People who consume full-fat dairy may weigh less

“This finding supports recent thinking that cultured daily products, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc., are better for health using regular milk, no low or no fat milk. They are a stable in my daily food.” Bill Chesnut, MD.

To go back to New Health News:

People who consume full-fat dairy may weigh less, may be less likely to develop diabetes than those who eat low-fat dairy products

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (4/6, Foreman) reports that “people who consume full-fat dairy weigh less and are less likely to develop diabetes than those who eat low-fat dairy products,” the findings of a 3,333-adult, 15-year study published in the journal Circulation suggest. The study revealed that “people with higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46 percent lower risk of getting diabetes than those with lower levels.”

The CBS News (4/6, Marcus) website points out that another study involving “more than 18,000 middle-age women who were part of the Women’s Health Study – and [of] normal weight, free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at the start of the research – found that those who ate more high-fat dairy had an 8 percent lower chance of going on to become obese over time compared to those who ate less.” No such link was seen “with low-fat dairy product intake,” however.


Study explores impact of vegetable oil on heart health

“This study is full of surprises. There is much to learn by reviewing the data of previous research published to find new interpretations of the same data. The new interpretations may relate to new science since the original recommendations were made.” Bill Chesnut. MD.

To go back to New Health News:

Study explores impact of vegetable oil on heart health _ AMA Morning Rounds April 13, 2016.

TIME (4/12, Park) reports that in a study published in the British Medical Journal, investigators who “re-analyzed data from older unpublished studies” found “that it’s possible that too much vegetable oil could actually increase the risk of heart disease – rather than decrease it.” Researchers “delved into the data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, conducted from 1968 to 1973.” The investigators “learned that only part of the trial’s results were published, and other data, suggesting the contrary idea that switching animal fats for vegetable fats didn’t protect the heart, was left out.”

On its website, NBC News (4/12, Fernstrom) reports that the researchers “found no association between lower cholesterol levels and longer life, suggesting that reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet isn’t enough to reduce risk of death from heart disease.”

CBS News (4/12, Marcus) reports on its website that “curiously, participants who experienced a greater reduction in blood cholesterol actually had a higher risk of death.”


Be heart smart: Foods rich in omega-3s

“ More goodness- a tasty healthy recipe from the Cleveland Clinic, one of my favorite free newsletters.” Bill Chesnut, MD

Cleveland clinic Wellness Newsletter_February 13, 2016
Be heart smart: Foods rich in omega-3s will keep your ticker ticking!
Want a delicious way to improve your heart health? Increasing your consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the easiest ways to decrease triglyceride levels and slow the growth of the plaque that can block arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish — such as salmon, albacore tuna, lake trout, sardines and mackerel — each week. Besides fish, there are plenty of other foods that will keep your heart beating soundly:

Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, flaxseed and chia seeds are omega-3 powerhouses. Try our Maple-Walnut Baked Apples.
Berries: Just three servings a week of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries can reduce the risk of heart attack in women by nearly a third! Try our Berry Smoothie.
Legumes: Black and pinto beans, chickpeas, and lentils help improve blood cholesterol levels. Try our Lentil and Arugula Salad with Crunchy Vegetables.

Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages like tomato sauce, coffee and wine.

“This tip to brush to prevent dental stains will also result in healthier gyms. Take a toothbrush to work.” Bill Chesnut, MD

Keep your teeth pearly white: Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages like tomato sauce, coffee and wine. 

by Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors 2.11.16.

Red wine isn’t the only vino that can taint your pearly whites. The acid in white wine can increase your teeth’s susceptibility to stains too. Highly acidic foods like wine, soda and sweets can leave your teeth more prone to discoloration (and decay). The acid left behind on enamel allows pigments to penetrate deeper into your teeth, which can lead to staining. That’s why darkly colored foods and drinks can pose a double whammy. Some major players in the tooth-staining business: spaghetti sauce, red wine, cola, coffee, tea, soy sauce and darkly pigmented fruit and vegetables like beets and berries. That’s not to say you should avoid these treats (though cola, in our book, is a no-no). Drink a glass of water or rinse your mouth after eating. Sipping milk or nibbling cheese with your dish can also help neutralize the acid on your teeth and protect them from damage.



Help control emotional eating by keeping a food journal.

“Help control emotional eating by keeping a food journal. This action interrupts your thought, and that can disrupt your mood causing the craving. This is another suggestion of deliberate ways to move your thinking to a more practical level.” Bill Chesnut, MD

On a mission to lose weight? Get your head in the game!   

Quick: What’s the number one reason most weight-loss programs fail? It’s probably not what you think. A new survey of more than 1,000 Americans suggests that no matter how much we think we know about losing weight — for example, that we need to eat less and move more — the majority of people don’t realize just how important psychological well-being is to lose weight and to keep it off. Researchers say we need to pay closer attention to why we’re eating, since the strongest food cravings, and the ones that can sabotage our efforts, often come when we’re weakest emotionally. If you think emotional eating may be affecting your efforts to get to your ideal weight, try keeping a food journal. In addition to writing down what and when you eat, record how you’re feeling, too. Are you hungry? Or are you bored or stressed? Once you’re able to identify patterns in your eating, you’ll have a better chance of establishing healthier ones. Keeping a food journal has the added benefits of holding yourself accountable for your choices and letting you keep track of your success over time. And success is the name of the game.

Cleveland Clinic Wellness newsletter_2.10.16

The recipe for preventing diabetes and heart disease? More Waldorf salad, please.

The recipe for preventing diabetes and heart disease? More Waldorf salad, please.
Walnuts are a wonder food, loaded with protein, fiber and nourishing fats. They’re a great source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is integral to bone health and heart health. These flavorful nuts also appear to be a delicious way to reduce the risk of diabetes, according to a new study. Two ounces of walnuts (about 14 pieces) a day for six months was shown to improve blood vessel function and reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Walnuts may also reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer, notably prostate.

To get more walnuts into your diet, try swapping granola for a handful of crushed walnuts to top your morning yogurt, or add them to a homemade smoothie. At lunch or dinner, sprinkle walnut pieces on salads, or better yet, try our Spinach Salad with Oranges and Walnuts. For a savory side dish, combine green beans and spinach with walnut pesto.

Cleveland Clinic Wellness newsletter.

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

“This information is from the AMA Wire newsletter in the last few months. Originally published by the AMA in 2009, it is still current and most interesting. I want you to have this longer version of the recent post.” Bill Chesnut, MD

 The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

By Kate Hanley 
Published 10/20/2009

Imagine that you are sitting down to eat an antioxidant-rich food that has been proven to provide significant benefit to your heart health. What do you see on your plate — fresh green salad sprinkled with beautiful vegetables? Brown rice sautéed with chicken and broccoli? Now imagine that the food is also so delicious that it seems more like a decadent treat than a health promoter. What could this magic food possibly be? Chocolate. Dark chocolate, to be precise.

What Makes Dark Chocolate So Good for You
The primary health-promoting benefit of dark chocolate comes from its high levels of flavonoids — potent antioxidants also found (albeit in lower amounts) in tea, red wine, and apples. Antioxidants are important because they protect cells and tissues from damage by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can alter and weaken cells. Consider them as an insurance policy against the wear and tear that comes from stress, poor diet, and the inevitable process of aging.

Dark chocolate also contains significant amounts of two important minerals: A 1.5 ounce serving of dark chocolate provides 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium (important for energy production, strong bones, relaxed muscles, and effective nerve transmission), and 34 percent of the RDA of copper (which helps the body create the chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters and is associated with a lowered risk of developing cardiovascular disease).

As if that’s not enough, this near-magic treat promotes cardiovascular health in the following ways:

  • Improves blood flow and protects arteries.A 2007 Swiss study of heart transplant patients found that the diameter of their coronary arteries was significantly increased after eating a single dose of dark chocolate. Which means that dark chocolate has a healthy effect on these important arteries that supply life-sustaining oxygen to the heart. A 2007 study by Chinese researchers found that participants who ate approximately 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks significantly improved coronary blood flow. “Blood flow is vital to heart health because the blood carries oxygen, and oxygen is fuel for cells,” explains Tom Morledge, MD, of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.  Consider that the heart pumps 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it’s easy to see why an optimum source of energy is important to its function. On the other hand, eating a fast food hamburger with all the trimmings can cause the arteries in our bodies to have impaired function within an hour.
    • Prevents blockage of the arteries. LDL, or “lousy,” cholesterol becomes harmful if it is damaged by free radicals, which changes the structure of the LDL, causing it to become oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is then taken up by inflammatory cells that are in the lining of the arteries. The more accumulation, the more likely it is to form blockages that can impede blood flow or clots that can rapidly form, which trigger a heart attack. “Many studies suggest that the flavonoids in dark chocolate decrease the free radical damage of LDL cholesterol,” Dr. Morledge says. In addition, the flavonoids have a similar effect to aspirin. “Flavonoids are a natural blood thinner and affect platelets which can cause clots that lead to heart attacks.” We don’t know yet whether dark chocolate can actually prevent a heart attack, but some recent studies suggest that this might be the case.
    • Raises levels of good cholesterol. HDL, or “healthy,” cholesterol works to moderate overall levels of cholesterol, and even small increases in HDL can lead to significant reduction in risk of developing heart disease. “For every 1 milligram improvement in HDL cholesterol, you get a 2 percent reduction in the risk of a heart attack,” Dr. Morledge says. Although studies present conflicting evidence about the full impact dark chocolate on HDL levels, several studies have linked dark chocolate consumption with higher HDL.

An Added Bonus
Although chocolate devotees won’t be at all surprised to hear it, research has also shown that dark chocolate can enhance mood and promote cognitive function: A 2004 study from British researchers found that participants who ate dark chocolate performed significantly better on visual tests that required quick reaction times and reported a noticeable uptick in their mood and energy levels.

Dark Chocolate Versus Milk Chocolate
Hate to break it to milk chocolate fans, but all this great news about the health benefits of chocolate does not apply to milk chocolate. There are two primary reasons: First, the benefits of chocolate come from the cocoa bean itself, and dark chocolate typically contains two to three times as much cocoa content than milk chocolate. Second, while both dark and milk chocolate contain high levels of saturated fat, the saturated fat in dark chocolate is primarily stearic acid, which comes from cocoa butter and has been found to have a neutral impact on cholesterol in humans. While milk chocolate also gets some of its fat from heart-healthy cocoa butter, it also gets some from milk, which contains saturated fat that is linked with higher cholesterol levels.

Milk chocolate also contains more sugar than dark chocolate, which may explain why a 2008 study conducted at the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate provides long-lasting feelings of fullness and reduces cravings for unhealthy foods, while milk chocolate caused people to consume more calories later and crave sweets, salty, and fatty foods. When you consume large amounts of sugar, it causes blood sugar levels to spike and then drop — the plunge then cues the body to seek more blood sugar, which translates into unhealthy cravings. Fatty foods and carbohydrate rich foods also stimulate that reward system of the brain and result in cravings which can result in overeating.
The Pretend Chocolate
And then there’s white chocolate, which is not really chocolate at all. White chocolate is a confection based on sugar and fat (either cocoa butter or vegetable oils) without the cocoa solids. And without the cocoa solids, you’re missing the key ingredient. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a recent study showed zero health benefits from eating white chocolate.

How Much Is Healthful?
The first step to making sure that your dark chocolate consumption is indeed good for you is to consume an appropriate serving size. “Dark chocolate still has calories, after all,” Dr. Morledge says, “so you don’t want to eat so much of it that you gain excess weight, which is a risk factor for developing heart disease.” Most of the studies that have measured the health benefits of dark chocolate have used serving sizes of approximately 1.5 to 3 ounces — look at the nutritional information on the back of the bar before you start eating to decide how much you’ll consume. “We don’t know how much or often you should eat it, whether it’s once a week, once a day, or somewhere in between,” Dr. Morledge says. “I tell people to keep the saying ‘Everything in moderation’ in mind when they’re deciding how much to eat and when.”

Perhaps the best way to add dark chocolate to your diet is as a replacement for other sweets you may be consuming — you’ll likely be eating fewer calories, consuming substantially fewer grams of sugar and sodium, and getting a lot more fiber if you opt for more traditional desserts.  Not convinced? Compare the numbers on dark chocolate, carrot cake, a chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks, and a 1.5 ounce of Hershey’s milk chocolate for yourself:

 Serving Size  Calories  Sugar  Sodium  Fiber
 Dark Chocolate  1.5 ounces  220  12 grams  5 mgs  5 grams
 Milk Chocolate  1.5 ounces  210  24 grams  35 mg  1 gram
 Carrot Cake  1/6 cake  300  27 grams  320 mg  2 grams
 Chocolate Chip Cookie  1 cookie  350  34 grams  300 mg  3 grams

When you are shopping for a dark chocolate bar, let the cocoa content be your guide — it is typically listed prominently on the label, and you want a bar with at least 70 percent cocoa beans. The higher the percentage, the more antioxidant content. If you really want to prioritize the antioxidant content, consider buying cocoa powder — it has the highest concentrations of flavonoids of any dark chocolate product.


Say hello to one of fall’s most versatile vegetables: cauliflower.

“Good food information from the Cleveland Clinic.” Bill Chesnut, MD

October 26, 2015
Say hello to one of fall’s most versatile vegetables: cauliflower.
Sure, you’ve had to say good-bye to tomatoes and zucchini at your local farmers’ market, but don’t feel too badly about it. Fall has a bounty all its own: crucifer season! That means it’s time to fill your basket with broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and the wonderful…cauliflower. In fact, cauliflower is one of the hardest-working veggies out there. It’s a tantalizing side when roasted with onions and herbs; it can stand in for steak when sliced; and it makes the most delectable soup when pureed (no cream necessary!). Don’t wait another day to create something wonderful with cauliflower. Start with some of our favorite recipes:

Then enjoy this tasty fall treasure at least once or twice a week to get a host of health benefits — from cancer prevention to digestive support!

You may also want to know:

Healthy food, season by season 

The food-mood connection

Tools and tastes for the healthy cook 


Recipe for Healthy Memory

Memory improvement. “Recipe for Healthy Memory: Make Every Bite Count”

By Maureen Connolly 
Published 9/7/2009   Cleveland Clinic Wellness newsletter.

One of the best ways to boost brain performance and recall? “Eat,” says David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of 101 Simple Foods That Could Save Your Life and 101 Optimal Life Foods. Sounds simple enough. But despite this advice from nutritionists that we must fuel our bodies and brains with a steady supply of food, many of us still skip breakfast, go too long between meals and eat too much at one sitting. All of these habits set us up for brain drain. Without proper fuel (aka glucose, the main sugar the body makes from the foods we eat and that fuels all the cells in our body), our brains have to work that much harder to complete something as simple as counting change. “The brain fuels itself on glucose, which we need to replenish from food every three to four hours,” Grotto says. “Research on breakfast eaters shows that those who eat it perform better on cognitive function and recall.” Essentially, a morning meal helps your brain function better when it comes to thinking, learning, reasoning and remembering.

Conversely, eating a large amount of calories, carbs and fat at one sitting can make you feel sluggish afterward (thanks to temporarily elevated blood sugar levels, followed by a drop-off — which people can experience as low energy, sluggishness or brain fog). If eating three large meals leaves you with brain drain, consider eating four to six mini-meals over the course of the day.

Eat This
What you eat is as important as how often you eat. Here are some brain-friendly foods you won’t want to miss out on:

Eggs. The protein-packed egg is rich in vitamins E and D and is considered the optimal brain food by many nutritionists, thanks to its connection with improving memory function. Plus, the yolk is rich in the B vitamin choline, which converts to acetylcholine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that is also critical for memory function. Worried about cholesterol found in egg yolks? Some docs and nutritionists consider whole eggs such an optimal food that they suggest cutting out cholesterol in other areas of your diet (such as butter and cheese) rather than lose out on all of the benefits of whole eggs. You can also keep cholesterol to a minimum by eating one whole egg and adding egg whites to round out an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Oats. “Whole-grain oats are my go-to grain because they’re rich in B vitamins, which reduce oxidative stress to the body’s tissues,” Grotto says. When we’re stressed, our body pumps out the hormone cortisol, which causes an inflammatory response that impairs memory. Getting your whole grains is like putting a bucket of water on the hormonal fire. Slow-cooking, steel-cut oatmeal is a great choice since the grain is still intact and it tastes super yummy. Top oatmeal with walnuts for brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and milk or soymilk fortified with docosahexaenoic acid (or DHA) and you’ve got a home-run breakfast for your brain. Other smart choices: whole-grain breads, quinoa and whole-grain cereals such as Total.

Omega-3-rich fish. Salmon is considered one of the best sources of two types of brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two fats are critical to brain, heart and eye function. But since we don’t manufacture DHA and EPA ourselves, we need to get them from our diet. The general recommendation is to aim for two to three three-ounce servings of omega-3-rich fish per week. Sardines, cod, haddock, tuna and halibut also contain omega-3 fatty acids. However, many fish farmers are feeding corn and soybeans to their stock, which actually lowers their overall omega-3 levels. Michael F. Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic and co-author of the best-selling YOU seriesrecommends sticking to wild salmon and lake trout as your main source of DHA/EPA-rich fish. He also sees benefits to aiming for 13 ounces per week.

Not a fish fan? Or can’t quite meet the recommended fish servings? Incorporate flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and soybean oil into your diet. These foods are rich in the omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA). You don’t get quite the same brain benefit as you do from DHA/EPA-rich sources, but it’s better than not getting any.

While food sources allow for the best absorption of omega-3s, you can also get them in a fish oil supplement. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that while some initial studies look promising, it won’t have an official recommendation on omega-3 supplementation with regards to cognitive health until more research can be done. However, because omega-3s contribute to overall health and “appear to be safe for most adults at low to moderate amounts,” says the NIH, those who aren’t getting adequate amounts of omega-3s from their diets should consider supplements. Some health organizations say healthy adults can reap overall benefit from 220 mg of DHA per day or one gram total combined of DHA and EPA. Dr. Roizen would up this amount but says to consider first what you’re getting from your diet. His general guide: If you’re eating no fish, take one 600 mg supplement of DHA per day or two grams of omega-3 fish oil capsules. If you eat half the recommended amount of omega-3-rich fish on a regular basis, then you can cut that dosage in half. Vegans can get DHA from algae-based supplements  that average about 200 mg per day(though DHA and EPA are more effective in combination).

It’s important to know that fish oil supplements may cause stomach upset and bloating. In super-high doses (more than three grams per day), fish oils can cause bleeding. Omega-3s can also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and high blood pressure drugs, so be sure to check with your doctor and/or pharmacist before taking supplements.

Chocolate. Chocolate contains cocoa that helps improve blood flow to the brain by boosting nitric oxide levels that in turn allow blood vessels to function more efficiently. Chocolate is also packed with flavonols, which reduce blood clots and fatty buildup in the arteries, and antioxidants, which lessens inflammation in the body. In one study at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, participants who were given chocolate drinks with 500 mg of flavonols could complete math calculations more quickly and accurately than those who had nothing. Unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably organic, non-alkali) offers the most antioxidants and flavonols. Dark chocolate is the runner-up, followed by milk chocolate. Keep in mind that chocolate contains saturated fat and sugar — so don’t overdo it. Two ounces per day or two teaspoons of cocoa powder will allow you some benefits without overloading on calories, fat and sugar. And until manufacturers develop a uniform system for measuring flavonol levels, rely on percentage of cocoa content — the higher the better.

Spinach. This dark-green leaf is packed with antioxidants, flavonols and folic acid, which is a win-win food when it comes to brain health. Same goes for kale and collard greens. Aim for three servings a day (the amount you’d get in a good-size salad) and your brain will thank you.

Any fruit ending in erryBlueberry, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate-erry (okay, we snuck that last erry in there). These fruits slow the aging of the brain, thanks to their high antioxidant level. Sprinkle a handful on your cereal or oatmeal each morning, add them to yogurt or mix them in a smoothie. Just find a way to eat some berries each day.

Drink This
 In animal studies, caffeine (the equivalent of two cups of really strong coffee) helped improve memory in mice and even improved it in mice that were bred to have the equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease. The caffeine cut in half the levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that clumps in the brain and causes memory loss.

Green tea. To produce the effects of coffee, you’d need to drink 14 cups of tea. But even in smaller amounts, black and green tea contains brain-boosting antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that can calm you. But be sure to let that tea bag steep. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that tea brewed for seven minutes had 60 percent more flavonoids than tea brewed for only three minutes. Tea devotees are also raving about Matcha, a stone-ground powdered form of green tea that packs a serious nutritional punch, thanks to antioxidants and vitamins C and A.

Red wine. Red grapes contain resveratrol, a substance that counteracts the free radical cell damage that’s associated with aging and normal wear and tear on our bodies and brains that comes from stress, pollutants, etc. Red wine is also packed with polyphenols, which may stop brain-cell-destroying plaques from building up. Why does red wine get all the glory? Red grapes are just naturally higher in resveratrol and polyphenols than green ones are. “Part of this is also due to the red wine making process, which allows for the skin of the red grape to stay in longer contact with the fruit, and further up levels,” Grotto says. White wine has some resveratrol, but not as much as red. Docs recommend one glass of wine per day for women, one to two glasses for men. Not a wine drinker? Pour yourself a glass of Concord grape juice instead.

Just Say No . . .
To high amounts of fructose, a sugar found in concentrated juices, table sugar and processed foods made with high-fructose corn syrup. A new study out of Georgia State University says that when rats were fed a diet high in fructose they had a hard time remembering previously learned tasks. Fructose can up your triglyceride levels, and consequently impair memory.

Lentil Arugula Salad.

“Good food is a modern blessing of tastes that did not exist a few decades ago.” Bill Chesnut, MD

LENTIL ARUGULA SALAD.     by Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors

At the heart of this salad is a near-perfect food — lentils. Not only are they quick and easy to prepare, these little legumes are packed with dietary fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. But that’s not all: They’re a terrific source of key minerals and protein (think: more energy!). Lentils don’t work alone here. They’ve got a cornucopia of colorful veggies and a tangy vinaigrette to keep them company, which means a gorgeous, delicious plate filled with satisfying crunch.
Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness

Yield: 4 Servings

¾ cup dried French lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
8 cups wild arugula
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
8 radishes, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 hardboiled eggs, halved

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain into a strainer and pass them under cold running water to cool. Shake out excess water and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, pepper, and parsley.
Divide the arugula among four bowls. Top with the lentils, fennel, carrots, radishes, scallions, and eggs. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: (1/4 of the salad) 240 calories, 13 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 7 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar, 210 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium

GO! Foods for You is not just another diet! It’s about learning how to cook and eat for a longer and healthier life. Our guided, online program provides an eating assessment, weekly lessons and demos, customizable activities and daily encouragement. Learn more about GO! Foods for You.

*Note: The photo displayed is representational only and does not show this exact recipe.


Coffee, Tea and Heart Health

Coffee, Tea and Heart Health 

by Marc Gillinov, M.D. and Steven Nissen, M.D.

Cleveland Clinic Wellness

Coffee has a bad reputation when it comes to heart health, while tea is generally accorded special healing properties. We have good news for both coffee and tea drinkers: Neither is bad for the heart.

Among people who are nothabitual coffee drinkers, the caffeine from two cups of coffee increases blood pressure by 2 to 3 mm Hg. This effect is short-lived and is usually absent among those who drink coffee regularly.

Coffee can cause a temporary increase in heart rate, but it is an uncommon cause of abnormal heart rhythms.

Boiled or unfiltered coffee contains oils that may increase total and LDL cholesterol levels, but these chemicals are removed by the filtering process, so most coffee has no effect on cholesterol.

Finally, some studies suggest that coffee contributes to arterial stiffness. However, other research suggests that two cups of coffee per day actually causes arteries to relax.

Coffee does not cause high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure and you like coffee, you can continue to drink it.

Large studies demonstrate no increased risk of coronary heart disease among coffee drinkers, whether they prefer regular coffee or decaf.

While we have no prospective, randomized comparative studies examining cardiac outcomes over ten to twenty years among people assigned to drink coffee or another beverage, there is enough evidence for us to conclude that coffee does not cause heart disease and that it can be part of a heart-healthy diet.

What about tea? It is difficult to compare coffee and tea because tea drinkers tend to have healthier diets and lifestyles when compared to coffee drinkers. So we can’t really tell you which one is better. But like coffee, both black tea and green tea have been associated with reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease in observational studies. However, the potential cardiac benefits of tea require drinking five to six cups per day.

What should you drink? The data suggest that neither coffee nor tea is bad for the heart and the possibility that both may confer cardiac benefits. Choose your drink based upon your taste preference. And if you must add a sweetener or cream, use low-calorie and low-fat varieties.



Fantastic fast food!

January 11, 2016
Fantastic fast food! Make grab-and-go work for you and your health.
Fast food has spent decades earning its bad name. But fast in terms of grab-and-go can be nutritious if you do it right. Even if you love spending time in the kitchen and working magic with your favorite nutritious foods, it can be hard to make time every day. Use these ideas and have nourishing snacks and meals at your fingertips in no time at all:

Keep fruit and veggies at the ready. Wash and chop berries, kiwis, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and celery — and store them in easy-to-grab batches. Also keep some zero-prep produce: peel-and-eat bananas, oranges, tangerines and clementines, as well as apples and pop-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes.

Go nuts. Mix your favorite nuts with unsweetened dried fruit and dark chocolate bits, and store in an airtight jar for a filling and nutritious snack. You can also measure out quarter-cup portions of trail mix in advance for the perfect snack. This is a project that children love to do with you!

Turn the freezer and pantry into your friend. A can of chickpeas or pinto beans, frozen edamame or broccoli, and whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice (easy to cook and freeze) offer fiber and nutrients galore — in the same amount of time it takes to heat a can of SpaghettiOs.

Seek out real-food power packs. Individual packs of guacamole and hummus are nutritious choices for when you have an early morning meeting to get to and only a minute to fill your lunch box.

Invest in the right “stuff.” Reuseable containers of various sizes — for salads, sandwiches, dressings, dips, and snacks — can keep nutritious food fresh, organized and tasty.


Chicken Paillard with Balsamic Onions and Kale

“This is a real winner in the Chesnut household.  I love it.  The Cleveland Clinic posts good recipes.” Bill Chesnut, MD

Chicken Paillard with Balsamic Onions and Kale   by Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors

You’ve never tasted chicken paillard like this! The traditional butter, flour and lemon are replaced with irresistibly good balsamic onions and kale, making this dish one of the healthiest dinners (good for your heart, bones, and skin, plus kale is a cancer-fighter) you can put on your table.
Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness.  Yield: 4 Servings.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn
¼ cup water
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Lay each chicken breast flat on a cutting board. With the blade of your knife oriented parallel to the cutting board, slice each breast in half so you have four thin pieces. Cover each with plastic wrap and pound to an even ¼-inch thickness. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and the paprika.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and allow to flavor the oil for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.
Add the onion and balsamic vinegar, and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the kale, water, red pepper, and remaining salt and black pepper. Cover and cook until the kale is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: (4 servings) 234 calories, 9 g total fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 23 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 3.6 g dietary fiber, 2.8 g sugar, 49 mg cholesterol, 243 mg sodium

GO! Foods for You is not just another diet! It’s about learning how to cook and eat for a longer and healthier life. Our guided, online program provides an eating assessment, weekly lessons and demos, customizable activities and daily encouragement. Learn more about GO! Foods for You.