United Preference Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness tailored for the consumer


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Does Eating More Really Help You Lose Weight?

Most people assume that eating less is the most effective way to lose weight. As logical as it may seem, eating less is not the solution. Food is the fuel of the body and eating less depletes the body of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, you should be eating about every three hours. As crazy as that sounds, there are several reasons why it is beneficial

-First, eating more speeds up your metabolism. Eating less sends a message to you’re brain that you are in starvation mode, which causes the body to store fat as a form of survival. Eating every three hours provides your body with what it needs to speed up your metabolism.

It enables to body to burn fat faster and more naturally. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly builds lean muscle and muscles eat fat as a source of nutrients. In other words, muscles burn fat in order to maintain itself. Coupled with resistance training, eating proteins builds muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.

It gives you the energy needed to exercise. Eating gives you the fuel you need to maximize your efforts in the gym in order to gain lean muscle mass. Depriving yourself of food can cause you to perform slower, more sluggishly, and decrease your stamina.

Certain foods eliminate toxins, as well as burn fat. Vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are packed with fiber, which is very beneficial to the body because it helps eliminate toxins in the body. So not only will you see the results you have searching for, your body will feel healthier too.

Eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is much more beneficial than eating 1-3 normal sized meals a day. You do not have to depress yourself and eat less in order get to your desired weight. It’s what you eat, not necessarily how much you eat. So instead of just cutting back on portion sizes and decreasing your caloric intake, choose healthier options and eat away.


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Tips to Eating Healthy on a Budget

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You’ve all heard the excuse or even said it yourself that, “eating healthy is too expensive”.  At times it can be more expensive yes, but there are ways to shop more efficiently and break even.  I’m going to provide you with some ideas and tips on how to save a couple bucks and keep to your routine budget while improving your diet at the same time.  Even if you were to go over your typical budget, keep in mind that thinking long-term you are more likely to stay healthy and as a result save money for cutting healthcare costs.  Not only that, you will look and feel better because at the end of the day you are what you eat!

1) Swap fresh berries for frozen berries.  Since they are frozen they hold the same nutritional value as fresh berries, they last longer, and you do not risk the chance of having to throw out rotten food.  Therefore, you reduce the chances of having to throw money away too.

2) Buy Quick Oats instead of Instant Oatmeal.  Not only will you save money but you also skip the unnecessary amounts added sugar included in most Instant Oatmeal packets

3) Forget potato chips or even veggie chips for that matter.  Just spray washed kale with cooking spray, season with sea salt, and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes. They taste just like potato chips and are less than 50 calories per cup.

4) Buy canned fish instead of fresh fish and you will still get your Omega-3s.

5) Instead of buying pricey Whey protein give Tofu a shot to keep your protein intake high.

6) Plan your meals for the week before going to the grocery store.

7) Check to see what you have at home before making a list of what items you need.

8) If an item you eat often is on sale then take advantage of it and stock up on it if possible.


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10 Surprisingly Healthy Packaged Foods

  1. Canned Beans. Canned beans pack an impressive amount of fiber and protein and can be a quick addition to many meals.
  2. Oats and Flaxseed. Prepare to have a heart-healthy breakfast by combining old-fashioned oats and ground flaxseed, both found packaged in either cartons or bags. One cup of cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed will give you 8 grams of much needed fiber, as well as a dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Frozen Vegetables.These can be nearly as nutritious as fresh and are conveniently prewashed and chopped. Steam or microwave your veggies rather than boiling them to make sure you’re not losing water-soluble vitamins.
  4. Frozen Berries. Many frozen berries do not have added sugar, but some do. Double check that the ingredients list contains berries to make sure you’re not getting extra calories from refined sugars.
  5. Granola Bars. This one can be tricky, as not every granola bar is good for you. Shop carefully and read labels to pick out the healthiest option. Flip the products over and check out the ingredients.
  6. Soups. Soup that comes in a can or carton can be a healthy choice if you shop carefully. Many are packed with plenty of fat and added sodium, but some brands are lighter in both.
  7. Cereal. Breakfast cereal can be a toss-up. Either you’re eating an overdose of sugar or you’re getting a good amount of fiber and vitamins. Pick the right cereal, and you’ll be supporting your heart and intestinal health with each bite. Look for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and keep in mind the amount of added sugar.
  8. Brown Rice. For a boxed fare that is both versatile and nutrient packed, pick up brown rice on your next grocery trip. This fiber-rich grain is a great side for nearly any meat, bean, and vegetable.
  9. Tuna Fish Packed in Water. When it comes to getting a bang for your buck out of canned food, this is almost as good as it gets. This convenient food is high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and also gives you a good amount of vitamins D and B-12, too.
  10. Yogurt. This tangy concoction found in the dairy aisle can be a great snack or breakfast staple. Many brands are advertising “natural” products that do not have artificial colors or sweeteners, but what you choose should depend on your own preferences and nutritional goals.


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Why avocados are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet

Avocados…

1) contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise ‘good’ cholesterol.

2) are a good source of potassium, an important mineral that helps protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

3) help increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids, which are  powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free radical activity and strengthen the body’s immune system.

4) are an excellent source of iron and copper (which build red blood cells)

5) contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, K and they’re high in vitamin E (which slows aging).

6) are low in sugar, starch-free and are a good source of dietary fiber, perfect for slow burning energy without a sugar crash.

7) are a good food choice for diabetics or those with other sugar-sensitive conditions.

8)  improve your complexion because they are full of Vitamin E, which provides moisturizing assets through both consumption and topical use.


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Consumers Want Calorie Counts on Menus

Technomic conducted a survey of restaurant consumer attitudes and found that 65 percent favor such labeling in restaurants, with the strongest demand for listing of calories and sodium content.

Moreover, 70 percent of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus and 68 percent want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.

While only 38 percent want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, 58 percent expect governments will become more active.

Bob Goldin, Technomic’s executive vice president and director of the referenced study, believes these results show that consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency from restaurants.

“Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure,” he added.

Source: http://www.qsrweb.com/article/203893/Study-finds-high-customer-support-for-nutritional-disclosure-at-restaurants


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5 Foods that Fight Heart Disease

1)    Beans
Soluble fiber-rich beans can help curb your appetite by helping you feel fuller sooner.  Beans can also replace higher calorie, higher saturated fat-containing meats and cheeses in entrees.

Tips: 

  • Replacing a ½ cup of cheddar cheese for the same amount of beans can shave off about 100 calories from your lunchtime salad.
  • Replacing ½ pound of ground beef with 1 cup of kidney beans will cut 190 calories from a chili recipe.

 

2)    Oats
Research suggests that consuming 3 grams or more per day of ß-glucan, soluble fiber, which is found in oats or barley can help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Tips:  

  • Start your morning off with a bowl of oatmeal.

 

3.  Nuts
A small handful of nuts daily may manage your blood cholesterol levels.  Research suggests that nuts can help lower blood cholesterol levels and that eating 1.5 ounces per day of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, or walnuts along with a heart-healthy diet, may reduce you risk of heart disease.  (One ounce of nuts = 25 almonds, 9 whole walnuts, or 48 pistachio nuts.)

Tips: 

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts over your morning cereal or yogurt.
  • Eat a handful of nuts between meals if you get hungry.

 

4. Fish
While fish is low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat, it provides another healthy quality that makes it a ringer for your heart.   The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help slow the plaque buildup in your arteries that contribute to heart disease as well as reduce your risk of  heart disease.   It is currently recommended that you eat two fish meals a weekl.   Salmon, sardines, and tuna are all good sources of omega 3.

Tips: 

  • When you eat out, order an 8-ounce grilled salmon.  Eat half and take the remainder home for dinner the next day.  Pesto:  You just met you weekly quota of two fish meals.
  • Add canned tuna or salmon to your salad bar lunch.

 

5.  Whole Grains
While research shows that whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease, most Americans are falling short of the recommended minimum three servings of whole grains daily.  Make sure that at least half your grain choices are whole grains, such as oats, 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, and popcorn to gain that heart-healthy benefit.

Tips: 

  • Eating oats in the morning provide the added benefit of being a whole grain.  You get two for the price of one when you eat oats.
  • When looking for something crunchy for a snack, pop up a 100-calorie pack of microwave popcorn.


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Fruit and Vegetable Produce Prescription

Here’s how it works:

“Health care providers and farmers market partners work together to identify and enroll overweight and obese children and pregnant women in FVRx as participants. A primary care provider and nutritionist meet with each participant monthly to discuss and reinforce the importance of healthy eating. During each health care visit, the participant receives an FVRx prescription redeemable only for locally grown produce and valued at $1 per day per family member. The participants redeem the FVRx prescription for fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets at least every two weeks throughout the 4-6 month program.”

“FVRx™ is designed to provide assistance to overweight and obese children and pregnant women who are at risk of developing preventable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Fruit and vegetable prescriptions are distributed by community healthcare providers and redeemed at participating farmers markets for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Each dollar invested in the FVRx program benefits the community three ways by: nourishing the consumer, boosting farmers’ revenue and supporting overall community health.”

Visit FVRx’s website to learn more.