National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

EVERYBODY KNOWS SOMEBODY. It’s estimated that we see 3,000 advertisements each day, often messages that result in women and men hating their bodies.

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Twenty million women and 10 million men suffer from a diagnosed eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating or another non-specified eating problem, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. If left untreated, they can lead to other serious health problems affecting the heart or digestive organs.

Americans afflicted with eating disorders outnumber those with Alzheimer’s disease almost six to one, but National Institutes of Health funding for Alzheimer’s averages way over the amount that is spent to research eating disorders.

98% of American women are not as thin as fashion models. The average American woman is 5’4″ and weighs 165 pounds. The average miss America winner is 5’7″ and weighs 121 pounds. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

33% of adolescent males use unhealthy weight control behaviors. Up to 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies. The muscularity of an ideal male in the media has increased from  the 1970’s to the 1990’s presenting a largely unattainable muscular body type. Males are less likely to get help because they are embarrassed.


For more information:

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


Fore more information:,0,7279098.photogallery

Sugar, Oh Honey, Honey!

I thought this would be an appropriate topic right after Halloween! Re-think your actions before you over-indulge in the bowl of candy..

Our bodies need sugar, but Americans are consuming WAY too much. Stick to non-processed foods as much as possible to avoid excessive sugars, even though this might be challenging! We are surrounded by processed foods through the media, in grocery stores, and in most of our own homes. We need to start nourishing our bodies and treating them right– not like garbage cans.

Sugar is hidden in unlikely foods, from salad dressing to crackers. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends most women get no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day. That’s about six teaspoons, or 100 calories. However, the average American woman eats about 18 daily teaspoons.

In the past four years, cereal brands have cut back on sugar, the milk industry recently lowered amounts in the chocolate milk served in schools, and Walmart is aiming for 10% less added sugar in select foods by 2015.

Sugar takes a devastating toll on your health. In fact, excessive sugar consumption may be the largest factor underlying obesity and chronic disease in America

For more information:  By Aviva Patz,

Tip of the day: “Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight”

Obesity is clearly linked to breast cancer in postmenopausal women, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the colon, rectum, uterus, kidney, and pancreas. Evidence is also showing that obesity is linked to cancers of the gallbladder, liver, cervix, and ovary.

Main ways to reduce your risks of developing cancer are maintaining healthy body weight through physical activity and diet as well as obviously holding back from tobacco. People who maintain a healthy weight have a lower risk of cancer than those who have gained and then lost weight.. this is why children need to be educated of healthy eating at a young age! However if you are already overweight, it’s still worth it to lose that weight because your chances of developing cancer still are lowered.

So keep all of these helpful tips in mind the next time you reach for fried foods or sweets.. it pays to eat healthy!

Source: Nutrition Action; Still Not Getting It? 10 Messages That Don’t Seem To Stick; June 2012

Fiber Sources

A high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day. Looking for some high fiber foods? Here are some good sources..

  1. Nuts– 1/4 cup almonds has 4 grams of fiber
  2. Frozen peas
  3. Chia seeds– Full of soluble and insoluble fiber, 1 tbsp. has about 6 grams of fiber!
  4. Onions– Full of Inulin to help lower cholesterol
  5. Bulgur– 8 grams of fiber per cup
  6. Kiwis– 2 grams of fiber
  7. Apples– About 4 grams of fiber

For more information:

Reducing Your Sugars

A great article from the AHA website on reducing intake of sugar!

To figure out if a packaged food contains added sugars, and how much, you have to be a bit of a detective. On the Nutrition Facts panel, the line for sugars contains both the natural and added types as total grams of sugar. There are four calories in each gram, so if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 60 calories just from the sugar alone, not counting the other ingredients.

Limit your consumption of foods with high amounts of added sugars, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight teaspoons of sugar, or 130 calories and zero nutrition.

To tell if a processed food contains added sugars, you need to look at the list of ingredients. Sugar has many other names. Besides those ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose, other names for sugar include high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey or fruit juice concentrates.

Tips for Reducing Sugar in Your Diet:
Take sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses off the table — out of sight, out of mind!

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there, or consider using an artificial sweetener.
  • Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages.
  • Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
  • Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (try bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  • When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
  • Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in recipes (use equal amounts).
  • Try non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin in moderation. Non-nutritive sweeteners may be a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding more calories to your diet. The FDA has determined that non-nutritive sweeteners are safe.



What’s Important In a Woman’s Diet?

“A well-balanced diet is a cornerstone of health. Women, like men, should enjoy a variety of foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and lean protein. But women also have special nutrient needs and during each stage of a women’s life, these needs change.”

An important read from the ADA website,…

Eating Right

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy for women’s busy lives and help to prevent disease. A healthy daily diet includes:

  • At least three 1-ounce servings of whole grains such as whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, brown rice or oats.
  • 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese.
  • 5 to 6 ounces of protein such as lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, beans, beans, lentils or peas.
  • 2 cups of fruit such as apples, blueberries, melon, oranges, bananas and pears.
  • 2 ½ cups of vegetables such as leafy greens, pumpkin, bell peppers, onions, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots.

Iron-Rich Foods

Iron is one of the keys to good health and energy levels in women. Low iron levels can be caused by a women’s menstrual cycle or a problem with iron absorption.

Iron-rich food sources include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and fortified breads and cereals. Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods. So eat fortified cereal with strawberries on top, spinach salad with mandarin orange slices or add tomatoes to lentil soup.

Folic Acid During the Reproductive Years

When women reach childbearing age, you need to eat enough folic acid to decrease risk of birth defects. The requirement is at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of folic acid daily from fortified foods or supplements, in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, dry beans and peas naturally contain folate. In addition, there are many folic acid fortified foods like cereals, rice, breads and pizza crust.

Daily Calcium Requirements

For healthy bones and teeth, women need to eat a variety of calcium-rich foods every day. Calcium keeps bones strong and prevents osteoporosis, a bone disease in which the bones become weak and break easily. Some high calcium foods include low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, tofu (if made with calcium sulfate) and calcium-fortified foods like juices and cereals.

Foods to Limit

To keep weight in check at any age, women should avoid a lot of excess calories from added sugars, fat and alcohol.

  • Limit regular soft drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, baked goods and fried foods.
  • Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day.
  • Opt for low-fat dairy and meat products instead of their full-fat counterparts.

Saturated fat — the kind found in meat, cheese and full-fat dairy products — is a culprit in heart disease. Watch how much saturated fat you eat, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women.

Balancing Calories with Activity

Since women typically have less muscle, more fat and are smaller than men, you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight and activity level. Moderately active women need 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day. Women who are more physically active may require more calories.

Exercise is an important part of a women’s health. Regular daily activity helps with weight control, muscle strength and stress management.