by Karen Roth, MSNC
People are changing their diets to include more salads. That’s a good thing. But, it’s important to remember that you may be sabotaging your health by what you put on top of your salad. It's important we always check the labels.
Many of the off-the-shelf dressings still contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrogenated oils. It’s no secret... it’s clearly marked. And the fat-free dressings usually contain a good amount of sugar and sodium. They have to make up for the taste somehow!
I recently read the label on a fat-free raspberry dressing that not only listed high fructose corn syrup, but also red dye 40 and blue dye 1. Why would they need to add red dye 40? To compensate for the product only having 2% or less red raspberry juice!
And don’t be fooled by the “spray-on” dressings. They have multiple preservatives that may be harmful to our health. I even saw a honey mustard flavor that had yellow dye #5 and artificial flavors and preservatives. Why buy unhealthy brands when we can make our own salad dressings in less than five minutes. Your body and wallet will appreciate these recipes:
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
¼ cup, plus ½ tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of anchovy filets (add an extra ½ tsp. if you like a stronger flavor)
¼ tsp. of dry mustard powder
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart® Garlic Flavor
In a blender combine the first eight ingredients, and pulse on low speed increasing slowly to a medium range and blend until smooth (approximately 20 to 30 seconds). Slowly pour the olive oil through the opening of the lid for an addition 10 to 15 seconds.
Makes 2 cups. Each 2 tbsp. serving delivers 2,960 mg of omega-3s.
¾ cup of Olive Your Heart® Natural Flavor
¼ cup of raspberry vinegar (if unavailable in your area, use apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of dried basil
½ cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
¼ cup of water
2 tbsp. of honey
Fill the blender with all of the ingredients, except for the honey. Blend on low, slowly adding the honey through the lid opening. Then continue blending at a medium setting for 20 to 30 seconds.
Makes 1-¾ cups. Each 2 tbsp. serving delivers 2,960 mg of omega-3s.
Olive Your Heart®, blending Greek extra virgin olive oil with Norwegian marine oil, comes in the following flavors: natural, garlic, basil, and lemon. It’s non-GMO and contains no artificial ingredients. Olive Your Heart® is also delicious on its own as a salad dressing. You can’t get healthier than that!
by Karen Roth, MSNC
The olives used in Carlson Olive Your Heart® are made from ancient olive trees from the Kolymvari region in western Crete, Greece. Olive Your Heart® uses a base of Terra Creta extra virgin olive oil because of its low acidity and high levels of polyphenols – and also for its guaranteed quality and great taste.
Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They are bursting with antioxidants that support overall good health. Think of antioxidants as crime fighters protecting the home front.
The low level of acidity in extra virgin olive oil is what gives it its complexity and delicacy of taste. Extra virgin olive oil is closest to the natural state of the olive, since it’s from the first pressing. It is the purest form of olive oil.
Oleic acid is a beneficial monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. Oleic acid has the ability to resist free radical attacks, which protects cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, just as it protects the oil from spoiling. Omega-9 fatty acids are linked to healthy cardiovascular systems, healthy cholesterol levels, improved immune function, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Olive Your Heart® also contains 1,480 mg of omega-3s from sustainably-sourced, high-quality, wild-caught Norwegian fish oil. The two really important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which support cardiovascular health, brain function, joint health, and immune function. Here are some other ways it can benefit our heart:
Fish oil, such as that found in Olive Your Heart®, contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Ninety percent of the omega-3s found in the brain are DHA, so it makes sense that supporting the brain will lead to heart healthy practices, like exercise and social interaction.
Olive Your Heart®, with its unique blend of extra virgin olive oil and omega-3s is a heart-smart choice – and a convenient way to get your omega-3s, especially for those who don’t like swallowing supplements.
by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
February is National Heart Month, and coincidentally Valentine’s Day too! We need to protect those magnificent hearts of ours as much as possible. An average heart can pump 2,000 gallons of blood each day throughout the body, which is amazing to me. As most of us know, in order to keep our heart functioning optimally, it’s important we try to avoid smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive stress, and environmental pollutants and that we maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Certain herbals and nutritional supplements also support a healthy heart. Here are some of my favorites:
Fish oil is the first of the nutrients I will highlight for heart health. Many cardiovascular benefits of fish oil include: promoting healthy blood clotting, supporting normal heart rhythm, maintaining healthy normal triglyceride levels (circulating blood fats), supporting normal blood pressure, and promoting optimal blood vessel health. The omega-3s that it provides also support our immune system.
Vitamin D is one of the most beneficial nutritional supplements for supporting heart and immune system health. However, the amount of vitamin D3 required varies from person to person. The best way to know how much you need is to have your vitamin D levels tested by your health practitioner.
Research over the past several years has been showing how valuable and necessary vitamin K is for adults as well as children in promoting healthy cardiovascular function, blood flow (by maintaining vascular elasticity), and bone and teeth calcification. Vitamin D3 is important for calcium transport and absorption, to help ensure vitamin K makes it to the parts of our body where it’s needed most.
Most of vitamin K’s benefits are derived from its role in making several key proteins, particularly osteocalcin and matrix GLA protein. More technically, vitamin K promotes the carboxylation of these proteins. (Carboxylation adds one carbon, one hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.) Without carboxylation, these proteins cannot do their jobs. Without enough vitamin K2 as MK-7 in the body, a significant amount of osteocalcin will remain inactive and unable to bind calcium.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that oversees over 350 enzymatic processes in our body. It assists in immunity, irritability, rapid heartbeat, relaxing smooth muscles, maintaining healthy normal blood sugar, and so much more. Magnesium is extremely important for muscles, and the heart is a crucial muscle. Start with a small amount of chelated magnesium, like 250mg in the evening before bed. The amount that each person will tolerate varies.
Calcium is very important also for the heart. Like other muscles in the body, the heart requires calcium for contraction. Calcium flows into the muscle cells and works as a switch to allow heart muscle fibers to slide past each other and contract. Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 & vitamin K1 and K2 all work together to benefit our cardiovascular system.
Adding more antioxidants into our regime has proven to be highly beneficial to heart and overall health. Antioxidants defeat free radicals and are responsible for preventing oxidative stress. Now we could eat 70% or higher dark chocolate to get more antioxidants, which may not be the best thing to do because some of us can over eat a good thing like dark chocolate…present company included, or use supplemental antioxidants like vitamin E and CoQ10.
Vitamin E, is an important antioxidant that protects our tissues. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is uniquely suited to intercept free radicals, and protects the fats in low density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidation.
CoQ10 is another important antioxidant and fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies produce. We produce CoQ10 in the mitochondria of our cells, which is called the powerhouse of the cell. This is where ATP (energy production) is done. CoQ10 is a key component of the electron transfer chain involving ATP production. It is concentrated in our muscle cells, liver, and highly concentrated in our heart muscle. There are many factors why we may not have enough in our body. As we age, we make less of it, and it is very depleted by statin drugs and many blood pressure drugs.
To improve mitochondrial function, you can also opt to add in D-Ribose. This is a naturally-occurring carbohydrate that promotes healthy heart function, provides energy for the cells, and increases muscle strength. If you are occasionally fatigued or have been excessively work out, ribose is a supplement you may want to look more into adding to your supplement routine.
Another is the amino acid L-Carnitine. It plays a critical role in increasing ATP-energy production, and it is responsible for transporting fatty acids into the cell where energy is produced. L-Carnitine also improves triglycerides levels.
As you can see there are many important nutrients that support heart health. What you decide to add in and how much you should take would best be determined by a health care practitioner. A special note to those who may already be on heart medications is to be sure to check with your practitioner as many of these (fish oil, vitamin E, CoQ10) are mild blood thinners or mild clotting agents (like vitamin K) and may not be able to be taken with certain anticoagulant medications. Help maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular wellness through a variety of supplement options and combinations.
by Karen Roth, MSNC
The holidays are upon us, and there’s a good chance we’ll be attending a holiday party, or even throwing one ourselves. Let’s face it – we’re busy, which often results in pre-made appetizers off the store shelf. You know the old standbys... the colorful vegetable platter or chips and guacamole. This year, surprise your friends, family, or coworkers with some creative, delicious – and best of all easy to prepare – 10-minute party dishes.
4 medium cooked beets (in produce section)
½ cup of tahini
¼ cup of lemon juice
½ tsp. of grated garlic
½ cup of Olive Your Heart® Lemon Flavor
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place beets, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor, and pulse for 1 minute. While pulsing slowly, add the olive oil until very smooth (approximately 2 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve with pita crackers.
STEAMED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 lb. of Brussels sprouts sliced in half
½ of a red onion, sliced
1 medium garlic clove
2 tsp. of lemon juice
3 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart® Basil Flavor
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches water, insert basket, lay the sliced onions first, add the sliced Brussels sprouts, and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and Brussels sprouts to a bowl, and immediately toss with lemon juice, Olive Your Heart® Basil Flavor, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. This dish may be served warm or cold.
SPINACH CAPRESE SALAD
1 bag of spinach
1 container of cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 large ball of mozzarella, sliced into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart® Basil Flavor
2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl, and toss. Pour Olive Your Heart® Basil Flavor and balsamic vinegar over, and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to double this recipe if you have a larger crowd in attendance.
GARLIC DIPPING OIL
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
½ cup of Olive Your Heart® Garlic Flavor
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1 tsp. of dried basil
¼ tsp. of of sea salt
¼ tsp. of fresh ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir to mix. Serve with sliced crusty bread.
These recipes are also great to have on hand during food emergencies. When your turkey or ham is taking longer than expected, when the sautéed greens just won’t cook down, or when you forgot to put the dinner rolls in the oven… you now have quick, healthy recipes to save the day.
by Karen Roth, MSNC
I don’t know what it is about this time of year but once Halloween hits, we get the feeling it’s open season to eat whatever we want. It’s like we have a free pass to go hog wild… at the office, holiday parties, social gatherings, and especially on that big day – Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is the one time of the year when we surprise ourselves with how much we can eat. We begin snacking as we prepare the turkey and fixings. An appetizer here. A little beverage there. And before we know it, we're looking at the clock saying, “Uh-oh.” Dinner is in two hours and I’m already kinda-sorta full. It happens to the best of us.
Then, after we have our big meal (and loosen our belts), here comes pumpkin pie – and we have to have ice cream with pie! For those hardy souls who settle into the couch for an evening of football, snacking might roll right into falling asleep (with possible snoring).
People often ask me, “You’re a nutritionist. How do you handle eating on Thanksgiving?” My answer is: very strategically. I try to incorporate some healthy options to the maybe not-so-healthy dishes.
One way to make your Thanksgiving dinner healthier is by adding heart-smart omega-3s into some of your favorite dishes. And Carlson Olive Your Heart® makes this easy.
Instead of using milk and butter in your mashed potatoes, try using Olive Your Heart® garlic flavored omega-3 olive oil for a nice creamy, garlicky side dish.
Vegetables or Salad
Use Olive Your Heart® in lemon flavor over sautéed greens for a tart and tangy addition. It's also very nice as a salad dressing.
Bread Sticks or Dinner Rolls
Brush Olive Your Heart® basil flavor on bread sticks or dinner rolls after they’ve been heated to maintain the nutritional content of the oil.
The omega-3s in Olive Your Heart® come from deep, cold-water fish (although there is no trace of fishy flavor). Just one tablespoon provides 1,480 mg of omega-3s – so you can see how this can add up when using it on multiple dishes.
This Thanksgiving, when you’re changing into your sweatpants after that wonderful meal to “make room” for dessert, you can feel good knowing you used Carlson heart-healthy oils in the preparation of your dishes. Learn more at www.oliveyourheart.com.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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