Sugar and heart disease: is sugar deadly?

Sugar has been the one vice (of fat, salt and sugar) that I have had the most difficulty dropping since my angioplasty 18 months ago. I feel like without it, in things like frozen yogurt and low-fat cookies, my food life would be endlessly boring.

so I was extremely saddened to see reports of a new study linking sugar and heart disease.

nutrition labeling
A 3 Musketeers bar nutrition panel, is sugar the culprit for heart problems, rather than the fat or salt we also need to watch?

A CBS News report on this study states:

“Having a cinnamon roll with your morning coffee, a super-sized sugary soda at lunch and a scoop of ice cream after dinner would put you in the highest risk category in the study. That means your chance of dying prematurely from heart problems is nearly three times greater than for people who eat only foods with little added sugar. Continue reading “Sugar and heart disease: is sugar deadly?”

Sesame Garlic Broccoli, Carrot, Green Bean & Shitake Mushroom Saute with Garlic Sesame Brown Rice

This sounds tasty, I would check those frozen veggies though to be sure they aren’t loaded with salt. Some frozen mixed veggies are. You can substitute fresh ones and likely have the same dish with no salt worries.

Cooking Up a Storm With Miss Polly

wanting to eat more vegetarian dishes because I feel so good when I do, and wanting to eat 5 cups of vegetables a day inspired this dish.
The vegetables are 365 Organic Frozen Stir Fry Blend that I sauteed with 1/2 tablespoon I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter Spread, 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and a sprinling of garlic powder.

I soaked some Orchid brand dried Shitake mushrooms (I got at World Market), in very warm water from the kitchen faucet, and soaked for 45 minutes, turning over half way so the mushrooms soak up the water evenly.

While the veggies are cooking I took one cup of whole grain rice and 2 and a half cups water, 1/2 tablespoon I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter Spread, a dash of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Salt Free Seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper.


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America’s Obesity Epidemic

Infrographics usually don’t grab me, but this one did. I have written about America’s obesity epidemic in a past job and now write about healthcare, which is dealing with the consequences of the epidemic.Obesity Infographic

Weight was also a struggle for me for many years, until my angioplasty forced me to stop eating all the foods I once loved. The result of that was losing about 30 pounds. So I know we could lick obesity if we simply give up everything that tastes good to our American palates trained to love sugar, fat and salt. We also have to give up our love of cheap food and lots of food for our dollar because the cheapest foods are usually the worst for us.



Low-salt, low sugar barbecue sauce: a great find

Barbecue sauces are usually loaded with salt and sugar, so I’d largely given up on ever eating them or using them in cooking again. But I was happily surprised recently to find a low-sodium, low-sugar, fat-free barbecue sauce at Whole Foods.

The product is called LocalFolks Foods honey Bar-Bee-Q. I’ll forgive the cutsy name because this product finally allows me to use barbecue sauce again. I added some to chicken breasts recently to finally give them some flavor. To date, the only way I’d found to do that was by using my home-made, low-salt tomato sauce.

This sauce has 0 fat, 35 mgs of sodium and 4 grams of sugar per ounce. I found an ounce is two tablespoons. It took about two ounces to coat one chicken breast, so I was having 70 mgs of sodium and 8 grams of sugar with that. The sugar may be high for diabetics, I’d consult with a doctor on that. But the sodium is well within my tolerance range on my way to my daily 1,200 mgs.

LocalFolks honey barbecue sauce is low sodium and low sugar, I enjoyed it.
LocalFolks honey barbecue sauce is low sodium and low sugar, I enjoyed it.

Continue reading “Low-salt, low sugar barbecue sauce: a great find”

(Nearly) No Fat French Onion Dip

This sounds tasty, I’m wondering if it could be used as an ingredient in a chicken dish as well…

Level Up Your Health

When it comes to nutrition instruction in my work as a chef, my main goal is harm reduction. I hide vegetables in foods, cut my taco beef with black beans, and I’m always looking for ways to make healthier the relatively unhealthy foods people will always eat, and eat a lot of them. One of my personal weaknesses has always been french onion dip, and I know I’m not alone. Last night as part of my super bowl meal I made my own take on the creamy stuff, and served it with crudites instead of chips.

Step 1) I made a quick yogurt cheese by straining non-fat yogurt through a strainer lined with a coffee filter for 5 hours in the fridge. making yogurt cheese(You can make greek yogurt at home like this too, just use less time.)
Step 2) Chop one large yellow onion into 1/2 inch dice
Step 3) Saute…

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Panko breadcrumbs at Costco: a great deal

Panko breadcrumbs are a great low-salt alternative to regular bread crumbs that I’ve written about before. I use them in my turkey meatballs and turkey meatloaf as well as on my low-fat chicken parmigiana.

Like most things low-salt, however, they routinely cost at least twice as much as comparable high-salt breadcrumbs. So I was thrilled to see that Costco is currently carrying mega-boxes of panko breadcrumbs, two pounds, for only $3.99. You could find yourself paying that much for half a pound at a regular grocery store.

Costco has a deal on panko breadcrumbs, offering two pounds for $3.99/
Costco has a deal on panko breadcrumbs, offering two pounds for $3.99/

Continue reading “Panko breadcrumbs at Costco: a great deal”

Salt-free potato chips for Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is a time for lots of junk food while you’re watching the game, so it can be painful when you’re on a salt, fat and/or sugar-restricted diet. I wrote last year about some alternatives I’d found that included salt-fee chips.

This year, I’ve tested out a new variety of salt-free potato chips that I found at Whole Foods, Michael Season’s. I tried two varieties, Herb Garden Ranch and Asian Bar-b-que. The barbecue variety tasted less sugary than other similar chips, a good thing if you’re watching your sugar.

Michael Season's unsalted chips were very tasty.
Michael Season’s unsalted chips were very tasty.
Season's barbecue chips were my favorite.
Season’s barbecue chips were my favorite.

The nutrition breakdown, 17 chips has 140 calories and 7 grams of fat but only 10 mgs of salt. The fat content is still a little high so I have to limit my intake of these, but they were extremely tasty for being unsalted. I’d recommend them for game day, if you can find them. The company website suggests trying Kroger stores as well as Whole Foods and Amazon sells them too. Continue reading “Salt-free potato chips for Super Bowl Sunday”

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