Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In the News: Increasing Fiber Can Lower Diabetes Risk!

I have posted about Fiber a few times as part my "In the News" series, namely as it relates to reducing cardiovascular risk as well as lowering overall mortality, and now comes  more interesting research to take notice of....looking at the relationship fiber intake and reduction Type 2 Diabetes!

In the article, published in Diabetologia, the authors evaluated the association between intake of dietary fiber and Type 2 diabetes using data from the the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct study and in a meta-analysis of prospective studies.  The EPIC-InterAct study is the world's largest study of new-onset type 2 diabetes, and is coordinated by the MRC Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge University. EPIC-InterAct includes 12,403 verified incident cases of type 2 diabetes. The results revealed that in the (EPIC)-InterAct study, 
cereal fiber had the strongest inverse association- those with the highest levels of cereal and vegetable fiber consumption had a 19% and 16% lower risk of developing diabetes respectively, compared with those with the lowest consumption of these types of fiber. Fruit fiber, however, was not associated with a reduction in diabetes risk. Cereals accounted for 38% of the total fiber intake, and were the main source of fiber in all the countries involved in the study, except France, where vegetables were the main source.
In addition, the meta-analysis involved pooled the data from this EPIC-InterAct study with those from 18 other independent studies (eight in the United States, four in Europe, three in Australia, and three in Asia). It included over 41,000 new-onset cases of type 2 diabetes and found that the risk of diabetes fell by 9% for each 10g/day increase in total fiber intake, and by 25% for each 10g/day increase in cereal fiber intake. They did not find a statistically significant relationship between increasing either fruit or vegetable fiber and reducing diabetes risk.
So the authors concluded that adults who have higher fiber diets, namely those high in cereal fiber, may have a lower risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. They hypothesized that potential mechanisms for this decreased risk could include increased satiety, prolonged release of hormonal signals, slowed down nutrient absorption, or altered fermentation in the large intestine. All these mechanisms could lead to a lower BMI and reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to keeping weight down, dietary fiber may also affect diabetes risk by other mechanisms such as improving control of blood sugar and decreasing insulin peaks after meals, and increasing the body's insulin sensitivity.
This is exciting research that adds to the pile of already substantial evidence supporting dietary fiber's beneficial impact on health!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Recipe ReDux Post # 34 Chocolate Chip Pancakes

May’s Recipe ReDux is “DIY Kitchen Essentials”, meaning we were encouraged to share our favorite from scratch  “kitchen staple” recipes we make to have on hand, instead of purchasing them from the store.  Well I have to say one of the biggies for me is PANCAKES!  Ever since I developed this base recipe a few years back, I have not bought frozen pancakes, or even a mix, since.  I have come up with so many variations of this whole grain, gluten free pancake, and one of our current favorites is of course…chocolate chip!! These pancakes taste like soft, warm chocolate chip cookies and they really don’t need butter and syrup (though you certainly can add if you wish).  They ARE quite tasty with a dusting of powdered sugar, I must admit!  I often will make a batch or two to keep some in the fridge or freezer for quick breakfasts (that still have that special touch) when time is short.  I hope you will try them and also check out the rest of the key staple recipes developed by the awesomeRecipe ReDux group.  Happy breakfast to you!

1 cup oat flour (if you are on a gluten free diet use a brand such as Bob’s Red Mill or you can make your own to by grinding gluten free oats in food processor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup egg whites
1 cup nonfat milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mini chocolate chips


In a small bowl combine the baking powder, flour and brown sugar together. To a larger bowl add the egg whites, vanilla and milk and whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth, thin batter is formed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Let stand for a 10-15 minutes. Add ¼ cup (for 1 pancake) to a non stick skillet, or one coated with cooking spray and heat on high heat for 1-2 minutes each side. Repeat with ¼ cup mixture 5 more times for a total of six small pancakes.  (Note: if you make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge it will thicken up quite a bit, so you can whisk in a little milk before cooking to thin out if desired.)

Makes 6 pancakes

Serving size: 1 pancake  Calories 130 Protein 3 g Carb 20 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 5 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat  1.5 g Sodium 50 mg


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gabby’s Eats: Super Easy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Gabby is always intrigued when I use the slow cooker and loves to peek in and see what ingredients I am placing in there to start.  She also likes tasting the end results and is quite impressed that, if done the right way, the “set it and forget it” crock pot cooking motto really rings true and works.  We haven’t made a whole lot of main dishes together yet so I thought doing a basic recipe using the slow cooker would be a fun way to start.  Gabby loves tacos AND I have been wanting to develop a simple salsa chicken recipe so it seemed like the perfect thing to create together.  All we had to do was  throw in a few pounds of chicken breast, our favorite mild jarred salsa and a couple of yummy spices and it all came together deliciously.  In just a few hours we had flavorful and moist shredded chicken to use in tacos, on salad, in sandwiches or even in omelets and it was so easy to make!

3 pounds chicken breasts
32 ounces jarred salsa ( we just used two 16 ounce jars of Sprout’s mild brand)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to large slow cooker and cook on low for 4.5 hours. Break up chicken with fork to shred it and then cook for another 30 minutes.
Makes 10 cups, 10 servings 

Serving size  1 cup   Calories  190 Protein 29  g Carb  9 g Fiber  0 g Sugars 3  g Fat 3.5   g Saturated fat  1 g Sodium 540 mg
Gabby's Shot:


Monday, May 4, 2015

Honey Roasted Peanut Cake

A yummy snack cake for those who love the combo of salty and sweet.


½ heaping cup creamy or peanut butter (I used PB and Co Creamy) 
½ cup honey
1 cup (packed) mashed over ripe banana
½ cup egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1.5 cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, *use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3 tablespoons crushed honey roasted peanuts
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the peanut butter, honey, banana, vanilla, baking powder, salt and egg whites to a medium bowl and mix well.  Stir in the oats and add batter to a 8 x 8 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top and bake for 30-35 minutes until set and lightly browned on the edges. Cut into squares and serve. 

Note : These bars are very moist, almost cake like, and can be a bit crumbly. So you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep longer and pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to warm them up for a nice treat!

Makes 9 squares

Serving size: 1 large square 1/9th of recipe Calories 240 Protein 7 g Carb 35 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 19 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat  1.5 g Sodium 170 mg


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