Tag Archives: nutrition

Nutritional tips for cyclists

As a dedicated bike rider, I confess to loving the Superheroes Edition of this info-graphic.

Ride on!

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Filed under cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, nutrients, nutrition, nutrition information, regular bike riding

Decoding food labels – Harvard

Much as we may want to eat healthy, it is unlikely that we have a diet that contains NO processed foods. The fact is that they are very convenient. Just open the package and pop it in – the oven – microwave – whatever. So, if we are going to eat them we ought to be able to decipher their labels. The following is from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Decoding the ingredients list on a food label

Being aware of specific ingredients in a food is a good general practice for everyone but may be especially useful for those with food allergies or intolerances, diabetes, or digestive diseases. In many cases, the longer the ingredients list, the more highly processed a food is. However, an ingredient that is not recognizable or has a long chemical name is not necessarily unhealthful. When scanning the Ingredients listing on a food package, consider the following:

  • The ingredients are listed in order of quantity by weight. This means that the food ingredient that weighs the most will be listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last. [5]
  • Some ingredients like sugar and salt may be listed by other names. For example, alternative terms for sugar are corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, dextrose, malt syrup, molasses, or turbinado sugar. Other terms for sodium include monosodium glutamate or disodium phosphate.
  • If the food is highly processed, it may contain several food additives such as artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Their ingredient names may be less familiar. Some preservatives promote safety of the food by preventing growth of mold and bacteria. Others help prevent spoilage or “off” flavors from developing. Examples that you may see on the label include:
    • Preservatives—ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, tocopherols
    • Emulsifiers that prevent separation of liquids and solids—soy lecithin, monoglycerides
    • Thickeners to add texture—xanthan gum, pectin, carrageenan, guar gum
    • Colors—artificial FD&C Yellow No. 6 or natural beta-carotene to add yellow hues
  • Fortified foods contain vitamins and minerals that are added after processing. Either these nutrients were lost during processing, or they were added because they are lacking in the average diet. Examples include B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, niacinamide, folate or folic acid), beta carotene, iron (ferrous sulfate), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Vitamin D, or amino acids to boost protein content (L-tryptophan, L-lysine, L-leucine, L-methionine).

Ingredients used widely in the production of highly/ultra-processed foods such as saturated fats, added sugar, and sodium have become markers of poor diet quality due to their effect on heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. [6,7] It is estimated that ultra-processed foods contribute about 90% of the total calories obtained from added sugars. [4] 

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Strategies to curb poor food choices

You  can’t outrun a bad diet. Words to live by. And, why not start early, like with our kids.

two people holding chips and fried chicken

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

What’s the best way to prevent children from overloading on bad food choices? Flinders University in Adelaide South Australia researchers have found that promoting substitution is the answer to turn around children’s excessive consumption of nutrient-poor foods and beverages – resulting in nutritional benefits that are even better than reducing intake of these discretionary food and drink choices.

Flinders University researchers studied the impact on the energy and nutrient intakes of more than 2000 Australian 2- to 18-year-olds through simulations of three dietary strategies. Continue reading

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Reading food labels …

The information on food labels was updated recently by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I think they did a good job on helping the consumer to better understand the nutrients in food packages.

Below is an example of the updated label.

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On the left is the old format, one the right, the new. As you can see the Serving Size and Calories are now more prominently displayed. Additionally, the number of servings per container is also given. In the past many folks would read the calories without paying attention to the serving size or number of servings per container. For example, a package of potato chips might have told you innocently that there were 150 calories per serving. Not bad, you might conclude … if you weren’t aware that the package contained four servings, so, if you ate the whole bag, you were getting 600 calories.

Here are some tips offered by Rush Medical Center on reading the labels:

 

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Feeding your body and your brain – Infographic

For the record, this has nothing to do with losing weight, but everything to do with providing your body and your brain with proper nourishment. I especially liked the final segment which points out how your brain benefits from exercise. 

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Sweet potatoes are sweet enough – Harvard

I am a big fan of sweet potatoes. Drum roll, please. Number one on the countdown of 10 best foods from the Center for Science in the Public Interest is Sweet Potatoes. A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They’re loaded with carotenoids, Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

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Harvard School of Public Health says, that sweet potatoes are typically recognized by their copper-colored skin and vibrant orange flesh, though the hundreds of varieties grown worldwide display colors such as white, cream, yellow, reddish-purple, and deep purple. Although they are often found on holiday tables covered in marshmallows or mixed with added sweeteners, there’s no need! True to their name, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor, which is further enhanced through cooking methods like roasting. They are also one of the top sources of beta-carotene—a precursor to vitamin A. Continue reading

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Latest update on U.S. nutrition, physical activity and obesity

Each month, the office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion releases an infographic with the latest data related to a Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topic. These infographics show progress toward Healthy People 2020 LHI targets — and show where there’s still work to be done.  

This month’s featured LHI topic is Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Check out the infographic below, then head over to the Healthy People 2020 LHI Infographic Gallery to see infographics for other LHI topic areas.

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Filed under childhood obesity, Exercise, exercise benefits, how much exercise, nutrition, nutrition information, nutritional deficiencies, obesity

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes Without Losing Nutrients

I don’t do a lot of cooking items, but I wanted to reblog this for two reasons. I think sweet potatoes are delicious and also they are one of the under-appreciated foods. I bet you don’t eat them often enough.

Nutrition summary:

Calories
112
Fat
0.06g
Carbs
26.16g
Protein
2.04g
There are 112 calories in 1 5″ long Sweet Potato.
Calorie breakdown: 0% fat, 94% carbs, 6% protein.

Tony

Our Better Health

Few foods are as versatile as they are nutritious, but the humble sweet potato is one exception. Whether you bake, roast, grill, saute, steam or microwave it, the orange-fleshed root vegetable delivers substantial amounts of vitamins A, C and B-6, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. Boiling sweet potatoes is not the most nutritious option because some of the vitamins are lost into the cooking water. You’ll get the most nutritional value from a sweet potato if you eat the whole thing, as its skin is a highly concentrated source of minerals and fiber. You’ll also absorb more of the vegetable’s beta-carotene – which your body converts to vitamin A – by consuming it with a small amount of fat.

In the Oven

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Rinse the sweet potato under cool running water. Use your fingers to brush off any dirt, as…

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5 Tips on choosing healthy protein foods – Harvard

Unlike the weather, everyone talks about protein but they usually try to do something about it, too. MedlinePlus says, “Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids.

“You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.”

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Here are some tips from Harvard on getting the most benefit from protein.

1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Don’t stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foods—for example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinner—will ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks (amino acids) you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

3. Try a meatless Monday—or more. Diets high in plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits, so try mixing some vegetarian proteins into your meals. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources are often less expensive than meat. Eating plant protein in place of meat is also good for the planet. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process animals for meat, so going meatless could help reduce pollution and has the potential to lessen climate change.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know their long-term effects.

Scan the Nutrition Facts label before you buy highly-processed vegetarian “fake meat” foods, since these are often as high in sodium—or higher in sodium—than their processed red meat counterparts.

5. Shift the balance of carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of triglycerides and protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular disease. This shift may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Tony

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How Do We CREATE (CAUSE) Disease And Dysfunction?

This is a perfect description of the phrase “organic machines” which I use to describe our bodies.

Please check my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits) to read further on this.

Tony

All About Healthy Choices

lived-700x476Most people think of disease as something we “CATCH.” The flu, chicken pox, sinus infections, are a few examples. Then there are diseases that are non communicable like diabetes, obesity and cancer. Dysfunction is a term that applies to the loss of muscle, vital organs (ex. heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, etc…) joint, tendon or ligament function. These are the basic causes of health complications we contend with that affect the quality of life we live.

Many of you probably think of disease and dysfunction as a “NORMAL” aging process. It is commonly believed that “LUCK” determines who will suffer disease and dysfunction and who will remain healthy.

It is because of this FALSE BELIEF that I write this article!

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screen-shot-2013-06-11-at-9-23-22-am-500Creating disease doesn’t mean placing your head in a vat of viruses and breathing deeply. It means CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT within the BODY and MIND that is so weak…

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Filed under cardiovascular diseases, chronic disease, coronary heart disease, Exercise, exercise and brain health, nutrition

Nutrition and Healthy Aging for Men

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

Excellent information in this. I must admit to being highly satisfied to see the increased emphasis on exercise.

Please check out my Page on Important Facts About Your Braind (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Judith C. Thalheimer, a dietitian wrote . . . . .

As men get older, their risk of developing chronic diseases increases. Adopting healthier lifestyle habits can decrease that risk and help ensure a higher quality of life for years to come.

“Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods can help men promote their overall health and reduce their risk of chronic diseases,” says Ximena Jimenez, MS, RDN, LD, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy). By sharing that wisdom with male clients in a way that empowers them to take control of their health through lifestyle choices, nutrition professionals can have a major impact on their lives.

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

1. Heart Disease

The statistics…

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Health Benefits of Chicken Eggs

Eggs are also a rich supply of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These are predominantly in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which helps with the maintenance of brain function and normal vision.

I am a huge fan of eggs. I covered the shell egg futures market when I worked for Reuters and learned a great deal about them, from marketing to nutritional value. I still eat an egg almost every day.

Check out the following posts to read further on eggs:
Eating Eggs is Good for Weight Loss – WebMD,

Is it Healthy to Eat Eggs Regularly? What is the Food Value of Easter Eggs?

The Food Channel Puts Eggs in the Top 10 Breakfasts,

Eating Eggs is Good for You,

Nutrition Myths Debunked – Myth 2 – Eating Eggs raises your cholesterol levels.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Nutritional breakdown

Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of a healthy and balanced diet. Below is a list of nutrients that can be found in eggs, along with a brief summary of what they are useful for:

  • Vitamin A: maintains the skin, immune system and normal vision.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, vision and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12: aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, the immune system and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): aids energy metabolism and mental functioning.
  • Vitamin D: keeps bones and teeth healthy and aids absorption of calcium.
  • Vitamin E: keeps the reproductive system, nervous system and muscles healthy.
  • Biotin: aids energy metabolism, maintains skin, hair and the immune system.
  • Choline: aids fat metabolism and liver function.
  • Folic Acid: aids blood formation and tissue growth during pregnancy.

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Eating in season: Kale

Although this blog is based in Utah, the ideas about nutrition, appreciation and preparation are totally on point. Good recipes, too.
Tony

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Peanuts: Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Here is another arrow in our quiver of healthy nuts and seeds.

Our Better Health

Posted in Nuts by admin on 20 May 2014  

Peanuts are salty and delicious pleasure. Ideal for appetizers while watching a sports game or a great substitute for potato chips while watching a movie. Besides being delicious, it can be very healthy.

  •     Regulate the level of sugar in the blood

For stable blood sugar throughout the day, eat peanut butter. It is recommended this product to eat for breakfast.

  •     Increase concentration and memory capability

Thanks to vitamin B3 that contain peanuts, helps the brain to function normally and increases concentration and ability to remember.

  •     Peanuts reduce cholesterol
Nuts

Although the belong in the category of products that contain high amounts of calories and fat, recent studies have shown that peanuts can act preventively heart disease and lower cholesterol and triglycerides without weight gain.

  •     Contains vitamins

Peanuts are rich in vitamins B1, B3, 3, magnesium, calcium, iron and…

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Blog-Hopping

When I started writing this blog in March 2010, I was excited at the prospect of sharing what I had learned about healthy eating and losing weight. I hoped to help  other folks avoid the eating mistakes I had made. Now, in the fifth year of blogging, I have made a number of discoveries. First, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about healthy eating and losing weight. I certainly learned more than I thought I knew before I started. Second, I was amazed to learn what interesting things were being created by fellow bloggers. I now look forward to reading the blogs daily rather than just writing my own.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Shop with Vinny Grette for fun and good food

Shop with Vinny Grette for fun and good food

1. What are you working on?

Cook Up a Story, my food blog, grew out of a book I wrote for kids and their families by the same title. A retirement project, the book was an experiment in creativity and positive thinking.

You see, I spent my career editing and directing the production of scientific material for Canada’s Department of Agriculture. All of that seemed rather dry. Even the work we did getting science discoveries into the schools, although a lot more fun than the usual assignments, was subject to strict approvals at many levels. Most of the fun was edited out in the process.

My first adventure upon leaving the public service was a course on writing for children. It stirred up lots of fun material, all of which mysteriously contained some reference to food… or to food and science. So I decided: why fight it? I’d put together a book focusing on healthy eating for kids and their families, built on the backbone of six of my children’s stories.

2. How does your work differ from others of this genre?

As it turns out, the book is completely different from what is on the bookshelves. No-one publishes books that contain both fiction and nonfiction. Where would you put it in the bookstore? Even the famous Canadian author Yann Martel (who wrote Life of Pi) had the same problem getting his subsequent book published, because he wanted to intersperse his fantasy novel with critical nonfiction.

3. Why do you write/draw what you do?

So I decided to self-publish. I had no problem with the production of the book itself. In fact I was told by publishers it is extremely professional in its finish. But as far as promotion and distribution went, I was at a loss.

Enter the blog. And my life has never been the same since.

What began as a tool to promote my book took off with a life of its own.

I’ve tried to maintain the same fun tone in my blog as I use in the book. My goal is to get kids interested in thinking about how their food choices affect their health.

With newspapers and magazines full of stories about fast foods, processed foods, and sugar leading to rampant obesity in kids as well as their families, I thought my background might be suited to making some small difference in this area. This idea keeps me motivated.

Vinny goes to school

Vinny goes to school!

I began presenting in schools and in the community, in hopes of getting kids into the kitchen where they could learn to choose and make healthy foods for their table.

4. How does your writing/drawing process work?

I begin by choosing a healthy food. Then I give it a silly name and invent some kind of character for it. I try to find songs or nursery rhymes I can use to give more life to the piece. I create a little story to draw families into the recipe. The idea is to give people a reason to try the food, beyond it being good for you. Then I help with some tasty but simple ways to use the food. There is always a recipe :).

Often, I tried making the recipe with the kidlets in my family. That would lead to changes in the recipe or the description. I took lots of pictures. My aim wasn’t so much to show kids how to cook. There are all kinds of wonderful recipes books in the stores that do that very nicely. Rather, I wanted to teach them what to cook… and why they should make the effort to learn how to make these foods taste good.

I’m thinking of doing up a second book using material from my blog. There would be more recipes than I had in the first book, which should be considered the appetizer in the quest for knowledge about healthy eating. The new book would be the main course… the entree, so to speak.

It’s all fun. I may take a breather over the summer to collect my thoughts and see where to go from here. In the meantime, folks, keep on cooking!

Now where was that?

Vinny Grette wonders what to cook for dinner

The second is Rob Gott a genius with a pencil, or whatever it is he uses to draw those delightful characters.

Robin ( Rob) Gott grew up in North London, England, in the house once inhabited by the boy who would grow up to become Boris Karloff. Scared away by the ghost of the famous horror film actor, the family moved to a house in Stansted in Essex, previously owned by Douglas Fiarbank’s Junior’s daughter, and the venue of a Rat Pack party or two.

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Whether all this show business history had any effect on the youthful Robin is food for thought, but he did drift into working in the film and TV animation in London, as an artist and later working with story development. In 1994 he packed his bags, moved to Malmoe in Sweden, fell in love with the lovely Karin, and there he’s been ever since.

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He draws cartoons, acts and writes. He’s written songs, poetry, scripts for graphic novels, two screenplays (one commissioned by Per Holst, a Danish producer) and is now being encouraged by his two boisterous sons, aged 8 and 10, to write a children’s novel. This is very much in the early stages and at the moment he’s gathering all the ingredients for a hopefully wondrous concoction inspired by Anthony Horowitz, Roald Dahl and of course – Boris Karloff!

Rob loves being with his family, especially at their lakeside cabin nestled cozily in a Swedish forest, fishing, running, cooking, playing guitar and flopping about on sofas, drinking English ale and watching old black and white films.

You can learn more about him at www.robingott.com or on Facebook.

Tony

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs – Infographic

Here is yet another infographic I found that is loaded with good info.

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The list of good carbs includes while grain breads, bran cereals, green vegetables and fresh fruits. The bad carbs: candy and desserts, sugared cereals, sodas and sugary drinks and refined breads.


For more details on Carbs check out 5 Carbs You Shouldn’t Stop Eating

Tony

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