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Honey: Health and Hype

October 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Possibly the oldest recognized source of sugar, the use of honey dates back to around 2100 B.C.—beating good old table sugar by an estimated 2,450 years! Many people prefer natural sources of sugar, with honey often making the top of the list. This historic confectionery sweetens many pantry shelves and recipes. Read on as we dive into hype surrounding honey.

Honey in jar and bunch of dry lavender

Is Honey an Allergy Remedy?
There is conflicting research on honey serving as a remedy for allergies, which demands more research be conducted before solid claims can be made. In a preliminary study, allergy sufferers were given a tablespoon of local unfiltered honey, pasteurized honey or honey-flavored corn syrup daily for 30 weeks. No significant benefits were noted between groups. However in another four-week study, significant benefits were seen in allergy sufferers who were given antihistamine medication along with honey, as compared to the groups receiving the antihistamine and honey-flavored corn syrup.

Is Honey a Sugar Alternative?
Some argue honey is a healthier alternative due to minimal processing as opposed to other types of sugar. However, the body metabolizes honey no differently than it does standard table sugar. When it comes to any sweetener—including sugar, honey, syrup or agave nectar—the body will break it down and absorb it equally, not knowing the difference between types. Bottom line, enjoy honey in moderation!

Does Honey Have Prebiotic Properties?
It has been said honey can also be used as a remedy for diarrhea or gastroenteritis; however there is limited data to support this. Honey contains carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides, which may serve as potentially good gut bacteria. It should be noted that this prebiotic benefit is likely small and not as significant as other rich sources of prebiotic carbohydrates such as onion, garlic, asparagus and bananas.

Does Honey Have an Expiration Date?
There have been archeological findings of 3,000-year-old pots of edible honey in the Egyptian pyramids! It was initially thought this was due to the high sugar content, low pH and antibacterial nature of honey. However, nothing is immune to the effects of aging as honey will lose flavor and harden in consistency. The FDA advises honey be tossed out two years from the date of purchase if it is not refrigerated after opening.

Cooking Purposes

  • Besides carbohydrate content, there is little difference between honey and standard table sugar.
    • Honey = 17 grams of sugar/tablespoon
    • Standard table sugar = 12 grams of sugar/tablespoon
    • A 20-calorie difference between the two
  • When baking with honey:
    • 1 cup of sugar can be substituted for ¾ cup honey
    • Reduce all liquids by ¼ and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 cup honey called for in the recipe. Due to honey being very dense and viscous, the addition of baking soda aids in leavening, helping the final product rise and be lighter and airy.
    • Lower the temperature by 25° F to prevent over-browning

 

Blog post provided by Gillian White, RDN, LD, CNSC, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Categories: Cooper Updates, Nutrition

Lighten Up – The Scoop on Ice Cream

What better way to cool down on a hot day than with a scoop of ice cream? Before diving into this deliciously cold treat, you may want to consider a light ice cream with lower calories, saturated fat and sugar—a tasty alternative to regular ice cream.

79772400_ice cream

Calories

Buyer beware, a serving size for most ice cream is half a cup. Being mindful of the serving size when consuming this cold treat will prevent overindulgence. Premium ice cream can pack as many as 350 calories in a half cup serving! Instead, opt for light ice cream that has no more than 150 calories per serving.

 

Saturated Fat

Regarding saturated fat, it is important to watch your intake because diets high in saturated fat can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol. American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 percent of calories per day from saturated fat. For a 2,000-calorie diet this equates to 13 grams of saturated fat per day. Unfortunately, many ice cream brands have that much saturated fat packed into a single serving. Again, light ice cream is the better choice, boasting less saturated fat by using skim milk instead of whole milk. When choosing a lighter frozen dessert, reach for one with no more than 3 g of saturated fat per serving.

 

Sugar

Since we are talking about ice cream, of course it’s going to have sugar. Limiting added sugar in your diet can help control weight, improve health and cut calories that don’t add any nutritional value.

American Heart Association recommended amount of added sugar:

  • Women:

< 100 calories per day

  • Men:

< 150 calories per day

So how do you calculate that? Each gram of sugar contains 4 calories, so take the grams of sugar, multiply it by four and that’s how many calories you’re consuming from sugar. A good rule of thumb is to limit sugar to no more than 12 grams per serving.

1 gram sugar = 4 calories

 [#] grams sugar X 4 = total number of calories from sugar

 

When purchasing light ice cream look for:

  • 150 calories or less per serving
  • ≤ 3 g of saturated fat
  • ≤ 12 g of sugar

 

Light Ice Cream Ideas

Below is a table comparing light ice cream options according to calories, saturated fat and sugar content. All of the ice creams listed are preferred over regular ice cream. Many light ice creams even boost your protein content either from milk protein concentrate or milk protein isolate, reflected in the table below.

Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts Calories per Serving Saturated Fat (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
HALO TOP® – Chocolate 80 1.5 6 5
Arctic Zero® Light – Vanilla Bean 70 0.5 9 2
Skinny Cow® – No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich 150 1 5 4
Enlightened® – Cold Brew Coffee Chip Ice Cream Bars 90 2 5 7
Breyers® Delights – Mint Chip 100 2 2 7
Yasso® – Chocolate & Vanilla Swirl Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar 80 0 11 5

 

Next time you’re looking for something sweet, stick to these tips to enjoy a sensible ice cream treat!

 

Article provided by Nicole Hawkins, University of Oklahoma student, and Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

 

 

 

Get Cracking with the Benefits of Pistachios

February 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Did you know that pistachios are one of the world’s oldest nuts, tracing back to biblical times?

Pistachios have a long history as amazing sources of healthy fats, protein, fiber and antioxidants. Pistachio lovers have many reasons to crack open these little green gems.

PistachioDay_INFOGRAPHIC

Three Reasons to Love Pistachios

Heart Health

  • Research suggests that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts, including pistachios, may lower risk of heart disease.
  • Pistachios are low in saturated fat (2 g per 1 oz. serving) and a vegetarian source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Pistachios contain antioxidants that fight inflammation and may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

 

Weight Management

  • With 3 g of fiber and 6 g of protein, pistachios can help manage weight by reducing overall caloric intake.
  • Serving sizes of pistachios are larger than any other nut with one serving size containing 49 kernels (1 nut = 4 calories).
  • Pistachios are often portioned in convenient 1.5 oz. single-serving bags which promote smarter portion control.

 

Blood Sugar Management

  • Pistachios and other tree nuts have been shown to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Research has shown that consuming about 2 oz. of pistachios a day as a replacement for carbohydrate foods may reduce HbA1c, a long term marker of blood sugar control.
  • Adding nuts to a carbohydrate-rich meal can reduce blood sugar spikes 1-2 hours after eating.

 

Nut-rition Breakdown of Pistachios

(1 oz. serving or 49 nuts)

  • 160 calories
  • 13 g total fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 8 g carbs
  • 3 g fiber
  • 6 g protein

Get Cracking with Pistachios

  • Grab an individual bag or portion out 49 nuts as a mindful snack.
  • Make your own trail mix with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries.
  • Toast raw pistachios and other mixed nuts with an array of spices.
  • Top salads, yogurt and oatmeal with a handful of pistachios.
  • Toss a few pistachios into a cold pasta dish.
  • Prepare a pistachio-crusted fish, such as salmon.
  • Add crushed pistachios to homemade guacamole.
  • Mix a serving or two of pistachios into baked goods like granola bars, high fiber muffins and wholesome cookies.

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit www.cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

Blog provided by Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Elana Paddock, RDN, LD, CDE.

Categories: Cooper Updates, Nutrition

Gluten-Free Baking Basics—plus a Breezy Blender Muffin Recipe!

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, it is estimated that Celiac Disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide, though nearly two and a half million Americans are undiagnosed. Celiac Disease is an Autoimmune Disease that affects the small intestine causing inflammation. It is triggered by the ingestion of protein from gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.

Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Gillian White, RDN, LD, CNSC, shares an easy gluten-free Breezy Blender Muffin recipe in this video below. These delicious gluten-free muffins are easy to whip up, low in calories and full of protein for a filling breakfast or snack. Print the recipe.

 

 

Learn more from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services with these video tips on gluten-free ingredients and avoiding cross-contamination when baking for those with Celiac Disease, recently featured on social media. Access more tips, recipes and articles on our Cooper Aerobics Facebook and Instagram accounts.

 

 

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

 

Get Chummy with Cheese

January 20, 2017 1 comment

By Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD

Despite a reputation for clogging arteries, cheese is still a beloved food. These days, you don’t have to shy away from cheese to keep healthful eating habits. Cheese can fit into a delicious eating plan and transform simple meals and dishes into culinary delights. The key is portion control and cheese selection.

Cheese contains saturated fat. Cooper Clinic and The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to 5-6% of total calories. For example, individuals needing 1,400 calories would aim to consume less than 9 grams of saturated fat per day. An individual needing 1,800 calories would aim to keep saturated fat less than 12 grams each day. Take a look at the cheese infographic below to compare some of your favorites and see how they fit into a balanced eating plan.

Babybel light cheese is a nutrition all-star. One piece is only 50 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat. It also has 6 grams of protein and 150 mg of calcium, which makes it an excellent cheese choice. Now take a look at Parmesan cheese. One ounce

(4 tablespoons) is 110 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat. Generally only 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese is plenty, since it has such robust flavor. One tablespoon of Parmesan Reggiano is approximately 27 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat. Try sprinkling roasted vegetables with Parmesan and experience the flavors magnify. This is especially true when roasting vegetables such as Brussels sprouts.

Feta, goat and sharp cheddar are also examples of modestly-flavored cheese. When you’re cooking and you want to maximize the cheese flavor while maintaining a healthy portion, these are the cheeses to use. Big flavor is achieved with small amounts.

These vegetable enchiladas are an example of how to maximize cheese flavor:

  • Spread fat-free refried black beans, sautéed spinach and mushrooms on to a corn tortilla
  • Roll tortilla and place seam side down in small pan
  • Top with green salsa and bake until hot
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle a small amount of feta cheese on top before serving

Moderation is the key to enjoying cheese healthfully. For more information about how Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services can help you build a healthy eating plan, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

cheeseinfographic-01

Create Perfect Parfaits

November 25, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elana Paddock, RDN, LD, CDE and Gillian Gatewood, RDN, LD, CNSC, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services

Building your own tasty snack from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult. Parfaits can be packed with protein, fiber and other nutrients while having few calories and small amounts of saturated fat. Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services shares four tried-and-true parfait recipes perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Peachy Protein Parfait:

  • ½ cup Daisy 2% Cottage Cheese (90 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams fiber, 13 grams protein, 100 mg calcium)
  • 4 oz. Dole Diced Peaches, no sugar added (1 single serving container) – (30 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 1 gram fiber, 0 gram protein, 0 mg calcium)
  • 2 Tbsp. pistachios (24 nuts) – (80 calories, 0.5 gram saturated fat, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 20 mg calcium)

Layer cottage cheese and peaches and top with pistachios.

Nutrition Information:

  • 200 calories
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 17 g protein
  • 120 mg calcium

Quark* with Crunch:

  • 6 oz. Elli Vanilla Bean Quark (1 single serving container) – (80 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, 150 mg calcium)
  • ½ cup Kashi Go Lean Crisp (Cinnamon Crumble) – (120 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 40 mg calcium)
  • 2 Tbsp. pecans (9 halves, chopped and toasted, if desired) – (98 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein, 10 mg calcium)

Mix together Kashi Go Lean Crisp with pecans and layer with Quark.

Nutrition Information:

  • 298 calories
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 7 g fiber
  • 22 g protein
  • 200 mg calcium

*Quark (or qvark) is a mild and creamy fresh cheese of European origin. It is high in protein and low in fat. Elli Quark is available in a variety of flavors.

Berry Bliss Parfait:

  • 3 oz. (1 single serving container) Oikos Triple Zero Greek Vanilla Yogurt (120 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 6 grams fiber, 15 grams protein, 150mg calcium)
  • 2 Tbsp. almonds (14 almonds, chopped and toasted if desired) – (80 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 35mg calcium)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blackberries (96 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 7 grams fiber, 1 grams protein, 0mg calcium)

Mix Greek Yogurt and berries and top with almonds.

Nutrition:

  • 296 calories
  • 1 grams saturated fat
  • 15 grams fiber
  • 20 grams protein
  •   185 mg calcium

Grandma’s Granola-Walnut Parfait:

  • 6 oz. (1 single serving container) Yoplait Original French Vanilla Yogurt (150 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams fiber, 6 grams of protein, 200mg calcium)
  • 2 Tbsp. Nature’s Path Love Crunch Apple Crumble granola (70 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein, 10mg calcium)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (7 halves, toasted if desired) – (93 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 0mg calcium)

Layer yogurt and granola, top with walnuts.

Nutrition Information:

  • 313 calories
  • 2 grams saturated fat
  •  1 gram fiber
  •  10 grams protein
  •  210 mg calcium

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

How to Trim Your Thanksgiving Meal

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment

One of Dr. Cooper’s 8 Steps to Get Cooperized™  is “make healthy food choices most of the time.” The holiday season is often a time of indulgence–delicious homemade meals and desserts are around every corner.

Modification is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and keeping healthy habits intact during the holidays. Take a look at the nutritional information for a traditional Thanksgiving meal versus one with lighter options.

 

healthy-thanksgiving

A few simple swaps and smaller portions can keep you on track while still allowing you to enjoy your food favorites during Thanksgiving. Learn more about preparing for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving here.

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

Article provided by Kathy Duran-Thal RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.