Food Fight: Peanut Butter Cups vs. Chocolate-Covered Peanuts

by in Healthy Tips, October 28, 2015

It’s the holiday of treats, and you know you’ll be seeing a slew of chocolate all over the place. So, when faced with the choice between two of these chocolate favorites, which should you choose?

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6 Healthier Treats for Halloween

by in Healthy Tips, October 27, 2015

Want to dish out some healthier Halloween treats? Here are six smart ideas that the kiddos won’t egg your house over.

Popcorn

Give out a whole-grain snack that all kids adore. Make or buy small bags of air-popped popcorn that’s plain or lightly seasoned. If you really want to get creative, give out tiny sachets of popcorn kernels tied to paper bags for DIY microwave popcorn goodie bags.

Fruit Juice Gummies

Look for brands of gummy candy made without high-fructose corn syrup. Some are even made with a small amount of fruit juice. Don’t get too excited; these chewy treats still aren’t great for teeth and should be consumed in moderation. Check out brands like YumEarth Organics, Surf Sweets and Annie’s.

Homemade Lollipops

Make your own lollipops with 100 percent fruit juice. Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

Pretzel Dippers

Justin’s brand recently came out with single-serving packs of gluten-free pretzel sticks with chocolate hazelnut spread or almond butter for dipping. They also make a line of decadent organic peanut butter cups. Since these products are made with nuts, consider an alternative for trick-or-treaters with nut allergies.

Dark Chocolate

For a more traditional option, give out bite-sized pieces of dark chocolate; they are often smaller and lower in sugar than typical Halloween-sized candy bars. Dove Promises come individually wrapped and portion controlled, with fewer than 45 calories per piece.

Skip Food Altogether

Kid favorites like stickers, cookie cutters and temporary tattoos are always popular, and any leftovers will keep well for next year. Consider replacing some or all of the edible items with these types of treats.

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

It’s Been a Bad Week for Hot Dog Lovers

by in Food News, October 26, 2015

First, a recent “genomic” analysis by the online food guide Clear Food determined that 14 percent of the 345 different hot dogs and sausages sold under 75 brands it examined contained either ingredients not listed on the label or had “hygienic” issues, in which a “non-harmful contaminant is introduced to the hot dog.” What’s more, 2 percent of the samples were found to contain human DNA. (Ew.)

Vegetarians get no bragging rights, though: Two-thirds of the vegetarian frankfurters tested contained human DNA, and 10 percent of all vegetarian products tested were found to contain meat — be it chicken in a vegetarian breakfast sausage or pork in a veggie hot dog.

Still, some major brands fared better than others: Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich and Hebrew National received especially high marks, as did some regional and specialty brands.

Now, on the heels of that alarming news, comes reason for frankfurter fans to feel even more fearful: Read more

4 Fast Food Spots That Have Revamped Their Menus

by in Dining Out, October 26, 2015

With the demand for healthier fare, fast-food chains have been modifying — and in some cases totally revamping — their menus. Consumers want not only lower-calorie foods, but cleaner foods without artificial ingredients. According to Technomic’s 2014 The Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 58 percent of consumers agree that it’s important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition. Forty percent of consumers were more concerned about food additives last year than two years ago, and more than half of the folks surveyed said they wanted restaurants to be more transparent about menu ingredients. Here’s a look at some of the changes you will be seeing at your favorite joints. Read more

How to Make Food Last Longer

by in Healthy Tips, October 25, 2015

The issue of food waste is a hot topic, and it’s no wonder why. Research shows that we Americans waste between 15 and 25 percent of the food we purchase. Imagine tossing one out of every four grocery bags right into the trash! However, there are simple things you can do to make some of your favorite healthy foods last longer.

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No-Knead Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

by in Healthy Recipes, October 24, 2015

Take courage: You can make pillowy-soft dinner rolls from scratch. Yeast rolls generally take a good deal of time and practice to perfect, but by using the no-knead technique of prepping dough the night before, several steps are skipped. With these easy — yet precise — instructions, you’ll have a basket of wholesome, comforting pumpkin rolls to warm any holiday table. Read more

Nutrition News: Fats and Carbs, Quinoa’s Many Benefits, Oprah and Weight Watchers

by in Food News, October 23, 2015

 

Quinoa: quite the healthy food

There’s been so much “superfood” hype around quinoa — is all the excitement justified? Time magazine asked five nutrition experts, and they overwhelmingly agreed that it was. The seed is high in fiber, iron and protein, provides essential amino acids, and is gluten-free. Generally eaten as a whole food, quinoa prevents the loss of nutrients. Plus, recent research suggests the proteins in quinoa may decrease cholesterol levels and lower oxidative-stress levels. Quin- … whoa. Read more

From Soup to Stir-Fry: 6 Healthy Uses for In-Season Squash — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, October 22, 2015

Cooking with squash is easy, and it adds a certain richness to comforting fall meals. Most importantly, it’s an excellent way to boost the vitamins and fiber in your diet, especially as we enter that time of year when tempting baked goods are ever-present at school or the workplace. Sure, squashes’ gnarled stems and rough skins can come across as a bit intimidating. But the effort spent peeling, de-seeding and cooking these hearty vegetables comes with a major payoff — for your taste buds and your health. Here are a few simple recipes to add to your weekly lineup, featuring common fall squashes like acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and more. From soup to stir-fry, there’s nothing these versatile veggies can’t do.

Squash and Spinach Lasagna (pictured at top)
Who says lasagna needs meat? Here, fresh butternut squash lends a nice richness and meaty texture for fewer calories than a traditional beef lasagna, and part-skim mozzarella gives you that gooey cheese goodness. Toss in some fresh baby spinach for added vitamins and minerals.

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The (New) Science Behind Protein Intake

by in Healthy Tips, October 22, 2015

As a sports dietitian, I am often asked by athletes and exercise enthusiasts, “How much protein do I need?” But simply suggesting a daily total number of grams of protein per day is not enough. Plus, it’s hard to make sense of the all the conflicting info out there on protein intake and muscle protein synthesis (aka muscle building).

At the recent Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Nashville, Blake Rasmussen, Ph.D., from the University of Texas discussed some of the latest science on protein. Here is some insight on how much protein you should be eating, which foods are best, and guidelines for when to eat them.

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7 Candies Not to Buy for Halloween

by in Healthy Tips, October 21, 2015

Trick-or-treating is just around the corner. Before you grab any candy that’s on sale, peruse this list so you can avoid handing out the worst treats possible to the neighborhood kids.

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