What Is the Keto Diet?

The Keto (Ketogenic) diet promotes weight loss by causing ketosis. Ketosis is when the body breaks down fat for energy. This happens every day, depending on what and how often we eat, but the keto diet increases ketosis frequency, which can lead to weight loss.

moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are restricted to 50 grams or less per day. For reference, a large apple has 25 grams, half a cup of beans 22 grams, and 1 cup pasta 45 grams. Those on a Keto diet are restricting grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, and yogurt.

Cutting board with vegetables

What’s the problem? First, the body needs carbohydrates for energy. Second, restricting carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less can reduce the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber from plant foods (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains). It is not for people with issues with their pancreas, kidneys, liver, or thyroid.

Is it safe for someone with diabetes? That depends on the type of diabetes as well as other health conditions a person has. It is possible the Keto diet may help with weight loss and blood glucose control, but sometimes it makes diabetes worse. People with diabetes should consult their diabetes care team before making any dietary changes, including Keto.

Source: Eat Right, go.iastate.edu/LLRMCR

Virtual Fitness Resources

Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day. A wealth of resources to get you moving is just a click away!

ISU Extension’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart website, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/, includes nine videos
such as chair workouts, low impact cardio, cardio intervals, and more. They are safe, free, and easy to follow for all ages and physical activity levels.

Find our fitness resources at: go.iastate.edu/Q6EUYK

Autumn Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 butternut squash (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive, vegetable)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced; about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese, cubed

Directions:

  1. Wash squash and pat dry with paper towel. Prick skin 6–8 times with a knife or fork. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Cool squash enough to touch it, then cut off top and bottom of squash. Cut off peel and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Cut squash into cubes.
  3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add squash, apples, and broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until squash and apples are tender.
  5. Blend soup until smooth using a blender or food processor.
  6. Return soup to saucepan and add cream cheese. Cook and stir with a whisk until cheese is smooth.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 7g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 440mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 12g sugar, 6g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s SpendSmart. EatSmart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

November is National Diabetes Month

Diabetes and prediabetes affect many Americans. Diabetes is when blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high in the body. There are many factors that lead to diabetes such as genetics, body composition, and lifestyle.

Prediabetes is when blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet (i.e., produce, lean meats, whole grains, low fat dairy) and being physically active can help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 is when the body does not make insulin (hormone that helps glucose get into the cells). Insulin therapy is used since the body is not producing it.
  • Type 2 is when the body does not use insulin properly. Some people can control type 2 with healthy eating and exercise alone, others need medicine or insulin.
  • Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Treatment varies from healthy eating and exercise to medications or insulin.

Diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication. People with diabetes should work with their diabetes care team to improve overall quality of life.

Source: American Diabetes Association, https://diabetes.org/

Fighting Higher Grocery Prices

Contributed by Suzanne Bartholomae

bag of vegetables

Inflation has hit America’s dinner table. Consumers are paying 11.9% more on groceries now than last year at this time. Supply chain shortages, bottlenecks in shipping and transportation, and a tight labor pool have all led to rising food prices.

Inflation means the buying power of your money is decreasing. To fight inflation, build an inflation fighter budget with The Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm, or use this cutting expenses tool, files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_cutting-expenses_tool.pdf. Inflation won’t last forever; in the meantime, be proactive in your fight against rising food costs with these tips.

  • Make a food budget using the budget tips from Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/.
  • Make a grocery list before you go to the store.
  • Plan menus—preferably for an entire week, but even a few days is recommended.
  • Compare prices between stores; changing grocers may save money.
  • Use coupons, but only on products you already use.
  • Shop sale items and substitute ingredients you find on sale.

Busted: SNAP Myths

Having access to safe and nutritious foods is important in all stages of life. About 250,000 Iowans do not have enough money to buy food! The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest hunger prevention program in the United States. Misconceptions are preventing older adults from using SNAP benefits.

  • “If I use SNAP, I’m taking it away from someone in greater need.” All who are eligible and enroll in the program will receive assistance.
  • “I won’t be able to use SNAP where I live.” SNAP is accepted in many places, including grocery stores, convenience stores, Schwan’s, farmers markets, and Meals on Wheels. Look for an EBT sign to determine if a vendor accepts SNAP.
  • “Applying is hard.” There is help available during the application process. To see if you, a friend, or a family member qualifies for SNAP, call 1-855-944-3663 or visit SNAP Eligibility, dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance/eligibility.

Source: National Council on Aging, www.ncoa.org

Slow Cooker Lentils

Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Stir all ingredients together in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Use cooked lentils as the filling for lentil tacos, burrito bowls, or taco salads.

Nutrition information per serving:
120 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 8g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

What Is a Plant-based Diet?

plant-based bowl of food

Plant-based diets are growing in popularity. Eating plant foods may protect from chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

The goal of a plant-based diet is to consume more whole plant foods—like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains—that will provide adequate nutrition overall.

Some people may choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, while others may just eat one meatless meal a week. Eating a vegetarian diet means not eating flesh foods (meat, poultry, seafood, wild game) and may or may not exclude eggs or dairy products. A vegan diet excludes all flesh foods, eggs, and dairy products and may also exclude honey.

There are many plant-based foods that make eating a plant-based diet easy. Check out this list of meat alternative products, www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1021p42.shtml, on the market.

Be a smart shopper, though! Choose mostly whole and minimally processed food from a variety of food groups to have a well-balanced diet.

Sources:
Eat Right, www.eatrightpro.org
Eating Well, www.eatingwell.com

Food Donations

Food prices are on the rise, and food pantries are serving more people than ever before. This means food pantries and food banks are in need of donations. If you want to donate to your local food pantry or food bank, here are a few ideas to help get started:

  • Ask the food pantry what they need.
  • Before donating fresh produce, check to see if refrigeration is available.
  • Double check the expiration dates because food pantries will not accept expired food.
  • Consider donating your time and/or money.

For more donation tips, check out these two great Iowa State University Extension resources:

Refrigerator Tetris—Where should the food go?

Storing food correctly helps prevent food waste. The refrigerator is the most important kitchen appliance for keeping food safe. Refrigerators should be kept at 40°F or below while the freezer needs to be set at 0°F or below.

Where food is stored in the refrigerator is just as important as keeping it at the correct temperature.

  • Door shelves are good for storing condiments and salad dressings since that is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Do not store eggs or milk here.
  • Sealed crisper drawers provide an optimal storage environment for fruits and vegetables. Vegetables prefer higher humidity and fruits lower humidity, so adjust drawer controls accordingly. This will help the produce last longer.
  • Middle shelves are good places to put ready-to-eat foods like salads, desserts, or leftovers.
  • Lowest shelf is where you should place raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Place them in a sealed container or wrapped securely to prevent meat juices from dripping and contaminating other foods.

Source: USDA, www.fsis.usda.gov.

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