Friday, January 27, 2017

Don't Banish Bananas!


The mere mentioning of the word is enough to strike fear into the hearts and minds of dedicated low-carbers, ketogenic dieters, and others who have become all but terrified of carbohydrate, in general, and fructose, in particular. And there may, indeed, be populations who are better off avoiding bananas most of the time. But it would be misguided to blacklist bananas from everyone’s diet, considering they’re a whole, unprocessed food that millions of people in tropical areas have been consuming for ages, with no detrimental effects on their health.
Bananas are not as nutrient-rich as some other fruits, such as raspberriesblueberries, or pomegranates, but that doesn’t mean they’re nutritionally void. Far from it, in fact. They’re a good source of vitamin C, B6, manganese and magnesium, and bananas (along with potatoes and avocados) are often cited as rich sources of potassium. As for the carbohydrate content, one medium-sized banana (about 7-8 inches long) contains 27g total carbs broken down as follows: 3.1g fiber, 6.3g starch, 2820mg sucrose, 5876mg glucose, and 5723mg fructose. Sure, bananas have more sugar (and fructose) than, say, lemons but they’re not exactly toaster pastries or cake frosting loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Foods fall along a spectrum, and it’s important to help patients keep a proper perspective. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How Much Protein in an Egg?

Most people know that eggs are very healthy. Not only that — they’re also a great source of high-quality protein.
Getting enough protein is very important for building bones and muscle, as well as maintaining good overall health.
But how much protein can you expect to get from eggs?
Seven Eggs

How Much Protein Does One Egg Contain?

The average egg contains about 6–7 grams of protein.
However, the protein content does depend on the size of the egg. Here’s how much protein different sizes of eggs contain (1):
  • Small egg (38 grams): 4.9 grams of protein
  • Medium egg (44 grams): 5.7 grams of protein
  • Large egg (50 grams): 6.5 grams of protein
  • Extra-large egg (56 grams): 7.3 grams of protein
  • Jumbo egg (63 grams): 8.2 grams of protein
To put these numbers in perspective, the average sedentary man needs about 56 grams of protein per day,  and the average sedentary woman needs about 46 grams.
Summary: An average-sized egg contains about 6–7 grams of protein.

Protein Content of the Yolk and White

Soft Boiled Egg
Now let’s look at the protein content of different parts of the egg.
People often think that protein is only found in the egg whites, since they consist of little other than proteins (2).
The egg yolks are known to be where almost all the nutrients and fat are found.
However, in addition to these nutrients, the yolk also contains up to about half of the protein content of the egg (3).
In a large egg that contains about 7 grams of protein, 3 grams will be coming from the yolk and 4 grams from the white.
Therefore, eating the entire egg — not just the white — is the way to get the most protein and nutrients.
Summary: Both egg yolks and egg whites contain protein, although the whites contain slightly more.

Does Cooking Affect the Quality of the Protein?

The high-quality protein abundant in eggs contains all nine essential amino acids in the right ratios.
However, how much of that protein the body can actually use seems to depend on how they are prepared.
Eating eggs raw seems to provide the least amount of protein. 
One study looked at how much protein was absorbed from cooked versus raw eggs. It found that participants absorbed 90% of the protein from cooked eggs, compared to only 50% of the protein from raw eggs (4).
Another study provided healthy individuals with a meal that contained either cooked or raw egg protein. It found that 94% of the cooked egg protein was absorbed, compared to only 74% of the raw egg protein (5).
This means that cooking eggs helps the protein become more digestible and more accessible to the body.
In addition, eating raw eggs carries a risk of bacterial contamination and food poisoning (67).
Summary: Your body can absorb the protein from cooked eggs better than the protein from raw eggs.

Other Health Benefits of Eggs

Over-Cooked Fried Egg
Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat. 
They are relatively low in calories, with one large hard-boiled egg containing only about 77 calories (1).
Despite being low in calories, they are a balanced source of almost every nutrient you need. One such nutrient is choline, which many people are lacking in their diet (8).
Choline is important for many processes in the body. In fact, a lack of it may affect brain and heart health, and has been linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy (9).
Aside from their nutrient content, eggs have also been linked with numerous health benefits, including benefits related to weight loss and weight maintenance.
Eggs have been shown to promote feelings of fullness, which can help prevent you from eating too much at a time (1011).
This effect is especially noticeable when people eat eggs for breakfast.
Eating eggs for breakfast has been shown to cause people to eat significantly less for the next 24 hours than other types of breakfasts, without actively restricting calories (1112).
In one study, men who ate eggs for breakfast ate up to 470 fewer calories at lunch and dinner buffets than when they ate cereal or croissant-based breakfasts (12).
In addition to all of this, eggs are cheap and very easy to prepare.
Summary: Eggs are very nutritious and weight loss friendly. Eating eggs for breakfast may help reduce the number of calories you consume for the next 24 hours.

The Bottom Line

An average-sized egg contains about 6–7 grams of protein.
To enable your body to use as much of that as possible, it is recommended to eat eggs cooked rather than raw. 
Aside from their impressive protein content, eggs are low in calories, high in nutrients and weight loss friendly. 
~Thanks to Adda Bjarnadottir, MS


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

11 Foods Proven to Boost Your Mood!

OK, we’ve all heard the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But a study by the American Journal of Public Health has found that eating fruits and veggies can actually help improve your mental health, too. Subjects reported increased happiness for each additional serving they ate in a day. So the next time you’re feeling down, reach for one of these 11 foods.
good mood food spinach


Dark green veggies are rich in folate, a B vitamin that affects the mood-controlling neurotransmitters in your brain. Yay, science.
good mood food orange


Mandarins, clementines, navel oranges, grapefruit, you name it. They’re all packed with folate, a B vitamin that's an instant mood booster.
good mood food banana


Three reasons to make this ingredient a smoothie staple: potassium (improves brain function), B6 (increases serotonin, which calms the body) and tryptophan (the happy amino acid that regulates mood).
good mood food swiss chard


Magnesium gives you an instant shot of energy and also staves off depression. Plus, it’s one of the nutrients lacking in the average diet, so sauté some up as a regular side dish.
good mood food berries


Say hello to the best carbs ever. Berries provide a boost of glucose, which can decrease irritability.
good mood food blue potatoes


Look for these pretty spuds the next time you’re at the farmers' market. They’re packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation (a known mood killer) and are loaded with iodine, which helps regulate your thyroid (aka the mood master).
good mood food asparagus


Load up on the triple threat when it’s in season this spring: It’s a source of serotonin, folate and enzymes that break down alcohol. (Yep, that means it's a natural hangover remedy, too.)
good mood food tomatoes


It’s all about the lycopene, a fat-soluble phytonutrient that can actually stop the buildup of pro-inflammatory compounds linked to depression.
good mood potatoes sweet


Complex carbs (like these tasty baked fries) increase serotonin levels, which have a calming effect on the body.
good mood food avocado


The combo of B vitamins and potassium increases serotonin levels and lowers blood pressure, both of which keep you calm and collected. Pass the avo toast, please.
good mood food peppers


Foods rich in vitamin C can help stop the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Yellow peppers have the most, followed by red and green. Slice these guys and pack them in a snack baggie for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. 
~Thanks to Allison McCarthy

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