Lose Weight With Mustard

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 07:52 AM

One of our most common condiments is sadly undervalued as a weight-loss tool. You can find it almost anywhere, in convenience stores, fast-food and family restaurants, supermarkets, and even ball parks. And, it has zero calories.

What is it? Classic American mustard. On the condiment hit parade, mustard ranks second to mayo, ketchup, and barbecue sauce, according to a survey by The Association for Dressings and Sauces, but it belongs in the top spot for weight loss.

Mustard comes in many varieties and flavors but the most weight-friendly one was invented by Francis French in 1904 (French’s Classic Yellow Mustard). Any other brand of the bright-yellow type could do the same job but check ingredients and Nutrition Facts on labels because some manufacturers add unhealthy fat, extraneous additives, and some calories.

Benefits Beyond No Calories
Invisible inflammation inside our bodies leads to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, and it contributes to weight gain. This type of inflammation acts like a misguided traffic cop in the human body, continually directing calories to fat cells. Eating unhealthy fats, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup keeps this cop on the job, whereas anti-inflammatory foods send him away. The classic yellow mustard is anti-inflammatory.

Weight-Friendly Ingredients
Mustard seed, the signature ingredient in mustard, contains selenium and magnesium, minerals that fight inflammation. Yellow American and most other basic mustards on a supermarket shelf also contain vinegar. Studies show that it, too, reduces inflammation and helps to control appetite. Turmeric, the spice that gives yellow mustard its bright color, also fights inflammation.

The absence of harmful ingredients is another noble quality of yellow mustard. Some spicy brown mustards (Gulden’s and French’s, for example) offer the same benefits with just 5 calories per teaspoon. In contrast, high fructose corn syrup is often plentiful in “honey mustard,” eliminating health benefits and adding more calories.

If you like honey mustard, you’re better off mixing some real honey with yellow or spicy brown. Honey contains antioxidants, boosts energy, and helps to fight off infection, giving the calories some value. And, because it’s found in nature, your body knows how to use honey. High fructose corn syrup is man-made so, genetically speaking, we’re not as well equipped to deal with it, and it has no known health benefits

Other Condiments
Unlike yellow mustard, these three popular condiments contain calories and inflammatory ingredients that promote weight gain:

Regular mayo contains around 100 calories in a tablespoon, considered one serving on food labels, but it’s easy to load a sandwich with much more. Mayo fat is not the healthy kind.
Fat-free mayo has far fewer calories but sugar and extra salt are usually added for flavoring. Given that salt is overabundant in most people’s diets and can raise blood pressure, it isn’t helpful here, and sugar has an inflammatory effect.
Ketchup and barbecue sauce have fewer calories than regular mayo in a one-tablespoon serving but both usually contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. If you ate only an occasional tablespoon, the effect wouldn’t be significant but it’s easy to eat more.

Mustard Medicine
According to historians, mustard has been used medicinally for as long as 6,000 years. The seeds can be ground into a paste and applied like an ointment to relieve aches, pains, or congestion. When we eat regular mustard, it improves digestion and can help to clear the sinuses. And, mustard seeds contain cancer-fighting compounds.

A dab of mustard on a sandwich isn’t a cure-all but it can help you lose weight. Try replacing high-calorie sauces and cheese with the bright-yellow, zero-calorie condiment. If you eat one fast-food sandwich or burger per day, here’s a possible scenario:

Sauce and cheese. Calories: 400
Replace with yellow mustard; add a few tomato slices and lettuce. Calories: 10
Number of calories cut: 390

This is a conservative estimate of sauce and cheese calories, but even so, if you didn’t add 390 calories into other meals or snacks, you would lose about one pound every nine days. That’s 10 pounds in three months with hardly any effort – not too shabby.

© HealthDay

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One of our most common condiments is sadly undervalued as a weight-loss tool. You can find it almost anywhere, in convenience stores, fast-food and family restaurants, supermarkets, and even ball parks. And, it has zero calories.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 07:52 AM
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