Leslie webpage pic resized 2

Leslie Neubecker-Czubko

-RDN (Registered Dietitian
Nutritionist)
-Member of the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics
-Member of the Michigan
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
-NETA certified (National
Exercise Trainers Association) 

About Me

 

 

Foods That Might Help Lower Blood Pressure

Foods That Might Help Lower Blood Pressure

The topic of high blood pressure seems to be surrounding me a lot lately from dealing with my dad’s uncontrolled blood pressure, who has already experienced a stroke, a discussion with a patient this week wondering if there are foods to help lower blood pressure and preventing my own blood pressure troubles as my age is increasing (as I watch my age number increase so does the blood pressure number!).   Uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is important to get control of it sooner than later. We know a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy foods; regular exercise and stress management all play a role in preventing and controlling high blood pressure.

A lower sodium diet is helpful, especially limiting to avoiding processed foods and restaurant foods and if you do choose a processed food use 140mg of sodium per serving or less as a guide for low sodium choices.   Foods rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, soy protein and omega-3 fatty acid could also improve blood pressure numbers. Here are some recommended foods rich in the nutrients mentioned:

Calcium: Almonds, greens, milk, calcium-fortified plant milk, fat-free yogurt,

Potassium: Swiss chard, yellowfin tuna, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, edamame, cooked spinach, bananas, fat-free yogurt, OJ, dried apricots, baked potatoes with skin, beans, cantaloupes, low-sodium V8 juice

Magnesium: Brown rice, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, dark chocolate, spinach, Swiss chard, lentils, whole grain bread

Soy protein: Edamame, soy milk, tofu, unsalted soy nuts, calcium-fortifed tofu

Omega-3s: Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel), walnuts, soybeans, flaxseeds, chia seeds

Eating healthy and regular exercise is key, but so is controlling stress. Find time to meditate, just 10 minutes daily and quiet the mind, practice yoga, listen to soothing music etc.

Healthier Graduation Party Tips

How many graduation parties are you invited to this year? I count four, including the one I am giving for my daughter-my baby-I still can’t believe it. Graduation parties typically don’t have the healthiest food choices and the calories can add up quickly, but you can make better choices.

  • Eat something prior to the party to control appetite
  • Limit alcoholic beverages-choose water or carbonated water w/ fruit or diet soda instead
  • Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables
  • Eat slowly
  • Use the small plate and only choose the foods you absolutely love and leave the rest

Of course, if you are giving the party, you can serve healthier choices! My daughter, who is vegan, has requested only vegan foods be served. I have found some tasty recipes like vegan lentil meatballs for meatball subs in whole grain buns and marinated grilled carrots to serve in whole grain hot dog buns instead of hot dogs!

Happy, healthy partying!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

Thursday, April 12 was National Grilled Cheese Day. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a known comfort food and can be over 300 calories and over 20 grams of fat! However, they can be made healthier and I think tastier than the original version!

  • Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread for more fiber and nutrients
  • Choose low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving) Alpine Lace brand provolone is one of my favorites. Try to only use 1 slice.
  • Add sliced tomatoes, spinach and fresh basil for great flavor, lots of fiber and other nutrients and very little calories.
  • Use a butter flavored spray on the bread instead of butter or margarine to use a lot less calories and fat grams (especially saturated fat). The bread still toasts to a crispy texture!

By making these changes you can add nutrition, save over 100 calories and 10 grams of fat…mostly the bad saturated fat and still enjoy a favorite comfort food!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Follow the attached tips to be healthier for life and not just a few weeks or as long as the next popular fad diet lasts!

 

Enjoy Figs in your Meals and/or Snacks

Dried figs are readily available all the time usually in the produce section of the grocery store where many other dried fruits are stocked. Many probably don’t think of eating them unless they are in Fig Newtons! There are other healthier ways to eat them and they will add a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and more, as well as some calcium and iron to your diet! Figs can be added to any whole grain breakfast porridge for some sweetness and texture. They can also be poached in a little juice or red wine and served with low-fat yogurt or low-fat frozen desserts. Add figs chopped to a salad too. In a blender, puree 2 cups of dried figs with ¾ cup water and 2 tsp vanilla and use the puree for an excellent replacement for fat in baked good recipes! Try them this holiday season!