These One-Pan Recipes Make Cooking (And Cleaning) A Cinch

Now this is how it’s done.

JSHEALTH, JESSICA SEPEL

 

Getting into the kitchen after a long day and making a delicious meal (and lotsa mess) is not what most of us want to be doing — especially once you’ve changed into your comfies and your favourite show is on.

Luckily there is an easy way around this: one-pan dinners.

These one-pan dinner recipes by Jessica Sepel — nutritionist, health blogger and cookbook author — are easy to prepare, make hardly any mess and are packed full of delicious flavour.

1. Roast pumpkin and chickpea one-pan with hummus dressing

By JSHealth.

“I’m obsessed with these easy one-pan dinners — as simple as throwing some veggies and a protein onto a baking tray and roasting until delicious,” Sepel said.

“This is the perfect vegetarian dinner option and so easy. Pumpkin and carrots are great starchy veggies too — really low GI and full of antioxidants from the beta-carotene.”

Serves two as a main, or four as a side.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ pumpkin
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 mint leaves, torn
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • Sea salt

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ cup vinegar (white balsamic, white wine or apple cider)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°.
  2. Chop pumpkin into small wedges. Slice carrots thinly. Arrange on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt generously.
  3. Add baking tray to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden and slightly caramelised.
  4. To make the dressing, combine hummus, mustard, vinegar and maple syrup in a small jar. Whisk until combined.
  5. Remove roasted vegetables from oven and add chickpeas to tray. Drizzle over dressing and top with pepitas, chilli flakes and mint leaves.
JSHEALTH, JESSICA SEPEL

2. One-pan healthy chicken pesto pasta

By JSHealth.

“Who doesn’t love pesto pasta? I like to use a brown rice, gluten free brand of pasta, which I cook whilst the chicken is sautéing in the pan,” Sepel said. “Top with some grated Parmesan if you like.”

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 cups cooked whole grain or gluten free pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 heaped tablespoons good quality pesto
  • Basil leaves, to garnish
  • Sea salt

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced chicken breasts and one tablespoon of pesto to the pan, season generously with salt and sauté until cooked through.
  3. Once chicken is cooked, add the chopped broccoli and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir through cooked pasta and add two tablespoons of pesto.
  5. Stir and top with fresh basil. Serve.
JS HEALTH JESSICA SEPEL

3. One-pan teriyaki chicken

By JSHealth.

“This one-pan dinner is so simple to make, requires virtually no washing up and tastes amazing,” Sepel said. “Not to mention, it is completely nutritionally sound. Enjoy.”

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 organic chicken breasts
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°.
  2. Chop carrots and eggplant into slices. Chop broccoli into florets. Arrange vegetables on a lined baking tray, leaving space for the chicken breast.
  3. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil (or olive oil spray) and salt generously.
  4. Add chicken breast to the middle of the tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. To make marinade, whisk all marinade ingredients together until smooth.
  6. Spoon two tablespoons of marinade over each chicken breast. Spoon remaining marinade over vegetables.
  7. Place pan in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with brown rice, if desired.
JSHEALTH, JESSICAL SEPEL

4. One-pan healthy fish and chips

By JSHealth.

“Fish and chips is such a classic summer meal. There’s nothing better after a day at the beach, but often the oils and batters used can be high in saturated fats. So I created a healthy version for you guys, as a one-pan dinner, of course,” Sepel said.

“Crispy parsnip and sweet potato chips paired with a simply roasted white fish, plus the most divine herb-nut topping.”

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fillets white fish (e.g. John Dory or Ling)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (parsley and basil are best)
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180° degrees.
  2. Chop sweet potato and parsnips into thin wedges and arrange on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle over coconut flour. Season with sea salt. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the herb-nut topping, finely chop mixed herbs with almonds. Add one tablespoon olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and continue to chop until combined.
  4. After 25 minutes, remove sweet potato and parsnip from oven and add the fish to the pan. Spoon over the herb-nut topping.
  5. Return tray to oven for a further 20 minutes, until fish is cooked and wedges are golden.
JSHEALTH, JESSICA SEPEL

 

For more easy and nutritious recipes, go to Jessica Sepel’s website or follow Jess on Instagram.

 

17/01/2017 12:18 PM AEDTJuliette Steen Associate Food Editor, HuffPost Australia

10 Women With Tons Of Energy Reveal Exactly What They Eat All Day To Feel So Energized

 

 Food prep fresh vegetables

amixstudio/Shutterstock

It’s tempting to sip a sugary latte in the morning or grab a candy bar when you hit a midday slump. While those sweet treats can give you a quick boost, you’ll usually end up crashing—and craving even more sweets. But the right foods can keep you feeling energized all day, without all the ups and downs. These 10 women reveal what foods they reach for when they need to power through a long day. (Repeat after us: No more dieting. Ever. Instead, learn how to eat clean—with zero deprivation!—and watch the pounds drop off, with Your Metabolism Makeover.)

   Baked sweet potatoes 1/10    135pixels/Shutterstock.

 Mini-meals

“Two years ago, I was exhausted, overweight, and overwhelmed by life,” says Sarah Foster, a group fitness instructor in Poughkeepsie, NY. I was too tired to cook, so I ate a lot of takeout, and before long I’d feel drained again. To break the cycle, I started eating 5 or 6 small meals a day, which I prep in advance. Fueling my body properly increased my energy levels; it’s amazing how quickly my body responded.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: “My no-crash lunch is a turkey burger topped with guacamole, half a sweet potato, and a green salad on the side.”

MORE: 7 Reasons You’re Tired All The Time

    Quinoa salad with avocado 2/10    Stephanie Frey/Shutterstock.
Eliza Whetzel, RD, a nutritionist at Middleberg Nutrition in New York City, noticed a dramatic improvement in her energy level after she started including more healthy fats in her diet—like avocados, walnuts, hummus, or coconut oil. “Adding fat has made all the difference,” she says.

Favorite energy-boosting food: Salad with chicken, quinoa, olives, avocado, and olive oil vinaigrette.

    Green smoothie3/10    Anna Bogush/Shutterstock.
Making smoothies for breakfast every morning “has been life-changing,” says Nancy Knutson, director of marketing for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “Thanks to that simple adjustment, I have more energy than I’ve ever experienced. Take my coffee—just leave me my smoothie.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: A smoothie made with frozen or fresh fruit, a banana, Greek yogurt, whey protein powder, spinach, and fiber powder or flax seeds. (We like NorCal Organic whey protein powder.)

MORE: 20 Super-Healthy Smoothie Recipes

    Glass of water 4/10    pinkomelet/Shutterstock.

“The single thing that’s helped me most with maintaining energy throughout the day is water—lots of water,” says Lyssa Menard, a clinical health psychologist in Chicago. “Proper hydration is so critical to energy maintenance, but I wasn’t taking it as seriously as [my diet].” Once she made a point of frequenting her office water cooler, she says, “My energy shot through the roof.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: A glass of water (duh!).

Gluten-free energy bites 5/10    kunal mehta/Shutterstock.

In her 20s, Kerri Axelrod, a lifestyle coach and yoga instructor in Boston, battled chronic fatigue caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder. “There were days I literally couldn’t get out of bed,” she says. “It wasn’t until I transformed the way I approached food—transitioning away from processed foods and removing gluten and dairy from my diet—that I was able to see a lasting change. When I nourished my body properly, I was able to regain energy.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: Energy bites made with almond butter, dates, chia seeds, gluten-free oats, and dairy-free dark chocolate. (Here’s another tasty way to whip up energy bites.)

  Acai smoothie bowl7/10    zarzamora/Shutterstock.

After moving out on her own for the first time, Liana Werner Gray, a natural-food chef based in New York City, fell into a junk-food rut. “I was always drained,” she says. “I would be up one minute and down the next because my body was using so much energy to digest all the processed foods and refined sugars.” She started satisfying her sweet tooth with natural sugars— like honey, dates, and fruits—and found it much easier to sustain her energy.

Favorite energy-boosting food: Acai bowls, made by blending acai with a frozen banana. “It’s basically a smoothie poured into a bowl, with fun toppings like fresh berries, gluten-free granola, and chia seeds,” she says. (Here are 9 more breakfast bowls you’ll love.)

Sardines8/10    Photosiber/Shutterstock.
Lyn Alden, a finance blogger based in Atlantic City, NJ, says switching to a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet dramatically improved her energy. “From the moment I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, I never feel hunger cravings or drops in energy,” she says. (Not everyone will respond to a ketogenic diet the same way; the extremely low-carb count leaves some people feeling zapped.)

Favorite energy-boosting food: Salad with leafy greens, sliced avocado, a can of sardines, lemon juice, and olive oil. “Sardines taste like tuna, but are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat,” she says.

 

Homemade energy bars 9/10    Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock.

“After finding out about how beneficial a vegetarian diet was for the planet, I decided to try it and discovered another bonus—I have so much more energy!” says Julie Hancher, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Green Philly Blog. “I don’t need as much coffee as I did before going before vegetarian.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: Energy-boosting bars made with quinoa, dates, almonds, peanut butter, and a pinch of melted cacao chips on top.

MORE: 4 Energy Bars You Can Make In Your Slow Cooker

Scrambled egg whites on toast10/10    Martin Turzak/Shutterstock.
Egg whites
“I didn’t eat breakfast at all for years, because I’ve always enjoyed eating in the evening and wanted to ‘save my calories’ for night,” says Devin Alexander, a cookbook author and celebrity chef in Los Angeles. “Just eating a small breakfast changed both my metabolism and energy level. When I start my day with lean protein, I’m satisfied and feel better.”

Favorite energy-boosting food: “I eat egg whites in some form almost every morning—breakfast sandwich, omelet, scrambled, you name it,” she says.

    Power salad6/10    Alena Haurylik/Shutterstock.
Cindy Santa Ana, an integrative nutrition health coach in the DC area, said her afternoon slumps subsided when she cut back on carbs and sugar. “I started eating meals high in protein, fiber, and fat to keep my blood sugar balanced,” she says. “That also helped me shed 50 pounds!”

Favorite energy-boosting food: “Power salads,” which she creates by mixing 2 cups of greens, a cup of raw veggies, a protein (like grilled chicken, tuna, or hard-boiled eggs), and a healthy fat (like shredded cheese, sliced almonds, olives, or sunflower seeds), topped with homemade dressing.

MORE: 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar

By  Kara Wahlgren    January 13, 2017

Lose weight without dieting: simple 10-minute game retrains brain to avoid junk food

Psychologists at the University of Exeter showed that less than ten minutes a day of ‘brain training’ using a game which takes away the ‘mental reward’ of sugary and fatty foods, reduces calorie intake.

Professor Natalia Lawrence’s Food Trainer app is free and is being launched this week on Android devices.

It is based on neuroscience research which suggests people are more inclined to choose fatty and sugary foods because they activate the brain’s reward system, stimulating the release of dopamine and endorphins, which can produce feelings of pleasure and make the person want more.

Prof Natalia Lawrence 
Prof Natalia Lawrence 

The game works by flashing up pictures of healthy and unhealthy food and the user has to react by only pressing on the healthy foods to score points. The simple act of ignoring unhealthy foods, and stimulating the reward response to healthy foods is enough to retrain the brain into craving healthier options, say scientists.

A study of 83 adults showed that people who played the game online just four  times in one week lost weight and ate an average of 220 kcal less per day – roughly equivalent to a chocolate-iced doughnut.

“It’s very exciting to see that our free and simple training can change eating habits and have a positive impact on some people’s lives,” said Dr Lawrence.

“In an age where unhealthy food is so abundant and easily available and obesity is a growing health crisis, we need to design innovative ways to support people to live more healthily.

“We are optimistic that the way this app is devised will actually encourage people to opt for healthy food such as fruit and vegetables rather than junk food.”

Studio manager Fiona Furness was one of the first to trial the game and has lost two stone in weight so far, dropping from 11 stone to nine stone.

Mrs Furness, who is in her 50s, said the “pounds just melted way.”

“The results have been remarkable,” she said.

“I used to feel really guilty about my bad snacking habits. I’d often be rushing about, and I’d grab something high calorie and unsatisfying – often a packet of crisps. I’d be hungry again really soon afterwards so it became a vicious cycle.

“These days, if I am feeling peckish I’ll go for a banana or a pack of almonds. That’s the food I’m craving. I’m now closer to nine stone than 11 – the pounds just melted away over eight or nine months without me even noticing.

“The weight loss wasn’t really my goal though – I feel younger and more energetic. Perhaps I’m particularly susceptible to this kind of brain training, but it has been transformative for me.”

Nearly two thirds of adults in Britain are overweight or obese, and the UK is forecast to be the fattest country in Europe within 10 years

Users of the app, who should ideally use it for a few minutes a day without distractions, can tailor it to reduce compulsions to unhealthy food they have most problem with, as well as alcohol, but not to reduce consumption of healthy foods including vegetables.

The scientists have launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise up to £5,000 to develop the app, this week made available for Android devices, into an app that can be used on iPhones and iPads.

 

15 JANUARY 2017 • 5:21PM

Here’s What To Eat After Every Type Of Workout

We’ve all been there. You workout hard and, for one reason or another, you don’t eat quickly enough afterwards. You start to feel shaky, hangry, jittery and maybe even anxious.

Eating properly after exercise is important not only to replenish the energy you’ve just burned, but also to make sure you get the most out of your workout — so you can see the results you want.

“Post workout nutrition provides fuel and nutrients for the body and helps prevent blood sugar lows and fatigue,” nutritionist Fiona Tuck told The Huffington Post Australia. “The body needs nutrients to help with muscle recovery and cellular repair.”

Nutritionist and celebrity chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin agrees.

“Looking after yourself doesn’t stop at exercise — taking care of nutrition is critical,” Bingley-Pullin said. “Proper refuelling will also allow you to have more energy for your next workout.”

GEBER86
The harder your workout, the higher your post-nutrition needs.

According to Alexandra Parker and Anna Debenham, accredited practising dietitians from The Biting Truth, whether you’re an amateur or a professional athlete, what you eat pre- and post-exercise is crucial.

“Following a workout, what you eat is vital in helping you reach your training and health goals and in ensuring you make the most of your workout,” Debenham said.

“Every time you exercise, carbohydrate stores (in the form of glycogen) are utilised for energy and your muscle protein is broken down. It’s therefore essential to replenish these stores afterwards.”

“Exercising actually makes your muscle tissues more sensitive to certain hormones and nutrients, which means that muscle is most responsive to nutrient intake during the first 30 to 90 minutes post-workout,” Parker added.

When it comes to post-workout recovery, always consider the three Rs:

Refuel

  • Refuel your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores to avoid muscle tissue breakdown and low energy.
  • Lack of glucose to fuel the brain can lead to decreased alertness and concentration, and low mood.
  • Aim for high quality carbohydrates sources (think wholegrain breads and cereals).

Repair

  • Repair damaged muscles with protein.
  • Consuming protein post-workout will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. This will help you to recover more quickly.
  • Aim for lean protein sources (think lean meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, tofu and reduced fat dairy).

Rehydrate

  • Rehydrate with fluids.
  • Most of us finish a workout at least a little dehydrated, and you will continue to lose fluids through sweating and breathing. It is essential that you replace these fluids immediately.
  • Your thirst is not the best gauge of hydration. The best way to tell how hydrated you are is to look at the colour of your urine. You want to aim for straw-coloured urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are.

When we skip post-workout nutrition, the effects on the body are negative and quick to arise.

“While skipping a post-workout snack every now and then isn’t necessarily an enormous deal, it should never become a habit,” Parker told HuffPost Australia.

“If you don’t adequately replenish your stores following a workout, not only will you not make the most out of your workout, but your body can experience some other negative consequences.”

These include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), which can make you feel disoriented and could even cause you to pass out
  • Increased fatigue (during training and at work or school)
  • Reduced performance at your next training session or event
  • Suboptimal gains from the session just completed — you won’t make the most out of your workout
  • Increased muscle soreness.

“Blood sugar can drop which can lead us to feeling shaky, tired, lightheaded and even nauseated,” Tuck said. “The brain relies on a constant supply of glucose to stay mentally alert, so our attention can wane and we can feel low in energy and mood.”

TUCKO019 VIA GETTY IMAGES
This feeling is the worst.

When it comes to actual post-workout food, Parker said the type and amount comes down to your fitness goals, more so than the exercise itself.

“Generally, the principles are very much the same, but exactly what your body needs most varies slightly depending on the type of exercise you’re doing and what your goals are,” Parker said.

“The time of day of your workout is also going to make a difference to the meal or snack you have (lunch food is very different to a snack).”

As a general rule, Parker recommends that all post-exercise foods should be rich in good quality carbohydrates to replenish muscle fuel stores, contain some lean protein to repair muscles, and include a source of fluid and electrolytes to re-hydrate effectively.

“The higher the energy intake (calories) depends on the intensity of the amount of physical exercise,” Tuck explained. “Long distance endurance training or weight training or body building would be different to a relaxing yoga class, for example.”

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Here’s what to eat after different types of workouts.

1. Cardio work (e.g. running, endurance, cycling)

“The key is replenishing carbohydrate stores, and adequate hydration is essential,” Debenham said. “For example, a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter and banana. It’s full of potassium which soothes muscles, high quality carbs, protein and heart healthy fats.”

Other great post-cardio options include: a banana and a handful of nuts, or 1-2 slices of whole grain toast with either ricotta and fruit or cottage cheese and tomato.

“Athletes, such as endurance runners and cyclists, need specific sports nutrition to ensure adequate nutrients and calories are consumed for the body to be able to function at its optimum,” Tuck told HuffPost Australia.

“This may involve consuming nutrients and electrolytes during the actual exercise, as well as pre- and post-work out nutrition.”

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

2. Pilates or barre

“Again, it depends on your goal. Is the goal to lose weight, or perhaps you’re looking to boost core strength and increase your muscle mass,” Debenham said.

“If your goal is weight loss, then a nutrient rich meal within 60 minutes of your workout is essential as the meal will be more efficiently digested. If your goal is to improve strength, then protein is key.”

Try two hard boiled eggs with multigrain toast, or a slice of roasted vegetable and feta frittata.

3. Yoga

“Your food choices post-yoga should aim to repair your tired muscles and replenish your energy stores,” Parker said. “To do this, your body needs a hit of protein, some low GI carbohydrates and fruits or vegetables.

“Try a small tub of Greek yoghurt with a couple of spoons of natural muesli containing nuts and fruit. Or for something savoury, a small can of tuna, four bean mix and some chopped veggies.”

YULIA_DAVIDOVICH

4. Resistance or strength training

If your goal is to gain muscle, then an energy-rich diet with adequate amounts of protein is just as important as your well-developed strength training program.

“While an increased intake is essential for muscle gain, your intake should be low in fat and high in nutrients,” Parker said.

“Following strength training, protein should be consumed. Consuming carbohydrates in conjunction with protein allows the protein to be used for muscle growth and repair.”

“Smoothies are a great option and easy if you’re on the run. Simply blitz the ingredients together in the blender the night before (berries, low fat yoghurt, oats).”

Tuck recommends trying a delicious chocolate smoothie with protein powder, banana, cacao and milk.

“This provides carbs, protein, fats and important minerals such as potassium and magnesium,” Tuck said.

CHIOCIOLLA

5. High intensity interval training (e.g. cross fit, HIIT)

After high intensity interval training, Debenham recommends opting for an egg omelette with sautéed onions and capsicum, plus a bowl of chopped fruit. Hint: include pineapple.

“Aside from their protein content, eggs are high in leucine which triggers muscle protein synthesis. The vitamin C in the capsicums is essential for maintaining healthy cartilage you need to cushion your bones,” Debenham said.

“Research suggests that bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple) may help to reduce exercise induced inflammation.”

Another delicious option is overnight oats — simply combine oats, yoghurt or milk of choice, mashed banana and chia seeds.

MARIA SHUMOVA VIA GETTY IMAGES

Other post-workout snack and meal ideas:

  • Peanut butter and banana in a whole grain wrap
  • Lean chicken and salad roll
  • Bowl of muesli with yogurt and berries
  • Fresh fruit salad with Greek yogurt
  • Tin of tuna with crackers, plus a banana
  • Lean meat, chicken or fish with potato and vegetables
  • Stir fry with lean meat
  • Toast with banana, reduced-fat ricotta and honey, plus an orange.

11/01/2017 1:38 PM AEDT | Updated 13/01/2017 8:41 AM AEDT|Juliette Steen|Associate Food Editor, HuffPost Australia

7 Horrible Foods You Should Not Allow Near Your Mouth

7 Horrible Foods You Should Not Allow Near Your Mouth Hero Image
Not long ago, a seemingly radical idea arrived at the grocery store—the mandatory nutrition information label. Designed to help consumers get a clearer picture of what exactly was in their food, the idea essentially legislated food processors into being more transparent about their ingredients.
Instead however, we got a lot of confusion as Big Food found ways to put questionable substances and suspected carcinogens in plain sight, right there on the nutrition label! Buried in the small print, with abbreviations and chemical chart names only Stephen Hawking would understand, consumers were left little more enlightened than they were before mandatory labeling.
To help unravel the label gibberish, here are the 7 ingredients you should always leave behind on the supermarket shelf:
1. Aspartame
If it says Equal or NutraSweet on the box, don’t put it in your cart. It’s a chemical sweetener that’s loaded with phenylalanine. This is a neurotoxin which many scientists believe can alter brain function, cause behavioral changes in adults and even mental retardation in growing fetuses when used by mothers-to-be. If that weren’t enough, side effects can also include headaches, seizures, menstrual problems, and gastro-intestinal distress.
2. BHA and BHT
These two similar chemicals are used to prevent oil-containing foods from going rancid. A seemingly admirable enough use. However, they also come with some serious concerns—they’re known carcinogens, having caused cancer in lab rats, mice, and hamsters. Avoid it BHA and BHT all costs.
3. Food Coloring
Designed to make foods more attractive, food coloring has an ugly side: caramel coloring manufacturing involves the use of industrial solvents and carcinogens. Red Dye No. 3 is associated with tumor development. Red Dye 40 and Yellow 6 are closely associated with aggressive behaviors and impulse control problems in children. Stay far, far away.
4. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is a chemically created, flavor-enhancing protein substance that’s similar to MSG, but whitewashed a bit with a healthier sounding name. The problem with HVP is that it contains hidden MSG, so you can still wind up sickening yourself with headaches, migraines, heart irregularities and so on. Two more members of the MSG family to avoid: autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed yeast extract – they, too can make sensitive types feel awful.
5. Parabens
Parabens are chemical preservatives most commonly found in cosmetics and beauty products, but oddly enough, they’re also found in many baked goods, like breads, cakes, pies, pastries, cereals and some processed meats. Designed to inhibit mold growth, there’s evidence to suggest that parabens in food may play a contributing role in hormone-related problems in women, such as breast cancer, and reduced testosterone levels in men. Steer clear.
6. Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Partially hydrogenated oil and trans-fat are essentially one in the same. Most folks don’t realize that a product can claim “0g trans fat” as long as there is less than a half gram per serving. S o if you see it on the label, don’t buy it (even if it says trans fat free). Case closed. Sure the stuff makes your food less likely to spoil, but it clogs your arteries, raises bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol and who needs that?
7. Nitrites
Left unadulterated, meat will start to spoil and look pretty unappetizing quickly. Add some refrigeration and a layer of nitrites, and the shelf life, not to mention the fresh-looking red color, lengthens significantly. But what happens to the nitrates when humans ingest it? Well, not only can nitrites trigger headaches and allergic reactions, research indicates that a daily habit of nitrate-laden cured meats can increase risk of cancerous tumors.
While I don’t recommend eating foods with nitrites, if it’s unavoidable, then start you meal with antioxidants Vitamin C and E to protect your body. (Note: Naturally occurring nitrites, like those in some vegetables don’t cause health woes, so feel free to eat your veggies!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT BONUS!
While carefully reading labels can help you make somewhat better choices, here’s a more radical and much simpler approach: stop buying foods with labels on them and make the switch to whole, natural, organic or local, grower-to-table foods. You’ll get exactly what your body needs and virtually none of the dangerous additives your body is better off without.
For more ideas on how to treat your body to additive free foods, take a look at my top 9 Superfoods.