Wellfie Wednesday Tip #150: Reducing Diabetes with Plant-Based Foods

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back!

This week’s tip looks at following a plant-based dietary pattern and it’s associated reduction in risk of developing diabetes. A new systematic review and meta-analysis was released on Monday, which found that greatest adherence to a plant-based pattern produced a 23% lower risk of developing diabetes. And greater adherence was said to be a predominant/frequent consumption of a “healthy” plant-based pattern that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

Benefits of following a plant-based pattern have been found to far exceed that of just reducing diabetes, and has also been found to reduce lipid cholesterol, reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and reduce systemic inflammation within the body. And even for those with a diagnosis of diabetes, adopting a more plant-based pattern is found to be an excellent component of disease management, improving glycemic index and insulin sensitivity.

Now know that other factors are at play for risk of developing diabetes, but chances are good that you can successfully reduce that risk substantially with a healthy eating pattern, adequate physical activity, sufficient sleep, and maintenance of a healthy weight. And if adopting a more plant-based pattern is something you’d like to try out, remember to start small and gradually make changes for sustainability.

Thank you for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week that demonstrate your active patriotism and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio, @Eric_in_AmERICa, @AaronPerezPT, @DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Qian F, Liu G, Hu FB, Bhupathiraju SN, Sun Q. Association Between Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 22, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2195

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #132: Try Out Meatless Monday

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it reintroduces one of our original posts back in 2016. The movement is so inspiring that it deserves more recognition. Meatless Monday, a non-profit health initiative launched in 2003 by the Center for a Livable Future at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, encourages people around the world to go meatless one day a week for their health & the health of the planet. #MeatlessMonday.

The Meatless Monday website is full of amazing resources that can help you make the change personally, but also help spread the word to others. As you have probably heard from us in the past, plant-based eating patterns (limiting the consumption of processed foods and meats, especially red meat and processed meat) have shown to reduce risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

MM_PlantProteinPower_Asparagus.gif

One of the biggest misconceptions I come across is that we need to consume meat in order to get our days worth of protein. And that is just not true! There are many other options to choose from, that are rich in vitamins and minerals and will also provide tons of beneficial fiber. Aside from that, choosing to eat more plants is fun and excited! Giving you the opportunity to experiment with different textures and flavors and really be creative.

And what’s awesome is that some hospital systems are starting to see the benefit as well. Just this week in NY, Woodhull Hospital and Kings County Hospital launched their very own “Meatless Mondays” initiative. Check out this article for more details.

Join in on the Global Movement! Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #107: Zucchini Time!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt)!

     I don’t know about all of you home gardeners but my summer garden is overloaded with zucchini. So I decided to look a bit into what the health benefits of zucchini are and to make sure it’s not a problem if I eat it every day for the next month…

     So what are the health benefits? Well first things first, let’s talk about the major reason for an increasing trend in zucchini as “zoodles.” Notably for the replacement of pasta and reduction in calories for weight loss. Zucchini is high in fiber and water content, which helps you feel fuller for longer! 

     What else does zucchini have? Well, zucchini is high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B5, manganese, potassium, sodium, calcium, folate, iron, zinc, and even a bit of protein… daaang that is so many nutrients! Zucchini is an excellent source for optimal health maintenance and also so versatile.

     Some studies even suggestion that zucchini can help prevent certain types of diseases when consumed regularly because typically foods that are fiber-rich and antioxidant-abundant can help aid in reducing cancerous cells.

PRO-TIP: Zucchini is 95% water so before you do anything, salt the zucchini first to get the excess water out and drain it! Also, keep the skin ON the zucchini to get maximum nutrients (ie. beta-carotene, antioxidants…).

Things I’ve tried so far:

  • Zucchini noodles/"zoodles"
  • Zucchini fritters
  • Zucchini tempura
  • Zucchini bread (with and without chocolate chips!)
  • Zucchini boats (this one is life changing, I was recommended this and looked some recipes up on pinterest)

     If you’ve got any suggestions, send them my way! Thanks for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #93: Start Eating Lentils!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio), our crew's Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. 

     This week I want to get you thinking more about LENTILS! Frankly because they're awesome and pack a nutritious punch. Lentils are by far my favorite legume and not only because they're cheap, but because lentils are so versatile. You can add or substitute for them in any meal at any point of the day, whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or heck a snack! If you're looking for ways to incorporate more plant-based food options, this is a great start. Check out the image below for a few quick nutritional facts on lentils. Lentils.org is a great website loaded with recipes and meal ideas. I highly recommended checking it out. 

As you can see lentils certainly pack a punch, providing not only a sufficient amount of protein, but tons of beneficial fiber. 

I'll leave you with one more thing, my FAVORITE lentil recipe! An amazing choice for Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday! 

lentil tacos recipe.jpg

     Go ahead and give lentils a try and let us know how it goes! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #88: Simple Nutrition #EatMorePlants

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Wellcome back! This week’s post is brought to you by @AaronPerezPT. Enjoy!

     I hate diets almost as much as I hate math. So, today I’m going to combine both in a post you will love! I want to talk about some simple math for smarter choices when it comes to food. The nutrition tip uses a “Carb:Fiber” ratio, which involves a little label reading as well. I think I first heard about this from a @MikeEisenhart tweet a while back. I couldn’t find the tweet, but I at least asked nutrition nerd / #Wellfiewednesday editor / super hero, Patrick Berner (@TheFuelPhysio), to verify that this is indeed decent nutrition advice if that makes ya feel better. If I recall correctly…

     For this ratio, simply divide the total number grams of carbohydrates by the grams of fiber. Dr. Michael Greger recommends a ratio of 5:1 or less. If any higher, put it back on the shelf. A higher ratio will be seen in those foods that are more processed than others. Here’s a great video from Dr. Greger’s Nutrition Facts Website explaining this rule. Essentially, the “process” of making these “food-like substances” takes the fiber out (and nutrients), and adds in a lot of refined carbohydrates/additional sugar, for taste and palatability. You may notice that most of the carbohydrates are consisting of sugars. Side note, “food-like substances” is a phrase stolen from @MichaelPollan. I still love his 3 simple nutrition rules:

  1. Eat real food
  2. Not too much
  3. Mostly plants

     Anyway, ideally you want a ratio less than 5:1, more like a 2:1 or 3:1, which can be obtained using the idea of #EatMorePlants. A serving of broccoli or lentils for example will yield this ratio. 

     Applying the math to my own life, I came to the sad realization that one of my favorite “healthy breakfasts” consisting of honey nut cheerios with a fruit cup was not much better than a donut. No wonder it tasted so good. 

   
  
    
  
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    Dole pineapple fruit cup: 15 g total carbs, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar

Dole pineapple fruit cup: 15 g total carbs, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar

   
  
    
  
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    1.5 cups Honey nut cheerios (2 servings because who’s really eating ¾ cup of cheerios?): 44 g total carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g sugar

1.5 cups Honey nut cheerios (2 servings because who’s really eating ¾ cup of cheerios?): 44 g total carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g sugar

   
  
    
  
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    1 cup skim milk: 12 g total carbs, 0 g fiber, 11 g sugar 

1 cup skim milk: 12 g total carbs, 0 g fiber, 11 g sugar 

Meal total: 71 g total carbs, 5 g fiber, 43 g sugar

Carb:Fiber Ratio (goal 5.0 or less): 14.

   
  
    
  
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Double chocolate donut from Dunkin Donuts: 39 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar

Carbs:Fiber (goal 5.0 or less): 18.0

     I challenge us to check the nutrition labels on our foods today. Let us know what the ratios are looking like for your meals. You may be surprised, and quickly begin to realize Sugar is everywhere! Following these rules may simplify nutrition label reading #FocusOnFiber. It would also greatly improve our health.

In closing,

#EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants

     Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellness Wednesday Tip #17: Try Meatless Monday!

Happy #WellfieWednesday friends!

     This week’s tip is to try participating in #MeatlessMonday! Meatless Monday, a non-profit health initiative launched in 2003 by the Center for a Livable Future at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, encourages people around the world to go meatless one day a week for their health & the health of the planet.

     According to research from the CLF, Americans eat an average of a half-pound of meat per day, or an average of 182 lbs. of meat per year. Personally, I never thought of the statistics that way, but when I do…it kind of grosses me out. For perspective, I’m a pretty average guy weighing in around 190 lbs. According to this research, that means in a given year I basically eat my weight in meat. Kind of gross, right?

     While you try to get that visual out of your head, consider the research linking processed and red meat consumption to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and premature death. Take it a step further and consider the impact these chronic diseases have on our overall healthcare system, accounting for 75% of the 2 TRILLION dollars spent on medical care in the US every year. Take it even another step further and consider the resources (land, water, food, fossil fuel) required to process 180 lbs. of meat for the 3.2 million people who live in the US.

     Now imagine reducing each these categories by 14%. That is the impact that going meatless just one day a week can have on yourself, our country, and the world as a whole. Find more information on the initiative at their website http://www.meatlessmonday.com/ or on social media @MeatlessMonday, and check out the links below for recipe ideas.

     So give it a shot, and let us know how it goes! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Patrick (@PBernerSPT) or myself (@Eric_in_AmERICa) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

Recipe options:

http://www.meatlessmonday.com/favorite-recipes/

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/22166/vegetarian/must-try/slideshow/meatless-monday-healthy-vegetarian-recipes-you-must-try/

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/vegetarian/slideshow/easy-vegetarian-dinner-recipes

http://damndelicious.net/2014/12/02/15-best-quick-easy-meatless-recipes/

http://www.thekitchn.com/23-vegetarian-dinners-to-make-meatless-monday-even-easier-230958

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

-Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT