by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, September 14, 2012
by Toby Amidor in Back to School, Is It Healthy?, August 28, 2012
Is popcorn healthy? The answer to this question: it depends. There are so many types to choose from: kettle corn, movie popcorn, microwave, air-popped and pre-popped, flavored varieties. Some choices are definitely much healthier than others.
Air-popped popcorn is a whole grain and has between 30-55 calories per cup. It also has 5% of your daily recommended amount of fiber and is brimming with polyphenols, an antioxidant substance that has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It can be made without the addition of oil as seen in this Food Network Kitchens’ homemade microwave popcorn recipe—made in a brown paper lunch bag!
With air-popped popcorn, you can control the added calories when it comes to add-ons like salt, Parmesan cheese, oil or butter. Check out or tips on making your own.
You can also find microwave in lighter and 100-calorie pack varieties to help you control the calories.
by Dana Angelo White in Is It Healthy?, August 16, 2012
My three kids go gaga over fruit snacks—and they’re not the only ones. You can find them at the movies (in the kids snack pack), in birthday party goodie bags and in school snack or lunch bags. But are these chewy goodies good for our kiddos or just too good to be true?
Fruit snacks run around 80-90 calories per small pouch—which is a reasonable amount of calories for a kids’ snack. They’re free of fat, cholesterol and are very low in sodium. Many also provide vitamins A and C.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, July 21, 2012
If caffeine gives you the jitters you may opt for coffee that’s “de-buzzed.” But is this a healthy choice?
While caffeine does have some health benefits, too much can be harmful, especially if you have a heart condition. For this reason, many folks opt for the decaf version of their morning (or evening) Joe. Decaf can also come in handy if you’re trying to break the caffeine habit. Pregnant women sometimes switch to decaf to keep their morning ritual somewhat intact.
Coffee is also famous for it’s antioxidant content. Some of the specific antioxidants vary depending on the type of coffee bean, but both decaf and regular provide some of these cell protecting nutrients.
by Dana Angelo White in Is It Healthy?, June 26, 2012
A health halo has been placed on baked chips while fried chips have been getting a bad rap. But are you really making a healthy choice when you toss a bag of baked chips into your shopping cart? Let’s take a closer look.
One ounce (about 15 chips) of baked potato chips has 14% fewer calories (153 vs. 131), 50% less fat (10 grams vs. 5 grams) and 67% less saturated fat (3 grams vs. 1 gram) than traditional potato chips. If you’re looking at the calories and fat alone, then you would assume it was the healthier choice.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, June 7, 2012
Can butter be a part of a healthy diet?
One of the most controversial debates in the nutrition world – can butter be part of a healthy diet?
There’s something deliciously simple about good old butter. It’s made from nothing but cream and salt, not the laundry list of ingredients you’ll find in tubs of butter alternatives. One tablespoon has 7 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A and even a hint (45 milligrams) of omega-3 fats.
The flavor and velvety smooth texture is second to none. Lobster rolls, croissants, fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate cake just wouldn’t be the same without at least a little.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, April 27, 2012
- Is hot sauce healthy?
A little goes a long way but is this fiery sauce worth the heat? Here are the cool facts.
One teaspoon of hot sauce has zero calories, 6 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and 119 milligrams of sodium. This condiment helps spice up dishes for very few calories.
Hot sauce gets its burn from a compound found in hot peppers known as capsaicin. The spiciness of hot sauce depends on the type of chili pepper and spices used. That’s why the heat (and capsaicin) will vary from brand to brand.
Although some folks believe spicy foods including hot sauce is a stomach irritant, researchers believe that capsaicin can help decrease the risk of peptic ulcers. Though too much can also irritate your stomach — the ideal amount still needs to be further studied. Studies have shown that it can slightly increase your metabolism several hours after eating.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, February 22, 2012
- Is sushi a good idea for lunch today?
My husband and I make a weekly sushi lunch date. It’s quick and easy to do in the middle of a busy work day and sushi is made with fish, veggies and rice, so it’s a healthy choice . . . or is it?
Sushi can be a balanced meal with fish, veggies and steamed rice. Opt for fatty fish like salmon and tuna and get your daily dose of omega-3 fats or choose lean white fish or low-calorie shellfish like shrimp or scallops. Veggies like cucumbers and carrots are low in calories and avocado adds heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Many places now serve brown rice in their sushi rolls instead of white for an extra boost of fiber.
You’ll also get a healthy dose of sea vegetables like nori in sushi rolls and wakame in miso soup. These low-calorie veggies are packed with minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and iodine along with vitamins like E, C, A and various B’s.
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, January 10, 2012
- Have you tried wheatgrass? Should you?
Consumers are buying trendy products like acai, mangosteen and coconut water like crazy lately. But many folks forget to do their research to find out if they’re going to end up flushing their money down the toilet. Today we’re delving into wheatgrass to tell you if this trendy green plant is worth the buzz.
The History of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass was made popular by Boston’s Ann Wigmore, who immigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania. She believed that wheatgrass could cure disease from her interpretation of the Bible and from observing dogs and cats feeding off the plant when they became sick. In the early 1980s Wigmore was sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General over claims that her wheatgrass program could decrease or eliminate the need of insulin for diabetics. Although she later retracted the claim, in 1988 she was sued again for claiming that her “energy enzyme soup” cured AIDS. She was finally ordered to stop claiming that she was licensed to treat disease. In 1993, Wigmore died but her ideas on wheatgrass live on.
by Dana Angelo White in Is It Healthy?, January 2, 2012
- Can bacon be part of a healthy diet?
Some folks love it, others cringe at the very thought. Smoked and cured fatty cuts of meat aren’t typically considered nutritious, but can this pork delicacy be part of a healthy diet?
One slice of regular cut-bacon (about 1-ounce) has 35 calories, 3 grams of total fat (1 gram of saturated fat), and 145 milligrams of sodium, which is about 6 percent of the daily recommendation. No-so-healthy preservatives called nitrates are often added to packaged bacon to prevent growth of bacteria and to maintain color. You may be able to find nitrate free bacon at your local butcher, farmers’ market or high-end grocer.
The health claims surrounding coconut products are controversial in the nutrition world. Is the newest craze a healthy choice? Here are the sweet facts on coconut sugar.