Meat lovers everywhere, rejoice! Brands introducing creative concoctions made of dried and dehydrated meats are making portable meat snacks the new thing. And we’re totally not beefin’ with that. Lean meats are an excellent low-calorie source of protein, omega-3s, anemia-fighting iron, energy-boosting vitamin B12, and even choline (the vitamin that can help cinch your waist).
And we’re not just talking beef-only meat snacks—there are pork, chicken, deer, and salmon, too! Just remember to choose grass-fed over grain-fed because the former contains less fat and higher levels of omega-3s, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. From bars and bites and little bits to jerky and sticks (and even trail mix!), we’ve rounded up a meaty list of our favorite high-protein snacks. Sorry to all the vegans and vegetarians out there—this one’s not for you.
Field Trip Cracked Pepper Turkey Jerky
This all-natural jerky is made of lean turkey marinated in cracked black pepper, smoky brown sugar, and apple—making it a finger-lickin’ good snack. Plus, it’s naturally sweetened (with fruit juices) and without corn syrup, giving you the green light to munch on this between meals.
Epic Chicken Sriracha Bar
Who knew a mere 130 calories can pack in 13 grams of wholesome, naturally raised chicken protein, and still be low in carbs, sugar-free, and pack in some hunger-quelling fiber? Apparently, Epic did. And its nutrition isn’t the only part we’re raving about. Seasoned with cumin, oregano, garlic, and spicy red pepper flakes, this sriracha bar is revolutionizing chicken as the health foodie’s holy grail.
Paleo Valley Beef Sticks
This low-carb, grass-fed snack boasts high levels of B vitamins, vitamins A and E, and CLA, which is known for its cancer- and stomach fat-fighting properties. They also come in five taste bud-pleasing flavors: original, jalapeño, teriyaki, summer sausage, and garlic summer sausage.
You may be wondering what is biltong. In simple terms, it’s beef jerky‘s tender brother—aka the one that’s not going to give your jaw muscles a workout. It’s made by hanging the grass-fed beef to dry in a drying box for 3-6 days, after which it is ready to be paired with allspice, coriander, and black pepper. This brand even sells a 16-ounce bag, which is perfect for sharing with your friends.
Lorissa’s Kitchen Ginger Teriyaki Chicken
Try saying chicken kitchen three times fast. Now, try it with a piece of chicken jerky in your mouth. Just kidding! But we’re definitely not joking about the jerky. These antibiotic-free chicken bits are doused with a marinade of fresh ginger, sesame seeds, sea salt, and cane and brown sugars, guaranteeing this pick is taste bud-approved.
Epic Bison Bacon Cranberry Bar
Bison and bacon pair up perfectly well in this delectable snack. This is Epic’s modern take on pemmican, a survival superfood that is comprised mainly of dried meat and fruit, as well as rendered fat that lends the meat its long shelf life. This portable snack packs a substantial source of omega-3s, iron, and vitamin B12, making it a go-to pick when you’re craving a meaty snack.
The New Primal Cilantro Lime Turkey Sticks
These free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free turkey sticks provide a whopping seven grams of protein for only 50 calories. These meat snacks are individually packaged, making them perfect to throw in a bag and enjoy whenever. Bright flavor notes like cilantro, parsley, and lime prove that this bird’s not just for Thanksgiving.
Epic Wagyu Beef Steak Strips
If you want a succulently marbled Wagyu steak delivered to your door, ready to be salted and thrown on the barbie, then Holy Grail Steak is your absolute go-to. But if you want a portable snack that also packs in that rich tenderness, reach for Epic’s steak strips. The touch of wildflower honey and clean spices truly let the grass-fed Wagyu’s winning taste shine through.
Perky Jerky Truffle & Thyme Wagyu Beef Jerky
We can’t think of a better fancy snack to fuel your next hike. Teeming with ultra-tender beef and umami coming from black truffle, Perky Jerky’s humanely-raised meat snack will definitely perk you up. Major bonus: it’s low in sugar and salt without sacrificing flavor or texture.
The New Primal Cayenne & Honey 100% Grass-Fed Beef
This yummy jerky is made of 100% grass-fed beef that’s spiced with paprika and coconut aminos, packing in a punch from cayenne and jalapeño peppers added to the mix. It’s low in carbs and high in protein, making it a perfect Atkins-approved snack. Plus, the jerky is free of artificial preservatives, soy, and gluten—so feel free to indulge all of your carnivorous cravings.
Chomps Original Beef Sticks
Next time you’re in need of a savory snack, unwrap Chomps’ protein-packed beef sticks. They’re made with 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, which ensures your snack is packed with beta-carotene, inflammation-fighting omega-3s, and more fat-burning CLA.
Country Archer Herb Citrus Turkey Bar
This meaty bar is spiked with extra protein thanks to the addition of chicken collagen—which helps up the protein content to a whopping 15 grams. Collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies, helps keep our skin, joints, and hair youthful. You’ll want to pair this bar with a vitamin C-rich fruit, as the water-soluble vitamin helps your body form collagen. Bring Country Archer’s turkey bar and a few juicy tangerines along on your next adventure for the perfect portable snack.
Epic Venison Sea Salt Pepper Bar
Epic keeps it simple, sprinkling only salt, pepper, and vegetable powders on the grass-fed and free-range deer bar, staying true to the venison’s gamey flavor. With 12 whopping grams of protein, alongside being gluten- and sugar-free, we are totally digging this as our next mid-afternoon snack. And with only 80 calories, this one is our lowest-calorie protein-packed pick.
RELATED: No-sugar-added recipes you’ll actually look forward to eating.
Krave Honey Habanero Chicken Jerky
This chicken jerky is not only low in sodium compared to other jerkies, but it’s also packed with vitamin B6, niacin, and tryptophan (an amino acid that works to increase serotonin levels in the brain, therefore improving sleep latency). So, whether you want to enjoy it as a midday or midnight snack, the choice is yours!
Epic Maple Glazed & Smoked Salmon Bites
Put down the lox bagel lunch and grab a bag of these salmon bites. This low-carb snack is made with wild-caught salmon (which has more omega-3s than its farmed counterpart) from the Bristol Bay Region of Alaska and comes packed with 8 grams of muscle-building protein. Dill and maple complement the salmon’s rich flavor and texture.
Fish People Lemon Zest + Herb Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky
The makers of our favorite seafood dinner kits debuted a scrumptious line of wild-caught salmon jerky. You’ll get 900 milligrams of omega-3s per bag, but if you’re eating the entire bag, make sure to pair it with a glass of water, as the sodium content is a bit on the high side.
Mighty Spark BBQ Sweet Potato Chicken Snack Sticks
This tryptophan-packed snack is spiked with real sweet potatoes, which add a hint of sweetness and some fiber to hold you over until your next meal. It’s your favorite healthy dinnertime combo made into a portable snack stick!
Chef’s Cut Korean BBQ Chicken Jerky
Craving Korean BBQ, but don’t have time to take the drive up to town? This sriracha-chili- and ginger-spiked jerky will definitely crush your cravings for the sizzling grilled meat. While Chef’s Cut’s rendition doesn’t come with any tangy banchans, it does come packed with 10 grams of protein for just 70 calories.
Olli Salumeria Calabrese & Asiago Cracker Snack Tray
Consider this snack pack your ultimate shortcut to Italy. Olli takes a twist on your favorite charcuterie board by combining Calabrese spicy salami with sharp Asiago cheese and La Panzanella crackers into a purse-friendly snack. Delizioso!
Stryve Original Trail Mix With Beef Biltong
This snack mix is studded with beef biltong, whole nuts, and seeds for extra-satiating healthy fats and 20 grams of muscle-maintaining protein in addition to four grams of fiber. Plus, it’s got way less sugar than your average trail mix, so you’ll want to swap out the sweet stuff for Stryve’s bag during your next hike.
Shrooms Splits Turkey & Portabella
If you’re all about umami flavor, this pick is the best of both worlds. Shrooms’ split-up snack bag packs in equal parts hearty portabella mushrooms and robustly marinated turkey breast. This innovative snack is an omnivore’s dream, as well as a great gateway into the mushroom jerky trend while still getting your meaty fix.
Epic Lamb Currant Mint Bar
If you’re desperately craving a lamb gyro, but not really into getting your hands messy with tzatziki sauce, grab one of these bars on the way to work. The grass-fed ovis aries is paired with robust spices like basil, marjoram, and rosemary. It’s also seasoned with spearmint leaves and organic currants, which will totally get you daydreaming of a trip to Greece.
Researchers said that cesarean deliveries appear to cause an overall 80% increased risk of severe maternal complications when compared with vaginal delivery.
By now, you’ve most definitely heard of the Instant Pot, also known as a multi-cooker or a pressure cooker, slow cooker combo. It’s the hottest kitchen staple since sliced bread (or the bread slicer, rather) and is currently sweeping the blogosphere with recipes for making healthy food fast.
Instant Pots make it easy to meal prep, revive leftovers better than the microwave, and jazz up chicken breast so well that it could compete with your favorite rotisserie brand. But with so many handy hacks, it can be difficult to navigate the ins and outs of the machine when you first give it a try.
So whether you just pulled yours out of the box or have been a loyal fan for years, the following wisdom from Instant Pot experts should shed some light on all the ways you can use this gadget to easily create healthy meals at home.
To help us hack the pot, we consulted multicooker expert, Dan Zuccarello, an executive editor of Multicooker Perfection: a book from the editors of America’s Test Kitchen. Check out these savvy tips below!
Choose your pressure based on your recipe.
Courtesy of Instant Pot
Instant Pots generally have both a low and high-pressure setting you can choose from, but the exact amounts and temperatures vary depending on the model you own. High pressure is used most often when cooking things quickly (like your favorite 15-minute chili), but according to Zuccarello, “low pressure produces slightly better results when cooking foods that need a gentler hand.” Desserts almost always require the lower setting to come out restaurant-worthy, too.
Freeze meals in Instant Pot molds.
Because Instant Pots allow you to cook straight from the freezer and throw in all your ingredients at the same time, make things easy for yourself by planning out recipes and freezing them in round containers that fit seamlessly into your Pot. It seems simple, but this hack will allow you to meal prep without the hassle of cooking everything at the same time. Once a Month Meals recommends simply preparing the ingredients, placing into round Tupperware containers (up to 64 ounces, or the size of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag), and freezing until it’s time for making dinner.
Check parts before cooking.
Courtesy of Instant Pot
The inner workings of your Instant Pot may be new territory, but it’s important to make sure all parts are in place and functioning before you press the start button. Think about it: You’d never drive a car that’s missing a part or has the check engine light illuminated on the dashboard. You should be as familiar with your Instant Pot as you are your car. Zuccarello tells us to make sure that the silicone gasket in the lid is in place before cooking. “Soft and springy, not dry and cracked. If your pot is not coming to pressure, it may not be sealed correctly.” The gasket should be removed and cleaned after every use for maximum freshness.
Heed the maximum water line.
There’s a water line on the inside for a reason. Liquid is required for almost every Instant Pot recipe, and it’s important to follow directions for your own safety, says Zuccarello. Every food is different and requires a specific amount of water. Foaming or expanding foods need less than most recipes. It may be easy to overlook the mark, but exact amounts are key if you want your food to be at its best.
Finish undercooked food in your multicooker.
We won’t lie. It’s slightly annoying that you can’t check the progress of food until it comes out of the pot. Recipes tend to err on the underdone side as opposed to overdone, says Zuccarello in Multicooker Perfection. If your food comes out needing a little more lovin’, finish the job by putting it back in the pot and turning it to the highest sauté or browning mode. Add liquids as needed to keep food moist.
Liquids are your friend.
While it’s important to be exact with the liquids in your initial recipe, err on the wet side when you’re putting the finishing touches on a meal. “If you find that food is burning while you’re sautéing, try adding a small amount of liquid to slow down the cooking. Although you can’t fix food that has been burned during pressure or slow cooking, you can avoid the problem in the future by taking care to scrape up all the browned bits left in the pot after sautéing food and before closing the lid,” Zuccarello tells us. With this in mind, now all you have to worry about is whether to use chicken stock or water.
Use a natural release when cooking meat.
Courtesy of Instant Pot
Your Instant Pot has two options when the cooking time has ended: a natural release of pressure or a quick release from the valve. If your timer goes off and you do nothing, the food will cool and the pressure will be released slowly in a natural release. If you choose the natural release option, food will continue to cook until all the heat escapes. Zuccarello tells us that this is the preferred method for meats because it allows the meat to rest and retain the natural fats and juices that make it melt-in-your-mouth good. “If you quick release the pressure on a large cut of meat, it will seize up and be tough.” So if you threw in a pork loin, let it be when the timer ends! After at least 15 minutes, quick release any remaining pressure.
Make it hot.
When you’re browning, searing, or sauteing, that is. Multicooker Perfection tells us that the heating element of an Instant Pot is not as effective as your stove burner, so when you’re adding the finishing touches to a meal, the best practice is to crank the notch to the hottest setting available.
Courtesy of Instant Pot
There are many accessories that can accompany your pot, and they make it easy to get the most from everything you cook. A glass lid will allow you to keep an eye on foods when you’re using the saute function. Stackable steamer baskets let you cook meat and veggies on top of each other, which is perfect for reheating last night’s dinner. A ceramic inner pot lets you whip up cheesecakes and desserts with ease. You can find countless must-have accessories online at Amazon, like stack baskets, pans, and racks to cook your entire dinner at once.
Clean parts in the dishwasher.
Great news! Most of the Instant Pot’s parts are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleanup as fast and easy as the cooking itself. According to Living Well Spending Less, the lid needs to be washed by hand, but other than that, you can safely toss the inside accessories like the inner pot and steam rack into the washer. If you need a deeper clean (food builds up, after all), use vinegar or lemon and hot water to steam clean the inside. This will break down any gunk that’s built up in the nooks and crannies.
Know about slow.
Courtesy of Instant Pot
Some multi-cookers have a “high-slow” and a “low-slow” setting. For the Instant Pot specifically, Zucarello says that the low-slow setting isn’t hot enough to produce the best quality food promised by recipes and reviews. The optimal cooking temperature is between 195 and 210 degrees, and the low-slow setting of the Instant Pot is 17 degrees too cool for that. If your recipe calls for a low-slow setting, you may want to choose a different setting or switch to high-slow and adjust the time accordingly.
Never buy store-bought stock again.
Have you ever watched animal stock being made from scratch on those Food Network shows? It’s usually one of the first things the chef does because it takes hours—sometimes even an entire day—to be ready to use in recipes. The Instant Pot has eliminated this problem. You can make chicken stock and bone broth in minutes. According to Romper, just throw in leftover chicken bones and veggies and let them stew, and you’ve got fresh, homemade stock worthy of Ina Garten.
RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.
Microwave popcorn is delicious, addicting, and often full of inflammatory oils that can wreak havoc on your health. Don’t feel like you can give it up? Try tossing organic whole kernels in your Instant Pot instead and popping ’em the old-school way. IP Foodie recommends pouring the kernels in, setting your IP to sauté, and letting them slow cook until you’ve got a movie-worthy snack in no time. Use a glass lid to keep an eye on the popcorn and make sure it doesn’t burn.
Let steam slow.
Zuccarello explains that if you choose to do a quick release of the pressure in your pot for the sake of an overcooked chicken breast or pasta, turn the pressure knob to “vent” as soon as the timer tells you the cooking is done. This is a completely viable option if you’re in a hurry, just make sure the recipe doesn’t specify a natural release, or you could risk losing some of the recipe’s natural flavors.
Go with what you know.
Every person will inevitably have his or her own experience using an Instant Pot, but there are a few fail-safe recipes that it will always cook well. Don’t feel like experimenting in the kitchen? Don’t start by cooking a whole chicken or a creamy sauce—it takes an advanced user to master those. Instead, start with foolproof meals like risotto and chilis. They’re the recipes this gadget was made for and are always easier to make in the Instant Pot than the over the stovetop. In other words, you’ll never have to sweat stirring a pot of rice again!
Buy extra sealing rings.
The rubber sealing ring on the inside of the lid tends to pick up the scent of whatever has been stewing in the pot the night before. This usually requires an easy fix—just wash it often!—but if the smell and stain of tomato sauce simply won’t go away, Simple Most recommends ordering a new one. They run for about $8 on Amazon and will be well worth it when you prevent nasty cross-contamination.
Under no circumstances should you open the lid before pressure has been released. This shouldn’t be too hard because the average cook time is rarely longer than 20 minutes, but just in case you’re tempted to check on food like you would when cooking it on the stove, we’re adding this tip from Multicooker Perfection to the mix. Picture soup or chili exploding all over your walls and floor (and you, if you’re too close). Not pretty.
Face the steam away from you.
While it may seem like a great way to score a free facial, it could be dangerous to release the steam in your direction during a quick release, Zuccarello tells us. For best results, point the vent in the opposite direction and then open the pot carefully. When the last of the steam has escaped, remove the lid and proceed to the next instruction in your recipe.
Don’t limit yourself to just food.
Let your Instant Pot work for your every need—even the ones that aren’t food-related. In the same way that you can use the IP to make yogurt, you can also make hand lotion and lotion bars. Using the sauté function, liquefy the ingredients in glass jars and then pour into molds and cool in the freezer. The bars resemble soap but can be rubbed onto your elbows, feet, and hands for ultimate moisturizing power. Just when you thought you knew everything about the gadget!
Cook veggies to perfection.
The speedy efficiency of your IP is rarely a problem, but it can be when you end up with soggy vegetables. Since fresh produce is finicky and easy to overcook, throw it in before you start up your pot, and the initial heating process will cook it to perfection. Simple Most recommends setting the pot to manual mode and entering zero for the cook time to render perfectly-cooked veggies. Wondering which picks to try your hand at first? Give some of these Best Foods for Fiber a shot.
Uninsured patients were also more than twice as likely to be transferred to another hospital and 66% more likely to be discharged outright, compared with people with private insurance, the findings showed.
Due to safety concerns, Mavenclad is recommended for people who have not responded to or can’t tolerate other MS drugs, the FDA said. The drug is from EMD Serono, Inc.
This just in: the Burger King you know and love is making a big, more inclusive change in one of the chain’s staple menu items—yes, we’re talking about the Whopper. BK announced that it will be testing out a meatless option called the Impossible Whopper—but there’s a catch.
OK, but wait. What exactly is an Impossible Whopper?
It’s possible that you have yet to hear about the Impossible Burger, which is a plant-based burger produced by Impossible Foods, based in Redwood City, California. Through genetic engineering, this meat alternative mocks the taste of meat and it even bleeds when you bite into it for a truly authentic meat-like experience, even though there isn’t a trace of animal protein in it.
Chief Executive of Impossible Foods, Pat Brown, told Reuters in an article that the Impossible Burger is currently sold in over 6,000 restaurants. However, if this test with the Impossible Whopper proves to be a success, he predicts the Impossible Burger will be in well over 13,000 restaurants. As of right now though, the Impossible Whopper will only be available in 59 Burger King locations in and around St. Louis, Missouri.
Burger King isn’t the only fast food restaurant that’s integrating the plant-based burger into its menu. In fact, White Castle did it already; The Impossible Slider was introduced as a permanent menu item last fall. In addition, Red Robin will also begin serving the Impossible Burger this month in locations all across the country.
The Impossible Whopper, however, is a big deal. Why? The Whopper has been around since 1957. Any modification to a long-standing menu item like that is going to get some attention—especially now that it can be enjoyed by those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet as well.
Burger King has high hopes for this new plant-based burger, too. Chris Finazzo, the president of Burger King North America, told CNN Business that, with this test, the restaurant chain hopes to “give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn’t necessarily want to eat beef every day, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently.”
Let’s talk about nutrition. How will the Impossible Whopper differ, nutritionally, from the traditional Whopper?
All we know right now is that the burger will pack 12 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein. For comparison, the classic Whopper sandwich has a whopping 40 grams of fat and 28 grams of protein. Evidently, the two versions of the Whopper are nearly identical in taste, too, fooling even those who proclaim to be able to taste the difference in beef in a heartbeat.
We have a good feeling that this plant-based burger will continue to take the U.S. by storm and land a permanent spot on Burger King’s menu, and we hope this meat-free alternative becomes available nationwide very soon for all to try for themselves!
RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.
The post Burger King Is Testing an Impossible Whopper—Here’s Where You Can Get It appeared first on Eat This Not That.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emlGECRNIqw&w=640&h=360]JOIN OUR NORTH BALI DURIAN RETREAT! DATES: 12-18 February 2018 RETREAT LOCATION: Northern Bali Join the facebook group for all the info!
Sometimes, there is nothing you crave more than a warm, gooey sandwich paired with a piping hot bowl of soup. Our sandwich of choice? Grilled cheese. Why? It’s extremely easy to make. Fool-proof, if you will. You don’t have to be a chef to whip up a stellar cheese and bread sandwich, and yet, with that being said, you may have been preparing grilled cheese wrong your entire life. Apparently, the secret ingredient to a better grilled cheese is actually…mayonnaise.
Um, what? Excuse me? Say it isn’t so!
Yes, the popular, all-too-familiar ingredient that will give you the perfect crisp to your grilled cheese is mayo. We recently discovered that this one simple ingredient amplifies the taste of your sandwich without completely burning it. Have you ever made a soggy grilled cheese that became a big square of mush before you even got to enjoy it? Or, even worse, have you ever burnt your grilled cheese into oblivion? Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Apparently, this trend was popularized by NYC-based chef Gabrielle Hamilton, thanks to her recipe for grilled cheese that swapped mayo in for butter. But not enough people seem to know about it, which is why we consulted the head chef of HelloFresh, Claudia Sidoti, to get the lowdown on why mayo makes for a better substitute than butter.
“Butter helps to make sandwiches that are evenly browned, and mayonnaise produces crispy sandwiches,” says Sidoti.
Interestingly enough, mayo has a higher smoke point than butter does, which means it won’t burn as easily on high heat. Further, you’ll be able to achieve that crispy texture faster and without completely drying out the bread. How many times have you left your grilled cheese on the skillet for what seemed like a half an hour to get that perfect crisp? The bread likely became less palatable from the drawn-out exposure to heat. Avoid that with a swath of mayo on each slice instead. If you don’t want to give up your beloved butter completely, try spreading mayo on the outside of the bread and butter on the inside for the best of both worlds.
Ready to give this grilled cheese hack a try? We’ve picked out three potential contenders for you.
Sir Kensington’s Organic Mayonnaise
We already determined that this brand of mayo is the best in a taste test of five different kinds, so, of course, we had to bring it up again when it comes to perfectly your grilled cheese skills. Sir Kensington’s Organic Mayonnaise is made of heart-healthy avocado oil, which is better for you than traditional kinds made from soybean or vegetable oil. This brand also integrates free-range eggs into its recipe. Talk about a health-conscious spread!
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise With Olive Oil
Hellmann’s also makes a killer non-traditional mayo made with olive oil. This spread will undoubtedly take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with its irresistible, subtle flavor. Bon appetit!
Just Sriracha Mayo
A little bit of hot sauce never hurt anyone, right? Just Mayo enhances its health-focused mayo with a dash of sriracha sauce. Warning: you may never use basic mayo again after trying this variety, and it’ll give your grilled cheese a kick of spice you’ll love to bite into.
And there you have it! Now stop making that sad and soggy grilled cheese and start making one that’s so crispy, you can hear it literally crunch as you bite into it.
RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.
The word “metabolism” is often paired with terms like “diet,” “exercise,” and “weight loss.” But rarely is the buzzword thoroughly explained. As a result, there’s a lot of metabolism misinformation floating around out there.
The medical definition of metabolism? “The bodily processes needed to maintain life,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Through the process of metabolism, your body turns the food you eat into the energy it needs. It’s a vital process for all living things, not just humans.” The term encompasses all continual chemical processes that keep you alive, including breathing, digesting food, and repairing cells.
In other words, without your metabolism you wouldn’t feel the energy boost you get from eating a meal. Health spoke to registered dietitian nutritionist Nancy Farrell Allen, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to set the record straight on some of the most popular claims about metabolism thrown around these days.
MYTH: Skinnier people have faster metabolisms
It’s more about body composition than body size when it comes to metabolism, Allen says. “[Metabolism] depends on the composition of protein mass you have—muscle is more metabolically active,” she says, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when you’re resting. It’s not true that the thinner you are, the faster your metabolism. It instead comes down to how muscular you are.
This is why lifting weights is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism. “You’re going to have more muscle on you,” Allen says, and muscle burns more calories. Focusing solely on cardio won’t have the same effect.
MYTH: Your metabolism is genetic and can't be changed
Your genes do influence your metabolism—but they don’t affect it as much as the lifestyle habits you practice, according to Allen. The amount of exercise you get and the choices you make when you feed yourself are more important factors, and you (fortunately) are in of control them.
However, some genetic conditions can affect your metabolism. For example, Hashimoto’s disease, an often-hereditary condition that can result in an underactive thyroid gland, can slow your metabolism and lead to weight gain, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
FACT: If you have a slow metabolism, you're more likely to gain weight
This is true, Allen says. Here’s why: If your metabolism is on the slower side, your body isn’t as quick to burn through the calories you’re consuming.
But your metabolism isn’t the only thing to consider when you’re trying to shed a few extra pounds. “Contrary to common belief, a slow metabolism is rarely the cause of excess weight gain,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Although your metabolism influences your body’s basic energy needs, how much you eat and drink along with how much physical activity you get are the things that ultimately determine your weight.” In other words, even if you have a slow metabolism you can (thankfully) still control your weight by eating clean and working out.
MYTH: If you have a fast metabolism, you can eat whatever you want
Allen notes that people with a condition called Graves’ disease have overactive metabolisms and often lose weight even when they’re following an ordinary diet.
While it’s true that people with faster metabolisms don’t necessarily put weight on as quickly as those with slower metabolisms, a fast metabolism is not an excuse to throw traditional dietary advice out the window, Allen says. A balanced diet comes with seriously consequential health benefits unrelated to weight maintenance, including good heart health and the prevention of certain cancers.
FACT: Spicy foods boost your metabolism
Whether your preferred spice is chili pepper or ginger, “there is some interesting thought that they can boost the heat production in our bodies, leading to more calories being burned,” Allen says.
The effect is short-term, and how significant it is depends on “how hot the peppers are,” Allen says. “Lots of times, it’s uncomfortable,” she adds.
Adding just one tablespoon of chopped green or red chili pepper to your lunch or dinner could speed up your metabolism. Granted, the effect won’t last forever, but it could be worth that extra ingredient.
MYTH: Eating multiple smaller meals throughout the day is better for your metabolism than eating three regular meals a day
“A lot of times we tell people to eat five or six small meals a day, but there’s some research coming out saying maybe it’s better to eat two or three modest meals a day. When people hear they can eat five or six small meals they’re not eating small meals,” Allen says. She explains that often people don’t keep track of just how much they’re consuming on any given day.
The bottom line on this one, she notes, is that you must be mindful of how much you’re eating and what you’re eating. Don’t think only in terms of calories, she warns. “It’s not necessarily a simple calorie equation. Are you eating a 250-calorie donut for a snack, or a 250-calorie protein and produce snack?”
MYTH: Supplements can speed up your metabolism
Over-the-counter products that claim to boost metabolism are bound to disappoint. “They don’t have energy or calories,” Allen says, adding that they’re not going to directly impact your metabolism. The potentially dangerous side effects of supplements have been well documented, and you should keep in mind that supplements don’t always play well with prescription drugs.
FACT: Your metabolism slows down as you age
While this is a sad truth of aging, the news isn’t all bad: Your metabolism doesn’t hit a wall right when you turn 30, like some people might think. “You can control it a little bit,” Allen says, with the same lifestyle habits that always factor into the metabolism equation.
A slowing of your metabolism might be most noticeable around menopause in your 50s. “Once they go through menopause, [women] tend to have the most difficulty,” Allen explains. Hormonal changes that affect women when they go through menopause could increase their chances of putting on weight around their abdomens, hips, and thighs.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
The FDA first approved naloxone, a medication that can revive someone who has stopped breathing from an overdose in a matter of seconds, in 1971.
One reason pancreatic cancer is so deadly is that it often isn’t discovered until it has reached an advanced stage. The disease rarely causes noticeable symptoms, and there are no effective screening tests, according to the cancer society.