Happy 4th!

This weekend is known for parties which could also mean that some of us may overeat on some of our favorite barbecue treats! Today, I have a healthy snack that you can bring with you to your next party. Not only is it very fast, but it’s also very simple to make! Bring it to a party for not only you, but your families, friends, coworkers, etc. Why not make something sweet and enjoyable for everyone to enjoy, even children! This is a sweet treat to make made from nature’s very own candy.. fruit! In the following recipe you will need toothpicks, raspberries, blueberries, and mini marshmallows. You can always substitute for other red fruits. Instead of using marshmallows you can also try to use bananas, however they might brown very quickly after slicing them.

The great thing about these little snacks is that you can enjoy them on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any other patriotic holiday to celebrate the USA! Happy 4th everybody! Enjoy the day and be safe!

*Pictures were taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

 

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The US Compared To Other Countries When It Comes To Food

Such a great article I came across on Buzzfeed comparing what we eat here in the United States that are BANNED from other countries. Definitely worth your time reading and definitely an eye opener!
The 8 foods mentioned here are:

  • Artificial food dyes –  have been linked to brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children.
  • Olestra – robs your body of its ability to absorb vitamins
  • Brominated vegetable oil – BVO is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.
  • Potassium bromate – linked to kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage.
  • Azodicarbonamide – known to induce asthma.
  • BHA and BHT –known to cause cancer in rats.
  • Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST – potentially causing infertility, weakened muscle growth, and a whole array of cancers.
  • Arsenic – Used in some chicken feed to make meat appear pinker and fresher, arsenic is poison, which will kill you if you ingest enough.

 

Check it out here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries

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

Eat Too Much At Your Super Bowl Party?

By some estimates, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest feasting events in the United States (second only to Thanksgiving dinner) and accounts for $55 million in food and beverage purchases.

Here are some statistics for you:

  • Almost 15,000 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are consumed
  • Twice the average daily amount of snack foods are consumed, about 30.4 million pounds
  • Some 12 million pounds of avocado are sold in preparation for the game so Americans may gorge themselves on an estimated 8 million pounds of guacamole
  • Sales of flavored snack crackers increase 68 percent
  • Sales of frozen breaded mushrooms increase 36 percent prior to the Super Bowl
  • Sales of processed cheese loaves increase 30 percent the week before the Super Bowl
  • Sales of frozen shrimp increase 29 percent
  • There is $237.2 million spent on soft drinks at grocery stores during Super Bowl week
  • There is an additional $11.8 million spent in sales of beer
  • Frozen pizza is the top Super Bowl seller at grocery stores

Did you eat too much on Super Bowl Sunday? What are some of your ideas of eating less?

super-bowl-food-stadium-4

For more information: http://www.albertleatribune.com/2013/02/02/mayo-dietitian-warns-against-excess-snacking/

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

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

Adding Peanut Skins to Peanut Butter

What do you think about adding peanut skins to your peanut butter? The nutritional profile of peanut butter may be enhanced with this approach. According to research, it doesn’t affect the taste of the peanut butter either!

About 60,000 tons of peanut skins are wasted every year in the United States because of peanut processing. The peanut skins are a good source of antioxidants and could be added to peanut products in order to enhance the nutritional value.

What are your thoughts/comments? Would this affect the amount of peanut products you eat?

For more information: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science/Peanut-skins-Boosting-the-nutritional-profile-of-peanut-butter

The Latest On Obesity Rates In The United States

It has been 3 decades of obesity rates steadily climbing, however now they actually seem to be stabilizing nationwide. This new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is believed to be from the positive steps we have taken to make nutrition information important. Little changes such as placing nutrition data on food packages and making sure school lunch menus are appropriate for children to be eating are all ways that were able to address the obesity problem in the United States where 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children and teenagers are overweight or obese. It is still questionable as to why obesity rates have soared through the end of the century.

New studies from 2009 and 2010 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey examined 6,000 adults and 4,111 children measuring their BMI (which is considered the gold standard when dealing with a large population). From these statistics, 35% of US adults are obese, having a BMI of 30 or greater. These statistics are all similar to the 2005-2006 data. Although obesity rates seem to be slowing down, an increasing rate can still be found in racial and ethnic groups. Rates have risen to 58.5% among non-Hispanic black women and to nearly 45% among Mexican American women since 2004. And among children and teens, about 21% of Hispanics and 24% of blacks are obese compared with 14% of non-Hispanic whites.
Also interestingly, more adult men are now overweight or obese as compared with women — 73.9% to 63.7%. However, severe obesity remains more common in women.

The Let’s Move! program founded by First Lady Michelle Obama has raised national awareness through actions such as persuading Wal-Mart to stock more healthful foods and working with professional sports organizations to create public service announcements encouraging children to exercise. Many other places, such as schools are working to reduce access to sugary drinks and high calorie, unhealthy snacks in school.
Even though it is great news that the general population in the United States rates of obesity levels are stabilizing, it still is going to take a big change to get these numbers and statistics to DECREASE! Take a look at what you, your friends, your family, and everyone around you are putting into their bodies. Start making small changes to get these numbers under control. And remember to exercise, exercise, exercise!! Small changes make a BIG difference! Eat healthy and get moving!

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