Pseudo-pasta Taking Over?

Have you ever wondered how they made those shoestring french fries? Or you’ve ordered a dish with ribbon-like courgettes or zoodles? Or any other type of spiral cut vegetables? Those chefs must have some super special skills to get us to try more and different kinds of vegetables.
If you have an inner weakness for kitchen gadgets, you too can add spiral vegetables to your meal routine. These gadgets, known as zoodlers, veggettis, spiralizers, or spiral slicers (think julienned vegetables) can be hand held or sit on the counters. Some have interchangeable blades.

Using a spiralizer makes it easier to add fresh vegetables with all of their nutrients and antioxidants to your meals. 

If you struggle to meet your daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the US 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, 5 to 9 servings, spiralizing your vegetables may help you and your family get the nutrients that you need.
Tricking your eyes, you can transform your vegetable lifestyle. If you’ve already begun to change your eating habits because of a gluten intolerance or you want to try the latest paleo diet trend, spiralizing is a great way to swap out your starches. 

Spiralizing can change up the taste and texture leading to some very exciting meals. You may never look at noodles, salads, or slaws the same again.

Visit the MMC Girls on Facebook or Foodies4MMC for some great ideas for zoodles or spiralized vegetables.

Consult the experts at your local Metabolic Medical Center to discuss how to incorporate more vegetables to meet your daily nutritional needs.

How Do We Get Enough Fiber?!

Fiber. We all need it… and most of us don’t get enough of it.

But what is fiber exactly?

Well, the dictionary gives two different definitions in regards to nutrition:
the structural part of plants and plant products that consists of carbohydrates, as cellulose and pectin, that are wholly or partially indigestible and when eaten stimulate peristalsis in the intestine
food containing a high amount of such carbohydrates, as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
So, there are plenty of foods that are high in fiber, and we probably eat some of them some of the time:

And we need fiber, lots of it. The US Department of Agriculture recommends 25 grams of fiber for women daily and 30 grams for men.

When we don’t get enough fiber, we often look to fiber supplements or fortified foods to fill the gap in our nutritional needs. More research is needed to determine if fiber supplements and fortified foods provide the same health benefits as regular food.
Whole foods offer three main supplements over dietary supplements: greater nutrition, essential fiber, protective substances. - Dietary Guidelines for Americans
But there are certain conditions where fiber supplements may be necessary:

  • individuals eating less than 1,600 calories a day
  • vegan or vegetarian with limited food choices
  • females experiencing heavy bleeding during monthly menstruation
  • individuals with medical conditions that affect how the body absorbs and uses nutrients
  • individuals who have had surgery in the digestive tract causing the body to not digest or absorb nutrients properly
  • individuals who have trouble obtaining two to three servings of fish a week.

Fiber is also categorized as soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and slows digestion and is often used in weight management programs to help you feel fuller longer. Insoluble fiber focuses more on moving waste through the digestive and  excretory systems. Foods and fiber supplements generally have a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers in various ratios.
Fiber supplements come in capsules, powders, and chewable tablets. While fiber will slow your digestion, it is still important to drink plenty of water and to observe how your fiber supplements interact with any medications you may be taking.

While fiber supplements don’t make up for poor eating habits, they can help many of us get our minimum fiber requirements, manage some health conditions and lead us to healthier eating lifestyles.

The experts at Metabolic Medical Center can assist you with determining if and which fiber supplements may be appropriate for your eating habits.

Great Tasting Food can be Good for You Too!

There has been a war for your taste buds, and you didn’t even know it. And that war has affected good tasting food and your nutrition.

Thanks to 20th century advancements of processed foods to prolong the shelf-life of food products, we are in a constant battle against excessive amounts of salt, fat and sugar.

Food manufacturers deliberately engineer and market foods that taste too good. These foods makes us want to keep eating even if we are full. We crave them. They are often easy to eat, and give us immediate satisfaction.
Our taste buds, which are limited in number and decline as we age, have become unaccustomed to the wide variety of natural flavors associated with different types of food. Many of us have forgotten or never learned how to select and prepare a variety of natural foods.

But good nutrition doesn’t have to taste bad.
Flavor is is the body’s way of identifying important nutrients and remembering what foods they come from. - Fred Provenza, behavioral ecologist and professor emeritus at Utah State University  
So it’s time to retrain your tastebuds, learn some new skills, and understand that the nutritional value of food is just as important as enjoyment and taste:
Pick the best possible ingredients, as fresh as possible. Make plants the main attraction.

Choose local products as much as possible.

Take a cooking class to learn how to prepare and serve foods at their optimum temperatures.

Spice it up. Adding dried herbs and spices can enhance the subtle flavors in your food.

Eat a variety at every meal that taps into all 5 taste buds: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami.

Learn the history of your favorite dish or style of cuisine, and learn how to make it from scratch.

Use all five senses during your meal.

Make mealtime an event. 

It may take a little time to readjust and appreciate the way good food tastes, but your body will thank you.

The knowledge staff at Metabolic Medical Center will help you redevelop your taste

Are You Ready? Food Label Changes Are Heading Our Way!

It’s been a few months since they’ve made the announcement: nutritional labels on food are going to change; but they haven’t changed yet. 

After extensive negotiations with the food and beverage industry, various government agencies, public health advocates, nutrition researchers and consumer groups, the Obama administration has enacted changes to the US Food and Drug Administration’s food labels  in conjunction with battling childhood obesity and promoting healthier eating. These changes have been more than twenty years in the making.

Very soon you will no longer need a microscope, a calculator or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food that you're buying is actually good for your kids, so that's a phenomenal achievement. — Michelle Obama
Businesses, depending on size, will have two to three years to comply with changing the labels on food products to meet the new standards. Consumers will be looking at two and three different kinds of nutrition labels for a while yet.

So what changes are we going to see?
Overall Look and Feel
The first thing you will notice, is that the new label doesn’t look a whole lot different. Going for consistency and a clean informative design, we will all still know what a nutritional label should look like when we pick up a food package.

Stylistic Changes
While the overall look will be the same, recommendations were made to change the size of certain line items so that we would be able to recognize them more easily. Sometimes food labels have to list a lot of information, but we often only want to look at specific information. One of the most often referenced items on the label, calories per serving, will have a much more prominent place on the new label.

More Stylistic Changes
Depending on the product you purchase, you may see a two column format to the label. Why two columns of information? What happens when you eat a can of soup or a large bag of chips? Are you going to stick to the recommended single serving size? Have you been guilty of eating everything in the package? With the new two column label, you will be able to see the nutritional content of a single serving as well as the entire package. While this may not deter you from eating the whole package it will give you more nutritional information without having to do any math.
What’s Going
There are a few things that are no longer going to be required on the labels. The rationale for these is that it is not informative or no longer a public health risk:
• Calories from Fat
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C

What’s Staying
All groups involved working on changes agreed that the following information is still relevant to consumers in making appropriate food decisions for their health needs:
• Fats: Total Fats, Saturated Fat, and Trans fats
• Cholesterol
• Sodium
• Total Carbohydrates
• Dietary Fiber
• Sugar
• Protein
• Calcium
• Iron

What’s Coming
Additions to the food labels were based on either overconsumption or a nutrient deficiency amongst the people:
• Added Sugars
• Vitamin D
• Potassium
The intention is not to tell consumers what to eat, but rather to make sure they have the tools and accurate information they need to choose foods that are right for themselves and their families. - Susan Mayne, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
What’s Changing
Some items on the food labels needed a little tweaking to reflect actual consumption trends and more clarification:
• Serving Sizes - reflecting actual portions eaten
• Odd Sized Packages - adjusting to a single serving size
• % Daily Value - clarified to better understand nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet

It will be a while yet before everything is switched over to the new food label format, so you’ll need to still be able to decipher the old one. Contact the professionals at Metabolic Medical Center to review your nutritional needs and to help you correctly read nutritional labels.