Sheila’s Healthy Eating Articles

Surprising Health Benefits Hot ChocolateThe Surprising Health Benefits of Hot Chocolate

In the midst of winter, hot chocolate is a satisfying and soothing beverage that can warm chilled hands. Hot chocolate has been around for centuries, and considered a “drink of the Gods.” In fact, drinkable chocolate was popular long before solid chocolate, and the beverage has been prized for its healing properties for over 3000 years. Go to Article

fruit tart with words6 Healthy Morning Meals: The Science Behind Breakfast

Ah breakfast – my favourite meal of the day! While there has been quite a bit of research on breakfast, it seems the science isn’t entirely clear on the overall health benefits of this first meal of the day. Here’s a brief summary of the latest research into breakfast, and six of my favourite breakfast recipes. Go to Article

News and Reviews of Popular Diets

Are you curious about a certain diet? Do you want to give advice to a friend who’s following an eating plan that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you? The authors of many diet books spin a fine tale with plenty of anecdotes that sound very convincing.  Or, even more confusing, they seem to be scientifically based, but authors are citing only the research that supports their ideas to create a stronger case for their eating plan, while ignoring the research that doesn’t.   This makes it challenging to find evidence-based and unbiased reviews.  Go to Article

Cool Soups for Hot Weather

cool soups with textSoups are typically a cold-weather food.  Because they are a simple way to consume a generous amount of health-promoting vegetables, soups can be extremely nutritious.  Do we need to save all that goodness for cold weather? Enter chilled soups. In summer we are inundated with a bounty of seasonal produce, but soups aren’t a common menu item.  Yet chilled soups are perfect for summer dining. They capture fresh and colorful produce at its peak, and provide a refreshing start to any meal on a hot summer day. Go to Article

Food Sources of Iron

Are you trying to add more iron to your diet? Studies show that many teens and women don’t consume enough iron-containing foods, and this is an important contributor to iron deficiency.  Knowing which foods contain iron and the best ways to absorb the iron can make a big difference. Go to Article

Why Nut & Seed Butters are Better Than Oils

nuts, seeds, oils, with magnesiumMany people are deficient in important minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium because they aren’t getting enough of these minerals in the foods they eat.  Food processing tends to remove fiber and important vitamins and minerals.  While some oils do provide healthy fats, the extraction and refining process eliminates fiber, protein, and important minerals. Find out how you can use nut and seed butters instead of oils . . . Go to Article

How to Eat for Health and Weight Loss

What is the best diet for health?

What is the best diet for weight loss?

These are common questions for many people, and misinformation abounds through bestselling books, media reports, internet blogs, and well-meaning friends. Who should you believe? This article looks at the latest evidence-based information on the best diets for heath and weight loss. Go to Article

Beyond Taste: Can Soups Help Keep Us Healthy?

supersoupstightSoup is a wonderful food. It is comforting, easy to prepare, and filling. It can warm the chill of a cool winter day and fill your kitchen with an inviting aroma. The fact that specific tableware is designated for the sole purpose or eating soup is evidence of its prominent role at our kitchen tables.

Decades of research have linked vegetable intake with health benefits. Although soup consumption has not been investigated extensively, the available research suggests that it’s certainly a good dish to have on your table. . .Go to Article

fad_diet_shutterstock_81459505 (640x427)Thinking of Trying a New Diet?

It seems there is more misinformation than science-backed advice to help people make informed choices about food and diets. Because common-sense advice is not as alluring as that provided in fad-diet books, it can be challenging to figure out the best way to eat for health.  Here is some advice on how to distinguish hype from reality, reviews of popular diets, and evidence-based guidelines for healthy eating. Go to Article>>

healthy pizzaCreating a Healthy Pizza

Most Americans and Canadians love pizza! Industry statistics show that we eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, or about 350 slices per second. Kids and teens are also eating a lot of pizza, but unfortunately the kind of pizza they’re eating (high in fat, calories, and sodium) is causing concern among health experts.  A recent study showed that on days youth are eating pizza, it makes up more than 20% of their daily intake of calories, mostly from energy dense foods. Go to Article >>

Orange_juice_1_edit1_Wikimedia_PublicDomain (563x800)Reasons to Limit Fruit Juice

Many people think fruit juice is a healthy choice, but the evidence is mounting that juice’s health impact is similar to that of other sugary beverages. Go to Article >>

Are Dietary Guidelines Really Making Us Fat or Sick?

A common theme in many internet posts is how the dietary guidelines are outdated, and are making people fat or sick.  Common criticisms include that the guidelines . . .

“caused the obesity and/or type 2 diabetes epidemic,”
“are not based on scientific evidence,”
“recommend carbohydrates/grains and they are the cause of obesity,”
“recommend a low-fat diet, and this made people fat,”
“made people replace fat with carbs, and they got fat.”

What’s lacking in these claims is good science. A critical piece that is ignored in these claims is that most people weren’t following dietary guidelines.  Go to Article >>


apple_MSSweet, crisp, versatile, and robust are attributes that make apples a favorite fruit.  The nutritional benefits of apples have been touted since medieval times, and the old English saying “Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed Makes the doctor beg his bread” is still popular, but better known as  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”   Research is lending support for this expression, as recent studies are revealing that apples may help protect against a number of chronic conditions. Go to Article >>

How Much Protein Do You Need?

ProteinFoods2 (470x301)Although most people are eating enough protein, many could choose better protein sources and optimize how they distribute their protein intake throughout the day. For example, many people eat too much protein for supper, and too little in the morning. Almost everyone can benefit from including some protein at most meals and snacks to help control blood glucose levels and feel full longer. Athletes are another group who can benefit from better protein distribution, as you’ll see below. Go to Article >>

Food Rules (a review of Micheal Pollan’s Book)Food_Rules

Choosing what to eat for good health is confusing for many people. Despite the guidelines and efforts of nutrition experts, health officials, and various health groups, the typical Western diet remains a major contributor to poor health and chronic disease. Nutrition science has uncovered a wealth of clues to linking components of diet to disease, but many questions remain unanswered (although the health claims on packaged foods would lead you to think otherwise!).  Go to Article >>

Food Psychology: What is Controlling Your Eating?insane diet

Have you finished a bag of chips when you only wanted a few? Do you eat only when you are hungry? If physiological cues were the sole determinants of our eating habits, the nation’s obesity and health statistics would look quite different! Ubiquitous food marketing and advertising make it obvious that many other factors have a huge impact on what we eat and how much we eat. Go to Article >>

You Fuel your Workouts, but How Does the Rest of Your Diet Stack Up?

Most athletes know that they should pay attention to choosing the right foods and beverages to help fuel workouts and promote recovery, but when it comes to their overall diet, there seems to be more variability. Improving your diet outside of training can have many benefits.  The article provides some tips to help you choose foods that will benefit your overall health. Go to Article >>

Healthy Eating During the Holiday Season

Eating takes on a new dimension during social gatherings and holidays. Besides our usual meals, we manage to fit in seasonal treats and party foods, which seem to tempt our taste buds everywhere we turn. Since food is one of the many pleasures of festive gatherings, having a few strategies like the ones below will help you enjoy the celebrations while maintaining a healthful eating plan. Go to Article>>

Healthy or Hype Series

Media reports, company marketing efforts, and self-proclaimed experts can make interpreting nutrition and health news confusing. These outlets recognize that people are drawn to exceptional or miraculous stories that elicit an emotional response. Beyond stories and anecdotes, many “experts” are now citing studies (often out of context) to back up their claims, making it even more difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Finding out “what works” isn’t usually the result of a single study, but often years of research from various disciplines. It’s critical to synthesize all the scientific evidence to create a coherent picture. Good science is the best tool that we have to figure out how something is influencing our health.In this series, I’ll take a look at popular foods to see if they stand up to the hype or health claims behind them.

Healthy Or Hype Protein PowderProtein Powder

The protein powder market is growing. Once primarily the realm of body builders (and sold in big tubs displaying pictures of big muscles), protein powders are now cleverly marketed to various demographics and available at most supermarkets. This wide availability and targeted advertising is prompting many to wonder if they need a protein supplement. This article looks at the evidence. Go to Article>>

healthyhypealmondmilkAlmond Milk

Plant-based milks are becoming more popular. Almond milk is leading the way, and currently dominates the plant-based milk market. Is it as healthy as it sounds?

Healthy or Hype AgaveAgave Nectar

It’s hard for me to ignore trends in recipe ingredients. Lately, “health conscious” cooks, food bloggers, and chefs are using particular ingredients claiming that it makes their dishes healthier. For example, coconut oil is a current popular ingredient (I’ve covered the questionable health benefits of coconut oil here).  Agave nectar is another popular ingredient that some cooks are using as a sugar substitute.  Is it a healthy choice? Go to Article>>

Coconut oil and fresh coconutCoconut Oil

Coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular. Health claims include burning fat, helping memory, reducing blood cholesterol, stimulating metabolism, improving immune function, helping with sugar cravings, and of course, the ubiquitous promoting weight loss claim. Should we all rush out and buy this wonder food? Go to Article>>

Buttered/Bulletproof Coffee

bulletproof butter coffeeButtered coffee is a breakfast of butter and/or MCT oil blended into coffee. Bulletproof® coffee was invented by entrepreneur, blogger, and paleo proponent Dave Asprey, whose recipe is listed above (Asprey sells the Upgraded™ coffee and claims that you won’t get the same “bulletproof” effects if you don’t use his coffee). Many people simply add butter to their coffee.  The long list of supposed benefits to a breakfast of buttered coffee include the following:  helps burn fat, provides lasting energy, improves focus, helps gain muscle, increases mental acuity, helps digestion, improves heart health; being an overall better human (I’m not joking). Is there any evidence for these benefits? Go to Article>>

veggie chips2Veggie Chips

Potato chip alternatives with clever packaging, pictures of vegetables, and healthy-sounding names like “Terra Exotic Vegetable Original” are becoming more popular. Vegetable varieties are the most common, but new additions to the market feature lentils or beans among their ingredients. Are they a healthy snack option? Go to Article>>

Chocolate Milk for Recovery

Will drinking chocolate milk after exercising help you recover from your workout? Go to Article>>

Updated February 24, 2016

A list and short description of Sheila Kealey's articles about eating for health.
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