WHAT IS GREEK YOGURT, ANYWAY??
Maybe you toss a couple tubs of Greek yogurt in your shopping cart because you've heard of its myriad health benefits, or perhaps you prefer its rich, thick texture, but do you know what exactly sets it apart form other styles of yogurt? If you're thinking it all has to do with country of origin, that's not quite right. Yogurt can be sold as Greek yogurt without actually being made in Greece; most Greek yogurt sold in the US is Greek in style only.
In short: Greek yogurt is a thicker-strained dairy product. It begins its life in the same way as regular yogurt--both are probiotic-rich fermented dairy products--and it becomes Greek yogurt after straining away a large volume of liquidy, lactose-rich whey. This is how it gets its thicker texture and higher concentration of protein, fat, and calcium.
Because it's thicker, it can be swapped for mayonnaise, sour cream, or creme fraiche to lighten up recipes. It's also the way to go when you want to add yogurts tang to a recipe, without adding too much liquid, like in yogurt-based dips.
To make Greek yogurt from regular yogurt, mimic how it's produced: line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth set over the bowl, fill the strainer with regular yogurt, cover it all with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or until thickened.
I've read a lot of articles on how your sleep habits affect your health. I thought this might be helpful...
More than 150 million adults suffer from sleep-related disorders across the developing world. Insomnia can be defined as a disorder and a symptom of an underlying condition. Sustained sleeplessness could lead to a variety of medical, psychiatric, interpersonal, and societal consequences.
There are three types of insomnia: transient, acute and chronic insomnia. The symptoms include the inability to fall asleep and difficulty to go back to sleep. Other symptoms include wakefulness in the night, irritability, anxiety and daytime sleepiness.
Although this condition can be managed by sleeping pills, it;s not recommended by doctors. Most health experts warn that sleeping pills could lead to various illnesses, substance abuse, and even fatal overdose. If you are suffering from insomnia and you want to treat this condition using herbs, here are some recommendations:
Wild lettuce is renowned for its sedative effects. It works similarly like opium, inducing deep, relaxing, sleep. Wild lettuce is traditionally used to treat anxiety and joint pain. But it can also work as a natural sedative. Just take around 30 to 120 milligrams of wild lettuce supplement before you sleep to achieve the best results.
Ever wonder why beer lulls you to sleep like nothing else? It's the hops in your favorite brew that induce sleep! Hops are the female flowers of the hop plant, they are used in brewing beer. The flowers give the beer its distinct tangy, bitter flavor. Hops extract works as a mild sedative too. In fact, it's traditionally used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Instead of drinking beer, take 30 to 120 milligrams of hops supplements before you go to bed.
When sleep won't come, it's time to bust out the essential oils. Studies found that lavender promotes deeper, more satisfying sleep. You can find lavender oil in most aromatherapy and wellness stores. Get a spritzer bottle and fill it with water. Add several drops of lavender oil and mix well. Spritz the solution on your pillow before you sleep. Soon you will be transported to dreamland.
Valerian is a medicinal plant used to treat insomnia throughout Europe. Studies show that valerian can increase deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The herb contains valepotriates. These compounds are potent muscle relaxant. Valepotriates have sedative effects as well. Although all parts of the plant contain valepotriates, the chemical is concentrated in the roots.
Just like lavender, chamomile relaxes the muscles and calms a weary mind. And there are scientific evidence that show how effective chamomile is in inducing sleep. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that chamomile can induce sleep better than a placebo. The gathered 57 patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Then, they divided the participants into two groups. The first group was given chamomile tea before sleeping and the other group a placebo. After two months of tracking, the group given chamomile tea saw fewer symptoms of anxiety.
Do not underestimate the power of warm milk. Drinking a warm glass of milk before retiring to bed is an excellent way to prevent sleepless nights. Research shows that milk contains tryptophan. This chemical eases the brain to go into sleep mode. It also relaxes the muscles and calms the mind.
There is a lot of misinformation floating around these days about sugar consumption and how it can affect your health. Here are some common myths that are important to dispel and in order to set the record straight once and for all.
1. Sugar is responsible for hyperactivity: This common myth has been debunked (ohmyveggies.com/healthy-or-hype-7-sugar-myths-debunked/) in the scientific community by extensive research. In one study (scopeblog.stqanford.edu/2012/10/31/debunking-a-halloween-myth-sugar-and-hyperactivity/) where parents were told to record their child's behavior after they were given sugar by the researchers, all the children's behavior was described as "problematic or hyperactive". In reality, the children were given no sugar. This myth seems to hold true because sugar is often consumed in social setting such as parties, events, and conferences, etc., where there is a lot of other non-food related stimuli (visual and auditory) and this can have an affect on an individual's mood.
2. Sugar is the main cause for developing diabetes: Sugar is not the main culprit for individuals who develop diabetes (diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/), but is instead the result of an inactive lifestyle, poor diet and genetics. Gaining unhealthy calories from any food source definitely contributes to this disease, but eating sugar alone will not make you an automatic candidate.
3. Brown sugar has a higher nutritional value than its white counterpart: You may have heard the old expression "the whiter the bread the sooner you will be dead," and have realized the trend of switching over to not only whole grains, but brown rice as well. This rule unfortunately does not apply to sugar (ohmyveggies.com.healthy-or-hype-7-sugar-myths-debunked/) since brown sugar had simply had molasses added to it. Please note that there is a difference between unrefined or raw sugar which can have a brown hue to it and is completely different in nutritional value.
4. Natural sugar is better for you: There has been a recent appearance of "alternative sugars" on supermarket shelves. Coconut sugar, agave nectar, date sugar are advertised as healthier versions of the refined version. This claim is false (ohmyveggies.com/healthy-or-hype-7-sugar-myths-debunked/), since it will always be metabolized by the body in the same way. These natural sugars have some added minerals, but the amount is minimal. A much larger amount would have to be consumed in order to reap the benefits.
5. Sugar-free labels means a product is healthier for you: If the actual food item in question is sans sugar than it is definitely healthier for your body, but this is not usually the case when sugar-free appears on a food label. This particular label often means the item is replaced with artificial sweeteners. These can do more harm than good to you. Even natural sweeteners like Stevia can cause issues (steviapoint.com/benefits-dangers/the-dangers-of-stevia-use/), so it is better to consume natural sugar in moderation than any amount of artificial sweetener.
6. Fruit is bad because it contains too much sugar: Fruit contains a high level of naturally occurring sugar named fructose. Unlike a few cookies or a piece of cake, fruit has other key nutrients (ohmyveggies.com/healthy-or-hype-7-sugar-myths-debunked/) like soluble fiber that helps minimize cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins and antioxidants that help prevent disease. The insoluble fiber in fruit helps monitor the absorption of sugar into the blood stream and helps keep you full longer.
7. No added sugar on a product means you are in the clear: Just because a food item claims to have no added sugar in its ingredients does not always mean there is absolutely none present. Sugar has many different disguises and it is important to identify them in your groceries. It can be under names like dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, fructose, and fruit juice concentrates. A good rule of thumb is that anything with the ending - "ose" translates to sugar.