February 27, 2008
Is (fill in the blank) more nutritious than white granulated sugar?
The blank can be honey, brown sugar, rock sugar, raw sugar, molasses, corn sugar, maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, or any other sweetener. Some of the so-called natural sugars are less processed and, hence, retain a more robust flavor.
Nutritionally, they are almost the same. They contain the same calories as white sugar and are metabolized the same way. Some natural sugars, such as honey and evaporated cane juice, contain minute amounts of minerals. Unless we eat a gigantic portion of these natural sugars daily, the difference in mineral content is insignificant.
February 24, 2008
Homemade Granola Bars
Bars of every make and model are causing gridlock in the supermarket aisles.
There are energy bars, cereal bars, breakfast bars and snack bars. Some are yogurt-covered, others are studded with bits of toffee or chocolate. Still others are designed as a meal replacement.
But buyer beware: Your favorite "healthy" granola bar may actually be a hybrid candy bar fueled by sugar, saturated fats and trans fats.
According to calorie-count.com, a typical 1.5-ounce soft granola bar with chocolate chips contains 181 calories, 7.1 grams of fat (4.4 grams saturated) and 117 milligrams of sodium.
These homemade granola bars also are soft and chewy and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. But there's a difference: They're heavy on whole grains and light on fat and sodium.
Storage tip: Wheat germ is very oily and goes rancid quickly. Store in the refrigerator after opening.
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
¼cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well, using hands if necessary, and be sure all ingredients are evenly moist. Press mixture firmly into the prepared pan using the back of a spatula.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until nicely browned. Place on rack to cool. While pan is slightly warm, carefully cut into small bars.
Store in a sealed container for up to a week or place in plastic freezer bags and freeze.
Makes 22 bars.
Per bar: 107 calories (23 percent from fat), 3 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 1 milligram cholesterol, 61 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
February 21, 2008
Chicken Strip Tease
McDonald's Chicken Selects Premium Breasts Strips may sound healthy, but ounce for ounce, the strips are no healthier than McDonald's Chicken McNuggets A standard 5 strip order has 630 calories and 11 grams of saturated and trans fat (33 grams total fat!)
That's about the same as a Big Mac, except the burger has 1040mg sodium, while the Selects hit 1550mg, even without the salty sauce.
February 16, 2008
Is Organic Better?
The advantages of eating foods containing fewer chemicals, pesticides, and hormones are certainly appealing. A decade ago, organic was a term mostly associated with produce, but this is no longer the case. Grocery aisles are filled with organic products, as many packaged products have an organic version.
Packaged products labeled organic are not always healthier, such as organic candy, chips, frozen pizzas, and cola. In 2005, the U.S. organic industry reached $14.6 billion in sales. It is one of the fastest-growing categories in the food industry, growing at roughly 20% annually. Remember, overall food choice is more important and 3,000 calories from organic food is still 3,000 calories.
February 11, 2008
Food, Food Everywhere
Everywhere you turn, there are opportunities to eat -- at drive-through restaurants, vending machines, even gas stations. And when food is in front of us, we tend to eat more of it, experts say.
Wansink and colleagues found that when candy was easily accessible on workers' desks, they ate an average of nine pieces a day, and didn't realize how many they ate. But when the candy was kept in their desk drawers, they ate about six pieces per day. And when they had to get up from their desks to reach the candy six feet away, they only ate four pieces.
Curb your instinct to overeat sweets and snacks by moving them out of sight -- and putting more healthful foods into plain view. Resist the urge to splurge on unhealthy foods by carrying your own healthy snacks.
February 8, 2008
Here’s a little gem of a nutrition nugget for people with diabetes. When lactic acid is added to bread dough, it does two things –– changes the flavor to the tangy, delicious bite of sourdough bread and mediates the glycemic impact of all that white wheat flour.
We know the glycemic response is less with sourdough because the acid slows the emptying of the stomach, thereby slowing the delivery of glucose to the bloodstream. And research has shown that this anti-glycemic effect can last through to the next meal, slowing the emptying of the stomach even a few hours later.
Check the bakery department of your supermarket for a variety of sourdough breads. White sourdough is better than non-sourdough white, but a whole grain sourdough will still rank highest on the health meter and lowest in glycemic response.
February 3, 2008
Health Tips for the New Year
We're now into the second month of the New Year and hopefully you're still going strong with your New Year's Resolutions. If January wasn't a good month for you, don't worry, goals can be set at anytime during the year - not just Jan 1. First, make sure this is a good time for you to make a change and check out my video clip for some more advice...
February 1, 2008
This Sunday: 30M pounds of snacks!
Super Bowl Sunday. It's about football, TV commercials and the eating.
So what, exactly, will you scarf down on Sunday?
In general, the Calorie Control Council says its research, along with that of the Snack Food Association, finds that Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on game day.
Here's the breakdown:
* 11.3 million pounds of potato chips;
* 8.5 million pounds of tortilla chips;
* 4.1 million pounds of pretzels;
* 3.8 million pounds of popcorn;
* 2.7 million pounds of nuts.
The council says before you count real meals, the average armchair quarterback will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat.