May 27, 2010

High Fiber Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

Muffins can be a health-conscious person's downfall. Portion sizes have ballooned over the years, and it's not unusual to see a commercial muffin contain over 400 calories. And because you should include some fiber at each meal, a good breakfast means you need a good dose of fiber. 

If you're interested in making your own high-fiber breakfast muffins, try these "Reduced-Fat Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins" from Jeanne Jones of the Cook it Light newspaper column. They're simple, quick and bring you back to the basics about what a muffin should be:

Reduced-Fat Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking poweder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins (18 muffins) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, bakins soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, bea tthe egg whites, sugar, water, vanilla, oil and aplesauce. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and cover the blueberries with flour, which prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the batter. Ad the flour mixture, along with the blueberries, to the egg mixture, and combine with a few strokes, just until moistened.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full. For topping, combine the 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the top of each muffin.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Each muffin has 10 calories, 2 g fat, 99 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein and 2 g fiber.

May 26, 2010

Diabetics Cheat Death with Bran

A study published in the May 25, 2010 issue of Circulation finds that people with diabetes who eat more whole grains are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than are people with diabetes who have low whole grain intakes. 

The researchers from Harvard and other Boston-area research institutes studied almost 8,000 diabetic women already enrolled in the Nurses Health Study. They studied the women for 26 years and found that death from cardiovascular disease was significantly higher among the bottom 20% of whole grain food consumers than the top 20%. Specifically, bran consumption was associated with lower mortality; nurses with the highest bran intake and lowest CVD risk ate 9g of bran per day on average, and the lowest bran consumers with higher mortality risk ate less than 1g of bran per day.

This study was unique in that it looked not only at whole grain intake, but also the  individual components of whole grains:
  • Fiber
  • Bran 
  • Germ
The researchers' findings indicate that, "Whole-grain and bran intakes are associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular disease-specific mortality in women with diabetes." The results evince a potential benefit of whole-grain intake's ability to reduce mortality and cardiovascular disease risk in people with diabetes.

How can you get more bran in your diet?
  • Eat 100% whole grains that naturally contain bran
  • Avoid refined, processed and "enriched" flours that remove bran during processing
  • Choose whole grain cereals, bran flakes, oat bran, All-bran

May 7, 2010

Numero UNO! - Pizzeria Uno's Five Grain Flatbreads

Pizzeria Uno Chicago Grill is bringing a commendable high fiber option to the table. Uno's Five Grain Flatbread Crust has 4 grams of fiber per approximate 300 calorie serving.

 The fiber in the Five Grain Flatbread comes from, well.....Five Grains:
  • Stone ground whole wheat flour
  • Hulled sesame seed
  • Toasted wheat germ
  • Oat bran, and
  • Flaxseed
Now, keep in mind you have to share that flatbread with two other friends to keep to the serving size, which is 1/3 of a whole flatbread; but, considering the dearth of high fiber options at most chain restaurants, the Uno Five Grain Flatbread makes for a high fiber - and pretty delicious decision. The flatbread crust is thin, tasty, and it maintains a good crunch under all the toppings.

Five Grain Flatbreads are available as BBQ Chicken, Roasted Eggplant Spinach & Feta, Spicy Chicken, Mediterranean, Four Cheese, Harvest Vegetable. Wild Mushroom & White Cheddar, Cheese & Tomato, Lobster BLT, Pepperoni, and Sausage varieties.

May 5, 2010

Herr's Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks

If you live on the East Coast or the Southeast of the US, there's a good chance you have access to Herr's Snack Foods. If you do, you'll want to check out Herr's Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks. These are far and away the best tasting whole grain pretzels out there - they're crunchy and salty with a hint of rye and sesame. And the best part is: they're made from actual whole grains, not the fake, added isolated fibers you see in so many other, new "high-fiber" foods.

A one ounce serving (about 7 healthy sticks) of the original Whole Grain pretzel sticks has 110 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. The fiber in these pretzels comes from (in this order in the ingredient list):
  • Whole grain wheat flour (the first ingredient)
  • Flax seed
  • Rye flour
  • Barley flour
  • Oat flour
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Buckwheat flour, and
  • Flax flour
To see if Herr's Whole Grain Pretzels are available in your area, check out this map: Herr's Distribution Area. If you can't get Herr's locally, you can order all of the Whole Grain Pretzel flavors (whole grain, honey wheat and/or pumpernickel rye) online at Herr's Store.