Saturday, July 15, 2006

Everyone Needs To Be Eating Blueberries

Blueberries are a powerfood that can greatly improve your health

Before my low-carb weight loss experience, I wasn't much of a fruit eater. Big surprise, I know! Of course, when I did eat fruit, it was usually the kind that was packaged in so much high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars that the all-natural goodness of the fruit itself was quite literally destroyed by the additives, preservatives, and extra "rat poison" (that's my personal way of describing sugar) the manufacturers thought they needed to use.

But that was then and this is now. Since I am no longer that 410-pound slob of a unhealthy man I was nearly three years ago, I have learned to eat better than I ever have in my entire life. That's what livin' la vida low-carb has taught me. Although I'm eating healthier, that doesn't mean I have to sacrifice taste or quality in the foods that I eat now either.

An interesting thing has happened to my personal tastes over the past few years as I have weaned myself off of using sugar and sugar-based products. It seems my tastebuds are so much more enhanced to savor the flavors of the foods I am eating. While I once needed to add tons of sugar to just about everything to make them sweet enough for me to enjoy (or at least that's what I thought I had to do), the fact of the matter is there are many naturally sweet foods that not only taste good, but are also packed with essential nutrients that your body can use.

The best such food that fits that description is blueberries. Nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden calls blueberries one of the healthiest foods you could possibly eat. Man oh man, I had no idea these things could taste so good all by themselves or in a dessert dish. And the best part of all is they are low-glycemic, low-fat, low-calories and, yes, low-carb, so they are perfect for people following virtually ANY weight loss program today.

Check out the cold hard nutritional facts on these incredible blueberries:

Nutritional Breakdown
Calories 81
Protein (g) 1
Carbohydrate (g) 21
Dietary fiber (g) 3.9
Total fat (g) 0.6
Saturated fat (g) 0.1
Monounsaturated fat (g) 0.1
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.2
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Potassium (mg) 129
Sodium (mg) 9
key nutrients (%rda/ai*)
Vitamin C 19 mg (21%)
Vitamin E 2.7 mg (18%)

Why WOULDN'T you want to start eating more blueberries right away?

This small handful of blueberries contains a mere 1-2g net carbs

Another key element found in blueberries is the very large amounts of healthy antioxidants from the anthocyanins in them that have been found to protect against cell damage which can lead to disease and an acceleration of the aging process. Also, flavonoid phytochemicals (which includes anthocyanins) can make blood platelets less likely to stick together and form the type of clots that can cause heart attacks. So eating blueberries is indeed "heart healthy!"

They also contain high amounts of the soluble fiber known as pectin which can lower your cholesterol by preventing LDL "bad" cholesterol from oxidation which then leads to hardening of the arteries. Additionally, the pectin adds bulk to your stools without causing a bowel movement (although if you eat too many blueberries, be prepared for your bowel to shake, rattle, and roll!).

Some more research has also found that blueberries can prevent the spread of infectious bacteria in the urinary tract which can help prevent urinary tract infections. And a Tufts University study showed elderly lab rats experiencing mental illness were able to correct and even reverse that condition just by eating blueberries. Whoa! Blueberry juice is an all-natural remedy for a nasty cough and blueberries can even help prevent macular degeneration. Oh, I see! ;D

With all of these health benefits just from eating blueberries, it only makes sense that people begin eating them on a regular basis, right? Is this the "well duh" of the year or what?

I used to buy frozen blueberries at my favorite grocery store which is a great way to enjoy this delicious fruit when it is out of season. But right now is the BEST time all year long to get your blueberries fresh. When I got off of work last night, I went to the YMCA for my workout and then headed straight for the Fresh Market to pick up several pounds of these delightful little morsels of low-carb excellence! I couldn't wait to eat them right out of the container they were so plump, juicy, and sweet!

In fact, right before I started writing this blog post, I popped some in my mouth:

Mmm, maybe I put a few too many in there at one time. Wanna see?

Hee hee! It's hard NOT to have just a little bit of fun when you're talking about blueberries. I believe from the bottom of my heart without a shadow of a doubt in my mind at all that everyone needs to be eating blueberries. EVERYBODY!!!

Let the excuses start to flow:

"But, but, but, blueberries are so expensive, Jimmy. A little pint-sized container at the grocery store is three bucks! How can you expect me to afford that? It's just not worth it to me!"

Here we go again. Sigh. But there are people out there who say things like that to me all the time as they spout off their "I don't care" attitude at me. Is it any wonder why obesity rages on and will continue to do so for many years to come?

The answer to the question about affordability is simple: If you truly care enough about eating better and healthier than you are right now, then you will do what you have to do to get the blueberries in your refrigerator so they can be available to you when you need to eat them instead of that honeybun, brownie, or chocolate cake. Would anyone disagree with this?

Also, one of the amazing thinga about rationalizing NOT eating how you are supposed to because of alleged financial constraints is that many of those same people will go out to McDonald's for a #2 Super-Sized Extra Value Meal that costs over FIVE BUCKS, but they can't shell out that same amount of money for a couple of pints of blueberries? Riiiiigggght, it's the money. Don't even try to pull that crap with me because I wrote the book on it a long time ago. THAT'S WHY I STAYED SO FAT FOR SO LONG! You're not gonna be able to wiggle your way out of this one!

The month of July is actually National Blueberry Month (you can even send a friend or family member a FREE personalized e-card from about it!) and has been since the USDA proclaimed it as such in 1999. So it's time to celebrate by getting up from your computer right now (DO IT!), grabbing your keys, going to your car, driving down to the nearest store that sells fresh blueberries, and stocking up! You'll be so glad you did as you begin this new commitment to start eating better than you ever have before.

You and your family will enjoy how blueberries will change the way you thought eating healthy could be. Don't delay on making this a priority in your life because this one little change could make a world of difference. Especially if you are livin' la vida low-carb, eating fruit (yes, you DO get to eat fruit!) like blueberries is A VIRTUAL MUST. So what are you waiting for? GO GET YOU SOME! Go on, I'll be here blogging, munching on blueberries when you get back...

7-16-06 UPDATE: Well, believe it or not, not all low-carbers actually agree with my recommendation to eat more blueberries. Fellow low-carb blogger Rob at his new Zero Carb Daily blog says that all "fruit should be one of the last things you should eat on low-carb."

"Fruit is the worst and most fattening of carbs to eat. I would not advise anyone with serious weight to lose to eat fruit of any kind."

While I do not subscribe to the "you-must-eat-all-fruit" theory of weight loss and healthy nutrition since many of them do contain way too much sugar for your body when you are livin' la vida low-carb, I certainly think it is shortsighted to say consuming blueberries is "fattening" for a low-carber. As long as you aren't eating a pound of them in one sitting, they are low-glycemic and loaded with the nutrients I talked about in my post.

Since Rob is following a near zero carb version of livin' la vida low-carb, I can understand why HE wouldn't want to eat fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. But for the rest of us who are eating between 20-60g of carbs as part of a low-carb weight loss or weight maintenance plan, these wonder fruits are the perfect snack to rejuvenate your body and help you in your path towards becoming as healthy as you can. Sorry, Rob, I couldn't disagree with you more on this.


Blogger Rachel said...

Cannot afford blueberries, but will eat fast food in a heart beat. Will buy canned foods loaded with sugars and salts without a problem. I'm worth it! And.. if I go to the store today, I'll be sure go snag me some blueberries. I'm thinking blueberry pancakes.. low-carb, of course!

7/15/2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Um, Rachel, I can't tell if you are joking or serious. Either way, eat up them blueberries! :)

7/15/2006 6:20 PM  
Blogger megadittles said...

Have you heard this one a million times, "It is just too expensive to eat healthy." The kicker is these are the same people who load up on refined sugars, and pasta for dinner, come in buy a huge muffin in a package (because they didn't have time to eat that morning before they came to work), and they eat out $6-10 lunches every day (or close too it). Lets see, I don't eat out everyday, get up enough time to eat something (would you want someone with low blood sugar driving? Uh, didn't think so. Plus, I'm taking the time to pack a lunch. I believe my healthy eating has to be cheaper than eating out at the Steak House everyday. I say CACA if you're not trying to make yourself healthier.

7/15/2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

Hey Jimmy!

I would just like to say I found the open mouth pictures of you very disturbing! Close your mouth when you eat! he he he!

I have noticed that my taste buds have changed as well. I am a lot more picky about my food. This means I can't eat fruit, veggies and meat that is old and rotting. It really is amazing how I didn't care before, as long as the meal was packed with carbs and starch!

You are right about the expense part. I spend more money now buying quality food, but I spend less money eating out, and on medications!

Blueberries are an awesome snack!

7/16/2006 12:56 AM  
Blogger Sweet Tart said...

I love blueberries! Really, all berries. I have made peace with the fact that I have to pay more to get good food. To save money, you can grow them yourself. I'm making a pledge to myself to get some blueberries & raspberries started in my backyard this summer.

7/16/2006 6:44 PM  
Blogger diamondwife said...

The reality is that eating healthy IS more expensive, and for my husband and I it is a LOT more expensive. You see, I wanted to eat healthy for years before I was able to. My husband was, and still is, in control of the household budget. It took my husband agreeing to increase our food budget for me to be able to fully implement healthier eating. I see comments above about eating out. We travel a lot for our business and eating out is a necessity on occasion. We eat out just as much as we used to, and that is more expensive (think Subway salad vs dollar menu at McDonald's). My allotted grocery budget was about $75 to $100 a MONTH. We sutained ourselves on crap like ramen noodles, cheap frozen dinners (the 89 cent to $1.00 ones), and generic box mac and cheese. We ate very little except foods loaded with carbs and trans fats. We had to majorly shift money in our budget from other things toward food. In fact, when we first began doing this our phone got shut off more than once and we had to borrow money from my husband's parents to keep our power from being shut off. We are fine now, and our budget is adjusted, but please don't underestimate the extreme difference in the cost of eating cheaply and eating healthily. We went from getting a 3/4 FULL cart of groceries once a MONTH for $75 to getting a 1/4 full cart of groceries once a WEEK for about the same amount. This a major difference and it took some extreme commitment to our health to give our grocery budget higher priority than some of our other household bills.

7/16/2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I had 6 oz. of blueberries drowned in Half and Half on Saturday morning! Yummy! Usually too high carb for my allowance, though.

Today I had strawberries in Half and Half. Yummy in my tummy and lower in carbs than the blueberries. Blueberries tend to be strictly a treat.

And yes, eating healthy is expensive. But you can either spend the money on food now or on doctors later. Your choice.

7/16/2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger Hellistile said...

If you are at an ideal weight and have no blood sugar issues, you can certainly eat a handful of blueberries or any berries occasionally. However, if you are overweight and do have blood sugar issues, or are diabetic, stay away from all fruit. Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, of "The Diabetes Diet" and "The Diabetic Solution" fame does not recommend eating any fruit if you are trying to control blood sugars.

7/17/2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

My bad! I'm following a low-carb lifestyle :) It's amazing how people will say they cannot afford healthy foods, but can find all the money in the world for unhealthy foods.

I forgot my blueberries ;( Next trip! promise. But I did have my low-carb pancakes with sausage MMM and sugar free syrup.

7/18/2006 2:11 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

They're not too expensive if you buy the right kind. I buy a decent-sized bag of organic frozen wild blueberries at Wild Oats every week for $3.99 and, at about one handful a day, it lasts about 10 days.

Also don't think that just because they're frozen, they're less delicious. It's a GREAT summer snack and contains just as many nutrients as fresh. Love it.

8/22/2007 2:29 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I LOVE frozen blueberries, Jeffrey! Pour some sugar-free chocolate on top with a dollop of whipped cream and mmm mmm mmm...slap yo momma silly!

8/22/2007 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE frozen blueberries. I am a competitive gymnast and it's important for me to eat healthy, and blueberries help me a lot! I eat them almost every day, :)

7/30/2011 2:33 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home