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    Archive for the ‘vitamin A’ Category

    Quiz: Labels, Claims, and More!

    testA few months back, I posted ten questions testing my readers’ label-scouring skills. I was very happy to receive great feedback on it… and decided it was time for another pop quiz, class!

    The answers are provided at the bottom of this post.  So, grab a sheet of paper and your favorite pen, and get to it.  Good luck!

    Continue Reading »

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spiced Lentil & Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Dressing

    lentejas_-lensculirnarisI consider this a perfect year-round dish.

    In the cold winter months, the warm lentils and quinoa, along with the spices, make for a comforting dish.

    Once summer hits, I love this as a cold salad!

    This is also one of those meals that keeps you full for a very long time, as it combines heart-healthy fats, soluble fiber, and protein.

    Don’t be let the long steps fool you; this is a very simple recipe.  The lentils and dressing can both be prepared while the quinoa cooks.

    By the way, if you don’t have a food processor (or don’t feel like taking it out, using it, and cleaning it), you can always replace the dressing with some fresh avocado slices.  Even if you don’t have avocados handy, the lentil and quinoa combination in itself is delicious!

    YIELDS: 4 servings (1 cup quinoa + 1 cup lentils + 2 TBSP dressing)

    INGREDIENTS (Quinoa):

    2 cups quinoa
    4 cups water
    Pinch of salt

    INGREDIENTS (Spiced Lentils):

    2 TBSP olive oil
    1 cup onions, chopped
    1/2 cup carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup red pepper, diced
    1/4 cup green pepper, diced
    1 cup mushrooms, chopped
    2 T garlic, minced
    1/2 t cumin
    1/4 t cinnamon
    1/2 t curry powder
    1/3 t salt
    1/4 t paprika
    1/8 t black pepper
    1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (any color; if you can find sprouted dried lentils, even better!)
    3 cups water
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice

    INGREDIENTS (Avocado Dressing):

    1 large avocado, pitted
    2 t lime juice
    1 garlic clove
    2 t ginger
    1/4 t salt
    1/4 c water

    INSTRUCTIONS (Quinoa):

    In a small pot, combine quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt.

    Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer until all water evaporates.

    Fluff quinoa with fork.

    INSTRUCTIONS (Spiced Lentils):

    In a large pot, heat olive oil.  Once sufficiently hot, add onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.

    Stir frequently over the course of 2 minutes over medium-high heat.

    Add spices.  Stir frequently for 2 more minutes.

    Add lentils and water, stir and bring to a boil.

    Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times.

    Turn off stovetop, uncover, add lemon juice, and stir one more time.

    INSTRUCTIONS (Avocado dressing):

    Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until evenly combined.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):

    538 calories
    2.5 grams saturated fat
    450 milligrams sodium
    15 grams fiber
    18 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, manganese, monounsaturated fats, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K

    Good Source of: Iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc

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    You Ask, I Answer: Broccoli Rabe

    i-broccolirabeFrom a nutrition standpoint, are broccoli florets and broccoli rabe the same?

    — Chris Tozer
    (City withheld), TX

    Ah, broccoli rabe.  One of my favorite vegetables.  Sauteed in olive oil and garlic, topped with a few crushed red pepper flakes and a generous squirt of lemon juice… it’s unbridled culinary beauty.

    Now that I’ve wiped off the drool from my keyboard, let’s talk nutrition.

    Broccoli rabe offers three times the vitamin A and calcium, double the vitamin K, and half the vitamin C that broccoli florets do. It’s also an excellent source of potassium and folate.

    While not super high in calcium or iron, the absence of oxalates (which are prominent in spinach) in broccoli rabe indicate that we are able to efficiently absorb the decent amounts of both those minerals that it contains.

    Its slightly bitter taste hints at more good news — it is loaded with unique antioxidants and phytonutrients!  For example, it offers high amounts of isothiocyanates, compounds that fiercely battle carcinogens in the body.  High isothiocyanate consumption has been shown to significantly reduce risk of developing breast, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers.

    Isothiocyanates affect thyroid function, so individuals with thyroid complications should carefully monitor their intake of broccoli rabe and other leafy green vegetables.

    PS: Broccoli rabe is also known as rapini.  Chinese broccoli is a milder-tasting variety of broccoli rabe.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Perfect Pasta Sauce

    51vnSOGsI6L._SL500_AA280_Your typical tomato sauce recipe calls for plenty of chopping — and time! Many sauce purists, in fact, claim the only way to achieve deliciousness is by simmering tomato sauce for hours on the stovetop, allowing flavors to blend and fully integrate.

    While all that is true, it is not the only way to make an out-of-this-world pasta sauce.

    This recipe is super quick, but provides a sauce that truly tastes as if you had labored over it for hours.  I knew this was a must-share recipe when a friend of mine — who consider herself a “sauce connoisseur” — proclaimed this one of her top-three all-time favorite sauces and demanded the recipe.

    YIELDS: 1/2 cup (2 servings)

    INGREDIENTS:

    12 grape tomatoes
    1 medium garlic clove
    1/3 cup roasted or raw red peppers
    2 Tablespoons sundried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
    1 Tablespoon white onion, chopped
    1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/3 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    Pinch of pepper
    1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend/process until well-mixed.

    NUTRITION FACTS (per quarter-cup serving)

    100 calories
    1 gram saturated fat
    170 milligrams sodium

    Excellent Source of: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E

    Good Source of: folate, niacin, potassium, thiamin

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    You Ask, I Answer: Sea Vegetables

    DulseIn the past, you have written that seaweed is a good source of omega-3 for vegans, but what are the benefits for those of us who already eat fish?

    Is there any reason to eat sea vegetables if you already get omega-3s from animal sources?

    — Tom Emilio
    (Location withheld)

    Absolutely!  Their EPA content (one of the two omega 3 fatty acids found exclusively in fish and seaweed) is only one of their many benefits.

    All sea vegetables are great low-calorie sources of iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

    Another bonus?  Sea vegetables have their own share of unique phytonutrients and antioxidants that help lower risk for heart disease and many different cancers.  This is why I often say that oceans have a very worthy produce section!

    Many people erroneously assume all seaweed is slimy, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    You can purchase sheets of thin, crunchy nori (wonderful mixed into salads or used to wrap vegetables and avocado), dried chewy dulse (pictured, right), or hijiki (which, when cooked, has a consistency similar to that of rice).

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Lentil Paté

    Red Lentils 002Due to their stellar nutrition profile, hearty texture, and unique flavor, I am a die-hard fan of lentils.

    Though they are often prominent in soups and casseroles, they also go well as a dip for crudité or heart whole grain crackers.

    This lentil paté is especially wonderful served warm in the winter months.

    YIELDS: 8 servings

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
    2 medium garlic cloves, diced
    1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
    1/3 cup red pepper, chopped
    1 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I think red lentils look nicer for dips, but feel free to use brown)
    1 1/2 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    3/4 teaspoon cumin
    Pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Heat olive oil in pot over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, carrot, and red pepper.

    Cook the vegetables until soft, stirring frequently.

    Add lentils and water.  Bring contents to a boil.

    Lower heat to a low simmer and cook until no more water remains in pot.

    Add salt and spices.  Stir until well-combined and cook, still over simmer, for two minutes.

    Pour contents into food processor, add lemon juice, and puree until smooth.

    Feel free to add more spices after pureeing, if you deem it necessary.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):

    123 calories
    0.8 grams saturated fat
    150 milligrams sodium
    8 grams fiber
    6 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: B vitamins, copper, magnesium, manganese, monounsaturated fats, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C

    Good Source of: Iron, phosphorus, zinc

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    You Ask, I Answer: Seaweed

    895835I consider myself an adventurous eater, but other than a few sushi rolls when I go to a Japanese restaurant, I don’t eat much seaweed.

    Whenever I am at Whole Foods, I see a pretty good-size chunk of one aisle devoted to different kinds of dried seaweed.

    What are some ways I can eat them?  Do they offer any real nutrition  benefits or are they healthy just because they are low in calories?

    — Joanna MacKay
    New York, NY

    Seaweed — which is literally available in thousands of varieties — offers an array of flavors, textures, and health benefits.

    All varieties are good sources of B vitamins, calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and zinc.

    Most varieties also provide substantial amounts of lignans — the compounds found in flaxseed that are linked to decreased cancer risk AND lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels!

    Nori is the most commonly consumed seaweed, as it is the one used in sushi rolls.  However, many people also like to add a few slivers of nori to salads and soups.

    You can even buy sheets of nori and make home-made vegetable rolls.

    For example, roll up mesclun greens, sliced avocado, sliced mango, and julienned (that’s chef-speak for “thinly sliced”) red peppers in a nori sheet, cut the long roll into round bite-size chunks, drizzle a bit of dressing on top (this peanut-cilantro one complements the flavors fabulously), and you have yourself a fun — and nutritious — lunch!

    In Japan, toasted nori snacks are immensely popular (almost as much as potato chips are in the United States).

    Kombu is a type of seaweed mainly used for stocks, while kelp is often added to soups (like miso) or used in granule form to add fishy flavors to vegetarian items that aim to mimic seafood.

    Arame is used in many savory dishes, including stews and grain-based side dishes, while hijiki is often steamed and consumed as a side dish of its own (one restaurant I frequently establish serves up hijiki as part of a platter alongside brown rice, chickpeas, and stir-fried tofu).

    Dulse is mainly available as granules to add fishy flavors to food, although whole dried dulse can be eaten right out of the bag as a snack or used as a salad topper.

    FYI: most seaweed salads at Japanese restaurants use a combination of seaweeds.  The downside?  They contain a substantial amount of added sugars and oils.  If you want to start your meal with it, keep that in mind and make light entree selections.

    The biggest mistake I come across when it comes to the nutritional aspects of seaweed is the completely erroneous claim that they are a good source of vitamin B12.

    They are NOT.  Seaweed contains B12 analogues — compounds that mimic the vitamin.

    Vegetarians and vegans need to be very mindful of B12 analogues; they attach to B12 receptors in the body, and prevent real B12 in the diet from being absorbed properly!

    Also, since seaweed is very high in iodine, anyone with thyroid issues should first consult with a Registered Dietitian before adding it to their diet on a consistent basis.

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    What’s for Lunch? Snacks!

    otlMany people I speak with mention that they quickly tire of repetitive lunches.

    Day after day of wraps or sandwiches with a side of chips or baby carrots is certainly a recipe for boredom.

    One of my boredom-beating tactics?  Make a “snack lunch”!

    This is one of my favorite ways to eat lunch, since it is very easy to construct in a nutritious fashion (it’s perfect for lazier days when I don’t feel like dicing, chopping, and stirring!) and allows you to satisfy multiple cravings at once.

    Here, for example, is the snack lunch I ate today:

    • 1 small Granny Smith apple
    • 1 ounce Gruyere cheese
    • 1 ounce whole grain crackers (I love the Mary’s Gone Crackers brand — they are thin, ultra crispy, and made with quinoa, sesame seeds, and brown rice)
    • 3 Tablespoons fresh salsa
    • 1/3 cup baby carrots
    • 3 Tablespoons hummus
    • 2 Tablespoons raw almonds
    • 1 Tablespoon raw walnuts
    • 1 Tablespoon raw cacao nibs

    Deliciousness aside, this combination racks up a more-than-worthy nutrition profile:

    • 710 calories
    • 6.6 grams saturated fat
    • 660 milligrams sodium
    • 16.5 grams fiber
    • 20.5 grams protein

    Additionally, it is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and hundreds of top-notch phytonutrients and antioxidants.  It’s also a good source of B vitamins, phosphorus, vitamin E, and zinc.

    Added bonus?  The almonds and walnuts contribute heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and ALA Omega-3 fatty acids, respectively.

    Depending on your particular calorie needs, you can tailor this meal by increasing or reducing the amounts of certain foods.

    Do you have a favorite “snack lunch”?  Post it in the “comments” section and inspire other Small Bites readers!

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    You Ask, I Answer: Arugula

    arugula1219364897There are few things I love more than arugula salads.

    Is arugula as healthy as other leafy green vegetables?

    — Dan Christom
    (Location withheld)

    I, too, love arugula’s peppery flavor.

    Something else worthy of affection?  Its stellar nutritional profile!

    A cup and a half (the amount typically used as a salad base) offers 15% of the Daily Value of vitamin A and almost half a day’s worth of vitamin K.

    Arugula also delivers decent amounts of folate and vitamin C.

    Remember, however, that vitamins and minerals are only half the tale.

    Arugula is a very good source of many phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin (two powerhouses that fight macular degeneration).

    Another bonus?  Arugula belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family (where it counts broccoli, kale, and mustard greens as relatives).  High intakes of these vegetables (five to six times a week) are associated with reduced risk of cervical, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

    PS: I often like to add a small amount of arugula to pesto for a unique flavor boost!

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    ‘Tis The Season… to Supplement!

    0805p44c-vitamin_d-mIf you live north of the Georgia stateline (or, for European readers, north of Naples), it’s time to purchase vitamin D supplements.

    Remember that from late October to mid April, the sun rays involved in vitamin D production (UVB rays) don’t reach you if you live above that particular longitude.

    Aim for 1,000 to 2,000 International Units of vitamin D a day.

    The popularly-quoted official triple-digit recommendations have not caught up with the multitude of recent top-notch research studies that clearly indicate we need at least 1,000 International Units a day.

    By the way, it does not matter if your supplement is made up of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.

    Also, keep in mind that certain foods — milk, dairy-free milk alternatives, and cereals — already offer some supplemental vitamin D.

    Below are two Vitamin D-related questions I have received and are worth sharing:

    Are tanning beds a good way to get UVB rays during these next few months?  (Kate R., via Facebook)

    No.  Tanning beds aren’t an exact replica of the sun.

    Many of them contain higher amounts of UVA rays and significantly lower amounts of the vitamin-D-producing UVB rays.

    The risks far outweigh the benefits.

    Is cod liver oil a good way to supplement vitamin D? (Adam L., via Facebook)

    While cod liver oil has long been passed down as a “healthy food to give your child” tip from one generation to the next, the consensus among nutrition professionals is that it is not the optimal source of vitamin D.

    The concern revolves around cod liver oil’s extremely high vitamin A content.

    Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, extraneous amounts are stored, rather than excreted (as is the case with vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin).

    Taking in the 1,000 – 2,000 International Unit Vitamin D recommendation via cod liver oil delivers an exorbitant amount of vitamin A.

    This is especially problematic in light of research that shows vitamin D’s bioavailability is diminished in the presence of high amounts of vitamin A.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Am I Eating Too Much Vitamin A?

    carrotsMy three favorite vegetables are: carrots, spinach, and kale.

    I eat about 6-7 servings of vegetables a day generally, and at least four of the servings include the aforementioned specifically. This means that I consume the proverbial Upper Limit of vitamin A.

    Am I at risk?

    — Julia Rhine
    (Location Unknown)

    Absolutely not!

    Although the term “vitamin A” is used to describe a particular nutrient available both in plant foods (i.e.: carrots, spinach, pumpkin, kale, lettuce) and animal foods (i.e.: eggs, liver, full-fat dairy), the story is a little more complicated.

    Vitamin A in animal foods is available to us as retinol, also known as “preformed vitamin A”.

    Plant sources, however, contain carotenes (of which there are over 600, including the ever-popular beta-carotene), which are then converted into retinol by our bodies.  Some carotenes are converted very efficiently; others are not.

    As I always like to say, our bodies are smart.  Individuals with low vitamin A stores, for instance, convert carotenes into retinol much more efficiently than those with sufficient stores.

    Even when dealing with beta-carotene (the most efficiently converted carotene), you are looking at significantly reduced bioactivity in comparison to retinol.  It takes 12 micrograms of carotenoids from food to equal one microgram of retinol.

    I specifically say “from food” because carotenoids in supplement form are more bioactive.  In their case, two micrograms are equivalent to one microgram of retinol.

    Let’s talk toxicity now.  While high amounts of retinol can be toxic, that is not the case with carotenoids.

    The only issue that arises as a result of consuming a high amount of carotenoids from food is your skin turning a yellow-orange color.  The most likely reason for this is that, as stated previously, if our vitamin A stores are high, carotenoid conversion is brought down several notches.

    Consume a diet that is consistently very high in in the pure retinol form of vitamin A, however, and expect liver problems as well as bone mineral density issues.

    Remember, since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is stored in the body; toxicity is not simply solved by drinking massive amounts of water and urinating large quantities out.

    What makes all of this even more (!) complicated is that while there are Recommended Dietary Allowances set for vitamin A, there aren’t any for carotenoids.

    So, then, how do vegetarians and vegans know how much plant-based “vitamin A” to consume?

    Well, one milligram of beta-carotene is equivalent to approximately 1,667 International Units of vitamin A.

    One medium sweet potato, for example, packs in 13 milligrams of beta-carotene — 21,671 International Units of Vitamin A.

    To convert International Units of vitamin A from plant foods into retinol equivalents, we simply multiply that figure by 0.1 and end up with 2,167 REs of vitamin A.

    Considering that adults need 2,310 (if female) to 3,000 (if male) International Units of vitamin A a day (that’s 700 and 900 REs, respectively), then that one sweet potato provides plenty.

    Some confused individuals claim that the lack of retinol in plant sources of vitamin A “prove” they are inferior sources, and that we should strive to get all of our vitamin A from animal sources.

    WRONG!  They (conveniently?) forget that carotenoids are phytonutrients, which means they contribute many healthful qualities.  Research has clearly demonstrated that diets rich in beta-carotene help lower heart disease and lung cancer risk.

    So, dear Julia, keep enjoying those vegetables!  Remember, though, to consume them in a meal that contains at least 4 grams of fat to ensure proper absorption!

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    Fave Four

    food_labelMany public health and nutrition experts have advocated a variety of changes to the current standard food label.

    From listing calorie information for entire packages commonly consumed in one sitting (i.e.: 20-ounce bottles of soda) to differentiating between naturally-occurring and added sugars (so consumers can know how much sugar is added to yogurt or dried fruit), the proposed changes would absolutely be helpful.

    I have thought of one tweak, however, that I haven’t heard anyone mention yet:

    The Food & Drug Administration should stop mandating that values of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron be listed for all products.  Instead, they should ask food companies to list the top four vitamins and minerals a particular product contains — and the recommended intake percentages in which they are present.

    Of course, as is the case now, food companies would have the choice of listing more than four nutrients if so desired.

    My main gripe with the four nutrients currently listed on food labels is that it often results in very healthy foods coming across as nutrition duds.

    Brown rice, for example, contains practically zero grams of calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C, but is a wonderful source of other vitamins and minerals — consumers should know what they are!

    “But those four nutrients are supposed to be on the food label because they aren’t consumed in sufficient quantities,” some of you may rebutt.

    True, so if a consumer does not see calcium on a food label, they will know that particular product is not a good source of the nutrient.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Red Pepper Cream Soup

    red-pepperMy recent cream of mushroom soup recipe was such a hit that many of you have been asking for another “blend and heat” soup recipe.  I am happy to oblige!

    Here is a similar concoction that beautifully highlights the natural sweetness in red peppers and carrots.  Perfect for fall!  Like the mushroom soup, this is fairly hearty and filling, so you can simply follow it up with a light entree.

    YIELDS: 1 serving

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews, almonds, or sunflower seeds
    2/3 cup raw red pepper strips
    1/4 cup raw green pepper, diced
    4 baby carrots
    2 Tablespoons raw onion, chopped
    1 Tablespoon chopped celery
    1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
    1 garlic clove
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    1/6 teaspoon salt
    Black pepper, to taste
    1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender and process until well combined.

    Transfer to small pot and heat on stovetop for 2 or 3 minutes.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (for cashew variation):

    384 calories
    4 grams saturated fat
    400 milligrams sodium
    6 grams fiber
    13 grams protein

    Excellent source of: Copper, vitamin A, vitamin C

    Good source of: Folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K

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    When NOT To Go Skim

    product_sc_whiteIf you are a regular skim milk drinker and optimal nutrition is your goal, there are certain times when low-fat (1%), reduced-fat (2%), or soy (rather than skim) is the way to go.

    Although all milk in the United States is fortified with vitamins A & D, non-fat milk is a rather useless vehicle for it.  Why?  Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble, meaning they need to be consumed along with a small amount of fat (3 or 4 grams usually suffice) to be absorbed.

    If at any point in the day you are drinking non-fat milk without any other source of fat, you are much better off opting for a low-fat variety.

    Remember, an 8-ounce cup of low-fat milk only contains 14 more calories, 1.8 more grams of fat, and 0.9 more grams of saturated fat than that same amount of skim milk.

    If you enjoy the taste of soy milk, make yourself a vegan latte.  A cup of soy milk contains enough fat to help you absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

    Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your dairy consumption:

    • Accompany your fat-free morning latte with a healthy fat (i.e.: 1 tablespoon of the nut butter of your choice on whole grain toast)
    • Not a fan of sipping coffee between bites of food?  Make your coffee with low-fat, reduced fat, or soy milk
    • If you only like your oatmeal with non-fat milk, throw in some raw almonds or walnuts in there to help you absorb vitamins A and D
    • If you only enjoy fruit smoothies made with non-fat milk, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to add that important small amount of fat
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    You Ask, I Answer: Tofu Cream Cheese

    brealfastHow does tofu cream cheese stack up against regular cream cheese?

    Is the tofu type any better for you?

    — Ella Biggadike
    Brooklyn, NY

    Dairy and soy-based cream cheeses don’t offer much nutrition.

    Here is what you get in one tablespoon of dairy-based cream cheese:

    • 50 calories
    • 3 grams saturated fat (quite a bit for a mere 50-calorie serving!)
    • 1 gram protein
    • 4 percent of the vitamin A Daily Value
    • 2 percent of the phosphorus Daily Value
    • 1 percent of the Daily Value of: calcium, pantothenic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin K

    Of course, fat-free varieties do not offer saturated fat (and clock in at 35 calories per tablespoon).

    Soy-based cream cheeses have an almost identical nutrient profile (except their fat is mostly polyunsaturated, rather than saturated).

    The bigger nutritional concern is what cream cheese is being slathered on.

    The average bagel, for example, clocks in at anywhere from 400 – 500 calories.  Considering that it takes three or four tablespoons of cream cheese to fill them decently, you are easily looking at a 700-calorie breakfast.

    I recommend using nut butters as bagel fillings.  Their fiber, high protein content, and healthy fats (especially in the case of peanut and almond butters) will keep you full for much longer.

    A half bagel topped with two tablespoons of nut or seed butter is a filling breakfast that adds up to approximately 400 calories.

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