A Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin

Eat protein for skin health.

A healthy diet is essential to the health of your body, but it’s also essential to the health of your skin.

A variety of nutrients, including protein, antioxidants, vitamins and collagen can help improve the way your skin looks. Healthy skin is easily recognizable because it’s usually glowing. Here are some nutrients to consume for healthy, glowing skin.

Nutrition for Skin Health

Eat Protein

A diet low in protein, over the course of many months, can cause a loss in skin tone. Your skin may start to sag and wrinkle beyond what would be reasonable for chronological age. Proteins are essential for tissue repair and the construction of new tissue. Cells need protein to maintain their life, so the body uses protein to “replace” worn-out or dead skin cells. Including proteins in your diet from sources like chicken, meat, fish, soy or tofu will help you solve that concern. Meal replacement protein shakes are also great options for protein consumption.

Importance of Antioxidants and Vitamins

While protein is essential to achieving healthy skin, antioxidants A, C and E are also crucial. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can affect the health of your skin. The skin easily shows the effects of oxidative damage, and antioxidants have been shown to be potent in protecting the skin from oxidative damage. Make sure your diet includes fruits like blueberries, strawberries and apples, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale. Additionally, a multivitamin is an excellent way of ensuring that you are providing your skin with what it needs to look healthy.

Collagen Consumption

The human body’s collagen accounts for 25% to 30% of its total protein, of which about 75% is skin collagen. Collagen is located primarily in the connective tissue, and it’s responsible for giving the dermis its firm structure. Look for products with hydrolyzed Verisol® collagen. Verisol® collagen works from the inside out to support the structure of the skin.* Verisol® collagen supports skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles. For added benefits, there are products in the marketplace that also contain antioxidants and minerals to support healthy nails and hair.* During the aging process, which starts in your mid-20s, the skin suffers from a progressive loss of moisture and becomes increasingly dry. When this happens, the dermis becomes thinner; the connective tissue loses its firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles and sagging start to occur.

A healthy diet can support healthy skin. It’s the best way of looking and feeling great. When you nourish your body from the inside out, with the proper food and nutrients, your body will thank you with youthful and radiant skin!

  • Verisol® is a registered trademark of GELITA AG.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

7 Tips to Improve Your Eating Habits

Create good habits to achieve your goal.

Here are some effective principles to follow when you’re trying to change your bad eating habits.

Habits can be hard to change because, well, they are habits. Each year, many of us look at changing some of our bad habits, and the best thing I can do to help my clients is to try to help them prioritize—and work on the easiest things first.

Whether you’re looking to change a number of bad habits or only one or two, there are some basic principles to consider when it comes to navigating your way through the behavior change process. So, here are some tips for smoother sailing:

    Set your behavior goals and make them reasonable.

    Be specific. “I want to get physically fit” or “I will eat better” are too vague. Instead, set a goal of “I will walk 30 minutes a day” or “I will pack my own lunch twice a week.”

    Start with the easiest changes first.

    Once you tackle those and feel successful, you’ll feel empowered to take on more challenges. As each small change becomes permanent, they’ll start to add up, which can also add up to big health benefits.

    Don’t think ‘forever.’

    Try to just get through a weekend without overdoing it, or take things a day at a time—or even a meal at a time if you have to.

    Keep track so you know how well you’re doing.

    If you’ve been trying to boost your physical activity, keep a log of your minutes or miles. If you’re trying to cut back on sweets, set a limit for the week and keep track. And for each small success, give yourself a pat on the back.

    Try to anticipate what might derail you and plan accordingly.

    If parties are your undoing, plan to have a snack before you go, and decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have. If you know you’ll hit the snooze button instead of exercising in the morning, put the alarm clock across the room—right next to your workout clothes.

    Practice the art of distraction.

    When you get the urge to eat something you shouldn’t, tell yourself that you’ll wait 15 minutes before you give in. Chances are, you’ll get busy doing something else and forget about it.

    Notice what triggers your bad habits and break the chain.

    If the vending machine at work tempts you every time you walk by, find another route so you’ll avoid it, or don’t carry any money with you. To stop nighttime noshing, head into the bathroom to brush your teeth instead of into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Fitness Motivation: Be Strong. Be Beautiful. Be You.

Build muscle tone with resistance training.

We’ve been misled by the overabundance of toned physiques we see daily in the media. It’s time to
reassess what our idea of “beautiful” is.

We are constantly exposed to images of toned physiques, which aren’t always a negative thing, but they can often be used in a misleading way. I believe that there is a positive way to look at images of fit and healthy people. In the same way that seeing fast food ads makes you start craving unhealthy food, seeing healthy body imagery can serve as a motivating force to get you off the couch and moving. This initial, externally-focused motivation of wanting a perfect body, such as those we see in magazines or online, is often quickly replaced by a true understanding of how living a healthy, active lifestyle can make you feel and look better.

What’s Your Motivation?

Quite often people feel guilty for being motivated by vanity, but it doesn’t matter what your source of motivation is. Whether you’re motivated by health benefits, achieving your idea of a perfect physique or by really cute active wear that’s caught your attention, it’s okay. You don’t need to feel guilt about your reasons for wanting to improve. So long as you’re making positive steps toward getting fit and healthy, it’s a positive thing. Whatever your overall body goal is, just remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and true beauty is what happens on the inside of your body. Maintaining an overall body composition that is within a healthy range and feeling good is what I believe is most important. Of course, matching your workout shoes to your outfit is a great perk, too.

Stay Positive

We should embrace our friends who are sharing their fitness progress, feel happy for the fitness models on the cover of magazines and be inspired by the women who like to wear fabulous outfits to the gym. Always remember that your positive progress and enthusiasm can serve as inspiration for others, too. We all have certain areas of the body that frustrate us and you shouldn’t feel guilty if your motivation for fitness and healthy eating comes from trying to correct your trouble areas. In fact, this is often a passing phase and eventually the amazing feeling that a healthy lifestyle evokes will allow you to forget about that specific area altogether.

Here are some tips to help you with stubborn female trouble spots while keeping your overall health as your priority:

Refine your overall approach:

Work toward achieving an improved overall fitness level and incorporate your body-specific or target goals into that plan. Working on your trouble spots a few times a week will help you to feel a sense of control.

Boost your cardio to burn fat:

Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, biking and swimming, burn calories and often even stored body fat. If you’re trying to burn some fat off your hips and booty, making sure that you engage in cardio is essential. Remember that you can’t decide where your body will burn fat from—there is no such thing as spot reduction. However, adding 30-45 minutes of cardio, three days a week, will help you to burn fat. To make your cardio lower body specific, try running, climbing hills or give spinning a try.

Build up your muscles:

If you want to improve the muscle tone in your lower body, you must do lower body exercises as part of your routine. My favorites for toning the hips and booty are squats, lunges, step-ups and leg lifts. Even if your aim is to slim down, building muscle is a perfect choice. Start out by performing the exercises, using your body weight, then progress to adding resistance with dumbbells or a bar. Three days a week for 30 minutes is a great start.

Make small dietary changes:

Having good nutrition is one of the most important factors of improving your body. If you want to increase your muscle mass, you must be consuming adequate protein. If you increase the amount of exercise that you do, you must ensure that you are staying well-hydrated and consuming good carbohydrates. My tip is to write down your daily consumption in a food diary so that you can see what you are putting into your body. Make small changes to cut out any junk foods and replace them with healthier options. If you focus on snack time to start with, you may be surprised how many hidden calories you’re consuming. A reduction of just a few hundred calories a day can make a big impact on your body composition over time.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

How Good Nutrition Promotes Healthy Hair

Healthy hair needs protein, too.

A healthy diet plays an instrumental role in the health of your hair.

We talk about the importance of nutrition when it comes to our skin, but it doesn’t stop there. A healthy diet also plays an instrumental role in growing healthy hair. With so many products on the market today, including shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays and more, you’d think that the only thing we can do for our hair is cover it up with product. But that just isn’t the case. Like our skin, the condition of our hair can be a true reflection of what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s take a look at the importance of nutrition and our hair.

Our hair is part of our unique look. It can be conservative, quirky or free flowing, and everyone is different. Some like long, bouncy curls while others like a short, polished look. And some prefer no hair at all. No matter what your style is, there’s one thing that experts agree on. A healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrients, including proteins, vitamins and minerals, can help improve how our hair feels and looks. That’s right. Our diet is a direct link to the overall health of our hair.

The Nutrition Link to Healthy Hair

What is Healthy Hair?

Healthy hair is full, bouncy, manageable, shiny, soft and silky. Healthy hair grows out of every hair follicle without issue. It’s strong, doesn’t break easily and it’s attached to a healthy scalp. A balanced diet is important to give your hair the nutrients required to look and feel healthy. And guess what one of the most important things for our hair is? Protein.

The Power of Protein

Did you know that hair is comprised primarily of proteins called keratin? Keratin is actually a family of proteins that are a major component of hair, skin, teeth and even the horns and hooves of animals. In fact, hair is made of approximately 95% keratin. Because of this, hair requires adequate amounts of protein from our diet to thrive.

As Susan Bowerman said, “Many women, especially when they’re watching their weight, often don’t eat enough protein as they try to get by on a lot of salads. Since protein is so important for healthy hair, it’s something they should pay more attention to.” And, boy, is she right. In fact, there are many studies that indicate that occasional hair loss may be due to a lack of protein intake. Crash diets that exclude protein or unhealthy eating practices in general can be damaging to our hair, and may contribute to hair loss. But don’t worry, because including adequate amounts of protein in our diet from chicken, meat, eggs, fish, tofu, nuts and other sources can solve the problem. We never start my day without a delicious protein shake, and our afternoon snack is always a protein bar. Just remember the power of protein.

Nutrition and Your Hair

While protein is important for healthy hair, it’s not the only thing. Trace minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and selenium are helpful, as are vitamins E, D, and C. These nutrients are involved in the production of keratin, so it’s important to include them in your diet. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can compromise hair health and cause hair loss. Be conscientious of the foods you’re eating, and take a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re providing your body (and hair) with what it needs to flourish. Using the right hair care products is also important. Choose formulas that contain antioxidant vitamins, natural hydrating ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera, and those that are sulfate-free. The combination of inner and outer nutrition is great for your hair.

Here are some of our favorite fun facts about hair.

  • Hair grows all over our bodies except for the palms of hands, soles of feet, eyelids, mucous membranes and lips.
  • When wet, a strand of hair can stretch 30% beyond its normal length. This is why it’s important not to brush or comb hair too vigorously after washing. We don’t want to damage or break the hair strands.
  • Red hair is the most rare, and it’s found in about 1% of the world’s population. Blond hair represents about 2%, with black being the most common color of all.
  • Freaking out over hair in the shower drain? Don’t. The average person has 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on their head. It’s normal to lose 40 to 150 strands each day. The good news is that when a hair falls out, it usually grows back up to 20 times in a lifetime.
  • A single hair can have a lifespan of 5 years. So, take care of it by choosing a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Look for products with clinical tests to improve hair strength. And don’t abuse your hair with excessive drying and styling practices.
  • The only part of the hair that isn’t dead is the hair inside the scalp. So give your scalp a nice massage when cleansing to stimulate blood flow. It’s beneficial and feels great, too.

A healthy diet can lead to healthy skin and healthy hair. It’s our number one beauty secret to looking and feeling fabulous. And it’s that combination of taking care of our bodies inside and out that really makes a difference. It’s about being healthy. And remember, the healthiest skin (and hair) is always the most beautiful.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Build Your Own Balanced Diet

A balanced diet requires quality foods.

A balanced diet involves more than just meeting your nutrition needs––it’s a personal plan that balances with your likes, your dislikes and your lifestyle.

People often ask me, “Is dieting good, or bad?” It’s such a general question that I often don’t quite know how to answer––partly because we toss around the words “diet” and “dieting” so much that they’ve almost lost their meaning.

In truth, we’re all on a diet every day. We each have our own dietary habits and patterns that make up our usual “diet.” Sometimes we make changes to that diet––often to cut down on our calories––in which case you might say you’re “dieting” or “on my diet” (that is, until a few weeks later…when you’re “off my diet”).

What Makes a Diet Good or Bad?

There are certainly “good” diets and “bad” diets. We all know people who choose foods carefully and eat well, just as we know others who seem to eat nothing but fast food and soda. And if you need to lose weight, then “dieting,” in the most general sense, is probably a good thing. But it really depends on how you approach your weight loss.

If your weight loss diet is one you can stick with, is well-balanced and leads to a healthy rate of weight loss, then yes, in that case dieting is definitely “good.” But if the weight loss diet you’re attempting to follow is unbalanced, if it’s so strict that you can’t stick with it, or if it’s so low in calories that you have no energy or you lose weight too quickly, I’d say that’s “bad.”

The Best Diet is the One that Works for You

The most successful “diet” is a nutrition plan that works for you day in and day out, provides your body with the nutrients it needs and includes foods that you enjoy eating. It’s a diet that works with your lifestyle, that you can follow for the rest of your life and is uniquely yours.

With so many different “diets” out there, how do you put together the plan that works for you? The best way to start is to follow some basic principles, and then refine your eating pattern until you find a way of eating every day that works for you.

Building a Healthy Diet from the Ground Up

I like to think of building your diet in much the same way you would if you were constructing a house. You start with the basic foundation, you build up your supporting structures, and then you add the finishing touches to personalize it, and make it uniquely yours.

If you were building a house from the ground up, you’d have a budget. Similarly, if you’re building your diet, the first thing you need to know is how many calories you have to work with. Just as houses come in all different sizes, so do people and their calorie requirements. Calorie needs are individual to you, and are determined, in large part, by your body composition and the
amount of activity you get. You can’t plan out what you’re going to eat until you have an idea of your daily calorie needs to help you achieve your dietary goals (whether it’s to lose weight, gain
or stay the same).

Now, just like your house, your diet needs a strong foundation. Ideally, the core of your diet will be made up of lean proteins, health carbohydrate sources (in the form of vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and modest amounts of beneficial fats. Your goal is to divide up your calories from protein, carbohydrates and fats in a way that suits your needs.

In most cases, about half your calories are going to come from carbohydrates. The other half will be, more or less, roughly divided between protein and fat. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats you eat, along with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, provide the supporting structure to your diet.

Personalize Your Diet for Long Term Success

Once the basic structure is finished, you get to decorate and personalize your house. The same holds true for your diet. You get to personalize your nutrition plan by picking and choosing the
foods you’ll eat that work with your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle, your budget––while still meeting your nutrition goals.

Personalization is really the key to your success. Focus on choosing the healthy foods that you enjoy the most. What really matters is the overall quality of your diet. And with so many healthy
foods out there, there’s no shortage of items to pick and choose from. It wouldn’t be “good” if you felt uncomfortable every time you walked into your own home––if it didn’t feel like “you.” Similarly, a diet is only “good” when it’s good for you––because it nourishes you, and because it just feels right. And once you feel natural and comfortable with the diet that you can “call your
own,” your weight should take care of itself.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Why We Reward Our Healthy Food Choices with Unhealthy Foods

Why We Reward Our Healthy Food ChoicesRewarding good food choices with unhealthy foods may be part of human nature.

How often has something like this happened to you? After taking a longer-than-usual run, you reward your efforts with a big bowl of ice cream. Or, because you chose a side salad instead of French fries at lunch, you figure you’ve earned the right to eat a candy bar that afternoon. Maybe the scale says you’ve dropped an extra bit of weight this week, so you figure you “deserve” to double up on the beer and nachos while watching the football game on Sunday. What is going on here? Why do we reward our good food choices with unhealthy ones?

Related Article: Nutritious Snacks for Every Craving

There’s actually a term for this phenomenon. Those in social psychology call it “self-licensing” or the “licensing effect”. It’s a term used to describe the way in which we reward good behavior by being indulgent – when we give ourselves permission to be a little bit “bad” as a reward for doing something “good”.

Marketing research has uncovered some interesting insights into self-licensing and how it affects our food choices, as well as how we reward those choices. Interestingly, it seems that we may have a natural tendency to balance out our good and bad eating behaviors, without really being aware that we’re doing it.

Here’s the way it works. You probably have a pretty good sense for what makes a healthy diet – and you’re fully aware of how well your usual eating behaviors align with that. And, as long as your choices fall under your definition of “healthy eating,” you probably won’t feel this tug-of-war between “good” and “bad” choices all that much.

But, let’s say you make a choice that is more extreme – either really good or really bad. When that happens, you’re more inclined to try to balance it out – by swinging to the other extreme. So, after a particularly tough basketball game, you rationalize a reward in the form of four slices of pepperoni pizza. (It can work the other way, too, by the way. After eating a huge, fatty dinner, for example, you might try to balance it out by fasting the next day).

This licensing effect appears to work in more subtle ways, too. It turns out that just having the intention of choosing a healthy item can push you to make a less healthy choice. When you look at a menu and are faced with a choice between a side salad or French fries, research suggests that just the fact that you consider eating the salad is enough to make you feel that you’ve been “good” – and that you’ve met your goal of trying to eat well. So, you allow yourself to be a little bit “bad” and choose the fries.

It’s also been shown that when you go to the supermarket, the more healthy food items you toss into your cart, the more likely you are to reward yourself some treats – again, to sort of balance things out. The same thing seems to hold true if you bring your own reusable bags to the store with you, too. Social psychologists have found that the act of bringing your own reusable bags simultaneously pushes you to buy both “good” and “bad” items. The reasoning is that if you feel virtuous for doing something “good” for the environment by using reusable bags, you might just give yourself permission to by “bad” by purchasing a few less healthy items, too.

Self-licensing can also get in the way when you’re trying to lose weight – and it helps explain why, for some people, the more weight they lose one week, the less weight they’re likely to lose the following week. The way they see it, after being “good” and making big strides toward their weight goal in one week, they deserve to reward themselves … by being a little bit “bad” the following week.

It helps to know that self-licensing is part of our nature – and also that most of us don’t eat perfectly all the time. And maybe that’s the key. Maybe when we try to be too perfect with our diets 24/7, we find that the moment we can’t do it anymore, we swing really far in the other direction in an attempt to find some balance. But swaying from one extreme way of eating to the other isn’t really sustainable, and it isn’t balanced.

Instead, we should each aim to find our own path to healthy eating – and not necessarily a straight and narrow one, but a path that’s broad enough to include a range of foods that will keep us healthy, nourished and satisfied.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

 

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Diet by the Decade: Eat Healthy in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and Beyond

Diet by the Decade

Stock up on healthy foods.

With each decade that passes, your food choices and dietary habits may need a little adjusting.

Whether you’re 20 years old or 70 years old, the basics of a healthy diet apply – keep your proteins lean, focus on healthy carbohydrates (such as colorful fruits and veggies, and whole grains), and eat moderate amounts of healthy fats from foods such as nuts, avocado, olive oil and fatty fish. But, with each passing decade, there are some areas of your diet that may need some attention. There are subtle shifts in nutrient and calorie needs, and your eating and activity patterns are often influenced by the demands of your daily life. So here is your decade-by-decade guide to healthy eating.

Related Article: Diet Advice that You Should Probably Ignore

How to Eat in Your 20s

For many, this is the decade when the transition is made from college to career. Eating (and drinking) habits in your early 20s may not be the best, and as you transition into a regular work schedule, you might carry some of those habits with you. Working life often brings more meals out, coffee breaks with colleagues and happy hours after work – all of which can impact your diet.

  • Establish healthy habits now. The eating habits you have now are likely to stay with you for the rest of your life. If your diet isn’t as good as it should be, now is the time to start establishing better habits. Eating well is one of the few habits that you get to practice several times a day, so aim to make the best choices at every meal and snack.
  • Get plenty of calcium. When you’re in your 20s, you are in peak bone-building years. Give your bones plenty of calcium from dairy products, leafy greens and fortified foods, or take a supplement if you can’t meet needs from dietary sources.
  • Avoid crash dieting. At this age, it isn’t difficult to knock off a few pounds by going on a crash diet for a short period of time. But quick weight losses are often followed by weight regain, and yo-yo dieting isn’t a pattern you want to establish.
  • Watch alcohol calories. Alcoholic beverages can be very costly, calorie-wise. If socializing often involves alcohol, cut your calorie intake by alternating alcoholic beverages with calorie-free drinks. And watch those free appetizers at happy hour, too!
  • Women, get your iron. Many young women don’t get enough much-needed iron. Lean red meat, beans, leafy greens and fortified cereals can all help to meet needs, and supplements can help if it’s difficult to get all you need from your diet.

How to Eat in Your 30s

The decade between the ages of 30 and 40 can be crazy-busy. For many, this is the decade where you are juggling a career and parenthood, and taking care of yourself may not be high priority. Making time to eat balanced meals, get enough sleep and finding time to exercise can be especially challenging, and your weight might start to creep up.

  • Eat regular meals and snacks to keep energy levels up. When life gets hectic, it’s too easy to skip meals or grab something on the run. But, setting aside time for regular meals and snacks will help you maintain your physical and mental energy.
  • Get organized and stock up. Being organized is key to being able to put meals together easily. Keep a file with a few go-to recipes that everyone likes, and that you can put together quickly. And make sure that you keep your freezer, refrigerator and pantry stocked with the ingredients you need.
  • Set aside time for exercise. Finding time to stay active is challenging when you feel like you’re busy every minute, but it’s so important to your overall health. Getting the habit established now can help you keep your weight in check, and exercise is a stress-buster, too.

How to Eat in Your 40s

Life in your 40s may have a more manageable rhythm to it, but it’s also easy to get complacent with your diet and activity level. And, even though you may have more time to exercise, you may not make it a priority.

  • Watch your calories. As your metabolism naturally starts to slow down a bit in your 40s, you may find that you’re picking up a few extra pounds. So keep tabs on your calories, and watch your intake of fats and refined carbohydrates.
  • Maintain your muscle. Lean body mass naturally declines somewhat during this decade, but you can fight back with a one-two punch of resistance exercise and adequate protein.
  • Re-establish your healthy eating habits. For those in their 40s with children, you may find that your meals tend to favor what the kids like – which may not be the best foods for you. Make a commitment to you (and your family) to re-establish good habits, such as including a fruit or vegetable at every meal, and controlling your fat and sugar intake.

How to Eat in Your 50s and Beyond

Keeping your weight in check is important at any age – but it can become more challenging in your 50s and beyond. As muscle mass naturally declines with age, it brings with it a drop in your daily calorie requirements – so if you don’t adjust your intake accordingly, your weight can really creep up. For women, this is the decade that can bring the changes associated with menopause – including weight gain around the midsection, mood swings and poor sleep quality.

  • Control stress eating. Life in your 50s can get stressful. Some in their early 50s are still part of the “sandwich generation” – taking care of teenagers and aging parents all at once. Rather than turning to food to reduce stress, stay active, get adequate rest and turn to family and friends for support.
  • Eat nutrient dense foods. Nutrient dense foods are those that have the most nutrition for the fewest calories. Since your calorie needs are starting to decline, every calorie really counts, nutritionally speaking. So choose wisely to get the most nutrition you can out of your calories.
  • Get plenty of calcium. For women, calcium needs actually increase after menopause – women over the age of 50 should aim for about 1200 mg per day, and men should be taking in about 1000 mg daily to support bone health. Along with calcium, it is also important to get adequate vitamin D (which helps the body absorb calcium). Fortified dairy products are good sources of both calcium and vitamin D. If needs cannot be met from the foods, dietary supplements can help fill in.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

25 Healthy Snacks for 150 Calories or Less

Stay consistent with healthy snacks.

Snack smart! Here are 25 great snacks with 150 calories or less.

Snack smart! Here are 25 great snacks with 150 calories or less.

If you’re running out of healthy snack ideas, today’s post is for you. Ideally, healthy snacks should consist of some beneficial carbohydrates and a bit of protein. The protein helps to satisfy your hunger, and the healthy carb sources (like fruits, vegetables and whole grains) have water and fiber in them, so they help to fill you up.

We all get into ruts with our eating, and snacking is no exception. If you’re turning to the same old snacks every day, here are some healthy snacks to try—all for 150 calories or less.

Protein Snack Bar – There are plenty of snack bars to choose from with 150 calories or less. For the most staying power, look for one that has some protein—10 grams or so per serving is a good target.

Mini Smoothie – Whip out your blender and make a snack-sized smoothie with ½ cup (125 ml) low-fat milk, ½ cup (75 g) of frozen berries and a scoop (12 g) of vanilla protein powder. About 140 calories, 8 grams of protein.

Greek-style Vanilla Yogurt and Fruit – One single-serve (5.3 oz/150 g) carton of yogurt + ½ cup (75 g) sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. About 145 calories, 13 grams of protein.

Low-fat Cottage Cheese + Chopped Veggies – ¾ cup (160 g) low-fat cottage cheese + ½ cup (60 g) chopped mixed veggies (carrots, cucumber, peppers). Add a few twists of fresh ground pepper. About 130 calories, 21 grams of protein.

Vegetables and Hummus Dip – 1/3 cup (80 g) hummus + cucumber, carrot, celery sticks. About 150 calories, 6 grams of protein.

Nonfat Latte – Made with 12 ounces (360 ml) low-fat milk or soy milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon. About 150 calories, 6-12 grams of protein.

Hard-boiled Egg on Tomato Slices – Slice a medium fresh tomato and one hard-boiled egg. Top tomato slices with egg slices, season with salt and pepper. About 120 calories, 6 grams of protein.

Edamame Soybeans – Drop 1 cup (150 g) frozen edamame soybeans (in the pod) into boiling water for a few minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt or soy sauce. About 150 calories, 12 grams of protein.

Tuna + Avocado – Pop open a single-serve can or pouch (2.5 oz/75 g) of tuna and mix with ¼ medium avocado, mashed. About 150 calories, 18 grams of protein.

Turkey Sticks – 3 ounces (90 g) roasted turkey breast wrapped around ½ medium cucumber cut into sticks. About 120 calories, 25 grams of protein.

Tortilla + Beans – Heat up two corn tortillas, top with 1/3 cup (50 g) cooked black beans and tomato salsa. About 140 calories, 7 grams of protein.

Vegetable Soup + Low-fat Cheese – Heat up one cup (250 mL) of low sodium vegetable soup and top with 1 ounce (30 g) grated nonfat mozzarella cheese. About 150 calories, 14 grams of protein.

Rice Cake + Nut Butter – Spread one rice cake with 1 TBSP of almond butter. About 135 calories, 5 grams of protein.

Shrimp + Cocktail Sauce – 3 ounces (85 g) cooked whole shrimp dipped in 3 TBSP of salsa or cocktail sauce. About 150 calories, 20 grams of protein.

Quick Spinach and Egg Cup – Put ½ cup (75 g) frozen chopped spinach in microwaveable coffee mug. Microwave on high 30 seconds. Pour 1 beaten egg, seasoned with salt and pepper, on top and microwave another 90 seconds, stirring after 45 seconds. About 100 calories, 6 grams of protein.

Quick Quinoa Salad – Mix together ½ cup (90 g) cold leftover cooked quinoa, with ¼ cup (30 g) minced veggies/parsley + 1 oz (30 g) fat-free feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice, season with salt & pepper. About 150 calories, 16 grams of protein.

Sweet Potato with Yogurt – Top ½ medium baked sweet potato with ½ cup (100 g) of plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt. Sprinkle with nutmeg. About 115 calories, 10 grams of protein.

Quick Bean Salad – Mix ½ cup (80 g) cooked white beans + 1 small chopped tomato + 1 TBSP of low-fat Italian salad dressing. About 150 grams, 8 grams of protein.

Tempeh Wraps – Slice 2 ounces (60 g) tempeh into long sticks. Wrap with thinly sliced cucumber. About 120 calories, 11 grams of protein.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans – Drain a 1-pound (454 g) can of garbanzo beans. Toss with 2 tsp olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast on cookie sheet at 400 degrees, 30 minutes or until crunchy. Let cool. 1/3 recipe = about 150 calories, 12 grams of protein.

Turkey Jerky + Fruit – 1/8 medium-sized cantaloupe melon + 1 ounce (30 g) low sodium turkey jerky. About 100 calories, 14 grams of protein.

Soy Nuts + Fruit – 1/3 cup (30 g) dry roasted soy nuts + 1 small peach. About 150 calories, 11 grams of protein

Oatmeal with a Protein Boost – Cook 1 packet of low-sugar instant oatmeal in water; stir in 1 TBSP (6 g) plain protein powder. About 150 calories, 9 grams of protein.

Salmon and Crackers – Mix 2 ounces (60 g) canned salmon with 1 TBSP of Dijon mustard. Spread on a 4 medium-sized whole grain crackers. About 145 calories, 13 grams of protein.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Stay On Track with These Fiber Facts

Whole grain breads – good sources of fiber.

Did you know there’s more than one type of dietary fiber? Eating a wide range of plant foods will help you meet all your needs.

Fiber is important in your diet and most people don’t eat as much as they should. In addition to eating enough fiber, you also need to eat enough of the different types of fiber. That’s because not all fibers function exactly the same way—different types of fibers have different effects on the body. So, just as you should aim to eat a wide range of foods in order to get a wide array of nutrients, a varied diet helps to provide you with enough of the different types of fibers, too.

What Is Fiber and How Much Do You Need?

Fiber is the structural component of plant foods, so it’s found in vegetables, whole fruits, beans and grains (like corn or brown rice)—there’s no fiber in meats, fish or poultry.
The average American falls far short of meeting the fiber recommendation of 25-30 grams a day. In fact, most of us only eat about 10 grams a day, which means we may be missing out on the health benefits of dietary fiber. Fiber, of course, helps move the digestive process along, but high fiber foods also provide the sensation of fullness, so they help with hunger control. And certain fibers also support the growth of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract.

If you don’t eat as much fiber as you should, it’s best to increase the amount you eat gradually over a few weeks. Adding too much fiber to the diet in a short period of time might lead to abdominal discomfort and gas, so take it slowly to allow your system time to adjust. Also, drink plenty of liquid to allow the fiber to soften and swell.

Different Types of Fiber: What Are They and What Do They Do?

There are two broad classes of dietary fiber—soluble fibers and insoluble fibers.

Soluble Fibers

Soluble fibers are found in the highest concentration in apples, oranges, carrots, potatoes, oats, barley and beans. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and thicken up. If you’ve ever cooked oatmeal at home, you probably noticed it got thick and gluey as it cooked. That’s because the soluble fiber in the oats dissolved in the liquid.

When these fibers come in contact with the liquid in your stomach, they swell up and thicken, too, which is why they help keep you full. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose (sugar) from the blood stream and it can help to keep blood sugar levels more even throughout the day.

Insoluble Fibers

Insoluble fibers also support the health of your digestive system, but in a different way. Insoluble fibers don’t dissolve in water—instead, they simply absorb water in the lower tract, which makes the fiber more bulky. This type of fiber, found in the highest concentrations in vegetables, wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran and most other whole grains, speeds the passage of waste through your digestive system, so it helps to keep you regular.

How Can You Tell If a Fiber Is Soluble or Insoluble?

It’s actually fairly easy to tell the two fibers apart. When you make barley soup or boil potatoes, you can easily see how the liquid thickens up—that’s because barley and potatoes are high in soluble fiber. On the other hand, when you cook brown rice—a whole grain that’s rich in insoluble fiber—it doesn’t get sticky because the fiber doesn’t dissolve. Instead, it simply absorbs water as it cooks, causing the grains to swell up.

Tips for Increasing Fiber Intake

  • Eat whole fruits with skin more often than fruit juices
  • Use whole fruit as a dessert
  • Eat a variety of whole vegetables—cooked and raw—and eat them freely
  • Use 100% whole grain breads, waffles, cereals, rolls, English muffins and crackers instead of those made with refined white flour
  • Use corn tortillas rather than flour
  • Use brown rice, wild rice, millet, barley and cracked wheat as alternatives to white rice
  • Add beans to main dish soups, stews, chili or salads
  • If you have trouble meeting your fiber intake, you can use fiber supplements. But remember that fiber supplements don’t replace the healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains that you should be consuming.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Must read: Discover how healthy coconuts really are…

Are coconuts healthy? Must read guide to coconuts | Herbalife Healthy Eating AdviceTempted to add coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk to your diet?  Here’s what you need to know about coconut nutrition.

It’s been interesting to see the explosion – and popularity – of coconut products in the grocery stores over the past few years.  Coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk – all of which were considered pretty exotic in the States a decade or so ago – have entered the mainstream.

To be honest, coconut has never been one of my favorite foods.  Growing up in the USA, fresh coconut was something I ate, at most, a handful of times.  The coconut I knew was dried, sweetened and shredded – and most often encased in chocolate or showered over a birthday cake.  Coconut wasn’t something I learned to enjoy on its own –  which is probably one reason I never really developed much of a taste for it.

I didn’t give much thought to coconut until I started studying nutrition in college, and learned about the effects of different dietary fats on the body – in particular, the fact that high intakes of saturated fats are associated with an increased risk for heart disease.  Coconut oil was singled out as the most saturated fat in the plant world – more saturated, in fact, than butter.

That information has always stuck with me, and now that more people are eating coconut products, I was prompted to take a closer look at the nutritional makeup of all things coconut.

Nutritional Value of Coconut and Coconut Products

Coconut – Water, Milk, Oil

The coconut – as it comes off the tree – is a many-layered fruit.  Underneath the outer husk and shell lies the “meat” of the coconut – the nutty-flavored white flesh that you probably know as “coconut”.  The meat can be eaten as-is, but it’s also the source of coconut milk and coconut oil.  In the hollow center of the coconut is the coconut water – a clear liquid that’s become so popular as a refreshing drink.

Coconut Water

If you were to tap a hole into a whole coconut, you’d find a watery, faintly sweet liquid inside – the coconut water.  Coconuts lose moisture as they age, so younger coconuts tend to yield more coconut water than older ones.  Its popularity as a beverage is owed to the fact that it is naturally fat-free, has significantly fewer calories than fruit juices, and is rich in potassium.  An 8-ounce glass (240ml) of coconut water has only about 50 calories and 600 mg of potassium – nearly twice the amount of potassium you’d find in a small banana.

Coconut Milk

True, creamy coconut milk is a common ingredient in many tropical cuisines, and an essential ingredient in Indonesian and Thai curries.  Coconut milk is made from the white meat of the coconut.  Traditionally, this is done by simply grating the coconut meat, and then squeezing it through a cloth mesh to extract the fatty “milk”.   You’re more likely to find coconut milk in canned form – and you’ll want to use it sparingly – 8 ounces (240ml) has a whopping 475 calories (75% of the calories come from fat).  You might also find canned “light” coconut milk – it’s been diluted somewhat with water and slightly thickened, and has about 150 calories per cup (240ml).

You might also see something called “coconut milk beverage” at your grocery store, which is not pure coconut milk, or even light coconut milk.  Coconut beverages are made from coconut milk but they’re highly diluted with water (to reduce the calorie content) – and often have sweeteners and thickeners added. They’re sold as an alternative to regular dairy milk.  A cup of coconut milk beverage has about 70 calories (40 of which come from fat) and no protein.

Coconut Oil

Over the past few years – in the US, at least – the popularity of unprocessed “virgin” coconut oil has skyrocketed.  Those who favor minimally processed foods seem to be drawn to this natural, unrefined fat.  Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut flesh which is pureed and gently heated, releasing the oil that floats to the surface where it can be skimmed off (compared with “refined” coconut oil which is chemically extracted from bleached, dried coconut).

What distinguishes coconut oil from other fats is that more than 90% of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are saturated – which makes coconut oil far and away the richest dietary source of saturated fat – in comparison, only about half the fatty acids in beef are saturated, and butter is about two-thirds saturated.

But, the saturated fatty acids in coconut oil aren’t exactly the same as the ones found in beef or butter – which is fueling debate as to whether coconut oil may not be quite as unhealthy as other saturated fats.

The fats in the foods that you eat are made up of fatty acids, which are basically chains of carbon atoms strung together.  If there are 12 or more carbons in the chain, the fat is termed a “long chain” fat, while a chain made up of 6-12 carbons is termed “medium chain”.  Most of the fats and oils we eat are the long chain type – soybean oil, in fact is made up entirely of long chain fats.  What makes coconut oil unusual is that 60% of its fats are the medium-chain type.

The reason this matters is that your body metabolizes medium-chain and long-chain fats differently, which has led some people to believe that these medium-chain fats might be less damaging to the body than other saturated fats.  The problem is, there just aren’t enough clinical studies at this point to say for sure whether the saturated fats in coconut oil are better for you.

Since saturated fats, in general, tend to raise levels of the so-called “bad” cholesterol in the bloodstream, both the American Heart Association and the US Dietary Guidelines advise limiting intake of saturated fats to no more than 10% of total calories – no matter what the source.

When you limit your saturated fat intake to 10% (or less) of total calories,  it’s such a tiny amount of fat that it probably doesn’t make that much difference whether you’re getting it from meat or butter or coconut oil.  So if you’re tempted to try some coconut oil, just use it sparingly.

Limiting your overall intake of fat is generally wise, since the calories add up quickly – like all pure fats, coconut oil is a concentrated source of calories, with about 120 calories in a tablespoon.  And, when you do eat them, it’s wise to choose the healthiest fats as often as possible – like olive oil, canola oil and the healthy fats found in tree nuts, avocado and fish.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com