Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Let’s first clarify that meal replacement shakes are not to be confused with protein shakes, though the differences are nit-picky: a meal replacement shake typically has between 200-500 calories and tick off a bunch of nutritional checkmarks with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some protein.

Source: Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Please be careful with shakes, powders, and the like. The regulation on the supplement industry is pretty much nonexistent. The best case scenario is that the company does not include the ingredient listed in its advertising, but there are numerous instances of customers sending out their powders for testing and finding harmful ingredients.

These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It’s great that fast food chains have detailed nutritional information for all to reference, but the issue is that these charts are often deliberately buried on websites and can be cumbersome to read. One blogger has compiled a master list of the “best” fast food options from major chains, with their macronutrient values, for our convenience.

Source: These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It happens – you get stuck somewhere, can’t get what you need.  It’s OK to have a cheat meal, or “fail” on your diet occasionally – there can be benefits.

What “Net Carbs” On Food Labels Actually Means

 A myriad of low-carb products are marketed as having “zero net carbs”, but a closer look at the nutrition label reveals most of the “cancelled” carbs to be from dietary fiber or sugar alcohols. What does this wizardry mean for calorie and carbohydrate counters? Not as much as the marketing would have you believe.

Source: What “Net Carbs” On Food Labels Actually Means

Net carbs is vastly more important to read that total carbs. The tortillas I buy are about 22g carbs, 6 net carbs. Eating two or three makes all the difference between having an elevated blood sugar, or up 100 points for a few hours.

You Can and Should Be Eating Banana Peels

That’s right, you can eat banana peels. And not only are they edible — they’re also good for you.

Source: People around the world are eating banana peels because they know something that Westerners do not

I think the question of what’s on those skins ought to addressed before we start munching down.  Wash them before you eat, like a lot of things.

Stop Peeling Your Root Vegetables

I have a confession that would make my culinary school instructor (a mildly terrifying Frenchman from Corsica whom we called “Chef X”) get red in the face, shout, and pelt me with potatoes: I don’t always peel my vegetables. In fact, I rarely do. Carrots? Yeah, right. Beets? Absolutely not. Potatoes? I would never! Squash? Well, depending on the variety, I don’t even peel those babies, either. Not only is it much easier to skip that step, but the skin is where all the good stuff—i.e. fiber—is at.

Source: Nope, You Don’t Have to Peel Carrots, Beets, or Even Squash

If you’re concerned about pesticides, then you should peel your veggies.  But you’ll ingest the pesticides anyways – root vegetables would have absorbed them as part of growing and would have very little on the surface.  Given that synthetic pesticides are safer to consume than organic ones by virtue of being designed as such…you really have nothing to worry about.

6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

“I swear my pants weren’t this tight earlier today.” We’ve all said it at one time or another. That’s because bloating is one of the most common — and obvious — stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.)

Source: 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

Just posting for a friend…

How to Avoid the Dreaded “Carb Coma”

Carb-heavy meals are notorious for making you hungry and cranky later in the day, not to mention gaining weight. But if you really want to eat your pasta and potatoes, you can make the meal easier for your body to deal with by adding other food to it. Pancakes and bacon are a better bet than pancakes alone.

Source: How to Avoid the Dreaded “Carb Coma”

Related read: If I Eat Steak then Pineapple – Which is Digested First?

The Benefits of Fiber (And How to Know You’re Getting Enough)

Years ago I remember lamenting (and writing somewhere) that I was fairly sick of reading research papers on how eating more fiber was good for people, how it was time for nutritional science to move into relatively more interesting things than a topic that had literally been beaten to death.

Thankfully, soon thereafter leptin was discovered and nutritional researchers could start looking at things more interesting than why eating high-fiber vegetables were good for you (a nutritional tidbit that I file under the ‘Grandma was right’ category).

Even so, there is still some confusion regarding fiber out in the world of nutrition regarding fiber.  And boring or not, it’s a topic worth clearing up.  So today I want to take a fairly comprehensive look at dietary fiber, what it is, what it does in the body, how it impacts on things like body composition (and health to a lesser degree) and finish by looking at some (admittedly vague recommendations).

Source: Fiber – It’s Natures Broom

Fibre can be your friend if you want to avoid hemorrhoids. Bananas, rice, dried plums (prunes) 4 lyfe!

Too much of a good thing is… not so good. Don’t try increase your fiber intake too fast (too furious?), unless you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. You’ve been warned.

How to Make Yourself Poop

How to be #1 in the #2 business:

On a perfect race morning, you’d wake up, have breakfast, and use the bathroom—at least once, maybe twice—and then head to your starting corral feeling great, not worrying whether you’ll have to stop along the way for an emergency Number 2.

But sometimes, your routine fails you. Maybe you’re traveling and in a different time zone, maybe your diet’s been a little off, or maybe you’ve just got a nervous stomach. But some mornings, you just can’t go, no matter how much you know it’s essential for a good run.

So what do you do now? We looked at the latest research, and talked with Felice Schnoll-Sussman, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a New York City marathon finisher, to find out. Here’s what science says about how to get yourself to go.

Source: How to Make Yourself Poop

Most think it’s the caffeine in coffee, but decaf works just the same.  No one wants to be immortalized like this guy, but it can be the defining moment to see how much you really want the result you trained for.  I already do some of what the article suggests – get up earlier, moving through the house as I get breakfast.  It depends, but often can feel like delayed reaction between when I got out of bed.

Teehee… backfire.

How Hungry Humans Saved the Avocado

You may be able to convince the occasional seed to sprout (balanced on toothpicks, in a jar, on a sunny windowsill), but you’re not—believe me—going to get the wherewithal to make your own guacamole. Avocados know a waste of time when they see it. Besides, they’ve got enough trouble without taking on an uncongenial climate. Avocados have outpaced their evolutionary niche, which leaves them with a tough row to hoe.

Source: How Hungry Humans Saved the Avocado

One cup of avocado contains vitamin K – 35% of your Daily Value (DV) worth.  But the health profile of avocado is excellent, so it’s one of the few things I’d recommend eating and compensate with warfarin/coumadin medication.