tea so healthy?
by AMY ANDERSON, Daily Mail

It has just emerged that American doctors have developed a cream to ward off skin cancer. The magic ingredient is green tea, which is well known for its cancer-fighting properties.
Natural antioxidants called polyphenols in the tea help block the growth of skin cancer cells. In fact, green tea has a whole host of other health benefits.

Green tea helps burn fat
It can help speed up the metabolic rate because its antioxidant effect helps the liver to function more efficiently.
A recent U.S. study of overweight men found that, with no other changes to their diet or exercise regimes, drinking green tea three times a day burned up 200 extra calories a day. The green tea drinkers also found that their energy levels were greatly increased.

 
Green tea protects against heart disease
It has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, because its potent antioxidant effects inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries.
The formation of abnormal blood clots (thrombosis) is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, and green tea has been shown to inhibit abnormal blood clot formation as effectively as aspirin.

 
Green tea can help lower blood pressure
A major cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys called angiotension- converting enzyme (ACE).
Popular drugs for hypertension act as ACE inhibitors: by blocking the effects of ACE, blood pressure is reduced. Green tea is a natural ACE inhibitor, and several medical studies show lowered blood pressure in animals and humans given green tea extracts.

 
Green tea can help protect against diabetes
When starch is consumed, it requires the enzyme amylase to break it down into simple sugars that can be absorbed in the bloodstream.
Green tea polyphenols inhibit amylase, and so can help lower blood sugar levels. High blood levels of glucose and insulin predispose people to diabetes.

 
Green tea can help prevent food poisoning
As it can kill bacteria, drinking green tea with meals may reduce the risk of bacterial food poisoning.
It prevents the growth of dangerous intestinal bacterial strains such as clostridia and E. coli and promotes the growth of friendly bifidobacteria.

 
Green tea can prevent bad breath
Drinking green tea – which is a natural anti-bacterial agent – with food may help kill the oral bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath.

 
Green tea guards against hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is often triggered by high levels of iron in the liver. Green tea lowers iron levels throughout the body, so may have a direct anti-viral effect against certain strains of hepatitis.

 
Green tea can protect against cancer
There is growing evidence to suggest that green tea contains compounds that fight cancer. The tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps inhibit blood vessel growth.

 
Green tea can help prevent arthritis
A recent study found that antioxidants in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Antioxidants in the tea inhibit the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Green tea improves your immunity
Gargling with green tea boosts immunity to influenza and flu, according to a study in Japan.
Research at Harvard University also indicated that green tea chemicals stimulated gammadelta T-cells, which bolster immunity against bacteria and viruses.

 
Green tea can protect against Alzheimer’s disease
A recent two-year study of a group of people aged 80 and over found that 96 per cent of those who drank ten cups of green tea a day showed no signs of cognitive impairment, compared to only 12 per cent who didn’t drink green tea.

 
Green tea can help fight allergies
Researchers in Japan have identified a compound in green tea that, in laboratory tests, blocks a key cell receptor involved in producing an allergic response.
The compound, methylated epigallocatechin gallate, works by blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E, two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-196334/Why-green-tea-healthy.html#ixzz1hwSEjSKA

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