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Friday, May 24, 2013

Yogurt with Flaxseed, Granola, Cinnamon and Walnuts

Yogurt with Flaxseed, Granola, Cinnamon and Walnuts

I need to begin this post with a preface.  I am not a health expert, I am not a guru and I am not even always a good follower of the instructions that I am given by my health professionals.  I can't even promise that all the recipes in this blog will be 100% healthy.  All that said, I started this blog with the purpose of sharing recipes and information and to include you all on my gastronomical journey towards better health. 

Flaxseed

Flaxseed, flaxseed, wherefore art thou flaxseed?  Preliminary studies show that Flaxseed  may help fight heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. I had encountered Flaxseed in the past when my daughter had some minor health issues and the Homeopathic doctor that we were seeing added Flaxseed oil to her diet but that was around 9 years ago and since then Flaxseed hadn't entered my front door.  No particular reason.  But then last week, my dietician gave me her "recipe" and for the last week I have been having flaxseed every day in my yogurt except yesterday when I skipped the yogurt and opted for oatmeal. 

Note:  Flaxseed can cause gas and stomach upset, I learned this the hard way (TMI?) .  Do not exceed, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed daily and it is recommended to start with a smaller amount to build up your body's ability to digest it. I did not do this and paid the price (more TMI, sorry!).

Granola

Granola, my old friend, who goes into my low fat yogurt everyday has now been upgraded to sugar-free, oil-free granola.  I miss my old granola, but a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do!  Granola's main ingredient, Oats are very beneficial as they help in regulating blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Cinnamon

There's that cinnamon again!  Yes, a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.  And I love cinnamon! So there is no problem for me whatsoever in adding it to my daily diet.  Just remember, cinnamon rolls don't count! That would sort of defeat the purpose.

Walnuts

I like nuts! Walnuts are not necessarily my favorite but they're ok. But this is what my dietitian said to put in the yogurt and for good reason.  There are a number of small studies that show that walnuts help lower cholesterol and have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (which I am not 100% sure of what that means health wise but I know that it's a good thing!).

The Recipe

1- 1 1/2 % fat unsweetened yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed (see note above)
2 Tablespoon oil-free, sugar-free granola
2 coarsely chopped walnuts

Mix it all together in a bowl and eat!  I somanetimes add a little bit of honey even though my dietitian raised an eyebrow about that.  Balance, people, balance!