Wednesday, April 2, 2014

3 Reasons You Can Eat Macaroni Guilt-Free

Okay, so you're thinking I've fallen off my rocker. How am I suggesting that deep-fried macaroni and cheese is a healthy choice. Don't worry - I'm just having fun with my friend Cyra's latest adventure.*

*(Cyra Belbin is a finalist on the show Recipes to Riches tonight on CBC here in Canada. She's created these absolutely "Yum!" (yes, I'm quoting her) Mexi Mac n' Cheese Bites - now a President's Choice product. And, yes I've tried them...they really are tasty.)

Getting On Point...
It's important to your mood and waistline that food is fun. Yes, of course you MUST eat your vegetables and get enough omega-3 into your diet but, a little cheat every now and then may be good for you. Researchers have found that calorie-restricted diets offer many healthy benefits and may even prolong life. However, calorie-restricted diets can also make you feel depressed and lethargic.

1) On calorie restricted diets you produce less leptin (a hormone responsible for maintaining our energy balance) which makes you feel lethargic. Studies show that eating a carbohydrate-rich treat (such as macaroni) increases your leptin levels giving your metabolism a short-term boost. But, be careful eating too much of a treat can tip the scale. You need to balance between calories consumed and calories burned. Possible solution? Share your cheat treat with friends!

2) Macaroni and other carbohydrate-rich foods also boost dopamine levels. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone. (Ah-ha...that's why kids give you an ear-to-ear grins when served pasta).

3) They are fun - Cyra's Mexi Mac n' Cheese Bites are crispy on the outside and gooey, creamy cheese with noodles on the inside. I've never eaten something so silly and fun.

Tonight, perhaps I'll toast my friend's efforts with a glass of red wine. Why? Red wine is not only known for its heart-health promoting abilities and anti-aging antioxidants, it also boosts leptin levels helping increase your metabolism and mood.

My Confession:
I'm a cheater! I know way too much about food and what it does to my body causing me to eat a very healthy and restricted diet about 95% of the time. But, what I find fun is to indulge in a cheat on occasion: eat something that was created because it makes my mouth and brain go wild. (Yes, I'm talking about that amazing combination of fat, salt and sugar used by all processed food developers to make us love their food products). But, I only cheat on occasion - a healthy body needs nutrients and doesn't function well when fuelled by too much junk food.

GOOD LUCK CYRA!!!! #TeamCyra

Want to Read the Studies I'm Refering Too? Here they are...enjoy!

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