Monday, March 27, 2017


Many experts believe that up to 90% of the money we spend on food is for convenient processed foods. Processed foods are not usually balanced and generally do not contain adequate fiber and other nutrients. The also usually contain preservatives, artificial coloring and flavoring agents, and various other ingredients the body was not designed to deal with.

Natural foods are real food and carry their original life-supporting vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and many other phytonutrients that can be lost in processing.
As best you can, it is best to buy fresh foods. While that is not always possible, in general it is better to go for frozen fruits and vegetables than canned, when you cannot purchase fresh or grow your own.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017


Fiber is important to the diabetic's diet. Fiber in foods helps to satisfy hunger thus making us full sooner, helps reduce the number of calories the body absorbs, and keeps blood sugar from skyrocketing after meals. Did you know beans are a great high-fiber food and should be eaten often by diabetics. I try to eat some daily, yes daily. Add them to soup, salads, tacos, etc. One cup of black or red beans provides 13 grams of fiber and 15 grams protein. Make beans an important part of your diet. Beans are also good sources of calcium and they contain magnesium, another diabetes fighter. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Note: This is a post from my diabetic blog but it also applies to anyone!

As we diabetics know, diabetes over the long term causes damage to other areas and makes us more likely to suffer heart disease along with other problems. Did you know that many people, especially women, who have heart attacks do not have any or severe chest pain? In addition to chest pain, other signs of heart attack can include chest pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, indigestion, excessive sweating, fainting, dizziness, heart palpitations, and left arm pain. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering a heart attack, call 911 and chew an aspirin-full dose 325 mg. The sooner heart attacks are treated, the better. When blood flow is cut off to any part of the heart during an attack, that heart muscle may become damaged or die.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


"It is well known that decreasing inflammation can help reduce cancer growth, boost treatment efficacy, and diminish side effects.  We kknow that refined flours and sugars, most fast food and soda pop, increase the enzymes that promote inflammatory cascades.  This is why I encourage patients to avoid these pro-inflammatory foods and increase ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties."  Keith I Block, MD

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Do you ever wonder what some non-starchy vegetables are? Here is a partial list:

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Cabbage
  • Green, Wax, and Italian Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Greens such as collard, kale, mustard, turnip, spinach
  • Radishes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Water Chestnuts
There are sure to be some non-starchy vegetables you do or can learn to love.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I have had several ask me if they should eat regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. As with all things, there are pluses and minuses on each side. It all depends on your nutritional needs. For example if you are diabetic, Greek is probably better but only if you go for the low-fat or fat-free versions. Greek yogurt goes through an extensive straining process that removes much of the liqud whey, lactose, and sugar. This is the process that gives it its thick consistency. In basically the same number of calories, Greek yogurt can cut the sugar content to half that of regular yogurt. This straining process also makes Greek yogurt better for the lactose-intolerant.

This chart offers you a general nutritional value of the two types:
Greek - (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.
As you can see, the Greek is higher in protein which helps you to feel full longer. The protein count is equal to a 2 to-ounce serving of lean meat.
Carbohydrate grams are not listed above because they vary too much depending on flavor. However, a normal serving of Greek yogurt usually has 5 to 8 grams of carbs while Regular yogurt usually has 13 to 17 grams.
Beware of the fat content in Greek yogurt. You will notice the above chart is for fat-free yogurt. Watch the fat content in other variations! 7-oz of Greek yogurt can have 16 grams of fat and that is 80% of the recommended daily allowance of a 2,000 calorie diet. It is also more saturated fat than three regular Snickers bars! By contrast an 8-oz serving of a top brand of regular yogurt has only 5 grams of saturated.
Note: The extensive straining process of the Greek yogurt also causes it to lose some calcium.
Both types of yogurt are low in calories and they are both packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. The live bacterial cultures make yogurt a great food for the digestive tract, especially for those who have problems in that area or are suffering in the digestive system due to medications and treatments.

Again let me say, choose your yogurt type based on your nutritional needs.

Note: These are not recommended name brands. These brands are used for picture reference only.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Almonds are an excellent food that should be eaten several times a week.  

They are heart healthy with their antioxidant power.  By the way, almonds have twice the antioxidant power with their skins on so keep that in mind.

They also serve as an anti-inflammatory.  Inflammation is a real danger to our bodies and eating anti-inflammatory foods is a must for health.

Almonds are also a fantastic source of fiber which may help to prevent colon cancer.

Almonds are also good blood sugar regulators probably due to their protein content.

Almonds are very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.  They are a good source of riboflavin, magnesium, and manganese.  They are also a very good source of Vitamin E.

Note:  The fats in almonds are mostly healthy fats.  A 1-oz serving has 14.0 grams of fat but only 1.1 grams are saturated fat and there is 0 trans fat. Polyunsturated fat is 3.4 grams with a whopping 8.7 of those 14 grams are healthy monounsaturated fat.

1 oz serving (24 whole almond kernels) has:
163 calories.
0 cholesterol
0 sodium
6.1 grams total carbs
3.5 grams dietary fiber
1.1 grams sugars
6 grams protein

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Allspice berries aid in digestion. Works great to relieve indigestion and soothe discomfort especially in the upper intestines.  Helps to relieve bloating and a gassy feeling. 

Its volatile oil component also works as a weak antimicrobial agent.

If you have these health problems or are on medications or treatments that cause such problems, you would be wise to include this spice in your diet!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


I am often asked about "healthy" margarines. Personally, I don't really think there is such a thing as I believe our body is made to use natural, not man made, foods. But for those of you who use margarines, here is some information on this particular one. Note that half the fat is saturated fat and the amount of fish oil, where the omega-3s come from, is minimal.

1 tablespoon of this spread = 80 calories, 5 grams (2.5 g sat)fat, 85 mg sodium 

This product is made from a natural blend of soybean, palm fruit, fish, flaxseed, canola, and olive oils. Due to the fish oil there is a small amount of omega-3 fats which are heart-healthy fats. 

Works well as a topping, and also for cooking and baking. 
NOTE: This same product in the "Light" version has 30 calories less, 1 gram less saturated fat, and should not be used for baking as it has a high water content. 

Friday, March 3, 2017


"Cancer is a consequence of the complex interplay of genes and environment on the immune system, and diet, as part of the environment, plays a role that can influence cancer's development and treatment."  Gerry Mullin, MD, Contributing Editor to Nutrition in Clinical Practice.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


One thing diabetics should never do is eat small meals or skip meals during the day so they can eat a big dinner/supper! Nutritionists warn that diabetics need to keep their carbs leveled out over the day. Skipping meals or eating light so one can eat a big meal later will cause a definite roller coaster of blood sugar levels.

While this information is directed to diabetics, it should apply to everyone.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


This recipe is okay for diabetics and those watching their insulin levels because of its good protein to carbohydrate ratio.  

1 cup fat-free milk*
6-oz fat-free plain yogurt
2 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 cup blueberries
dash of ground cinnamon

Pour milk into a blender container; add the yogurt, walnuts, flaxseed meal, and blueberries.  Sprinkle ground cinnamon over top.  Blend for 15 to 20 seconds until smooth.

Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

*May substitute equal amount of low-fat calcium enriched soy milk.

Yield: 1 serving
384 calories, 22 g protein, 45 grams carbs, 6 g fiber, 16 g (1 saturated) fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium

If low on potassium, use a banana instead of blueberries or add half a banana to the above.  Remember that changes the nutritional numbers!

Note: File Photo