Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Options

 Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Options

Question:

What is a better breakfast for weight loss: yogurt or egg, potato, and cheese? What is better for lunch: sandwich (with cheese and mayo), lean cuisine, or low-calorie soup?

– Larry S.

 

Answer:

Between your breakfast options of yogurt or egg, potato and cheese there are really more than two choices, as each can be prepared different ways and in varying volume. The yogurt by itself is probably less calories if you’re talking about a standard 6-ounce cup. Some non-fat yogurts are only 80 calories and contain food starch and gelatin. Not what I would call a decent breakfast that would stave off hunger before lunch!

If the yogurt is from whole milk and highly sweetened, then 8 ounces might provide 280 calories, 11 grams fat, 34 grams carbohydrate (31 grams sugar) and 11 grams protein1. For a similar 290 calories it would take two egg whites, a half-cup lightly fried potato and an ounce of low-fat cheese which provide 14 grams of fat, 24 grams carbohydrate (2 grams fiber) and 17 grams protein2.

For weight loss, I’d suggest getting more protein and fiber to fuel your morning and satisfy until lunchtime with these options:

1 cup high-protein, low-fat plain yogurt (Greek style) with ½ cup strawberries, Tbsp coconut, Tbsp granola and tsp flax seed [265 calories, 8 gm fat, 24 gm carb, 26 gm prot] 2

or

three egg whites, ½ ounce of low-fat cheese and a half-cup lightly fried potato/onion/pepper blend [273 calories, 8 gm fat, 31 gm carb, 19 gm prot] 2

In either case, the extra little ingredients and preparation make a more complete balanced breakfast.

Your lunch options of a sandwich with cheese and mayo, a Lean Cuisine or low-calorie soup are even more difficult to compare because there are so many possibilities! The latter two are usually under 300 calories, so I’ll use that target for evaluation. Really, you can find something that works in each category.

Here’s how a single pick from each option stack up:

Calories Fat grams Carbohydrate grams  (fiber, sugar) Protein grams
A sandwich with 2 slices wheat bread, 2 ounces turkey breast, an ounce of low-fat Colby Jack cheese and a Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise3 291 7 33  (2, 6) 22
Lean Cuisine

Chicken with Peanut Sauce4

290 7 35  (3, 11) 21
Full can of lower calorie Italian wedding soup5 270 6 38  (4, 13) 15

The picks above are fairly comparable overall, though carbohydrate breakdown varies. The sandwich can be made as you like it (so the nutrition may vary), whereas the packaged foods are set. I like that the soup has the most fiber, but unfortunately, it has the most sugar and the least protein. Swapping whole-grain bread for standard wheat or adding lettuce and tomato may up the fiber in the sandwich a tad. In any case, a sub-300 calorie lunch entree is likely to only suit daily intakes of 1200-1500 calories. As far as weight loss goes, I’d opt for one with more protein and fiber that you are most satisfied with and get the best energy from.

Sources:

  1. Nutrition facts for Noosa Strawberry 8 oz. from https://www.noosayoghurt.com/product/strawberry/ accessed October 15, 2018.
  2. Dietary analysis performed on FitDay.com by a Registered Dietitian.
  3. Dietary analysis performed on webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter by a Registered Dietitian.
  4. Nutrition facts from https://www.leancuisine.com/products/details/10562 accessed October 15, 2018.
  5. Nutrition facts for Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request Hearty Italian-style Wedding soup from https://www.campbells.com/campbell-soup/healthy-request/healthy-request-hearty-italian-style-wedding-with-meatballs-spinach-soup/ accessed October 15, 2018.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Recommendations for Dietitians and Dietary Books

Recommendations for Dietitians and Dietary Books

Question:

I live in Florida and need a dietician due to cholesterol, triglycerides and other issues. Can you recommend a good dietician or books?

– Myles V.

Answer:

There are several directories for Registered Dietitians in the state of Florida such as www.DietitianCetnral.com and https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert. You can narrow your search to a specialty such as “cholesterol management” or “heart health,” or to your city.  Even if medical nutrition therapy is not a covered service under your health plan, you may find a list of providers from your insurer.

You can verify a dietitian’s license with the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council of Florida through https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthCareProviders.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Freaky Fungi

Freaky Fungi

MUSHROOMS can be deadly! They have gills but aren’t fish (obviously), they aren’t vegetables and can hardly be considered “plants” – without roots, leaves, flowers or seeds. What are they, then? They’re part of the fungi kingdom. Don’t worry, culinary mushrooms from the produce aisle in grocery stores are cultivated and safe to consume1, unlike some of the wild mushrooms picked up during foraging. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t avoid the mysterious living organisms known as mushrooms: 


 

Nutrition 

Mushrooms contribute to a plant-based diet high in nutrients2, though content varies based on mushroom variety. They are low in fat and calories, high in carbohydrates, fiber, protein3 (by calories), B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, as well as magnesium, selenium, copper, and Vitamin D. Mushrooms are the only “plant” that provides a natural source of vitamin D, from the conversion of ergosterol to D2 or D4 when exposed to ultraviolet light (look for “UV-treated” on the label). Shiitake and morel varieties naturally contain more vitamin D than other mushrooms typically consumed by Americans4.  To offer protein equal to that from an ounce of meat, it takes about two cups of white button mushrooms – a significant quantity that contributes to fullness and decreased hunger but provides only 42 calories. 

Health 

Though hundreds of mushrooms have medicinal and disease-fighting properties1,3, Japanese varieties notably contain the most phytochemicals (naturally occurring plant chemicals)2. Oyster mushrooms contain antioxidants such as selenium and L-ergothioneine, which provide protection to cells against free radical damage2. These compounds are fortunately resistant to cooking2. King trumpet (aka. king oyster) also contains statins shown to reduce blood lipids2.   

Additionally, white and brown beech, shiitake and maitake mushrooms contain beta-glucan fiber2 which may help lower insulin resistance, blood cholesterol, and risk of obesity5. Mushroom beta-glucans may not affect glucose absorption, but they could decrease the glycemic response by up to 25%5. Portobellos can lower glycemic responses when consumed with food1. Japanese studies of isolated beta-glucans from mushrooms show promise to boost the immune response to fight cancer cells3,5 and may help prevent the recurrence of hormone-dependent breast cancers1,3 

Cuisine 

Mushrooms offer umami, the 5th basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. The darker the mushroom the more umami it contains, and cooking intensifies this flavor1,2. Mushrooms are known for their unique earthy flavor and chewy, meaty texture1. White button mushrooms are milder than their darker counterparts, crimini (aka “baby bellas”) which are immature portobello mushrooms3. Dried versions of most types have super-concentrated flavor and make great additions to soups, sauces, and stocks.  

Mushrooms are great for trimming meat in dishes or used as a stand-out ingredient in stir-fries (shiitake best) or raw salads (enoki best)1. For those who have a palate issue with them on their own, finely dicing mushrooms to match the consistency of meat then blending into traditional recipes alongside ground meat, makes them more tolerable1. To cut back on meat you can use finely diced mushrooms as replacement for half the ground beef in tacos, lasagna, meatballs/loaves, burgers, and pasta sauce1. 

MYCOPROTEIN is a mold member of the fungi family. Wait, what? We are told to avoid mold on foods because it is dangerous! Approved in 2001 by the FDA as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food, mycoprotein is grown in large fermentation vats. Mycologists have studied the safety of the mold strain used and determined it produces an almost undetectable less than 0.5 parts per million mycotoxins in production6 

Mycoprotein is high in fiber and protein (12% protein by weight) and contains all essential amino acids in concentrations similar to egg6. Due to its stringy nature, it is predominantly used as a meat substitute, though modified mycoprotein can also be used as a fat replacer in dairy products or as a grain replacement in cereals.  

As with all foods, some people may be intolerant or allergic (rare) to mycoprotein. Such cases have prompted the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest to request that the FDA revoke mycoprotein’s GRAS status. If you are looking for a non-soy, non-dairy vegetarian protein source then you might consider mycoprotein. On the other hand, if you are looking for natural ‘clean’ foods, then these highly engineered mycoprotein products are not for you. 

 In summary, there are benefits to mushrooms including some that other plants can’t provide, while mycoprotein’s only value seems to be as a meat replacer. Now that you’re armed with details about each, don’t let edible fungi haunt you! 

References: 

  1. Fabulous Fungi — Here’s Why Your Clients Should Be Trading Meat for Mushrooms
    L Getz.Today’s Dietitian Dec. 2014; 16 (12): 14-15. 
  2. From A to Shiitake — Japanese Mushrooms May Offer Certain Benefits. LK Kay.Today’s Dietitian Nov. 2010; 12 (11): 20-21. 
  3. Medicinal Mushrooms. J Ilkay. Today’s Dietitian Sept. 2011; 13(9): 30-32.
  4. Are Mushrooms a Significant Source of Vitamin D? Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sept 2016; 116(9): 1520.
  5. Betting on Beta-Glucans.  D Webb. Today’s Dietitian May 2014; 16(5): 16-17.
  6. Food Mycology: A Multifaceted Approach to Fungi and Food.  J Dijksterhuis, RA Samson. CRC Press, 2007.

 

Grilled Stuffed Portobellos

Ingredients 

The gills on the underside of portobello caps have an unpleasant chalkiness and, therefore, should be scraped away with a spoon before grilling. Olives and feta cheese tend to be salty so keep that in mind when seasoning to taste. 

  • large portobello mushrooms, stemmed 
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Fine sea salt and pepper 
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 11/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano 
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese (1/2 cup) 

Method

  1. Using a spoon, scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushrooms and discard. Gently toss the mushrooms together with the vinegar, 1 T of oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl, taking care to not break the mushrooms. Let sit for 10 minutes while the mushrooms absorb the marinade.
  2. Combine the peppers, olives, remaining 1 T of oil, garlic, and oregano in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare a hot fire on the grill. Place the mushrooms gill side up on the grill directly over the fire and cook, covered, until well browned on the first side, about 5 minutes.
  4. Flip the mushrooms and continue to cook, covered, until well browned on the second side, about 5 minutes.
  5. Finally, flip the mushrooms one last time (they should be gill side up again) and spoon the pepper-olive mixture evenly among them. Top each mushroom with feta cheese and grill, covered, for 1 minute longer. Using a spatula, transfer the mushrooms to a platter and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish 

Nutrient Analysis per serving: Calories: 180; Total fat: 13 g; Sat fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 470 mg; Total carbohydrate: 11 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 6 g; Protein: 7 g 

Recipe Credit: Mushrooms — A Unique Ingredient Taken From Forest Floor to Kitchen Door. Bryan Roof. Today’s Dietitian, Aug 2012; 14(8); 74


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Pulp vs. Pulp-Free Juices, Which is Healthier?

Pulp vs. Pulp-Free Juices, Which is Healthier?

Question:

How healthy are fruit juices like orange juice with no pulp? Do fruits/vegetables from concentrate in smoothies typically only have the water removed with most of the fiber intact? Does it matter if the juice is from concentrate in terms of limiting sugar intake per day?

– Nick S.

Answer:

We often think the pulp retains the fiber, while the expressed juice does not. Taking a look at the labels from three major bottled OJ brands, the nutritional information was nearly identical:

1 cup pulp-free had 110 calories, 22-23 grams sugar, 0 gram fiber

1 cup high pulp had 110 calories, 22-23 grams sugar, 0 gram fiber

But where’s the fiber? When fiber is less than 1 gram and no fiber claims are made, the Nutrition Facts panel may not even have Dietary Fiber listed. The type of fiber, called pectin, is a beneficial soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol and slows the passage of food through the gut.

Citrus pulp is also promoted as containing nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and several minerals. But the evidence of such nutrition is a mystery to me. Not one online article about fruit pulp that I found had an original source citing micronutrient content. The USDA’s Food Composition Database’s ONLY standard reference pulp is that of Naranjilla (lulo), a South American fruit. Hardly something found in American grocery shelves. I found the Nutrition facts panel for a passion fruit pulp sold in the US and it has 1 gram fiber, 9 grams sugar, 2% DV calcium, and 2% DV iron per half-cup serving.

So… although I’ve always been taught (at home and professionally) that the pulp is nutritious, there appears to be a lack of resources to substantiate anything other than a small amount of fiber content. But I still promote consuming fruit skins, pulp, and pith. Here’s why – humans’ teeth and GI tracts were meant to consume as much of a plant as is edible, and to receive the full benefit of a fruit’s nutrients and phytochemicals we need to eat all of its components.  Eating raw, whole foods is always better than a processed version.

Sources:

  1. Juicing 101: Nutrition Tips for Consumers. Nutrition.gov, 9.24.2018. https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/shopping-cooking-meal-planning/juicing-101
  2. Types of Fiber and Their Health Benefits. WebMD.com, 6.1.2018. https://www.webmd.com/diet/compare-dietary-fibers

Fruit concentrate is basically fruit puree with the water removed, and usually the skin and membranes as well. Already the overall nutrition will differ from that of the raw fruit. Concentrates that are pasteurized will be lower in heat-sensitive vitamin C unless the product is fortified. On food labels, the sugar from concentrate is considered “added sugar.”

Fruit juice concentrate is made when water is extracted from the juice. This is beneficial for both preserving the juice and reducing shipping weight. Concentrates are higher in sugar and energy by weight and volume. If the concentrate is reconstituted, water is added back to form the liquid state and the result should be no different than the original juice. Reconstituted juice’s sugar and energy content would be restored to their initial levels.

Sources:

What Is ‘Fruit Concentrate,’ Anyway? And Is It Good For You? NPR 9.1.2017. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/09/01/545336956/what-is-fruit-concentrate-anyway-and-is-it-good-for-you

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

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Is Vegetarianism a Good Move for Distance Athletes?

Is Vegetarianism a Good Move for Distance Athletes?

Question:

I’m a 23-year-old, 150lb, male triathlete that trains pretty heavily, about 20 hours on a normal week, and when in Ironman training it’s around 25+. I’ve read several books that cite vegetarianism as a good move for distance athletes, and I want to give it a try for a couple of months after my next race. How much protein do I need daily? I read some sources that state 60 grams daily, others state 140+.

– Chis C.

Answer:

I am glad you are doing your research before embarking on your endeavor! Vegetarian athletes can meet their protein needs exclusively with plant foods*. Estimated daily protein needs for a 150-pound male triathlete that trains four hours five times a week are 1.7-2.0 grams/kg body weight. This equates to 116-136 grams protein per day.

Although it’s possible, you shouldn’t get all of that from one source. Protein quality matters – it’s important to consume adequate essential amino acids. Since plant proteins may be limited in one of those amino acids, eat a variety of grains, beans, legumes, and vegetables. Here is a sample vegan day with approximately 120 grams of protein and 3500 calories, divided into 3 meals and 3 snacks:

  • 2 vegan sausage patties
  • Medium waxy potato with onion and peppers cooked in tablespoon oil
  • Banana
    • Multigrain bagel with tablespoon peanut butter
    • 1.5 cups of soymilk
  • ½ cup whole beans, two 8” wheat tortillas, 2 oz cheese substitute, ½ avocado, unlimited salsa
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • Orange
    • 6 oz. plain non-fat Greek-style soy yogurt with ¼ cup dried fruit and ¼ cup granola
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables and 3 oz meat substitute, stir-fried in teaspoon oi
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Apple
    • One bag of low-fat microwave popcorn

* Lacto-ovo vegetarians may include some milk, yogurt, and eggs.

Sources:

  1. Nutrition for Triathletes: Adding Protein Into A Vegetarian Diet. Triathlete.com, 7.30.2010. https://www.triathlete.com/2010/07/nutrition/accomplishing-the-feat-of-being-a-vegeterian-triathlete_11093
  2. The Triathlete’s Guide to Protein. Ironman.com, 1.19.2016. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/01/triathletes-guide-to-protein.aspx#axzz5S2QQPAa1

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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