Lots of food companies tout foods made with “natural” sugar. The problem is that some “natural” sugars are NOT any better for you than plain old table sugar. That includes “natural” sugars like honey, brown sugar, and agave nectar.
But the natural sugar in fruit is a “good-for-you” way to eat sugar. The sugar in fruit takes longer to digest and does NOT cause the spike in blood sugar that processed sweets do. Think of fruit as Nature’s candy.
Consumer Reports The Answers to Good Health
Researchers have discovered an astonishing link between memory and exercise. Exercise releases hormones that help the brain store memories, and some research suggests it may decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s a whooping 45%. Even more surprising: just ONE 20-minute exercise routine can bring memory boosting results. Just imagine how good your memory could become if you come to Choice Fitness 3-4 times a week!
Consumer Reports The Answers to Good Health
Eggs are one of the closest things you can find to a naturally perfect food, says nutrition expert and author J.J. Virgin. They're rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and compounds that researchers have linked to everything from a lower risk of heart disease to better vision in your later years. And now, eggs might be healthier than they've ever been: Fortified eggs have nearly identical nutrition to regular eggs along with some added benefits.
How They're Fortified
Fortified eggs are eggs that typically come from chickens that have had ground flaxseeds added to their regular feed. Flaxseeds have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. What goes into the chicken comes out again, mainly, in its eggs, so a hen that's been eating feed supplemented with flax meal will yield eggs dense with omega-3 fatty acids. Your body can convert ALA to docosahexanoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, both of which are linked to a lower risk of high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Fortified eggs may also come from chickens that have been supplemented with vitamin E, sea kelp, alfalfa and rice bran.
In 2008, scientists at the Tel Aviv University reported that you're not getting shafted by producers of fortified eggs -- these eggs really do have a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids than regular eggs. According to their study, a fortified egg could provide the average American with about 14 percent of the recommended amount of polyunsaturated fats she should have each day. The typical fortified egg has the same amount of calories, protein and fat as a regular egg, but contains 115 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids compared to the 49 milligrams in an ordinary egg. Depending on the chicken feed, fortified eggs may also have more vitamin D, vitamin E, folate and iodine.
What Experts Say
If you want to eat fortified eggs -- and can afford the usually higher price tag -- nutritionist Monica Reinagel says to go for it. They won't hurt you, and they can help you get the 1,100 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids that the Institute of Medicine recommends daily for adult women. However, the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition assistant director, Susan Bowerman, points out that you shouldn't depend solely on foods like fortified eggs to get your omega-3 fatty acids. A 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon will give you far more. If you're a vegetarian who consumes fortified eggs, you'll still need some other source of omega-3 fatty acids -- dietary supplements, for instance -- in order to get enough.
Egg Intake Recommendations
If you're a healthy woman, eating ordinary or fortified eggs regularly throughout the week isn't going to kill you, says the Dietitians of Canada. Yes, eggs do have cholesterol and saturated fat, but if you don't have high blood cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease, you can have one whole egg a day -- which includes eggs in dishes or baked goods -- without worrying. If you do have a history of these conditions, it's best to limit your intake to no more than two eggs a week. Just don't dump the yolk, especially if you're going out of your way to get fortified eggs -- most of the omega-3 fatty acids are concentrated there. If you skip the yolk, you don't get the heart-healthy fats.
Don’t waste money on eggs labeled “raised with no hormones.” By law, chickens that produce eggs cannot be given hormones. Eggs with a “no hormone” claim are no different from eggs that don’t have the “no hormone” claim.
Are those couple of slices of bacon on your BLT as dangerous as smoking a cigarette? Processed meats like bacon and cold cuts are listed as a Group 1 carcinogen - the same as smoking or asbestos. But that doesn’t mean they are equally dangerous. The classification reflects the strength of evidence linking processed meats (think bacon, sausage, hot dogs, jerky, and cold cuts) to cancer risk. Basically, any meat that’s been tweaked to enhance flavor improve preservation by salting, curing, fermentation, or smoking is considered processed. Just 1.75 ounces of bacon (about 2 slices) a day is linked to an 18% greater risk of colorectal cancer. That’s the equivalent of 1 hot dog or a couple of slices of cold cuts. While it isn’t a good idea to load up on these foods (they are often high in saturated fat and salt, too), let’s put the risk in perspective. The lifetime risk for an average American of developing colorectal cancer is 5%. An 18% increase raises that number to about 6%, so an occasional ballpark dog or BLT should be fine. Important to not: Simply choosing nitrate-free meats may not reduce your risk of cancer. High temperature cooking methods like pan frying and grilling may produce more carcinogens in meat. Choosing lower temperature cooling methods like braising or roasting may reduce your risk.
Health & Nutrition Letter from Tufts University
Here are a few tips to effectively reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol levels:
Eat healthy fats. To reduce cholesterol levels, many people cut out sources of fat from their diets. However, research shows that eating healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and olive oil can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and improve blood sugar control.
Reduce your intake of added sugars. Added sugars — such as those found in candy, ice cream, baked goods, and sweetened beverages — negatively affect both cholesterol and blood sugar. Cutting added sugar out of your diet is one of the best ways to improve overall health, including decreasing blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Consume more vegetables. Increasing your intake of both fresh and cooked vegetables can significantly improve blood sugar and cholesterol. Try adding veggies like spinach, artichokes, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower to your meals and snacks .
Eat mostly whole, nutritious foods. Relying on packaged foods or fast-food restaurants can damage your health, potentially raising cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Prepare more meals at home using whole, nutrient-rich foods that support metabolic health — such as vegetables, beans, fruits, and healthy sources of protein and fat, including fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Other healthy ways to reduce both blood sugar and cholesterol levels include increasing physical activity and losing excess body fat.