All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

Store-Bought Juice Blends: Are They Healthy?

by in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, September 28, 2011
juice blends
They seem healthy, but are they really?

Store shelves are lined with juice blends promising various health benefits. But are they really as healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Here’s the lowdown on 3 popular store-bought juice blends.

Naked’s Green Machine
Naked makes a variety of juice blends including one of their more popular varieties called the Green Machine. They promote their product saying “Greens are one of the most underconsumed foods in the average person’s diet. Drink ‘em up!” One 15.2 fluid ounce contain has 140 calories, 50 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and 11 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium.

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Rosh Hashanah Side Dishes

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, September 27, 2011
jicama-orange salad
Food Network Magazine's Jicama-Orange Salad.

Scrambling to find creative sides for the Jewish New Year? Look no further. This collection includes fresh ideas and some lightened up classics.

Recipes To Try:

Have extra apples lying around after the holiday? Turn them into a delicious applesauce.

Diet Myths Debunked: Can Chewing Help You Lose Weight?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, September 23, 2011
man chewing
Will chewing a whole bunch make you lose weight?

One tactic some dieters use to shed pounds is chewing. They chomp each bite as many as 50 times before swallowing. Is chewing a legitimate was to shed pounds? We’ll delve into this longtime dieting strategy.

Chew On This
A 2011 article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the chewing habits of obese verses lean men. Researchers found that after 40 chews, the men took about 12 percent fewer calories than after 15. Even though the obese men’s bites were smaller than the leaner men, the obese folks ate more calories overall.  Although this study does show promise, we need to remember that there were only 30 total men tested (which isn’t very many).

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How Safe Is Your Supermarket?

by in Food Safety, Grocery Shopping, September 21, 2011

grocery store
We all buy food somewhere – from the grocery store, farmers’ market, membership clubs or specialty markets. These places must all follow food safety practices to keep food safe. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these frequent “ick” factors wherever you shop.

DIY Inspection
All establishments that sell food must adhere to food safety guidelines. They get inspected just like restaurants. During your next trip to the market, take a few minutes to visually inspect the premises yourself. Here are few things to take notice of:

  • Do the floors look clean?
  • Are spills being cleaned up immediately?
  • Is the canned food dusty?
  • Do the deli and other service counters appear clean?
  • Is the stock well organized?
  • Is food displayed within its expiration date?
  • Does the produce look fresh?
  • Are there signs of pests like mouse droppings or roaches?

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Talking to the Experts: Fabiola Gaines on Soul Food

by in Cookbooks, September 18, 2011

The New Soul Food Cookbook for Diabetics

Good old soul food is famous for excess fat, salt and sugar. Thank goodness for soul food expert and registered dietitian Fabiola Gaines, who told us how to lighten up soul food without compromising taste.

Q: What inspired you to write The New Soul Food Cookbook for Diabetes, especially for diabetics?

Several years ago, the American Diabetes Association asked my partner and I to sit in on a cultural diversity committee. They came up with this recipe card that wasn’t appropriate for the African American population with type 2 diabetes– the recipe was for sweet potato pie with raisins.  In the typical African American cuisine raisins are not included in sweet potato pie. We became a critical part of choosing recipes for this project, and the American Diabetes Association asked my partner and I if we would be interested in writing the first African American cookbook. Both of our fathers died of complications from diabetes and the book is near and dear to our hearts. It was important that we show that soul food is not bad but needs a facelift.

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What’s the Best School Lunch Program?

by in Back to School, Food News, September 16, 2011
kids at school lunch
How does your local school's lunch program rate?

With Michelle Obama’s push to promote healthy eating, some schools are taking action. We looked at public schools around the country to check out what they’re doing to make lunches healthier. We found some forward thinkers and amazing programs.

Washington State
The Bellevue School District in Washington State has implemented several healthy eating programs. The first is their Fruit, Vegetable and Grain of the Month Program. For the past 4 to 5 years, one food is featured from each category and information can be found on the district website. There are also educational signs posted in the lunch room and tasting that’s done in the elementary, middle and high schools. Some featured grains have been farro, brown rice, wheat pasta, wheat berries, couscous, and bulgur. Hot, grain-based sides will also be offered this year such as lentil-barley pilaf and wheat berry stuffing.

This year, the Bellevue School District is also implementing Meatless Mondays. Some featured items on the menu are cheese-stuffed pasta shells, cheese enchiladas and a hummus platter.

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Which is Healthier, a Tuna or a Turkey Sandwich?

by in Uncategorized, September 15, 2011

turkey and tuna


Brown Bag ChallengeWe’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.

Healthy Eats’ Brown-Bag Challenge has folks from around the country packing their lunches this month. Two popular brown bag items have been tuna salad sandwich and turkey sandwiches. These bad boys are going head-to-head for the title of healthiest sandwich.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Pros:
Three ounces of canned tuna in water contains 108 calories and 20 grams of protein. It provides 5 percent of your daily iron needs, a multitude of energy boosting B-vitamins and 80% of your daily recommended amount of selenium. Tuna is also plentiful in omega-3 fat, which is important for heart health, growth and brain function. For the sandwich, using whole grain bread can up your daily dose of fiber as can piling up on the veggies.

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In Season: Grapes

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, September 9, 2011

grapes
Grapes are in season right now. Get them fresh off the vine and try some of our favorite ways to prepare them.

When, Where, & What?
Grapes (Vitis spp, Vitaceae) are edible berries grown in clusters on small shrubs or vines. They grow best in temperate zones such as Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and Chile. New world settlers found that grapes brought over from Europe didn’t survive the winter cold and were prone to fungal diseases. They developed the hybrid varieties found in America today. Today California is the largest producer of “table grapes” – the kind for snacking.

There are thousands of varieties of grapes. Some are grown for wine production while others are grown to be eaten as-is. Concord grapes are used to produce grape juice, jams and jellies. They’re blue in color, with a thick, chewy skin and contain seeds. They’re sold as table grapes along with other varieties like Interlaken, Lakemont, Einset Seedless and Venus. Muscat grapes are turned into raisins while Riesling grapes are used to produce wine. Dana found fun varieties when she scouted her local farmers market including Mars and Juniper grapes.

Grapes are typically round or oval, smooth skinned and juicy. Some varieties contain seeds while others are seedless. Some are “slip skin” where the skin can easily be removed while other varieties have skin that is tough to remove. Grapes are divided into categories by color: white or black (or red). White grapes range in color from pale yellow-green to light green, while black varieties range in color from light red to deep purple. In the U.S., peak season for grapes is August through October.

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10 More Healthy Foods Under $3

by in Uncategorized, September 8, 2011
oatmeal
Rolled oats will cost you just 20 cents per 1/2 cup portion.

Our original top 10 list was so popular, Healthy Eats readers asked for more. Here are 10 more healthy foods that won’t break the bank.

#1: Carrots
Cost:
$0.89 per 1 pound bag (about 9 carrots)
Even my kids tout the benefits of carrots, “They give you healthy eyes, mom” they always tell me. But beta-carotene has more benefits than meets the eyes. It also helps promote healthy bones, skin and hair. Make carrot soup, add to a stir-fry, or slice into strips for an easy kids snack.

#2: Low fat cottage cheese
Cost:
$2.75 per 16-ounce container
This perfect combo of protein, carbs and fat will help keep you satisfied. It’ll also give you a boost of calcium with 10% of your daily recommended dosage in every ½ cup serving. If you’ve been passing this underappreciated food in your dairy aisle, check out more reasons why we love it.

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Labor Day Sides

by in Healthy Recipes, September 3, 2011
grilled summer squash
Grilled summer squash, from Food Network Magazine.

Celebrate the end of summer with these healthy sides — each has fewer than 250 calories per serving. Side dishes should add color, flavor, and a variety of nutrients to your meal. Take your pick from these scrumptious options.

Recipes To Try:

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