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Posts Tagged ‘beans’

The Diet That Is All Fluff

February 5th, 2014

Many crazy diets appear in the headlines. Some recent offerings include the feeding tube diet and the tapeworm diet. The latest diet to make headlines is the cotton ball diet, and the science behind it resembles the structure of cotton—unsupportive fluff.

The diet involves consuming five cotton balls dipped in orange juice, lemonade, or a smoothie. The claim is that you will feel full without gaining weight. Some dieters consume these before their meal to limit calorie intake, while others rely exclusively on the cotton balls as their “food” intake.

Medical experts agree that nothing good can come of this diet, and in fact it is very dangerous for the following reasons:

  • Cotton balls may not be cotton—most are bleached polyester fibers that contain lots of chemicals
  • Eating synthetic cotton balls is similar to eating cloth, or even buttons or coins
  • Risks include choking, malnutrition, or even worse, a blockage in the intestinal tract, which can be life-threatening

A healthier and safer approach to feel full is to make sure you get plenty of fiber in your diet. Follow these tips to get the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day:

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans and peas), which are all good sources of fiber
  • Look at the Nutrition Facts Panel for a product’s fiber content—20 percent or more is considered high
  • Include fiber-rich foods with meals and snacks

For more information on how to safely achieve and maintain a healthy weight, visit MyPlate

Want to know more about choosing high fiber foods? Check out these resources:

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Amazon Bean Soup with Winter Squash and Greens

October 27th, 2011

BEAN SOUPServes: 8 (Serving size: 1 1⁄2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 pounds winter squash peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto or other canned beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces spinach, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges – optional

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven (or thickwalled, usually cast iron cooking pot with tight-fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add squash, tomato, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is very soft and almost breaking apart, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer 3 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in beans and spinach and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutrient information per serving
223 calories; 3 gm fat (2 gm sat., 0 gm mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 310 mg sodium; 43 gm carbohydrates; 0 gm added sugars; 10 gm fiber; 11 gm protein; 927 mg potassium

Adapted from www.eatingwell.com/recipes/

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