Spaghetti Squash - Why We LOve It
Spaghetti squash was featured on our menu recently and it’s a little different than other varieties of squash. It has a nutty flavor and an impressive nutrient profile but what makes it truly unique is that once it’s cooked, it shreds into pasta-like strands. Here’s why we love using it:
• Improves Gut Health
Spaghetti squash is rich in fiber, which helps digestion but also cholesterol and blood sugar.
• Vitamins and Minerals
It's a nutrient-dense food that includes vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6 but comes in at only 42 calories per cup.
• Lower in Carbs and Calories
Spaghetti squash has become an awesome low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. You can add the same sauce and veggies to it you would to your normal pasta dishes but cut way back on the usual carbs and calories.
• High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants have been shown to help fight off many chronic illnesses and spaghetti squash is a great source of beta-carotene in particular. Its vitamin C helps too.
• Omega 3’s
Yet another wonderful and surprising thing spaghetti squash provides - omega 3 fatty acids. Increasing your intake of omega 3’s help reduce inflammation in your body.
Fiber And Why It’s Important
Most people understand that eating foods rich in fiber help keep your bathroom trips regular and easy. While that’s a huge plus, fiber can do even more for your body and plays a huge role in your overall health.
• Regulates Blood Sugar
Eating carbs causes your blood sugar to rise but adding in fiber-rich foods can minimize this spike and keep it from reaching harmful levels.
• Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
The cholesterol-lowering effects of fiber can help reduce your risk of heart disease by 9% for every 7g of fiber you eat per day.
• Reduces Diabetes Risk
Getting at least 26g of fiber a day can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 18%, according to a recent study.
• Can Lead to Weight Loss
Fiber can help reduce your appetite and help you feel full, which can curb cravings and keep you satisfied after you’ve eaten.
Why We Love Sweet Potatoes
Our first Fall menu is up and one of the new items we’re excited about is the Stuffed Autumn Sweet Potato. We add in pears, cranberries, and pecans for that extra kick of “Fall” flavor, but sweet potatoes are an excellent base on their own.
🍠 A Variety of Vitamins and Minerals
Along with a good mix of macros, you’ll also find vitamins A, B6, and C, manganese, potassium, copper, and niacin in sweet potatoes.
🍠 Support Eye Health
Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, which supports eye health and prevents vision loss.
🍠 Immune System Boost
Vitamin A is critical for a healthy immune system and you’ll find around 550% of your daily requirement in a sweet potato! This will keep you less susceptible to infections, support the creation of white blood cells, and speed up your recovery time if you do get sick.
🍠 Fiber for Digestion and Overall Health
Fiber comes in two forms and both are found in sweet potatoes. Not only can fiber help your digestion, it can also lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation in your body.
Whole Eggs vs Egg Whites
Eggs are wonderfully nutritious and provide a myriad of health benefits. Something that’s become popular is to only eat the egg whites and exclude the yolks. There are pros and cons to doing this. Let’s take a look at the difference:
Whole Egg = 70
Egg White = 15
Whole Egg = 211mg
Egg White = 0mg
Whole Egg = 5g
Egg White = 0g
Whole Egg = 6g
Egg White = 4g
• Vitamin B12
Whole Egg = 52% DV
Egg White = 0%
• Vitamin D
Whole Egg = 21% DV
Egg White = 0%
Whole Egg = 90% DV
Egg White = 9%
• So as you can see, egg whites take the calories much lower, fat and cholesterol go away completely, protein only gets a little lower, but vitamins are reduced significantly when compared to whole eggs.
• If you’re watching your calories and cholesterol closely, egg whites may be a good choice, but make sure you’re getting enough vitamins from other sources. If you have the calories to spare and healthy cholesterol levels, you can’t go wrong with whole eggs for their added nutrition.
Health Benefits of Chicken
Chicken is a staple in many people’s diets and there are plenty of reasons to keep it there. It’s a complete protein and supplies you with all the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s also low in calories and saturated fat, high in protein, and has 0 carbs. Calories and fat are even lower if you go with boneless, skinless chicken breast.
You’ll see chicken in this form on our menu regularly so let’s take a look at what it has to offer:
4oz of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast contains:
• 184 Calories
• 35g Protein
• 0g Carbs
• 76% DV Niacin
• 32% Vitamin B6
• 95mg Choline
• 44% DV Selenium
Rather than remember all the rules of the latest diet craze, healthy eating is best kept simple. We love simple - it’s in our name. With some good habits in place, you can easily reduce calories here and there that all add up during the day.
• Use Smaller Plates.
Big plates hold big portions - whether you need them or not. Going with smaller plates for meals is a great way to help judge portion sizes and curb overeating.
• Indulge Reasonably.
It’s ok to indulge every once in a while, just do so in moderation and everything will be fine. If you can’t stop thinking about chocolate cake, you’re likely to eat lots of other things to try and fill that void, but really, you’ll still just want chocolate cake.
• Use Less Sauce.
Bottled sauces can add 100 calories or more per tablespoon so try and be mindful of how much you add so you aren’t drowning your food in unnecessary calories.
• Drink Water.
The old standard of drinking 8 glasses of water a day is a good starting point but more is better. Your body uses water for a huge variety of functions and it could usually use a little more.
• Size Up Your Portions.
A serving size for meat and fish is 3oz, which ends up being about the size of the palm of your hand. You don’t have to obsess over measuring portions but at least get a baseline by sizing things up every once in a while so you know where you stand.
• Dip Vegetables Instead of Chips.
Try going with carrots/cauliflower/cucumbers instead of chips in your dip. This swap works for hummus, French onion dip, and even salsa.
Some of our recent menu items have included whole wheat pasta and there are plenty of good reasons to go with whole wheat over the typical refined white pasta when you can. Let’s take a look at why it matters:
• Whole wheat pasta has fewer calories than refined pasta. A one cup serving of whole grain can save you almost 50 calories over the refined stuff.
• You’ll get more fiber from whole wheat pasta. A typical serving has 6g, while refined pasta has 2.5g. Fiber helps you feel full, improves digestion, and has been shown to lower your cholesterol and help regulate your blood sugar.
• As far as nutrients go, whole wheat pasta wins again. It has more protein than refined pasta and also contains more potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
• The texture of whole wheat pasta is a little less smooth than refined, but some people actually prefer the difference. Try it out!
• To sum it up: whole wheat pasta has less calories and fat, but more fiber and protein and nutrients than the typical refined pasta. What’s not to love?
Sources of Biotin
Also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, biotin is important to keep your eyes, hair, skin, brain, and liver healthy. It’s a water-soluble vitamin, so it’s not stored in the body and needs to be consumed to keep your levels steady. Here are some foods that are good sources of biotin:
• Sweet Potatoes