10 High-Fiber, Low-Carb Foods
We mention fiber here quite often because of its impact on cholesterol and blood sugar levels, digestion, and helping you feel full. Sometimes foods that are high in fiber are also high in carbs, so if you’re trying to keep carb intake low or keto, here are 10 foods that check both boxes:
1. Flax Seeds, 2 tablespoons = 4g fiber/0g net carbs
2. Chia Seeds, 2 tablespoons = 11g fiber/2g net carbs
3. Avocado, ½ medium avocado = 7g fiber/2g net carbs
4. Almonds, 1 oz = 4g fiber/3g net carbs
5. Cauliflower, 1 cup = 2g fiber/2g net carbs
6. Raw Broccoli, 1 cup = 5g fiber/6g net carbs
7. Unsweetened Coconut, 1 oz = 5g fiber/2g net carbs
8. Blackberries, 1 cup = 7g fiber/6g net carbs
9. Macadamia Nuts, ¾ cup = 9g fiber/5g net carbs
10. Pistachios, 1 oz = 3g fiber/5g net carbs
Popular Halloween Candy
2020 has already had its share of tricks and sales data has shown that people are taking the matter of treats into their own hands with Halloween candy sales up 13% this year. Below is some info on the top three sellers in the tri-state area and some other interesting observations across the United States:
2. Hot Tamales (2019 winner)
3. Jolly Ranchers
1. Sour Patch Kids
2. Kit Kat (2019 winner)
1. Swedish Fish
2. Reese’s Cups
3. Hot Tamales
• Overall U.S. Winners
2. Reese’s Cups
• Candy Corn is #1 in North Dakota, Michigan, Alabama.
• Dubble Bubble is #1 in Oklahoma and Montana.
• Lemonheads are #1 in Louisiana.
• The only state to have all candy bars in the top three is Mississippi with 3 Musketeers, Snickers, and Butterfinger.
Five Quick Halloween Hacks
Here are five quick tips to help keep things interesting and nutritious this Halloween:
• Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You can keep the seeds that come out of the pumpkins you carve and roast them as a snack. Just clean the pulp off in a colander under running water, let the seeds dry between paper towels, season, and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°.
• Sweet Potato Shapes
Slice up a large sweet potato into rounds and then use cookie cutters to either trim out fun shapes or make imprints in the sweet potatoes. Add some oil of your choice and seasoning then bake at 375° for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
• Candy Corn Fruit Parfait
Make a healthy, pint-sized mock candy corn by layering fruit and yogurt in a glass. Start with pineapple on the bottom, mandarin oranges in the middle, and Greek yogurt on top.
• Spooky Spaghetti
Make spaghetti night spooky by adding a little black food coloring (½ tsp per 16oz of pasta) to the boiling water. The pasta will come out dark purple of black and get everyone talking!
Slice off the top of an orange and remove the insides, then cut a jack-o-lantern face into one side. Take the fruit you dug out, mix with apple chunks, raisins, honey, and Greek yogurt, and then put it back in the carved orange for serving.
What Does "Scampi" Mean?
Included on our menu this week is our Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli. You’ve probably heard the term “scampi” before, but what does it mean?
• Technically, “scampi” is the Italian name for a small type of crustacean in the lobster family. By that definition, saying “shrimp scampi” is kind of like saying “shrimp tiny lobster”, but the term has evolved over the years.
• Italian cooks in the US started swapping the scampi species with shrimp, as scampi were very hard to come by.
• They would prep everything the same way and call it “shrimp prepared scampi style” which was eventually shortened to “shrimp scampi”.
• ”Scampi” as we know it today means that shrimp are sautéed with garlic in a sauce made from butter, white wine, and lemon juice. Italian parsley is also usually added.
• After the shrimp and sauce are done, we like to add in broccoli and some whole wheat pasta or swap the pasta for cauliflower for a low carb option.
Iron Absorption Tips
thy levels of iron in your body are dependent on what you eat and how well you absorb it. Earlier this week we looked at plant-based sources of iron that most diets can accommodate. Now let’s look at tips to maximize the absorption of iron:
• Add in Red Meat, Chicken, and Fish
It’s been found that consuming sources of heme iron from animal sources also boosts absorption of non-heme iron from plant sources when eaten at the same meal. So if your diet allows it, red meat or chicken or fish are all good sources of heme iron that are easily absorbed and boost absorption overall.
• Add Vitamin C
Combining vitamin C with foods rich in non-heme iron can increase absorption by up to five times. Some iron-rich foods like broccoli and tomato paste already have vitamin C or you can go with combos such as beans and rice with salsa or falafel with tomatoes and hummus with lemon juice.
• Add Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
Including vitamin A and beta-carotene rich foods can also increase iron absorption, among many other benefits. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, squash, apricots, and peaches.
• Space Out Coffee, Tea, and Dairy
Coffee and tea contain tannins and polyphenols that inhibit iron absorption so it’s recommended to keep a couple of hours between them and a meal for maximum iron absorption. Also, calcium-rich foods can cut iron absorption by 50% so try and space out your calcium and iron intake.
Plant-Based Sources of Iron
Plant-Based Sources of Iron
• Iron helps your body do things like move oxygen around, grow hair and skin, strengthen immunity, and keep muscles functioning properly.
• There are two types of iron you can find in food: heme, found in animal sources, and non-heme, found in plant sources.
• Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed by your body, so it’s recommended that vegans and vegetarians get a daily iron intake that’s higher than meat-eaters.
• That doesn’t mean it’s harder to meet those requirements - you just have to know where to look.
Here are some great plant-based sources of iron:
Lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, lima beans.
Quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, fortified cereals.
• Nuts and Seeds:
Pumpkin, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, hemp.
Tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens.
Dried apricots, dried figs, raisins, prune juice, olives.
1. "Spaghetto" is the singular form of the word “spaghetti”. That’s right. In the Italian language, an “i” at the end of a word usually means it’s plural and an “a” or “o” means singular. So “tortellino” is the plural of “tortellini” and you can say “raviolo” if you have one of many “ravioli” on your fork.
2. Peaches and nectarines are genetically identical except for the fuzz. There’s a misconception that nectarines are a cross between a peach and a plum, but that’s not true. Peaches and nectarines are the same except for one gene that determines whether their skin is fuzzy or smooth.
3. Indiana’s most popular Halloween candies are... Starburst in first place, then Hot Tamales, and third place is Jolly Ranchers. This is according to over a decade worth of sales data at candystore.com.
4. There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears in the world… and the United States produces 84% of them.
5. Margherita pizza was named after a queen. Queen Margherita and King Umberto I were visiting Naples in 1889 and wanted to switch up their usual fancy meal options and asked for pizza. They were served a pizza topped with soft mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves. The queen raved about it and the combo has been named after her ever since.
Pasta is typically one of the first foods to go when people are looking to reduce calories and carbs in their diet. But with some knowledge of what pasta does for your body, you can easily make it part of your diet and keep it around.
• Calories and Carbs and More
Most pasta contains around 200 calories and 40g carbs per cup, so it’s not really considered a low-calorie or low-carb food. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but it’s important to have this knowledge and adjust accordingly to your dietary needs. Pasta also contains a good variety of nutrients like protein, B6, manganese, iron, and thiamin, among others.
• Whole-Grain Can Help
Going with whole-grain pasta over the usual white pasta can help shave off calories and carbs and also increase fiber intake. This will help increase your feelings of fullness as it takes longer to digest. It’s worth noting too that pasta is considered a low-glycemic index food, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels like high-glycemic foods do.
• Watch the Sauce
Most off-the-shelf pasta sauces are very high in sugar and add lots of calories (usually around 70 calories per ½ cup) to your dishes unknowingly and unnecessarily. Consider making your own using tomato sauce and adding spices. Or keep things simple and go with just roasted garlic and some olive oil and spices like red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano.
• Balance It Out
Pasta is great because it’s so versatile. Add plenty of vegetables to your pasta dish and top it with your choice of lean protein to make it a complete and balanced meal. You’ll also increase everyone’s satisfaction and fullness with these additions.
Those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity have options as well. There are gluten-free varieties of pasta available that switch out the wheat ingredients with things like brown rice or quinoa.
Like most things you eat, moderation is key. If you’re realistic with your pasta serving sizes and what you put on top, pasta can definitely be part of your healthy diet.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Zucchini is a type of squash (technically a fruit) that's wonderfully-green and can be enjoyed raw, cooked, in bread or muffins, or you may have seen it on our menu in our Grilled Zucchini Wrap with Eggs and Mozzarella. There’s lots to love about zucchini:
• Heart Health
Zucchini’s heart health benefits come mostly from its ample fiber content. Studies have shown diets high in fiber reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the potassium in zucchinis helps to open up your blood vessels and can reduce high blood pressure.
A lot of what makes up zucchini is water, which can reduce your chances of constipation. Also, it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber to keep things moving and feed healthy gut bacteria.
• Vitamin A
You’ll get 40% of your daily Vitamin A requirement from one cup of zucchini, which supports healthy vision and a strong immune system.
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants including a type called carotenoids that are beneficial for the health of your eyes, skin, and heart. Note that the highest concentration of antioxidants are in the skin, so try and include it when you can.
• Variety of Nutrients
One cup of zucchini only has 28 calories but is packed with a variety of nutrients we haven’t mentioned yet such as manganese, vitamins C, K, and B6, magnesium, folate, copper, and iron.