All Posts In Healthy Tips

Juicing: Myths vs. Facts

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, August 23, 2013

juice
The juicing craze is still going strong, but many folks are still doing it for all of the wrong reasons. If you love juicing, make sure you’ve got the facts.

Myth: Juicing helps you lose weight
Fact: Although fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, too much of anything can pack on the pounds. Each ½ cup of fruit has about 60 calories. Juicing 4 to 5 cups of fruit comes out to 480 to 600 calories in one serving. If you’re trying to lose weight while juicing, portions still matter. Furthermore, diets that advocate juicing alone aren’t balanced (where’s the protein?) and are often dangerously low in calories overall.

Myth: Juicing is a way to cleanse your body
Fact: Your liver and kidneys were created to detoxify and naturally cleanse your body. Juicing or taking special concoctions won’t do a better job and there is no scientific evidence proving otherwise.

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6 Snacks That Are Healthier Than They Seem

by in Healthy Tips, August 16, 2013

popcorn

Some snacks have a bad reputation for being unhealthy—but I’m setting the record straight on these six foods.

#1: Popcorn
Popcorn originally gained a bad reputation thanks to movie theaters frying popcorn in coconut oil and folks drowning it under buckets of artery-clogging butter. But corn is a whole grain and, when air-popped, it contains about 30 calories per cup along with 5% of the recommended daily dose of fiber. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt or a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ve got a smart snack. (For added flavor, try Ellie’s Parmesan-Paprika Popcorn, above, from Food Network Magazine.)

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One Small Change: A Powerhouse Pairing

by in Healthy Tips, August 13, 2013

eggplant and tofu
Imagine some classic food pairings: wine and cheese, fruit and nuts, steak and potatoes … iron and vitamin C? For a variety of people, including vegans and endurance athletes, getting enough iron can be a challenge. Even minor levels of iron deficiency can lead to impaired endurance, as well as fatigue, loss of concentration and decreased immune function. While animal-based sources of iron (red meat, poultry, egg yolks and shellfish) tend to be better absorbed than plant-based sources (dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, tofu, some grains and even spices), there are other factors that can improve or inhibit iron absorption.

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Eggs: Myths vs. Facts

by in Healthy Tips, August 12, 2013

eggs

There are so many misconceptions swirling around eggs. I hear egg chatter in crowded elevators or at dinner parties—folks so proud about tossing that golden yolk. The next time you find yourself in the midst of an egg conversation, pipe in with these egg-cellent facts.

Myth: Always toss the yolks (it’s egg white omelets or nothing!).
Fact: To get the scoop on this longtime myth, I spoke with dietitian Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and consultant for Eggland’s Best. Ward says, “It is the fat and cholesterol that scares people most about egg yolks, but I think most folks would be surprised to learn that most of the fat in eggs is unsaturated, or the heart-healthy kind. In addition, eggs are surprisingly low in saturated fat. As you know, saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels with more force than does cholesterol.”

In addition, “egg yolks have nearly half the protein of an entire egg, plus all the vitamins and minerals and omega 3s, ” Ward says. “Eggs pack in good nutrition for about 70 calories each.”

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Protein-Enhanced Foods: The Good, Bad and Ugly

by in Healthy Tips, July 31, 2013

whey protein
It seems like everywhere I turn, new and “improved” high protein-versions of seemingly healthy foods are being advertised. How do they boost the protein content? And are they really a good-for-you choice? So I did some digging, and it turns out, it depends!

Cereals
The addition of soy protein isolate will virtually double the amount of protein per serving but this doesn’t automatically make these cereals health food. Many of these breakfast cereals are still drenched in sugar. Read labels carefully and look for ones made with whole grains.

Top Pick: Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola

Flavored Waters
Protein-fortified waters may be the silliest choice out there. Water is water, no protein in sight. The blends are typically a mix of sweeteners (real and artificial) and colors, plus some whey protein isolate. These high-protein options will supply a few grams of protein per serving but they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for good old H2O.

Top Pick: Homemade Flavored Water

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7 Summer Foods That Sound Healthier Than They Are

by in Healthy Tips, July 26, 2013

beer
The hot weather brings with it a bounty of delicious, seasonal foods that may seem healthy but are anything but. Be in-the-know and avoid some of these health-halo booby traps.

#1: Light Beer
I love kicking back with a light beer on a hot summer day. But if you’re guzzling 4 or 5 beers—the calories will quickly overflow. If you want to booze it up, the USDA’s recommendations are 1 beer per day for women and two for men. (And no, you can’t save all your drinks for a Saturday night.)

#2: Fro-Yo
Although they may start out at a reasonable amount of calories (about 100 to 140 per half cup), many people eat WAY more. And when you add toppers like crushed cookies, syrups and other goodies, you sabotage a perfectly calorie-friendly treat. Keep a mindful watch on portions (especially from fro-yo machines) and go light on the toppings.

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One Small Change: Healthy Swaps for Three Common Cravings

by in Healthy Tips, July 15, 2013

water
What makes junk food so appealing? Emotional eating aside, it often comes down to two things: taste (sweet, salty) and texture (creamy, fizzy, crunchy). In my humble opinion, if we can mimic those qualities in healthier options, then upgrading eating habits becomes an easier task. So let’s tackle three commonly craved foods: soda, chips, and mayonnaise.

The Craving:

Soda  A “refreshing” couple hundred of calories will spike your blood sugar and provide no nutrients. So what keeps us drawn to soda? It’s usually the fizz factor and the sweet taste. Consider which aspects of soda attract you to it, and then find the right substitute.

The Healthy Swaps:

Seltzer or Sparkling Water If you like the fizz, carbonated beverages can serve as a great substitute. Naturally flavored versions are available if you want a taste of orange, berry, lemon-lime and more.

Flavored Water  If you prefer getting some taste with your fluids but don’t want the fizz, you can easily add some flavor to your water. You can use lemon or lime (fresh or from the squeeze bottle), or a splash of your favorite juice for a little sweetness. You can even use a splash of juice with seltzer too.

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How to Reward Kids (The Healthy Way!)

by in Healthy Tips, July 11, 2013

gold star
My youngest goes gaga for store-bought donuts–but I steer clear of my temptation to reward her with sweets. Food should never be used as a reward (or punishment). Children need to appreciate food as a means of nourishment and enjoyment.

If you think rewarding kids with food isn’t a big deal, think again. It can lead to all types of unhealthy actions and behaviors:

Encourage unhealthy eats: Using sweets or non-nutritious foods as rewards sends the message that these types of foods are more valuable than other foods.

Empty calories: Foods served to your kids should contribute to their growth and development. But oftentimes foods used to reward kids aren’t carrots, watermelon and broccoli but fat- and sugar-laden processed foods.

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