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There are many kinds of beans that provide a very rich source of protein as well as an abundance of vitamins, minerals and that all important fiber. Protein is used by your body to build healthy cells which make up everything. When your cells are compromised, so is your bloodstream, your bones, skin, muscles, tendons and cartilage. Cells also make up the hormones and enzymes in your body. In order to stay healthy you must have a well-balanced diet that includes foods that are high in top quality protein, and that have low amounts of saturated fats. You will be able to achieve health benefits if you choose to make your meals and snacks from an assortment of beans and lean meats, which can include turkey, chicken, seafood, even pork and beef.

Lean meats are the cuts that are lower in fat

Beef and Pork

Lean meats can be found in many different varieties of meat, including pork and beef. So you do not have to give up your favorite meals when following a low-fat diet. What you do need to do is be picky, you need to choose the cuts that are lower in fat. Both beef and pork are rich in iron and they do have good quality protein, but you’ve got to know which cuts have less fat.

For steak, which is beef, the leanest cuts would be:

  • Top sirloin
  • Top Loin
  • Arm roasts
  • Top round
  • Eye of round
  • Bottom round

For a recipe that calls for ground beef such as hamburgers you would look for extra -lean ground beef. It should say on the label what percentage of fat is in the ground beef. You should be able to find 90%, 93% and 95% lean written on the label.

There are the cuts of pork that are leaner than others and if you want to stay true to your low-fat diet choose among these:

  • Tenderloin
  • Center loin
  • Pork loin
  • Ham

Don’t forget to cut away any slivers of fat that you see once you’ve taken it out of the package.

Chicken and Turkey

Chicken and turkey tend to have less fat content than beef and pork. The leanest cuts would be chicken breasts and boneless is the way to go as it’s got less fat than if the bone is in. For turkey the leanest cuts would be the turkey cutlets. There’s always a layer of fat beneath the skin of both chicken and turkey and that is why you need to remove the skin before cooking, whether or not your recipe calls for this. If you fry or sauté chicken in oil you are adding fat to your diet so instead cook poultry by roasting, broiling, grilling or even boiling. Any excess fat can be drained off after cooking. If you avoid recipes that call for breading the meat you’ll be way ahead of the game. The same goes for fatty sauces and gravies. Left over chicken or turkey sandwiches make for a great kids’ snack and if you serve with fruit and nuts you’re teaching your children that healthy eating can be delicious.

Fish and Shellfish

Seafood is rich in many important nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. There are many different kinds of fish that can make delicious meals including shellfish like shrimp, lobster, crab, clams and mussels. Everyone should have at least 8 ounces of seafood included in their diet every week as this is known to help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease. When seafood is cooked correctly it can be very beneficial but if not, it can be harmful. Stay away from recipes that call for breading or frying or any that call for a sauce made of butter or drawn butter. These only add triglycerides to a really good source of lean protein. When you’re cooking use a fresh lemon squeezed over your seafood or cocktail sauce it’s delicious so no added fat is needed at all. When making snacks from left-over seafood dishes avoid using mayonnaise. You’ll find that all you need to flavor and moisten the fish is a freshly squeezed lemon and maybe a slice of tomato.

Beans are a better source of nutrition

The reason I say this is because beans provide a wider range of nutritional benefits than do animal sources that mainly provide just protein. Beans contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are critical to good health. These include the B vitamins and folic acid, selenium, and zinc. There are many kinds of beans to choose from which are easily available and can be included in many different recipes:

  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Soy beans
  • Chickpeas

You can easily add them to your diet if you’re not already doing so by using them to salads, soups, stews, and stir-fry vegetable recipes. Beans come dry, usually in clear packaging and if you read the directions you will see that you need to rinse them before cooking with them so soak them in water and boil beans before you use them in your recipe. Otherwise you can buy them already prepared in cans and of course this is more convenient. Don’t add any fat when cooking them and when you go to a restaurant make sure the dish isn’t prepared with fat, like in the case of refried beans. Avoid ordering those and perhaps ask for fruit instead.

 

0 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Florence B. Harrell

It’s rather amazing that in the US people consume an average of just over 2 snacks each day which accounts for 1/4th the daily calories we consume. Unfortunately, most of the snack foods that are consumed have high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, fats, starches and so forth that can add additional weight to our bodies and have a negative impact on our health.

However, eating healthy snacks can actually be beneficial as long as the calories consumed do not exceed the amount that is burned off on a daily basis. Foods that are loaded with nutrients can provide you with the nutrition your body needs while providing plenty of energy as well.

Healthy Snack Ideas

Of course, the question is just what type of snack foods do we consume in the place of the junk food that fills up our diet? Consider that on average Americans eat less than 60% of the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. This means that there are plenty of sources for snacks that are perfect for adults and kids alike.

There are many snack ideas to choose from, including putting vegetables in yogurt or adding fresh fruit to oatmeal. Taking healthy foods and combining them results in getting more good nutrition in your body while helping to eliminate the fats and sugars that add unnecessary weight.

Increase Your Energy

One of the main reasons we eat snacks is to give our bodies a quick boost of energy. Healthy snacks can prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too much between meals. You’ll want to avoid sugar filled snacks because the energy burst will be fast and over with leaving you worse off than before.

Instead, eat snacks that are rich in fiber and protein such as carrots or even better, dipping your healthy snacks in bean dip which offers plenty of protein as well. Being slow to digest, you’ll feel full without being bloated and stave off any additional snacking between meals. When you finish exercising, your body will need some energy to properly recover and increase the recovery of your muscles. A mix of protein and good carbohydrates will provide the energy your body needs and the materials for your muscles to properly recover. Try peanut butter on whole wheat toast or yogurt and a banana to get the right mix of snacks for your body.

Kid Snacks

Kids love snacks probably more than adults, but it still proper to provide them with plenty of healthy foods. Try trail mix which has plenty of tasty nuts and dry fruits that will provide them with plenty of potassium and fiber so that they conquer the cravings and have the energy needed to get on with their day.

Cantinastar offers many healthy snack foods and free recipes to fit your diet while providing the health benefits that your body needs. Eating healthy foods is what our company is all about, including main dishes such as calamari, lobster, shrimp, crab and other healthy snack ideas that include kelp and seaweed which has many different uses in popular foods. Let Cantinastar be your place for snack foods and healthy meals.

0 Comments | Posted in News By Karen B. Vance

sundried cherry tomatoes on dehydrator

Healthy snacks are an important part of any healthy diet, and ensuring that there is plenty of variety in the snack foods that you eat will help you to maximize the health benefits of healthy snacking. If you're interested in cooking your own snacks, using a food dehydrator is one way to experiment with different ways of preparing seafood, fruits and vegetables.

What Is a Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an appliance that removes moisture from foods. It can be used with plants, meats and fish to eliminate moisture. Most fruits and vegetables get 80 to 90 percent of their volume from water while meats are half to three-quarters water. Food dehydrators remove this moisture and with it, the likelihood of food spoiling. Without moisture, bacteria can not readily grow in food, so dry snacks last for a long time.

Why Eat Dry Food?

There are many reasons why dry food recipes are great snack ideas. For one thing, dried foods are easy to take with you on the go because they typically don't require refrigeration, so they can be packed in a lunch bag or backpack as kids snacks or snacks for work without worrying about ice packs and other cooling solutions. Dry food is also incredibly nutritious. Unlike cooking food with heat, dehydrating food does not typically cause vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and other essential nutrients to break down. You also don't need to add fat, sugar or salt to foods to dry them. As a result, dry fruits, dry vegetables and dry fish provide plenty of health benefits while remaining low in calories, saturated fat, sugars and sodium.

How Do Dehydrators Work?

There are two main types of dehydrators: those that receive power from the sun and those that run on electricity. Most food dehydrators consist of three main parts. A heating element is used to raise the temperature inside of the dehydrator and cause the moisture in the food to evaporate without causing the food to fully cook. The fans and vents keep air circulating throughout the dehydrator and release the water vapor from the food to the outside of the appliance. The amount of time that it takes for a dehydrator to remove moisture from food depends on which type of food is being dried and the efficiency of the model. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours for foods to become fully dried.

What Are the Benefits of Dehydrators?

Foods can be dried without food dehydrators in the oven or outdoors in the sun; however, dehydrators greatly simplify making dry food at home. This is because dehydrators not only provide heat but also adequate air flow, helping to ensure best results. Of course, you don't have to purchase a dehydrator or hunt for free recipes to enjoy the health benefits and taste of dry food. Cantinastar has a wide range of dry seafood and dry fruits that make great snack ideas.

0 Comments | Posted in News By Karen B. Vance

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