May 31, 2005
Weight Loss Strategies
There are pills, tapes, books, fads and countless strategies for losing weight, but there are basic principles that people with weight-loss success stories have in common. The Diet Channel offers the following "Top 10 Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss."
1. Exercise. It’s nothing new, but it’s probably the most important predictor of whether you will succeed at long-term weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Strive for a minimum of five 30-minute sessions per week. The good news is that recent research has shown that three 10-minute sessions in a day are as good, which helps many in combating the old "no time for exercise" excuse. Be certain to find something you enjoy -- you’ll be more willing to stick with it. Who knows, you may even enjoy its positive benefits so much that you get hooked.
2. Pump iron. This is listed separately because of the significant weight-loss benefits attached to weight-lifting in and of itself. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. Aerobic activity burns calories, but muscle is where it’s at when it comes to giving your metabolism a significant daily boost, even at rest.
3. Keep a diary. A food diary can provide a large amount of self-awareness. Devote some time each day to record what you have eaten and how much, your hunger level prior to eating and any feelings or emotions present at the time. This journal can identify emotions and behaviors that trigger overeating, foster greater awareness of portion sizes, and help you discover your personal food triggers. Study its patterns and identify where you may be able to make more healthful changes.
4. Focus on being healthy, not thin. Think about selecting foods that will help your body’s health rather than its weight. The food pyramid (www.mypyramid.gov) offers a basic outline of the types and amounts of food you should eat each day to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal health. This year, it updated the pyramid so that it takes into account gender, age and activity level in making nutrition and calorie recommendations.
5. Find out what’s eating you. All too often overeating is triggered by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression and other emotions. Learning to deal with emotions without food is a significant skill that will greatly serve long-term weight control. Try alternative, healthful behaviors that will help you cope.
6. Get support. Encouragement from others is a key component to successful weight loss. If you’re not getting it at home or among friends, try a weight-loss organization that offers support groups. You may also wish to check with your local hospital to see if their registered dietitian conducts group weight loss programs.
7. Watch your portions. With increasingly large portions served at restaurants, Americans’ concept of normal servings is a bit distorted. When necessary, divide your food in half and ask for a take home bag. You don’t have to be a plate-cleaner. Learn to pay attention to your hunger level and stop eating when you feel comfortably full, rather than stuffed.
8. Lose weight slowly with small changes. Realize that the more quickly weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle, not fat. Muscle tissue is critical in keeping our metabolism elevated, so losing it actually leads to a decrease in the amount of calories we can eat each day without gaining weight. Strive for a weight loss of no more than 1 or 2 pounds per week.
9. Slow down. From the time you begin eating, it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness. Fast eaters often eat beyond their true level of fullness, and the amount of calories consumed before you begin to feel full can vary significantly depending on how quickly you eat.
10. Eat less fat, but do it wisely. Eating less fat can help you lose weight, but that does not mean you can eat unlimited amounts of fat-free products. Fat-free foods have calories, too. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight.
May 26, 2005
Soft drinks eat up calorie allotment.
If you reach for a soft drink every time you’re thirsty, you could be wasting a good deal of your calorie allotment for the day -- more so than in years past, the American Dietetic Association says.
About 50 years ago, a soda came in a 6-ounce bottle that was about 75 calories, the association says. Today, a 20-ounce plastic bottle of regular soda packs about 250 calories. The 64-ounce, "big-cup" soft drinks sold at convenience stores can deliver a whopping 800 calories.
Add up your soda calories and consider this: Most adults need about 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day -- period. One 800 calorie big-cup means a lot less food and nutrition that day, if you’re going to stay within your calorie limit. Less nutrition means less strength and less lasting energy.
Regular or diet soft drinks are OK now and then, the dietetic association says. But as an everyday drink choice, they crowd out nutrient-rich drinks and much-needed water. Regular sodas have a lot of sugar and carbs, but no other nutrition. And if consumed in place of milk, they could contribute to bone loss.
Also, sugary sodas contribute to tooth decay, though no more than juice or other carbohydrate-rich foods.
Here are some tips for adopting a ‘now-and-then soft drink’ lifestyle:
Order the small size, even if "bigger" seems like a better deal.
Save it for later. If a 20-ounce or bigger bottle is your only choice, pour a smaller amount in a cup and save the rest.
Decide when you’ll really want a soda, and limit yourself so that it’s not often.
Switch to milk -- maybe chocolate or strawberry -- for a more healthful option.
Source: "365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association"
May 24, 2005
Weighty study finds wealthy battle the bulge.
Janet Kidd Stewart, Chicago Tribune wrote:
Is thinness waning as a status symbol? Extra girth went from a Victorian mark of power to a moniker of the lower class in the 20th Century, and it has showed little sign of a turnaround. Until this month, that is, when a study presented to the American Heart Association showed rising obesity rates among people who earn more than $60,000 a year.
Studying government data linking family income to obesity levels, Dr. Jennifer Robinson of the University of Iowa and colleagues found the percentage of the higher-income obese grew from less than 10 percent in 1970 to nearly 27 percent in 2002. In the same period, obesity rates among people earning less than $25,000 rose to 32.5 percent from 22.5 percent.
"The inverse relationship between income and obesity seen in earlier studies has eroded," Robinson said. "Obesity prevalence now is similar across all income categories, with obesity prevalence in the highest income group rapidly approaching that of the lowest income group."
Researchers used data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys for 1971 to 1974 and 2001 to 2002. It included Americans over 19 years old and defined obesity as having a body mass index (derived from height and weight) of 30 and above.
Thirty-one percent of those earning $25,000 to $39,999 had a body mass index of more than 30 in 2002, up from 16 percent in the early 1970s. Those earning $40,000 to $60,000 saw more than a 200 percent increase.
Wealthier people can afford leaner cuts of meat and fresh produce, as well as pricey gym memberships and personal trainers. So why the increase? Robinson said longer commutes and workdays, as well as trends toward restaurants replacing theater and other entertainment, are to blame.
"There's also the whole question of income instability today, which leads to insecurity and probably stress eating," Robinson said. She said these potential causes are only speculation, as are the health implications. Richer folks have better access to health care and may not be as affected by obesity as poorer ones, she said.
Robinson acknowledged another possible explanation: The beauty bar is rising.
Even though income levels in the study were adjusted for inflation, the study looked at all people earning more than $60,000 as a single group. In most U.S. markets today, it takes a lot more than that to be classified as rich.
On Chicago's North Shore, a wealthy enclave, thin is still in, said Abigail Natenshon, a Highland Parkpsychotherapist and author of "When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Other Caregivers."
"Yes, it's still a status symbol," Natenshon said. "There are studies that have shown young children would rather live through a nuclear holocaust than be fat. And rich people have more time on their hands to do what it takes to stay in shape and more money to spend on health clubs."
Still, Natenshon is uncomfortable drawing bright lines between income and weight problems, citing recent health research showing strong genetic links to obesity.
"I know some very wealthy people who are obese. And [the patients] I treat for eating disorders have problems that run much deeper than trying to look a certain way for the country club crowd."
How to buy into a thinner appearance without busting the seams of your wallet?
Rather than blowing the food budget on wild salmon and fresh raspberries, buy the most nutritionally packed foods you can afford and sneak exercise into your schedule in place of television, Natenshon suggests.
"The key is to get rid of the Hollywood images and to learn to accept the size and shape we were born with. Then eat three balanced, nutritious meals a day ... preferably around the table with your family."
May 23, 2005
For weight loss, keep the word ‘diet’ off your mind.
Many people have been done in by their diets. All too often, diets turn into cheating and then into splurging. Many people gain what they lost and then some.
Why do diets fail? The American Dietetic Association offers some theories:
When you give up too much, food becomes all you think about. It’s hard to resist a "forbidden" food. And restricting calories so much that you feel hungry is a recipe for eventual overeating and diet failure.
You miss part of the equation if you’re not exercising. Pounds fall away more easily -- and stay off more easily -- with regular physical activity.
Overlooking the big picture is a common mistake made by dieters. They want a quick fix and don’t consider making small, realistic changes that can become part of a healthier lifestyle.
With the help of your healthcare professional, rethink your notion of dieting, the dietetic association suggests. Try this:
Get real. Set realistic goals that match your lifestyle. Write them down.
Plan to go slowly. Losing one half to one pound weekly is healthful and more sustainable.
Ease stress. Excess stress can lead to emotional overeating and cheating.
Fit it in. Add some regular activity into your routine, and eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods with fewer total calories than you’d normally eat. Simply follow healthful eating advice. That might mean smaller portions.
Source: "365 Days of Healthy Eating by the American Dietetic Association."
May 18, 2005
Pregnant? Don't forget to exercise!
It wasn't all that long ago that the moment a woman learned she was pregnant, exercise was out and pampering and rest were in.
It was imperative, the thinking went, that the mom-to-be do nothing to risk her baby's development.
Today, doctors say not only is it OK to exercise, but women should stay active as a way to ensure a smoother, healthier pregnancy and delivery, while possibly reducing the risk of gestational diabetes.
Dr. Mary Jo O'Sullivan, a gynecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Florida, said that in the past, "women were catered to when they became pregnant," because it was assumed physical activity would harm the fetus.
But recent research has found that fetal heart rate and birth weight don't suffer when a healthy woman exercises moderately. Nor does exercise harm the placenta, the organ that grows on the wall of the uterus and supplies blood and nutrients to the baby, O'Sullivan said.
"In a basically healthy woman, a moderate exercise program does not seem to have a significant impact on the pregnancy as far as the fetus is concerned," she said.
Karen Fehr, division chairwoman of health and exercise science at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, added, "Exercising helps women to have the energy levels and endurance to maintain strength during the changes in the body due to pregnancy."
What's more, exercise can help reduce some of the typical pregnancy discomforts, like backache, constipation, fatigue, bloating and swelling. And it boosts a woman's mood, energy level and self-image, while improving her posture and sleep, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Fehr added, however, that exercise has to be tailored to a pregnant woman. For instance, pregnant women shouldn't exercise on their backs because the baby's weight can press too much on the lungs and arteries. Also, exercises have to account for changes in balance and body mechanics because of the extra weight of the stomach and lower center of gravity. Also important is proper exercise technique, she added.
During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released into the body to relax the uterus to make room for the growing fetus. But this hormone also relaxes all the other connective tissue in the body, like the ligaments and tendons that surround the joints.
"These hormones can cause joint laxity," Fehr said, so women need to be careful when putting stress on their joints.
Three years ago, in response to questions about exercise during pregnancy, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued a set of guidelines to help women and doctors.
In general, said O'Sullivan, who helped prepare the guidelines, swimming and walking are recommended, as well as aerobic activity at half the level of pre-pregnancy.
Not recommended, according to the guidelines, are contact sports or activities that carry a risk of falling, both of which could cause harm to a fetus. These include sports like soccer and basketball, rigorous racket sports, and activities like downhill skiing or horseback riding, she said.
The guidelines also list physical conditions that preclude any exercise, like high-risk pregnancies, second or third trimester bleeding and heart disease, and conditions that call for caution in exercising, like severe anemia, poorly controlled high blood pressure or type 1 diabetes, obesity, or a previously sedentary lifestyle.
O'Sullivan said that, despite the booming interest in exercise among women, very few actually exercise during pregnancy.
"This is a very rough estimate, but no more than 15% of pregnant women are exercising," she said, "and those who do are in a higher socio-economic group, who are generally thin, and who are exercising pre-pregnancy."
Besides the heart, there are three muscle groups women should focus on during pregnancy — the muscles of the back, the pelvis, and the abdomen, according to the University of Michigan Health System:
Strengthening abdominal muscles makes it easier to support the growing weight of a baby. And you'll be better equipped to push with more strength and effectiveness during labor.
Building up pelvic muscles will allow the vagina to widen more easily during delivery. It may also help prevent urinary problems after delivery.
Working on back muscles will make them stronger, improve posture, and lessen the strain of pregnancy on your lower back.
Fehr, who first designed an exercise class for pregnant women about 15 years ago, said a big trend in pregnancy exercise today is yoga classes.
"Yoga has become so popular that we offer it instead of regular fitness classes. Yoga offers stress reduction and encourages mental well-being, but you do have to supplement it with cardiovascular exercise," she said
May 16, 2005
Eating for Two?
Not really. Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much food as you usually would. Think how small the baby is. Do you actually think he/she needs 1800 calories or so? In reality, you only need about 300 additional calories each day. A good weight gain for normal-weight healthy moms is between 25 and 35 pounds. Women who are underweight when they become pregnant should gain between 28 and 40 pounds. Women who are overweight need to gain between 15 and 25 pounds. Obese women still need to gain at least 15 pounds. Women should consume a variety of foods according to the Dietary Guidelines. Whole grains, leafy green and yellow vegetables, and fruit should be consumed daily to meet nutrient needs and provide enough fiber. Meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, and nuts are important sources of protein, as are zinc, iron, and magnesium. Pregnant women should be encouraged to consume iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits, and iron-fortified cereals. Meat and ascorbic acid-rich fruits enhance the absorption of non-heme iron (ie, from plants and iron-fortified foods). Foods that inhibit iron absorption, such as whole-grain cereals, unleavened whole-grain breads, legumes, tea, and coffee, should be consumed separately from iron-fortified foods and iron supplements. Due to the increased efficiency of calcium absorption, calcium requirements during pregnancy are similar to those in the nonpregnant state. An adequate intake of calcium is 1,300 mg for women aged 14 to 18 years and 1,000 for women aged 19 to 50 years. Caffeine can readily cross the placenta and can affect fetal heart rate and breathing. Since adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes have been linked to high caffeine intakes, prudent advice would be to discourage caffeine intakes above 300 mg/day. To translate that level into servings, the amount of caffeine is about 85 mg/5 oz cup of percolated coffee, 60 mg/5 oz cup of instant coffee, 40 mg/1 oz espresso; 30 mg/5 oz cup of leaf/bag tea, and 36 mg/12 oz cola beverage.
May 13, 2005
Tired of the same old garden salad for dinner? National Salad Month is the perfect time for a salad makeover. A variety of vegetables and fruits add different nutrients, health-promoting phytonutrients, flavor, and appeal to your meals.
Salad making has no rules except: Use high-quality ingredients, clean fresh ingredients, and toss (if it’s a garden salad) just before serving. Go easy with the high-fat dressing.
Add more health-promoting benefits—and interest—to your salad today.
Mix your greens: spinach, Romaine, red leaf, watercress. The deeper the color, the more carotenoids and health-promoting benefits.
Brighten with color: tomato, broccoli florets, shredded carrots, green or red pepper, beets, even edible flowers.
Sweeten up: mandarin orange segments, sliced strawberries, chopped apples, dried fruit.
Make it heartier: sliced or chopped low-fat cheese, lean meat or turkey, tuna, shrimp, tofu, canned legumes (rinsed and drained), cooked pasta, rice, or bulgur.
Add crunch: croutons, almonds, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds.
Herb it: tarragon, chives, parsley, cilantro, marjoram, even mint.
Dress light, dress well: spoon on just one or two tablespoons, not a ladleful of dressing.
Source: 365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association
Coping with pregnancy food cravings.
Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD wrote:
Do food cravings threaten to derail good nutrition during your pregnancy? Here's how to stay on track.
For many women, powerful food cravings for certain foods come with the territory during pregnancy. You've probably heard tales of loved ones being dispatched at all hours to search for a certain brand of bacon double cheeseburger or rocky road ice cream to quell an expectant mom's desire. Perhaps you've felt an overwhelming urge to splurge firsthand.
Truth is, nobody is sure why some women have pregnancy food cravings. "Some experts say cravings, and their flip side, food aversions, are protective, even if there is no scientific data to back up that theory," says Siobhan Dolan, MD, assistant medical director of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
For example, you may not feel like drinking alcohol when pregnant, which is beneficial since avoiding beer, wine, and other spirits fosters your baby's mental and physical development.
Others think a pregnant woman's preference for certain foods such as salt-laden potato chips is nature's way of helping her meet her daily sodium quota. However, it's highly unlikely that cells translate so-called nutrient shortfalls into food cravings. Longing for a particular food tends to distinguish pregnancy food cravings from cravings women have when they are not expecting.
Pregnancy Cravings Are in a Class by Themselves
So food cravings are probably all in your head, a product of pregnancy hormones. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy intensify sense of smell (which heavily influences taste) and are powerful enough to affect food choices.
"It's possible that women who are feeling nauseous, bloated, tired, or crabby due to the effects of pregnancy hormones look for foods to increase their comfort level," says Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Some women who deprive themselves when they're not pregnant think of pregnancy as a time to treat themselves to foods they typically avoid."
When expecting, Zied favored foods she loved as a teen but ate far less often in the years leading up to her two pregnancies. A combination of kielbasa and melted cheese atop toasted English muffins were big with Zied during her first pregnancy. When due with her second child, she preferred Cheez-Its over anything else.
How does a nutrition professional who knows better manage cravings? By eating small portions of the lower-fat versions of her favorite foods. "When I wanted those foods, I really wanted them, so I gave in, always mindful of how much I was eating," she says.
Food Cravings Aren't All Bad
The foods women tend to want are, in fact, good choices. Take dairy products, for example, rich in protein, calcium, and several other nutrients, which are among the top foods women want during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. When Dolan was pregnant, cranberry juice was all she wanted to drink. Fortified cranberry juice can be an excellent source of calcium or vitamin C and contains an array of other nutrients necessary during pregnancy.
Food cravings typically differ from pregnancy to pregnancy. They may also change from day to day. Don't be surprised when the food you had to have yesterday repulses you today. Sometimes, a pregnancy changes food preferences permanently. After delivering, Dolan's love of cranberry juice turned to distaste. "Now, I won't even go near it," she says.
Some women find themselves with a yen for nonfood items, including ice, dirt, clay, paper, and even paint chips, a condition known as pica. Pica may signal iron deficiency. Expectant mothers may also get the urge to eat flour or cornstarch, which, despite being food items, are a problem in large amounts. Too much can lead to blocked bowels and crowd out the nutrients your baby needs by causing you to feel full. If you have any of these urges, resist eating the items you crave, and report them to your doctor right away.
No matter how strong your desire, steer clear of foods considered health risks for pregnant women and developing babies. These include:
· Raw and undercooked seafood, meat, and eggs
· Unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it, including Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, and Mexican-style cheeses
· Unpasteurized juice
· Raw vegetable sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, and radish
· Herbal teas
How to Control Your Food Cravings
It's possible to have food cravings and still provide your baby with the nutrients she or he needs to grow. However, giving in to too often to your desire for high-calorie foods may translate into too much weight gain (experts recommend between 25 and 35 pounds for a single baby; and 35 to 45 pounds for twins). Too much weight gain increases the risk of gestational diabetes and unhealthy blood pressure levels.
Here's how to handle pregnancy cravings:
· Eat a balanced diet that includes lean sources of protein, reduced-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. When your diet is balanced, a small portion of a not-so-healthy food won't crowd out the nutrition your baby needs.
· Eat regularly to avoid drops in blood sugar that could trigger food cravings. Dividing up food into six small and satisfying meals can help.
· Include regular physical activity (as permitted by your doctor).
· If the urge to eat brownie sundaes is ruling your life, try taking your mind off food by waiting to eat (as long as you had a balanced meal or snack within the last two hours); going on a short walk; running an errand (but avoid the grocery store!); getting out of the kitchen; calling a friend; or reading.
· Try satisfying a candy urge with a fun-size bar instead of the king size. Got to have chips? Choose a snack size bag of baked chips to limit fat intake and overall consumption.
· Focus on lower-calorie foods. Frozen yogurt and low-fat fudge bars may do the trick when you desire super-premium ice cream. Sorbet, sherbet, and frozen fruit bars are other lower-calorie frozen treats that can stand in for higher-calorie options.
· Create more healthy stand-ins for the treats you crave. When you must have a strawberry Danish, try spreading four graham cracker squares with two tablespoons whipped cream cheese. Top with strawberry preserves or sliced fresh strawberries. Another idea: Put off running out to buy a milkshake with this blender treat: Combine low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt and orange juice and whip to desired consistency.
May 12, 2005
National Employee Health and Fitness Day
National Employee Health and Fitness Day is Wednesday, May 18, 2005. Show your employees or co-workers that you care about their health by suggesting one of the following ideas supporting worksite wellness:
Policy for healthy foods at meetings and events
Healthy Vending Machine options
Fruit basket in the break room instead of treats
Walking meetings – or start/stop a meeting with a 10 minute walk
Encourage walking on lunch and breaks
Encourage taking the stairs over the elevator
Company reimbursement monthly/yearly for yoga/fitness classes, massage, acupuncture, mental health counseling.
Free health education classes for employees
Wellness Newsletter/Email tips
Pedometers - 10000 steps a day program
May 11, 2005
Gain Weight Right
Janet Shearer wrote:
Pricy protein supplements not necessary if athletes eat healthful diet
C. writes that her 22-year-old son is bulking up. He is working out at the gym and changing his diet.
C.'s son uses a protein powder supplement. He is eating more green vegetables and increasing the protein in his diet.
"Is the supplement safe? What are guidelines for safe, healthy weight gain?" C. asks.
Healthy weight gain requires physical activity and additional calories. Some people believe that to build muscle, these additional calories should come from protein.
The truth is that excess protein is not stored as muscle in the body. It is used as energy or stored as fat.
For healthy weight gain, additional calories should come mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates will fuel the physical activity required to build muscle.
Athletes and weight lifters often take protein supplements, possibly at their body's and their wallet's expense.
Without knowing the particulars of the supplement, how much your son is using or how much your son weighs, I am unable to make a judgment on the supplement's safety.
However, too much protein can lead to harmful side effects such as metabolic imbalance, toxicity, nervous system disorders and kidney problems, says the American Dietetic Association.
According to the association, recreational exercisers need about 0.5 to 0.75 gram protein per pound of body weight. That means a 150-pound exerciser needs about 75 to 115 grams of protein each day.
This amount of protein is easily consumed in a healthful diet. For example, six ounces of lean meat provide about 42 grams of protein. A one-cup serving of milk or yogurt provides about 8 grams of protein. Eat three of these and you have 24 more grams of protein.
Bread, pasta and cereal provide protein. A slice of bread, one-half cup pasta or one cup of dry cereal each contain about three grams of protein. Nine servings of grains give you 27 grams of protein.
Vegetables also offer protein. One-half cup of cooked vegetables like greens, green beans, cabbage or summer squash provides about two grams of protein per serving. Starchy beans and peas contain even more protein. Three servings of vegetables give you about six more grams of protein.
Protein from food offers several benefits over protein from supplements. First of all, protein in food naturally has the right combination of amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 of them that link together in different ways to form proteins. Your body cannot tell the difference between amino acids in supplements or amino acids from food.
Protein and amino acids in food may taste better than supplements. Plus you may feel more satisfied when you take your protein dose in food rather than in pill or liquid form.
To view a fact sheet on healthy weight gain, visit the American Dietetic Association Web site at www.eatright.org/Public/NutritionInformation/92_11841.cfm.
May 9, 2005
Teaching Kids to Pick Healthful Foods
1. Make it Familiar
Experiences with food in childhood influence our food preferences. It may take 9 or more exposures to a food before a child will try it.
2. Share Meals Together
Establish food habits. Kids are better nourished and less likely to smoke, use alcohol or be depressed.
3. Teach Basic Food Concepts
A meal needs 3 food groups: Protein, Fruit and/or Vegetable and Grain
4. Formula for Fiber
Your child’s age in years plus five. Keep intestinal tract healthy. A good choice is 2g or more/serving.
5. Cut the Fruit
Cut fruit gets eaten more often than whole.
6. Turn off the TV
Enjoy food and each other and not be distracted.
7. Be a Good Role Model
Let them see you eat healthy.
8. Lighten Up Your Attitude
Let them learn to make good decisions without controlling everything that goes into their mouths.
May 6, 2005
Cheers to Moms on Mother's Day!
Attention all moms! Take charge of your health.
Seeking just the right present for mom on Mother's Day? How about a long, happy and healthy life as a mother, grandmother … or great-grandmother?
Here are the top nutrition concerns for women in their “mom years��?:
Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids. There is evidence that omega-3s can help prevent stroke, blocked blood vessels and coronary heart disease. Omega-3s are found especially in higher-fat seafood such as salmon and albacore tuna and soybean and canola oils.
Low consumption of folate. Especially for women in their child-bearing years, folate can prevent birth defects and improve brain function. And as you age, folic acid can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. Good sources include spinach, navy beans, strawberries, oranges, peanuts and fortified grains like cereals and pasta.
Low calcium intake. This can result in osteoporosis and bone fractures. Good sources include milk, yogurt, tofu, cheese, salmon (canned with edible bones), turnip greens, cottage cheese, broccoli and fortified cereals and juices.
Lack of fiber, which may be related to colorectal and other types of cancers, heart disease and constipation. For fiber, turn to apples or pears (with skin), bananas, dried figs, oranges, kidney beans, lentils, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and bread, bran cereals and nuts.
Low intake of vitamin B12. B12 works with folic acid to keep homocysteine levels low, decreasing the risk of heart disease. Good sources are lean meats, poultry, seafood, yogurt, milk and eggs.
Lack of vitamin D. This can limit your body's ability to absorb calcium and can lead to bone loss. Good sources of vitamin D are milk, fortified cereals, eggs and salmon.
Help your mom take steps now to make healthful eating choices that are right for her at any stage of her life.
Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team
Nutrition Facts Label
Reading the Nutrition Facts Label is one the first steps you can make towards eating healthier. Besides, how can you eat something without knowing what you’re eating? Almost everything on the food label is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Before they took over, food companies could put whatever they wanted on the label. Now, the serving sizes are regulated using household measurements and certain nutrients have to be listed.
Grams of total fat and saturated fat must be on the label, but monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fat are all optional. However in 2006 companies will be required to list grams of trans fat on the food label. Some companies already do, but others will probably wait until the last minute. For now, if you see the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list, you’ll know there is trans fat in the product. A quick way to tell if a food is low fat is by looking at the calories and the calories from fat. If the calories from fat is 30% or less than the calories, then the food is low fat. When you’re in the grocery store and pick up a food, flip it over and quick eyeball these two numbers and decide if it’s a good choice.
Sometimes the carbohydrates are split up into grams of fiber and grams of sugar. The total grams of carbohydrate is most important, especially if you are diabetic. Low-carbohydrate food companies try to trick you with listings like net carbs, which I also recommend you disregard. There is not a legal definition for this term and is not regulated by the FDA. Fiber is also an important number because high fiber diets are beneficial.
The percentages on the food label can be confusing. These are based on a 2000 calorie diet and not everyone eats this amount of calories. It’s best to ignore these percentages and just look at the numbers.
May 5, 2005
Olive Oil: Which is the best?
Plenty of research suggests that cooking with olive oil can be beneficial to your health. Its monounsaturated fat content can help lower LDL, or “bad��? blood cholesterol.
The question then becomes—which type of olive oil to use?
Olive oil comes in a number of varieties, including virgin, light and extra virgin. All are the same in terms of fat content, either types of fat or total amounts of fat.
The difference in olive oils lies mostly in the flavor. Extra virgin olive oil is low in acid, resulting in a fruity flavor and aroma, so you don’t need to use as much to enjoy the flavor.
Virgin olive oil is more acidic, meaning you need to use more to get the distinct olive oil flavor. Light olive oil is lighter in color and flavor.
Whichever type of olive oil you prefer, remember they all have something else in common: They are all high in total fat and calories, so go easy on portions.
Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team
May 4, 2005
Seasonal Guide to Fruits and Vegetables
It’s easy to stay healthy and keep your budget in check by buying seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Fall (October – December)
Eggplant, radishes, red apples, tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, oranges, broccoli, peppers, kiwi, lettuce, pears, mushrooms
Winter (January – March)
Apples, onions, tangerines, winter squash, brussel sprouts, spinach, zucchini, turnips, garlic, cauliflower.
Spring (April – June)
Beets, cherries, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, apricots, corn, mangos, cucumbers, green grapes, parsnips, white potatoes.
Summer (July – September)
Blackberries, pomegranates, raspberries, tomatoes, lemons, nectarines, peaches, summer squash, avocados, green beans, green peas, honeydew melon, okra.
May 3, 2005
Recipes for more fruits and vegetables.
Banana Berry Pancakes
1 large banana, peeled and sliced
1 cup complete pancake mix
½ cup water
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ cups frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp strawberry jam
Place banana in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add pancake mix and water; stir until blended. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake into hot skillet. Cook pancakes for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked trhough. Meanwhile, place berries in a small bowl with jam. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, then cook for 1 minute more. Spoon topping over pancakes.
Makes 4 servings
2 pancakes per serving
Nutrition Information per Serving:
43 g Carbohydrate
4 g Protein
2 g Total fat
0 g Saturated fat
400 mg Sodium
3 g Fiber
Veggie Tortilla Roll Up
4 whole wheat tortillas
6 Tbsp nonfat cream cheese
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce or fresh spinach
1 cup diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped cucumber
¼ cup diced green chilies
¼ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped bell pepper
Spread each tortilla with 1 ½ Tbsp of cream cheese. Top tortillas with vegetables. Roll up tightly to enclose filling.
Makes 4 servings
1 tortilla roll per serving
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
25 g Carbohydrate
8 g Protein
3 g Total Fat
1 g Saturated Fat
386 mg Sodium
5 g Fiber
Fresh Corn and Rice Salad
4 ears of corn, rinsed with husks and silks removed
4 cups water
1 ½ cups cooked rice, cooled
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (7 oz) cans of diced green chilies, undrained
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
Cut kernels from cob to yield about 2 cups. Add water to medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook corn, covered, for 4 minutes; drain. In a medium bowl, mix corn and rice. Stir in diced tomatoes and chili peppers. Sprinkle top of salad with bell pepper and serve at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings
1 cup per serving
Nutrition Information Per Serving
30 g Carbohydrate
4 g Protein
1 g Total Fat
0 g Saturated Fat
290 mg Sodium
2 g Fiber
Sauteed Vegetable Pitas
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped eggplant
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
¼ cup light Italian dressing
2 whole wheat pita breads
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Cook onion and eggplant in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and bell peppers; cook and stir for about 5 minutes more or until the vegetables are crisp and tender. Remove from heat and stir in dressing. Cut pita bread in half to form 4 pockets and spoon filling into each half. Top with cheese.
Makes 4 servings
½ pita per serving
Nutrition Information Per Serving
20 g Carbohydrate
6 g Protein
4 g Total Fat
1 g Saturated Fat
272 mg Sodium
3 g Fiber
May 2, 2005
Meeting the Minimums.
Now that they’ve increased the recommendation to eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day you may need to do some creative thinking to try and sneak in extra servings of fruits and vegetables. Here are some ideas:
* With your cereal or yogurt add blueberries, peaches, strawberries, raisins, bananas, apples or dried fruit such as cranberries.
* Top pancakes with cooked apples, berries, pineapple, or pears instead of margarine and syrup.
* If you are making scrambled eggs or omelets for breakfast, load them with veggies like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, green and red peppers.
* Stuff your sandwiches and burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, onions, and cucumbers for extra flavor and crunch.
* Order your pizza with vegetable toppings like onions, mushrooms, green pepper, tomato, green chile.
* Take some vegetable sticks and low-fat ranch dip or salsa for lunch.
* Include fresh, canned or dried fruit.
* Have pasta primavera instead of fettucini alfredo. Use leftover vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower.
* Serve up vegetables grilled on a skewer. Use sliced sweet potatoes, zucchini, small potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers.
* Add mushrooms, peppers, onion, and garlic to tomato or spaghetti sauces.
* Vegetables make great toppings for baked potatoes and tacos.
* Keep plenty of cut up vegetables handy for quick snacks. Squirt lemon juice on them and keep them sealed to prevent browning.
* Munch on raisins or other dried fruit like apricots, apples, dates, pineapple, blueberries, cherries and cranberries.
* Try salsa with low-fat chips.
* Use sliced peaches, kiwi, or other fruit to dip in low-fat yogurts.