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11 Foods That Cut Calories, Not Energy

11 Foods 

Sardines are truly a health food in a can. They’re high in protein, which boosts metabolism and leaves you feeling satiated for much longer than the equivalent amount of carbohydrates. They’re loaded with energizing omega-3 fats, which also help keep you full while being good for your heart, brain and mood at the same time. And because they’re low on the food chain, they’re almost never polluted with chemicals like mercury. Best of all, a full can is under 200 calories!

What would you say to a juice that lowers cholesterol, reduces arterial plaque, might help protect against heart disease and cancer and may even help slow aging? Well, say hello to pomegranate juice. It has the highest antioxidant capacity of any juice on the planet, even beating out red wine and green tea in tests at the University of California. And because it’s low in sugar, it won’t set you up for overeating after you drink it, like high-sugar drinks. Calorie cost? Only 80 calories for four ounces.

Nope, it’s not just for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin is an energizing, low-calorie fruit (no that’s not a misprint) that’s brimming with immune-boosting vitamin A. It’s got way more potassium than a banana, and, for good measure, it’s loaded with fiber. That means your blood sugar won’t soar, but your energy will be constant and sustained. Canned pumpkin is available at every grocery store. You can heat it and season it just like you do pumpkin pie — with nutmeg, cinnamon and a little butter. Just leave out the sugar. It also makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes and has only 49 calories per cup

Blueberries are a true superfood. They’re loaded with fiber and antioxidants and studies show they boost memory making them a true “brain food,” too. Low in sugar but sweet and delicious, they’ll sustain your energy while adding nothing to your waistline. Add them to shakes or salads or eat them alone. Tip: Frozen blueberries are an undiscovered low-calorie treat that mix incredibly well with a little milk or yogurt. You’ll never even know you’re cutting calories. One cup: 84 calories.

Even if you hate broccoli, you’ll love baby broccoli. It’s has a completely different taste, and is actually pretty good raw. Best of all, it’s satisfying, unbelievably nutritious, and ridiculously low in calories — less than 37 calories per cup. It makes a great raw vegetable snack, and because it’s so low in calories, you can even treat yourself to a couple of tablespoons of dip and not break the calorie bank. 

There’s no better protein source than wild salmon, and you get the additional benefits of heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. The protein stabilizes your blood sugar, the fat keeps you from being hungry, and those magical omegas will improve your mood — you won’t even notice you’re cutting calories! You can have a nice 3 oz salmon steak for about 150 calories. Add a handful of brown rice and a heap of vegetables and you’ll be good to go for hours!

The Incas called it the “mother of all grains” and actually used it as a major source of fuel for their armies. Though it’s technically a seed, it cooks, acts and tastes like a grain, and has the highest protein content of any cereal on the planet. It’s also high in iron, and has 5 grams of fiber per cup. Calorie cost? Just over 100 calories per half cup. It’ll fill you up for hours! Tip: Combine with blueberries for a terrific breakfast.

Oatmeal is a food that actually helps you cut calories! Studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber breakfast food like oatmeal are satisfied longer, naturally eat fewer calories later in the day, and have more energy for things like mental performance. High in fiber and moderately high in protein, oatmeal fills you up and energizes all for a very moderate caloric cost of 150 calories per half cup of uncooked dry oats, which cooks up into a nice portion. Tip: Avoid the par-boiled packets — they’re loaded with sugar and have less fiber. 

Switching to tea is an easy way to cut calories without losing energy. Black tea is made from the same plant — Camella sinensis — as it’s more famous cousin, green tea, but it’s also a very healthy beverage. All teas are energizing, and none have calories. Black tea makes an absolutely fabulous substitute for some of the high calorie, milk and sugar laden coffee concoctions we’ve been accustomed to drinking on a daily basis, yet the flavor is strong and satisfying — and it has less caffeine than coffee. 

Three to four ounces of beef is surprisingly low in calories — a quarter pound is under 200 calories. And more surprises: Half the fat in beef is heart healthy monounsaturated fat, the same kind that’s found in olive oil. Beef stabilizes blood sugar and gives you lasting energy, plus it’s loaded with iron and amino acids. But there’s a world of difference between fast food and grass-fed beef. While more expensive, the grass-fed is high in omega-3’s and virtually free of hormones, antibiotics and hormones. Spend the extra money and get the good stuff. 


Whey protein powder is one of the best-kept secrets of dieters and athletes! It’s one of the highest rated proteins on the planet, containing a full range of amino acids. Studies show that it keeps folks feeling fuller longer. Plus, whey protein boosts immunity and slightly lowers blood pressure. Calorie cost? About 100 calories per serving. 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is a board certified nutritionist, a nationally known expert on weight loss, health and nutrition, and the best-selling author of 8 books including “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.” Visit him at

via 11 Foods That.


Researchers quantify how many years of life are gained by being physically active

In a new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, researchers have quantified how many years of life are gained by being physically active at different levels, among all individuals as well as among various groups with different body mass index.

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via Researchers quantify how many years of life are gained by being physically active.

You Are Which You Eat, Literally

Turns out some old clichés aren’t just made to encourage children to eat better. Researchers at Nanjing University found that strands of RNA from vegetables make it into our bloodstream after we eat them. The study found that microRNAs, once inside of us, can regulate the expression of our genes.

MicroRNAswith are little strands of RNA that selectively bind to matching sequences of messenger RNA. This binding results in a repression of those genes. The  role of microRNAs has only been understood in the last decade or so. Currently, they are believed to take part in a vast number of processes in both plants and animals.

Until now scientists thought these chemicals were only made and used inside our bodies, but new research shows that microRNAs from plants can enter the human body. They found low levels of plant microRNAs from rice in human tissues.

It is both exciting, and kind of creepy when you really think about it. Especially when you consider that most people in the Western world don’t pay as much attention to what they’re putting into their bodies, as they do to what clothes they’re wearing. What does this mean for most of us, especially those of us who are trying to live uncommonly healthy lives?

For many of us who take the time to eat well, to prepare nutritious and healthy meals, or to order carefully when dining out, this may not be quite a shocker. Most of us notice that when we eat well, we feel so much better. It would make sense that the effect may be cumulative over time.

An interesting byproduct of this discovery, is that it may be able to explain why some alternative forms of medicine (like Chinese herbal medicine) sometimes seem to have therapeutic value. Because the mechanism has been misunderstood until this point, it had been thought the therapeutic effects were strictly psychological (a placebo effect) in nature.

This is a great encouragement for those of us who are trying to take good care of our bodies and minds. This tells us once again we’re doing something right. Over the next 2 to 3 years, we may have clear information about which foods influence our genes in positive ways, and which foods influence them negatively. The future is wide open for good eating!

Genetic Risk for Heart Trouble Is Offset with Healthy Diet

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to offset the genetic risk for heart problems. The study was published this week.

Approximately 20% of all people carry at least one copy of a bad genetic variant that has only recently been connected to heart attacks. In 2007 the same researchers found variants in the chromosome 9p21 region were highly linked with heart disease and heart attack. Those reports were subsequently confirmed by other groups.

The new information, linking a healthy diet to lower risk for those genetically predisposed to heart problems, is good news. Just one more reminder that, for most of us, genetics are just one of many factors  determining our health and vitality.

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