Oatmeal is about as classic as it gets. Part of the growth in popularity this coming year with oatmeal comes on the tailcoats of the gluten free eating trend. The bigger reason is that oats are versatile, easy to prepare and quite inexpensive. Not to mention oats have been shown to help control blood sugars, lower cholesterol and improve digestion. Oats are super filling and you can eat them raw or cooked. As a dietitian I highly encourage people to include oats as a part of their diet. You can mix them into savory dishes like meatloaf or you can make a tasty breakfast like my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bake, Banana Walnut Muffins or Blue Berry Breakfast Parfait.
My biggest tip would be to buy the large bags instead of the pre-portioned packets. The bag costs less and will cook just as quickly not to mentioned they are less processed. The pre-portioned packets can also contain a large amount of added sugar.
We are only just beginning to understand how bacteria affects out health. We used to think bacteria did one of two things: make us sick or help our digestion. Probiotics doing the the later. Now however we are finding strains of bacteria or probiotics that can help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugars, improve vaginal health in women and help with a variety of digestive problems. What is important to understand is much like vitamin supplements it's not a one size fits all situation and in some cases you might not even need probiotics. More probiotics does not equal better and lots of different kinds is not always helpful either. It has to be the right probiotic for the right person in the right amount for the right condition.
Not all probiotics and probiotic yogurts have been shown to be helpful but a lot of them have. If you are wondering which one might be right for you, talk to your doctor or local dietitian to help determine what the right fit would be.
Cold Pressed Juices
These juices are not made through conventional methods. They are pressed using a hydraulic press and are generally not pasteurized. The benefits of this method is that often some of the fibre is left behind and most of the vitamins are still intact. Also, since these juices are more of a health trend they are usually a combination of both fruits and vegetables. The down side of these juices is they cost quite a bit more and they do have a shorter shelf life.
The important thing to remember is that they are still juices so they will contain sugar. Be sure to read the label so you know what you are getting into. Juice can certainly be included in a healthy diet in moderation and so can these juices if you can afford them. You will still get lots of vitamins from regular brand juices if juice is something you enjoy. Just be aware that even the best pressed juice is no substitution for whole fruits and vegetables.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
With soaring grocery prices we are all looking for ways to save on the grocery bill. Hence frozen fruits and vegetables can be a big cost saver. They often require less preparation than fresh fruits and vegetables since they are normally pre-chopped and partially boiled before freezing. The biggest concern is; are they are nutritious? I am here to tell you they are and when you can't get local produce because of the colder season these can be a great option to keep the vegetables and fruit in your diet without breaking the bank.
I still encourage you to shop local when the local seasons for your fruits and vegetables are happening.
Trends will come and go. What is important to remember is that if something sounds too good to be true make sure to ask questions because there is a chance it is. The best thing you can do to keep yourself healthy in 2016 is:
1) Stay Active
2) Stay Hydrated
3) Cook at Home
4) Cook Real Food
And Enjoy it!
Happy New Year Everyone!!!