Wellness Jackie’s Way: Fall into fiber

Summer has ended but we can look forward to the changing of the leaves right around the corner. And so our cooking now changes with the new produce coming into season. This means soups, cinnamon, pumpkin and so much more.

The rich flavors of fall come through in recipes using apples, mushrooms, butternut squash and pumpkin, which are four of my top favorites. All of which are easy to cook and store. Their nutritional value is very good: low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, (three evils), and high in dietary fiber, vitamin E and C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, B6 and Vitamin K and a healthy dose of antioxidants. In fact, butternut squash is one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables you can eat with a rich array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as significant amounts of digestive fiber, low in calories and very filling.

Also, it’s a food with a very low glycemic index, which is helpful in weight loss regimens and most importantly this bright colored orange food is high in beta-carotene, a powerful anti-carcinogenic vegetable property.

So if pledging to make a change to your diet this fall — and why not since we can always improve our food choices — I suggest starting by adding the orange colored foods with a goal to increase your fiber intake. Unfortunately our traditional low fiber diet has increased tremendously along with our increased sugar consumption.

Our Paleolithic ancestors ate 50-100 grams of fiber a day. We now eat fewer than 15 grams of fiber daily and, in my base of clients who track their food consumption using various apps on their phones (such as Lose It) I found this to be true. Using the printouts from the apps, one of the first nutrients I look at is how many grams of fiber is eaten on an average day. Invariably it is less than 15grams. The national fiber recommendation for men is 30-38grams per day and, for women it’s 25grams per day between the ages of 18-50years old. If greater than 50 years old, then the recommendation is 21 grams per day. Another general guideline is to get 14grams of fiber for every 1000 calories in your diet.

Fiber is important because it slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream from our gut, makes us feel full and reduces cholesterol. The fiber in our diet comes predominantly from plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, including nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans. Those who eat a refined, processed diet out of boxes, packages and cans typically get less fiber than those who eat whole real foods. The lack of fiber in our diet has enormous implications for our health. It contributes to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancers and many other chronic diseases. In fact, studies show that the addition of high levels of fiber to the diet is as effective as a diabetes medication in lowering blood sugar without any of the side effects.

So let’s pledge to make one powerful change to our diets this fall with a mantra of “Fall into Fiber.”


Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage & Thyme

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and seed 1 (2-pound) butternut squash; halve lengthwise. Cut crosswise into ¾-inch slices. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of chopped fresh sage, 1 ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Serves 4 (serving size about 2/3 cup) Cals: 147; Fat: 7g (sat 1g, unsat 6g); Pro: 2g; Carb 23g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 4g (added sugars 0g); Sodium 248mg; Potassium 19% DV

Spicy Roasted Squash

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Peel four cups butternut squash, cut into wedges. In a large bowl, toss tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of paprika, chili powder and cayenne, and a pinch of sea salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. The squash is done when tender.

Serves 4 Cals: 93, Carbs 16g; Fiber 2.8g; Pro: 1.4g; Fat: 3.5g; Chol: 0mg; Sodium: 44mg; Calcium 75mg.


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About Jackie Tate

Jackie Tate has been working in the health and fitness industry for 25 years. She has a master’s of science degree in health education and a bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition, both from Penn State. Early in her career she was recruited by Johnson & Johnson to work in their diabetes division during which time she earned her diabetes educator certification. In 2009, she developed a health and wellness consulting business. Tate’s Wellness Company enables her to work with individuals to create personalized dietary plans using a one-on-one consultation approach. She conducts personal training sessions and leads fitness classes at Way Martial Arts in West Chester, Darlington Arts in Garnet Valley, and the Concord Country Club in Concord Township. Jackie is a certified fitness trainer, Silver Sneakers and zumba Instructor. Additionally, she teaches nutrition to students attending the Academy of International Ballet in Glen Mills. Lamb McErlane, PC is one of Jackie’s corporate clients where she delivers nutritious Lunch N Learn sessions for employees as part of their on-going commitment to wellness. Jackie has a passion for inspiring people to lead healthier lifestyles through optimal nutrition and fitness. Tate4foodandfitness.com Tate4foodandfitness@verizon.net



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