Turkish Food – Nutritional Information, Healthy Choices, Calories

The people of Turkey enjoy a Mediterranean diet, which has been promoted as one the healthiest diets on Earth. Turkish cuisine shares many of the attributes of the Mediterranean diet with emphasis on: vegetables, legumes, grains, oily fish, seafood, nuts, fresh fruits and olive oil.

Turkish food is a fusion of Balkan, Greek, Jewish, Armenian, Ottoman and Central Asian cuisines. Many Turkish restaurants in the west include Greek, Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes on their menus.

Home cooked and Turkish restaurant cuisine includes a variety of chicken, lamb or beef dishes, fish and seafood that are mostly grilled or barbecued. This is a healthy way to cook meat, and there are many delightful vegetarian foods and dishes available as well. Foods are served with dips, bread and a huge variety of salads and side dishes.

The main issue when choosing healthy Turkish foods, especially when trying to restrict the amount of fat and calories, is that the food is so rich, tasty and wholesome; it is so easy to overindulge.

This article summarizes the nutritional information for about 100 Turkish dishes in a convenient table that can be sorted by calories, fat and protein content.

This makes it easy to check on various food and dishes to ensure you are meeting your health objectives.

This article also provides a detailed guide on how to make healthy, low calorie and low fat choices, when eating out at restaurants, or choosing what Turkish dishes to cook at home.

Mycoprotein Side Effects and Quorn Allergy Symptoms

I ate a Quorn Lasagne recently and was violently sick within two hours. I had a small suspicion that I may have a problem eating Quorn, as the last time I ate it, over a year ago, I had made a stir-fry, and had similarly been sick within a few hours.

However, I had been led to believe by Quorn over the years that its products were derived from a mushroom and therefore healthy.

Something didn’t add up and I decided to find out more about Quorn.

After carrying out some initial research on the internet, I was horrified by what I found out – that Quorn is not made from a mushroom as it stated in the past, or a “vegetable protein” as currently stated but instead is made from a mould and a potentially toxic one at that.

No wonder I was so sick!

I know many vegetarians eat Quorn quite happily without side effects, but for up to 10% of people, it can cause an allergic reaction.

If Quorn is made from a mould, people need to know about it. There are some people, myself included, who are or might be allergic to mould. As a child I had an allergic reaction to Penicillin, which is a drug made from a mould, and was unable to take it.

It would help if there was a warning on the packaging, but I guess it wouldn’t look very good if there was a label which said “This product is unsuitable for people who are allergic to mould”.

I wanted to write this hub because I feel that the company that manufactures Quorn misleads consumers about what its products are made from and the fact that it is aware that for a minority of people, it can make them very ill, yet there is no warning of this on their packaging.

So, what is Quorn?

Back in the early 1960s, nutritionists and health experts were concerned that the predicted growth in population would mean global food and protein shortages in the future. Food scientists started a search to find new sources for food, which would help to meet the predicted increase in demand. After several years of searching around the globe, an “organism” was found occurring naturally in the soil in a field in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom, which ultimately gave Marlow Foods the opportunity to develop a completely new food ingredient – Mycoprotein!

Quorn is the brand name for mycoprotein, a man made protein made from mould, a type of fungus.

“Myco-” is from the Greek word for fungus and Mycoprotein means protein from fungi. A fungus called Fusarium is the main source of mycoprotein and it is grown in vats using glucose syrup as food. It is entirely man made.
The main mycoprotein products on sale in Europe and the USA is the brand Quorn. It is manufactured by Marlow Foods in the United Kingdom, who currently market it as a meat substitute in vegetarian products such as pies, lasagnas and stir fries etc. . . .
Quorn has been available to consumers in the UK since the mid 1980’s and has been introduced into other countries such as the US several years later.

Studies have shown that mycoprotein leads to allergic reactions for a small minority of people taking part in research

The British developer of mycoprotein themselves conducted a clinical study in 1977-78 that proved that the product causes sometimes-severe gastrointestinal disturbances.

According to a study undertaken by CSPI, it was concluded that around 4.5% of the population are intolerant to Mycoprotein.
In another study, in tests by the manufacturer of Quorn products themselves, Marlow Foods, a division of the multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, it became apparent that for a small percentage of people who ate a Quorn product, they would go on to experience vomiting, nausea, or stomach aches within a matter of hours.

Therefore, the manufacturers themselves know there is a problem with the problem causing an allergic reaction but are choosing not to make the public aware by not putting warning labels on the products.

Why do people have an allergic reaction to Quorn?

Mycoprotein has a high protein content and allergens are usually proteins. Many people are allergic to protein foods such as peanuts and shellfish.
Many people also have allergies to fungi or moulds (including by inhalation) and that is why they may also react to Quorn.

Marlow Foods have also misled consumers on what their Quorn products are made from.

In the past Marlow Foods claimed that it was made from a mushroom. This was incorrect and a classic example of deceptive marketing. As a result the FDA and authorities in the United Kingdom forced Marlow Foods to change the labeling of Quorn foods, which had falsely claimed that mycoprotein was “mushroom in origin,” “mushroom protein,” or “a small, unassuming member of the mushroom family,” even though it’s made from a non-mushroom processed mould.

Marlow Foods continues with its misleading information. As of today – September 5th 2010, on Marlow Foods own website, they state that Quorn “is made with mycoprotein, a versatile, vegetable protein”.

I have eaten a wide variety of mushrooms and vegetables throughout my life, I am now 43, and have never been sick like this before.

I can only conclude that mycoprotein is not a mushroom or a healthy vegetable, as it currently states, but is indeed a mould, and for some people like myself a toxic one at that.

The particular fungus used, Fusarium venenatum, is known for producing mycotoxins. In fact, the word ‘venenatum’ is Latin for venomous.

Quorn’s manufacturer, Marlow Foods, states that the strain of fungus it uses supposedly does not produce toxins. (So why was I so sick?)

What is a Quorn Allergy?

A quorn allergy is an adverse reaction by the body’s immune system to quorn or food containing quorn. The body’s immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE – an antibody) and histamine in response to contact with the allergen

What are Quorn allergy symptoms?

Symptoms of having an allergy to Quorn / Mycoprotein include vomiting, diarrhea, hives, swelling, or even anaphylactic shock.

The symptoms come on very quickly. I was vomiting violently within a couple of hours.

In a CSPI-commissioned telephone survey of British consumers, approximately 4.5% of people who ate Quorn reported adverse reactions. CSPI’s analysed 597 reports of adverse reactions attributed to Quorn. Of those people, 67 percent suffered vomiting; 33 percent diarrhea; 6 percent hives or broken blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract or eyes; and 1 percent anaphylactic reactions. Many people suffered repeated reactions, which helped them identify Quorn as the cause. Most of those reports were collected on a CSPI web site, www.QuornComplaints.com.

How many cases go unreported?

I consider the side effects from eating Quorn products are more widespread than we think.

Worryingly, over 500,000 Quorn meals are now eaten every day in the UK. Most people won’t initially make the connection between eating Quorn and feeling ill as it has a healthy image and will blame their symptoms on something else.

It wasn’t until after the 3rd time that I ate Quorn and was sick yet again that I knew I had a problem with it – I had previously attributed the cause of vomiting to other reasons.

No one would choose to eat moldy food that makes you sick. I for one won’t be eating Quorn products again in a hurry. In my opinion, it should be banned.

So far, hundreds of people have commented on this article, saying they have also been ill after eating Quorn. See the comments section at the end.

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Hubpages puts adverts on our articles and we earn money every time someone reads the article – between US$3 to $8 per 1000 views. My average hubs are viewed/ read by about 30 people a day, my most popular hubs are read by 100 people a day. If you do the maths, you will see that a popular Hub, read 100 times a days, earns between US$110 to US$290 a year, and will continue to do so every year. Last year my hubs generated enough passive income to pay for my summer holiday and are on track to do the same again this year and every year.

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Some articles take me a couple of hours to write, others may take up to 5 hours to write. On average, I write one article a week. Many Hubpage members write more, some write less.

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Fructose Malabsorption: Nutrient Deficiencies and Symptoms to Watch Out For

When the foods you eat cause digestive upset, they move through the digestive tract too quickly; this is why nutritional deficiencies occur — your body doesn’t have enough time to absorb the nutrients in the food. Some of the symptoms of fructose malabsorption can be attributed to nutritional deficiencies. Those below are all interconnected to one another – for instance, folic acid deficiency can lead to anemia; so it is important to address each nutritional deficiency and their symptoms as just one small piece of a bigger dietary puzzle.
Source
Folic Acid and Folate Deficiency

Folic acid is important in the development of red blood cells and in regulating iron levels in the body. Folic acid deficiency is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, so it is important to make sure you are getting enough. Other symptoms of low folic acid include:

Anemia
Brain fog
Behavioral and mood disorders
Diarrhea (like we need anymore of that!)
Headaches
Heart palpitations
Mental depression
Pregnancy complications
Sore or swollen tongue

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry says that folic acid deficiency in fructose malabsorbers is due, in part, because a lot of our folic acid intake derives from intestinal bacteria. People with fructose malabsorption usually have unbalanced intestinal flora, which leads to a lack of available folic acid.

Folic acid sources:

Leafy vegetables are the primary naturally-occurring source of folic acid; but many products, like breakfast cereals, are fortified with folic acid.
Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is a mineral that plays an essential role in brain functioning and the health of the reproductive organs. It is also a necessary part of the enzymatic reactions that must take place in order to digest proteins.

Zinc deficiency can cause sexual dysfunction, hair loss, diarrhea, brain fog, lack of appetite and other symptoms.

Foods with the highest levels of dietary zinc are oysters, lobster and red meat. Other sources include soy products, sea vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Like folic acid, zinc is often a fortified ingredient in packaged foods.
Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency is probably the most common and most recognized nutrient deficiency on this list. Iron deficiency anemia is characterized by fatigue, pale skin, head rushes upon standing, restless legs and a compromised immune system. Anemia can be inherited or dietary-related, but the reason it needs to be addressed is that low levels of iron in the blood prevent adequate oxygen from reaching the brain.

Here is a nice list of iron rich foods to look over. In addition to eating foods high in iron, make sure not to drink tea with your meals. The tannins in tea will leach minerals like iron and calcium from your food, keeping them out of your bloodstream.
Source
Tryptophan and Depression

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, and fructose malabsorption makes it harder for the body to absorb it in the intestines. When tryptophan levels drop too low, then you become deficient in serotonin. This leads to early signs of mental depression, which is a very common symptom in people with fructose malabsorption and IBS.

It is possible to increase tryptophan levels by eating a high-protein diet, which is recommended for fructose malabsorbers anyway. FructMal-safe sources of tryptophan include:

Beans (as long as you can tolerate galactans)
Dairy products (if you aren’t lactose intolerant)
Eggs – highest
Fish
Oatmeal
Poultry
Pork
Red Meat
Sesame and pumpkin seeds
White rice
Potatoes (russet) – lower levels

Source
Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone health. Vitamin D deficiency causes premature aging, muscle weakness, fatigue and joint pain. Most people already know that sun exposure is a good way to increase your level of vitamin D, but if you have fructose malabsorption, there is a good chance it won’t be enough. Consider supplementation.

Now that you know what nutrients you need more of, the next step is to ensure better absorption of the foods you do eat.
Digestive Enzyme Suggestions
Enzymedica – Digest Spectrum, Multiple Food Intolerance Formula, 90 Capsules
Enzymedica – Digest Spectrum, Multiple Food Intolerance Formula, 90 Capsules
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Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement for Women – Raw Enzymes Women for Digestion, Bloating, Gas, and IBS, 90 Capsules
Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement for Women – Raw Enzymes Women for Digestion, Bloating, Gas, and IBS, 90 Capsules
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Digestive enzymes help with bloating and gas and improve nutrient absorption

Even on a very restrictive diet, fructose malabsorbers will often have lingering digestive symptoms that seem to have no explanation. By the time most people are diagnosed, the intestines are damaged and can have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Until this is resolved, digestion of any food at all, even the most well tolerated, can cause distress to the intestines.

It might be helpful to speak to a dietitian about your remaining symptoms to try to pinpoint a culprit in something you are eating, but you may find that taking a digestive enzyme with meals is enough to give your gut that extra little boost it needs. Oftentimes, because of the processed nature of our foods, the body is not getting enough necessary digestive enzymes (they are stripped from the food during processing), so supplementation is necessary.
How to Use Nutritional Yeast

What the Heck is Nutritional Yeast?
Lots of recipes for nutritional yeast.

Red Star Nutritional Yeast – VSF Mini Flake — 5 oz Each
Red Star Nutritional Yeast – VSF Mini Flake — 5 oz Each
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Navitas Naturals Organic Chia Seeds, 16-Ounce Pouches
Navitas Naturals Organic Chia Seeds, 16-Ounce Pouches
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Address multiple nutrient deficiencies with “super foods”

Nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition for people like us. A sprinkling of nutritional yeast gives foods an added boost of B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein (great for vegetarian FructMals). Plus, it adds flavor to your foods. Those with fructose malabsorption can struggle with trying to find ways to add flavor to meals, now that so many things are off limits. Nutritional yeast incorporates a “cheesy” flavor to dishes, which is especially nice for those who can’t eat dairy, either. Start small, though, to make sure you can tolerate it; and those with candida issues will want to avoid it entirely.

If you aren’t eating chia seeds, you probably should be. According to WebMD, one ounce (2 T) of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. Add to that a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and calcium, and you’ve got one powerful little super food. Sprinkling these on your morning cereal or into a bowl of oatmeal will help a carb heavy breakfast keep you full until noon. Add them to a salad or make some chia pudding for an afternoon snack.

Now that you have a diagnosis, it’s time to start eating for optimal health. If you aren’t getting enough nutrients in your diet, either because you are still having FructMal symptoms or because your elimination diet isn’t varied enough, it is important to do something about it before any long term side effects take hold.

Copyright ©2013 FindWholeness

Importance of Food

Importance of Food
Importance of Food

This hub importance of food gives you brief knowledge of food and its importance to our health and food essential for our body and also provides you menu for health building .

Food plays very vital role in maintaining proper health and also helps in prevention and cure of diseases . Good nutritive food makes health ,but at the same time bad or unhealthy food give rise to several diseases. Our cells , tissues and all organs works properly only with nutritious food which we eat .

All body functions metabolic,hormonal, mental, physical or chemical cannot be performed by the body without nutritive food . Food provides us with important nutrition which is important in cure of disease .Bad food is responsible for lowered immunity system of body

Human cells need 45 chemical components and other elements which are called essential nutrients and these all must be present in adequate healthy food, Oxygen and water are the two and other 43 are classified in 5 main category i.e. Proteins , fat ,carbohydrates , minerals and vitamins these all nutrients are vitally important for managing our body functions .

Many researchers claims that various diseases are caused by essential nutrients under supply, but they also claim these diseases can also be corrected when all the nutrients are supplied, in a proper way .

A well-balanced , nutritive and correct diet is thus of utmost importance for the maintenance of good health and the healing of diseases.

Such a diet, obviously should be made up of foods, which in combination would supply all the essential nutrients.

Importance of Grains, Seeds and Nuts in our food :

They all are at utmost importance of all other food which is essential for growth of human. Seeds, nuts and grains are examples of some essential unsaturated fatty acids necessary for health.

– Millet, wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, beans and peas are all highly valuable in building health.

– Wheat, mung beans, alfalfa seeds and soya beans make excellent sprouts.

– Examples of protein rich diet – tSunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts

and soya beans .

They are all excellent sources of lecithin , vitamin B and vit.C and rich source of minerals.

Importance of VEGETABLES in our food :

Vegetables are also important as they are excellent source of vitamins , enzymes and minerals if they are consumed in their natural raw state.

Importance of FRUITS in our food :

Fruits are also excellent source of minerals , vitamins and enzymes like vegetables , the best thing about fruits is that they are very digestive, other importance of fruits are :

– Fruits are highly alkaline in nature i.e. they contains low percentage of protein and fats and a high percentage of water .

– Fruits itself is a complete food .

These three types of nutrients should be supplemented by some other types of special food as milk , honey and vegetables oil etc .

Menu For Health Building

In the morning upon arising :

1 glass full of lukewarm water + 1 teaspoon honey + 1/2 lemon Or a glass full of seasonal fruit juice .

Breakfast :

Fresh available seasonal fruits + a cup butter milk + raw nuts + sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Mid morning snack :

Fruits such as apple , banana

Eat Salads Regurarly For A Healthy Life

Maybe you’ve heard of someone who lost a lot of weight by eating salads? Did they manage to keep it off? Did they suffer a lot? Let’s find out.

Benefits of Salads

The main benefit of eating salads to lose weight is that they contain hardly any calories and yet fill you up. You can eat a huge chunk of green leaves and it might give you barely 20 calories or about 1% of what a woman needs to eat every day.
If you add dressing to this then be prepared for a whole load more hidden calories.

The Problem with Salads

Salads are great as an alternative side to more calorific sides like fries, but on their own they are not a way to lose a lot of weight.

I do not recommend eating a lot of salads in order to lose weight. Eating Salads as part of a balanced diet are great, however.

The problem with salads is that they provide a little but not much nutritional value. If you want to get nutrients from plants then you are better of eating something like broccoli or root vegetables.

And a diet plan composed mainly of salads will leave you severely malnutrition and without enough calories. Your muscles will waste away. Don’t do it!

A Better Diet

A better way to eat is to incorporate salads into a normal healthy diet. So, if you have a meat dish (lean meat preferred) then use salads as a side on the plate instead of some greasy alternative.

If you want a low calorie food that is packed with nutrition then you are better off eating more fruits. If you eat an abundance of different fruits you can actually live forever this way and a few people choose to do so.
I don’t know a single person who has tried to live on salads and been successful!

Eat Healthy For Good Health

With so much advice and research out there on nutrition and dieting, how do you know what to listen to and how to eat healthy? This article will give you some general tips about eating healthier.
If you’re like most people you don’t want to eat bland foods that taste like cardboard. If those are your only options then dieting and eating better are likely not to be your top priorities. You want flavor and taste. There are not too many people who can go eating the same things for the rest of their lives that have no flavor.

1. Fruits like strawberries, watermelon, oranges, bananas and blueberries are all loaded with vitamins and minerals and taste good. You can eat as many of these as you want. Add them into your meals as side items. Add some frozen blueberries into your morning oatmeal or cereal to add some healthy taste to your breakfast.

2. Have you tried granola? Granola is a healthy combination of whole grains, nuts, honey and dried fruits like cranberries and raising and coconut. Some flavors of granola also combine flax seed which contains omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to your body’s daily functioning. At Sam’s Club they sell a brand of granola called Bear Naked that contains no high fructose corn syrup and tastes good. You can combine it with yogurt to give it some crunch. Eating granola instead of a candy bar is a healthy snack alternative.

3. Sodas and diet sodas. Neither one is good for you. So avoid them. Replace them with healthy drinks – the best one being water. But water can be bland. Try adding some 100% grape juice to give it a sweet flavor. Or try adding some lemon juice to give it a bit of a sour flavor. You can dilute any fruit juice with water to get the sweetness you want without all the calories. Even though grape juice is healthy for you, it does contain a lot of sugars. Eat healthy for good health in life.

4. Avoid empty calorie foods. This includes most alcoholic drinks. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram compared to 9 calories per gram for fat and 4 calories per gram for carbs. Red wine is the only alcoholic drink you can consume due to its health benefits. One to two glasses a day is enough to get the health benefits.

5. Read the labels. Be sure to read the food labels and see just exactly how much you can eat that constitutes as a serving. Here’s an example: eating a piece of dark chocolate everyday is good for your heart but the serving size on a Hershey’s bag is 4 pieces which adds up to over 200 calories when all you need is half of one piece to get the heart benefits. Take the time to read the labels and watch the calories.

The advice on how to eat healthy is not new. It is the same now as it has been in the past. Yes, there is plenty of conflicting information out there but if you make the simple choices then you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle and a slimmer waistline. These tips are just a start.

Deliciously Healthy Typical Guatemalan Foods

I recently wrote an article on Guatemalan enchiladas and how they are not at all like the Mexican enchiladas we know in the US. While a Guatemalan enchilada may be served on a fried tortilla, it is also piled high with wonderful vegetables, meat and egg. The use of vegetables like beets and cabbage, along with green beans and carrots give them a variety of vitamins. The tomato sauce used in the enchilada is homemade from tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic. The meat is cooked and fried and offers protein, along with a slice of egg. The enchilada is served with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley. It is a delicious, nutritious salad on a plate.

Enchiladas are not the only typical Guatemalan food to be high in nutrition. Black beans are a staple food, eaten one to three times a day, offering lots of protein and fiber. The addition of rice and corn tortillas to that meal makes a complete protein. Plantains are also eaten at any meal, and used as a vegetable if green. When green, plantains are not very sweet or soft, so cooking them in water gives a slight sweetness, making an excellent side dish to any main course. A serving of plantain is higher in fiber, vitamin C and potassium than a serving of bananas. They are also used as a dessert, simply cooked when very ripe, or made into various dessert dishes.

One dessert made with plantains is frying slices and serving them in a mole sauce. Guatemalan mole sauce is made from tomatoes, tomatillos, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon, with the addition of chocolate at the end. Using all the vegetables and seeds give a great addition of fiber to the diet, along with vitamins and minerals.
A common Guatemalan salad of minced radishes mixed with some chopped tomato, mint, onion and lime juice makes an extremely high flavor and low calorie dish, rich in fiber and vitamin C. Corn tortillas made from cooked field corn with the germ left in are high in fiber and vitamins and these are eaten up to three times a day.

Most any soup or thickened dish made in Guatemala is thickened with the use of shredded tortillas, bread, ground nuts or seeds, instead of flour. The various kinds of tamale eaten in Guatemala have their basis in either hominy or rice or a combination. As stated, the hominy, or cooked whole field corn, contains the whole kernel, with more nutritional value than a can of hominy without the germ. Any sauces added to the tamales are made by grinding together tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, dried chiles, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and sometimes chocolate. These particular flavors are a common theme throughout Guatemalan foods.

Another type of tamale that is used as a treat for breakfast, dessert or any time of day is called tamalitos de helote. We all understand a tamale is usually corn, ground and wrapped into a corn husk or banana leaf and steamed. Helote is young corn not the sweet corn we know here in the US for corn on the cob, but field corn that has not matured to complete dryness. The kernels are removed from the cobs and ground, with sugar and cinnamon added for flavor. The green corn husks are used to wrap these little tamales, imparting a particular flavor and goodness. The use of the whole corn kernels in this dish is a healthier way of eating that a milled corn flour with the germ removed. My husband questioned, why not just slice the kernels from the cob and make the whole process easier? My answer is that the flavor and look would be different, and most of the nutrition would be left behind.

Guatemalan typical dishes may take time to prepare properly, but the end result with all the nutrition packed in is invaluable. I value highly all the complex and flavorful typical recipes I learned there over 30 years ago, and I use them to this day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey. You will find many more recipes and helpful tips on my web site. I am on Facebook at A Harmony of Flavors and share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.

The Importance of Good Health & Nutrition

Your body is a temple and health nutrition is important for a long life of good quality. Given the ageing population of the planet, with people living longer and longer, it is important to make the best of health diet nutrition to guarantee that your old age isn’t spent with your body connected to machines. If many seniors are over-reliant on medication, it is mainly because of the abuses they put their bodies through in early life.

Obesity is also a major problem. Many governments claim that they will have to spend billions in the next few decades fighting the problems that result from their fatter populations.

The Benefits of Health Diet Nutrition

Learning about healthy food is important. With all the latest research telling us that certain foods are bad for us, it is also important to make sure that the nutritional information you are getting is accurate. Often, common sense will tell you what’s bad and what isn’t. Favorites do not have to be avoided entirely. Instead, if you have a sweet tooth, you should try replacing candy with fruit to satisfy your craving for sugar. Maintaining a balanced diet comprising health nutrition foods does not mean you shouldn’t spoil yourself a little once in a while.

For optimum health diet nutrition, it is important that you try and maintain a balance between the major food groups in your diet. Consulting a dietician to decide which foods should be eaten and which are best avoided will give you a set of dos and don’ts that you can use as a standard to dictate your diet. For example, foods that contain additives and salt and are overly processed are obviously less healthy than foods that are fresh. Again, let common sense dictate your diet decisions.

Getting your Five a Day

Healthy food is not always the most palatable, which is one of the reasons why you are unlikely to hear of anyone dying of a broccoli overdose. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that it is the delicious foods that will usually kill you. It’s like a little taste of heaven before you get there! If you don’t feel confident about eating right or if you are surrounded by junk food all the time and feel there’s no alternative, you should go and see a nutritionist. Health nutrition is a nutritionist’s field of expertise and they can set up a program for you that you can stick to.

The fact is there are enough good, healthy and delicious foods out there so that eating will still be an enjoyable experience. You can eat all the important foods without craving junk. Indeed, you don’t even have to look at another sprig of broccoli in order to enjoy good health nutrition. Nutritionists will cater to your whims and offer you health diet nutrition choices that are equally delicious but less toxic to your body so you don’t have to feel like you’re sacrificing too much in order to enjoy a healthy diet.

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Health Nutrition Food That Isn’t

It can be hard enough keeping to a healthy diet; what happens these days though is that the major restaurant chains come and try to mix up our personal definitions of what we can safely call “healthy”. A restaurant staple at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s or Ruby Tuesday’s can easily get called “healthy” even when it is saturated with calories, fat and salt. Let’s take a look at the worst offenders on the restaurant menus around the country that promote their products for their health, nutrition, food value all at once.

The Ruby Tuesday Avocado Turkey Burger should actually have been a really healthy meal. Turkey is great for your heart’s health – nutrition food that actually heals. But not here. The burger has nearly 100 g of fat (that’s nearly a fifth of a pound of fat), and heaps of salt held together with more than 1000 calories.

Okay, is there any way that you can not be making the right choice with a salad? Well, at the California Pizza kitchen, the Waldorf chicken salad actually comes with even more calories than the burger above. How did they even manage to do this in a salad? It’s all in the dressing, of course. But you will need to be on the lookout across their entire menu.

You couldn’t possibly do the right thing for your health, nutrition food being the way it is in this country. Consider Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad – a name that’s filled with health and nutrition. They’ve managed to bring the salad up to more than 1000 calories – as they have with lots of other salads on the menu. If you have to go to Applebee’s, choose from the Weight Watchers list.

Compared to this next salad, you could do better for your health with a slice of pizza. And fittingly, this chicken chopped salad lives on the menu of California Pizza Kitchen, dangerous ground for any dieter if you need a warning. This little gem has nearly 1200 calories, and 15 g of unhealthy fat.

There’s no way you would want to see this next winner left off this list. It’s the Mex Tostada salad with chicken at Chevy’s Fresh. You could eat a dozen cupcakes and not get as much fat and calories as with this artery clogger. It actually has nearly a fifth of a pound of fat and more than 1500 calories.

Seafood is supposed to be healthy isn’t it? Well then, consider the Cod Filet dinner at Culver’s. It has the most fat of any of the health nutrition food examples we’ve covered so far – a third more. But that’s because this little heart attack machine is fried, and there’s butter and french fries on the side too.

Food corporations will always try to hitch a ride on a health fad that’s doing the rounds at the time. How about the way Nestl?calls its sugar-hopped Juicy Juice line actually healthy for children? This was so egregious to the authorities, the federal government actually called their bluff.

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Retailers must pressure manufacturers to stop insulting SA consumers

It is fascinating watching South African consumers slowly but surely casting aside their apathy and demanding good quality and service. One hopes that business is keeping an eye on this transformation because, given the vagaries of consumerism, things don’t happen slowly but surely, they change overnight and suddenly, all that cutting of corners that errant shops and service providers thought they were getting away with, leap out and bite them on the bum.
Of course, there are still far too many things happening here in SA that wouldn’t be tolerated in most other countries.

Devil in the detail

Products and services that are a reminder that sustainable customer retention and satisfaction are entirely dependent on those often overlooked little details rather than big bang advertising and publicity campaigns.

A good example of this detail is the number of imported consumer electronic and electrical products that are sold in SA with those ill-fitting little two-pin European plugs.

Now, these are not just little things like toasters and electric drills but include some very expensive TV sets, sewing machines, home movie systems, dishwashers and the like.

Diabolical two pin plugs

And, while it makes sense to have a two-pin plug on something like a cellphone charger, hair dryer, or razor one might take on overseas trips, it is hugely inconvenient when importers flog the bigger stuff with flimsy plugs that you can’t cut off and replace with our big, bulky three-pin equivalents because it voids warranties and you are left having to spend anything from R12.00 to R25.00 on adapters that never seem to last and which can be downright dangerous.

It’s actually extremely insulting when you think about it, because in effect, companies overseas are saying, “Let’s flog this stuff to South Africa, but frankly they’re not important enough for us to fit their stupid plugs.”

For some importers and distributors this has already created a marketing problem but, for most, consumer apathy continues to allow them to get away with it.

But, as consumerism grows, more and more ordinary South Africans will do as I do and refuse point blank to buy any imported gadget or appliance that hasn’t got our plug on it.

That’s the thing about marketing – if you have no respect or consideration for your customers you won’t keep them very long. Sooner or later they cotton to your cutting corners.