Food 1-1Published 12:29pm Thursday, February 7, 2013
I have been looking at labels of white rice that are “enriched.” Some of them show more fiber and protein than that of brown rice. Why wouldn’t I choose the enriched white rice over the brown? Confession: I like white rice more than brown.
Dear Muddled Melissa,
Fiber and protein are very important parts of the nutrition label, and it’s good that you’re paying attention to those numbers. What the nutrition label won’t tell you is all the hidden benefits of eating brown rice vs. white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, which means that its protective layers are left intact. This is where all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber are stored. When the brown rice is stripped of its bran and germ, you are left with white rice, which is essentially starch. In this milling process, 67% of the vitamin B3 is lost, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, 50% of the manganese, 50% of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the fiber and essential fatty acids. Although food companies must add back in (“enrich”) vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron by law, 11 of the vitamins and minerals never get replaced by the enrichment process.
I agree that it’s difficult to train your tongue to like brown rice as much as white. To start, I would suggest using brown rice in dishes where it may be more easily hidden, i.e. soups and casseroles, and save the white rice for curries, stir fries, etc. Or when making the brown rice, add other vegetables or spices to make it more flavorful when eating it as a side dish.
I would love to know the healthiest way to make smoothies….low in fat but yet delicious! Any great recipes?
Smothered in Smoothies
Dear Smothered in Smoothies,
Smoothies are a great way to make a quick light meal or a nutrient-packed snack or beverage. My favorite recipe is very easy and extremely flavorful! It can be adjusted to whatever frozen fruit you have on hand. The frozen fruit makes it nice and cold, but without watering it down with ice cubes. Sometimes I add protein powder to boost the protein too.
1 c. fat-free plain yogurt
1 c. apple juice
1 c. frozen berries, i.e. blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
2 T. honey (optional sweetener)
What are your top three ways to lower cholesterol (without medication)?
Dear Au Naturale,
1) Add plant sterols to your diet. Plant sterols, also called phytosterols, are naturally found in plant oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. When consumed at a fairly high dose, 2 gm/day, it has the potential to lower LDL cholesterol by 10-15%. It would be nearly impossible to consume that much naturally, but with food technology, plant sterols have been added to several foods. As of February 2012, the FDA approved labeling companies to list a health claim that lists how many grams a certain food provides. Watch for plant sterols in butter replacements (i.e. Smart Balance, Benecol, Take Control), orange juice, peanut butter (Smart Balance), breads, and several other grocery items.
2) Reduce red meat and other meat products high in saturated fat. Saturated fat intake directly correlates with blood cholesterol levels. Red meats include beef, pork, lamb, as well as sausage, bratwurst, and hot dogs.
3) Increase aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise has shown to increase your “good” HDL cholesterol, and also decrease your triglycerides. Exercise also has a lovely side effect of helping you lose weight, which makes your body feel better and run more efficiently.