By Eliza Short, RD, Communications Coordinator for Jackson In Action
There are many fad diets promoted on the internet, but very few have health claims backed by research. One dietary pattern that has been proven to have health benefits in countless studies is the plant-based diet. This dietary pattern is characterized by low consumption of animal foods (meat, dairy, eggs) with a higher consumption of plant foods (whole-grains, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, soy, vegetables/fruit). Here are a few examples of plant foods, and reasons you may want to consider incorporating these foods into your diet.
- Beans, lentils, whole-grains, vegetables, and fruit are a great source of fiber!
- Fiber can help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease
- Fiber helps to slow down the absorption of food into the blood stream, to promote better blood sugar control for individuals with diabetes
- Fiber can help weight loss by helping you feel full for longer periods of time
- Nuts and seeds contain healthy unsaturated fats!
- Replace saturated fats (found in butter, meat, dairy) with unsaturated fats to improve cholesterol levels
- Fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols!
- Polyphenols can help protect the cells in our bodies from damage, and therefore lower cancer risk
Harvest of the Month
On Thursday, March 22nd, from 11:30-12:30pm, join Registered Dietitian Ruth Lahmayer Chipps at Black River Memorial Hospital for a Harvest of the Month recipe demonstration featuring lentils. Taste tests and recipes will be provided.
More information: www.Lentils.org
- 1 c. dry whole green lentils (or 2 ½ c. cooked or canned lentils that have been drained and rinsed)
- 4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes (cherry or other)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil plus 2 tsp. for toasting bread
- 1 Tbsp. vinegar (sherry, balsamic, or apple)
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 12 (½-inch) thick slices of crusty French bread
- ½ ripe avocado, finely chopped
- Bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup dry lentils to a boil in a 4-quart pan, then cover tightly and reduce heat to a simmer until lentils are tender (~15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
- Mix basil, tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together. Lightly stir in the lentils.
- Serve on crusty French bread slices. Top with avocado. Can chill and enjoy as a salad.
Nutrition content per ½ cup serving with 2 slices of bread:
- 7g Fat, 30g Carbohydrate, 9g Fiber, 11g Protein.