The First Lady Unveils Revamped Nutrition Facts Label

by in Food News, May 25, 2016

Last week at the Partnership for a Healthier America Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C., first lady (and PHA honorary chair) Michelle Obama unveiled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s refreshed Nutrition Facts label. And while a label redesign may not seem like big news, it is. First, because this is the only time the label has significantly changed since it debuted 20 years ago. And second, because the FDA has been under mounting pressure from food manufacturers and consumers alike to re-evaluate what was criticized as an out-of-date tool for determining the nutritional value of packaged foods. Read more

5-Ingredient Shrimp & Avocado Stir-Fry with Lemon

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, May 25, 2016

We’re entering that exciting time of year when spring produce is in full gear and summer produce begins to surface. At this moment, avocado groves are brimming with luscious, creamy avocados, which can be used in all sorts of ways. Besides mashing avocados on toast and into guacamole, you can mix them into stir-fries, where they pair perfectly with a light, low-fat protein like shrimp. Avocados count toward your fruit intake, so you can feel good about that, too.

I’m a hungry gal, so I like to serve this dish over brown rice prepared with vegetable broth instead of water, for extra flavor. But feel free to break out your spiralizer to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or serve the stir-fry in lettuce wraps for the ultimate low-carb meal that will fill you up while boosting your vegetable intake.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

by in Gluten-Free, Grocery Shopping, May 24, 2016

If you’ve just starting eating gluten-free, you’ll be glad to know that navigating your local grocery store is easier than ever and, with many national chains manufacturing their own food products, prices are better than you imagine. So what’s the key to ultimate shopping success? Knowing not only where to find gluten-free foods in your supermarket, but identifying which foods are worth buying ready-to-eat and which ones you’re better off making from scratch. Read more

The Truth About Baby Carrots

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, May 23, 2016

Tiny smooth carrots – which are perfect for snacking and dipping – don’t actually grow that way. Find out how they’re made, and why it’s OK to munch on them.

The History
Baby carrots were invented by a California carrot farmer, Mike Yurosek. In the early 1980s, Yurosek found that many of his carrots were not saleable because they were “ugly” — they weren’t the size or shape that could be sold at the grocery store. Instead of tossing these “ugly” carrots, he used an industrial bean cutter to shape them into what are now called “baby carrots.” The success of baby carrots was overwhelming. By 1987, carrot consumption had increased by 30 percent. Today, baby carrots consist of 70 percent of total carrot sales. Read more

Canned Tuna, 3 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, May 22, 2016

Because it’s one of our favorite healthy convenience foods for a quick lunch (or dinner), we’ve taken canned tuna — high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids — beyond the classic mayo-laced sandwich salad. Garlicky tahini, rich avocado and creamy Dijon vinaigrette are swapped in for heavy mayonnaise in these three easy recipes that take canned tuna to the next level. Read more

4 Tips for Planning an Edible Garden

by in Healthy Tips, May 21, 2016

It’s the time of year when home gardeners begin to set a game plan for the season. Their excitement begins to build, as they know that what starts out as small seeds and plants will turn into a backyard bounty of edible goodness over the course of a few short months. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a horticulture newbie, use these tips to get off to a fruitful start.

 

  1. Find the right space.

The best place to start digging is one with lots of sunshine and plenty of soil. If you have a designated garden spot, try to rotate the main area every couple of years to help prevent depleting nutrients from the soil. If a new spot isn’t an option, plant items in different spots than the year before — tomatoes on the opposite side of the garden and so on. Also, consider using a combo of raised containers and in-ground beds so you don’t take up your entire lawn. If you live in a wooded area, consider how to set up protection from hungry squirrels, rabbits, deer and other four-legged friends. Read more

Nutrition News: Smoothies, Calorie Disclosure Rules, Diet and High School Sports

by in Food News, May 20, 2016

Smoothie operators

“Do I absorb more sugar and calories when I drink fruits and vegetables in a smoothie as opposed to just eating them whole?” The question was put to The New York Times’ Well blog this week, which consulted a dietitian representing the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and returned with an answer: Yes, “very likely.” Basically, the issue is one of “quantity,” the Times was told. You may well consume a lot in a short time when you drink a smoothie, without even realizing it. Plus, you may feel hungrier more quickly after you drink a smoothie than you would after eating whole fruit, because fiber, which slows down the sugar-to-blood-sugar conversion process, gets pulverized when the fruit is blended for smoothie consumption. And that’s just talking about smoothies you make at home, the Times notes. Store-bought smoothies often pack a big caloric punch along with added sugar, honey or other sweeteners — and may not even contain whole fruit at all.

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5 Pasta Salads You Won’t Regret

by in Healthy Recipes, May 19, 2016

Pasta salad is just as emblematic of the American cookout tradition as a juicy cheeseburger, whether you prefer yours with bow ties or macaroni, diced celery or bell pepper, or creamy mayonnaise or zesty vinaigrette. But what you might consider a modest serving could very well pack enough sugar and fat to knock you into a dreaded food coma for the rest of the day. If you’re eager to indulge in this classic summer side dish a whole lot more now that barbecue season is upon us, consider trying new ways to lighten up your go-to recipe. Reducing the mayo and cutting the sugar in the dressing — and loading up on wholesome, in-season vegetables — are excellent places to start.

American Macaroni Salad
Food Network Kitchen’s lighter take on macaroni salad has all the creaminess that’s expected, even though the recipe requires just half a cup of mayo. A little bit of sour cream is also mixed in, adding a tangy element — along with the cider vinegar — to this typically mild dish.

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New Potatoes with 5-Minute Mint Pesto

by in Healthy Recipes, May 18, 2016

New spring potatoes are deliciously in season now, but the shining star in this recipe is mint.

Even if you have a black thumb, you can grow this versatile herb. A small pot of mint on any sunny windowsill is almost impossible to kill. In fact, if you do happen to have a little plot of garden soil, do not plant mint; it will take over your garden like a weed. Always plant mint in a container.

Fresh mint is magic in the kitchen. You can:

  • Toss whole or torn leaves into salads
  • Pair it with peas for a classic combo; serve mixed into brown rice
  • Make Vietnamese noodles or a banh mi sandwich with fish sauce and mint
  • Flavor your water without added sugar or artificial sweeteners

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How Accurate Is Your Fitness Tracker?

by in Fitness, May 17, 2016

Wearable fitness trackers — including Fitbit and Jawbone devices — are wildly popular ways to keep a tally of all the daily activities you do. They count steps and calories, measure heart rate and, in some cases, monitor things like how much and how well you sleep. But before you live and die by those numbers on your device, you might want to consider something: How accurate is all that information anyway? Read more

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