Adding Flavor With Herbs

Herbs do not only contain vitamins and minerals, the oils in most herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that can deliver disease-fighting health benefits as well. Growing an herb garden is an easy way to access fresh herbs all year-round.

Thyme: Contains generous amounts of Vitamin C, can be used in soups and stews, and can add flavor to foods including meats, roasted chicken, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and winter vegetables.

Basil: Offers a range of flavors and aromas from lemon and mint to licorice. Sweet basil pairs well with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, pasta, eggs, garlic, and poached fish.

Tarragon: Delivers a sweet licorice-like flavor. Tarragon can be used in green salads and goes well with eggs, chicken, fish, goat, and ricotta cheeses as well as citrus, tomatoes, parsley and vinegar.

Rosemary: Pairs well with fava and white beans, roasted meats and potatoes. This herb should be added early in the cooking process.

Mint: Pairs well with dark chocolate, cream-based dessert, lamb, cucumbers, young potatoes, carrots or peas, fruits and teas.

Chives: Pair well with eggs, cheddar and ricotta cheeses, and root vegetables (especially potatoes). Use them fresh, not cooked to maintain color and flavor.

Cilantro: Pairs well with chili peppers in salsas and curries. Commonly used in Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisine.

Sage: Pairs well with rich and roasted poultry and meat dishes, onions, pasta and beans.

Parsley: 1 tbsp. of parsley delivers more than 50% of recommended vitamin K for adults. Pairs well with lemon and garlic, fish and soups.

Dill: Delivers a good amount of beta-carotene. Dill is a main ingredient in pickles and pairs well with cucumbers, eggs, potatoes and fish.

Food & Nutrition Magazine. July/August 2015

May is National Egg Month

Did you know that the month of May is National Egg Month? Eggs contain high quality protein to keep you full for longer periods of time and energized throughout the day. Eggs only contain 70 calories, making them a wonderful snack or part of a meal. When you think of eggs, think of them as a multivitamin. The nutrients found in eggs can play a key role in weight management, muscle strength, brain function, eye health, and can have other health benefits as well. Did you know that an egg yolk contains a higher percentage of the eggs’ vitamins than the white? It’s true: an egg yolk contains an entire eggs’ vitamins A, D, and E. Plus, egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Dietary protein influences muscle mass, strength and function for all different age groups. The six grams of high-quality protein found in eggs an help children and teenagers build and preserve muscle, and for adults, protein can help prevent muscle loss. Many Americans are in the habit of shying away from eggs because of dietary cholesterol; however, more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without impacting their risk of heart disease. So, the next time you’re re-thinking having an egg as part of your meal, go for it! Their nutritional and health benefits are eggstraordinary!!

Resource: http://www.incredibleegg.org

March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month! This month, the theme is biting into a healthy lifestyle. I believe that all of us, no matter what age, should take control of what we are eating. It’s time to make healthier lifestyle changes and recognize how many chronic diseases we can prevent just from making small changes to our lifestyles! It’s time to focus on all colors of the rainbow from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy) and making the healthiest choices for a better life. You will never have to “diet” again when you take control of your lifestyle and realize that the focus here is everything in moderation and watching portion sizes! You don’t have to give up any foods when it comes to living healthier, but just know the more healthier choices you make, the better off you will be. Once you start, you are going to feel much better and have much more energy!

Don’t wait to start living a healthier life– start today!!

http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/

Add Pears To Your Season Menu This Fall

One medium pear is 100 calories, has 5.5 grams of fiber, 10% of the daily value of vitamin C, and 5% of the daily value of potassium! The high pectin in pears makes them ideal for jams and spreads.

A member of the rose family, pears are delicious in both sweet and savory dishes and can be enjoyed raw, stewed, sauteed, baked, roasted, poached and grilled!

If you enjoy pears, here is a wonderful salad to share with family and friends during the Fall season!

Pear waldrof salad:

Ingredients;

4 large crisp, green pears, unpeeled, chopped into chunks

5 stalks of celery trimmed, coarsely sliced

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup walnuts

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

Place chopped pears, celery, raisins, walnuts and lemon rind into a large bowl and toss together. Place cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, and honey into the container of a blender and process for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Pour cottage cheese dressing over pear mixture and stir to combine well. Chill until serving. Serves 8 people.

Nutrition information:

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 182

Total fat: 6g

Sat. fat: 1g

Cholesterol: 13mg

Sodium: 147mg

Carb: 29g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 20g

Protein: 6g

For more information: Food and Nutrition Journal September/October 2014. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

SIMPLE Do’s & Don’ts To A Healthier Lifestyle

DO:

1. Drink water: Water is the most essential nutrient for cells. For added flavor, try adding fresh fruits, cucumber slices or lemon and lime wedges to ice-cold water.

2. Eat a “mixed” breakfast that includes foods containing a little carbohydrate, a little protein and a little fat. For example, eggs and a bowl of fruit or a protein shake with soy milk and a banana includes three essential macronutrients, provides energy and tastes good, too.

3. Eat less fat. The average American eats the equivalent of a stick of margarine a day, most of which is hidden in processed foods

4. Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps maintain colon health

DON’T:

1. DON’T rely on pills for nutrition. Pills cannot substitute for a whole food. Foods contain much more than just vitamins and minerals.

2. DON’T become dehydrated.

3. DON’T eat sugary foods in the morning. A burst of refined sugar on an empty stomach will trigger a flood of insulin that suppresses the immune system and feeds any abnormal cells.

eat healthy!
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – The fight against cancer begins at the kitchen table

 

How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?

The average American consumes, 18-23 teaspoons a day, or 2 pounds of sugar a week, about 2.5 times the recommended daily limit. That is equal to 100-156 pounds of sugar in a year! In the last 20 years we have increased sugar consumption in the United States from 26lbs. of sugar to 135lbs. of sugar per person every year. Sugar is the most widespread form of carbohydrate and the most common ingredient in processed foods. Half of our sugar intake come from “invisible” sugars (foods you don’t think would have sugar in them)

Even if you don’t feel like you are consuming a lot of sugar, you are most likely eating more sugar than your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Added sugar is found in many unexpected food items, including sliced bread, wheat crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and energy bars. Soft drinks are largest source refined sugar in children’s diet. Clinical studies show that sugar-free diets are more difficult to follow in the long-term. Sugar-free eating can trigger cravings for sweet foods and disordered eating. Being able to enjoy occasional sugary foods is important (remember moderation is KEY!)

There are many different names for sugar that are on food labels. The trick is if it ends in “ose” it is sugar. Just to name a few: honey, lactose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener, juice concentrate, natural sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Remember to always read food labels and choose brands with lower sugar content. Also, keep in mind that artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are two hundred times sweeter than sugar! It’s not ideal to consume artificial sweeteners if you want to reduce a sweet tooth.

If you are craving a sugary food, try reaching for a food that is naturally sweetened like fresh fruit. But remember,  just because it is a fresh fruit, doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bowl and not expect your blood sugar to rise. A lot of sugar into the bloodstream upsets body’s blood sugar balance, triggers release of insulin which the body uses to keep blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease). High fiber content foods slows down process of digestion which results in slow release of glucose.

Sugar-quantity-in-common-foods

For more information: http://www.northjersey.com/news/196728311_Know_how_much_added_sugar_you_re_consuming__content_is_no_sweet_surprise.html?c=y&page=1

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/the-sweet-life-and-what-it-costs-us/

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/nhp/adults/documents/sugar.pdf

A Serious Case of “Rethink Your Drink”

The next time you pick up Gatorade to re-store your electrolytes, you might want to rethink your decision. How does the FDA approve Gatorade to contain the ingredient brominated vegetable oil? The ingredient shares an element, bromine, with some flame retardants used in furniture and plastics. Some studies on BVO indicate it can build up in fatty tissues and cause reproductive and behavioral problems in rodents.

It’s illegal to use the chemical as a food additive in the European Union, India, Nepal, Canada, Brazil and Japan, so why not the United States? Other ingredients that are allowed in American food but not in other countries include certain artificial colors and additives to flour. 

How can we stop this? Are you aware of this ingredient in your drink? What are your thoughts/comments?

gatorade

For more information: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/ct-met-banned-food-practices-20130121,0,5307425,full.story

Where Americans Stand Nutritionally

New research shows that Americans are not reaching the nutritional recommendations overall, however some groups are better than others.

Researchers said that children and the elderly seemed to eat a healthier diet than younger and middle-aged adults, and women had a better diet than men. Hispanics also tended to have better quality diets than either blacks or whites.

“Regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race and education, the American diet as a whole needs to be improved,” said the study’s lead author Hazel Hiza, of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) in Alexandria, Virginia.

Hispanic children were getting closer to the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables compared to white children, and closer to the recommended amount of fruit compared to black children. The researchers say that children from poor families were meeting more of the USDA dietary recommendations than wealthy children in several food groups, which is possibly due to the low-income families’ participation in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.

lunchweek1_600 (1)

For more information: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-diet-standardbre8as1ey-20121129,0,2683588.story By Andrew M. SeamanReuters

Who’s Conusming The Most Sugar?

An interesting article I came across.. pretty much backwards of other statistics I have read! Take a look.

A United States study, a report in the National Center for Health Statistics, shows that older children consume more sugar than younger ones do, boys consume more than girls, and white children consume more than black or Mexican-American children. For this study, published on Feb. 29, researchers interviewed subjects about their food consumption over the previous 24 hours. The scientists measured all added sugars — spooned on at the table or used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods like bread, jam, candy and ice cream. Added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses and others, but not sugars in fruit or pure fruit juice.

Non-Hispanic whites consumed the largest percentage of calories from sugar and Mexican-Americans the smallest. Family income made no difference in sugar consumption. Young people got 60 percent of their sugar calories from foods, and only 40 percent from soft drinks. And whether it was from food or drink, they got most of their sugar at home, not at school or elsewhere.

Cynthia L. Ogden, the senior author and an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that added sugars account for 27 percent of the calories in a chocolate chip cookie, 17 percent in a blueberry muffin, 42 percent in sugar-sweetened cereal and 91 percent in a can of cola. The C.D.C. recommends that no more than 5 to 15 percent of calories come from solid fats and added sugars.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/health/research/us-study-finds-children-consuming-too-much-sugar.html?_r=2  By NICHOLAS BAKALAR