Tea: Facts vs. Myths

by in Healthy Tips, February 7, 2013

herbal tea
I’ve heard it all when it comes to tea and oftentimes what’s said just isn’t true. Here’s the real truth when it comes to one of the most popular drinks in the world.

Myth: Herbal teas are true teas
True teas including black, green, white and oolong come from the camellia sinesis plant. Herbal teas are made by steeping fresh or dried flowers, herb, seeds, roots or plant barks in hot water. The so-called “teas” are really called tisanes.

Fact: Green tea has caffeine
Green tea has about 35 milligrams per cup. Iced green tea also contains caffeine — about 15 milligrams per 16 fluid ounces. If you’re an avid green tea consumer, be careful—the caffeine can add up quickly.

Myth: Decaffeinated tea is caffeine free
Decaffeinated teas do contain some caffeine, about 2 to 10 milligrams per cup. If you’re looking to go caffeine free, herbal teas are your best bet. If you do go for the caffeinated stuff, keep in mind that the amount of caffeine differs from tea to tea: Black tea has around 60 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces, about double that of green tea.

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Nutrition News: BMI and Your Health

by in Food News, February 6, 2013

scale
By now you’ve heard the long list of health risks associated with packing on extra pounds, but a recent study suggests that a higher BMI may actually lead to a longer life. So now being overweight is good for you? That’s not the whole story!

What is BMI?
Body Mass Index or BMI is a calculation that measures weight while adjusting for height. Here’s the formula for you math lovers:

Weight (kilograms) ÷ [Height (meters)]²

A BMI above 24.9 categorizes someone as overweight, while a BMI over 30 classifies someone as obese. When a less than stellar BMI is paired with other risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity or excessive waist circumference, your risk of chronic disease goes up. As BMI increases so does the risks diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Visit the National Institute of Health website to learn more about BMI.

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Win This Popcorn!

by in Giveaway, February 6, 2013

Popcorn

February is National Snack Food Month — instead of snacking on junk for 30 straight days, try Popcorn, Indiana FIT. Each cup contains 40 calories or less, and it comes in four flavors: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Herb, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Onion Dijon.

You can buy your own Popcorn, Indiana FIT or enter in the comments for a chance to win some. Just let us know, in the comments, what you like to snack on. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, February 8 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away four bags each to five lucky, randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on February 6 and 5 p.m. EST on February 8, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $14. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what’s your go-to snack?

Study Reveals: Fresh Fruit is the Number One Snack Choice

by in Food News, February 5, 2013

fresh fruit
The NPD Group, an Illinois-based market research firm, recently released a study showing that fresh fruit is America’s top choice for snacking – more so than any other sweet or savory option. According to the report, fresh fruit is eaten 55 times per capita each year as a snack, with chocolate following in second place at 45 times, and potato chips in third place at 30 times. Nuts and cookies are eaten, respectively, 27 and 22 times per year by the average US consumer, while crackers, yogurt, ice cream, and others tie at 17 times.

The report found that individuals with healthier overall diets snack between meals, and that their snack choices tend to be healthier ones. The study also showed that snacking now makes up 20% of all eating occasions in this country, with mid-morning snacking showing the most explosive growth.

Apples, oranges, and bananas by themselves are great snacks and very portable; they can also easily be made more substantial with the addition of a few heart-healthy nuts or a spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Try choosing a piece of fruit next time you’re craving a sweet treat between meals in order to increase your fruit intake and improve your health.

TELL US: How often do you choose fruit as a snack?

15 Valentine’s Day Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Valentine's Day, February 5, 2013

strawberry cupcakes
These lightened-up goodies are the perfect way to show your sweetie you care without busting their waistline.

The Guidelines
Each of these desserts has 400 calories or less, 20 grams of total fat or less, 10 grams of saturated fat or less, and a max of 400 milligrams of sodium per serving. Dessert should be a special treat and most definitely can be enjoyed on Valentine’s Day. If you’re trying to watch your figure, cut calories even further by sharing dessert or cutting the portion in half.

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Too Many Apples? Make an Apple Tart

by in Robin's Healthy Take, February 4, 2013

apple tart
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you apples, you make apple tart! Here’s the back-story: I had a  bushel of apples in my kitchen recently and thought, “I’m heading out of town, will my family really eat all these apples while I’m gone?” I didn’t think so . . . since I hate wasting food, I decided to turn 6 of the apples into a tart. “A tart?” you say. “Too complicated”, you huff. Actually, not complicated at all. And since there are just 5 ingredients, it’s easier to prepare than most main dishes we conquer on a hectic weeknight. Read on and enjoy those apples. Oh, and by the way, you can also make the tart with sliced pears or peaches.

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Maximize Your Blender

by in Robin's Healthy Take, February 3, 2013

blender
There’s one kitchen appliance that seems relegated to smoothies, margaritas and slushies. Think beyond drinks and get creative with this useful kitchen tool:

  • Puree eggs with a little water or milk before making omelets. Using the blender adds air to the egg mixture and produces a lighter, fluffier omelet.
  • Turn chunky soups into velvety purees (puree soup in small batches to prevent overflow and cover the lid with a towel to prevent burns). Read more

Garlic Sweet Potato Chips

by in Healthy Recipes, February 2, 2013

sweet potato chips
Instead of reaching into a bag of super salty, oily potato chips from the convenience store, make your own crispy- and healthier- spuds. Use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for a dose of vitamin A. Football fans, get crunchin’ with these oven-roasted, lightly salted sweet potato chips. Garlic makes this recipe mouthwatering and savory. No matter which team wins, you’ll feel good about snacking on such healthy and delicious game -ime snacks.

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A Healthy Sweet Treat — The New Girl

by in Healthy Recipes, February 2, 2013

With the arrival of 2013 came the usual self-promises and aspirations: Eat healthy, exercise every day, etc.  While these intentions are lovely in themselves, inspiration tends to wane once February comes around. Although I’ve tried, I’m not a salad-everyday type.

If you find yourself struggling to keep your resolutions, check out Bobby Flay Fit. In his seven-day web series, the grill master shares his secrets to leading a healthy lifestyle. By practicing moderation and using aromatic ingredients low in calories, Bobby proves that you can still enjoy delicious food while fulfilling your New Year’s goals. What are his favorite guilt-free flavor boosters? Citruses and spices.

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Bobby Flay’s Tips for Surviving a Super Bowl Party

by in Bobby Flay Fit, February 1, 2013

bobby flay

Bobby Flay Fit Bobby Flay manages to stay fit and healthy even with a busy lifestyle as a chef, and he’s eager to share his healthy eating and fitness plan with fans in a seven-part Web series, Bobby Flay Fit.

 

Our exclusive seven-part web series, Bobby Flay Fit, offered a look into Bobby Flay’s lifestyle — despite his erratic, busy schedule as a chef, he makes time for exercise, plans healthy meals and practices portion control when he’s at restaurants (his own, or others’). We were curious about his strategy for tackling football parties, where the beer flows freely and the food is often over-the-top indulgent. Here are his game-day tips, plus a few healthy football-party recipes so you can enjoy this Sunday.

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