Power Up Your Summer Salads

By Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

"Last time you had a salad for your main meal, did you leave the table hungrier than a wolf in a cabbage patch? Sure, a big bowl of greens is good for you, but you'll be raiding the refrigerator an hour later if it doesn't have more going for it than that. Yet if it does, a salad can be seriously satisfying, even for you carnivores out there.
Sure, salads keep you looking good in your Speedo or tankini and give your brain and body a big-time nutrition bump: You're significantly more likely to get your fill of vitamins if you're a salad hound, according to a joint UCLA/Louisiana State University study (we don't have a clue how those two got together). What's more, feasting on veggies (plus some lean protein) helps you fend off cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, and ordinary aging.
Before you start loading up the crisper, keep in mind that the best salads are real meals: lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. The worst? They're usually restaurant salads masquerading as health food but actually oozing fat and calories. Take a Chili's Southwestern Cobb Salad: Without dressing, it has 650 calories and 32 grams of fat. With dressing? A Speedo-busting, heart-stopping 970 calories and 60 grams of fat.
For the best salads -- the kind that make your taste buds zing, your belly smile, and your cells young -- toss these ingredients into your bowl:
  • Big and little greens: We probably don't have to tell you that richly colored greens (baby spinach, arugula, romaine, watercress, radicchio) are the foundation of a great salad. They're packed with nutrients that inhibit cancer and help bones stay strong. But don't stop there. For a clean, bright flavor -- and a serious phytochemical boost -- add some fresh herbs. Go for mini powerhouses like mint (filled with cancer-busting monoterpenes), basil (packed with inflammation-fighting volatile oils), or cilantro (it goes after bad cholesterol).
  • Learn how fruits and veggies help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Powerful proteins: Protein keeps your stomach busy for a long time. It responds by telling your brain that you're full. Smart diet move. Instead of sodium-socked deli meats or full-fat cheese, aim for lean fixins like 3 ounces (about the size of a tin of Altoids) of canned salmon, skinless chicken or turkey breast, chopped egg whites, low-fat cheese, or cubed tofu. A quarter cup of walnuts or a half cup of lentils, chickpeas, or beans will also kick up your protein count.
  • Major flavor boosters: We've got no beef with the old salad standbys, like carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But to really punch up the flavor, toss in asparagus, corn, black beans, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, red and purple peppers, or baked sweet potatoes. Even better, lightly roast the veggies in a little olive oil first. The deep smoky flavor is to drool for.
  • Complex carbs that aren't oil-soaked croutons: Anytime you're cooking up some brown rice, barley, or whole-wheat couscous or pasta, make extra and save it for your salads. Ditto for quinoa (it's like fluffy rice but high in both protein and fiber) or chia (a grain that's a good source of healthy omega-3s). Crave crunchy croutons? Toast and cube some rye bread.
  • Dressings that aren't fat phobic: Your salad needs some heart-friendly omega-3 (or omega-9) fats to help your body soak up fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and K, and it needs disease-fighting carotenoids such as lycopene and beta carotene. Enter real dressings. It's hard to beat balsamic vinegar and a little olive or walnut oil. Swirl in some mustard, ginger, or herbs; if the seasonings are likely to overwhelm the olive or walnut oil, switch to canola oil -- it's less expensive. If you prefer store-bought, check labels to avoid inflammation-encouragers (most other oils, added sugars). Your goal: a dressing that's thin and slippery enough to coat your salad easily. Drizzle on about half as much as you think you need (roughly 2 tablespoons for a meal-sized salad; add extra balsamic if needed). Then, toss like crazy to coat every last lettuce bit. Dig in.

Fotografia e receita de Salada de Couscous: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11690/10minute-couscous-salad

Seven healthy heart habits

Nutrition team

"So, you want to decrease your risk of heart disease. You’ve heard it a thousand times before - follow a healthy lifestyle.
That’s a no brainer.

Sure, it boils down to a few basic guidelines that make sense. They include things like: eating a balanced diet, watching your portions, exercising often, and refraining from smoking. Sounds simple enough, right? Then why are so many of us doing just the opposite? Because, we’ve gotten ourselves into an unhealthy lifestyle rut.

Our lives are more hectic than ever, so we look for convenience. Between work, school, socialising, hobbies and the kids, there’s just no time to eat right and exercise. And we’re paying the price with our health.

The question is, how do we get out of this unhealthy lifestyle rut? The answer is really quite simple. It will take a commitment to making a few changes in your current lifestyle - there’s no getting around this. But don’t fret, we’ve figured it out for you. The following are what we determined to be the "lifestyle habits" of highly healthy people.

Make a mental note of how many of these are habits you are already hooked on.

Habit No.1: Highly healthy people make health, nutrition and weight management a priority.

No matter how busy you are, the most important thing is your health. The key to good health is taking preventative measures every day, like eating right, exercising consistently and refraining from smoking. Equally important is early detection of diseases through regular health screenings appropriate for your age group. Visit your doctor for a check up to find out your cholesterol and blood pressure readings. This will help you to know what you need to work on.

Habit No.2: Highly healthy people make better food choices everyday.

Better food habits can help you reduce your risk for heart attack, so it’s important to choose foods that taste great and pack a nutritional punch. The easiest way to do this is to include the healthiest selections from the five food groups with an emphasis on getting your five to 10 fruits and veggies and enough fibre each day. You should also try to reduce your salt intake by not adding it during cooking or at the table, and choosing lower salt versions of foods like baked beans and other tinned foods. By doing this you will retrain your mind and body to go for more whole foods (heart protective), rather than unhealthy, fatty, processed, packaged junk foods.

Habit No.3: Highly healthy people practice safe portion control.

Following the recommended serving sizes from the major food groups automatically helps to keep your weight in check. Restaurants and fast food places serve portions that are two to five times larger than they were in the 1950’s - no wonder heart disease is on the rise. By consistently eating smaller portions of food, you’ll begin to be satisfied with these portions; it only takes a few days for the body to adjust.

Habit No.4: Highly healthy people drink eight glasses of water per day.

Staying hydrated helps rid your body of toxins, reduces stress levels, enhances your metabolism and makes you feel fuller. Try to limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they tend to be dehydrating. Drink at least 8 (200 ml) glasses of water per day, or fill a 2 litre bottle in the morning with water and drink it throughout the day.

Habit No.5: Highly healthy people plan their meals in advance.
Many of the people featured in our success stories have admitted that weekly menu planning is the key to staying on course with new healthy lifestyle goals. Prepare a shopping list before you go to the store; if you stock your fridge with healthy foods, you’re probably going to eat them. Prepare meals and snacks in advance; it makes it less likely that you will grab something unhealthy if you shop when you’re hungry.

Habit No.6: Highly healthy people exercise consistently.

Exercise is one thing that can help you get your heart in shape immediately. Plus, it can make your bones stronger, it beats stress, fights off mild depression and can help you sleep better at night. Being active on a regular basis reduces your risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent. Just do it, as they say.

Habit No.7: Highly healthy people "chill out" to keep their stress levels in check.

Too much stress can cause blood pressure to rise and is believed to be a major risk factor for heart disease. Controlling your blood pressure can yield a 20 percent risk reduction. The best way to deal with stress is to use a range of coping mechanisms, including yoga, meditation, therapy and a good chat with a friend.

Make their habits your habits.

Now that we’ve given you the lowdown on the habits of highly healthy people, here are a few pointers that will help you make the transition from unhealthy to healthy less traumatic:

• Focus on incorporating new healthy habits, rather than focusing on breaking bad habits; psychologically, it will be easier.
• Instead of stressing out over an all-or-nothing approach, think in terms of moderation. Focus on the things you can do, rather than on the things you can’t. We don’t promote complete abstinence from junk food, mainly because it’s unrealistic, it’s too inflexible, and frankly, it’s no fun. Instead, we promote moderation and making better lifestyle choices.

Still not convinced that you should make some changes?

Here’s some good news. It’s never too late to start eating right and exercising. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start undoing a lifetime of bad habits. Research has shown that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. It’s a fact that the risk of heart disease can be greatly decreased by living a healthier lifestyle. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the experts are saying:

• Healthy foods can help you reduce the major risk factors for heart attack - high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. (British Heart Foundation)

• Consuming a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent or combat heart disease. (Harvard Nurses Health Study)

• For every 1 percent drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol, you get a 2 percent reduction in heart-disease risk. (Heart UK)

• Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart disease within a year. (British Heart Foundation)

• Not smoking, maintaining a normal weight, consuming a healthy diet, exercising consistently and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 80 percent. (Harvard Nurses Health Study)"

Livros de Receitas: Filipa Vacondeus II

O Supermercado Aldi lançou um segundo  livro de receitas, com o título de "Os menus deliciosos e económicos de Filipa Vacondeus". A ligação, abaixo indicada, dá acesso a 24 receitas. O livro pode ser guardado em versão pdf, para tal basta carregar sobre o símbolo da disquete.