Posts Tagged ‘Fiber’

Bean Basics

January 20, 2015 1 comment

Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans has about 120 calories, 7-8 grams protein and about 6 grams fibKnower.

Known as nutritional “powerhouses,” there are so many reasons to celebrate beans! Beans are low in fat and high in fiber and protein and also serve as good sources of folate, calcium and iron. Beans fit under not one but two food groups: vegetables and meat/protein. Nutritionally higher in carbohydrates than non-starchy vegetables, beans also count towards the goal of getting 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Benefits of Beans

Beans promote a healthy weight because of their high protein and high fiber content. Fiber creates a feeling of fullness that keeps you satisfied from one meal to the next. Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans has about 120 calories, 7-8 grams protein and about 6 grams fiber. Check out the nutrient profiles for several beans in the table listed.

Reduce risk of disease: Research has shown that eating just a half a cup of beans several times a week helps reduce your risk of heart disease. There are also correlations between eating beans and reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

How to Fit Beans into Your Routine

  • Pick a meatless meal (like the popular Meatless Mondays) for the week and use beans for your protein.
  • Buy frozen, dry or canned beans- they are all healthy! Rinse canned beans to reduce sodium by almost 40 percent.
  • Reduce gas-producing side effects with the following tips. If you are cooking dry beans, discard the soaking water and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking. Take Beano, an over-the-counter gas remedy, prior to eating your first bite.
  • Kidney beans are great for chili and three-bean salad.
  • Pinto beans can be refried for dips or served as side dish. They are also popular in stews. You can buy fat-free refried beans for a healthier option.
  • Navy beans are perfect in soups, stews, or baked beans.
  • Lentils are great in soups and stews.
  • Garbanzo beans can be tossed into salads or used to make hummus dip.

Nutrient Profiles of Various Dried Beans: (Per ½ cup serving)

Baby Lima   Black Beans Black-eyed Peas Baby Lima Beans Pinto Beans Red Kidney Beans
Calories 114 calories 100 calories 115 calories 118 calories 109 calories
Carbohydrates 20g 18g 21g 22g 19g
Protein 8g 7g 7g 7g 8g
Fiber 4g 6g 6g 6g 4g
Fat 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g
Sodium 0g 3mg 3mg 2mg 4g
Iron 2mg 2mg 2mg 2mg 2mg
Folate 128mcg 179mcg 137mcg 147mcg 65mcg

You really can’t go wrong with any type of beans. Try incorporating these little gems into your routine and you will reap all the potential health benefits. Set a goal; aim to eat beans 4 times a week!

For information on Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services call 972.560.2655 or visit

Toss This, Try That: A Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl Sunday

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching. Not surprisingly it’s one of the biggest calorie-fests of the year, second to Thanksgiving, with the average football fan consuming about a day’s worth of calories from the first quarter to the last. The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips and 1.25 billion chicken wings on just this one day alone! If you intercept with some smart eating strategies you don’t have to toss out all your nutrition plans for the New Year on Super Bowl Sunday.

1) Prepare a healthy dish. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you can provide some healthy options to accompany all the other “less healthy” dishes. Whip up a calorie-conscious dip by subbing out high fat for low fat ingredients. For example take a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and make it with light mayonnaise, reduced fat cream cheese and part-skim mozzarella. Pair it with baked chips and you have a delicious treat! You can turn the many “traditional” football-watching eats from nutrition disasters to real winners, such as baked veggie fries made with zucchini sticks, oven “fried” chicken breast strips, turkey bean chili made with extra lean ground meat and high fiber beans. Check out our recipes here.

2) Kick off with fiber-rich vegetables. Go straight for the raw veggie platter first. Go easy on dips and dressings, even if they are low fat. Portion out 2-3 tablespoons of dip on your plate. Go back for seconds of low-calorie vegetables instead of the high-calorie foods.

3) Pass on Super Bowl-sized portions. Use a small plate to sample a small amount of the less healthy foods. Pick your most favorite item whether it’s chicken wings, pizza or burgers and plate a half or even a third of what you normally would. Skip the stuff you don’t “love.” Avoid seconds except for the veggies.

4) Don’t hang out by the food table. Take your plate and plant yourself far away from the food. Focus on the game and hanging out with friends instead of standing near the spread. This will make it much easier to be mindful of how much you eat and keep you from continuously filling up your plate.

5) Alternate alcohol with water and other zero-calorie beverages. Drink a bottle of water prior to the festivities and have an intentional plan to drink less alcohol. The more you drink, the lower your resistance is to overeat. Enjoy your favorite drink of choice, whether it’s a cocktail, wine or beer, and do so with more reserve. It’s easier than you think to alternate alcohol with sparkling or bottled water, unsweetened tea or a diet beverage. Try it!

6) Get back on track. So you may have exceeded your daily calorie load on Super Bowl Sunday, but not all is lost. Don’t let that one day get you discouraged. Pull back on your food intake for the next couple of days and get up and move your body.

End the first month of the New Year with resolve to mindfully manage Super Bowl Sunday and it will be a win-win situation for you and your favorite team.

For more Health Tips connect with Cooper Aerobics on Pinterest and Twitter.

Nuts and Bolts on Nut Butter Nutrition

November 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Not too long ago peanut butter was one of the only choices when it came to nut butters. Now the popularity of almond, cashew and others has grown exponentially. Let’s navigate all the “new” options and break it down so you can choose the best one for you.

There are a number of health benefits nut butters have to offer. They are primarily made of heart healthy fats known to raise healthy (HDL) cholesterol and lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. Nut butters are a good source of vitamin E, many other vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Because they are fats, a little bit goes a long way. Most have about 200 calories per two tablespoons. Scan the ingredient list to make sure it’s short and does not include harmful hydrogenated oils.

Are some nut butters really better than others? Check out the stats to compare the differences. Note these numbers represent averages. Look at the brand labels for specific data on each product.

Nut Butter Nutrition (for two tablespoons):

Nut Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Fiber Protein
Almond 190 16 g 1.5 g 4 g 7 g
Cashew 190 15 g 3 g 2 g 5 g
Peanut 190 16 g 2 g 3 g 8 g
Soy 200 14 g 2 g 2 g 10 g
Sunflower 200 16 g 2 g 4 g 3 g

The Many Ways to Enjoy Nut Butters:

Almond butter: spread on a whole grain waffle; use in recipes for homemade energy bars

Cashew butter: use on sandwiches; substitute for peanut butter in Thai and Indian dishes

Peanut butter: spread on a banana or to dip apples; use in curry paste or in Asian dipping sauces

Soy butter: use as a dip with fresh vegetables or with whole grain crackers

Sunflower butter: smear on whole grain crackers; add vanilla or cinnamon for a flavor kick

Nuts are chock full of nutrition and now with the many options to choose from, you might venture out and try something different. Taste matters, so aside from noting the nutrition stats, you may want to select the ones you enjoy the most.

What is your favorite nut butter?

For more Health Tips and meal preparation inspiration check out the Cooper Aerobics Pinterest page or Recipes section on our website.

Top Ten List of Fruits and Fiber

September 17, 2013 2 comments

It’s no surprise that eating more fruits and vegetables is the foundation of a healthy eating plan. Yet less than 30 percent of Americans are meeting the goal of at least five servings a day. That may sound like a lot to chew off, but you can make some small, simple changes.  Start with even one fruit a day at breakfast or as part of an afternoon snack and go from there. One serving of fruit, which varies in size depending on the specific fruit, has only about 60 calories, zero grams of fat and no sodium. Rich in vitamins, nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and water, ALL types of fruit are healthy carbohydrates that provide our body’s essential fuel. It’s best to go with whole fruits over juices or canned fruit for the fiber benefit.

Why is fiber so important? Here are some great reasons to boost your fiber numbers. Aim for 20-35 grams a day.


-Helps with fullness to manage weight

-Contains cancer-fighting antioxidants

-Aids in digestion

-Lowers blood cholesterol

-Stabilizes blood sugars

Top Ten Fruits and Fiber:

1)      Raspberries, 1 cup- 8 grams

2)      Blackberries, ¾ cup- 6 grams

3)      Boysenberries, ¾ cup- 6 grams

4)      Cranberries, fresh, 1 ¼ cups- 5 grams

5)      Strawberries, 1 ¼ cups- 4 grams

6)      Pear with peel, 1 small or ½ large- 3 grams

7)      Orange, 1 medium- 3 grams

8)      Clementines- 2 pieces- 3 grams

9)      Blueberries, ¾ cup- 3 grams

10)   Apple with peel,  1 small (snack size)- 3 grams

Power Up With High Fiber Fruits:

1)      Feature a new fruit each week. Experiment by taste testing at the grocery store.

2)      Keep it where you see it. Keep a bowl of fruit on your countertop or desk at work. You’re more likely to eat it when it’s right under your nose.

3)      Wake up to fruit. Mix diced apples, berries or mashed bananas into your oatmeal.

4)      Get creative with salad beyond veggies. Top with blueberries, sliced strawberries or Clementine wedges (or go for all three!).

5)      Make your own fruited yogurt. Instead of buying yogurt loaded with sugar, add your own fresh berries to plain fat-free yogurt for fiber and sweetness.

6)      Fresh is not the only route. Buy frozen fruit, particularly off season, and stir in fat-free milk for an icy treat.

7)      Throw a few Clementines in your work bag or in your kid’s lunch box.

8)      Fresh cranberry relish is perfect for a fall side dish, but you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy it! Also you can spread some on you turkey sandwich at lunch.

9)      Avoid hunger pangs when you go out to dinner or to a party. Before you go, munch on an apple or pear to curb your appetite. It can be very filling!

10)   Don’t skip dessert. Make delicious baked pears or apples in the microwave and sprinkle with some cinnamon and nutmeg for a great quick dessert.

What fruit do you enjoy?

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Heart Disease: Using Nutrition to Take Control

August 9, 2013 4 comments

Our daily nutrition choices can go a long way in reducing our risk of heart disease.  In this video, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian, Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD shows us practical and simple ways to make heart healthy choices at each meal. Her tips include adding good choices to our diet, like fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and reducing foods like cheese and butters. Making even one of these changes on a daily basis can make a significant difference in protecting your heart for the future.

For more health tips from dietitians at Cooper Clinic, visit our website.

It’s a Great Day for Fiber!

Do you ever wake up and say to yourself, “It’s a great day for fiber!”? Meridan Zerner, my Cooper Clinic registered dietitian apparently does. She called me with that exact message. And to tell me that “fiber is your friend!” It worked. Now I’m thinking about my fiber intake and some good sources to include in my diet.

The good news about fiber is that it adds bulk to your diet which makes you feel full longer (I so need that!) and aids in healthy digestion. The amount of fiber you need is based on age and gender. For my age group (19-49), I need 25 grams (g) of fiber daily. Men in that same age group should get 38g daily.

Cooper Clinic “Nutrition for Life” Fiber Brochure

Thanks to Cooper Clinic’s “Nutrition for Life” Fiber brochure that Meridan gave me, here are the top sources of fiber listed (out of about 120 options!):

  • Vegetables – 1 cup eggplant, 1/2 cup brussels sprouts or 1/2 cup of collard greens all come in at 3g of fiber each.
  • Starchy Vegetables – 1 cup winter, acorn or butternut squash packs 4g of fiber.
  • Fruit – Raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries rule this group with 8g of fiber for one cup.
  • Cereals – No surprise that the Fiber One® brand has the most fiber per serving, hence the name.
  • Grains and Pasta – Cooked bulgur wheat has 4g of fiber in just 1/2 cup.
  • Breads – One Thomas® light multi-grain english muffin or one La Tortilla Factory® whole wheat, low-carb tortilla are great options at 8g of fiber.
  • Legumes, Nuts, Seeds and Soy – Among this category, Cooper Clinic likes Healthy Choice® Bean & Ham Soup. One cup has a whopping 10g of fiber.
  • Crackers and Snacks – Kellogg’s® All Bran® fiber bar or ice tea fiber drink mix comes in at 10g of fiber.

Another good point from this brochure is whole grains may not always be high in fiber, so read food labels and look for “whole grain” or “whole oat” as the first ingredient. The Whole Grains Council has a great website and additional resources if interested.

For more articles on fiber and loads of recipes, click on this Health Tips search for fiber from the Cooper Aerobics website.  And let me know some of your go-to fiber choices or recipes. I’d love to hear (and eat) them!

May you have a fun and fiber-filled Memorial Day weekend!

This was written by Amy George former VP of Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics. Amy is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

Add Spinach to Your Plate

Today is National Spinach Day, so how are you celebrating? We’d like to spotlight this leafy green and share some of its health benefits, as well as a few delicious recipes to help you add some spinach to your plate.

Spinach is a “great green” that packs in fiber and many other nutrients, including vitamin K and C, calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium. It contains the cancer-fighting phytochemical lutein and other nutrients that protect your eyes.

Enjoy spinach cooked or raw. Raw is the better way to max out on the nutrients but if you cook spinach be sure to use a very small amount of water and cook for a short time. One cup has only seven calories so eat up! Fit it in by making your salad base with spinach; drape it over pizza; add it to scrambled egg whites; mix it into a marinara sauce and microwave it for a delicious dip.

Try some of our favorite spinach recipes:

To view more recipes from Cooper Clinic, visit our website.