by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, June 7, 2012
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.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, October 10, 2011
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.
by Dana Angelo White in Is It Healthy?, October 6, 2011
These potato chip-alternatives have been cropping up on market shelves everywhere. But are veggie chips a healthier pick? Here’s a look at the crunchy details.
Some of the more popular brands of veggie chips are much lower in sodium than traditional varieties. One ounce of Original Terra Chips contains 50 milligrams of sodium while an ounce (about 15 chips) of traditional potato chips contains over three times that amount (180 milligrams). The amount of salt, however isn’t always lower in veggie chips. Some brands contain even more than potato chips and other snack foods.
Both potato and veggie chips usually contain 10 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C, but some varieties of veggie chips (like sweet potato) also contain 50 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin A.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, September 28, 2011
- Is this stuff worth the hype?
Everyone from celebrities and athletes to causal exercise enthusiasts is buzzing about the benefits of this “natural” alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade. Do the health claims about coconut water live up to the hype?
Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk made from pureed coconut flesh, coconut water is the clear liquid that comes from the inner chamber of immature coconuts. It’s low in calories (an 8 fluid ounce serving has about 42) and naturally contains numerous nutrients including important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Most labels of coconut water will also list vitamin C, but this is due to the addition of the preservative absorbic acid; coconut is not a natural source of the vitamin.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, August 24, 2011
- They seem healthy, but are they really?
Store shelves are lined with juice blends promising various health benefits. But are they really as healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Here’s the lowdown on 3 popular store-bought juice blends.
Naked’s Green Machine
Naked makes a variety of juice blends including one of their more popular varieties called the Green Machine. They promote their product saying “Greens are one of the most underconsumed foods in the average person’s diet. Drink ‘em up!” One 15.2 fluid ounce contain has 140 calories, 50 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and 11 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium.
by Dana Angelo White in Is It Healthy?, August 20, 2011
- Ketchup: friend or foe?
Ketchup goes with just about everything—French fries, eggs, hash browns, burgers, deli meats . . . the list goes on and on. This red condiment has been touted as being healthy by some, but does that mean we should be using endless amounts of it?
Ketchup is a low-calorie condiment, made from tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices. It contains 15 calories per tablespoon and vitamins A and C. Compared with its competitor mayonnaise, ketchup has no fat and far fewer calories per tablespoon (mayo contains 103 calories, 12 grams fat). This makes it a healthier choice for those trying to cut out added calories.
Processed and cooked tomatoes were also found to have high levels of the antioxidant lycopene. In 2004, a study released from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that women who had higher levels of lycopene in their blood had a 50% lower risk for developing heart disease. That study also proved useful for ketchup manufacturers who got the word out that their product is “healthy.” After that I found friends, family and even clients who’d squeeze bottles of ketchup on their plate and rationalize its overuse by saying, “hey, it’s good for me!”
- Is this stuff actually good for you?
Clever marketing has attempted to convince consumers that chocolate-hazelnut spreads make a nutritious breakfast. Can this chocolaty delight be a healthy part of any meal?
Manufacturers tout that this creamy spread contains wholesome ingredients like hazelnuts and skim milk — and it does. There’s actually not much else to it, only a couple of other ingredients make up the recipe — but that’s where things start to get messy.
The first 2 ingredients listed on the label of chocolate-hazelnut spreads are sugar, followed by palm oil, which means these ingredients out-weigh all others. When you break down the numbers you’ll find it contains 100 calories per tablespoon and more than 50-percent of that comes from fat. While there are some heart-healthy fats from nuts, one-third is the artery-clogging saturated kind. As for the sugar, it’s not looking much better – nearly 5 teaspoons per serving!
Most brands also include thickeners such as soy lecithin. While this food additive is considered safe, folks with soy allergies should be aware.