Rethink Your Calories When Eating Out

This gives us all a great perspective on what we really are eating when we order from restaurants! This short video shows that it may not be a bad idea to over-estimate your caloric intake when reading nutrition information. Until the FDA makes food companies report accurate information for the public, remember to rethink what you actually are eating.

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Know When To Toss Your Food

We all wonder how long we can go after opening a food product or how far you can stretch after the expiration date. Here are some tips on some popular foods by Jessica Girdwain

  1. Frozen Chicken:  Store it in a freezer bag and keep it in a single layer so it gets rock-hard quickly. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn, and use it all within a month or two.
  2. Raw Chicken: It generally keeps 1 to 2 days in the fridge, but follow the expiration date listed on the package and if you know you won’t be eating it within the one to two days, FREEZE IT!
  3. Deli Meat: You can keep deli meat up to a week, but it’s recommended to eat within 3 days
  4. Leftovers: A week is still safe, though at that time, ingredients may start to separate. Ideally, you want to eat them within 2 to 4 days.
  5. Frozen bread/bagels: You can store them for a few months in the freezer, but bread may dry out and accumulate freezer odors in about 2 to 3 weeks
  6. Coffee: Buy a week or two’s supply of coffee (versus a whole giant can) at a time and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place
  7. Chicken/Beef broth: If the broth was canned, pour it into another container, refrigerate, and use it up in a few days.
  8. Eggs: You’ve got some wiggle room after the sell-by date by about 2 to 3 weeks. Five weeks is your max!
  9. Canned tomatoes: canned tomatoes can stick around in your fridge for a few days. Just don’t store them in the can after opening them–transfer them to another airtight container.
  10. Snack foods: When they hit their expiration date–or a month after opening (whichever comes first)–throw the bag away.

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For more information: http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2013/03/24/17420450-can-you-still-eat-that-or-should-you-throw-it-out?lite

 

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

Bigger Portions, Bigger People

Food has gone through a technological revolution in the US in the last 50 years.  Food is available in more variety, in more forms and in more combinations than ever before.  Portions haven’t just got bigger in restaurants, there are also bigger bags of chips, bottles of sugary and energy drinks, and the list goes on…

When eating or snacking in front of the TV, encourage people to put a reasonable amount of food into a bowl or container, and leave the rest of the package in the kitchen. It’s easy to overeat when a person’s attention is focused on something else. Place especially tempting foods, like cookies, chips, or ice cream, out of immediate eyesight, like on a high shelf or at the back of the freezer. Move the healthier options to the front at eye level.

Americans are surrounded by larger portion sizes at relatively low prices, appealing to the consumer’s economic sensibilities. However, the cost to America’s health may be higher than most people realize. Do people look at food that is offered and automatically assess how much is a normal serving size, and then actually eat only the normal serving size? Do they adjust what they eat after consuming large portion sizes?

portions-have-changed

For more information: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science/Portion-control-key-to-fighting-obesity-expert-says

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/pdf/portion_size_research.pdf

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!

nnm

For more information: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UTAUbze_CSo

GMO Labeling – Agree or Disagree?

 

I have been against the United States NOT labeling GMO foods for a long time now. It’s not fair to us to not know what is going into our bodies! Whether or not to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods is a key issue in the ongoing debate over the risks and benefits of food crops produced using biotechnology. The most common GE crops in the United States are soybean, corn, cotton, and canola. Because many processed food products contain soybean or corn ingredients (e.g., high fructose corn syrup or soy protein), it’s estimated that 60 to 70 percent of processed foods in grocery stores include at least one GE ingredient! Were you aware of this? How do you feel about the labeling issue in the US? How many people are GMO foods affecting?

gmo

For more information: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09371.html

National Heart Health Month

February is National Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Over one quarter of deaths are from heart disease. You have a greater risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. CDC provides tips for preventing heart disease.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Use salt in moderation
  • Monitor your weight to make sure you’re at a “healthy” weight
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times a week
  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, consider quitting
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
  • Have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis

Prevent-Heart-disease1

Fore more information: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-health-tips-for-preventing-heart-disease-20130130,0,7279098.photogallery

Go Yogurt?

A research study has shown that  people who said they ate yogurt also reported consuming higher amounts of other good-for-you foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and whole grains. Yogurt is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium and many Americans don’t consume enough of these nutrients. The study shows that if many consume yogurt in place of less healthy foods, it may help eliminate the inadequate intake of shortfall nutrients.

A one-cup serving of low-fat yogurt has a similar nutrition profile to that of a cup of low-fat milk, but with roughly 50 percent more potassium, calcium, and magnesium, the researchers pointed out.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe consuming yogurt makes you eat healthier foods?

yogurt

For more information: http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2013/01/24/16683669-yogurt-lovers-have-better-diets?lite MyHealthNewsDaily By Cari Nierenberg

Fight Off Illness With Nutrients You Consume

Specific nutrients in foods have been shown to enhance the body’s ability to keep us well.  Some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other nutrition experts from Barbara Quinn’s article explain important nutrients to keep the illness off.

· Protein: It’s what immune cells are made of. Sources of immune-building protein include lean beef, pork and poultry, fish, eggs, beans and soy-based foods.

· Vitamin A: vitamin A — a nutrient that helps maintain the cells that line our intestines and lungs. These mucosal cells are the sentries that guard our body from foreign invaders. Carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes and red bell peppers are good sources of vitamin A.

· Vitamin C:  this essential vitamin plays an important role in healing wounds and strengthening our resistance to disease. Vitamin C also helps form antibodies that fight off infection. Sources include oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

· Zinc: Our immune system relies on zinc to consistently renew disease-fighting cells. Since zinc in food is bound to protein, it makes sense that good sources include oysters, beef, pork and liver as well as whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

· Vitamin E: Given its antioxidant ability to neutralize free radicals, vitamin E keeps the machinery of the immune system functioning at capacity. Good sources include nuts, seeds and whole grains. Wheat germ is an especially good source of vitamin E.

fight illness

For more information: http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_22427155/choose-foods-that-fight-illness?IADID=Search-www.montereyherald.com-www.montereyherald.com

*Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.