All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

5 Kitchen Habits to Break (Let’s Get Some Food Safety Up in Here)

by in Food Safety, September 27, 2014

kitchen towels
We often think those small bad habits in the kitchen are no big deal. But it’s the little things that can lead to food-borne illness. In honor of Food Safety Month (September!), here are five less-than-squeaky-clean practices worth quitting.

The Habit: reusing grocery bags
A survey conducted by the Home Food Safety program found that 85 percent of Americans aren’t washing their reusable grocery bags. The problem: Raw foods, including meat, chicken and eggs, leave potentially harmful bacteria inside those totes. And those bacteria can be transferred to produce if the same bag is reused without being cleaned. Read more

Taste Test: Green Cold-Pressed Juice

by in Taste Test, September 26, 2014

green juices
The rising popularity of cold-press juices has brought an influx of bottled products to the market. But is there anything specific you should be looking for when you buy? For starters, it helps to know what “cold-pressed” means: Also known as high pressure processing (HPP), cold-pressing applies very high pressure to raw juice in order to kill any harmful microorganisms that may be present. Once HPP is applied, the juice is placed into a bottle, sealed and refrigerated.

The Criteria
For this taste test, each variety of cold-pressed juice contained at least one green vegetable (be it kale, celery, cucumber or anything else with a verdant tint). We rated the bottled stuff on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest score), assessing each juice for taste, nutrition, serving size and cost.  We were also on the lookout for any ingredients that surprisingly jack up the calories. Bottles ranged in size from 10 fluid ounces to 16. Read more

Dipping Into the World of Honey

by in Healthy Tips, September 25, 2014

honeycomb
Honey is one of the regulars in my rotation of natural sweeteners. It’s also traditionally eaten during Rosh Hashanah, to symbolize a sweet New Year. But the days of the honey bear as the lone option on market shelves is long gone.

Honey Flavors
There are over 300 varieties of honey in the United States. Each has a unique flavor profile, anything from mild to distinctively bold, and the honey hues range from nearly colorless to deep brown. Read more

5 Rosh Hashanah Dishes with a Healthy Side

by in Healthy Holidays, September 22, 2014

poached pears
Much of the celebration surrounding the Jewish New Year, which begins Wednesday night, revolves around foods like the traditional apple dipped in honey, to signify a sweet new year. But there’s plenty of more room at the feast. Read more

Taking the Stress Out of Lunchbox Meals

by in Kid-Friendly, September 6, 2014

smoked turkey
It’s the time of year when kids head back to the classroom — and parents head back to the kitchen for another year of lunchbox anxiety. But there’s no need for packable meals to inspire stress. Here are simple lunches worth a spot in any brown bag, plus some time-saving packaged add-ins that parents can actually feel good about. Read more

Time to Embrace a Low-Carb Diet? (Or Not So Fast?)

by in Food News, September 3, 2014

chocolate muffins
A study out earlier this week has been generating lots of buzz with its finding that study participants on a low-carb diet lost more body weight and reduced their risk of heart disease compared to subjects on a low-fat diet. So should we be saying goodbye to all carbs?

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, was a randomized trial that followed a group of 150 racially diverse men and women over one year. The subjects were divided into two groups: One group limited the amount of fat, while the second group limited the amount of carbs they ate. Neither group was asked to scale back on total calories or to alter physical activity.

After one year, researchers found that those in the low-carb group lost an average of 8 pounds more compared with those in the low-fat group. In addition, the low-carb group lost significantly more body fat compared with those in the low-fat group.

Wait, There’s More
It’s tempting to want to shout from rooftops, “low carb-diets rule!,” but that may not necessarily the case. The low-carb group was eating higher fat, but mainly from unsaturated sources such as nuts, fish and olive oil. Butter was sometimes eaten, but wasn’t a primary ingredient in their overall diets. Their total fat intake was more than 40 percent of their total calories. Read more

When Cravings Call, What Are They Saying?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, August 14, 2014

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/08/14/when-cravings-call-what-are-they-saying/

We all get cravings, but when they come in the form of high-sugar and calorie-dense foods, it’s our waistlines that suffer the consequences. But understanding the messages behind cravings can make it easier to resist the siren call of certain foods.

Why We Crave
One theory as to why we crave specific foods so intensely is that the body is deficient in a nutrient that food contains. For example, we desperately crave potato chips because our body is in need of salt. This theory, unfortunately, lacks scientific evidence to back it up.

Read more

How High is “High-Fiber”? (Nutrition Buzzwords, Demystified)

by in Label Decoder, August 4, 2014

cereal
Ever wondered what that “high-fiber” cereal is actually providing in the way of fiber? (And is it less impressive than the box labeled “fiber-rich”?) Or ever considered how many calories are in a “low-calorie” sports drink?

In order for a food company to splash words like “high in fiber” across its packaging, the product must adhere to specific guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also regulates claims at the other end of the spectrum: Foods that boast being “low in” or “free” of something (such as sodium), must also meet requirements. Here’s a cheat sheet of what’s behind the buzzwords.

Read more

How to Create a BPA-Free Kitchen

by in Food Safety, July 31, 2014

canned good
The industrial chemical Bisephenol A (BPA) has gotten increasingly negative attention in recent years. So much so, that congressional legislation was recently introduced to ban food packaging containing BPA. But it’s not necessary to wait for the government to take steps in order to scale back at home on products that contain BPA.

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What to Look for on a Yogurt Label

by in Label Decoder, July 24, 2014

yogurt
The yogurt section in the dairy aisle has been expanding rapidly, with more spins on the creamy delight than you can shake a spoon at. The next time you’re adding yogurt to your shopping cart, here are some things to keep in mind as you scan the label.

Added Sugar
All yogurts contain sugar. Yogurt is made from milk, which contains lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. It’s the added sugar — what the yogurt manufacturer brings to the mix — that buyers need to watch out for. Fruit-flavored yogurt and honey-flavored yogurt have more sugar than plain because of added sugars. If you read the ingredient list, you will see words like fructose and evaporated cane sugar, both of which are simply different names for sugar. A good rule of thumb: If a yogurt contains more than 20 grams of sugar per serving, it’s more of a dessert than a healthful snack.

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