September 28, 2008
Don’t let a name of a product trick you into eating or drinking more. Studies have shown that people eat more pie when it’s listed as Grandma’s Homemade Apple Pie” compared to “apple pie” and drink more wine when the label says from California as compared to North Dakota.
Watch out for labels with fancy names. Be a careful food shopper and pay attention. Many of us eat more when a food has a tasty name.
September 24, 2008
Go Take a Hike
Celebrate this week! As part of “Take a Child Outside” week from Sept. 24-30, encourage your family to turn off the TV and go outside and play! Take a walk, a hike, a bike ride, walk the dog, play catch, frisbee, jump rope, hopscotch, shoot hoops, rollerblade...do something outside!
September 21, 2008
A new study in JAMA shows that smoking damage in women is reversible and may be reduced to nonsmoker’s levels.
Within five years of quitting smoking, the risk of dying from coronary heart disease is lowered by 21%. The risk of dying from other diseases is also reduced after quitting, although the time frame changes with each disease.
September 17, 2008
The main difference between organically and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables is the pesticide factor. The good news is that thorough washing of fruits and vegetables with water (no soap) will remove much of the harmful pesticides.
Be choosy! Produce with soft or edible skins are good choices to eat organically. The "dirty dozen" refers to 12 fruits and vegetables that the nonprofit Environmental Working Group says are among the most susceptible to pesticide residue, and thus most profitable to buy organic. They are:
• Sweet bell peppers
• Grapes (imported)
You probably don’t need to buy organic foods with a tougher skin or a peel that you don’t eat. The Environmental Working Group also has a list of 12 fruits and veggies likely to have the fewest pesticide residues, which may not be worth the added cost of buying organic. They are:
• Sweet peas (frozen)
• Sweet corn (frozen)
Also look for store-brand organic foods to save some money!
September 15, 2008
Getting Older, Eating Better
Experts say the following eight essential nutrients can help you stay healthy.
• Protein — Older adults need at least five ounces, or two servings of protein a day. You can get that protein from meat or dairy — milk, cheese and also yogurt supply protein. Try other protein sources, such as eggs, beans and peanut butter.
• Vitamin D — Vitamin D helps deposit calcium in bones and keeps bones strong.
The body makes vitamin D after sunlight hits the skin. Twenty to 30 minutes of sun exposure two to three times per week is plenty. Most milk and cereals are fortified with vitamin D.
• Calcium — It's never too late to consume more calcium. If you are over age 50, you should get at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. Milk, cheese and yogurt are the best sources of calcium.
Dark green, leafy vegetables, calcium-fortified fruit juices and cereal also have a lot of calcium.
• Vitamin A — Dark green, leafy and yellow and orange vegetables — such as cantaloupe, carrots and yellow squash — all help eyes adjust to dim light and protect skin tissues.
• Vitamin C — One common problem with aging is iron deficiency. It can lead to anemia. Eating vitamin C in iron-rich foods helps your body absorb iron. Choose iron-enriched cereals, beans, whole grains, lean meat and poultry. Eat vitamin C-rich fruit — such as oranges, guava or papaya — or fruit juice at meals.
• Folate — It helps red blood cells develop to carry oxygen through the blood.
Good sources are kidney beans, spinach, strawberries, green peas, broccoli and romaine lettuce.
• Vitamin B12 — Too little vitamin B12 can also lead to anemia. Eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy foods for this vitamin.
• Water — Older adults need at least eight eight-ounce cups of fluids per day — especially water. Remember that juice, milk and soup offer other nutrients as well.
September 10, 2008
Makes 6 servings
1 large pineapple
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Peel pineapple. With a sharp knife, cut it crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Brush the slices lightly with 1 teaspoon oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Turn slices over, brush with remaining teaspoon oil and broil for 5 to 7 minutes longer. Immediately sprinkle pineapple with brown sugar. Cut into chunks and serve with lime wedges.
Per serving: 68 calories; 2 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 1 mg sodium.; 90 mg potassium
Makes 2 servings
1 mango, peeled and sliced (see Tip)
1. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil.
2. Arrange mango slices in a single layer in the prepared pan. Broil until browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Squeeze lime wedges over the broiled mango and serve.
Tip: Cutting a Mango:
1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.
4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.
Per serving: 69 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 167 mg potassium.
September 7, 2008
The supplement Stevia often delivers a non-uniform sweet taste because it is
made from a plant and varies from supplement to supplement.
Stevia sweetened beverages are starting to appear on store shelves. Sweet
Leaf Tea Company (Austin, TX) created it¹s own stevia-based sweetener and
with self affirmed status. And it looks like they have GRAS status now:
In addition, Coca-cola plans to roll out products with its own version of a
stevia-based sweetener called Truvia (this has been delayed).
Some consumers prefer stevia because it is considered natural. It is not
without controversy though which stems mainly from from lab studies in rats
indicating that it may be mutagenic (cancer causing) in high doses . On the
flip side, there are several studies where scientists fed rats very large
doses of stevia and found no evidence of toxicity or genetic damage,
And, there are reports indicating that stevia may actually enhance one¹s
health by increasing insulin sensitivity . Stevia has been used as a
sweetener in several other countries for quite some time.
September 2, 2008
The Low Down on Energy Drinks
The staple ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine -- lots of it. If you're wondering how much caffeine energy drinks have compared with other beverages, here's your answer, according to the caffeine database at www.energyfiend.com:
8 ounces of tea (brewed): 47 milligrams
12 ounces Coca-Cola: 34 milligrams
12 ounces Sunkist: 41 milligrams
8 ounces coffee: 108 milligrams
8 ounces Amp: 75 milligrams
16 ounces Full Throttle: 144 milligrams
16 ounces Rock Star: 160 milligrams
16 ounces SoBe No Fear: 174 milligrams
8 ounces Red Bull: 80 milligrams
8 ounces Redline RTD: 250 milligrams
Besides traditional forms of caffeine, many energy drinks include caffeine-containing substances such as guarana, a South American plant whose seeds are crushed and added as a stimulant. Other common ingredients include ginseng (thought to increase endurance, although studies have never proved it), carnitine (a protein thought to improve muscle performance, but again, that claim remains unproved) and other snake oil we don't know a whole lot about. All of these ingredients are classified as nutritional supplements by the Food and Drug Administration, meaning they can be sold over-the-counter without any trials to demonstrate their effectiveness or safety.
The label on Redline recommends consuming no more than one a day. Clearly, though, few consumers seem to notice the small print (and there's little motivation to make it larger, because a four-bottle pack of Redline can cost about $15).
Drinking several a day have been reported to cause gastritis: severe inflammation, bleeding and ulcerations.