Healthy Dips

By Cara Rosenbloom, RD
Posted: September 2013

A tasty dip is great way to make the veggies go down. Here’s how to choose dips that add nutrition – not just fat and salt.
Cara Rosenbloom, RD

A tasty dip can make the veggies go down. But it’s important to choose one that adds healthy nutrition, not just fat and salt.
The research is in: Kids really will eat more vegetables if they are paired with dip.
In one study, researchers gave plain vegetables, as well as veggies with different dips, to preschool children. The children were three times more likely to reject the vegetable alone, compared with the vegetable-dip combo. In a different study, children who were sensitive to the bitter taste of vegetables ate 80 per cent more broccoli when it was paired with a dip or dressing. I haven’t found a similar study on adult palates, but the concept is certainly worth a try!
However, some dips are high in fat and salt, and add little nutritional value to meals and snacks. There are better options!
Healthiest store-bought choices
Whether you are buying a container of dip or a bottled dressing, it’s important to read the ingredient list and the Nutrition Facts panel to look for options that are low in saturated fat, sodium and sugar, but high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
For example, hummus is a source of fibre from chickpeas; nut-based dips such as peanut butter (yes it tastes great with celery or green pepper) contain heart-healthy magnesium; and dips made from yogurt contain calcium and protein.
On the other hand, ranch dip or dressing offers only fat and sodium, while mustard contains sodium and nothing else.
Pick a dip that lists one of these healthy options as the first ingredient:
Chick peas

White, black or pinto beans

Yogurt or Greek yogurt

Fresh produce: tomato, avocado, spinach, roasted red peppers, pumpkin, etc.

Cottage or light ricotta cheese

Edamame, tofu or soynuts

Nuts or seeds (such as almond or sunflower seed butter)

If the first ingredient is sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise, keep shopping. These dips will be high in fat, but lower in protein and other valuable nutrients. If your recipe calls for these ingredients, try using low-fat Greek yogurt instead. It’s thick, creamy and plain-tasting, so it marries nicely with dip-friendly flavours such as dill, garlic, chili flakes, pepper and cumin.
Some dips are high in sodium, so a little goes a long way. If you are a big dipper, choose options with less sodium. Here’s how some popular dips compare in terms of sodium content.
Dip (2 tbsp)

Sodium (mg)

Processed cheese sauce

541

Yellow mustard

330

Low-fat ranch dressing

290

Ketchup

280

Cream cheese onion dip

260

Original ranch dressing

260

Spinach dip

190

Salsa

190

Hummus

130

Nut/seed butter (salt added)

120

Guacamole

85

Yogurt tzatziki

55

Nut/seed butter (no salt added)

0

You can see that the whole food-based dips near the bottom have the least amount of sodium. They also have more protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat! It’s win-win.
Make your own
I like to experiment with my own dip recipes, as does Heart and Stroke Foundation recipe developer Emily Richards. Try her delicious Navy bean hummus and Greek yogurt ranch dip.
My kids love dipping carrots and peppers into pureed chickpeas with cumin and lemon juice (it’s like hummus without the garlic), or almond butter blended with Greek yogurt and a touch of cinnamon. I love watching them eat their vegetables – and knowing the dip is giving them a little extra nutrition in every bite. 

This article comes from the heart and stroke foundation Canada. A great resource. 

Jax 

10 Foods to Avoid to Lose Fat

So you think you are really eating healthily?

Clients tell me all the time that they are already eating ‘healthy’…but when we look at their eating choices I can point out some not so obvious foods they should exclude.

Think about this…… if you think ‘breakfast cereal’ is a good idea then you really need to read this list and find out the other 9 you should avoid.

10 Foods you MUST avoid to Lose Belly Fat

To build a lean, curvy, sexy figure you need to make sure that around 90% of your diet consists of whole unprocessed foods –
basically avoid anything that comes out of a box most of the time – instead go for lean meats, veggies, eggs, fruits, etc.

If you are eating 5-6 meals each day (and MOST of you should be) and if you train hard that leaves room for about 4 junk/convenience meals each week.
Be sure your diet contains plenty of protein too!

When it comes to building your best body, maybe you’re not eating as healthy as you think.

Here are 10 foods you may think are good
for you, but in reality are not, and will be detrimental in your efforts to build the body you really want.

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1. Breakfast Cereals. Cereals are labeled low fat, healthy and recommended for weight loss. Cereals naturally don’t contain lots of fat. Most boxed breakfast cereals are extraordinarily high in sugar. Always check the label to see where sugar (or anything that ends in ‘ose’) is on the ingredient list. The closer it is to the top, the more sugar it contains.

If you’re serious about your health you’ll be cutting as much sugar as you can OUT.

CHALLENGE: don’t buy any food with sugar in the top 4 or 5 ingredients. (even yoghurt). Let me know how you get on!

2. Muesli/Granola Bars. Muesli bars contain some healthy ingredients
such as nuts and seeds but they’re glued together with things
like corn syrup, honey and just plain sugar, which raise your blood sugar and encourage fat storage. Some bars also contain chocolate chips, making
them not much better than a Mars Bar or Snickers! Basically they
are low in protein, high in fat and sugar – a fat loss disaster – you have to be careful with protein bars too.

FatlossTip: Homemade protein bars/cakes:

Mix 1 cup oats (dry) + 2 scoops vanilla protein powder + 1-1.5 cup water
+ vanilla, sweetener (ie Stevia), cinnamon + shredded carrots and raisins OR
-1 heaping cup of blueberries OR
-1 cup pumpkin

Then pour into a small casserole dish or baking ton and bake for around 45min at
180 C (350 F)

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3. Low Fat Yogurt. Fat free doesn’t mean healthy. Low fat yoghurts
usually contain a lot of sugar, approximately 7 teaspoons per 200g
container! Add a piece of fruit and your blood sugar (and insulin)
levels will skyrocket.

Fatloss Tip: choose plain unflavoured Greek yoghurt make it your own by adding fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.

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4. Fat Free Muffins Convenient and taste good, but nowhere near
as healthy as you think. Usually massive in size, they are high in
processed carbs, sugar and calories – a dieter’s nightmare! Avoid
like the plague!

5. Sandwiches purchased from cafes. Have you seen the size
of these things? Often enough to feed a small family, they also
often contain sugar laden dressings, little veggies and not enough
protein, and too much bread. Freshness is also questionable.

Fatloss Tip: don’t buy or eat bread!

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6. Fruit Juice. Even 100% fruit juice is high in sugar – it doesn’t
matter if it’s natural or not. Fresh fruit juice is not a fat loss favourite.
When you consider how many apples/oranges (or your choice of
fruit) is required to make a cup of juice you can probably understand
where I am headed with this one. Too many calories and an overload
of sugar will not do your physique any favours. Plus, when juiced
you don’t even get the benefit of the fibre.

Fatloss Tip: eat fresh or frozen fruit instead. If you’re serious about losing body fat you’ll limit fruit to 1 of your 9 a day – that means 8 veggies !

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7. Cheese and crackers. This is a popular dieter’s snack, but
are usually wheat based (many people have wheat intolerance
and should reduce the amount of wheat they consume) and are
highly processed. The combination of highly processed carbohydrates
(crackers) and fat (cheese) can be a dangerous one for fat loss.

Sue’s Tip: Brown rice cakes and cottage cheese are a much better
fat loss alternative And good evening snack before bed as the protein digests slowly overnight.

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8. Sport Drinks. These are supposed to help you replenish electrolytes
and carbohydrates. It’s actually just sugar water, with up to 40g of
sugar per serving. If you are looking for fat loss, the only time these
would be indicated is as a post weight training shake to assist with
recovery (provided you have trained your muscles intensely). And then,
you should add 30g whey protein.

Fatloss Tip: Drink plain water during your workout, and protein +
carbohydrates post workout

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9. Fast Food Salads. Contain sugar-laden salad dressings, preservatives
and generally loads of hidden fat.

Fatloss Tip: stick to a garden type tossed salad and add your own
dressing, or make your own salads.
You should add a green salad to every meal!

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10. Frozen Meals. Frozen fruits and vegetables are great for you,
so don’t get confused with this. I’m referring to the full TV dinner
type meal. They’re processed, high in sugar and carbs, usually low
in protein and have added sauces and lots of salt. Avoid if possible.

Fatloss Tip: cook your own – if time is an issue, have a ‘cook up’ day or
two each week and freeze your own home cooked meals ready to ‘grab
and go. I cook extra portions and freeze for future disorganised days.

Follow these 10 Rules and you WILL lose body fat!

Eat clean, Train Smart, Feel Great

Jax

Why You Should Eat Eggs EVERYDAY, Yes Everyday….

The simple egg is a neat nutritional powerhouse that has been called ‘nature’s multivitamin’ because they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and it’s all stored in one very convenient package. Here are five reasons why you should be eating more eggs.

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They help you stay slim
Eggs are very high in protein meaning that they help you stay full for longer. A study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that overweight adults who ate two eggs for breakfast went on to eat fewer calories throughout the day, compared to those who ate the same amount of calories in bagels. Eating eggs for breakfast will ward off those hunger pangs until it’s time for lunch.

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They’re nutritional sunshine
Vitamin D is vital for all of us and has many benefits including cancer prevention, developing healthy bones and even improving your mood. We tend to rely on the sunshine for vitamin D, but the UK weather means that 50% of us sun-starved island dwellers could be deficient. Eggs are one of the only food sources of vitamin D, making them nutritional sunshine.

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They make you beautiful
Eggs are packed with keratin, a protein that makes up 70% of your hair, and is vital for the growth and repair of every cell in your body. Keratin helps your hair and nails grow strong and healthy, and helps to keep you looking young and beautiful. You don’t just have to eat your eggs to benefit either – putting egg directly onto your hair can help repair and condition it.

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They’re good brain food
As we age, our brains start to shrink which is a phenomenon known as brain atrophy and can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Eggs are full of vitamin B12 and lecithin, which can fight brain atrophy. The yolk is full of choline, a nutrient that makes acetylcholine, a messenger that communicates between the brains and the nerves, and is also great for your memory.

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They’re incredibly versatile
Selenium, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, A, E and D, iodine, phosphorous, iron, thiamine, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin: this list of good stuff in eggs is almost endless, as is the variety of ways to cook them. Whether they’re boiled, poached, fried, scrambled, steamed, baked, in an omelette, in a quiche or you’re brave enough to eat them raw, eggs are perfect at any time of the day. Our favourite tip is to keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge – perfect post-workout or when you need an emergency snack.

Eat Clean. Live Well. Feel Great.

Jax

Food FACTS Keep Changing! FATS? WINE?

Last week science helped us clearly establish that wine may or may not be good for you.
‘Here we go again’ I hear you say!

Now, what about fat?

The Big Fat Surprise’ author Nina Teicholz
In the latest is-it-or-isn’t-it nutrition debate, author and cheese advocate Nina Teicholz says fat has been misunderstood and unfairly vilified. Her new book, The Big Fat Surprise, argues that more fat—including the saturated kind found in meat, dairy, and eggs—leads to better health and weight
We all want to know how she decided it was all right to give such seemingly indulgent advice. What follows is an edited, condensed version of the conversation.

So now you would have us get our fill of fat?

You can have a good 50, 60 percent of your calories as fat, and that’s fine.
It won’t damage your heart. Don’t be afraid of those foods. They’re tasty and uniquely satisfying, and we’ve been terrified of eating them. This French woman I ran into said, “I love cheese, but I feel like I’ll be condemning my children to being orphans.” And I said, “Eat the cheese! It won’t cause your early death, and it’s delicious.”

Saturated fat does not cause heart disease, and a high-fat diet over the last decade has been rigorously tested in numerous clinical trials, and it shows that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is healthier than a low-fat diet looking at markers for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

What do you eat?

I start my day with bacon, or egg, or sausage, or meatballs.

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Meatballs?

‘Farmer Boy ‘ author Laura Ingalls

If you read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy they eat meatballs for breakfast, too—I was so amused by that. For lunch I graze because I never really sit down for lunch. I’ll have handfuls of nuts, cheese, tuna fish salad. In the evening, we have some kind of stew or roasted chicken or fish.

But is a data point of one. Science is about looking at large groups of people—data points are anecdotes and they’re interesting, but they don’t establish truth. So you don’t have to eat chicken and fish for the rest of your life.
(1By the way, not all chickens are sources of unsaturated fat due to intensive production methods – but that’s another story!)

And you’re health is fine? Your weight?

The last time I got my cholesterol tested, it looked great; it looked better than when I was in my thirties, and I’m in my forties now. I’m not super thin because I’ve been sitting at my computer for so many months now, but my weight is normal.

Then why do all of us think fat is unhealthy?

The idea that saturated fat causes heart disease goes back to a theory rooted in the 1950s that was proposed by one scientist and became enshrined, first in the American Heart Association in 1961 and became basically over the years a fact. But it had never been tested. Evidence against it—when it was finally shown—[the claim] was really poor and inconclusive and has since fallen apart.

No offense, but why should we trust you?

I have been digging into this research for 10 years. I looked through all of the original research. I did not rely on any summary or review documents. We’re in the third generation of scientists universally believing that fat and saturated fat cause heart disease. That’s accepted, and no one goes back to read what it’s based on. I don’t accept—and have not accepted—any industry money in my research. Almost everyone in nutrition researchers [gets] funding from industry because the government just doesn’t fund that much nutrition research. It doesn’t automatically bias their results, but I came without any preconceptions in this field. I am an outsider who brings a rigorous, science-journalist perspective.

My Comments
I eat 2 or 3 chicken or goose eggs, bacon and spinach, sometimes sausages for breakfast most days of the week. And, have done for the last three or four years. I’m well into my 50’s and my recent cholesterol test brought back shocking results! A very high 7.2 value – I panicked! With a naughty giggle my health care provider then explained that my good cholesterol was very high and the bad stuff was NO problem, PHEW!!

I don’t have any worries recommending a high or higher real fat diet to my Heart Patients.

‘What’s a REAL fat diet?’
Foods that have naturally occurring fats like meat, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds
Yes, saturated and unsaturated fats!
Saturated fats are digested, dealt with easily by your body. We have survived as a species by eating them. The difference these days us that we mess with our food by processing it, adding things to it, feeding poor quality food to our chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle.
If you choose Free Range and Wild caught food you won’t go far wrong.
In the UK, we are lucky, there are many food suppliers that don’t follow the intense production methods that reduce the nutrient value of our basic food stuffs.
We can still buy local fruit and veggies, that aren’t sprayed with tons of chemicals, and we don’t have to buy Organic everything to guarantee that.

If you really want to reduce your chances of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity you must add in real food – high fat – including Real cheese ( NOT Processed)
BUT eliminate as many grain based foods as possible – that beans breakfast cereals! Because the best way to elevate your cholesterol, inflammation, joint pain and lots more nasty conditions is to eat foods containing Omega 6’s and fake processed sugars.

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Think about where you get your calories (energy) from, do you eat a rainbow of foods? ( M & M’s don’t count) if you do and you drink enough fluid, you will have a healthy gut, and have no need for Bran based cereals.

Give it a try, you will feel full. You’re energy levels will balance out over the day, cravings will disappear and so you won’t want high sugar snacks at coffee time or on your commute home.

Eat Clean, Feel Great!

#3 Clean Eating But How? – Lean Protein

Lean Protein

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Lean proteins are low in fat, calories, cholesterol and are great diet foods that are also clean. Most often, people who eat clean food purchase naturally fed and organic animal proteins to avoid added chemicals and growth hormones. For leaner options, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute suggests trying turkey and chicken instead of beef, egg whites instead of a whole egg, beans and fish fillets.

What the food industry doesn’t want you to know about fat!

What They NEVER Want You To Know About Olive Oil

This is very interesting – especially if you still think fat is bad! Remember there are Essential Fats- essential because your body can’t produce them and they are critical to healthy, fully functioning body. Read on…

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Weight loss seekers are constantly on the lookout for the right foods to eat to lose weight.

So what do big FOOD companies do?

They come out with “light,” “fat-free,” and “reduced-fat” alternatives, geared towards people looking to lose weight.

And, if you’re one of the countless people looking to lose weight, you probably have picked up one (or more) of these products.

But you may have been duped by smooth advertising or deceptive marketing practices.

Why?

FAT is not what you need to worry about, it’s the white stuff – sugar – that may be the NUMBER ONE enemy to weight loss.

And fat, well, let’s just say fat has a LOT to do with how your body functions on a day-to-day basis, and is an integral part in the weight-loss process.

Fats, Olive Oil, and Your Weight

You see, big food manufacturers know your fears. They know that you believe that if you eat FAT, then you will gain weight.

So what do they do? They come out with products that are lower in FAT, but higher in sugar and other additives and fillers to bulk up the product.

If you were to compare a fat-free, light, or reduced-fat product label, you may be surprised to find out that the calories may be essentially the same – just LOWER in fat.

But they know that people don’t bother to read the labels – all they see are the words “light,” “reduced fat,” or “fat free.”
And that’s when they know you’re hooked!

But, as an educated consumer, you know better…

You know that fat is integral for not only weight loss, but for the health of ALL the cells in your body.

And you also know that too much fat – just like everything else – may lead to weight gain.

Now, the recommendations for fat: 30 percent of your daily caloric intake should be from fat. Most should come from poly and monounsaturated fats, and a small – but integral amount – should come from saturated fats.

Now, besides fat being integral to weight loss, it is also integral for filling you up – or leaving you feeling satisfied.

How?

Studies suggest fat – like the kind found in olive oil – may increase serotonin levels, which is the main satiety hormone in the body.

One study showed that people who ate yogurt infused with olive oil, ate less and felt fuller after consuming the yogurt than the control group – which ended up eating – on average – 176 MORE calories.

And, the control group had lower serotonin levels than the yogurt consuming group.

Another thing that adds to the feeling of hunger, according to studies, is when your body uses the nutrients from food and your blood sugar starts to decline.

Now, when you include fat with every meal, it may slow the absorption of sugar from the blood, therefore maintaining blood sugar levels.

Another study showed that in some olive oil, there are two compounds that may be able to slow the absorption of sugar from the blood, therefore preventing a fast decrease in blood sugar, and the onset of the hunger feeling.

Take Home Message

Don’t be fooled by the labels “low-fat,” “reduced fat,” or “fat-free.”

Most of the time, these products have the same amount of calories – or more – and contain fillers and sugar. And worst of all, these products may not fill you up, leading you to eat more or something else, leading to an intake of extra calories.

However, including healthy fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados, for example, may provide your body with healthy fats your body needs for many processes in your body.

And in the case of olive oil, you may find yourself more satisfied after using olive oil than other products alone.

If you want a healthy fat – besides olive oil – that is both good for you and may provide heart health benefits, then a good high quality omega-3 fatty acids supplement may be for you!

References:

Schieberle P, Somoza V, Rubach M, Scholl L, Balzer M; Identifying substances that regulate satiety in oils and fats and improving low-fat foodstuffs by adding lipid compounds with a high satiety effect; Key findings of the DFG/AiF cluster project “Perception of fat content and regulating satiety: an approach to developing low-fat foodstuffs”, 2009-2012.