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Crumbs of Knowledge

Dash Yourself into Healthy Eating

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Fun runs, green grass, and cookouts signify that spring has arrived. So it is not surprising that May is National Blood Pressure Month as well as National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Hill & Valley’s products are known to help diabetics, but many can also help manage our blood pressure. Like Hill & Valley No Sugar Added Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Its two key ingredients – oatmeal and raisins – are foods that fit into the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) plan. Research shows that high blood pressure can be prevented – and lowered – by following the DASH program.

Raisins contain a good amount of potassium and magnesium, two power minerals known to help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. A 2013 review in the Journal of Food Science reports that eating raisins regularly is associated with reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides.

Oatmeal is rich in fiber and potassium. University of Aberdeen researchers had subjects follow a diet rich in whole grains (which included oats), and resulted in lowering their blood pressure. These researchers concluded in the 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that this blood pressure decrease would decrease the incidence of coronary artery disease and stroke by 15-25% respectively.

Blueberries for Breakfast

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Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Hill & Valley No Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins is a wonderful breakfast food because not only is it a quick meal, but also very flexible (you can eat it at home or on the go)! Here are a few things you may not know about Hill &Valley No Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins:

•Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese. Manganese plays a key role in bone development and converting protein, carbohydrates, and fat into energy.
•Each muffin contains 240 calories, 27 grams available carbohydrate, and 4 grams protein. Add some Greek nonfat yogurt to really kick this breakfast into high gear. This combination will fit into most healthy eating plans!
•Bioactives from blueberries have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, per a study published in 2010 Journal of Nutrition. Regularly eating blueberries results in lowering blood sugars over time. Good news for anyone with diabetes or metabolic syndrome!

Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

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This month, nutritionists like myself will be celebrating National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is ‘Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle’. Any Hill & Valley customer  would agree that it only takes a few bites of any of their products to become hooked! Bonus is the health benefits. This month, we’re featuring Hill & Valley Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies.

   The smooth, rich texture of these cookies, along with the wonderful peanut aroma is wonderful. Research from Harvard School of Public Health showed that a 1-ounce serving of peanuts eaten five or more times a week can decrease the risk of diabetes by 27%.

   Peanuts and peanut butter contain more protein than any other nut.  In addition, peanuts are very high in arginine, a vasodilator that helps to open up blood vessels and improve blood flow. This may contribute to lowering blood pressure.

   Lastly, new research published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment  showed that young girls who consumed peanut butter or peanuts at least twice a week decreased their risk of breast disease later in life by up to 39%. These finding suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.

Go ‘Red Velvet’ to Fight Heart Disease

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By wearing red during the month of February*, it is a great reminder that we must fight heart disease head on by making healthy lifestyle changes. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for men, but more shockingly 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. Hill and Valley is committed to have heart healthy products for their customers. No Sugar Added Red Velvet Cupcakes & Cake are not only the right color-red-but also provide these timely benefits:

  •  No Trans Fats! Trans fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol. Too much trans fats in your diet can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
  • One cupcake contains 17 grams ‘available carbohydrates’, 1 gram of sugar, and 260 calories. No other bakery cupcake can top that!
  •  One slice of cake or cupcake has 15 mg cholesterol and 200 mg or less of sodium. This fits nicely into a heart healthy eating plan.

*Go Red Campaign by the American Heart Association

 

Chocolate Strawberry Dessert

8 oz of fat free non-dairy whipped topping

1-ounce packet of sugar free, fat free vanilla pudding
8 slices of Hill and Valley Sliced Strawberry Crème Cake
9 large fresh strawberries, sliced
Sugar free chocolate sauce
Whipped cream
Dark chocolate shavings
Fresh mint
Martini glasses (4)

The sauce –
1/2 package of frozen strawberries thawed
1 t almond extract
1 t of Splenda granulated sweetener

Let’s put it all together:
1. Place the thawed berries, Splenda, and almond extract in a blender and puree until smooth; about 20 seconds. Set aside.
2. Mix the vanilla pudding and the whipped topping. Fold in the pureed strawberry sauce to make strawberry cream mixture.
3. Slice the fresh strawberries.
4. Dice slices of Hill and Valley Sliced Strawberry Crème Cake into 1” cubes.

Just minutes before serving:
5. Drizzle ribbons of chocolate sauce on the inside of the glass.
6. Alternate layers of cake, strawberry cream, and sliced fruit in the glass.
7. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate shavings, a fresh raspberry, and fresh mint.

Makes dessert for 4.

 

Welcome Gingerbread into the New Year

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Do you love eating gingerbread during the holidays, but not the unhealthy side effects? You are in luck with Hill & Valley Sugar Free Gingerbread Sliced Crème Cake. The moment you open up the package, the aroma of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg seems so comforting. And it is very workable into your new get healthier spirit. Check it out…

  • Nutmeg and cinnamon have been shown to decrease blood sugar levels in people who have Type 2 Diabetes. It also has been very effective in decreasing cholesterol levels.
  •  At 105 calories and 10 grams available carbohydrate per slice makes this a very doable snack.
  • The spice ginger is rich in antioxidants, which may help provide relief for everything from inflammation to menstrual cramps to migraines.

Say YES to Hill & Valley Pecan Pie

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Well, it’s that time of year when you hear children talking about whether they are on the naughty or nice list. As adults, we tend to do the same thing, only with food – hmm, is it a nice (healthy) food or naughty (must avoid)? As a 25 year plus nutritionist, I say it is time to throw out this list and enjoy all foods  during special occasions. Pecan pie usually is a ‘naughty’ food, but not Hill & Valley No Sugar Added Pecan Pie. Besides enjoying the delicious, buttery rich flavored pecans, your body will love these health benefits:

  • 90% of the fat content in pecans is unsaturated fats, which help lower bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol and increase good ‘HDL’ cholesterol.
  • Pecans are an excellent source of Vitamin E (especially gamma tocopherol), which gives you a strong immune system & healthy skin and eyes.
  • A slice of Hill & Valley No Sugar Added Pecan Pie contains 15 net carbohydrates, which is great for diabetics or anyone who is counting carbohydrates.

Yummy Pumpkin Snacks Available this Fall

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The seasonal pumpkin latte and all the pumpkin inspired products (creamers, bagels, cheesecake, etc) are all around us. Trouble is these pumpkin products are not very healthy. Hill & Valley’s Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes and Pumpkin Streusel Mini Muffins will not only satisfy your pumpkin cravings but, the added bonus, they are healthy!

Pumpkin, the main ingredient in both these mini snacks, is full of healthy stuff. Pop one of these mini snacks into your mouth after a hard workout, as pumpkin contains more potassium than a banana. Potassium can help restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout. Pumpkin is also heavy on Vitamin A & C, which helps keep your immune system at warp speed.

Lastly, these yummy mini muffins and cupcakes will fit into any meal plan, with only 125 calories or less and an average of 13 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Healthy Abundance from Apples

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The aroma of Hill & Valley No Sugar Added Dutch Apple or Apple Pie is a reminder that the fall season has arrived. Visiting apple orchards in the fall was a regular part of my growing up in the Midwest. One bite of Hill & Valley’s apple pie is as good as the health benefits we obtain from apples.

For some of us, fresh, warm apples are comfort food. It can also help us manage our hunger and feel more satisfied with our food. Researchers have recently discovered that people report less hunger and more food satisfaction after eating whole apples.

The polyphenols (plant nutrients) in apples function as antioxidants. In numerous studies, Apples’ strong antioxidants have the ability to lower the risk of asthma and lung cancer.

Lastly, the heart health benefits of apples are well documented in research studies, and are from apple’s unusual mix of polyphenols & their water-soluble fiber.  Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased through regular intake of apples. An apple a day, or perhaps apple pie, can keep the doctor away.

Jump Start Your Health with Macadamia Nuts

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September signifies the end of summer, and the beginning of a regular schedule – whether it is school, work, or a fitness routine. Most of us vow to eat healthier and try the latest diet, like the low GI or Paleo diet. A perfect snack is Hill & Valley’s Sugar Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Nuts usually get a bad nutrition rap, but not macadamia nuts! Here are some nibbles about this little nut:

  • Contain the greatest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. This ‘good fat’ lowers LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Classified as a low GI food, and fits perfectly into a low GI diet beneficial for anyone watching their blood sugars.
  • Rich in antioxidants, which help boost our immune system and help slow the aging process.
  • Good source of selenium, a phytosterol, which is recognized as having an anti-cancer effect, as well as behaving as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Great source of B Vitamins, like B1, B2, and niacin, which help give you energy throughout the day.

 

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