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There is a miraculous ancient grain known to give strength and vitality, and it may already be on your grocery list.

Eating rye bread has been a Nordic morning ritual dating back to the days of Vikings. Today, many Swedes attribute their country’s health and happiness, which ranked ninth on last year’s World Happiness Report alongside Australia, to this breakfast routine.

Ninety-nine percent of Sweden’s citizens eat rye bread regularly — consuming an average of 4 million pounds a year.

“There are a couple of reasons why rye is interesting from a health perspective,” David Seres, director of medical nutrition at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, told TODAY. “One is that it retains its fiber, even after the bran has been removed and fiber is thought to be good for us in the diet. And the second is that when you eat an equal amount of rye compared to wheat, your blood rises less and more slowly.”

More than wheat, research shows rye has the ability to control diabetes, aid in weight loss and fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.

According to a study by Harvard University, unprocessed whole grains such as rye, millet, quinoa and oats are far better than refined grains for the whole grain kernels’ nutrients. Each kernel contains three parts (bran, germ and endosperm) all of which have benefits. The bran is the outer layer rich in fiber which supplies the body with B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants and phytochemicals, the natural chemical compounds in plants known for preventing disease. The core of the seed, or germ, also has vitamins E, B, antioxidants and phytochemicals, as well as healthy fats. The grain’s inner-layer called endosperm has carbohydrates and protein, plus a small amount of minerals and B vitamins.

Rye breads from Scandinavia, The New York Times reported, may be a little different than the loaves most Americans know. The baked bread in Northern Europe tends to feel bumpier, nuttier and sourer than the smooth, sliced loaf used for sloppy joes stateside.

But eating bread by the loaf is not the only way to reap the benefits of this wonderful little grain. Rye flakes are a great way to incorporate rye into your diet and make for an easy breakfast, just like oats.

Try this simple hot cereal recipe to start the day off right:

Apple Cinnamon Rye Flakes

In large bowl, combine 1/4 cup rye flakes, 3/4 cup water, one small diced apple, a dash or two of cinnamon and a dash of salt. Cover and microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes, stir and enjoy!

Rye berries are another great way to get a daily intake of this antioxidant-full miracle food. Luckily, they can be used in many recipes and salads that call for rice, quinoa or pasta. They are nutty, chewy and incredibly nutritious.

Article source: https://www.today.com/food/rye-can-help-you-lose-weight-prevent-disease-t126030?cid=public-rss_20180329

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As a great source of protein and essential vitamins and nutrients, including iron, B vitamins, and zinc, beef really can be a healthy meal choice — despite some food myths you may have heard.

One key to fitting beef into a healthy diet is choosing the right cuts of meat. That means looking for lean and extra-lean picks, which deliver the nutritional benefits without excess saturated fat and calories. For example, “A 4-ounce serving of lean flank steak contains about 30 grams of complete protein, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat and 220 calories, while the same serving of fat-marbled porterhouse steak has similar protein, but three times more fat and saturated fat, and 340 calories,” NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor Madelyn Fernstrom told TODAY Food.

The USDA definition of “lean” applies to a 3.5-ounce (100 gram) serving of beef with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams, or less, of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol. A 3.5-ounce serving of “extra lean” beef must contain less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.

When you’re at the meat counter, look for cuts with the word “loin” or “round” in the name, such as sirloin, tenderloin, eye of round and top round. Chuck shoulder and arm roasts are also lean cuts. When choosing ground beef, look for a 90/10 or 95/5 lean to fat ratio.

Also, keep your serving portions in check, even with lean beef: The American Heart Association recommends limiting lean meat, skinless chicken and fish to less than six ounces per day. You can keep serving sizes in check by filling most of your plate with vegetables, by using beef as a garnish or by using it in combination with other proteins (beef and bean chili, for example).

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy beef in a lighter, leaner way!

Article source: https://www.today.com/food/healthy-beef-recipes-burgers-tacos-stir-fry-more-t122012?cid=public-rss_20180224

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Take your morning run on an empty stomach.

Perhaps the greatest debate surrounding breakfast involves the theory that working out on an empty stomach provides a competitive edge in fat burning. Here’s why: There’s a hierarchy in how the body finds energy for everyday tasks. Glucose, obtained by carbohydrates is the most easily absorbed, and readily available fuel, and takes on center stage when you need energy of any kind. Once glucose (and glycogen) is depleted, the body will search for the next source ready to provide fuel — and that’s fat. Thus, the theory goes that when working out on an empty stomach, the body has to burn fat first due to a lack of available fuel from glucose.

A 2017 study found that exercising in a fasting state may in fact burn more fat. Other studies have showed similar results, including one study that demonstrated a 20 percent increase in fat burning potential when participants exercised without breakfast beforehand. Earlier studies however have refuted the theory that a workout is better when the stomach is empty.

More research is needed to determine the final say on this issue. In the meantime, I tell my patients to do what feels right. If working out seems near impossible without anything in your stomach in the morning, then you may want to have something small, like half of a banana and natural peanut butter.

There is a perfect breakfast. Here is what it looks like.

A new study indicated that individuals’ weight-loss success was not necessarily linked to whether their diet was low-carb, low-fat, or even low-calorie but rather whether the individual ate a whole foods, minimal sugar diet. This is perhaps the first approach you should be taking when it comes to breakfast: Eat food, not manufactured calories. That means you should start by avoiding foods with added colors and flavors. Steer clear of foods that have massive amounts of added sugar or reach you via your car window.

Instead, aim for at least 15 grams of protein or more by consuming plain yogurt, eggs, zucchini muffins, quiche cups or a protein smoothie. Make your carbohydrate options complex ones, such as steel-cut oatmeal with mixed nuts and cinnamon or whole-grain sprouted bread with avocado or nut butter and above all, eat breakfast like a king, and decrease meal size as the day progresses.

Article source: https://www.today.com/health/breakfast-should-be-biggest-meal-day-t124228?cid=public-rss_20180303

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TV show host, cookbook author Adam Richman is stopping by TODAY Food to share his top steak tips, techniques and recipe. He shows us how to make perfectly cooked sirloin steaks with a savory red wine sauce.

Adam’s ultimate steak tips:

1. Make sure steaks are at room temperature before cooking or you will burn the outsides while trying to bring the middle to temperature.

2. When you place your steak in the skillet, make sure you hear that sizzle otherwise your pan is too cool.

3. To test for doneness, use the hand technique. Touching different fingers to your thumb and feeling the webbing of your hand will help indicate the level of doneness. Touching your pointer to thumb is rare, middle finger to thumb is medium-rare, ring finger to thumb is medium and pinky to thumb is well done.

4. To get a great crust on your steak, use either a cast iron or stainless steel pan. When done cooking, cast iron pans can simply be drained, wiped and put away rather than washed because this ‘seasoning’ helps create a non-stick surface.

5. Reverse searing a steak (slow-cooking the meat and finishing it with a sear in an extremely hot pan) can result in a better crust a deeper flavor. Simply season your steak, let rest for 30 minutes, after which you put into a 250°F oven for roughly 1 hour. After 1 hour, sear the steak just until a crust forms on each side.

Article source: https://www.today.com/food/how-make-perfectly-seared-steaks-adam-richman-t123301?cid=public-rss_20180215

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Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t like a regular health nut. She’s a cool health nut.

Which means she can roll with John Legend’s deep-fried chicken wings … and then Goop-ify them later.

In the first episode of her new web series “Real Men Eat Goop,” Paltrow, 45, invites Legend, 39, over for a good-natured cook-off. In the first half of the segment, the two prepare Legend’s no-longer-top-secret recipe for chicken wings, which are brined in a heavy hit of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and topped with hot sauce honey butter.


“This is unfair, that you write music like that and you cook like this,” says Paltrow.

Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, loves them, so we already love them.

Then, things get Goop-y. While Paltrow admits that “you can never really replace a fried wing,” her oven-baked Korean wings get no complaints from the “All of Me” singer.

“I’m so happy,” Legend says, biting into a wing.


These wings got his head spinning, no kidding.

Paltrow’s secret? A sauce whisked together from flavorful ingredients like gochujang, fish sauce, and raw honey, then reduced on the stove to make it thick, sticky, and “gorgeous.”

We’ll take one order of each, please … and a private concert from Legend, while we’re at it!

Article source: https://www.today.com/food/john-legend-shows-gwyneth-paltrow-his-secret-making-perfect-chicken-t122836?cid=public-rss_20180210

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Joy Bauer and Jean Chatzky are teaming up to help you keep your diet and budget healthy with simple money saving tips and delicious calorie-cutting recipes.

Ready to cut calories and save cash? Jean Chatzky and I tackled some of the most popular prepared foods and put them on a diet for your wallet and waistline. Think Penne ala Vodka with Caesar salad, Salmon with roasted vegetables and Chicken Parmesan with pasta. Grab an apron and start cooking!

Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

Fish and vegetables are always an excellent nutrient-packed choice. However, when prepared outside the home, this entree is often cooked in excessive amounts of oil and butter, which bumps up the calories. Be your own home chef and whip this scrumptious and satisfying Grilled Salmon with Roasted Veggies in your kitchen. My version is simple to prepare and delivers a delicious dish that will save you hundreds of calories and cut the cost by about 50% off the menu price.

Chicken Parmesan with Pasta

Classic Chicken Parm is deep-fried and smothered in cheese. Pair it with a side of pasta and you could be gobbling down up to 1300 calories! Introducing my delicious and nutritious spin (drum-roll please) … Cheesy Chicken Parm Meatballs served on a mound of zucchini noodles. My rendition allows you to enjoy this Italian favorite without any regret. It’s a guaranteed dinner winner that clocks in at only 300 calories! Not to mention, by making it at home, you’ll leave the meal with a 55% savings.

Penne alla Vodka with Caesar Salad

Loaded with calorific heavy cream and thick dressing, an order of Penne alla Vodka and a Caesar salad will cost you about 1200 calories — that’s almost a day’s worth of calories for some people. If you love decadent, cheesy, and incredibly creamy pasta, my slimmed down Penne alla Vodka recipe will definitely win a place at your dinner table. Pair it with light and flavorful Caesar Dressing and you’ll save a whopping 740 calories and leave with 68% more cash in your wallet. Dig in and think about the money you just saved!


Article source: https://www.today.com/food/cut-food-costs-calories-healthy-recipes-money-saving-tips-t122420?cid=public-rss_20180206

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An Indiana centenarian has a sweet formula for longevity: A daily dose of chocolate.

Eunice Modlin turned 102 on Tuesday, celebrating the big milestone with cake and the promise of a big party with more members of her family when the snow clears. The great-great-grandmother, who lives in Boonville, Indiana, with her son, wasn’t available for an interview, but her granddaughter shared some of her longevity secrets.

“She eats two pieces of dark chocolate every day,” Tammy Modlin Gentry told TODAY. “She’s always limited herself to two pieces so she didn’t [gain weight].”

Courtesy Tammy Gentry

Eunice Modlin was born on Jan. 16, 1916. Her life motto is: You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.

Dark chocolate offers health benefits thanks to its powerful antioxidants, minerals and flavanols, says nutritionist Keri Glassman, noting that a small piece with a cup of tea can be a healthy addition to your daily routine. Stick with the purest version because chocolate with nuts, nougat or caramel will have more calories and sugar, offsetting the benefits, advises NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.

Modlin also believes eating vegetables from the garden and never drinking alcohol or smoking has allowed her to live a long, healthy life, Gentry said.

The centenarian is losing her eyesight and her balance is off, but she still goes to church and prayer meetings. Overall, Modlin is doing well, she added.

Gentry said her grandmother’s life motto is: You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.

Longevity seems to run in the family: When Modlin turned 100, her relatives flew in her 99-year-old brother from Texas to attend the party. Jake Hardesty is 101 now and also doing well, Gentry said.

Courtesy Tammy Gentry

Eunice celebrates her 100th birthday with her 99-year-old brother Jake Hardesty in January 2016.

When she was younger, Modlin was known for her archery skills, a sport she took up in her 20s. Her husband made the bows for the family and they traveled all over the country to compete. At one time, Modlin was in The Guinness Book of World Records for the farthest arrow shot, Gentry said.

Courtesy Tammy Gentry

Modlin at 23. She loved archery, a sport she took up as a young woman.

She lived through the Great Depression and other tough times, but remained optimistic.

“My grandfather, her one true love, passed away in 1991 and she’s still going,” she added. “I get choked up because it’s my grandma, whom I love to the moon and back.”

Article source: https://www.today.com/health/101-year-old-woman-s-secret-living-longer-chocolate-t107198?cid=public-rss_20180116

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It’s been 45 years since a food scientist named Herb Peterson created a handheld version of eggs Benedict for McDonald’s. And while the classic Egg McMuffin is still on the menu, it’s now competing with lower-calorie options, making drive-thru breakfasts more diet-friendly.

Don’t get us wrong. There are still plenty of places to stray. For example, two years ago, Taco Bell first introduced Cap’n Crunch Delights and some breakfast sandwiches can pack in over 700 calories. But for the most part, plenty of Americans are demanding more wholesome ways to start their days.

And let’s face it, when you don’t have too much time in the morning it can be hard to make a filling and nutritious breakfast. So here are a handful of our current healthier favorites for your morning commute.

Egg White Delight McMuffin, $3, McDonald’s

While an original Egg McMuffin has 300 calories, this version has 250 calories. The savings is thanks to the substitution of egg whites, extra lean Canadian Bacon and a whole grain English muffin. The white cheddar cheese (instead of American cheese) makes this option feel a bit more indulgent, too. TODAY nutrition consultant Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CNA says if you plan on eating this every day, skip the Canadian bacon. But in general, she notes it has a good combination of protein and carbs.


If you’re after protein, pick this breakfast sandwich up for a whopping 25 grams. Inside the toasted, wholegrain English muffin you’ll find grilled chicken, egg whites and melted cheese. It will only set you back 7 grams of fat and 300 calories. (To lower that, ask them to serve it sans muffin.)

“This sandwich keeps breakfast calories in check, it has plenty of protein and it’s built upon a whole grain English muffin — all important to jump start your day,” says Taub-Dix. “But just keep in mind that most of us don’t need as much protein as you might think. Any one of those protein rich foods, whether cheese, egg, or chicken would be enough for a breakfast choice.”

Greek Yogurt Smoothie, $4, Sheetz


Not only can you get this handheld breakfast 24 hours a day, any day of the year through Sheetz’s 98 drive-thru’s nationwide, you can also order it on the Sheetz app or any Amazon Alexa-enabled device. And at around 230 calories for a size medium, it’s as low-calorie as it is convenient. Flavors include blueberry pomegranate, banana, strawberry, peach, lemonade and even pina colada.

Note: “Not every smoothie or shake is a health food!” cautions Taub-Dix. “The best choices are made with plain Greek yogurt to supply protein and skim milk or almond milk to provide calcium.”

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans, $5, Panera Bread

Panera Bread

A popular breakfast item on Panera Bread’s vegan menu, this wholesome ensemble features 9 grams of fiber to fill you up for hours. “Most of us don’t get enough fiber so this choice packs a fiber punch! Oats contain soluble fiber that may help to lower cholesterol levels,” says Taub-Dix, who also cautions against adding too many calorie-laden toppings. What this dish doesn’t have is artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors. It’s available in Panera Bread drive-thrus and at Panera Bread Rapid Pick-Up locations.

Sous Vide Egg Bites: Egg White & Red Pepper, $5, Starbucks


Vacuum-sealed (sous vide in French) eggs may not sound appetizing. But trust us, these egg bites are so soft they melt in your mouth — in a great way. Prepared with egg whites, spinach, fire-roasted red peppers and a touch of feta, cottage cheese and monterey jack, they’re a satisfying option if you’re avoiding bread. For just 170 calories you get 13 grams of protein to tide you over until lunch. “The calories are low enough to pair this meal with some whole grain crackers or a slice of whole grain toast,” notes Taub-Dix.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Taub-Dix calls this smoothie a “beverage with benefits.” But at 500 calories (if you don’t add any extra sugar), it can also put a serious dent in your daily calorie budget. At least it’s chock full of better options for that sweet tooth in all of us. Think coconut, chia seeds, roasted banana, cinnamon, almonds, dates and whole grain oats. It’s also customizable as you get to pick between adding peanut butter or strawberries. Tropical Smoothie Café has 138 drive-thru locations throughout the country.

Egg White Veggie Flatbread, $5, Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts

The best part about going through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru is not being tempted by the pastry display. Instead of ordering a dozen Munchkins the next time you grab a coffee, opt for the Egg White Veggie Flatbread. At 330 calories and 14 grams of fat, it’s not a good option for every day dining says Taub-Dix. But it does have vegetables and it is one of the coffee chain’s lowest-calorie items.

Turkey Sage and Sweet Potato Biscuit, $5, Peet’s Coffee

Peet’s Coffee

Peet’s Coffee’s limited-edition (it’s available through 1/11) breakfast sandwich is about as gourmet as the drive-thru gets. We love the turkey sausage patty’s sage seasoning and the creamy texture of the fontina cheese. But perhaps the best part is the sweet potato biscuit that replaces the ubiquitous English muffin. Sweet potato is the base for one of Taub-Dix’s favorite DIY smoothies.

Article source: https://www.today.com/food/8-healthier-fast-food-drive-thru-breakfasts-try-now-t119876?cid=public-rss_20180105

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Practical Guide to Fasting

The benefits of fasting to both the body and the mind are becoming more and more apparent. Who should and should not fast and what type of fasting should be done will vary depending on the individual.

What are the Main Forms of Fasting?

With the increase in popularity in fasting, there have been several different variations of the diet presented. The key to working out which will be best for you is to listen to your body.

1. The 16/8 Approach

This approach is something that people will follow daily. It focuses on having an eating window of 8 hours followed by 16 hours of a fasting window. This can look like people eating between the hours of 12-8pm or 11am-7pm and then not eating for the remaining hours. The major emphasis with this type of fasting is to make sure that there is a consistent window of not eating.

Many find it easier and more natural to simply skip breakfast and have their dinner as their last food intake. There have been some studies that have shown that eating later at night can cause a higher insulin response which can then promote greater fat storage (1). The link is believed to be due to the body’s circadian rhythm and so eating your last meal no later than 8pm (essentially before sun down) may be a good strategy if you’re struggling with weight loss.

With this type of fasting, it is important to eat a healthy diet during your eating window. Many find that eating a low carbohydrate way provides the optimal results.

During the fasting window, you can consume beverages including water, tea and coffee. Bone broth is also allowed and is often encouraged in longer fasts due to its mineral content.

For those that may find fasting for a longer period too difficult, this approach would work a lot better for them. Often females can find it a little difficult to fast beyond the 16 hours mainly due to hormonal factors.

The 16/8 window can also be adjusted to include longer periods of fasting and a shorted feeding window such as 18/6 or 20/4.

Suitable For

  • Those just starting out or new to fasting
  • People who are following a low carb or ketogenic diet already
  • Those with previous histories of eating disorders
  • Those that find fasting for longer than 16 hours too difficult

2. The 5:2 Fasting Diet

This form of fasting was developed by British doctor and journalist, Dr Michael Mosley. The ethos of the diet is looking to eat normally for 5 days and then fasting for the other 2 within the week.

One of the major differences of this approach to other forms of fasting, is that on the fasting days, they allow between 500-600 kcal to be consumed. For women, it is recommended to have 500 kcal and men to have 600 kcal, which are to be split between breakfast and dinner.

Their rationale for this approach is they feel this is one of the most sustainable ways to do fasting that will still allow you to be involved in social settings such as family meals.

There are however no strict guidelines of when or how you can distribute the calories within the day. You could opt to have two meals, three meals, two meals with a snack in between or even have it as one large meal.

On the fast days, there are two principles that must be followed when choosing what you can and cannot have to eat. That is to select foods that are both higher in protein and foods with a low glycemic index (≤50).

On the non-fasting days, they also advise that people can pretty much eat what they would like. I would still encourage people to eat a diet that is based in low refined sugar and grains to get the optimal health benefits.

This type of fasting therefore may be of more benefit to those individuals who suffer from disordered eating such as orthorexia or binge eating disorder.

Once you reach your desired weight or health goal, you can then enter the maintenance phase. This sees your fasting days coming down to just once a week rather than twice a week.

Suitable For

  • Those who want to experiment a little more with fasting but not doing a full fast
  • Those who feel eating nothing within a certain period is not suitable for them
  • People who are not following a strict ketogenic diet or looking to have a little more food freedom

3. 24-Hour Fasting

This form of fasting involves you completely abstaining from food for a period of 24 hours. It is recommended you do this once to twice a week to see the benefits. Once you have been doing this form of fasting for a little while, then going to a 24-hour fast on alternative days can also be of benefit. I would however, not recommend this to those just starting out with fasting.

To start the fast, you choose a mealtime that you would like to end on. For example, if you have dinner at 7pm, then you would not eat anything again until 7pm the next again day. The same would be true if you were doing this from breakfast or lunch as well.

On the fast days you can have water, black coffee, tea and herbal teas. You can’t have any other form of food or calories within this time frame.

On the non-fasting days, it is important to make sure that you eat as you normally would. Make sure that you do not under eat, especially if you are a doing a 24 hour fast a couple of times a week. Many people think that to maximise weight loss, that they will just under eat on their non-fasting days. This can be counter-intuitive as the body will simply think that it is not getting the nutrients it needs and put itself into survival mode. Essentially it will hold onto, rather than burn any body fat stores.

Going straight into a 24 hour fast can sometimes be a little too much for people. You could always start off with a 16/8 and then work up from there to eventually get to the 24-hour window.

Suitable For

  • People looking to experiment a little more with fasting after trying 16/8 etc.
  • Those who feel comfortable with fasting and think this would fit in nicely with their lifestyle.

4. Extended Fasting

This type of fasting has gotten a lot more popular over the past few years. It involves individuals fasting for longer periods of consecutive time. The starting point for this is 2-3 days of consecutive fasting. For those that may struggle with the consecutive days, then fasting every other day can be done.

Other extended fasting includes fasting for a period of 5-7 days or longer. Many of the longevity and anti-ageing studies in mice has included this extended period (2). There still lacks any robust human data to show that extended fasting is needed or warranted. However, from preliminary data, fasting has been shown to help with regards to cancer prevention and ant-ageing.

For anyone considering longer term fasts, they should consult with their doctor especially if they are on any form of medication.

Some physicians have reported using this type of fasting for those individuals with severe obesity and insulin resistance. In the clinic of Dr Jason Fung, he has reported having some of his patients fast for a period of 30 days. It is extremely important to note here that all his patients are medically supervised.

On the days that you are fasting no food should be consumed. However, hydration is extremely important as is obtaining the necessary minerals. Water, tea and coffee is allowed ad hoc and bone broth is actively encouraged to drink to get the minerals and especially the sodium needed to avoid dehydration.

Suitable For

  • Those with extreme obesity or insulin resistance
  • People who can follow this under the care of a physician

5. No Rules Fasting

This type of fasting is where you are more listening to what your body is saying than following any set forms off guidelines.

If for example you wake up in the morning and don’t feel hungry, then skip having your breakfast at that time. Likewise, if you find that your body is signalling to you that you are hungry then eat!

Fasting can really be as simple as that. Contrary to popular belief as well, skipping the odd meal will not result in your metabolism slowing down or losing muscle mass. You do need to make sure that when you are fuelling your body that you are doing it the right way. If you scrimp on the calories at meal times, then your metabolism and muscle mass could be effected.

Most people who are following a ketogenic diet and are fat adapted find that this type of fasting happens quite naturally.

This is also great for those people who may have suffered from eating disorders in the past. Not having to specifically schedule in fasting times means that any obsession around food should not occur.

Suitable For

  • Anyone can follow this approach as it is more based on intuitive eating

Who Should Avoid Fasting?

Although there does appear to be many benefits to fasting, there are a group of people that should not be following fasting.

Type 1 Diabetics

Fasting will cause the bodies blood sugar levels to naturally drop. Those with type 1 diabetes could end up having their blood sugar levels drop too low, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

Those who are on insulin or insulin lowering drugs, will need to consult with a doctor before starting any type of fasting as the dose may need to be lowered.

Adrenal and Thyroid Issues

If you are someone that suffers from adrenal fatigue or any thyroid related issue, then it would be advisable to approach fasting with caution. People who have issues with either of these glands, have issues in the body when dealing with stress. Fasting is perceived as a stress to the body and so it could exacerbate any pre-existing condition.

Eating Disorders

People who are or have a history of eating disorders may find that fasting can exacerbate the disorders. If you have suffered with disordered eating then it would be advisable to start with the shorter term fasting such as the 16:8. Any long-term fasting should be avoided.


Anyone under the age of 18 should not fast. People this age are still growing and so require the adequate nutrients daily to suffice this.

Underweight or Undernourished

For those who have a BMI of 18 kg/m₂ or less, they would not be recommended to fast. There could be the risk that they end up becoming more undernourished.

Pregnant and Breastfeeding

Any female who is pregnant or breastfeeding should not undertake any type of fasting.

Like with children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require extra energy and nutrients for the growth of the baby and milk production.

Males vs Females

There is no data to say that males or females should not undertake fasting. However, case reports have shown that men appear to find fasting, especially extended fasting a little easier.

What Should You Eat on Your Non-Fasting Days?

Some fasting experts state that they don’t care so much about what you eat on the non-fasting days, it is more important to simply stick to the fasting days. The argument could be that knowing that you can eat anything that you would like on the non-fasting days, psychologically will help you through the fasting days.

It was believed that people who fast, would over compensate the next again day by eating more calories than they normally would due to increased appetite. However, a study looking at alternative day fasting found no significant increase in appetite. Participants on the feeding days also only ate 95% of their recommended calorie intake (3).

It is not recommended however, that you simply gorge on all and any food on the feed days. Your first meal after your fast, should be one of a normal size for you.

From case reports and anecdotal evidence, following the principles of a low carbohydrate, healthy fat diet, has been shown to offer added benefits to the goals of fasting.

Do you skip meals? All low-carb recipes in this list are suitable for intermittent fasting. They are nutrient-dense and contain 600-900 kcal per serving. They are ideal for those who eat only twice a day.

How to Fit Fasting into Your Lifestyle?

As with any dietary changes that you make, for them to be sustainable they really need to fit into your overall lifestyle. The same will remain true for fasting.

The first aspect to look at will be the type of fasting that is better for you. If you have a lot of social engagements, eat out a lot or train heavily, then doing more of the shorter or 16/8 type of fasting may be better for you.

If you have no underlying medical conditions and don’t have any of the above contraindications then there are no constraints on when you can start. If you are looking at one of the longer fasts though I would still recommend that you consult your doctor or at least get advice from a practitioner who knows what they are doing.

Before starting with fasting, you need to make sure that you are mentally prepared. You need to be feeling calm, purposeful and confident before starting with this.

Again, with the timings of the fasting, you need to find what works for you. If you prefer having breakfast with the family, then move your first meal to be at that time. Or if you don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning then skip it until later in the day.

How to Cope with Hunger When Fasting

If your form of fasting is that of 16/8 then you should find that hunger isn’t much of an issue. As you progress into the longer fasting and if you are starting it for the first time, you may notice some more hunger.

The first thing is to determine if it is true hunger or not. The way in which we as humans eat is to do with both hedonic and homeostatic ways of eating. Homeostatic eating is our true hunger, when the body needs to get its nutrients in. Hedonic way of eating is much more based on our emotions. We often eat for reasons such as boredom, tiredness or just to make us feel good.

Sometimes we feel hungry out of habit as well. If we are used to eating at a certain time then our bodies can get used to this pattern and signal for us to eat at these times.

On fast days try some of these tricks to help win at the hunger games:

Drink Water

If you’re feeling a hunger pang come on, try having some water. We can often mistake hunger for thirst.

Drink Bone Broth

Take in some bone broth – sometimes the hunger can stem from a depletion in electrolytes. The bone broth will help to replenish anything that is lost.


This may sound like common sense but the more you distract yourself from not thinking about food, the less hungry you should feel.

Journal it Out

To establish if you are eating for true hunger or more pleasure, try and get mindful around this. If you feel like you are craving a certain food, is it because of a particular emotion like boredom or sadness or due to habit.

Other FAQ’s on Fasting

1. Do you need to take any form of supplements?

For the shorter types of fasting you shouldn’t require any type of supplements. As long as you are eating well and properly on your non-fasting days then your body will be getting the nutrients it needs. On the extended fasting, you may find that you need to take a standard multi-vitamin to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Do check with your supplements though as many of them do require you to take them alongside some food.

2. What about exercise and fasting?

With the 16/8 and the 5:2 form of fasting, you will find that fitting in exercise won’t be any different.

A lot of people find fasted exercise a lot more beneficial for maximum fat burning, especially fasted cardio work. This will vary from person to person though and you really need to listen to what your body is saying.

If you are doing a 24 hour or extended fast then I would recommend not training on these days, especially not heavy or explosive training.

3. Should you avoid alcohol?

If your overall goal of following a low carb diet and/or fasting is that of weight loss, then I would recommend that you abstain from alcohol altogether.
If you are doing this for health benefits or in a maintenance phase then having a small amount of alcohol on your non-fast days would be ok. Do not consume alcohol on your fast days though, stick to only water, tea, coffee or bone broth for your liquid intake.

Take Home Message

The benefits of fasting to both the body and the brain are becoming more apparent in both anecdotal and clinical data. There are various ways in which someone can incorporate fasting into their diet. The important point with this is to choose an approach that works for you and your body. It is also important to point out that not everyone needs to fast as well. Simply following intuitive eating of when you are and aren’t hungry is of great benefit to your body.

Become mindful of the way that you are eating to work out if it is true hunger or not.

Before starting any type of extended fast, you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are on medication.

To really see the added benefits of fasting I would also recommend that your feeding days are based on real foods in their whole form as much as possible.

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Article source: https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2017/12/06/practical-guide-to-fasting

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Two great healthy drinks that will detox and refresh the body while allowing you to enjoy the great benefits of the combined fresh fruits and herbs. This healthy infused water drink is free of sugar and loaded with nutrients. Best part is, it is simple to make and only requires 5 minutes of your time.

1. Strawberry-Basil Water

Ingredients : Sliced Strawberries (one pint), Fresh Torn Basil Leaves (ten), Sliced Lemon (one), Water (Two quarts)

Directions – Mix the sliced strawberries, basil leaves and sliced lemon in a pitcher. Add the water. Cool the contents in the pitcher for a minimum 3 hours and no longer than 2 days! You can expect 8 servings.

2. Watermelon Detox Water

Ingredients : Watermelon (two to three cups), Sliced English Cucumber (half), Mint Lease (six to eight), Ice (2 cups), Water (half gallon)

Directions – add the sliced cucumbers, watermelon and ice into your pitcher. Than pour the water into the ingredients, followed by mint leaves.

You can expect 2 servings with the final mixed ingredients with a total preparation time of only 5 minutes!

There you have it, 2 simple fruit infusion healthy drinks to get your body ticking with the right nutrients!

Images, Recipes : skinnyms.com, thechunkychef.com

Article source: https://www.healthynutritionaleating.com/healthy-drinks-sugar-free-fruity-drinks/

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