by Dana Angelo White in Food Fight, Healthy Holidays, December 11, 2012
by Toby Amidor in Food Fight, Healthy Tips, November 1, 2012
Are these sippers on your holiday hit list? Find out which is the most sensible choice – it all comes down to how you make it.
A frothy combo of egg, cream and sugar, this classic libation is a gut-buster. Add a jolly splash (or two) of booze and the calories only get worse.
Homemade and lightened-up versions can dial back the fat and calories and highlight the healthy attributes of this seasonal treat. Use lower fat ingredients and eggnog has a lot to offer – namely good-for-you nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D.
by Toby Amidor in Food Fight, October 16, 2012
This is going to be our toughest food fight yet! Two natural sweeteners pitted against each other – it’s a very difficult decision.
Most agave nectar is produced from the blue agave plant grown in desert regions like the hilly areas in Mexico. The syrup is extracted from the “honey water” found at core of the plant, filtered, heated and then processed to make it into thicker nectar you see at the store. This makes agave a good sweetener for vegans (who don’t eat honey).
Agave nectar has a dark amber color, but has a more neutral flavor than honey. One tablespoon of the sweetener has about 60 calories compared to about 45 and 60 in the same amount of granulated sugar and honey, respectively. It’s 1 ½ times sweeter than sugar and so you can use less of it. Agave easily dissolves in cold liquids like smoothies and iced tea and can be used to replace granulated sugar in baked products (see instructions below). Many food manufacturers also use agave nectar in products like energy drinks and bars because of its light flavor and over-hyped nutritional benefits.
by Toby Amidor in Food Fight, September 20, 2012
Get revved up for the next Healthy Eats battle: almond butter versus peanut butter. These nuts butters are popular with folks young and old but which should you be putting in your shopping cart?
Two tablespoons of almond butter has around 202 calories, 18 grams of mostly unsaturated fat, and 4 grams of protein. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. It also provides fiber, calcium, iron, a few B-vitamins, potassium, and zinc.
The flavor of almond butter is comparable to peanut butter only nuttier and slightly richer. It’s a tasty alternative for those with peanut-only allergies.
A recent ABC News article also reported that two-time American Olympic medalist and beach volleyball player Kerry Walsh eats almond butter and honey sandwiches, especially before she competes.
There are a few cons when it comes to this nut butter. Some food manufacturers may add sugar, salt or hydrogenated oils in order to increase its shelf life. Read the ingredient list and choose the variety with the fewest ingredients and no additives.
A second con: almond butter isn’t as easy to find as peanut butter. You may need to go to a specialty food stores or ask your grocery store manager to order it. It’s also more expensive than peanut butter – organic varieties can run around 8 to 10 dollars per 15-ounce jar!
by Toby Amidor in Food Fight, Healthy Tips, August 30, 2012
Terms like “whole wheat” and “multi-grain” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t actually the same thing. Here’s a closer look into each, plus the winner of this food fight.
Understanding Whole Grains
Before delving into this battle, we need to settle on the term whole grain. All grains are made of 3 parts: the large endosperm (with protein and carbs), the germ (with fat and B-vitamins) and the outer bran (with fiber and vitamins). When a food is labeled as 100% whole grain, this means that the entire grain (all 3 parts) is left intact. When the food is refined or milled (like in white bread), this means the bran and most of the germ has been removed during processing.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half the grain you consume daily should come from whole grains. To do so, choose 100% whole grain over refined bread varieties.
Labor Day is around the corner—should you grab an ice-cold beer or choose a spirits-filled cocktail? This battle is a tricky one…
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. For beer, a “drink” is defined as a 12-fluid ounce bottle. Moderate alcohol consumption (as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines) can help reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and lower the risk of gall stones.
The calories in a 12-fluid ounce bottle of regular beer vary from around 150 to 300. Lighter varieties usually run around 100 calories for 12-fluid ounces and are widely available in bars, restaurants and retail markets. However many bars offer pints (equivalent to 16-fluid ounces) with around 200 to 400 calories each.
If you’re looking for nutritional goodness, dark beer is the way to go. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that dark beers have more iron than both pale and non-alcoholic beer.
See the results of our light beer taste test.