There's really no one good way to lose weight. Some people lose weight counting calories, others with a low-fat regime and others with low carbohydrates.
Colette Heimowitz, the vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., helps those want to eat a lower-carbohydrate diet. She is the author of the recently published "Atkins Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle."
Heimowitz is on a mission to educate consumers about excess sugar and carbohydrates — including dietitians who attended the Food & Nutrition Conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, held recently in Washington, D.C.
"Consumers are pretty aware of the grams of sugar in products," said Heimowitz. "But the disconnect is they don't realize excessive carbohydrates can be just as detrimental. That huge bagel eventually converts to blood sugar just like regular sugar in a candy bar."
She defines healthy foods as low-sugar, high-fiber carbohydrates, adequate protein and healthy fats — much like USDA's My Plate, which encourages more fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
Her book, released in December, offers 100 recipes that are low-sugar and have healthy carbs as well as real solutions on how to reduce carbohydrates and sugar — switching from rice to cauliflower rice or from pasta to spaghetti squash.
"The message is beyond dieting to making common sense choices," said Heimowitz, who spent 10 years in private practice helping patients with their nutrition, and four years at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine working for Dr. Robert Atkins. She has worked at Atkins Nutritionals for the past 16 years.
"What I have learned is that not all of us need a program to succeed, but everyone needs a clearer perspective on his or her carbohydrate consumption," she said.
Q and A
Q: Can eating nuts help with diabetes health?
A: Just 2 ounces of tree nuts per day, as a replacement for high-carbohydrate foods, can improve blood sugar control in non-insulin-dependent adults with Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. For three months, study participants were randomly assigned to one of the three diets, which supplemented them with mixed nuts; whole-wheat muffins; or half mixed nuts and half whole-wheat muffins. The all-nut dieters had the most significant improvement in blood sugar control and reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is associated with cardiovascular heart disease.
Information courtesy of Environmental Nutrition Newsletter.
Here's a low-carb recipe that's full of flavor and antioxidants. It's from the "Atkins Eat Right, Not Less" cookbook by Colette Heimowitz.
Chimichurri Steak Bites
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
Olive oil spray
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
Place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender, and process until a smooth sauce forms. Place the steak in a large zip-close bag with half the sauce and shake well to coat the steak. Transfer to the fridge and marinate at least 1 hour or overnight. Refrigerate the remaining sauce, as well. Bring the steak to room temperature before grilling (about 1 hour) to enhance juiciness. Coat a large stovetop grill with olive oil spray, place over high heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the steak is no longer red in the center but still pink. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain. Spear the slices on toothpicks and top each with a broccoli floret. Serve immediately with the remaining sauce. Serves 4.
Per serving: 208 calories, 18.3 grams protein, 2.6 grams carbohydrates, 14.4 grams fat, 1 gram fiber.
Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Springfield, Illinois, and the media representative for the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For comments or questions, contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRd. To find out more about Charlyn Fargo and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.