Jun 24, 2014

Add Liquid Gold for a Healthier Diet

We've been told for years to steer away from fat, but the right kind of fats—consumed in moderation—can actually boost your health. Here are five of the best oils to add to your diet as liquid gold.

1. Coconut Oil

Once thought to be a heart attack in a bottle, coconut oil has reclaimed its place as a tasty and beneficial oil. Just a few tablespoons can help the body to do the following:

  • Resist bacterial and viral infections
  • Fight off yeast, fungus and candida
  • Stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Regulate hormones
  • Restore thyroid function
  • Increase HDL cholesterol
  • Stabilize weight
  • Boost energy levels
Use coconut oil as a butter substitute when sauteing veggies or baking quick breads. If you enjoy the coconut flavor, cook some bananas in virgin oil with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. If you would rather have the health benefits without the taste, drizzle some refined oil over popcorn. Use in moderation; coconut oil is high in saturated fats.

2. Almond Oil

If you are tired of eating handfuls of almonds every day, try replacing your go-to vegetable oil with some almond oil. You still get the nutty flavor and the following benefits:

  • Heart disease prevention
  • Protection from free radicals with antioxidants
  • Improvement in the appearance of your skin, hair and nails
  • Production of more healthy red blood cells
  • More efficient absorption of nutrients
  • Improvement in brain chemistry with omega-6 fatty acids
Use the refined oil when frying or sauteing and the cold-pressed oil when baking. For an extra treat during the summer, combine sweet almond oil with white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, sea salt and a small shallot for a delicious salad dressing.

3. Cottonseed Oil

The cotton plant is good for more than just making jeans and t-shirts. Cottonseed oil makes a great standard to keep in your pantry. The subtle flavor can highlight crisp greens in a salad but also withstand the high heat of frying. Adding some cottonseed oil to your diet can help you to do the following:

  • Fight disease and aging with high levels of vitamin E
  • Increase good cholesterol for heart health
  • Decrease bad cholesterol levels with polyunsaturated fats
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack with essential fatty acids
Cottonseed oil is trans-free and cholesterol-free. For some extra kick, try one of the new infused cottonseed oils. You can buy great flavors like curry spice or jalapeno-lime.

4. Peanut Oil

In moderation, peanut oil can be a great accompaniment to your diet. It does well with high heat cooking, such as deep-frying, and tastes great with BBQ. Use it as a health booster to help:

  • Promote good blood flow and reduce stroke risk
  • Protect cells from harmful free radicals in the environment
  • Protect against cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and Alzheimer's with natural resveratrol levels
Make a tasty peanut sauce for stir-frys or dipping by combining peanut oil with crunchy peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, water and hot chili oil.

5. Olive Oil

No list of healthy oils would be complete without mentioning olive oil. This staple of Mediterranean cooking packs a punch in flavor and in health benefits. Add some olive oil to:

  • Reduce bad cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improve brain function
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Promote strong skin, hair and nails
Put extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings and marinades. Drop a few tablespoons in a pan for sauteing vegetables. Make an infused oil by adding basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and olive oil to a pour-spout bottle.

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Jun 16, 2014

A Diet that is Lowering My Blood Pressure

My doctor expressed concern about my blood pressure levels at my last annual physical, and did what doctors do, prescribed a medication for me to try.  I tried it, and felt quite sick, so we tried another, and I had strange symptoms with that one.  Yes, I am one of those difficult patients because my body does not handle medications very well, so I have to find alternatives.

I never had to think about my blood pressure in the past, it was always good, but according to my doctor, the blood pressure goes up with age.  Still, I want to put off taking medications for as long as I can, if not forever, so did my homework, and found a diet that many already know about, the DASH diet.  DASH stands for Dietary Solutions to Stop Hypertension.

I am having some success reducing my blood pressure with this diet.  It has become a popular way to lose weight for some as well, but by adjusting quantities of types of foods most of you eat as part of your diet anyway, you will get the proper amount of potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium to improve your blood pressure.  

I went into greater detail about how I started, and free online resources available to help in another article, You Asked For More Information on How to Start the DASH Diet. I hope this will be helpful to those of you who, like me, want to lower blood pressure naturally.

Nov 6, 2013

Simple Alaska Salmon Loaf and Patties Recipe

What a shock it was to me to read the label on my can of Salmon a couple of weeks back and find that it was NOT Alaskan Salmon.  I've made it a point to buy Salmon from Alaska only, but was lured by a lower price, and according to the label, the Salmon came from a location outside the United States.  I have been doing my best to shop locally, and to think about where the things I buy that are not local come from. 

My husband was also able to get local Salmon when young by taking part in an interesting experience with his Dad in Colorado. As a boy when his father worked for the Forest Service, in order to preserve the population of Salmon, at that time they would go to the destination of Salmon returning home in mass to lay their eggs, and capture the Salmon and harvest the eggs.  I honestly don't recall the destination of the eggs after that.  They would then bring some of the Salmon home after and fill their freezer to supplement their diet.  This was also good, healthy, local salmon. 

But we don't live in Alaska, and there are no local Salmon runs where we live, so last week my weekly purchase of Salmon was carefully chosen, and from Alaska.  Salmon is such a healthy fish rich in nutrients including Omega 3 fish oils, and isn't a fish that is likely to contain mercury as it is not from the sea. 

BUT YOU ARE HERE FOR A RECIPE, aren't you?  I have a simple one for you. 

The ingredients are the same, whether you choose to shape this into a loaf and bake or microwave it, or whether you choose to fry it in a pan that is lightly oiled, I use a very light coating of Olive Oil.

You can feed about 3 with one can of Salmon, double the recipe for a family of 6 etc..

You need:

  • 1 Can of Salmon (drain, and remove only the large vertebra bones..if you are brave enough, eat them, they contain lots of natural calcium.  The smaller bones can be mixed in with the recipe.)
  • 1/3 cup of Wheat Germ 
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 1/8 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 t. dried Dill Weed
Combine all of the ingredients well, and shape into loaf OR patties, depending upon how you choose to serve this.  If you make a loaf, sprinkle the top with Dill Weed.

If you microwave, use a glass pan, and the time will be approximately 15 minutes for the 1 can quantity.

If you cook as patties, cook until cooked through.

You can serve with a simple tarter sauce of mayonnaise mixed with relish.

And a bonus...here's an old post I found while reviewing posts to this blog that is a great recipe for a happy life!

Image Credit - by karotmember of freedigitalphotos.net