Archive for November, 2011
I’ve started receiving a lot of correspondence about the new chef’s table entrées from Nutrisystem, which are part of the new success line. One of the more common questions is about the nutritional make up of these foods. Some have expressed concern that these new meals might be higher in calories or carbohydrates while being lower in protein. The assumption is that if the meals are inspired by chefs and are of restaurant quality, then surely something has to give. Many assume that it would be very difficult to keep these meals low enough in calories to be in compliance with the rest of the diet. Some have even told me that they want to make sure that consuming these meals doesn’t affect their overall results. To address these concerns, I’ll look at some nutritional information for some of these chef’s table entrées. Since the biggest concern seems to be about the calories and protein, I’ll then take the averages of both to give you a better idea of what you’d be taking in if were to consume these meals on a regular basis.
It may make you feel better to know that the chef’s table meals are in line with the other meals on all plans, including the core or the select lines. All of the meals are pretty low in calories and pretty high in protein. For example, the steak tagliata has 260 calories, 22 grams of protein, 2 grams of fibers, and 18 of carbohydrates. The whole wheat ricotta crepes have only 210 calories and 12 grams of protein, with 3 of fiber and 12 of protein. The bar b que glazed pork is very high in protein at 19 grams. And this meal only has 240 calories. The arroz con pollo is also high in protein at 22 grams and only 270 calories. Here’s one final example. The Moroccan inspired chicken also has 22 grams of protein and it has 270 calories.
If you average the calories and protein of all of these meals, then you have an average of 250 calories and an average of 19.5 grams of protein. Nutrisystem is designed for you to take in approximately 1200 calories on the women’s plan and about 1500 of the men’s plan. So having an average of 250 calories at dinner gives you a lot of room for breakfast and lunch, as well as the healthy sides that you are supposed to add in at each meal. So long as you are reasonably careful about what you add in for your sides, you should not have any trouble reaching your daily caloric goals. Also, it might help to remember that the folks at Nutrisystem want you to succeed. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t keep buying the food. Their whole goal is to make this diet simple so that you don’t have to worry about keeping track of what you are taking in. Essentially, it is designed so that you can chose any of the entrées and be well within compliance. It’s in their best interest to keep this diet easy, and I think they do a pretty good job of that.
The seed of the cacao tree, the cacao bean, has had a lot of attention recently due to its suggested health benefits. It has been confirmed by the ORAC test (ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity), that one single spoonful of raw cacao powder has over 25000 antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect us from harmful free radicals. A free radical is an unpaired electron. These electrons produce energy for us. As well as this, they defend us against infection too, so they are necessary for life. The only problem is these single electrons need to be in a pair. The electrons match up by stealing others and therefore more single electrons are formed. It’s when these new pairs are formed we get problems, as damage is caused to the surrounding cells. Antioxidants are the body’s defence system. They cancel out free radicals that are causing damage to the surrounding cells by giving them another electron.
The free radical defence system needs Vitamin C and Vitamin E. The only problem is that we cannot produce these vital vitamins ourselves, so we have to keep replacing them. Other main antioxidants include, the carotenes, especially beta-carotene and the minerals selenium, magnesium and zinc.
Cacao powder is packed with nutrients, including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Cacao powder is also rich in flavonoids. Flavonoid studies have suggested that they may have health benefits, which include anti-allergic, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
Cacao Powder is a true super food. It is also a sweet tooth alternative and a much healthier alternative choice for chocolate lovers. The health benefits of dark chocolate have been well documented. However, Cacao powder simply outclasses this or any other super food based on its high antioxidant levels.
Cacao beans are grown and cold pressed. The cacao butter oil is removed after pressing and the cacao cake-like residue is ground into a fine powder. The powdering process takes place in a controlled environment, which makes sure that the temperature remains low. By maintaining a low temperature the nutritional potency is kept intact. Processing Cacao in this way increases its health benefits.
When mixed with fruit or anything with a natural sweetness the chocolaty flavour of the cocoa bean is released. However, if you add the Cacao powder to dairy products this does inhibit the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients. So for best results the powder is best uncooked and not added to any dairy.
Cacao powder is a delicious and simple addition to your diet and it can make a great deal of difference to your nutritional intake. Cacao powder is a truly delicious super food that shouldn’t be overlooked.
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