LATF USA: Five Breakfast Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Cereal & Oatmeal

5 breakfast nutrition facts, nicolette pace

So many questions when it comes to the famous ‘most important meal of the day:’ breakfast. 

Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND is the founder of NutriSource Inc., which provides high quality education, counseling and nutrition services. She has also served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients.

Here are 5 Breakfast need-to-know’s from Nicolette: 

Kids Cereal

These sugary treats have classically been under fire by health advocates. Today’s versions have added fiber (and vitamins) to make them more health friendly. Unfortunately though many still deliver over 10 grams of sugar per serving and do not contain other nutrients (healthy fat and protein) your child needs for brain growth and development.

Unsweetened Grain Cereal

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because there is no added sugar in these flakes or puffs that it is a healthy choice. Most in this category are refined starches and do not have intact whole grain nutrients and fiber for good health, digestion and appetite control. Since they are light in weight (1 cup serving = one ounce= 110 calories) you’ll need several portions to feel full.

Adult Healthy Cereal

Here’s where we take those refined flakes and puffs and add-in a variety of ingredients such as crunchy nuts, tasty dried fruits, chocolate or other candy-like morsels with the belief that these super food ingredients make them healthy. What you should realize is that is gives you a speed pass to more calories (50% more) in the same small serving which will outweigh the nutrient value of the added ingredients.

Instant Oatmeal

All oatmeal is not created equal. With the convenience of instant you are relaxing the health benefit. Processing methods involve cutting, rolling, pressing and partially cooking whole oats so that essentially “pre-digests” the starch making it more glycemic (fast absorbing, greater blood sugar impact) . Be even more careful with instant oatmeal with added sugar or sweeteners as this reinforces sugar cravings.

Granola

This health food craze leftover is still going strong in health appeal but with a meager 1/3 cup portion size it is also one of the most calorie dense choices at 125-175 calories per serving. While most granolas have healthy intact whole grains they are combined with “trail mix” type ingredients which contribute excess sugar and in some instances unhealthy trans fats. This is a cereal where you must be very careful in measuring and mindful of how you use it.

7 Healthy Chia Recipes That Go Beyond Pudding

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailYou’ve probably heard a lot about chia in the past few years. The black, white, and gray edible seed of the Salvia hispanica plant, it seems like the superfood has quickly popped up everywhere, from smoothies and muffins to pudding and cookies. Read the full article on Chowhound where I’m interviewed on the topic.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy! Xo Nicolette

Living a Healthy Life with Diabetes

IMG_6384Happy New Year, friends!

Did you know that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes? In my latest interview for Nexus TV, I discuss diabetes in depth including the risks associated with the disease, what to eat and what to avoid and surprising lifestyle changes. Watch the full interview here.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

30 Foods You Should Eat More of Once You Turn 30

magnesium-foods.jpgThe time around your 30’s is probably full of career growth, family growth…and waistline growth! Combat weight gain and lay a groundwork for a longer, stronger life by adding healthy foods to your diet that can help you feel younger and live longer. Read the full article on Eat This, Not That! where I’m interviewed on the topic.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

Foods & Anger: Lose Your Short Fuse!

Anger

If you’re in a bad mood can you blame the food?

Yes it’s true, growing research over the last two decades has linked food and nutrition to anger and aggression. While these findings are controversial they have also paved the way for new and promising ways to help us temper our tongues, reverse our rage, and calm the savage beast within all of us.

Make no mistake, this concept has rarely discussed openly until recently. This news should not highlight and build a “Twinkie defense” or foster lack of ownership in how we behave. Rather, it is another piece of a puzzle that explores anti-social behavior which is more commonly attributed to either genetics, the influence of disease, trauma or psychosocial factors.

Many have received traditional treatments that involve medications and therapy but have rarely been exposed to how food can help improve symptoms of anger.

Take a close look at your diet to keep these mood busting foods in check and curtail your consumption for a complete mood make-over and get one step closer to health and happiness!

SUGAR OVERLOAD: if you are eating more than 10% of your calories from sweets routinely, you may have become very sensitive to the effects of a high sugar diet.  That means if you need 2000 calories a day to maintain your weight than no more than 50g should be coming from sugar. Note, one soda contains almost 40 grams!   Sugar dependency is real and promotes cravings for more as well as from comforting starchy carbs which disrupt your metabolism and mood.

Consequence: Look forward to reactive low blood sugar with feelings of irritability, restlessness, frustration and low energy. Cravings for sugar and starchy foods will kick in. You may grab them to help you feel better but unfortunately the effects are short lasting, lead to weight gain, further sugar metabolism problems and more discomfort.

FAT SABOTAGE: Excessive fat intake is easy unless you put some thought into planning meal choices.  A fast food diet will deliver lots of unhealthy fat that can impact your mood in a big way. Watch out for how frequently you eat fried foods and burgers, watch choices at take out and other restaurant chains. These venues are known to have menu items that may contain trans fats or other fats which have been associated with aggression.  Common offenders include a variety of laden appetizers and snacks, loaded salads, dressings, desserts and cocktails.

Consequence:  Brain neurons need a balance between healthy fats and omega 3 for proper development and functioning. This is a critical step for growing brains where neuro-development continues through age 21.  After that and throughout adulthood, a diet that contains unhealthy fats will promote inflammation, attack nerve cells and disrupt communications between cells. Over time this can impact memory, performance, enjoyment and coping with stress.

NUTRIENT KNOCK-OUT:  Super calorie laden processed foods wipe out nutrients in two ways. One is by diminishing the value of the food by super saturating it in calories. This may mean you need to eat 2-4 times the serving size (also 2-4 x the calories) in order to hit the nutrient mark. The other way leaches nutrients from processing methods. Nutrient losses from fresh whole food sources can occur from mechanical mixing, heating and squeezing the food into preformed perfect shapes.This increases toxic by-products and impacts the way your brain functions.

Consequence: Less than optimum levels of key vitamins and minerals have been found in persons with anger, aggression, depression, violence and even suicide.  Additionally, acting impulsively and being overly sensitive to criticism have also been noted. These “sub-clinical” vitamin and mineral deficiencies were related to vitamin C, some B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid and B6) plus iron, magnesium and manganese.

DIRTY FOODS: Processed foods are warehouses for additives that may not be the best for you or your mood.  Take hard look at the food label to key into whether you are eating a dirty food.  Check out foods that come in a box or bottle, contain 5 or more ingredients or have words that are hard to pronounce, chances are that it may be a dirty food.

Consequence: Foods sensitivities are real and researchers have discovered that they may be capable of producing aggression. This is linked to various food additives that include artificial colors, preservatives and flavoring agents. These additives have been implicated independently with childhood hyperactivity, not only for those with food allergies or ADHD.

Eat Healthy!  Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace