All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Supplement Savvy: Vitamins

by in Uncategorized, July 19, 2011
vitamins
How many of these do you really need?

Lots of folks take supplements to help keep them healthy, but in many cases, pills and potions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. This new series is your inside guide for some of the most popular vitamins.

Why Supplements Can Be Dangerous
It may seem hard to believe but the supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA or any other government agency. It’s only after multiple reports of adverse effects of a product that the government can step in to investigate and attempt to take that product off the market. This means that many supplement companies can (and do) cut corners, skimp on research, and sell products that are of lesser quality. In some cases this can just mean a waste of money, in others it can be dangerous to your health.

There is some good news: many of the most basic vitamin supplements (such as the ones below) tend to be safe when taken properly.  Better yet, there are a few third-party companies that do independent testing and have their seal of approval on product brands that meet standards for quality, safety and efficacy. One such company is the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Consumers can go online to check recommended brands and look for the USP seal on approved products.

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Food News: EWG’s Release of the 2011 Meat Eater’s Guide

by in Food News, July 18, 2011
london broil
Make smarter, healthier, greener choices.

We’ve been keeping you updated on the Environmental Working Group’s how-to list for buying organic produce (a.k.a. – the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen). Today they’re unveiling the much anticipated 2011 Meat Eater’s Guide – a tool to help educate consumers about the environmental impact of their protein choices.

How It Works
EWG partnered with the environmental analysis firm CleanMetrics to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with 20 popular proteins that Americans consume. Red meat, pork, poultry and fish were obvious points of interest, but vegans and vegetarians should also pay attention – protein sources like milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, beans, tofu, nuts and some vegetables were also evaluated.

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Lobster Rolls, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, July 15, 2011
lobster roll
Ellie Krieger's lightened-up lobster roll.

Gobs of mayo and butter can wreck this summertime goodie. Lighten up your favorite recipe and dive in!

Nutrition Facts
Restaurant offerings for lobster rolls range from 600 to 1440 calories and 34 to 98 grams of fat per serving! Lobster certainly isn’t the problem: 3 ounces of cooked lobster meat contains 83 calories, 1 gram of fat and 17 grams of protein. It also packs in 44 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin B12 and more than 50 percent of the mineral (and antioxidant) selenium.

Shellfish like lobster does contain a fair amount of cholesterol: a 3-ounce portion has 20 percent of the daily recommendation. But since shellfish like lobster and shrimp are low in saturated fat, they can still be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet.

So if lobster isn’t to blame, what is? Heaps of mayo and butter are to thank for the skyrocketing calorie counts.

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Food Safety News: No More Screening For E.Coli?

by in Food Safety, July 13, 2011

bacteria, e coli
Global food-borne illness outbreaks have been on the rise in recent years. So why is the U.S. considering putting an end to screening foods to make sure they’re free of some of the deadliest bacteria?

In The News
The LA Times reports the House of Representatives passed a bill last month to do away with funding for a 10-year old program that screens commonly contaminated produce for the presence of harmful bacteria. Now it’s on to the Senate.

This program has lead to nearly 20 food recalls over the last 2 years. Budget restraints and complaints of “unnecessary recalls” are being blamed for the possible reallocation of funds.

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Market Watch: Pea Shoots

by in Farmers' Market Finds, July 11, 2011
pea shoots
Tender, sweet, delicate pea shoots at the farmers' market.

A true farmers’ market find: Sweet and tender pea shoots are too delicate and perishable for the supermarket.

Pea shoots are the green, coiled tendrils of the pea plant with delicate rounded leaves. They’re bursting with nutrients like vitamin C, fiber and even some protein. Shoots have a subtle pea flavor and add a fresh bite to salads, seafood recipes, and summer rolls (see recipe below). You can also wilt them into soups or pasta dishes by tossing in right before serving.

Shopping Tip: Choose crisp and bright green shoots. Store in the refrigerator gently wrapped in a paper towel and a plastic bag, use within 2 days.

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Have You Tried . . . Sriracha?

by in Have You Tried, July 7, 2011
sriracha
Sriracha, aka "Rooster Sauce."

The fiery red sauce in the green-topped squeeze bottle is a staple in my kitchen. Loyal fans will not go near another chili sauce – it’s so popular it has its own Facebook page.

What is Sriracha?
Sriracha was developed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1980’s by David Tran. His Chinese and Vietnamese roots were the inspiration for this American-born chili sauce.

Pronounced “SIR-rotch-ah” this sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar is the perfect balance of hot, spicy, tangy and sweet. Instead of just being hot, Sriracha has serious flavor that keeps food-lovers coming back for more. It even has a nickname – affectionately dubbed “rooster sauce” (the bottle dotes the image of a rooster – Tran’s astrological sign).

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Herb of the Month: Dill

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 3, 2011
dill
Liven up summer dishes without adding extra fat or calories with a few sprigs of green.

The Romans believed this herb was a symbol of good luck. This month we’re celebrating fresh and feathery dill.

Dill Basics
Also known as dill weed, you can identify this quick-growing herb by its soft feather-like leaves, sweet aroma and clean flavor. This green herb is very delicate so it’s best added to raw dishes or towards the end of cooking to preserve the flavor. Read more

Are You Willing to Pay More for Healthy Food?

by in Food News, Grocery Shopping, July 2, 2011
grocery store
How much are you willing to fork over at the register?

A recent study finds that Americans aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is for healthier restaurant options. Are some foods worth the extra cash?

Footing the Bill

A study published in June finds that a large chunk of Americans aren’t willing to pay more for healthy foods at restaurants. The New York based marketing research firm that published the report found that approximately 70 percent of consumers over age 50 don’t expect to pay a higher price for more health-conscious menu items. The study also points out a decrease since 2007 in overall interest in seeking out healthier fare.

There seems to be a bit more hope for younger folks (ages 18 to 24) — only 44 percent said they wouldn’t be willing to cough up more money.

Researchers recommend that restaurants increase efforts to offer healthy fare at comparable price points to other menu choices to keep customers coming back. My suggestion: restaurants could downsize large portions to help adjust costs. Read more

Frozen Yogurt: Is it Healthy?

by in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, June 29, 2011
frozen yogurt
Frozen yogurt: friend or foe?

Making healthy choices isn’t always easy. In this new series, we’re diving into some seemingly better-for-you foods to explore  if they’re really healthy.  To fire things up for summer, is cool and creamy fro-yo a healthy pick? Read more

Healthy Swaps: Ice Cream Toppings

by in Healthy Tips, June 25, 2011

ice cream

Hitting up the local ice cream shop or freezer section to beat the heat? As if ice cream wasn’t enough of a treat, you have a rainbow of toppers to choose from. Ice cream lovers tend to forget that these colorful confections can pile up the calories and fat. Consider our tips before making your next sundae.

5 swaps for a better sundae »