Meatless Monday for Patients of NYC Health + Hospitals in the U.S.

Patients of the NYC Health + Hospitals now see a greener menu, especially on Mondays. The program was launched in Mid-January, 2019.

Chef Charlie Smith is in charge of preparing an entirely meatless meal on Mondays for all 11 hospitals.

He says there are meatless options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the patient can also choose a meat option if they want one.

Hospital officials say they will offer meat to patients who ask for a meat entrée, so they are not forcing it on anybody.

Meatless Monday will include choices like black bean soup, spaghetti, fruit, vegetables, garden burgers, hummus and three-bean chili.

Health officials say a plant-based diet can benefit those with Type 2 diabetes, inflammation and autoimmune disease, as well as helping with cancer prevention.

NYC Health + Hospitals says that as time goes on, Meatless Mondays may grow to every day of the week.

In response to the new dietary pledge, Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement in part, “NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is leading the charge to create a healthier and more sustainable future by adopting Meatless Monday.”

Source: NEWS12

Basmati Rice with Beans in Chili Tomato Sauce


2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp hot chili powder
l tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup hot vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


  1. Wash the rice several times under cold running water. Drain and cook in a pan of simmering water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the chili powder and flour into the onion and garlic mixture. Cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Add the kidney beans and hot vegetable stock. Cover and cook gently for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Season the chili sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Drain the rice and serve at once, with the beans and sauce, sprinkled with a little chopped fresh parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Essential Vegetarian

What is for Lunch?

Gluten-free Vegetarian Set Lunch at Lotus Vegecafe in Toyohashi, Japan

The Menu

  • Quinoa and Tofu Hamburg
  • Country-style Stir-fried Soybean
  • Steamed Cabbage with Strawberry Sauce
  • Celery Mixed with Chili Pepper and Miso
  • Seaweed and Deep-fried Tofu Mixed with Sesame
  • Maitake and Chinese Yam Salad
  • Pumpkin and Tofu Cream Yogurt
  • Daikon and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus Dressing
  • Vegetable Miso Soup
  • Cooked Sprouted Brown Rice

Is Granola Good for You?

Sally Wadyka wrote . . . . . . . . .

Granola is one of those foods that comes with a giant health halo—and if you choose wisely, you can get a bowlful of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. “But there are a lot of land mines when it comes to choosing granola,” says Lauri Wright, Ph.D., chair of the department of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. “You have to be a very savvy consumer to find the healthiest one.”

We did a spot check of the granola market, examining the nutrition, ingredients, and label claims on 38 products to identify the factors you should watch out for when making your granola choice.

What’s the Serving Size?

Typically, the serving size recommended by the manufacturer is significantly smaller for granola than for other, less dense types of cereal. But that doesn’t mean people eat less of it.

Consumer Reports’ food testing team asked 124 consumers to pour out their typical amounts of a low-density cereal (Cheerios), a medium-density one (Quaker Oatmeal Squares), and high-density granola (Quaker Simply Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds).

Ninety-two percent of participants poured more than the recommended serving size of all the cereal types. But the denser the cereal, the more they exceeded the serving size. For granola, the average “overpour” was 282 percent. A serving that big means consuming two to four times the calories, fat, and sugars listed on the Nutrition Facts label.

The suggested serving size on granola packages we looked at ranged from ¼ to ¾ cup. “If you’re comparing the nutrition info between cereals—but not checking the serving sizes—you could be basing your buying decision on misinformation,” says Ellen Klosz, a CR nutritionist.

The Sugar Trap

Like many cereals, granola can be a significant source of sugars. “It really varies, though. In the products we looked at, the sugars content ranged from 1 to 14 grams per serving,” Klosz says.

Factors that affect the sugars content are the addition of “sweeteners” such as dried fruit and chocolate, and whether the product contains one or more types of added sugars. But even then, it’s hard to make general assumptions, such as “granolas with chocolate are always higher in sugars.” For example, Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Apple, Cranberry, and Almonds sounds like it would be lower in sugars than Nature’s Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Red Berries, but they have about the same amount—13 and 12 grams per ½ cup, respectively.

“If a product contains dried fruit, some of the sugars are those that are naturally present in the fruit,” Klosz says. “What you want to limit are added sugars.” For example, although 1⁄3 cup of Wildway Grain-Free Granola Banana Nut has 9 grams of sugars, it comes from the dates and bananas it contains; the cereal has no added sugars.

The FDA will require manufacturers to separate total and added sugars on Nutrition Facts labels starting in 2020, but some companies—for instance, Bear Naked, Michele’s Granola, Mom’s Best, and Nature’s Path—already do.

If you don’t see an added sugars line on the label, check the ingredients list. If a type of sugar is listed up high or there are many types, you can assume that much of the sugars content is added. “In general, you want to keep added sugars as low as possible,” Klosz says. “But until added sugars are required on food labels, a good rule of thumb is no more than 8 grams of total sugars per serving.”

Don’t be swayed by sugar claims on the front of the package, though. Take “lightly sweetened,” for example: The definition of the term is entirely up to the manufacturer. In the case of Bob’s Red Mill Lightly Sweetened Honey Oat Granola, it means 9 grams of sugars in a ½-cup serving. For the company’s Classic Lightly Sweetened Granola, it means 14 grams of sugars per ½ cup.

Some brands will tout the type of sugar used in the product on the front of the label. Although honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar may sound healthier than corn syrup or cane sugar, any type of added sugar supplies empty calories and counts toward your daily allotment. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, recommends that added sugars make up no more than 10 percent of the calories you eat. That’s 50 grams for someone eating 2,000 calories per day and 40 grams if you eat 1,600 calories per day. The American Heart Association’s recommendations are even lower: 25 grams per day for women, 36 grams for men.

Coconut sugar, in particular, has become a popular sweetener in recent years and is found in some granolas. It has been promoted as healthier than other types of sugars because it has a lower glycemic index (a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar levels). But it’s still an added sugar and should be limited. “The glycemic index of different sugars may vary slightly, but these differences are nominal,” says Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Fat Facts

Granolas typically contain oil—in some cases, coconut oil, which can add significant amounts of saturated fat to the mix. And while many believe coconut oil is a healthy choice, according to the American Heart Association, it is just as likely to raise cholesterol as other types of saturated fats.

But a granola that’s higher in total fat isn’t necessarily unhealthy. If the mix contains nuts and seeds, the overall fat content will be higher—but much of it comes from healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

For example, Nature’s Path Honey Almond granola contains 4.5 grams of fat per 1⁄3 cup, but only half a gram of it is saturated. Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut Butter Grain Free granola does contain some healthy fats from an assortment of nuts and seeds, but it also contains coconut oil. A 1⁄3-cup serving packs 11 grams of total fat, and 3.5 grams of it are saturated.

Protein and Fiber: Natural Is Better

Some granolas provide healthy doses of protein and fiber. “Many are packed with whole grains, nuts, and seeds, which are good sources of fiber and protein,” Wright says. “And that combination can help you keep you fuller longer.”

However, you want these nutrients to come from the grains, nuts, and seeds in the cereal. Some of the granolas we looked at contain added fiber in the form of chicory root fiber or added protein from soy, whey, or other concentrated sources of protein. “Adding ingredients like these are a way to pump up the fiber and protein content, but they’re processed ingredients,” Klosz says. “It’s always better to get your nutrients from whole foods.”

Most of the granolas we looked at had 3 to 5 grams of protein per serving, which is a fine amount. “Most people get enough protein in their diet and don’t need their granola to supply it,” Klosz says. Fiber, however, is something you want a cereal to provide. Ideally, granola would have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Grain-free varieties can still provide fiber thanks to additional nuts and seeds, but that’s not always the case. For example, Nature’s Path Maple Almond grain-free granola has just 1 gram of fiber in a 1⁄3-cup serving.

Break Away From the Cereal Bowl

Even if you choose wisely, granola may not be the healthiest cereal to fill your bowl with in the morning. It’s so dense that it’s tough not to end up eating more calories and sugars than you should. A better option: Use it to add extra crunch and flavor to other foods. “Add a ¼ cup as a topping to plain yogurt, mix it into a high fiber cereal or treat it more like a dessert than the main component of your meal,” Linsenmeyer says.

Source: Consumer Reports

Is the Most Effective Weight-Loss Strategy Really that Hard?

If you want to lose weight, research shows, the single best predictor of success is monitoring and recording your calorie and fat intake throughout the day — to “write it when you bite it.”

But dietary self-monitoring is commonly viewed as so unpleasant and time-consuming, many would-be weight-losers can’t muster the will power to do it.

New research to be published in the March issue of Obesity suggests that the reality of dietary self-monitoring may be far less disagreeable than the perception.

After six months of monitoring their dietary intake, the most successful participants in an online behavioral weight-loss program spent an average of just 14.6 minutes per day on the activity. Program participants recorded the calories and fat for all foods and beverages they consumed, as well as the portion sizes and the preparation methods.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Vermont and the University of South Carolina, is the first to quantify the amount of time that dietary self-monitoring actually takes for those who successfully lose weight.

“People hate it; they think it’s onerous and awful, but the question we had was: How much time does dietary self-monitoring really take?” said Jean Harvey, chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department at the University of Vermont and the lead author of the study. “The answer is, not very much.”

Harvey and her colleagues looked at the dietary self-monitoring habits of 142 participants in an online behavioral weight control intervention. For 24 weeks, participants met weekly for an online group session led by a trained dietician.

They also logged their daily food intake online, in the process leaving behind a record of how much time they spent on the activity and how often they logged in – information the researchers mined for the new study.

Participants who lost 10 percent of their body weight – the most successful members of the cohort – spent an average of 23.2 minutes per day on self-monitoring in the first month of the program. By the sixth month, the time had dropped to 14.6 minutes.

Brief but frequent

What was most predictive of weight-loss success was not the time spent monitoring – those who took more time and included more detail did not have better outcomes – but the frequency of log-ins, confirming the conclusions of earlier studies.

“Those who self-monitored three or more time per day, and were consistent day after day, were the most successful,” Harvey said. “It seems to be the act of self-monitoring itself that makes the difference – not the time spent or the details included.”

Harvey attributes the decrease in time needed for self-monitoring to participants’ increasing efficiency in recording data and to the web program’s progressive ability to complete words and phrases automatically after just a few letters were entered.

The study’s most important contribution, Harvey said, may be in helping prospective weight-losers set behavioral targets.

“We know people do better when they have the right expectations,” Harvey said. “We’ve been able to tell them that they should exercise 200 minutes per week. But when we asked them to write down all their foods, we could never say how long it would take. Now we can.”

With online dietary monitoring apps like LoseIt, Calorie King and My Fitness Pal widely available, Harvey hopes the study results motivate more people to adopt dietary self-monitoring as a weight-loss strategy.

“It’s highly effective, and it’s not as hard as people think,” she said.

The stakes are high. The latest federal data show that nearly 40 percent of American adults were obese in 2015–16, up from 34 percent in 2007–08. Obesity is linked to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer and accounts for 18 percent of deaths among Americans ages 40 to 85, according to a 2013 study.

Source: University of Vermont

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