Category Archives: Nutrition

The Beaumont Blog Has Moved!


beaumont blog has moved

The Beaumont Health System blog has moved to a new address: We’ll continue to publish the articles you’ve come to enjoy, along with new and improved features and content throughout the months.

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10 superfoods for under $15

So you’ve heard of superfoods – but how can you buy healthy foods without breaking the bank? Never fear! We’ve got a roundup of 10 superfoods for under $15:


SuperfoodsOne of the cheapest superfoods available is also one of the most delicious: beans. The humble bean is high in protein, antioxidants, and fiber – meaning you’ll stay full for longer. Cut calories without feeling deprived with a spicy dip (with black beans), a crisp salad (with white or garbanzo beans), or a hearty chili (with any combination of beans you can imagine!). Garbanzo and white beans can even be pureed and combined with traditionally fatty favorites like mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese for a lower-calorie option that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Add 2 cans of beans to your cart for between $1-2.


This superfood is favored both by nutritionists and trendy high-end eateries. Kale is full of fiber, calcium, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which support your body’s natural detox system. Kale is also a great source of potassium, iron, and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. This hearty green pairs with just about anything, but it especially shines with sweet potato, lemon, or garlic. Whether dressed in a beautiful salad, added to a veggie frittata, or simply sautéed in olive oil, kale is as easy to prepare as it is on your wallet. Add 1 bunch of kale to your cart (about 2-4 cups, depending) for under $1.

Sweet Potatoes

Replacing your usual white potatoes with their orange, sugary-fleshed cousins will not only save you calories and carbs, but introduce more fiber – and color! – into your meal. Regular potatoes clock in at twice the starch levels as the same serving of sweet potatoes. Bonus round: sweet potatoes get their rich orange hue from beta-carotene, the same chemical compound found in carrots—good for vision, immunity, and overall health. Roast sweet potatoes whole, or add to pastas, grain salads, omelets, and more. Sweet potato hash browns make any breakfast better! Add 2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) to your cart for less than $1.


One egg will cost you 70 calories and about 20 cents – not bad for a food that’s loaded with protein, vision-enhancing antioxidants, and choline, a vitamin shown to promote brain health. Scrambled, poached, or hard-boiled, an egg is a great way to start your day (or end it!). Mix with veggies and greens for a wholesome omelet or frittata, or top plain scrambled eggs with salsa, onion, and avocado for a Mexican-inspired meal. Most of the health benefits of the egg are in their yolks – so stick to 7 whole eggs or fewer each week to keep cholesterol in check. Add 1 dozen eggs to your cart for $2.


This old standby gets a bad rap for being too boring – but come breakfast time, you won’t find better than this protein-packed grain! Oatmeal is one of the highest natural sources of soluble fiber, which keeps blood sugar from rising too quickly and can help rid the body of excess cholesterol. Rolled oats are packed with inflammation-reducing flavonoids, not to mention zinc, magnesium and iron – essential minerals that boost your immune system. Jazz up your morning oats with fresh fruit, cinnamon, and honey; or, try substituting rolled oats in your favorite baked goods and breaded meats. Add 1 box of rolled oats to your cart for $2.

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The Healthy Guide to Valentine’s Day

Healthy Guide to Valentine's DayThis Valentine’s Day, skip the standard dinner for two in favor of a more unique celebration of your love – and burn a few calories in the process! Follow our guide to a healthy, active day sure to sweep your sweetheart off their feet.

Breakfast in bed

Start the day right with a deliciously filling breakfast to energize you both for the day ahead. And what better way to eat breakfast than in bed? Surprise your sweetie with a beautiful spread of fresh fruit, warm cinnamon-maple oatmeal and an egg white omelet stuffed with spinach, tomato, and caramelized onion. Top with avocado for a creamy, dairy-free alternative to calorie-laden cheese.

Take a hike

Resist the urge to crawl back into bed after that delicious breakfast (or don’t—kissing burns 2-5 calories a minute!). Take your loved one on a cozy morning hike through the woods. Bundle up, bring a camera and be sure to pack a water bottle and a healthy snack – almonds, dried fruit, or a homemade granola bar – just in case. Hold hands while you hike and enjoy the solace with your sweetheart!

Have a picnic

It might be cold outside, but that’s no reason you can’t enjoy a picnic lunch! Bring a bit of summer inside with a picnic blanket on the living room floor. Enjoy conversation and quality time with your loved one over peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread and carrot sticks, just like the picnics you enjoyed as a child – plus a glass of red wine for a heart-healthy, romantic twist.

Break a sweat

After lunch, commit to a healthy adventure with your valentine. Go for a spin at your local ice rink – or hit a few balls at the indoor batting cages. Mini-golf, go-karting and even laser tag are all great activities to keep the two of you moving – and laughing – all day. For the active couple, try a unique exercise class together, like kickboxing, rock climbing or aerial yoga. Celebrate your relationship by creating new experiences you’ll treasure for years to come.

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8 Steps to a Better Breakfast

8 Steps to a Better BreakfastWe all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day – but we don’t always have time to devote to elaborate morning meals. Whatever you do, don’t skip it; not eating breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day. A good breakfast provides energy and sets the stage for healthy decisions all day long. Try out these 8 tips for a better breakfast:

1. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit is as simple to prepare as it is good for you. Mix up your everyday apple or orange routine with lightly caramelized grapefruit  or fresh blackberries over plain non-fat greek yogurt (for protein and calcium), drizzled with honey and raw almonds.

2. Go for grains

Eating a hearty, filling breakfast will make you less inclined to overindulge later in the day. Try oats, farro, quinoa, or even polenta for a protein-packed meal – the perfect foundation for a yummy breakfast. Overnight oatmeal can be assembled well in advance and left to firm up in the fridge, leaving you with a quick, ready-to-eat meal come morning.

3. Homemade is always better

Pre-packaged granola bars are certainly convenient for grab-and-go meals, but most store-bought bars are full of unnecessary sugars. Cut back on calories with delicious, no-bake bar recipes that can be easily assembled on the weekend to get you out the door on time all week. 

4. How about a milkshake?

Yes, you heard that correctly – a chocolate milkshake can be a perfectly healthy breakfast option, when made with frozen bananas! Blend up bananas with cocoa powder and a splash of milk for a deliciously creamy breakfast you’d swear is dessert. Add peanut butter or unsweetened coconut for an extra special treat.

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Beaumont Food of the Month: Grapefruit

Food of the Month - GrapefruitGrapefruit is more than a beloved breakfast staple; it’s a genuine superfood! These tangy citrus fruits are in season from winter through early spring, and offer plenty of tart juice with just a hint of sweetness.  There are lots of varieties of grapefruit; seeded, seedless, red, pink – even white!

Eating just one half of a standard grapefruit (approximately 120 grams) will provide an impressive 64% of your daily value of calcium. Red and pink grapefruit also offer the antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient with cancer-fighting properties. Grapefruit has also been proven to reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Juice it, pickle it, bake with it – or enjoy this low-calorie treat all on its own!

Nutritional information

  • Grapefruit (1/2 fruit)
  • Calories: 52
  • Fat: 0.2 (0%)
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Potassium: 166 g (4%)
  • Total Carbohydrates: 13 g (4%)
  • Protein: 1 g (2%)
  • Vitamin A: 28%
  • Vitamin C: 64%
  • Calcium: 2%
  • Magnesium: 2%
  • Iron: 0%

How to cook with grapefruit

Though often enjoyed alone, grapefruit is a versatile fruit that complements many types of dishes. Consider using grapefruit juice or peel in the place of other citrus fruits – like oranges or lemons – in your cooking or baking.

Try a few of these recipes:

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The 8 Worst Foods for You

8 of the Worst FoodsEveryone’s looking for healthy food in the New Year, but what foods should you avoid as much as possible?  Here are 8 of the worst foods for you:

Processed Meat
The American Institute for Cancer Research says meats preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or those that contain chemical preservatives, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Products like bacon, salami and pepperoni also tend to have lots of salt, fat, and cholesterol, and very few nutrients. While a few pieces of bacon won’t hurt, the added salt and fat won’t help your health either.

It’s no surprise that fried, frosted and glazed dough made the list, but they may be worse than you thought. Doughnuts are packed with trans fats, sugar and refined flour and contain between 10 and 20 grams of fat each, along with tons of empty calories. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease, so avoid banana cream-filled doughnuts and just reach for a banana instead.

Potato Chips
Another worst food that shouldn’t come as a shock are potato chips. Chips are packed with trans fats and, along with french fries, contain acrylamide, a substance that accumulates in foods fried in oils at high temperatures and is known to be carcinogenic. While “natural” potato chips have gained popularity in recent years, they’re not much better.

It’s not just the empty calories in regular soda – drinking as few as two soft drinks a week can nearly double a person’s risk of pancreatic cancer and soda consumption has been linked to diabetes, premature aging and osteoporosis. Here are 6 reasons to stop drinking soda today!

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6 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda

6 Reasons to Stop Drinking SodaWhether you call it soda, pop or coke, studies agree that there are a hundred reasons to stop drinking it – both regular and diet. Soda wreaks havoc on the body with empty calories, causing acid reflux and potentially contributing to osteoporosis. Here are just 6 reasons to stop drinking soda today:

Your waistline

Since soda has no nutritional value, the calories you consume—around 140 calories per can—are all empty calories, which contribute to weight gain. And don’t think diet soda is the answer—studies show that switching to low-calorie or zero-calorie soda does not result in weight loss.

Your stomach

All that acid takes its toll on your stomach, as well. Acid from soda can irritate the stomach lining, and cause heartburn and acid reflux.

Your teeth

The acid in soda is known to erode tooth enamel and encourage decay. In one study, teeth exposed to popular soda products for 48 hours were shown to lose 5% of their weight, leading some researchers to compare soda to battery acid.

Your sugar intake

An average can of soda contains over 40 grams of sugar—an equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. And the sugar in most soda comes from high fructose corn syrup, which is harder to metabolize than regular sugar. Studies suggest that even the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda have many of the same negative effects on metabolism and appetite.

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Myths about Weight Loss

People fighting to lose weight have heard every tip, trick and secret there is. But what’s fact and what’s fiction? Our Beaumont doctors and dieticians work with patients every day, creating healthy diet plans, devising weight loss strategies and helping people reach their goals. Here are some of the myths about weight loss they want to dispel to set the record straight:

Weight loss mythsCarbs Are Bad
Carbohydrates get a bad rap but they’re an essential part of a balanced diet, offering high fiber and tons of nutrients per serving. Avoid processed carbohydrates like corn syrup, white rice, refined cereals and white potatoes and go for complex carbohydrates like beans, whole grains and most nuts. Complex carbohydrates require a lot of energy to break down and keep you fuller, longer.

Increase Cardio to Lose Weight
There’s a misconception that doing more cardio will increase weight loss, while strength training will just make you bigger and bulkier. Not true, say the experts. Strength training is great at changing the composition of the body, adding more muscle, which burns more calories at rest. Each pound of muscle increases your body’s energy needs by 50 calories! Cardio is okay, but don’t skip the weights.

You Can Get in Shape Later
It’s easy to consume hundreds or thousands of calories more than your body needs, but it’s much harder to sustain a weight loss plan to burn off it all off. Excess calories are stored as fat for energy and it takes a daily weight loss plan to chip away at that excess fat that takes a lot of willpower and time, especially as you age and your metabolism slows.

Eating More Meals a Day will Help You Lose Weight
Studies have shown that eating smaller meals over the course of the day can raise your metabolism, but not everyone has the discipline to eat a number of small meals and avoiding the temptation to eat a bunch of larger meals over the course of the day. Eating six meals of 300 calories is one thing (1,800 calories total), but eating six meals of 500 calories is a bad idea (3,000 calories total).

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Boost Your Metabolism the Right Way | New Year, New You

Boost Your Metabolism The Right WayYour metabolism determines many calories your body burns to maintain basic function. The higher your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest and during exercise and the fewer extra calories your body stores as fat.

Genetics and age are factors in metabolism, but there are ways to boost your metabolism that are safe and effective.

Know Your Resting Metabolism

It helps to know how many calories your body burns at rest (called your basal metabolic rate or BMR). This is the number of calories your body burns at rest—not the total number of calories you need each day. Your daily calories needs increase depending on how active you are. Moderately active people need up to 1.2 times the calories of their basal metabolic rate, while very active people need 1.9 times the calories. Find your BMR here.

Strength Training

It’s science—muscle burns more calories than fat (one pound of muscle burns 50 calories at rest) Strength training a few times a week not only builds more muscle, but actually burns a comparable number of calories to cardio.

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Shakshouka Recipe by Guest Blogger Zee the Cook

 by Zee Shami, guest blogger,

unnamedLights, Camera, Action! With social media taking over the world, food photography is no joke! More than ever, our nation’s love of food and access to information through blogs and social media allows people to be more knowledgeable about different foods, techniques and cultures, making us more willing to dive in for change! You can expect to see more adventurous meals this upcoming year (whether photos are involved or not)! Color and creativity are key. Everyone wants to eat beautiful, healthy meals!

Let’s talk 2014 food trends, flavors, and ingredients. Think veggies! Vibrant and flavorful bell peppers will be chopping their way into an assortment of unexpected foods such as sushi rolls, burgers, and pizza crusts. Bright tastes and ethnic flavors will resonate in kitchens, offering diverse culture like you’ve never seen before.

A Middle Eastern dish called shakshouka, or shakshuka, (eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce topped with feta and parsley) will pop up on brunch menus across the country. What is believed to have originated in Tunisia, has traveled its way through many Middle Eastern countries and now making its way into our kitchens. This is an easy, fresh, healthy and aromatic meal full of protein and nutrients. Try it for yourself and enjoy! Don’t forget to share your experience with friends – this meal practically begs for a photo!

And with that, I give you my recipe and instructions for shakshuka:

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