All Posts In Food News

Food News: Minibars, Vending Machines Offer Healthy Alternatives

by in Food News, August 7, 2011
vending machine
Coming to a vending machine near you: healthy snacks.

Hotel and resort minibars are getting a healthy makeover. The Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Four Seasons are just two companies in a handful of hotel chains opting for healthier minibar options, according to a recent Marketwatch report. Instead of the traditional calorie-filled junk food fare, guests can choose to snack on products like organic Clif Bars, Terra chips and gluten-free energy bars.

Why the sudden change of heart? Hotel patrons are actually clamoring for healthy options. The trail mix and cashews outsell the chocolate cookies, and Fiji Water is the minibar’s most popular item at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Adam Martindale, the resort’s director of food and beverage, told Marketwatch.

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Food News: The Cheesecake Factory Adds Low-Cal Menu

by in Food News, August 3, 2011
cheesecake factory
Cheesecake Factory: now offering low-cal fare.

The Cheesecake Factory is well-known for its high calorie appetizers, entrees and especially decadent desserts. Starting August 9, however, the chain restaurant will debut a calorie conscience menu, called “SkinnyLicious.”

The menu contains almost 50 new and signature items all under 590 calories. Some of the dishes include Mexican Tortilla Soup and Tuscan Chicken, plus revamped versions of current menu items like Chicken Pot Stickers and Asian Chicken Salad. Five cocktails, under 150 calories each, are also featured.

“We wanted to create a menu that delivers an exceptional dining experience to our calorie-conscious guests, without compromising the delicious taste that people have come to expect from The Cheesecake Factory,” David Overton, founder of The Cheesecake Factory, said in a press release.

To learn more, read the full release.

What do you think? Will the new low-calorie menu be a hit or will people still choose the old menu options?

Food News: McDonald’s Makes Changes to the Happy Meal

by in Dining Out, Food News, July 28, 2011
mcdonalds french fries
McDonald's is giving kids apples with their fries. Think it'll make a difference?

Are McDonald’s Happy Meals getting healthier? The fast food chain is making changes to the items in its kids’ meal as part of a long-term menu evolution. The company hopes to improve nutrition choices and awareness—starting with the new Happy Meal. Read more

Hot Topic: Clean Eating

by in Food News, July 20, 2011
woman eating tomato
How clean is your diet?

Clean Eating is a term that’s been thrown around a lot lately, only it’s not necessarily understood. We’ll explain what it is and if it’s advisable to eat this way.

What Is It?
Although you’ll find Clean Eating “diets”- it’s more of a way of living than a temporary weight loss solution. The term Clean Eating is relatively new, but it dates back to the 1960s when the natural health food movement looked down on diets filled with processed foods.

Author Terry Walters helped fuel the Clean Eating movement into mainstream America. According to the author of Clean Food and Clean Start, it’s all about consuming natural, unprocessed foods. Her philosophy is:

  • Eat a varied diet
  • Eat a rainbow of colors
  • Enjoy food and mealtime
  • Eat locally grown and seasonal food
  • Eat all 5 tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami)

This means eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean proteins (a.k.a. real food) instead of fast food or highly processed, packaged foods, and giving new foods a try that you may not recognize at the farmers market— a lot like Dana’s Market Watch series.

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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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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

Bad Habits = Weight Gain

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Food News, June 28, 2011
potato chips Could too many of these lead to weight gain? You shouldn’t be surprised that the answer is yes.

Most studies try to tell us what we should be eating or doing. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed top habits that rack up the pounds. See if the top “bad” habits are some of your own.

Understanding Bad Habits
The obesity epidemic is costing us our health and money. More than one-third of adults and close to one-fifth of kids in the U.S. are obese. These folks are at a much higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, and certain forms of cancer. It’s estimated that it costs the U.S. nearly 10 percent of its medical spending to treat these diseases – that’s equivalent to $147 billion a year! Read more

5 Ways To Move More at Work

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Food News, June 24, 2011
Make Time to Stretch at the Office
Take a break to stretch and walk around once an hour while at work.

It’s not news that we’re having an obesity epidemic. Contributing factors include extra-large portions, too many processed foods and…our jobs? New research published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science) shows that a drop in physical activity in the workplace also plays a role in our growing waistlines. Research also indicates that desk potatoes are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack! Here are 5 ways to make sure you move throughout your work day.
5 ways to stay active at the office »

Top 5 Label Tricks and How To Avoid Them

by in Dining Out, Food News, Healthy Tips, June 15, 2011
Sports Drinks Vs. Soda
Smoothies are better than milkshakes, right? Well, not always -- read on to learn about this and 4 more food naming tricks.

Food labels are carefully worded to entice shoppers to choose certain items. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found dieters often fall for simple labeling tricks that make them believe certain foods are healthier than they are. Find out the top 5 traps people fell into and how to avoid them.

How to beat top food label tricks »

The Dish on the New MyPlate

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Food News, June 3, 2011
MyPlate
The new MyPlate guide. Image courtesy ChooseMyPlate.gov.

In recent years, many have criticized the Food Guide Pyramid. Among the complaints: The guide is too confusing and doesn’t help Americans make better choices. On June 2nd, the USDA released its new shape for healthy eating, and it’s out with the pyramid and in with the plate. Take a peek at the new MyPlate design and get our take on what’s improved and what’s missing.

Get to know the new MyPlate food guide »

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