Tag Archives: fast food

Home cooking a main ingredient in healthier diet, study shows

This should come as no surprise to anyone who ventures in to fast food eateries or even regular restaurants.

People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

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“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all — even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.

The findings also suggest that those who frequently cooked at home — six-to-seven nights a week — also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they ate out.

Wolfson presented the research at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., on November 17. The study was published online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

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Whole grains improve immune response – Studies

Consumption of fast foods and processed foods took another hit today according to a couple of studies from Tufts.

In a clinical trial, adults who consumed a diet rich in whole grains rather than refined grains had modest improvements in healthy gut microbiota and certain immune responses. The research was conducted in tandem with a study that looked at the effects of a whole-grain diet on energy metabolism. Both studies are published online today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Whole grain consumption has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Researchers have speculated that whole grains lessen risk for diseases through reducing inflammation, but studies comparing the effects of whole grains versus refined grains consumption have not controlled the diets of study participants and have not evaluated cell-mediated immune responses to uncover the impact of whole grains on immune and inflammatory responses.

The research team analyzed the results from an eight-week randomized, controlled trial with 81 participants to see what effect a diet rich in whole grains, as opposed to a diet rich in refined grains, would have on immune and inflammatory responses, gut microbiota, and stool frequency in healthy adults. For the first two weeks, participants consumed the same weight-maintaining Western-style diet rich in refined grains. For the next six weeks, 40 of those participants stayed on that diet, while 41 participants consumed a diet rich in whole grains. Continue reading

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Tips for Healthy Eating at Fast Food Eateries

As a retired guy I don’t eat a lot of fast food because I have the time to fix my own meals, so my experience since retiring is limited in this area. Being in the work force rips a lot of your dietary control away from you. You find yourself ‘on the road’ and subject to the vagaries of your present locale. Or, you have a deadline, so you can’t take the time for a proper meal. You find yourself at the mercy of local fast food eateries. But, maybe all is not lost.

FastFood

HELPGUIDE.org offers some worthwhile tips on trying to eat healthy at fast food restaurants.

“Making healthier choices at fast food restaurants is easier if you prepare ahead by checking guides that show you the nutritional content of meal choices at your favorite restaurants. Free downloadable guides help you evaluate your options. If you have a special dietary concern, such as diabetes, heart health or weight loss, the websites of national non-profits provide useful advice. You can also choose to patronize restaurants that focus on natural, high quality food.

“If you don’t prepare ahead of time, common sense guidelines help to make your meal healthier. For example, a seemingly healthy salad can be a diet minefield when smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings, so choose a salad with fresh veggies, grilled toppings, and a lighter dressing. Portion control is also important, as many fast food restaurants serve enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving.”

Tips for making healthy choices at fast food restaurants:
▪ Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin, or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
▪ Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp of regular cola packs about 425 calories, which can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.
▪ “Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.
▪ Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren’t for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing “on the side” and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.
Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for your body to register that you have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

Pay attention to portion size, too. So many fast food places just give you too much food. Then you are stuck with the conundrum not wanting to waste food, but not wanting to pig out, either. So, they mess with your mind as well as your body. As I said on my page How to Lose Weight – And Keep it Off – “You don’t want to waste food? But you can’t continue to waist food, either. Understanding serving size and portion control will take you a long way on your weight control journey.”

Tony

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Lack of fresh food choices linked to signs of early heart disease – AHA

It seems that while our reliance on fast foods and processed foods might be saving us some time, in the long run it is costing us dearly.

A lack of access to nearby stores selling fresh food may increase residents’ risk of developing the signs of early heart disease, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Circulation.

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“The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,” said Jeffrey Wing, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “The thought is that greater access to healthier foods may have promoted healthier diets and, in turn, less coronary plaque formation.”

Study results point to a need for greater awareness of the potential health threat posed by living in neighborhoods with scarce healthy grocery options. Continue reading

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Does Eating Fast Food Mean a Higher Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease?

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Living in this fast-paced world, eating fast food is a temptation few of us can ignore at one time or another.

People who have a habit of eating fast food on a regular basis are at greater risk of developing both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the latest online edition of the journal Circulation.

Scientists from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in the U.S. and the National University of Singapore worked together to analyze data from a 16-year study, which was based on eating habits of 52,000 Chinese nationals living in Singapore. Each resident had experienced a sudden transition from traditional eastern foods to a Western-style fast food diet.

Fast food in Singapore.

The study “discovered that those who ate fast food two-three times a week were twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to…

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Portion Size From the Other Side of the Counter

Unfortunately, our ‘bargain-hunting’ hard-wiring seeks out large portions in restaurants, in a vain quest for the ‘most for my money.’

You’ve heard of ‘win-win.’ Well this is ‘win-lose.’ Getting too much food can be costly to our health not to mention our waistline, despite appearing to be a financial bargain.

Professional chefs regularly offer steaks double the size recommended by the USDA.

Professional chefs regularly offer restaurant goers steaks double the size recommended by the USDA.

The more successful you are at finding an eating place with huge portions, the more difficulty you will have keeping control of your weight and waistline. We all need to rethink the situation. Pigging out at a low price doesn’t make our trip to dine out a success. We need to start thinking in terms of the nutritional quality of our food not just the quantity. Continue reading

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Bigger is not Better where Food is Concerned – CDC

Bigger is not better! The average restaurant meal is four — 4 — yes, FOUR — times larger than it was in the 1950s. The average adult is now 26 pounds heavier than 60 years ago.

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The Centers for Disease Control has released this wonderful graphic on how  portion sizes have gotten completely out of control.

As we say regularly here on the blog: Eat less; move more; live longer.

For more on Portion Control check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off.

Tony

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The Lighter Side of Weight Loss – Number 12

Because weight control and healthy living require discipline, I fear that sometimes I sound ponderous in these posts promoting healthy activities. So, herewith some fun ones. Enjoy! Couldn’t resist a pun one.

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How can you talk about weight loss and leave out Mickey D's?

How can you talk about weight loss and leave out Mickey D’s?

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Enjoy the day!

Tony

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New York City Board of Health Requires Sodium Warnings on Saltiest Restaurant Items

New York city is at it again. This time requiring sodium warnings on the saltiest restaurant items. I have very mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I want to eat healthy and have other folks do the same, therefore I limit my sodium intake. However, I do not think it is the government’s place to barge into people’s eating habits – even when they are harmful. I think we should be free to choose what we want even if it is not the most nutritious choice.

The Dairy Queen was one of the firms mentioned.

The Dairy Queen was one of the firms mentioned.

For the record: the American Heart Association recommends we limit our sodium consumption to 1500 mg per day.

Following are examples from the

Calories     Sodium (mg)

Jersey Mike’s Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak         1,740         7,795

Applebee’s Chicken Fajitas Rollup                           1,090        3,600

Applebee’s4 Cheese Mac & Cheese (with extras)     1,830       4,290

Burger King’s BK Ultimate Brkfst Platter                   1,420       3,020

Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad                     1,040       3,470

Dairy Queen’s 4 Pce Chicken Strip Basket                1,000       2,530

Friendly’s Grilled Chkn Caesar Salad                          880         2,770

Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy Entree                             1,450       3,830

For more details and restaurants and to read the entire Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) press release click here.
Tony

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Emotional Guide to a Healthy Diet – Infographic

This would be one of those one picture is worth a thousand words posts.
Check out my Page – What’s Wrong with Soft Drinks? for more.

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Tony

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Have you gotten your fresh air and sunshine medicine today?

England had several early advocates of the curative value of sun and fresh air. Physician John Lettsom (1744-1815) prescribed sea air and sunshine for children who were suffering from tuberculosis (TB). In 1840, surgeon George Bodington noted that those who worked in the open air—farmers, plowmen, shepherds—were generally free of TB, while those who spent much of their time indoors seemed more susceptible to it.

I love this kind of information. Sunshine and fresh air are good for us. Who’da thunk it?

I think we are all hard-wired to know simple, wonderful facts like this, but the information gets lost in the myriad facts of the mental mayhem that makes up modern living. Now we have science backing up our own intuition.

I know I am going to enjoy riding my bike out in the sun even more now.

Tony

To Your Health

It sounds kind of funny to think of fresh air and sunshine as medicine in today’s pill-driven society… But, when scientists first discovered chemical antibiotics in the mid-20thcentury, doctors hoped that these new medications would eliminate certain diseases. At first, the new medicines seemed to live up to their promise. Yet, their widespread use since then has resulted in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

To find new weapons against infection, some scientists are taking a second look at disease-control methods of the past. One of these involves harnessing the health benefits of sunshine and fresh air.

England had several early advocates of the curative value of sun and fresh air. Physician John Lettsom (1744-1815) prescribed sea air and sunshine for children who were suffering from tuberculosis (TB). In 1840, surgeon George Bodington noted that those who worked in the open air—farmers, plowmen, shepherds—were generally free of TB, while those who…

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Calories, but Were Afraid to Ask – Infographic

I ran across this Calorie infographic on the web and thought you might enjoy it as much as I did.

I like that it shows some activities and how many calories you burn per hour.

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What are the Ingredients of TWINKIES – Infographic

Back in 2012 when the Hostess baking company was possibly going under,  I wrote A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT. That included a breakdown of what makes Hostess Ho Ho’s empty-caloried junk food.  You can read mine and decide which is scarier, the Ho Ho’s or Twinkies.

Herewith an infographic that takes apart Twinkies:

Infographic-Twinkies-Ingredients

Tony

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Fried Foods Tied to Raised Heart Failure Risk

In this study, men who ate fried food one to three times a week had an average 18 percent increased risk of developing heart failure, researchers found. When fried food was eaten four to six times a week, heart failure risk was 25 percent higher, and at seven times or more weekly, 68 percent greater.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Eaten regularly, they might boost chances as much as 68 percent, study finds.

The more fried food you eat, the greater your risk for heart failure, a new study says.

“This study suggests that it might be wise to reduce the frequency and quantity of fried foods consumed weekly in order to prevent heart failure and other chronic conditions,” said lead researcher Dr. Luc Djousse, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Heart failure means the heart isn’t pumping blood throughout the body as well as it should. Symptoms include fatigue and shortness of breath, and it’s one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among people aged 65 and older, according to the American Heart Association.

In this study, men who ate fried food one to three times a week had an average 18 percent increased risk of developing heart failure, researchers found. When…

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How Does Your Heart Feel About What You Eat? – Infographic

When it comes to controlling our weight, a lot of people talk a good game, but the fact remains that 60 percent of us are overweight, 30 percent outright obese and adult onset diabetes is hitting our kids in their teens. So, we don’t do a very good job on controlling what we put into our systems. I thought this was a super infographic because it gets the reader to focus on what the impact of that slice of pizza is on his system.

As I wrote on my Page How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off – everything you eat and drink becomes a part of you.

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Tony

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Why Should I Avoid Fast Food? – Infographic

Fat food seems to be everywhere we turn and can be a lifesaver on a busy day, but making fast food a ‘go to’ solution on a regular basis is a prescription for medical problems.

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Check out my Page – Fast Food Nutritional Information for more details.

Tony

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