Historically, it hasn't always been possible to grow fresh vegetables throughout the year.
1. Nutrient Dense<p>Kimchi is packed with nutrients while being low in calories.</p><p>On its own, Chinese cabbage — one of the main ingredients in kimchi — boasts vitamins A and C, at least 10 different minerals, and over 34 amino acids.</p><p>Since kimchi varies widely in ingredients, its exact nutritional profile differs between batches and brands. All the same, a 1-cup (150-gram) serving contains approximately.</p><ul><li><strong>Calories:</strong> 23</li><li><strong>Carbs:</strong> 4 grams</li><li><strong>Protein:</strong> 2 grams</li><li><strong>Fat:</strong> less than 1 gram</li><li><strong>Fiber:</strong> 2 grams</li><li><strong>Sodium:</strong> 747 mg</li><li><strong>Vitamin B6:</strong> 19% of the Daily Value (DV)</li><li><strong>Vitamin C:</strong> 22% of the DV</li><li><strong>Vitamin K:</strong> 55% of the DV</li><li><strong>Folate:</strong> 20% of the DV</li><li><strong>Iron:</strong> 21% of the DV</li><li><strong>Niacin:</strong> 10% of the DV</li><li><strong>Riboflavin:</strong> 24% of the DV</li></ul><p>Many green vegetables are good sources of nutrients like vitamin K and riboflavin. Because kimchi often comprises several green veggies, such as <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cabbage" target="_blank">cabbage</a>, celery, and spinach, it's typically a great source of these nutrients.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-k" target="_blank">Vitamin K</a> plays an important role in many bodily functions, including bone metabolism and blood clotting, while riboflavin helps regulate energy production, cellular growth, and metabolism.</p><p>What's more, the fermentation process may develop additional nutrients that are more easily absorbed by your body.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>Kimchi has an excellent nutritional profile. The dish is low in calories but packed with nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamins B6 and K.</p>
2. Contains Probiotics<p>The lacto-fermentation process that kimchi undergoes makes it particularly unique. Fermented foods not only have an extended shelf life but also an enhanced taste and aroma.</p><p>Fermentation occurs when a starch or sugar is converted into an alcohol or acid by organisms like yeast, mold, or bacteria.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lacto-fermentation" target="_blank">Lacto-fermentation</a> uses the bacterium <em>Lactobacillus</em> to break sugars down into lactic acid, which gives kimchi its characteristic sourness.</p><p>When taken as a supplement, This bacterium itself may have several benefits, including treating conditions like hayfever and certain types of diarrhea.</p><p>Fermentation also creates an environment that allows other friendly bacteria to thrive and multiply. These include <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-super-healthy-probiotic-foods" target="_blank">probiotics</a>, which are live microorganisms that offer health benefits when consumed in large amounts.</p><p>In fact, they're linked to protection from or improvements in several conditions, including:</p><ul><li>certain types of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/cancer">cancer</a></li><li>the common cold</li><li>constipation</li><li>gastrointestinal health<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30197628" target="_blank"></a></li><li>heart health </li><li><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/mental-health" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health</a><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25448230" target="_blank"></a></li><li>skin conditions<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28802302" target="_blank"></a></li></ul><p>Keep in mind that many of these findings are related to high-dose probiotic supplements and not the amounts found in a normal serving of kimchi.</p><p>The probiotics in kimchi are believed to be responsible for many of its benefits. Nonetheless, more research is needed on the specific effects of probiotics from fermented foods.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Fermented foods like kimchi offer probiotics, which may help prevent and treat several conditions.</p>
3. May Strengthen Your Immune System<p>The <em>Lactobacillus</em> bacterium in kimchi may <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system" target="_blank">boost your immune health</a>.</p><p>In a study in mice, those injected with <em>Lactobacillus</em> <em>plantarum</em> — a specific strain that's common in kimchi and other fermented foods — had lower levels of TNF alpha, an inflammatory marker, than the control group.</p><p>Because TNF alpha levels are often elevated during infection and disease, a decrease indicates that the immune system is working efficiently.</p><p>A test-tube study that isolated <em>Lactobacillus plantarum</em> from kimchi likewise demonstrated that this bacterium has immune-enhancing effects.</p><p>Though these results are promising, human research is needed.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>A specific strain of <em>Lactobacillus</em> found in kimchi may boost your immune system, though further research is necessary.</p>
4. May Reduce Inflammation<p>Probiotics and active compounds in kimchi and other fermented foods may help fight inflammation.</p><p>For example, a mouse study revealed that HDMPPA, one of the principal compounds in kimchi, improved blood vessel health by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods" target="_blank">suppressing inflammation</a>.</p><p>In another mouse study, a kimchi extract of 91 mg per pound of body weight (200 mg per kg) given daily for 2 weeks lowered levels of inflammation-related enzymes.</p><p>Meanwhile, a test-tube study confirmed that HDMPPA displays anti-inflammatory properties by blocking and suppressing the release of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-cause-inflammation" target="_blank">inflammatory compounds</a>.</p><p>However, human studies are lacking.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>HDMPPA, an active compound in kimchi, may play a large role in reducing inflammation.</p>
5. May Slow Aging<p>Chronic inflammation is not only associated with numerous illnesses, but it also accelerates the aging process.</p><p>Yet, kimchi possibly prolongs cell life by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-habits-linked-to-a-long-life" target="_blank">slowing this process</a>.</p><p>In a test-tube study, human cells treated with kimchi demonstrated an increase in viability, which measures overall cell health — and showed an extended lifespan regardless of their age.</p><p>Still, overall research is lacking. Many more studies are needed before kimchi can be recommended as an <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/anti-aging-foods" target="_blank">anti-aging treatment</a>.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>A test-tube study indicates that kimchi may slow the aging process, though more research is necessary.</p>
6. May Prevent Yeast Infections<p>Kimchi's probiotics and healthy bacteria may help <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-diet-tips-against-candida" target="_blank">prevent yeast infections</a>.</p><p>Vaginal yeast infections occur when the <em>Candida</em> fungus, which is normally harmless, multiplies rapidly inside the vagina. Over 1.4 million women in the United States are treated for this condition each year.</p><p>As this fungus may be developing resistance to antibiotics, many researchers are looking for natural treatments.</p><p>Test-tube and animal studies suggest that certain strains of <em>Lactobacillus</em> fight <em>Candida</em>. One test-tube study even found that multiple strains isolated from kimchi displayed antimicrobial activity against this fungus.</p><p>Regardless, further research is necessary.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Probiotic-rich foods like kimchi may help prevent yeast infections, though research is in the early stages.</p>
7. May Aid Weight Loss<p>Fresh and fermented kimchi are both low in calories and may boost <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/weight-loss" target="_blank">weight loss.</a><span></span></p><p>A 4-week study in 22 people with excess weight found that eating fresh or fermented kimchi helped reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-ways-to-burn-fat" target="_blank">body fat</a>. Additionally, the fermented variety decreased blood sugar levels.</p><p>Keep in mind that those who ate fermented kimchi displayed significantly greater improvements in blood pressure and body fat percentage than those who ate the fresh dish.</p><p>It's unclear which properties of kimchi are responsible for its weight loss effects — though its low calorie count, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/22-high-fiber-foods" target="_blank">high fiber content</a>, and probiotics could all play a role.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Though the specific mechanism isn't known, kimchi may help reduce body weight, body fat, and even blood pressure and blood sugar levels.</p>
8. May Support Heart Health<p>Research indicates that kimchi may reduce your risk of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/heart-disease" rel="noopener noreferrer">heart disease</a>.</p><p>This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, as recent evidence suggests that inflammation may be an underlying cause of heart disease.</p><p>In an 8-week study in mice fed a high cholesterol diet, fat levels in the blood and liver were lower in those given kimchi extract than in the control group. In addition, the kimchi extract appeared to suppress fat growth.</p><p>This is important because the accumulation of fat in these areas may contribute to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods" target="_blank">heart disease</a>.</p><p>Meanwhile, a weeklong study in 100 people found that eating 0.5–7.5 ounces (15–210 grams) of kimchi daily significantly decreased blood sugar, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-foods-that-lower-cholesterol-levels" target="_blank">total cholesterol</a>, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels — all of which are risk factors for heart disease.</p><p>All the same, more human research is needed.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Kimchi may lower your risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, suppressing fat growth, and decreasing cholesterol levels.</p>
9. Easy to Make at Home<p>Though preparing fermented foods may seem like a daunting task, making kimchi at home is fairly simple if you adhere to the following steps:</p><ol><li>Gather ingredients of your choice, such as cabbage and other fresh vegetables like carrot, radish, and onion, plus ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, rice flour, chili oil, chili powder or pepper flakes, fish sauce, and saeujeot (fermented shrimp).</li><li>Cut and wash the fresh vegetables alongside the ginger and garlic.</li><li>Spread salt in between the layers of cabbage leaves and let it sit for 2–3 hours. Turn the cabbage every 30 minutes to evenly distribute the salt. Use a ratio of 1/2 cup (72 grams) of salt to every 6 pounds (2.7 kg) of cabbage.</li><li>To remove the excess salt, rinse the cabbage with water and drain in a colander or strainer.</li><li>Mix the rice flour, sugar, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger" target="_blank">ginger</a>, garlic, chili oil, pepper flakes, fish sauce, and saeujeot into a paste, adding water if necessary. You can use more or less of these ingredients depending on how strong you want your kimchi to taste.</li><li>Toss the fresh vegetables, including the cabbage, into the paste until all of the veggies have been fully coated.</li><li>Pack the mixture into a large container or jar for storage, making sure to seal it properly.</li><li>Let the kimchi ferment for at least 3 days at room temperature or up to 3 weeks at 39 F (4 C).</li></ol><p>To make a version that's suitable for vegetarians and vegans, simply leave out the fish sauce and saeujeot.</p><p>If you prefer fresh over fermented kimchi, just stop after step 6.</p><p>If you choose fermentation, you'll know that it's ready to eat once it starts to smell and taste sour — or when small bubbles begin to move through the jar.</p><p>After fermentation, you can refrigerate your kimchi for up to 1 year. It will continue to ferment but at a slower rate due to the cool temperature.</p><p>Bubbling, bulging, a sour taste, and a softening of the cabbage are all perfectly normal for kimchi. However, if you notice a foul odor or any <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-moldy-food-dangerous" target="_blank">signs of mold</a>, such as a white film atop the food, your dish has spoiled and should be thrown out.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Kimchi can be made at home using a few simple steps. Typically, it needs to ferment 3–21 days depending on the surrounding temperature.</p>
Does kimchi have any downsides?<p>In general, the biggest safety concern with kimchi is food poisoning.</p><p>Recently, this dish has been linked to <em>E. coli</em> and norovirus outbreaks.</p><p>Even though fermented foods don't typically carry foodborne pathogens, kimchi's ingredients and the adaptability of pathogens means that it's still vulnerable to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-cause-food-poisoning" target="_blank">foodborne illnesses</a>.</p><p>As such, people with compromised immune systems may want to practice caution with kimchi.</p><p>Although people with high blood pressure may have concerns about this dish's <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-sodium" target="_blank">high sodium content</a>, a study in 114 people with this condition showed no significant relationship between kimchi intake and high blood pressure.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Kimchi has very few risks. Nonetheless, this dish has been tied to outbreaks of food poisoning, so people with compromised immune systems may want to use extra caution.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Kimchi is a sour Korean dish often made from cabbage and other vegetables. Because it's a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-fermented-foods" target="_blank">fermented food</a>, it boasts numerous probiotics.</p><p>These healthy microorganisms may give kimchi several health benefits. It may help regulate your immune system, promote <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible" target="_blank">weight loss</a>, fight inflammation, and even slow the aging process.</p><p>If you enjoy cooking, you can even make kimchi at home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><a href="https://www.healthline.com/" target="_blank"><em>Healthline</em></a><em>. For detailed source information, please view the original article on </em><em><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-kimchi#The-bottom-line" target="_blank">Healthline</a></em><em>.</em></p>
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Are you looking to build muscles? Or improve your stamina in bed? If so, it sounds like you may need to boost your body's testosterone levels.
Testosterone is a vital male hormone. The growth hormone supports muscle gain, body hair, and bone mass. Low testosterone can make life a little difficult. Not only does it lead to mood irregularities, but it also aggravates your mood disorders.
As you age, the testosterone level in your body decreases. But the good news is testosterone boosters have flooded the market. Nevertheless, not every testosterone booster is good for your health. Some products are only a scam and don't provide any notable benefits. These products can lead to many side effects.
If the pool of testosterone boosters available in the market confuses you, and you don't know which one to choose, read our article. We will tell you about the five best testosterone boosters you can use along with its benefits, side effects, and recommended dosage.
So, without wasting time, let's dive into the discussion.
Meal kit services offer pre-portioned recipes and a fun cooking experience. But what options are best for the earth-conscious family?
For those looking for a quick and convenient way to eat delicious, hearty meals with little to no hassle, there are plenty of meal delivery services to choose from. We've all seen the overwhelming number of meal kits promoted via Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but many consumers are left wondering if these delivery services are really worth the purchase. Despite all the hype, these programs can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including their environmental impact.
Purple Carrot<p>According to researchers, you could cut the <a href="https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/11/15/how-much-would-giving-up-meat-help-the-environment" target="_blank">carbon footprint of your diet by 60%</a> by eating plant-based meals for two-thirds of your diet.</p><p>Now, if sustainability is about achieving a balance between human consumption and the environments we impact, plant-based is the way to go. Purple Carrot offers all plant-based meal kits in a variety of tasty menu items. There's even a black bean burger if you want to prepare the vegan-skeptic member of your family a familiar plate. </p><p>Purple Carrot meal kits, in many ways, support the idea that many small, smart choices can add up to a big impact. </p><p><strong>Cost</strong>: Purple Carrot costs $11.99 price per serving for two people and $9.99 per serving for the four-plate plan. With introductory discounts the first week costs $50 to $60. </p>
Sun Basket<p>Sun Basket is our favorite organic meal kit brand. Sun Basket delivers a box of 100% organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and farm fresh eggs. Their approach to sourcing wild seafood was named Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program.</p><p>Sun Basket aims to support farmers who push for sustainable water management and crop rotations, as well as ranchers and fisherman who treat the planet with respect. </p><strong>Cost</strong>: Three meals each week for two people costs $71.94 plus $7.99 shipping. That's $11.99 per serving.
Green Chef<p>Green Chef is a certified organic company with meal kit plans that include keto, paleo, and plant-based options. You can schedule a weekly delivery or stagger deliveries during the month, depending on your personal needs or how often you choose to cook. Green Chef has a wide variety of recipe options, and according to its website, <span style="background-color: initial;">"offsets 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging" through its sustainability efforts.</span></p><p><strong>Cost</strong>: Price is based on the plan chosen, but costs are generally $11.49 per meal for the Keto + Paleo option, $10.49 per meal for the Balanced Living option, and $10.49 per meal for the Plant-powered option. Shipping and handling costs are additional.</p>
Freshly<p>Freshly is the only service we came across that offered corporate options. We liked the idea of a cost-efficient way to serve a large group a healthy meal. Freshly boxes in the office fridge would be a nice reprieve from the typical mid-day exodus to the nearest quick food option. All Freshly meals come in recyclable packaging and the single portions mean less food going to waste during preparation, which makes this a more sustainable option than many single-serving meal packages available in the freezer section of your local grocery store. </p><p><strong>Cost</strong>: Individual meals are $8.99 to $12.50 per serving with free shipping.</p>
Every Plate<p>If you're looking for organic ingredients, simple recipe cards, and a highly affordable option, Every Plate is for you. Every Plate uses less packaging than most other delivery services due to their simpler packages that contain fewer spice and sauce packets. Most Every Plate meals can be made in under 30 minutes, which makes this as close as you can come to fast and "cheap" meals with clean ingredients. </p><p><strong>Cost</strong>: Weekly boxes of two or four servings for as little as $4.99 per serving.</p>
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It's unlikely that taking a swig of apple cider vinegar in the morning will significantly affect weight loss.
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By Alexandra Rowles
Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.
However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.
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Vegetarianism has become increasingly popular in recent years.
What is a Vegetarian Diet?<p>Vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and poultry.</p><p>Some people may follow this diet for religious or ethical reasons, while others are drawn to its possible health benefits.</p><p>The main types of vegetarian diets are:</p><ul><li><strong>Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: </strong>allows eggs and dairy but excludes meat, fish, and poultry</li><li><strong>Lacto-vegetarian:</strong> allows dairy but excludes eggs, meat, fish, and poultry</li><li><strong>Ovo-vegetarian:</strong> allows eggs but excludes dairy, meat, fish, and poultry</li><li><strong>Vegan:</strong> excludes all animal products, including honey, dairy, and eggs</li></ul><p>Other plant-based eating patterns include the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/flexitarian-diet-guide" target="_blank">flexitarian</a> (which includes some animal foods but is mostly vegetarian) and pescatarian (which includes fish but not meat) diets.</p><p>Vegetarian diets typically focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are rich in fiber, micronutrients, and beneficial plant compounds, and tend to be lower in calories, fat, and protein than animal foods.</p><p>Since this diet emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, it's linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29483085" target="_blank">2Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25751512" target="_blank">3Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5856738/" target="_blank">4Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24566947" target="_blank">5Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>What's more, studies show that following a vegetarian diet can be an effective way to lose weight (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29483085" target="_blank">6Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671114/" target="_blank">7Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>However, the benefits of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetarian-diet-plan" target="_blank">vegetarianism</a> largely depend on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary habits.</p><p>Overeating or choosing too many highly processed foods will provide fewer benefits than a diet based on unrefined, whole plant foods — and may have several downsides.</p><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>A vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry and mostly focuses on plant foods. It has been linked to weight loss and a reduced risk of chronic diseases, but these benefits depend on which foods you eat.</p>
Barriers to Losing Weight on a Vegetarian Diet<p>While vegetarianism may seem like an effective way to shed excess weight, several factors may prevent this from happening.</p><p><strong>Eating Large Portions and Not Enough Protein</strong></p><p>Eating more calories than you need can result in weight gain.</p><p>Even if you're filling up on nutritious foods on a vegetarian diet, you may be helping yourself to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/portion-control" target="_blank">larger portions</a> than necessary.</p><p>This is especially common if you skimp on protein intake.</p><p>Protein can increase fullness by decreasing levels of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger, which may in turn lower your overall calorie intake and boost weight loss (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16400055/" target="_blank">8Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977" target="_blank">9Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002798" target="_blank">10Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>If you don't eat <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day" target="_blank">enough protein</a>, you might eat more food to feel full — hindering your weight loss efforts.</p><p>While your protein needs can be met easily on a vegetarian diet, you may encounter difficulties at first as you eliminate meat from your diet.</p><p><strong>Eating Too Many Refined Carbs</strong></p><p>Foods that are high in refined carbs, such as bread, pizza, and pasta, can be easy to overeat on a vegetarian diet.</p><p>They're widely available and may sometimes be the only vegetarian options at restaurants or gatherings.</p><p>Foods rich in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-refined-carbs-are-bad" target="_blank">refined carbs</a> tend to lack fiber and do not curb hunger as much as whole-grain, complex carbs. As a result, they can load you down with excess calories (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257742/" target="_blank">11Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>What's more, some studies suggest that refined carbs trigger the release of extra <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/insulin-and-insulin-resistance" target="_blank">insulin</a>, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. This may also contribute to weight gain (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29295838" target="_blank">12Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27569682" target="_blank">13Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>In fact, one study including around 500,000 adults detected a strong association between higher insulin levels after carb intake and greater body mass index (BMI) (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29295838" target="_blank">12Trusted Source</a>).</p><p><strong>Overdoing Calorie-Rich Foods</strong></p><p>When transitioning to a vegetarian diet, you might substantially increase your intake of high-fat plant foods.</p><p>Vegetarian meals often incorporate nuts, seeds, nut butters, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado" target="_blank">avocados</a>, or coconut. While these foods are incredibly nutritious and filling, they also provide 9 calories per gram — compared with 4 calories per gram of proteins and carbs.</p><p>For example, 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-peanut-butter-bad-for-you" target="_blank">peanut butter</a> packs a whopping 191 calories, 148 of which come from fat (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/339463/nutrients" target="_blank">14</a>).</p><p>What's more, many people eat more than the recommended serving size of nut butters and other healthy fats.</p><p><strong>Focusing on Highly Processed Vegetarian Foods</strong></p><p>If you're relying on too many processed foods as part of a vegetarian diet, you may have a hard time losing weight.</p><p>Countless products are technically vegetarian but still harbor <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-food-additives" target="_blank">unnecessary additives</a> and other unhealthy ingredients. Examples include veggie burgers, meat substitutes, freezer meals, baked goods, packaged desserts, and vegan cheese.</p><p>These foods are often packed not only with sodium, highly processed compounds, chemical preservatives, and coloring agents but also calories and added sugars.</p><p>As a result, they may contribute to weight gain when eaten in excess.</p><p>In fact, a review linked the intake of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/eating-ultra-processed-foods-can-shave-years-off-your-life" target="_blank">ultra-processed foods</a> to an increased risk of obesity, as well as higher LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure levels (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787353/" target="_blank">15Trusted Source</a>).</p><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>Some barriers to losing weight on a vegetarian diet include not eating enough protein and relying too heavily on refined carbs, calorie-rich foods, and highly processed items.</p>
Tips to Lose Weight on a Vegetarian Diet<p>Several strategies can help promote weight loss on a vegetarian diet, including:</p><ul> <li><strong>Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables.</strong> Choosing high-fiber veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, leafy greens, and mushrooms, can help you stay full and decrease calorie intake.</li></ul><ul> <li><strong>Incorporating protein at every meal and snack.</strong> <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/protein-for-vegans-vegetarians" target="_blank">High-protein vegetarian foods</a> include beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, eggs, dairy products, and soy foods (such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame).</li></ul><ul> <li><strong>Opting for complex carbs.</strong> These fullness-boosting foods include whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, and legumes.</li></ul><ul> <li><strong>Watching your portions of high-calorie foods.</strong> Pair nuts, seeds, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods" target="_blank">healthy fats</a> with lower-calorie foods so that you don't overeat.</li></ul><ul> <li><strong>Eating mostly whole foods.</strong> Unprocessed foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, do not have any unnecessary ingredients.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>Limiting highly processed foods.</strong> Avoid meat alternatives, frozen meals, and other ultra-processed foods, as they likely host unhealthy additives, extra salt, and added sugar.</li></ul><p>A balanced vegetarian diet that emphasizes whole plant foods and limits refined carbs and highly processed products may help you lose weight.</p><p>Still, don't forget about other important contributors to weight loss, such as proper sleep, hydration, and exercise.</p><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>Including protein at all meals, eating plenty of whole foods, and eliminating highly processed items are just a few of the techniques you can use to lose weight on a vegetarian diet.</p>
Vegetarian Foods That Aid Weight Loss<p>To bolster weight loss, choose a vegetarian diet that's rich in whole, minimally processed plant foods.</p><p>Depending on your specific regimen, you may also incorporate dairy or eggs.</p><p>Vegetarian foods that may aid weight loss include:</p><ul><li><strong>Non-starchy vegetables:</strong> broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, celery, and cucumber</li><li><strong>Starchy vegetables:</strong> peas, potatoes, corn, and winter squash</li><li><strong>Fruits:</strong> berries, oranges, apples, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-bananas-a-day" target="_blank">bananas</a>, grapes, citrus, kiwi, and mango</li><li><strong>Whole grains:</strong> quinoa, brown rice, farro, millet, barley, and bulgur wheat</li><li><strong>Beans and legumes:</strong> lentils, black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans</li><li><strong>Nuts and seeds:</strong> almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and nut butters</li><li><strong>Lean proteins:</strong> beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, nut butters, eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, and soy products like tofu, tempeh, and edamame</li><li><strong>Healthy fats:</strong> avocado, olive oil, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-nutrition" target="_blank">coconut</a>, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and cheese</li><li><strong>Water and other healthy beverages:</strong> naturally flavored seltzer, fruit-infused water, and plain coffee or tea</li></ul><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>Eating a variety of non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds may help you lose weight on a vegetarian diet.</p>
Foods to Avoid on a Vegetarian Diet for Weight Loss<p><br>While most plant foods are naturally healthy, highly processed vegetarian foods tend to be less so.</p><p>You should limit or avoid the following foods if you're following a vegetarian diet for weight loss:</p><ul> <li><strong>Highly processed vegetarian foods:</strong> <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/impossible-burger" target="_blank">veggie burgers</a>, meat replacements, freezer meals, frozen desserts, and imitation dairy products</li></ul><ul> <li><strong>Refined carbs:</strong> white bread, white pasta, bagels, and crackers</li></ul><ul><li><strong>Sugary foods and beverages:</strong> candy, cookies, pastries, table sugar, sodas, fruit juices, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/energy-drinks" target="_blank">energy drinks</a>, and sweet tea</li></ul><p>In addition, try to avoid extra-large portions of any food — especially those high in sugar and calories.</p><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>If you're looking to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, you should steer clear of highly processed products, refined carbs, and sugary beverages.</p>
Sample Vegetarian Meal Plan for Weight Loss<p>This 5-day meal plan provides a few ideas for a vegetarian diet for weight loss.</p><p><strong>Day 1</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Breakfast:</strong> steel-cut oats with apples, peanut butter, and cinnamon</li><li><strong>Lunch:</strong> a salad with greens, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/boiled-egg-nutrition" target="_blank">hard-boiled eggs</a>, avocado, tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette</li><li><strong>Dinner:</strong> black-bean soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt, whole-grain bread, and a side salad</li><li><strong>Snack:</strong> almonds and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate" target="_blank">dark chocolate</a></li></ul><p><strong>Day 2</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Breakfast:</strong> scrambled eggs with broccoli and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-cheese" target="_blank">cheddar</a>, plus a side of berries</li><li><strong>Lunch:</strong> a burrito bowl with brown rice, pinto beans, tomato, onion, and avocado</li><li><strong>Dinner:</strong> <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/low-carb-pasta" target="_blank">zucchini noodles</a> with marinara, sunflower seeds, and white beans</li><li><strong>Snack:</strong> string cheese or an orange</li></ul><p><strong>Day 3</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Breakfast:</strong> plain Greek yogurt with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-pineapple" target="_blank">pineapple</a>, shredded coconut, and walnuts</li><li><strong>Lunch:</strong> lentil soup, chopped bell peppers, and guacamole</li><li><strong>Dinner:</strong> eggplant Parmesan served over whole-grain pasta and green beans</li><li><strong>Snack:</strong> a whole-grain <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-granola-bars-healthy" target="_blank">granola bar</a> or berries</li></ul><p><strong>Day 4</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Breakfast:</strong> a smoothie bowl made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach, hemp seeds, frozen berries, and a banana</li><li><strong>Lunch:</strong> an egg salad on whole-grain bread with strawberries, carrots, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-hummus-healthy" target="_blank">hummus</a></li><li><strong>Dinner:</strong> stir-fry with tofu, carrots, broccoli, brown rice, soy sauce, and honey</li><li><strong>Snack:</strong> dried <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mango" target="_blank">mango</a> and pistachios</li></ul><p><strong>Day 5</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Breakfast:</strong> two eggs and one slice of whole-grain toast with avocado, plus a side of grapes</li><li><strong>Lunch:</strong> a salad with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-kale" target="_blank">kale</a>, pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and edamame</li><li><strong>Dinner:</strong> homemade chickpea patties alongside sautéed mushrooms and a baked <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-benefits" target="_blank">sweet potato</a></li><li><strong>Snack:</strong> plain Greek yogurt with cherries</li></ul><p><strong><strong>Summary</strong></strong></p><p><strong><strong></strong></strong>These meal and snack ideas can help you get started with vegetarian eating for weight loss.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>A vegetarian diet that focuses on nutritious plant foods may help you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible" target="_blank">lose weight</a>.</p><p>However, it's important to eat enough protein while curbing your portion sizes and intake of calorie-rich foods, refined carbs, and highly processed items.</p><p>Keep in mind that not all vegetarian foods are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-eating-for-beginners" target="_blank">healthy</a>.</p>
It has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
1. Low Fat Yogurt<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-yogurt" target="_blank">Yogurt</a> can be highly nutritious. However, not all yogurt is created equal.</p><p>Like many other <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-unhealthy-low-fat-foods" target="_blank">low fat products</a>, low fat yogurts have sugar added to them to enhance flavor.</p><p>For example, a single cup (245 grams) of low fat yogurt can contain over 45 grams of sugar, which is about 11 teaspoons. This is more than the daily limit for men and women in just a single cup of "healthy" yogurt.</p><p>Furthermore, low fat yogurt doesn't seem to have the same health benefits as full fat yogurt.</p><p>It's best to choose full fat, natural, or Greek yogurt. Avoid yogurt that has been sweetened with sugar.</p>
2. Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce<p>Barbecue (BBQ) sauce can make a tasty marinade or dip.</p><p>However, 2 tablespoons (around 28 grams) of sauce can contain around 9 grams of sugar. This is over 2 teaspoons worth.</p><p>In fact, around 33% of the weight of BBQ sauce may be pure sugar.</p><p>If you're liberal with your servings, this makes it easy to consume a lot of sugar without meaning to.</p><p>To make sure you aren't getting too much, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-read-food-labels" target="_blank">check the labels</a> and choose the sauce with the least amount of added sugar. Also, remember to watch your portions.</p>
3. Ketchup<p>Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments worldwide, but — like BBQ sauce — it's often loaded with sugar.</p><p>Try to be mindful of your portion size when using ketchup, and remember that a single tablespoon of ketchup contains nearly 1 teaspoon of sugar.</p>
4. Fruit Juice<p>Like whole fruit, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fruit-juice-is-just-as-bad-as-soda/" target="_blank">fruit juice</a> contains some vitamins and minerals.</p><p>However, despite seeming like a healthy choice, these vitamins and minerals come with a large dose of sugar and very little <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-fiber-good-for-you/" target="_blank">fiber</a>.</p><p>It usually takes a lot of fruit to produce a single glass of fruit juice, so you get much more sugar in a glass of juice than you would get by eating whole fruit. This makes it easy to consume a large amount of sugar quickly.</p><p>In fact, there can be just as much sugar in fruit juice as there is in a sugary drink like Coke. The poor health outcomes that have been convincingly linked to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-ways-sugary-soda-is-bad-for-you/" target="_blank">sugary soda</a> may also be linked to fruit juices.</p><p>It's best to choose whole fruit and minimize your intake of fruit juices.</p>
5. Spaghetti Sauce<p>Added sugars are often hidden in foods that we don't even consider to be sweet, such as spaghetti sauce.</p><p>All spaghetti sauces will contain some natural sugar given that they're made with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/types-of-tomatoes" target="_blank">tomatoes</a>.</p><p>However, many spaghetti sauces contain added sugar as well.</p><p>The best way to ensure you aren't getting any unwanted sugar in your pasta sauce is to make your own.</p><p>However, if you need to buy premade spaghetti sauce, check the label and pick one that either doesn't have sugar on the ingredient list or has it listed very close to the bottom. This indicates that it's not a major ingredient.</p>
6. Sports Drinks<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sports-drinks" target="_blank">Sports drinks</a> can often be mistaken as a healthy choice for those who exercise.</p><p>However, sports drinks are designed to hydrate and fuel trained athletes during prolonged, intense periods of exercise.</p><p>For this reason, they contain high amounts of added sugars that can be quickly absorbed and used for energy.</p><p>In fact, a standard 20-ounce (591-mL) bottle of a sports drink will contain 37.9 grams of added sugar and 198 calories. This is equivalent to 9.5 teaspoons of sugar.<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/789758/nutrients" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Sports drinks are therefore categorized as sugary drinks. Like soda and fruit juice, they've also been linked to obesity and metabolic disease.</p><p>Unless you're a marathon runner or elite athlete, you should probably just stick to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/" target="_blank">water</a> while exercising. It's by far the best choice for most of us.</p>
7. Chocolate Milk<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chocolate-milk" target="_blank">Chocolate milk</a> is milk that has been flavored with cocoa and sweetened with sugar.</p><p>Milk itself is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/milk-benefits" target="_blank">a very nutritious drink</a>. It's a rich source of nutrients that are great for bone health, including calcium and protein.</p><p>However, despite having all the nutritious qualities of milk, an 8-ounce (230-mL) glass of chocolate milk comes with an extra 11.4 grams (2.9 teaspoons) of added sugar.</p>
8. Granola<p>Granola is often marketed as a low fat health food, despite being high in both calories and sugar.</p><p>The main ingredient in granola is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal" target="_blank">oats</a>. Plain rolled oats are a well-balanced cereal containing carbs, protein, fat, and fiber.</p><p>However, the oats in granola have been combined with nuts and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-honey" target="_blank">honey</a> or other added sweeteners, which increases the amount of sugar and calories.</p><p>In fact, 100 grams of granola contain around 400–500 calories and nearly 5–7 teaspoons of sugar.</p><p>If you like granola, try choosing one with less added sugar or making your own. You can also add it as a topping to fruit or yogurt rather than pouring a whole bowl.</p>
9. Flavored Coffees<p>Flavored coffee is a popular trend, but the amount of hidden sugars in these drinks can be staggering.</p><p>In some coffeehouse chains, a large flavored coffee or coffee drink can contain 45 grams of sugar, if not much more. That's equivalent to about 11 teaspoons of added sugar per serving.</p><p>Considering the strong link between sugary drinks and poor health, it's probably best to stick to coffee <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-ways-to-make-your-coffee-super-healthy" target="_blank">without any flavored syrups or added sugar</a>.</p>
10. Iced Tea<p>Iced tea is usually sweetened with sugar or flavored with syrup.</p><p>It's popular in various forms and flavors around the world, and this means the sugar content can vary slightly.</p><p>Most commercially prepared iced teas will contain around 35 grams of sugar per 12-ounce (340-mL) serving. This is about the same as a bottle of Coke.</p><p>If you like tea, pick regular tea or choose iced tea that doesn't have any sugars added.</p>
11. Protein Bars<p>Protein bars are a popular snack.</p><p>Foods that contain <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day/" target="_blank">protein</a> have been linked to increased feelings of fullness, which can aid weight loss.</p><p>This has led people to believe that protein bars are a healthy snack.</p><p>While there are some healthier protein bars on the market, many contain around 20 grams of added sugar, making their nutritional content similar to that of a candy bar.</p><p>When choosing a protein bar, read the label and avoid those that are high in sugar. You can also eat a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-delicious-high-protein-foods/" target="_blank">high protein food</a> such as yogurt instead.</p>
12. Vitaminwater<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-reasons-why-vitaminwater-is-a-bad-idea/" target="_blank">Vitaminwater</a> is marketed as a healthy drink that contains added vitamins and minerals.</p><p>However, like many other "health drinks," Vitaminwater comes with a large amount of added sugar.</p><p>In fact, a bottle of regular Vitaminwater typically contains around 100 calories and 30 grams of sugar.<a href="https://www.vitaminwater.com/products/vitaminwater/revive-fruit-punch" target="_blank"></a></p><p>As such, despite all the health claims, it's wise to avoid Vitaminwater as much as possible.</p><p>You could opt for Vitaminwater zero, the sugar-free version. It's made with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-and-weight-gain/" target="_blank">artificial sweeteners</a> instead.</p><p>That said, plain water or sparkling water are much healthier choices if you're thirsty.</p>
13. Premade Soup<p>Soup isn't a food that you generally associate with sugar.</p><p>When it's made with fresh whole ingredients, it's a healthy choice and can be a great way to increase your vegetable consumption without much effort.</p><p>The vegetables in soups have naturally occurring sugars, which are fine to eat given that they're usually present in small amounts and alongside lots of other beneficial nutrients.</p><p>However, many commercially prepared soups have a lot of added ingredients, including sugar.</p><p>To check for added sugars in your soup, look at the ingredient list for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/56-different-names-for-sugar" target="_blank">names</a> such as:</p><ul><li>sucrose</li><li>barley malt</li><li>dextrose</li><li>maltose</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/high-fructose-corn-syrup-vs-sugar" target="_blank">high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)</a> and other syrups</li></ul><p>The higher up on the list an ingredient is, the higher its content in the product. Watch out for when manufacturers list small amounts of different sugars, as that's another sign the product could be high in total sugar.</p>
14. Breakfast Cereal<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-breakfast-cereals-healthy" target="_blank">Cereal</a> is a popular, quick, and easy breakfast food.</p><p>However, the cereal you choose could greatly affect your sugar consumption, especially if you eat it every day.</p><p>Some breakfast cereals, particularly those marketed at children, have lots of added sugar. Some contain 12 grams, or 3 teaspoons of sugar in a small 34-gram (1.2-ounce) serving.</p><p>Check the label and try choosing a cereal that's <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-healthiest-cereals" target="_blank">high in fiber and doesn't contain added sugar</a>.</p><p>Better yet, wake up a few minutes earlier and cook a quick healthy breakfast with a high protein food like eggs. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/protein-at-breakfast-and-weight-loss" target="_blank">Eating protein for breakfast</a> can help you lose weight.</p>
15. Cereal Bars<p>For on-the-go breakfasts, cereal bars can seem like a healthy and convenient choice.</p><p>However, like other "health bars," cereal bars are often just candy bars in disguise. Many contain very little fiber or protein and are loaded with added sugar.</p>
16. Canned Fruit<p>All fruit contains natural sugars. However, some <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/canned-food-good-or-bad/" target="_blank">canned fruit</a> is peeled and preserved in sugary syrup. This processing strips the fruit of its fiber and adds a lot of unnecessary sugar to what should be a healthy snack.</p><p>The canning process can also destroy heat-sensitive <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-foods" target="_blank">vitamin C</a>, although most other nutrients are well preserved.</p><p>Whole, fresh fruit is best. If you want to eat canned fruit, look for one that's been preserved in juice rather than syrup. Juice has a slightly lower amount of sugar.</p>
17. Canned Baked Beans<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-baked-beans-good-for-you" target="_blank">Baked beans</a> are another savory food that's often surprisingly high in sugar.</p><p>A cup (254 grams) of regular baked beans contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar.</p><p>If you like baked beans, you can choose low sugar versions. They can contain about half the amount of sugar found in regular baked beans.</p>
18. Premade Smoothies<p>Blending fruits with milk or yogurt in the morning to make yourself a smoothie can be <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning" target="_blank">a great way to start your day</a>.</p><p>However, not all smoothies are healthy.</p><p>Many commercially produced smoothies come in large sizes and can be sweetened with ingredients like fruit juice, ice cream, or syrup. This increases their sugar content.</p><p>Some of them contain ridiculously high amounts of calories and sugar, with over 54 grams (13.5 teaspoons) of sugar in a single 16-ounce or 20-ounce serving.</p><p>For a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-smoothie-recipes" target="_blank">healthy smoothie</a>, check the ingredients and make sure you watch your portion size.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Added sugars aren't a necessary part of your diet. Although small amounts are fine, they can cause serious harm if eaten in large amounts on a regular basis.</p><p>The best way to avoid hidden sugars in your meals is to make them at home so you know exactly what's in them.</p><p>However, if you need to buy prepackaged food, make sure you check the label to identify any hidden added sugars, especially when buying foods from this list.</p>
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What Are MCTs?<p>MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are a type of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/saturated-fat-good-or-bad" target="_blank">saturated fat</a>.</p><p>They are a natural component of many foods, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil, as well as dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.</p><p>A triglyceride consists of three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. These fatty acids are made up of carbon atoms linked together in chains that vary in length.</p><p>Most fatty acids in dietary triglycerides are long-chain, meaning they contain more than 12 carbon atoms.</p><p>In contrast, the fatty acids in MCTs have a medium length, containing 6–12 carbon atoms.</p><p>It's this difference in fatty acid chain length that makes MCTs unique. In contrast, most dietary sources of fat, such as fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are comprised of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs).</p><p>The medium-chain length of MCTs doesn't require the enzymes or bile acids for digestion and absorption that LCTs require.</p><p>This allows MCTs to go straight to your liver, where they are rapidly digested and absorbed and either used for immediate energy or turned into ketones.</p><p>Ketones are compounds produced when your liver breaks down a lot of fat. Your body can use them for energy instead of glucose or sugar.</p><p>What's more, MCTs are less likely to be stored as fat and may promote weight loss better than other fatty acids.</p><p>Here are the four types of MCTs, listed in order of fatty acid chain length, from shortest to longest:</p><ul><li>caproic acid — 6 carbon atoms</li><li>caprylic acid — 8 carbon atoms</li><li>capric acid — 10 carbon atoms</li><li>lauric acid — 12 carbon atoms</li></ul><p>Some experts define MCT fatty acids as those that have a length of 6–10 carbon atoms instead of 12. That's because lauric acid is often classified as an LCT because it's digested and absorbed much slower than the other MCTs.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>MCTs are a type of saturated fat that is rapidly digested and absorbed by your body.</p>
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil<p>While they're similar, MCT and coconut oils have many differences, namely the proportion and types of MCT molecules they contain.</p><p><strong>MCT Oil</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits" target="_blank">MCT oil</a> contains 100% MCTs, making it a concentrated source.</p><p>It's made by refining raw coconut or palm oil to remove other compounds and concentrate the MCTs naturally found in the oils.</p><p>MCT oils generally contain 50–80% caprylic acid and 20–50% caproic acid.</p><p><strong>Coconut Oil</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil" target="_blank">Coconut oil</a> is made from copra, the kernel or meat of coconuts.</p><p>It's the richest natural source of MCTs — they comprise about 54% of the fat in copra.</p><p>Coconut oil naturally contains MCTs, namely 42% lauric acid, 7% caprylic acid, and 5% capric acid.<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/343868/nutrients" target="_blank"></a></p><p>In addition to the MCTs, coconut oil contains LCTs and unsaturated fats.</p><p>Lauric acid behaves more like an LCT in terms of its slow digestion and absorption. Thus, experts suggest that coconut oil cannot be considered an MCT-rich oil, as is widely claimed, given its high lauric acid content.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>MCT oil is a concentrated source of MCTs made from coconut or palm kernel oil. MCT oil contains 100% MCTs, compared with 54% in coconut oil.</p>
MCT Oil is Better for Ketone Production and Weight Loss<p>MCT oil is popular among those following a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101" target="_blank">keto diet</a>, which is very low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in fats.</p><p>The high intake of fat and low intake of carbs puts your body in a state of nutritional ketosis, in which it burns fat instead of glucose for fuel.</p><p>Compared with coconut oil, MCT oil is better for ketone production and maintaining ketosis. Fatty acids that promote the formation of ketones are called ketogenic.</p><p>One study in humans found that caprylic acid was three times more ketogenic than capric acid, and about six times more ketogenic than lauric acid.</p><p>MCT oil has much larger proportions of the more ketogenic MCTs than coconut oil, which contains the greatest concentration of lauric acid, the least ketogenic MCT.</p><p>What's more, MCTs may decrease the time it takes to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-tips-to-get-into-ketosis" target="_blank">reach nutritional ketosis</a> and its associated symptoms, such as irritability and fatigue, compared with LCTs.</p><p>Several studies have also shown that MCT oil may aid fat loss by boosting metabolism and promoting greater feelings of fullness compared with coconut oil and LCTs.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>MCT oil contains a greater proportion of ketogenic MCTs than coconut oil. MCT oil has also been shown to boost metabolism and promote fullness to a greater extent than coconut oil.</p>
Coconut Oil is Better for Cooking, as Well as Beauty and Skin Care<p>While coconut oil has not been consistently shown to provide the same ketogenic or weight loss properties as pure MCT oil, it has other uses and benefits.<span></span></p><p><strong>Cooking</strong></p><p>Coconut oil is an <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-coconut-oil-good-for-you" target="_blank">ideal cooking oil</a> for stir-frying and pan-frying due to its high smoke point, which is higher than that of MCT oil.</p><p>The smoke point is the temperature at which fat begins to oxidize, negatively affecting the oil's taste and nutritional content.</p><p>Coconut oil has a smoke point of 350°F (177°C) compared with 302°F (150°C) for MCT oil.</p><p><strong>Beauty and Skin Care</strong></p><p>Coconut oil's high percentage of lauric acid makes it beneficial for beauty and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-oil-and-skin" target="_blank">skin care</a>.</p><p>For example, lauric acid has strong antibacterial properties that have been shown to help treat acne in human cells.</p><p>Coconut oil has also been shown to improve the symptoms of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/coconut-oil-for-eczema" target="_blank">atopic dermatitis</a> (eczema), such as redness and itchiness, when applied to affected areas.</p><p>The skin-hydrating properties of coconut oil likewise make it useful for alleviating xerosis, a common skin condition characterized by dry and itchy skin.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Coconut oil has a higher smoke point than MCT oil, making it more suitable for cooking. The antibacterial and hydrating properties of coconut oil also make it beneficial for beauty and skin care.</p>
Risks and Considerations<p>MCT oil and coconut oil are generally well-tolerated and safe when consumed in moderate amounts.<span></span></p><p>Excessive intake of MCT or coconut oil has been associated with stomach discomfort, cramping, bloating, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-diarrhea-fast" target="_blank">diarrhea</a>.</p><p>If you choose to supplement with MCT oil for its ketogenic and weight loss properties, start by taking 1 tablespoon (15 ml) per day and increase as tolerated to the maximum daily dose of 4–7 tablespoons (60–100 ml).<span></span></p><p>You can mix MCT oil easily into a variety of foods and beverages, including hot cereals, soups, sauces, smoothies, coffee, and tea.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>MCT and coconut oil are generally safe but can produce gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed in excess. The maximum recommended dose is 4–7 tablespoons (60–100 ml) per day.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>CT oil and coconut oil can both be beneficial — but for different uses.</p><p>MCT oil is a concentrated source of 100% MCTs that's more effective at boosting weight loss and energy production — especially if you're following a keto diet — than coconut oil.</p><p>Meanwhile, coconut oil has an MCT content of about 54%. It's best used as a cooking oil and may be beneficial for a variety of beauty applications and skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and skin dryness.</p>
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By Zahida Sherman
Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.
Falling in Love With Food All Over Again<p>Slowly, through my most intimate relationships with friends and partners, I began to see the beauty — and rewards — of cooking.</p><p>I got tired of giving in to defeat and always bringing chips or paper products to social gatherings. I started asking my mom to send me her Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes. I even volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my place.</p><p>Each time I heard my loved ones sing the praises of the foods I prepared for them, I felt a tinge more confident that I could carry out our traditions my way.</p><p>In reaching out to other relatives for their favorite recipes, I learned that they had a little help of their own. They didn't rely solely on their ancestral cooking instincts. They turned to Black chefs for guidance.</p><p>These 7 cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired my family and fed us in nutrients, joy, and spiritual sustenance. They're also helping me overcome my personal fears of cooking.</p>
Get CookingWhether you're in recovery from cooking fears like me, or are just looking to expand your culinary confidence with dishes honoring Black heritage, these Black chefs are here to support you on your journey.Turn on some music, give yourself permission to make mistakes, and throw down for yourself or your loved ones. Glorious flavors await you.
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By Sara Lindberg
Whether you've hit a workout plateau or you're just ready to turn things up a notch, adding more strenuous exercise — also known as high-intensity exercise — to your overall fitness routine is one way to increase your calorie burn, improve your heart health, and boost your metabolism.
However, to do it safely and effectively, there are some guidelines you should follow. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of vigorous exercise and how to safely dial up the intensity of your workouts.
What Is Considered Strenuous Exercise?<p>When it comes to exercise, the intensity of how hard you work out is just as important as the duration of your exercise session. In general, exercise intensity is divided into three categories:</p><ul><li>low</li><li>moderate</li><li>vigorous or strenuous</li></ul><p>For an activity to be vigorous, you need to work at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, according to the<a href="https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates" target="_blank"> American Heart Association</a>. Examples of vigorous exercise include:</p><ul><li>running</li><li>cycling at 10 mph or faster</li><li>walking briskly uphill with a heavy backpack</li><li>jumping rope</li></ul><p>Low to moderate exercise is easier to sustain for longer periods since you work below 70 percent of your maximum heart rate and, sometimes, well below that level.</p><p>To reap health benefits, the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html" target="_blank">Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans</a> recommends that people age 18 and older get one of the following:</p><ul><li><strong>150 minutes</strong> of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week</li><li><strong>75 minutes</strong> of vigorous aerobic activity per week</li><li><strong>combination of both types</strong> of activity spread throughout the week</li></ul>
Strenuous Exercise Vs. Moderate Exercise<p>Increasing your exercise intensity is fairly simple to do. You can still participate in your favorite activities — just at a more vigorous pace.</p><p>One of the benefits of more strenuous exercise is that you can reap the same rewards as moderate-intensity exercise but in less time. So, if time is of the essence, doing a more strenuous 20-minute workout can be just as beneficial as doing a slower 40-minute workout session.</p><p>Here are some examples of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/pa_intensity_table_2_1.pdf" target="_blank">strenuous vs. moderate exercise<span></span></a>.</p><table><tbody><tr><th>Moderate intensity</th><th>Strenuous intensity</th></tr><tr><td>bicycling at less than 10 mph</td><td>bicycling at more than 10 mph</td></tr><tr><td>walking briskly</td><td>running, or hiking uphill at a steady pace</td></tr><tr><td>jog-walk intervals</td><td>water jogging/running</td></tr><tr><td>shooting baskets in basketball</td><td>playing a basketball game</td></tr><tr><td>playing doubles tennis</td><td>playing singles tennis</td></tr><tr><td>raking leaves or mowing the lawn</td><td>shoveling more than 10 lbs. per minute, digging ditches</td></tr><tr><td>walking stairs</td><td>running stairs</td></tr></tbody></table>
Benefits of Vigorous Exercise<p>Besides being more efficient, turning up the heat on your fitness sessions can benefit your health in a variety of ways. Let's take a closer look at some of the evidence-based benefits of a higher intensity workout.</p><ul><li><strong>Higher calorie burn.</strong> According to the <a href="https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen-consumption-epoc/?utm_source=Rakuten&utm_medium=10&ranMID=42334&ranEAID=TnL5HPStwNw&ranSiteID=TnL5HPStwNw-hYlKnAcfzfixAUsvnO6Ubw" target="_blank">American Council on Exercise</a>, working out at a higher intensity requires more oxygen, which burns more calories. It also contributes to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the "afterburn effect" that allows you to continue burning calories even after you finish working out. This means your metabolism will stay elevated for longer after a vigorous exercise session.</li><li><strong>More weight loss.</strong> A <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/interval-workouts-will-help-you-lose-weight-more-quickly" target="_blank">higher calorie burn</a> and an elevated metabolism will help you lose weight more quickly than doing low- or moderate-intensity exercise.</li><li><strong>Improved heart health.</strong> According to a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16377300" target="_blank">2012 study</a>, high- and moderate-intensity exercise appears to offer low chance of cardiovascular events, even in those with heart disease. Cardiovascular benefits may include improvements in:<ul><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/diastole-vs-systole" target="_blank">diastolic blood pressure</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1" target="_blank">blood sugar control</a></li><li>aerobic capacity</li></ul></li><li><strong>Improved mood.</strong> High-intensity exercise may also boost your mood. According to a large <a href="https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/27/4/27_jpts-2014-736/_article" target="_blank">2015 study</a> that analyzed the data of more than 12,000 participants, researchers found a significant link between strenuous exercise and fewer depressive symptoms.</li><li><strong>Lower risk of mortality.</strong> According to a 2015 <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844882" target="_blank">study</a>, researchers found that vigorous activity may be key to avoiding an early death. The study, which followed 204,542 people for more than 6 years, reported a 9 to 13 percent decrease in mortality for those who increased the intensity of their exercise sessions.</li></ul>
How to Measure Exercise Intensity<p>So, how do you know for sure that you're exercising at a strenuous level? Let's look at three ways to measure the intensity of your physical activity.</p><h3>1. Your heart rate</h3><p>Monitoring your heart rate is one of the most reliable methods for measuring exercise intensity. Exercising at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate qualifies as vigorous exercise intensity.</p><blockquote><strong><strong>WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM HEART RATE?</strong></strong>Your maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can safely beat. To find out what your maximum heart rate is you need to subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 40-year-old person: <ul><li>220 bpm (beats per minute) minus age</li><li>220 – 40 = 180 bpm</li></ul>To work out at a vigorous pace, you'll want to exercise within 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. For example: <ul><li>180 x 0.70 (70 percent) = 126</li><li>180 x 0.85 (85 percent) = 153</li></ul>For a 40-year-old person, a vigorous training range is 126 to 153 bpm.<br></blockquote><p>You can check your heart rate while you're working out by wearing a heart rate monitor or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">taking your pulse</a>.</p>
How to Add Vigorous Activity to Your Workout<p>Adding strenuous activity to your weekly workout routine requires some careful planning. Fortunately, many of the activities that you do at a moderate level can easily be performed at a higher intensity.</p><p>One way of incorporating vigorous aerobic activity into your routine is to do a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workout. This type of workout combines short bursts of intense activity — typically performed at 80 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate — with recovery periods at 40 to 50 percent maximum heart rate.</p><p>To sustain this level of training, consider following a 2:1 work to rest ratio. For example, a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/treadmill-weight-loss#hiit" target="_blank">treadmill workout </a>or outdoor running session could include:</p><ul><li>running at 9 to 10 mph for 30 seconds</li><li>followed by walking at 3 to 4 mph for 60 seconds</li><li>alternating this work-to-rest ratio for 20 to 30 minutes</li></ul><p>Playing a fast-paced sport like soccer, basketball, or racquetball is another effective way to add strenuous activity to your fitness routine. Participating in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-a-spin-class" target="_blank">cycling classes</a> or swimming laps are other ways to build more strenuous exercise into your workouts.</p>
Safety Tips<p>Before you turn up the intensity on your workouts, it's important to keep the following safety tips in mind.</p><h3>Check with your doctor</h3><p>If you have a health condition or you haven't been active in a while, make sure you talk to your doctor before you start a high-intensity exercise routine. Your doctor can advise you on a safe level of exercise or how to become more active in the safest way possible.</p><h3>Build up the intensity slowly</h3><p>Going from low- or moderate-intensity workouts to vigorous exercise requires time and patience. While you may be ready to jump in with both feet, the safest way to add more vigorous exercise is to do it in bite-size increments. Pushing yourself too quickly can result in injuries and burnout.</p><p>For example:</p><ul><li><strong>Week 1:</strong> Swap out one moderate-paced cardio session for a HIIT workout.</li><li><strong>Week 2:</strong> Swap one moderate-paced session with a HIIT workout, and also add a circuit strength training session to your weekly routine.</li><li><strong>Week 3 and 4: </strong>Repeat weeks 1 and 2 before you start adding more high-intensity exercise to your weekly routine.</li></ul><p>It's also a good idea to space out your vigorous workouts throughout the week. Try not to do two strenuous sessions back-to-back.</p><h3>Don't forget the recovery time</h3><p>Your body requires more time to recover from a vigorous workout compared to a low- or moderate-intensity session.</p><p>To help your body recover, make sure to always include a cooldown and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/static-stretching" target="_blank">stretch routine</a> after strenuous physical activity.</p><h3>Stay hydrated</h3><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water" target="_blank">Staying hydrated</a> is especially important when you're exercising hard. Not drinking enough fluids can affect the quality of your workout and make you feel tired, lethargic, or dizzy. It may even lead to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dehydration-headache" target="_blank">headaches</a> and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/how-to-stop-leg-muscle-cramps" target="_blank">cramps</a>.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Turning up the intensity of your workout sessions can be an effective way of boosting your overall health and fitness. It's also an easy way to save time when trying to fit a workout into your day.</p><p>To play it safe, always start slow and pay attention to how your body feels.</p><p>While vigorous exercise offers many health benefits, it's not appropriate for everyone. If you have a health condition or you haven't been active in a while, make sure to talk with your doctor before working out at a more strenuous level.</p>
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By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz
With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.
1. Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community, and the Meaning of Generosity by Priya Basil (forthcoming November 2020)<p>Priya Basil explores the meaning of hospitality within a variety of cultural, linguistic, and sociopolitical contexts in this short read. Basil uses her cross-cultural experience to illustrate how food amplifies discourse within families and touches on the hospitality and the lack thereof that migrants and refugees experience. <em>Be My Guest </em>is at once an enjoyable read and a hopeful meditation on how food and hospitality can make a positive difference in our world.</p>
2. Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition: A New Agenda for Sustainable Food Systems by Danny Hunter, Teresa Borelli, and Eliot Gee<p>In <em>Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition</em>, leading professionals from Bioversity International examine the positive impacts of biodiversity on nutrition and sustainability. The book highlights agrobiodiversity initiatives in Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, featuring research from the <a href="https://www.bioversityinternational.org/research-portfolio/diet-diversity/biodiversity-for-food-and-nutrition/" target="_blank">Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project </a>(BFN) of the <a href="https://www.bioversityinternational.org/alliance/" target="_blank">Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT</a>. Through this analysis, the authors propose that the localized activities in these countries are not only benefiting communities, but are transferable to other regions.</p>
3. Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. by Ashanté M. Reese<p>In <em>Black Food Geographies, </em>Ashanté Reese draws on her fieldwork to highlight community agency in response to unequal food access. Focusing on a majority-Black neighborhood in Washington, DC, Reese explores issues of racism, gentrification, and urban food access. Through her analysis, she argues that racism impacts and exacerbates issues of unequal food distribution systems.</p>
4. Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice edited by Hanna Garth and Ashanté M. Reese (forthcoming October 2020)<p>Access, equity, justice, and privilege are the central themes in this forthcoming collection of essays. The food justice movement often ignores the voices of Black communities and white food norms shape the notions of healthy food. Named for Black Lives Matter, <em>Black Food Matters </em>highlights the history and impact of Black communities and their food cultures in the food justice movement.</p>
5. Diners Dudes & Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture by Emily J.H. Contois (forthcoming November 2020)<p>In <em>Diners, Dudes & Diets</em>, Emily Contois looks at media's influence on eating habits and gendered perceptions of food. Focusing on the concept of dude foods, the book follows the evolution of food marketing for men. In doing so, Contois shows how industries used masculine stereotypes to sell diet and weight loss products to a new demographic. She argues that this has influenced both the way consumers think about food and their own identities.</p>
6. Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America’s Food Safety Net by Maggie Dickinson<p>The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is essential for individuals who face food insecurity on a daily basis. Still, the program fails to reach many, including those who are unemployed, underemployed, or undocumented. <em>Feeding the Crisis</em> provides a historical overview of SNAP's expansion and traces the lives of eight families who must navigate the changing landscape of welfare policy in the United States.</p>
7. Feeding the Other: Whiteness, Privilege, and Neoliberal Stigma in Food Pantries by Rebecca T. de Souza<p>In <em>Feeding the Other</em>, Rebecca de Souza explores the relationship between food pantries and people dependent on their services. Throughout the work, de Souza underscores the structural failures that contribute to hunger and poverty, the racial dynamics within pantries, and the charged idea of a handout. She argues that while food pantries currently stigmatize clients, there is an opportunity to make them agents of food justice.</p>
8. Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato by Rebecca Earle<p>In <em>Feeding the People,</em> Rebecca Earle tells the story of the potato and its journey from a relatively unknown crop to a staple in modern diets around the world. Earle's work highlights the importance of the potato during famines, war, and explains the politics behind consumers' embrace of this food. Interspersed throughout are also potato recipes that any reader can try.</p>
9. Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal by Hanna Garth<p>In <em>Food in Cuba</em>, Dr. Hannah Garth looks at food security and food sovereignty in the context of Cuba's second largest city, Santiago de Cuba. Throughout the work, Garth defines a decent meal as one that is culturally appropriate and of high quality. And through stories about families' sociopolitical barriers to food access, Garth shows how ideas of food and moral character become intimately linked.</p>
10. Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain<p>Scholar, speaker, and strategist Marcia Chatelain provides readers insight into the ways fast food restaurants expanded throughout Black communities. Dr. Chatelain traces their growth during the 20th century and their intersection with Black capitalists and the civil rights movement. This book highlights the dichotomy between fast food's negative impacts on Black communities and the potential economic and political opportunities that the businesses offered them.</p>
11. Honey And Venom: Confessions of an Urban Beekeeper by Andrew Coté<p>In <em>Honey and Venom,</em> Andrew Coté provides a history of beekeeping while taking the reader through his own trajectory in the industry. A manager of over one hundred beehives, Coté raises colonies across New York City, on the rooftops of churches, schools, and more. Coté's<em> </em>passion for beekeeping comes through clearly as he narrates the challenges and rewards of his career.</p>
12. Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont by Teresa M. Mares<p>Agriculture, immigration, and Central American and Mexican farm workers may conjure ideas of the Mexico-U.S. border, but in <em>Life on the Other Border</em>, Teresa Mares gives a voice to those laboring much farther north. Mares introduces the readers to the Latinx immigrants who work in Vermont's dairy industry while they advocate for themselves and navigate life as undocumented workers. This is an inspiring read that touches on the intersection of food justice, immigration, and labor policy.</p>
13. Meals Matter: A Radical Economics Through Gastronomy by Michael Symons<p>In <em>Meals Matter</em>, Michael Symons argues that economics used to be, in its essence, about feeding the world but has since become fixated with the pursuit of money. Symons introduces readers to gastronomic liberalism and applies the ideas of philosophers like Epicurus and John Locke to the food system. Through this approach, he seeks to understand how large corporations gained control of the market and challenges readers to rethink their understanding of food economics.</p>
14. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg<p>Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit and has since been a global symbol of environmental activism. Her community organizing and impassioned speeches are uncompromising as she argues that climate change is an existential crisis that needs to be confronted immediately. <em>No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference </em>includes Thunberg's speeches and includes her 2019 address to the United Nations.</p>
15. Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It by Tom Philpott (forthcoming August 2020)<p>In <em>Perilous Bounty</em>, journalist Tom Philpott critically analyzes the centralized food system in the U.S. and argues that it is headed for disaster unless it sees some much-needed changes. Philpot argues that actors within the U.S. food system are prioritizing themselves over the nation's wellbeing and provides well-researched data to back up his claims. Providing readers insight into the experiences of activists, farmers, and scientists, this is a great read for those starting to learn about the state of the country's food system and for those who are already deeply involved.</p>
16. Plucked: Chicken, Antibiotics, And How Big Business Changed The Way The World Eats by Maryn McKenna<p>In this exposé on the chicken industry, acclaimed author Maryn McKenna explains the role antibiotics played in making chicken a global commodity. <em>Plucked </em>makes it clear that food choices matter and show how consumers' desire for meat, especially chicken, has impacted human health. McKenna also offers a way forward and outlines ways that stakeholders can make food safer again.</p>
17. Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice by Lana Dee Povitz<p>Between 1970 and 2000, food activists in New York City pushed to improve public school lunches, provide meals to those impacted by the AIDS epidemic, and established food co-ops. In <em>Stirrings</em>,<em> </em>Lana Dee Povitz draws on oral histories and archives to recount the stories of individuals who led these efforts. She highlights the successes of grassroots movements and reminds readers of the many women leaders in the New York food justice movement.</p>
18. The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for Sustainability by Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern<p>In <em>The New American Farmer</em>, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern offers a look at farm labor in the U.S. Although most farm owners are white Americans, farm workers are overwhelmingly immigrants and people of color. In this book, Minkoff-Zern details the experiences of farm laborers who are becoming farm owners themselves and outlines the many barriers that workers must overcome during this transition. Through interviews with farmers and organizers, Minkoff-Zern shows that these farmers bring sustainable agricultural practices that can benefit our food system.</p>
19. The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by Hope Jahren<p>Hope Jahren breaks down climate change for readers in an accessible and data-driven book. <em>The Story of More </em>explains<em> </em>how greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of natural resources in developed nations exacerbate climate change and outlines the consequences of these actions. Although she argues that the planet is in danger, she also provides a variety of everyday actions, like decreasing meat consumption, that consumers can take to make a difference.</p>
20. Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry<p>Author, chef, and food justice activist Bryant Terry provides readers with over a hundred recipes to create approachable and flavorful vegan dishes, without relying on meat alternatives. This book is a wonderfully practical recipe book that begins with a list of recommended tools, is organized by ingredients, and even includes a music playlist. Vegans and non-vegans alike will appreciate Chef Terry's <em>Vegetable Kingdom</em>.</p><a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Make+this+summer+a+season+of+reflection+and+self-education+with+Food+Tank%27s+reading+list+%E2%80%94+new+and+important+books+from+%40AMReese07%2C+%40GretaThunberg%2C+%40EmilyContois%2C+%40BryantTerry%2C+%40DrMChatelain%2C+and+more&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffoodtank.com%2Fnews%2F2020%2F07%2Ffood-tanks-summer-2020-reading-list%2F&via=foodtank"><span></span></a>
By Ryan Raman
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are commonly available in grocery stores, but many equally delicious berries are abundant in the wild.
1. Elderberries<p>Elderberries are the fruit of various species of the <em>Sambucus</em> plant.</p><p>They thrive in mild to subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The fruit tends to grow in small clusters and is black, bluish-black, or purple.</p><p>Though the berries of most <em>Sambucus</em> varieties are edible, the <em>Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis </em>variety is the most commonly consumed type.</p><p>It's important to note that elderberries need to be cooked to inactivate alkaloid compounds that can cause nausea if the berries are eaten raw (<a href="https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_sanic4.pdf" target="_blank">1</a>).</p><p>Elderberries have a tart, tangy taste, which is why they're typically cooked and sweetened to make juices, jams, chutneys, or elderberry wine.</p><p>These berries are a great source of vitamin C, with 1 cup (145 grams) providing 58% of your daily needs. Vitamin C plays many vital roles in your body but is particularly important for your immune system.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry" target="_blank">Elderberries</a> are also rich in vitamin B6, which supports immune function.</p><p>The nutrient composition of elderberries and elderberry products makes them particularly effective at boosting immune health.</p><p>For example, a study in 312 adults found that taking 300 mg of an elderberry extract supplement both before and after traveling significantly reduced the duration and severity of colds, compared with a placebo.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Elderberries have a tart, tangy taste when raw, so they're best enjoyed cooked. They're loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B6, both of which support immune health.</p>
2. Cloudberries<p>Cloudberries are berries of the plant <em>Rubus chamaemorus</em>, which grows in higher elevations in cool, boggy areas in the Northern Hemisphere.</p><p>The cloudberry plant has white flowers, and the yellow-to-orange fruit resembles a raspberry.</p><p>Fresh cloudberries are soft, juicy, and fairly tart. Their taste is best described as a mix between <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raspberry-nutrition" target="_blank">raspberries</a> and red currants — with a hint of floral sweetness. They are safe to eat raw.</p><p>Cloudberries are high in vitamin C, providing 176% of your daily needs in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).</p><p>They're also high in ellagitannins, which are powerful antioxidants that can help protect your cells from free radical damage.</p><p>What's more, according to animal and test-tube studies, ellagitannins may have anticancer effects, boost your immune system, and fight inflammation.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Cloudberries have a slightly tart, sweet taste. They contain powerful antioxidants known as ellagitannins that may protect against free radical damage and offer other health benefits.</p>
3. Huckleberry<p>Huckleberry is the North American name for the berries of several plant species in the <em>Vaccinium </em>and <em>Gaylussacia </em>genera.</p><p>Wild huckleberries grow in mountainous regions, forests, bogs, and lake basins in Northwestern America and Western Canada. The berries are small and either red, blue, or black.</p><p>Ripe huckleberries are fairly sweet with a little tartness. Though they can be eaten fresh, they're often made into tasty beverages, jams, puddings, candies, syrups, and other foods.</p><p>Huckleberries are rich in powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and polyphenols. In fact, they contain more of these beneficial compounds than antioxidant-rich fruits like <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries" target="_blank">blueberries</a>.</p><p>Diets rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols have been linked to impressive health benefits, including reduced inflammation, a lower risk of heart disease, and anticancer effects.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Huckleberries are fairly sweet with a little tartness and can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. They're rich in powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and polyphenols.</p>
4. Gooseberries<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gooseberries" target="_blank">Gooseberries</a> belong to two major groups — European gooseberries (<em>Ribes grossularia var. uva-crispa</em>) and American gooseberries (<em>Ribes hirtellum</em>).</p><p>They're native to Europe, Asia, and North America and grow on a bush approximately 3–6 feet (1–1.8 meters) high. The berries are small, round, and vary from green to red or purple in color.</p><p>Gooseberries can be very tart or very sweet. They're eaten fresh or used as an ingredient in pies, wines, jams, and syrups.</p><p>They're high in vitamin C, with 1 cup (150 grams) providing 46% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).</p><p>In addition, the same serving packs a whopping 6.5 grams of dietary fiber, which is 26% of the daily value. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-fiber-good-for-you" target="_blank">Dietary fiber</a> is a type of indigestible carb that's essential for healthy digestion.</p><p>They also contain the antioxidant protocatechuic acid, which has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects in animal and test-tube studies.</p><p>Although these results are promising, more human research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Gooseberries can be tart or sweet and enjoyed fresh or cooked. They're high in fiber, vitamin C, and the antioxidant protocatechuic acid.</p>
5. Chokeberries<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/aronia-berries" target="_blank">Chokeberries</a> (<em>Aronia</em>) grow on a shrub that's native to eastern North America.</p><p>They have a semisweet yet tart taste and can be eaten fresh, although they're more commonly made into wines, jams, spreads, juices, teas, and ice cream.</p><p>Chokeberries typically grow in wet woods and swamps. There are three main species of chokeberry — the red chokeberry (<em>Aronia arbutifolia</em>), black chokeberry (<em>Aronia melanocarpa</em>), and purple chokeberry (<em>Aronia prunifolia</em>).</p><p>Chokeberries are particularly high in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-k" target="_blank">vitamin K</a>, a nutrient that supports bone health and is needed for important bodily functions, such as proper blood clotting.</p><p>They're also high in antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins. These powerful plant compounds give chokeberries one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all fruits.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Chokeberries have a semisweet yet tart taste and can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. They're high in vitamin K and numerous antioxidants.</p>
6. Mulberries<p>Mulberries (<em>Morus</em>) are a group of flowering plants that belong to the <em>Moraceae</em> family.</p><p>They grow in mild to subtropical regions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Mulberries are multiple fruits, which means they grow in clusters.</p><p>The berries are approximately 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches (2–3 cm) in length and typically dark purple to black in color. Some species can be red or white.</p><p>Mulberries are juicy and sweet and can be enjoyed fresh or in pies, cordials, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-herbal-teas" target="_blank">herbal teas</a>. They're packed with vitamin C and provide good amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.</p><p>Additionally, 1 cup (140 grams) of mulberries offers an impressive 14% of your daily iron needs. This mineral is necessary for important processes in your body, such as growth, development, and blood cell production.</p><p>What's more, mulberries are packed with anthocyanins, which are plant pigments that are strong antioxidants.</p><p>Test-tube and animal studies show that mulberry extract may help lower <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar" target="_blank">blood sugar levels</a>, aid weight loss, fight cancer, and protect your brain from damage.</p><p>All of these benefits may be due to its high concentration of antioxidants, which include anthocyanins.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Mulberries are juicy, sweet berries that are delicious fresh or cooked. They're high in iron and anthocyanin antioxidants.</p>
7. Salmonberry<p>Salmonberries are the fruit of the <em>Rubus spectabilis</em> plant, which belongs to the rose family.</p><p>The plants are native to North America, where they can grow up to 6.6–13 feet (2–4 meters) tall in moist coastal forests and along shorelines.</p><p>Salmonberries are yellow to orange-red and look like blackberries. They're fairly tasteless and can be eaten raw.</p><p>However, they're commonly combined with other ingredients and made into jam, candy, jelly, and alcoholic drinks.</p><p>Salmonberries are a good source of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/manganese-benefits" target="_blank">manganese</a>, providing 55% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Manganese is essential for nutrient metabolism and bone health, and it has powerful antioxidant effects.</p><p>The berries also contain good amounts of vitamins K and C, offering 18% and 15% of the RDI in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, respectively.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Salmonberries are fairy tasteless when fresh, so they're commonly made into jams, wines, and other foods. They're a good source of manganese and vitamins C and K.</p>
8. Saskatoon Berries<p><em>Amelanchier alnifolia</em> is a shrub that's native to North America.</p><p>It grows 3–26 feet (1–8 meters) high and produces edible fruit known as saskatoon berries. These purple berries are approximately 1/4–1 inch (5–15 mm) in diameter.</p><p>They have a sweet, nutty flavor and can be eaten fresh or dried. They're used in pies, wines, jams, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/beer-belly" target="_blank">beer</a>, cider, and sometimes cereals and trail mixes.</p><p>Saskatoon berries are one of the best sources of riboflavin (vitamin B2), containing nearly 3 times your daily needs in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).</p><p>Riboflavin — like other B vitamins — plays an essential role in energy production. It's needed to turn your food into energy and may protect your nervous system against disorders like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Saskatoon berries have a sweet, nutty flavor and can be enjoyed both fresh and dried. They're incredibly high in riboflavin, a very important nutrient.</p>
9. Muscadine<p>Muscadine (<em>Vitis rotundifolia</em>) is a grapevine species native to the United States.</p><p>Muscadines have a thick skin that ranges from bronze to dark purple to black. They have a very sweet yet musky taste, and their flesh's texture is similar to that of plums.</p><p>Muscadines are bursting with riboflavin (vitamin B2), with a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving providing 115% of the RDI. They're also high in dietary fiber — containing 4 grams per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 16% of the daily value.</p><p>Dietary fiber may help <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lower-cholesterol" target="_blank">reduce blood cholesterol</a> levels, promote healthy digestion, and increase weight loss and feelings of fullness.</p><p>These grape-like fruits are not only high in riboflavin and dietary fiber but also contain resveratrol.</p><p>This antioxidant is found in the skin of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes" target="_blank">grapes</a>. Human and animal studies show that resveratrol promotes healthy blood sugar levels and may protect against heart disease and certain cancers.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Muscadine berries have a sweet yet musky taste. They're high in fiber, riboflavin, and resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant.</p>
10. Buffaloberries<p>Buffaloberries (<em>Shepherdia</em>) are the fruit of small shrubs in the <em>Elaeagnaceae</em> family.</p><p>The plants are native to North America and 3–13 feet (1–4 meters) in height. Silver buffaloberry (<em>Shepherdia argentea</em>) is the most common species. It has green leaves covered with fine silvery hairs and pale-yellow flowers that lack petals.</p><p>Buffaloberries have a rough, dark red skin with little white dots. Fresh berries are quite bitter, so they're often cooked and made into delicious jams, jellies, and syrups. Eating too many of these berries in any form can cause diarrhea.</p><p>These berries are bursting with antioxidants, including <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lycopene" target="_blank">lycopene</a>.</p><p>Lycopene is a powerful pigment that gives red, orange, and pink fruits their characteristic color. It has been linked to a number of health benefits.</p><p>For example, studies have associated lycopene with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and eye conditions, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Buffaloberries are fairly bitter but can be made into delicious jams and syrups. They're high in lycopene, an antioxidant linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, eye conditions, and certain cancers.</p>
8 Poisonous Wild Berries to Avoid<p>While many wild berries are delicious and safe to eat, some you should avoid.</p><p>Certain berries contain toxic compounds that may cause uncomfortable or fatal side effects.</p><p>Here are 8 poisonous wild berries to avoid:</p><ol><li><strong>Holly berries. </strong>These tiny berries contain the toxic compound saponin, which may cause <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-to-eat-when-nauseous" target="_blank">nausea</a>, vomiting, and stomach cramps.</li><li><strong>Mistletoe.</strong> This popular Christmas plant has white berries that contain the toxic compound phoratoxin. It can cause stomach issues and a slow heartbeat (bradycardia), as well as brain, kidney, and adrenal gland toxicity.</li><li><strong>Jerusalem cherries.</strong> Also known as Christmas orange, this plant has yellow-red berries that contain solanine, a compound that can cause gastrointestinal infections, stomach cramping, and an irregular heartbeat (tachycardia).</li><li><strong>Bittersweet.</strong> Also called woody <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nightshade-vegetables" target="_blank">nightshade</a>, berries from this plant contain solanine. They're similar to Jerusalem cherries and can cause similar side effects.</li><li><strong>Pokeweed berries.</strong> These purple berries look like grapes but contain toxic compounds in the roots, leaves, stem, and fruit. This plant tends to get more toxic as it matures, and eating the berries is potentially fatal.</li><li><strong>Ivy berries.</strong> Purple-black to orange-yellow in color, these berries contain the toxin saponin. They may cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.</li><li><strong>Yew berries.</strong> These bright red berries contain potentially toxic seeds. One study showed that eating too many yew seeds caused seizures.</li><li><strong>Virginia creeper berries. </strong>These climbing vine berries contain toxic amounts of calcium oxalate. Consuming too much of this compound can have toxic effects on your kidneys.</li></ol><p>This list is not exhaustive, and many other poisonous berries grow in the wild. Some toxic berries even look similar to edible ones.</p><p>For this reason, the utmost caution must be taken when harvesting wild berries. If you're ever unsure whether a wild berry is safe, it's best to avoid it.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p>Many wild berries contain toxic compounds. Be extremely cautious when picking wild berries for consumption.</p>
Bottom Line<p>Many wild <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries" target="_blank">berries</a> are delicious and safe to eat.</p><p>They're often packed with nutrients and powerful antioxidants that can provide various health benefits, such as boosting immunity, protecting your brain and heart, and reducing cellular damage.</p><p>However, some wild berries are poisonous and potentially fatal. If you're unsure about a species of wild berry, it's best to avoid eating it, as it's not worth the risk.</p>
By Kris Gunnars
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