Some Healthy Food Hacks Dieticians Use

Nutritious meals are great for everyone. There are a lot of ways to cook healthy food. However, you may have to know a few food hacks that nutritionists recommend. Here are some of the best hacks discussed on



Heat hacks



Always try to cook extra portions. Sometimes we make food that’s very delicious but we lack enough for a second serving. That’s one of the main reasons you should cook more food. You can also have tonight’s dinner as part of tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch. What’s more, leftovers can be part of your next meal’s ingredients. For instance, if you had grilled salmon for dinner yesterday, you can add the spices, veggies, breadcrumbs and eggs to make a great meal for lunch.



Make good use of your rice cooker. Maggie Moon, owner of, advices people to use rice cookers because they’re fast. For instance, you can use the porridge setting on a rice cooker to cook oats. If you cook them at night, you’ll have tasty oats in the morning. Rice cookers are time savers. You can use them to cook fish for around 15 minutes or even steam vegetables.



Freezer hacks



To save time during breakfast, prepare smoothie packs. Mix leafy greens with a frozen fruit, nuts and flax seeds. If you’re a fan of cold drinks, you can pour yogurt in ice cube trays and freeze it. You can use the frozen yogurt cubes to make a quick smoothie.



Freeze any leftovers. Instead of throwing away extra stock, you can place the food in ice cube trays. Pack it and mark the date you put it in the freezer. Defrost the food when you want to prepare finger-licking meals at any time of the day. For example, you can use chicken from last Friday’s dinner to prepare nice chicken noodle soup.



Store frozen veggies in your freezer. You can quickly add them to your dinner, as they’re ready to cook. You don’t have to go through the entire process of preparing them. Frozen veggies are great because they heat up in minutes. So, you can use them to make a quick meal.




How Sugary Drinks and Artificial Sweeteners Can Affect Your Health

Everyone has heard the saying you are what you eat, but how about you are what you drink? Yes, the liquids you consume have a direct effect on your health and energy levels. Here are some things to consider next time you get thirsty.


Sugary Drinks


One can of soda or an eight-ounce glass of flavored fruit juice contains over ten teaspoons of sugar. This amount may not sound like a lot, but the American Heart Association recommends no more than nine teaspoons daily. The average person drinks two glasses per day. When you do the math that equals over 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.


Over time high sugar consumption can lead to many health problems, with the most common being diabetes. Researchers have discovered people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from poor memory, slow reaction times, and irregularities in white matter.


Artificial Sweeteners


Recent research has linked artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas to increased stroke risk. Studies find people who drink up to six beverages weekly are fifty percent more likely to experience a stroke. Researchers are still working on pinpointing the exact correlation between the two.


The Options


Instead of sodas or overly sweetened beverages, there are several other options to choose from which won’t adversely hurt your health. The first and most obvious recommendation is water. It contains no sugar or artificial sweeteners and is the healthiest beverage to reach for when you are thirsty.


However, if you are craving something sugary, consider natural sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. These natural additives reduce cravings while helping you avoid issues such as fluctuating blood sugar and brain fog.


Teas offer your taste buds reprieve, and many brands contain fruit essences such as pomegranate and acai that provide you with just enough hint of sugar to satisfy that sweet tooth.


You don’t have to give up sugar or artificial sweeteners entirely, just limit the amount you drink. Add more water, green tea, or stevia to your diet for variety. These simple changes will leave you feeling more energized and in better health.




Spring Party Dishes

You can offer healthy dishes at your spring dinner parties without sacrificing the fresh taste and brilliant colors of the ingredients that you want to use. A nice pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, peas and copped asparagus is a good way to kick off any spring party. Top the salad with a bit of honey and lemon juice for a sweet and sour flavor that brings out the taste of the tomatoes. Spring pizzas are an idea if you want to get your kids in on eating healthy. Use pizza dough that you buy at the store, topping it with a bit of mozzarella cheese, ramps and scallions.


Spinach salad doesn’t have to be dull and flavorless. Add some crisp bacon for texture along with slices of boiled eggs and mushrooms that have been lightly browned. This is a crunchy salad that has the protein that the body needs along with the fiber and folic acid of the greens. No spring party is complete with a dessert. Currant scones are the ideal sweet treat and can also be enjoyed for breakfast the day after the party.


When you’re grilling on a warm spring evening, consider putting a few pieces of asparagus on the grill as well. Sprinkle a small amount of salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese on top of the asparagus before you put it on a grill gently covered with olive oil. Asparagus can also be used in a delicious casserole. All you need is pastry dough and a few herbs that you enjoy using with the asparagus. Bake the casserole until the dough is lightly browned on top. If you have a pasta dish at your spring party, consider making a dressing with lemon juice. You can use almost any other ingredient with the lemon as it will bring out the subtle flavors of the pasta and the other ingredients that you use. Seafood is also a good item to add to pasta dishes as it’s healthy for the body with high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.


The Snacks That Are Good To Eat Before Going To Bed

A New York Times subscriber asked the newspaper which snacks are the best to consume before going to bed. The reader specifically asked which snacks would be best to eat an hour or two before going to sleep. Roni Caryn Rabin of the New York Times took this question and did some research by asking experts and looking at surveys. Here is what he found and reported in the New York Times.


A spokeswoman at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests that bedtime snacks be light. She says that you should try to limit the calorie content of snacks to around 100-200 calories or 300 at most. Isabel Maples of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also recommends that these light night snacks be foods that are nutrient dense and that you may lack in your diet otherwise. This should be foods like fresh or dried fruits and veggies with some dip. Another option is some nuts or trail mix or some whole grain crackers or snacks.


While such snacks described above may be considered healthy, it is important to realize that many surveys have linked constant snacking to weight gain. If your weight is healthy and you exercise, then the effects of snacking should be minimal. If you are struggling with your weight or want to lose weight, then you should try to eliminate or limit snacking as much as you can. One survey found that people can get up to a quarter of our total calories from snacks.


Other good snacks recommended by the experts that Roni Caryn Rabin interviewed include cottage cheese, plain yogurt, oatmeal and a glass of milk. Good fruits to snack on include bananas and apples. Mixing in fresh fruits into yogurt or oatmeal is a good and healthy idea as a snack. A whole grain cereal is another healthy snack choice. Raw veggies with a dip are another snack idea. You can also try whole grain crackers or pita chips with cheese.


You should aim to have a snack that has both a good source of carbohydrates and a significant amount of protein. Both carbs and proteins will make you feel full and provide you with that energy and nutrients to satisfy hunger. A light popcorn snack may also fit your bill says Laura Smith of Weight Watchers.

Fresh Spring Food Ideas

With spring in full swing, many gardeners are seeing the first shoots pop up in their tilled beds. Shoppers are seeing the first farmers’ markets open up. Soon, things like asparagus, new lettuce, and fresh strawberries will start making their appearances in the specials at smart restaurants. If you want to make your guests or your family both happy and healthy, there are some great choices out there for you to make this time of year.


One of the best parts of spring and summer is the quality and wide variety of fresh vegetables easily available to home gardeners and frequenters of farmers’ markets alike. It makes healthy food choices easy when everything is at its height of ripeness. Few things are as good at a newly snapped asparagus sprig or a ripe, red tomato pulled directly from the vine.


For those interested in starting gardens, now it the time to plan your space. Many gardeners have early things out already, like lettuce, spinach, and radishes. Tomatoes and peppers still have a few weeks if you buy them already sprouted, but if you planned on starting your own from seeds, you may be running out of time. The hard work of a home garden often pays off if you are the type of person who really appreciates perfect vegetables.


One of those folks is celebrity chef, Ina Garten. She is well known for her high-caliber home cooking, especially in home entertaining. She also has a bit of a green thumb in the garden. She has a new recipe out for a Spring Green Risotto that looks fantastic, while really incorporating as much of the freshness of spring as possible into the dish. The asparagus in the recipe is really perfect this time of year, especially if you are among those lucky enough to have your own perennial patch out back.


With so much available to chefs this time of year and for the next few months, it is simple to find ways to incorporate these things into your diet. The variety is wide and will expand and change as we roll into summer. If you pick things at their height of season, you will always have a great product. Great products are the keys to great dishes and good eating.

Can The Mediterranean Diet And Statins Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease?

A New York Times reader inquired if switching over to a Mediterranean diet would be more effective in fighting against cardiovascular disease such as heart disease than taking statins. New York Times reporter Sophie Chan did some research on this subject. Here is what she managed to find out after doing research and asking a medical expert.


Sophie Chan reported that both the Mediterranean diet and taking statins can be effective in combating the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke. One study done in 2013 found that switching to a Mediterranean diet can help cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 30% in individuals at a high risk for developing such diseases. A study conducted in 2009 found the people who are at a high risk for heart disease had their risk of developing such diseases cut by up to 44% when they started statin therapy.


Both the Mediterranean diet and statin therapy can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The best choice says is perhaps to utilize both. For those not familiar with the Mediterranean diet here is a quick explanation. It involves using olive oil for cooking and salad dressings, eating plenty of fish, drinking red wine with meals and consuming a significant amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and poultry are also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Red meat, sweets, dairy products and processed foods are consumed in small quantities if at all.


Dr. Meir Stampfer of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends people first try the Mediterranean diet. He says in not only helps fight heart disease, but also helps fight against cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline. His view is that you don’t have to choose between statins and a diet. He suggests that you try a diet such as the Mediterranean one, and if you still have not seen a reduction in your cholesterol levels or heart disease risks, then you should go add statins as well. They can work in syngergy or together to help cut the risk of developing serious diseases.


Dr. Stampfer does warn those on statin therapy that just because they take these drugs, does mean that they are off the hook. Proper diet and exercise is still important. In fact, Dr. Stampfer says that constant exercise and a healthy diet is the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease and strokes from developing.


Sweet Potato Treats

The common sweet potato and its uses in cooking have evolved a long way from Grandma’s candied yams with marshmallows on top. While there’s nothing wrong with that recipe if it is something you enjoy, there is a whole new world of sweet potato dishes out there, as well as some fantastic new uses.


Filled with fiber, the sweet potato has been hailed as one of the best vegetable foods to incorporate into your diet as much as possible. It is low in refined starches and sugars, while being high in carotene and other flavinoid antioxidants. It also has a magic ability to float back and forth as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. The sweet potato can be a part of a hearty meal as often as it can make its way into desserts.


One great, simple use for this awesome tuber is mashed sweet potatoes. They go great with pork and chicken, or can be an awesome lunch all by themselves. Simply bake your sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven until they are soft and smell nice and caramelized. The peel usually comes of quite easily at this point, but you can also put your baked sweet potatoes in a paper bag and shake them up. This will help remove some of the peel if it is still too hot for your fingers.


Then mash the peeled potatoes in a bowl, mixing in any combination of the following ingredients to your taste: butter, brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and a dash of salt. You can use all of them, or only a few, and make sure to taste as you mash so you know where you are in flavor. Top it off with a dollop of Greek yogurt.


Another neat idea is to replace the bread in your bruschetta type dishes with sweet potato. They show six cool applications of this idea in the linked article, but the possibilities are probably endless for both savory and sweet appetizers, with just a bit more excitement and fiber than using plain white bread.


The sweet potato is a humble vegetable, but with a little creativity, you can make this healthy ingredient really sing in your dishes.


The Simplest Food Hack May Be To Eat Nothing

It turns out that in a long line of “food hacks” and healthy eating tips related to exercise, the greatest tip may be the simplest of all.


A small study was done to test a scientific theory that has been used by athletes and trainers for years. The scientists at the University of Bath took ten overweight, but healthy, low exercise performing men and split them into two separate groups. First, the researchers took baseline blood and fat tissue samples, resting metabolic rates and found out how the men performed at baseline exercise readings.


Secondly, the men were to visit the lab on two separate occasions. First they were given no edible substance before exercising and had performed a fast the night before so that meant they were exercising with an empty stomach. On the next visit, the men were given a complete breakfast two hours before exercise was to begin. On both occasions, the men performed the same exercise, an hour of moderate treadmill walking, both times.


To make sure the results were consistent, blood and fat tissue samples were taken right before exercise and an hour after exerted had concluded. The result? When the men exercised before eating, their sugar levels were at a much lower rate, so they burned more fat exercising with an empty stomach. On the reverse, the men burned more calories on a full stomach than an empty stomach.


On a deeper, cellular level, when the men exercised with empty stomachs, the hormones that regulate metabolism and sugar versus insulin levels were much more active leading the scientists to the results that in order to lose weight and burn fat it is better to exercise on an empty stomach.


This practice has been in effect for many years as athletes and trainers have experimented for years with “meal timing”, the process of strategically planning meals in order to achieve a more fuel efficient fat burning body. Now with this initial study performed it appears that the athletes are onto something.


So the next time you want to eat before your morning work out, skip it and eat later. Your body will thank you for it.


Tips for Cutting Out the Junk and Eating Healthy

The majority of Americans are either overweight or obese, which makes us one of the top countries in the world with a weight problem. Being overweight means more than just not liking the way that you look. It plays a huge role in how you feel and your overall health. When you’re young and big, it might not necessarily be as bad, but it’ll start to take a toll on your health the older you get. One of the main culprits to our growing weight problem is the amount of junk food we eat on a daily basis.


Junk foods and fast foods are processed using a variety of chemicals that almost attract fat to our body. These high-caloric foods are riddled with fat, cholesterol and oils that do nothing to slim down our waistline. In order to get rid of the weight problems, you need to take a look at your diet and make appropriate changes. There’s an old motto that says you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter how much time you spend in the gym, your diet is what will ultimately be the deciding factor in what you weigh.


To make healthier food options, you need to stop buying junk food. It can be easy in the supermarket to say that you’ll buy your favorite cookies and only eat one or two at a time, but it’s a whole different story when you’re craving those cookies at home and want to eat the whole box. Get your family involved with your healthy eating so that everyone is able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle together. For instance, don’t bake yourself chicken for dinner while everyone else gets fried wings. Making healthy choices is a step-by-step learning process. You can’t go from being a junk food addict one day to a health junkie the next and expect it to stick. Make better choices when eating out and cooking at home. It could be as simple as eating a salad for lunch as opposed to a sandwich or having a protein bar instead of a candy bar for an extra boost of energy.


The Top Pieces of Information That Your Physician Wants You to Understand

It can be difficult to see your doctor on a regular basis. Not only are you a busy person with lots to do, but you also probably want to avoid seeing your doctor because it can be annoying for them to chastise you once again on your bad habits. This is pretty common.


It can also be scary to go to the doctor. That’s common as well. If you have worries about your health, it can feel better to simply ignore them and not get them checked out at all. Of course, this is not a good idea. You should always get something checked out that you’re worried about when it comes to your health.


With that being said, it’s totally understandable that people don’t want to go to the doctor. Fortunately, some new information that might change your mind. The following is a list of the top things that your physician wants you to understand about their line of work and about taking care of your health in general.


  1. It’s hard being a doctor.


Being a doctor is difficult for so many reasons, but one of the most difficult reasons is that it’s hard to talk to patients who are scared, nervous, angry and frustrated. Cut them some slack.


  1. They only want what’s best for you.


When they tell you to stop smoking or cut back on your drinking, they’re only doing it to help you. They only want what’s best for you and your health, so it will pay to listen to them!


  1. It’s difficult to keep up with new medical information.


Not only is it difficult to be a doctor, but it can be difficult to keep up with all of the new incoming information that doctors are supposed to know as well. That’s why you shouldn’t be upset if your doctor looks at you funny when you ask them whether or not you have a little-known, brand new disease. They’ve probably never heard of it before, and you shouldn’t fault them for that. Just remember that they will look it up when you leave and always follow up with you.