Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shape Up with the Banana Diet

Forget fad diets and trendy supplements. The banana diet is a natural way to shape up. The diet plan was created in Japan by an Osaka pharmacist to help her husband lose weight. By following the simple plan he dropped 38 pounds. Word spread like wildfire and soon stores across Japan couldn't keep bananas on the shelves.
How it works:

The diet hinges upon eating two bananas for breakfast with an 8 oz. glass of room tempature water. Follow with a sensible lunch and dinner. Alcohol, sugary drinks and desserts are off limits but you can select a sweet for an afternoon snack. Eat until you are full and finish your evening meal by 8 p.m.

Why it works:

Decades of nutrition research validate the idea that increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables in general, and bananas in particular, can help support healthy, sustainable weight loss, for example:

* Bananas contain resistant starch, which ferments in your large intestine, creating by-products (butyrates) that block conversion of some carbohydrates into fuel.

* Banana fiber "bulks up in your stomach so you feel full longer," says Nicholas Gillitt, Ph.D., of the Dole Nutrition Institute. "And fiber pulls some of the fat you eat through your digestive system before it can be absorbed."

* The 40% of daily vitamin C provided by two bananas may also support weight loss. Arizona State University Researchers showed that upping vitamin c intake could boost the body's ability to burn fat.

"Research shows that breakfast eaters burn an extra 200 to 300 calories a day." notes Gillitt. A banana breakfast has fewer calories and more nutrition than many alternatives.

Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa and Baby Greens

Prep: 35 min. * Makes: 4 servings

2 Oranges, pelled cored and chopped

1/4 Cup finely chopped red onion

5 Basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 teasponn extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablesponns fresh orange juice

1 teaspon seasoned rice-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 (5 to 6 oz.) salmon filets

1 pkg. (5 oz.) DOLE@ Sweet Baby Lettuces or other Dole Salad Variety

1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

* Combine oranges, onion basil and oil in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Mix orange juice, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl. Whisk in oil; season with salt and pepper.

* Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Lightly brush grill with oil. Grill salmon, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.

* Combine salad blend and fennel in large bowl; add vinaigrette and gently toss to coat. Arrange salad on plates with salmon fillets. Spoon orange salsa over top of salmon.

Per Serving: 400 calories, 23 g fat (3g sat.), 94 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugars), 35g protein, 47% vit A, 76% vit C, 8% calcium, 12% iron, 34% potassium, 32% folate

California Kabob

Prep Time: 20 min. * Marinate: 15 min. * Grill: 15 min.
Makes: 4 servings

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 Cup lemon juice

1/4 Cup olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 Cups Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple, cut into chunks

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

2 red or green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

* Combine chicken or shrimp, lemon juice, oil, mustard, thyme and red pepper in shallow, non metallic dish. Cover; marinate 15 minutes in refrigerator.

* Grill or broil kabobs 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness and bell peppers are tender-crisp.

* Stire reserved marinate and cornstarch in small saucepan until blended. Cook and stir until sauce boils and thickens. Serve sauce with kabobs.

Per Serving: 331 calories, 16g fat (2g sat.), 172 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 16 sugars), 24g protein, 28% Vit A, 186% Vit C, 7% calcium, 21% iron, 11% potassium, 5% folate

Bananas are a superfood!

* One medium banana is an excellent source of vitamins b6 and C and a good source of potassium and fiber.

* Studies show that vitamin B6 helps reduce the levels of homocystein, which at high levels can lead to artery blockage.

* Fiber reduces levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol; in fact an analysis of 10 studies showedf that for each 10g/day increase in fiber intake (a banana gives 4g) the risk of death from chronic Heart Disease drops by 24%.

* Vitamin C prevents oxidation of LDL "bad" cholesterol.

* Adequate dietary potassium intake is associated with reductions in blood pressure. In fact, doctors in India discovered eating just 2 bananas a day can reduce a blood pressure by 10% in just one week.


Two DOLE Bananas
8 oz. glass of water at room tempature

Choose one daily

* 1 cup roasted white turkey, 3 oz. black beans, tangerine and 1 cup fruit salad
* 6 oz. steamed or poached salmon and 2-1/2 cups tossed salad
* Steamed chicken breast strips, 6 oz. baby spinach, reduced fat feta cheese and 1 cup raspberries
* One bowl soup (200 calories) with 1 cup steamed or boiled shrimp
* 4 oz. sauteed bay scallops, 2 cups baby lettuce, 1/2 cup each cucumber slices and green bell pepper strips
* 10 oz. garden salad topped with apple , walnuts, blue cheese and roasted chicken breast strips
* 1 cup steamed or boiled shrimp, aspargus and arugula salad with mandarin oranges

Choose one daily

*Eight mini cut carrots
*1 cup mushrooms
*Large red bell pepper and broccoli florets
* 1/4 cup almonds
* 1 cup watermelon
* 1 (4oz.) DOLE Fruit Bowls
* 1 grapefruit

Choose one daily

* 1 cup cooked wheat pasta tossed with 1 cup steamed veggies and lean turkey breast strips
* 6 oz. broiled salmon, 1/2 cup sweet potatoes or yams and 1/2 cup steamed rice
* 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1-1/2 cups steamed broccoli and 1 cup shredded red cabbage
* Barbecued chicken or shrimp kabobs with zucchini, pineapple chunks, red bell peppers and 1-1/2 cups snowpeas
* 6 oz. grilled cod, fruit salad and 1 large bell pepper
* Wheat tortilla wrapwith turkey, avocado, lettuce and fat free cheese
* Roasted chicken breast, 2 boiled baby potatoes and steamed asparagus
For more delicious healthy recipes go to:

Recipes and photos courtesy of Dole.

Bobbie Yvette Welch