All Posts In Healthy Tips

6 “Healthy” Foods To Skip

by in Healthy Tips, April 1, 2013

banana chips
These foods all sound healthy, but don’t be fooled — they may not be as healthy as they seem.

Ground Turkey
Don’t be duped into choosing “ground turkey” as a leaner alternative to ground beef. The truly leaner choice is ground turkey breast – that’ll save you more than 100 calories and 15 grams of fat per 4-ounce serving compared to ground turkey which contains more dark meat and skin.

Pick up some turkey breast and try these 5-ingedient turkey burgers.

Banana Chips
Sorry folks, these babies aren’t just dried up banana slices, they’re fried, just like potato chips. A half-cup serving has almost 200 calories and 10 grams of fat! The good news is, you can make your own and forgo all the grease.

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Reasons to Love Horseradish

by in Healthy Tips, March 25, 2013

Once the gefilte fish hits the table during our Passover feast, about 20 of us start fighting for the horseradish to top it. But this spicy condiment goes far beyond the Passover table.

Horseradish 101
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a member of the cabbage family and is thought to have originated around 500 B.C. in the Mediterranean. It is one of five bitter herbs traditionally eaten during the Passover feast. In the 1600 and 1700s, Horseradish ale was a very popular drink throughout England and Germany. In the 1700s, German settlers introduced it to the U.S.

Fresh horseradish root is about 6 to 12-inches long with a 3-inch or so width. It is white in color, has a pungent smell and distinct spicy flavor. Many folks prefer prepared horseradish which can be found as white or red varieties at the market. White horseradish is preserved in vinegar, while red is preserved in beet juice.

Although you can find horseradish grown throughout the world, about 60 percent of the worldwide supply is grown in Illinois.

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Ask the Experts: Change a Habit, Change Your Health, Part 1

by in Ask the Experts, March 23, 2013

vegetables on scale
“If you could recommend just one habit that someone should start doing to eat, and live, healthier, what would that habit be?”

That’s the question I posed to a group of my colleagues – registered dietitians and nutritionists – in the trenches coaching and counseling people in the science, and art, of eating better. Rather than focusing on huge overhauls that may not be sustainable (i.e. no carbs, no gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, etc.), I wanted to look for keystone eating habit changes that could have a butterfly effect through the rest of your daily routine and get you the health and fitness results you want.

I was amazed — within 24 hours I had over 60 responses. As I began sorting through the feedback, I realized that many of the recommendations fell into a seven broader categories, which I’ll be summarizing and presenting in two posts.

Buckle up, here are the first four:

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Prevent Cold-Weather Dehydration

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

water bottles
When it’s cold outside, the last thing most of us are craving is an ice-cold glass of water. However, it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Often, we don’t feel as thirsty in the winter because we don’t sweat we much. Therefore it is important to continuously hydrate throughout the day because by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. While different people have different water needs based on height, weight and activity level, a good rule of thumb is to aim for eight to twelve glasses of water each day.

One way to meet your hydration goals is to get a reusable water bottle. These eco-friendly bottles can be found inexpensively almost anywhere. Check how many ounces of liquid your bottle holds. This information is usually available on the bottom of the bottle. Then challenge yourself to drink and refill your bottle a certain number of times. For example, the first week you may try to drink three bottles of water. The next week you may challenge yourself to four. Having a number of bottles to drink throughout the day is a more attainable goal when you turn it into a challenge. It’s also much easier when you always have your bottle with you. Did you know that people tend to drink more through a straw?

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A Little Bit of Cheese Goes a Long Way

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

Risotto with Yogurt and Peas

The March issue of Food Network Magazine is the cheese issue. While working on the issue, I found that you don’t need a ton of cheese to add big flavor; stretching out your cheese means fewer calories, and it’s cost effective, too. Use these tips in your everyday cooking:

A little goes a long way. When using strong cheeses like the blue cheese in this month’s Turkey Cobb Salad on page 96, remember that sometimes just a sprinkle is enough. We used only 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per person)—that equals just 30 calories.

Reserve your rind. We added a piece of Parmesan rind to the broth for our light Risotto With Yogurt and Peas on page 150 (pictured above). This old-school cooking trick is something grandmothers have been doing for years—it’s a cost-saving way to add richness and depth.

Put your peeler to use. Try using it to create the shaved cheddar cheese on our Cheddar and Peanut Butter Bites on page 146. Peeling is a great way to ensure thin pieces of cheese; they’re just as satisfying as any hunk.

Chia Seeds 101

by in Healthy Tips, March 3, 2013

chia seeds
Back in 2009 we started reporting on this hot new food. Since then, these tiny, crunchy seeds have experienced a popularity explosion. It’s time to catch you up on how far chia has come.

Chia Facts
One tablespoon of chia seeds has 55 calories, 2 grams protein and 6 grams of fiber, plus calcium, iron and potassium. They’re also gluten and cholesterol free.

According to the nutrition facts panels, the fat content of different brands of chia seeds varies from 3 to 9 grams per tablespoon. The type of fat found in these tiny seeds is mostly polyunsaturated, specifically the ALA omega-3 type – brands vary from 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams per serving.

Research indicates the ALA form of omega-3 needs to be converted to DHA and EPA forms in order to benefit heart health (something omega-3s are famous for). Some recent reports have indicated that milled chia seeds allow for better ALA conversion, though it’s still unclear if this makes chia better for heart health.

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Reset Your Resolution

by in Healthy Tips, March 2, 2013

new years resolution
We’re more than a few weeks into the New Year — have you kept up with your resolution?  If not, no need to feel guilty and sabotage future health goals. Unattainable health goals only lead to a sense of failure which in turn becomes lack of motivation and you are right back where you started. Instead, set one or two small goals you know you can stick with. You can always add a few more throughout the year. Setting attainable goals will keep you motivated and feeling positive about the lifestyle choices you have made.  hese healthy resolutions are the perfect way to make health upgrades to your lifestyle any time of year. So even if you haven’t made good on your original resolution, pick up one (or several) of these and make 2013 a healthy year.

  1. Ditch Processed Foods: Assess your cabinets and gradually rid yourself of one processed food a month or a week if you are very motivated. Make small changes like switching from canned to frozen vegetables or a microwave dinner to a meal you’re cooked at home.
  2. Hydrate: Most of us do not drink enough water or even worse, we’re drinking caloric beverages instead. Add one glass of water to your daily routine. It’s that simple.
  3. Eat Breakfast:  The old saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” exists for a reason. Challenge yourself to start the day off right and eat a healthy breakfast. It can be as simple as yogurt and fruit or an English muffin with almond butter. Read more

Ask the Dietitian: Does Lemon Juice Speed Weight Loss?

by in Ask the Experts, Diets & Weight Loss, March 1, 2013

lemon juice
I’ve been approached with this question more times that I can remember. If you’re looking for a quick-fix weight-loss solution, this isn’t it.

Q: Does drinking lemon just help with or speed up weight loss?

A: If you’re looking to lose weight or speed up your efforts, it’s all about eating right and regular physical activity. Sipping on lemon juice or adding lemon juice to warm water isn’t the magic solution.

There are many myths surrounding lemon juice that just don’t have the scientific evidence to back them up. I’ve heard that lemon juice improves digestion and regulates sugar absorption — both don’t have enough scientific evidence to make strong claims. One of my favorite myths is squeezing lemon juice on chicken in order to melt the fat away– unfortunately, that’s an unfounded claim. Acidic ingredients like lemon juice, however, are used in marinades to help tenderize meat and poultry by breaking down collagen, a fibrous compound that aids in the formation of connective tissue.

A second myth that’s often discussed around the water cooler is that when lemon juice is mixed with cold or lukewarm water it’ll dissolve fat in your body. Again, this doesn’t happen metabolically, though drinking more water (cold or lukewarm) will help you stay hydrated.

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What Makes a Heart-Healthy Food?

by in Healthy Tips, February 23, 2013

heart-healthy food
There’s a lot more to heart health than just cutting out junk food. Get to know which foods are good for your heart and share the love with friends and family.

Love Your Heart
Eating for a healthy heart means keeping weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in check. This means cutting back on certain foods and making sure you’re getting enough of others.

Limit These Foods

Saturated Fats – Butter, high-fat meats, fried foods and full-fat dairy products are just some of the places you’ll find saturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 7 percent of calories should come from these artery cloggers. That’s about 16 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Trans Fats – Processed foods use trans fats to improve texture and increase shelf life but they’re even worse for your heart than saturated fats. Foods with trans fat will have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils listed on food labels.

Cholesterol – Both dietary cholesterol and saturated fat can increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Keep intake from animal-based foods to less than 300 milligrams a day.

High Sodium Foods –  High-sodium foods like salty snacks, restaurant and processed foods can aggravate blood pressure. Keep your intake below 2300 milligrams per day (or 1500 milligrams if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure).

Learn more about sources of sodium in your diet.

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Facts and Myths About Foods for Colds and Flu

by in Healthy Tips, February 21, 2013

cold and flu facts
It’s been a brutal cold and flu season so far this year! At this point folks would do just about anything to ward off germs. Are the most popular remedies backed by science or nothing but old wives tales?

Myth: Vitamin C prevents illness
You may turn to large doses of vitamin C during the winter months to avoid getting sick, but unfortunately this doesn’t work. Where vitamin C may have some merit is in its ability to shorten the duration of a cold once you’re already under the weather. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant—those anti-inflammatory properties may assist with swollen sinuses.

Read more about vitamin C, including how much is too much

Myth: Zinc boosts your immune system
Much like vitamin C, there’s not enough evidence to support that taking in extra zinc will keep sickness at bay. Meeting daily needs for zinc is important for a healthy immune system, however exceeding these daily requirements can be toxic. Back in 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stay away from zinc nasal sprays after studies found they could damage the sense of smell.

Are you getting enough zinc?

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