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Nutrient Boosting the Way Better Way

5 May

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am compensated for my work as a nutrition ambassador with Way Better Snacks; thoughts contained in this post are my own.

When it comes to nutrient packed snacks, Way Better is doing it way better!

As a nutrition ambassador for Way Better Snacks, I was delighted to receive a recent sample package of their new line of sprouted barley crackers.

 

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Barley is unbeatable when it comes to whole grain fiber finds. Barley helps promote satiety, and in some studies it has been shown to aid in blood glucose management and blood pressure control.

The Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers all have 2-3 grams of fiber per serving and some very unique flavor combinations. My personal favorite was the mustard & cheddar variety. I’m a huge fan of Indian and Nepalese food (where mustard seeds and mustard oil are abundant) and you don’t usually find this nutrition powerhouse in domestic snack products.

There are 4 flavors of Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers available:

  • Mustard & Cheddar Way Better
  • Back in Black Bean & Salsa
  • Beyond the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Rosemarry Me & Olive Oil

So, now, why would you want your crackers to be sprouted?

Sprouting is a nutrient boosting process that increases the bioavailability of the nutrients and makes them easier for your body to absorb. Some research even suggests that sprouting can increase the fiber content of whole grains and make them less allergenic.

If you’re looking for a nutrient boost, I’m definitely a fiber fan of the Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers. They make the grade when it comes to nutrient profile and flavor combinations: fiber friendly and tasty to boot!

Grain Bashing Takes a Back Seat

20 Apr

Grain Bashing Takes a Back Seat

Carbs are destroying your brain,” crows the Grain Brain diet book.  While “Wheat is why you’re sick,” screams the Wheat Belly diet book.

Despite a recent spate of grain bashing, new research indicates that eating grains has a more positive health impact than refraining from them.

The Grain Foods Foundation (who, granted, is in the business of getting you to buy grains) partnered with nutrition consulting firm Nutrition Impact to assess grain foods consumption and health and presented their findings recently at the annual Experimental Biology conference.

The research looked at existing government data sets: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), USDA’s What We Eat in America, and the USDA food categories.

Researchers found:

  • Adults who eat yeast breads and rolls have lower total sugar intake compared to adults who eat no grains
  • Adults who eat certain grain food patterns (cereals, pasta, rice, crackers, salty snacks, pancakes, waffles, and quick breads) have lower saturated fat intake and more dietary fiber in their diets
  • Even in a 2,000 calorie diet that only has 1 serving of whole grains and 5 servings of refined grains, positive health and nutrition end points can still be realized
  • Grain foods get you bang for your buck: yielding dietary fiber, protein, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, niacin and thiamin for relatively low cost

While grain foods may be associated with better health in this particular analysis, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Eating too many grains – regardless of where they come from – can lead to excess calorie intake and unwanted weight gain.

At the end of the day though, grains are probably not the evil food group sensational diet books make them out to be. It may, in fact, be finally time to give the grain bashing a break.

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

14 Apr

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

More than half of all Americans now snack 3 or more times per day. And about 25% of our daily calories are now coming from snacks instead of meals.

But is your snack making you fat? Here are 3 snack hacks to help you avoid the fat trap!

Thin is In!

Have you noticed the proliferation of thinned-out foods? There’s thin bagels, thin breads and now even thin crackers.

While the ship has sailed on the paltry 100-calorie packs, I recently sampled Nonni’s Mango Coconut Almond Thins. Their generous serving of seriously delicious real fruit and California almond-laden crackers comes in individual serving sizes which are great for snacking on the go.

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Get Serious About Seaweed

The tide is turning in snack foods and seaweed is rising to the top!

Annie Chun’s makes a delicious roasted seaweed snack that comes in 4 great flavors. At just 50 calories per package and 25% of your daily value of vitamin C, these seaweed snacks go a long way to fueling you between meals!

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Make a Mini Meal

Snacks don’t have to be elaborate undertakings. In fact, some of the best snacks are just mini meals.

I’m a big fan of KIND Healthy Snacks and love their KIND Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. Pair this gluten free, hearty granola (packing 4 grams of fiber) with some nonfat plain, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, and you’re good to go on the mini meal fiber front.

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For more tips on hacking your snacks, check out my segment on NBC 7 San Diego Mid Day.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.

Whole Grain Intake Massacres Mortality Rates

13 Jan

Whole Grain Intake Massacres Mortality Rates

It’s time to table that Wheat Belly BS & push your Paleo proclivities aside: a new study shows that eating whole grains is linked to lower mortality.

While it has long been known that high whole grain intake cuts heart disease and diabetes risk, these new findings represent a major step forward in tying whole grain intake to lower mortality rates.

The study – published in JAMA Internal Medicine – looked at data from over 74,000 females in the Nurse’s Health Study and 43,000 males from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Participants filled out diet questionnaires every 2-4 years for a period of 25 years. Findings were adjusted for age, smoking, BMI, physical activity, and other dietary components.

The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that whole grain intake is linked to:

  • A 9% lower overall mortality rate
  • A 15% lower cardiovascular disease related mortality rate
  • Overall mortality drop of 9% and CVD mortality cut of 15% for every serving of whole grains you add per day
  • 6% lower total mortality and 20% lower CVD related mortality when the benefits of bran foods were taken into consideration.

Self-reported dietary data is always an inherent drawback to studies of these sorts – but the large sample size and impressive length-of-follow are 2 inspiring components of this publication.

What’s the take away? You do your body a long term favor by replacing refined carbs with whole grain goodness.

 

Hot Food Trends for 2015

8 Jan

Hot Food Trends for 2015

More than 20,000 new food and beverage items hit US grocery store shelves every year.

But what is going to be hot in 2015?

Here’s a round up of some of my favorite food trends for the New Year:

Thins are In

  • Consumers want more creative ways to control calories – and they’re thinning out their foods to prove it. Everything from sandwich bread to brownies is getting a thintastic makeover to satisfy cravings without overindulging.
  • I am loving Nonni’s THINAddictives almond thins for a satisfying 100-calorie snack made with real California almonds and fruit. The individual portion packaging makes this a great snack on the go, without going overboard! They come in 5 fabulous flavors, and you can find them at a local retailer near you.

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Big Bold Flavors

  • 90% of Americans eat at least 1 snack per day. In 2015, sweet is out and savory is in. Look to flavoring your foods with herbs and spices instead of sugar and sweets.
  • KIND Healthy Snacks recently introduced their KIND & Strong line of snacks, their first entree into the world of savory snacks. I love the Honey Smoked BBQ KIND & Strong bar, packed with tons of flavor and 10 grams of whey and soy-free protein. These guys are chock full of ingredients you can see and pronounce,  they’re gluten free, and like all KIND products, non-GMO too.

 

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Sprouted Grains

  • Whole grains are good, but sprouted whole grains are even better! This year sprouted grains are picking up steam and coming to a store near you!
  • Sprouted grains help block anti-nutrients and may help your body to absorb more valuable minerals and nutrients like calcium and iron.
  • Way Better Snacks has a line of sprouted grain, bean, and seed chips that are sure to satisfy in the New Year. My favorite are the Way Better Snacks Black Bean sprouted grain chips, which have 3 grams of fiber to keep me going throughout the day.

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Potatoes are on the Prowl

  • A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrates that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight. This is great news for those who want to incorporate their favorite foods, but keep it within a calorie budget.
  • One medium-sized, skin on potato has 110 calories, more potassium than a banana, and almost half your daily value for vitamin C. On top of that, potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, have no sugar and 3 grams of fiber to boot!
  • Check out this awesome Roasted Potato Fries with Avocado Aioli recipe, with under 150 calories and just 5 grams of fat per serving. For more recipes featuring the nutritionally powerful potato, visit www.potatogoodness.com.

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To learn more about food trends in 2015, check out my segment from Good Morning San Diego this week.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.