Good or Bad: Whipped Topping

by in Is It Healthy?, June 27, 2016

Everyone gets excited about a fluffy pile of sugary whipped goodness, dolloped high atop a slice of pie or ice cream sundae. Store-bought whipped topping may seem like a healthy alternative to decadent whipped cream, but you might want to read this before you garnish your next dessert.

Good
Whipped toppings tend to come in lower on the calorie-and-fat scale than traditional whipped cream. Two tablespoons of frozen whipped topping contain 25 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, while canned whipped topping has about 20 calories and 1 gram of fat for the same two-tablespoon serving. You may be shocked to learn that the same two-tablespoon serving of whipped cream has 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. And seriously, who eats only two tablespoons of any of this stuff?! Premade whipped toppings offer convenience, as a sweet and creamy serving is a quick spoonful or spray away. Read more

Mango Turmeric Lassi Ice Pops

by in Healthy Recipes, June 26, 2016

It’s that time of year: The weather is getting warmer. The grills are being uncovered. The pools are being cleaned. And the ice pop molds are being dusted off.

Last year when I made my roasted peaches-and-cream ice pops, I raved about how my purchase of ice pop molds was a total game changer. This year I’ll spare you the soapbox, but I have to tell you how much I love this new ice-pop recipe.

I’m on a mango turmeric kick right now. I just made mango turmeric overnight oats, and I was on a mission to find another recipe to combine these two powerful flavors. Mango is sweet and juicy and beautifully contrasts with turmeric’s bitter, peppery flavor. Plus, they both impart a gorgeous, vibrant orange-yellow color that makes your food just pop!

And then there are the nutrition benefits of this win-win combo. Both mango and turmeric are high in antioxidants; specifically, mango is packed with antioxidant vitamins A and C. And that’s not all. Mangos contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals — talk about a superfruit!

Cool down this summer with this refreshing recipe for Mango Turmeric Lassi Ice Pops. Making ice pops at home is super quick and easy and allows you full control over the ingredients to make sure your family and friends are getting a nutritious treat. Read more

Smoky Two-Potato Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, June 25, 2016

Old-fashioned potato salad this is not. What it is is cool, creamy and way more colorful than the old standby — and it still goes great alongside burgers, brats and corn on the cob.

And it’s got a kick of spice, which, surprisingly, is exactly what you want in the hot summer. It’s no coincidence that the hot peppers that grow in hot and sunny climates are craved by people who live there. Hot, piquant flavors actually help cool the body and are healthy for lots of reasons:

  • Eating spicy foods helps produce endorphins in the brain; these “good mood” hormones help you feel more relaxed and, well, happy!
  • The heat of peppers is caused by a group of antioxidant phytochemicals — mainly capsaicin, which has powerful inflammation reducers.
  • Capsaicin also seems to help curb appetite and may help you feel fuller sooner.

Canned chipotle peppers are simply jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and stewed in a savory tomato sauce. So both the peppers and the sauce lend deep unami flavor from the cooked tomatoes along with smoke and bold heat. That’s why a recipe like this — which calls for only for 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper and 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce — can still pack a big flavor punch. (For ideas on what to do with leftover chipotles, see this tip.)

To cool the spicy heat on the tongue, this recipe includes creamy yogurt and nutrient-rich white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and spice are an especially addictive combo — and a touch of honey is added to bring out the potatoes’ sweetness so it’s more of a match for the bold chipotle spice.

No, it’s not your grandmother’s potato salad, but it will still have friends coming back for seconds. Read more

Nutrition News: Diet and Diabetes, Workplace Wellness, Soda Tax

by in Food News, June 24, 2016

Veg out (if only a little)

The advice to eat your veggies is better than ever. Eating just a few more servings of healthful plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains) and slightly fewer servings of animal-based foods (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) every day can significantly reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, a new study published in PLOS Medicine has found. Interestingly, while those who ate a plant-based diet with a modest amount of animal products lowered their Type 2 diabetes risk by 20 percent, the kind of plant-based foods they ate was key. Those who ate healthy plant-based foods saw a 34 percent drop in diabetes risk, while those who ate unhealthy plant-based foods (refined carbs, sugary foods, starchy veggies) actually slightly increased their Type 2 diabetes risk. “What we’re talking about is a moderate shift – replacing one or two servings of animal food a day with one or two plant-based foods,” senior author Frank Hu, a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The New York Times. Read more

Our Definitive Healthy-Burger List

by in Healthy Recipes, June 23, 2016

Try as we might to limit our caloric intake during the warm-weather months, there’s no getting around it: Summer feels incomplete if you don’t have a hearty burger in hand from time to time. But what if we told you there was a burger that is just as satisfying as the one you’ve had at your favorite barbecue or fast-food joint but won’t sabotage your summer health goals? Luckily, there is. Not just one, in fact, but 10 — in various permutations of smoky, grilled perfection. You aren’t dreaming. From savory beef and poultry burgers to hearty fish and vegetable patties, here’s a rundown of our favorites that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers
If you think you need to skip beef entirely in order to reduce calories, think again. Food Network Kitchen’s Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers take the guilt out of this summertime staple and weigh in at just under 400 calories per serving — roughly half of what you could expect from most fast-food options.

Read more

Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Water Sports Edition

by in Fitness, Food and Nutrition Experts, June 22, 2016

Are water sports your activities of choice during the summer months? Along with kayaking trips and stand-up paddleboarding at the beach come trips to the snack bar, clam shacks and barbecues. Find out just how much water play it can take to work off those summer favorites so you can adjust your diet accordingly.

 

Mains & Sides:

 

Lobster Roll = 600 Calories

Hold your breath; that butter- or mayo-drenched lobster sammie will require two hours of snorkeling to work off.

 

Fried Clams = 400 calories

A small order of this fried fave will mean one hour of water skiing for you to break even. Read more

What Makes a Good Protein Shake?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, June 21, 2016

Confused about protein shakes? You certainly aren’t alone. It’s tricky to tell what’s healthy to sip and what will lead to a calorie overload. Here’s how to build a healthier shake with all the nutrients your body needs (and nothing it doesn’t) after exercise.

 

Sports Nutrition

The best time to have a protein shake is after a workout, since in the hour immediately following exercise, your body is craving nutrients and fluids to help replenish energy stores and allow worn-out muscles to recover. A beverage can be a perfect delivery system, but that doesn’t mean you can just toss anything into a blender. Your muscles require a balance of carbohydrate and protein, ideally in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. In order to achieve this nutrient goal, choose from some of these star ingredients.

 

Fruit: Fresh and frozen fruit add natural sweetness as well as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to help fight inflammation after a hard workout. Read more

Have You Tried Kaniwa?

by in Have You Tried, June 20, 2016

This high-protein cousin of quinoa is native to Peru and Bolivia. It’s gluten-free, with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Check out its superfood qualities and learn where you can get your hands on some.

 

Nutrition Info

Kaniwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wa) is actually a seed, though nutritionally it’s categorized as a whole grain. It’s a good source of protein, with one serving providing 15 to 19 percent of the daily recommended amount. It is also loaded with dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. According to Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., author and founder of Whole Body Reboot, “Kaniwa is composed of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and viruses, reduces the risk of anti-inflammatory disease, and has anti-aging benefits.” Read more

Korean Bulgogi and Mushroom Tacos

by in Healthy Recipes, June 19, 2016

Bulgogi is one of the most-iconic Korean dishes, and being Korean, I can say that I’ve eaten my fair share (and then some) of this delicious marinated-meat dish. While it’s normally prepared with thinly sliced sirloin and rib eye, I used lean ground beef in this recipe. It’s an excellent option when you are pressed for time, as it eliminates the need for slicing the beef and decreases the marinade time. The marinade not only tenderizes the meat but also imparts the perfect combination of sweet and savory to the flavor profile.

Double or triple the bulgogi recipe and you can enjoy it throughout the week by adding it to salads, grain bowls, pizza, burritos, quesadillas and much more. You can also freeze whatever you don’t cook (with the marinade and all) in individual, freezer-safe Ziploc bags.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate more nutrients into my ground beef dishes while cutting back on calories, fat and sodium is replacing some of the meat with mushrooms. Simply chop the mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and you won’t even notice the difference. Mushrooms are an excellent source of important nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, potassium and selenium. They’re also the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle, and I love that they’re non-fortified. Read more

Get to Know Potassium

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, June 18, 2016

Sure, you’ve heard of potassium, but how well do you really know this mineral? Potassium plays a very important role in maintaining good health, but it turns out that it’s a nutrient that many Americans regularly fall short on. In fact, according to a study published in 2012, less than 2 percent of adults get the amount of potassium recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. Those recommendations call for adults to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily.

“The best food sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables, and most Americans simply do not eat enough of them to get the potassium they need,” says Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Potassium is an important electrolyte, and it works in partnership with sodium (also an electrolyte) to help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. “Most people get too much sodium and not enough potassium, which can throw off this balance,” says Rumsey. Read more

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