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Diet and Food Myths

 

Today is Part 3 of a series of Diet Myths Debunked.

Diet Myth # 3

The New High-Protein Diets Are the Way to Go

Just like with fats and carbs, high protein diets have their advantages and disadvantages. Some intriguing new research indicates that protein may satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbs and may help control both appetite and calorie intake. High protein diets are the choice of most body builders.

Like both fat and carbs protein is necessary to the human body. Essential amino acids (the ‘building blocks of life’) must come from foods as the body does not manufacture them on its own. Protein is a source of energy, transports oxygen throughout the body, builds and repairs tissue, creates new cells, among many other necessary functions.

On the down side too much protein can increase cholesterol, may cause cancer, osteoporosis, and kidney stones.

What it seems to come down to is how much protein we really need. Medical professionals as well as dieticians disagree on this. So we are on our own.

Good sources of protein can be found in meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt, eggs, vegetables, beans, nuts, tofu, and cheese.

As with both fats and carbohydrates it boils down to this. We need protein for a healthy body. But how much is not certain and so perhaps the best way to go is to just eat a balanced diet that includes proteins as well as fats and carbs.

Finding just that right balance is the trick!

DISCLAIMER: The information for this very brief discussion of an extremely complicated topic was gathered from the following sources:  WebMD, Harvard SPH, and Suite101, and from the books:  Eat Drink and Be Merry by Dr. Dean Erdell  published by Harper Collins 1999; and The Fat Fallacy by Dr. Will Clower published by Three Rivers Press 2003. Please keep in mind I am not a dietician or a nutritionist. I just love to eat well. And I just write a simple blog trying to provide inexpensive yet delicious recipes for you, information about how to survive the recession, and helpful information about food and the joys of eating.

Featured Recipe    Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Almonds

When my fridge died  a week or so ago I had some chicken in the freezer. So that  I would not loose it all I fried it all up and one of the dishes I made is this one. It is so easy and soooo delicious.

As you can see from the picture below this makes a huge amount of salad. It can be a main meal. As a main meal it can easily feed 4 people. You can take leftovers to work or school the next day. It can go to picnics. You can leave the chicken out of the recipe and just have a rice salad for a buffet. This is a very versatile recipe.

This is what you need:

1 box Wild Rice Mix with Seasonings

Left-over cooked chicken cut into chunks

1-2 celery stalks chopped

1 carrot shredded

2 tablespoons red onions minced

Dried cranberries

Sliced almonds

Here is what you do:

NOTE: If you are not using left over chicken you will first need to poach, roast, or fry a piece or two of chicken and cool completely.

Prepare only the rice according to package directions; save the seasoning packet for another meal. (NOTE: You will probably need a tablespoon of butter to make the rice.)

While the rice is cooking chop the celery, dice the onion, shred the carrots, and cut or pull the chicken into bite size pieces.

When rice is cooked let it cool. When it is cool cool enough for you, add all remaining ingredients to the rice, including the cranberries and almonds. Mix everything together.  (NOTE: I prefer a very lukewarm salad, so I let it cool way down. I prefer that my carrots and celery not go limp.)

If you wish, you can add a few more cranberries and almonds on top of the salad for presentation purposes.

You can eat the salad as it is. Or you can add a dressing of your choice such as a light vinaigrette dressing. I use a very small drizzle of olive oil and a good squirt of lemon juice. I do not add a dressing to all of the salad. Let each individual add their favorite.

That’s it. Another very easy and very delicious recipe.

Costs

1 box Wild Rice Mix with Seasonings         $1.99

Left-over chicken cut into chunks               $1.01**

1-2 celery stalks chopped                         $0.34

1 carrot shredded                                   $0.11

2 tablespoons red onions minced              $0.10

Dried cranberries                                    $0.74

Sliced almonds                                       $0.75

1 tablespoon butter for the rice                $0.15

Total Cost = $5.19
Cost per person for 3 = $1.73

**Strictly speaking, there should be no cost if you are using left over chicken. So the $1.73 per person listed above is high if you are using left overs.

Bon Appetite.

Quote of the Day: You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life. ~ Winston Churchill

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