Wednesday 12 October 2011

'Sin' foods that are healthy for you

If you're feeling sluggish or perhaps can't quite do up the top button of your pants, you can regain energy without depriving yourself of tasty, healthy foods, says a nutrition and weight loss guru.

Dr. Joey Shulman, author of "Healthy Sin Foods" (Penguin, 2011), says people can lose weight by learning how to swap out less nutritious choices for healthy ingredients.

Your body could still be remembering being fed high-sugar and high-fat foods over the holidays and may even have developed an addiction. Breaking the cycle of craving takes some getting used to.

A craving may indicate that blood sugar is off balance, not that a person is weak, says Shulman, a registered nutritionist who runs four weight-loss and nutrition counselling centres in the Toronto area. She previously worked as a chiropractor.
"So before we even attack that, we have to get clean. You can have naturally sweet foods. But you have to take all foods with added sugar out of the diet immediately. The first day or two, you might get a little bit of a headache or your cravings may intensify, but once you're past Day 3 you're done, it's over."

Protein will help you get rid of your cravings too, she added.
Shulman says that with most people it's sugars and carbohydrates that they're craving, not fat. "But the fats they've eaten over the holidays tend to be inflammatory so joints start to ache a little bit more. You just start to feel a little sluggish, digestion might slow down. It just makes you feel overall heavier even if you didn't gain weight, so all you have to do is switch to those good fats which your body needs for weight loss, for mood."

The book's title might sound like a contradiction -- how can you have decadent foods that still taste delicious and are good for you?

"I practise weight loss mostly and I see few hundred patients every year for weight loss. People were saying to me, 'Look, I don't want to eat bland broccoli and tasteless tofu to lose weight.' ... In fact, I would argue that the food you can eat to lose weight is even more delicious.

"So I was coming up with these recipes -- really yummy muffin recipes or faux pasta recipes -- and tricking my friends, tricking my neighbours and they were going, 'This is fabulous' and I was going 'Yes, this is like a healthy sin food. You wouldn't even know it. ...

"It was me just saying, 'Anything that we can do unhealthy, we can do healthy and make it just as yummy."
In the paperback version of the book that originally came out in 2009, there are 101 recipes, including "anything from a really hearty bruschetta that you can put on whole-grain bread, which is delicious, to creamy soups or cheesy vegetable dishes that are lower in fat. It's tricky because all the recipes that we made we opted for lower sugar, lower fat and you have to be aware of the substitutes or else the food is not going to taste good," she explains.

"I feel in weight loss if I keep you deprived, then 100 per cent I'm going to lose you. So I can't do that."
Here is Shulman's top five list of healthy sin foods:

1. Berries. These can include any kind -- raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries -- and can be fresh or frozen. Shulman suggests putting them in a morning smoothie. "They're naturally sweet foods that are going to satisfy and curb that sweet tooth."

2. Almonds, walnuts or pistachios. "I call them the peckish foods because when you're feeling really hungry, instead of grabbing the wrong thing that you'll overconsume, they'll fill you up and keep you satiated. They have a nice crunch to them too so they're satisfying," Shulman explains. A serving is 10 to 15 walnuts or almonds or 20 to 25 pistachios.
Nuts and an apple or nuts and berries are perfect "for that 3 p.m. blood sugar dip."

3. Plain yogurt. "I'm not actually so concerned with the fat content as long as it's plain yogurt," she says. "It's not what's making people heavier. The fruit-bottomed yogurts, the sugary yogurts, for sure no, but the plain yogurt, if it's a two per cent you enjoy, go for it." Add some fruit or ground flax seeds for additional benefits and flavour.

4. Any green food, such as broccoli, kale, spinach and rappini. "If it's steamed or thrown into a chili, for example, because you don't feel like having a cold green this time of year, that's completely fine, but we need to get those antioxidants into the system," Shulman notes.

5. Cold-water fish, such as fresh salmon and black cod. Tilapia is also a good choice. Fish is a wonderful lean source of protein, Shulman says. "One, it's going to curb the cravings. Two, it's filled with omega-3 fatty acids which we need, especially this time of year for brain support, to be anti-inflammatory. Three, it fills you up."

In the book, Shulman includes descriptions of top 50 superfoods -- foods that pack a powerful nutritional punch and that haven't been refined, processed or preserved, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oil, protein and whole grains.

Shulman cautions against following fad diets such as the paleo (short for paleolithic), or caveman, plan, which is based on what our ancestors presumably ate prior to the development of agriculture. One of its main tenets is avoiding grain, but Shulman maintains that whole grains are fantastic for health.

"I can tell you clinically and from seeing hundreds of weight loss clients over the years, most people can't do grain-free long term. And so my rule for weight loss is whenever you're joining any program you have to ask yourself, 'Can I see myself following a version of this in five years?' And if the answer is no, don't do it."

The key with healthy eating and weight loss is to make your food plan sustainable.

"I worry about an all-or-nothing sort of approach. I think that just by incorporating those five foods in your diet, exercising more, making sure you're sharp with your supplements like fish oils and a multi-vitamin, making sure you're well hydrated -- and that can be with herbal teas or green teas at this time of year -- you'll start feeling a whole lot better and the healthier you feel, the more you want."

Shulman encourages people worried about failing in yet another weight loss plan to take baby steps. "Baby steps work."

Article from the Canadian press

1 comment:

Bikram Yoga Vancouver said...

Those pictures are making us very hungry!