You already know they’re good for you in all kinds of ways, but the latest research on fruits and vegetables has revealed some very surprising results. Apparently, eating more produce can actually increase your level of happiness over time. The newly released study, conducted at the University of Warwick, followed 12,000 people who kept food diaries and had their psychological well-being measured. What it found is that people got incrementally happier with every daily serving of fruit and vegetables they ate (up to eight portions a day). Why the connection between increased produce consumption and increased happiness? Researchers don’t know for sure, but one possible theory is that the abundance of antioxidants the fruits and vegetables provides leads to higher levels of carotenoids in the blood — and having higher levels of carotenoids has been linked to optimism. Read more
Tag: healthy eating
And the first food to get a “Kids Eat Right” nutrition seal from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — a trade group of registered dietitians and others working in the field of nutrition — is Kraft Singles, the plastic-wrapped “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product” formerly known as a “pasteurized process cheese food.” That is, until the FDA blocked it from using that label because it contained an ingredient — “milk protein concentrate” — that was not allowed in products so designated. On its website, Kraft insists its Singles are colored with “spices, not food coloring” and “now” made “with no artificial preservatives.” But one parent and nutrition advocate tells The New York Times she is “really shocked” at the endorsement. She is not alone. A former member of the academy told The Times that, when he heard about the group’s decision to award the product its first seal, his “jaw just hit the floor” and his “eyebrows just hit the ceiling.” Ouch. Read more
Halloween has come and gone, which means the holidays are about to descend upon us. In a blink of an eye, the turkey will have been carved, the presents will have been opened and the champagne uncorked. We can already feel that 2015 will be different. Why? Because this new year we are not going to write down our typical weight-loss resolutions on Jan. 1. Nope. Instead we’re going to avoid packing on the extra pounds by following our six-week No-Resolutions Resolution plan — beginning right now.
In this week’s nutrition news: another reason to eat chocolate; acid reflux doctor cautions against late-night eating; and nutrition labels are poised for a major makeover.
At the Dining Hall
• Make room for fruit: Most campus dining halls offer a variety of whole fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, and oranges as well as cut fruits like melon and berries. Add cut fruit to your salad, a bowl of yogurt or cereal or, for a sweet treat, pile berries onto a small bowl of frozen yogurt for dessert. Grab a few pieces of whole fruit to take with you as a simple and healthy snack on the go or in your dorm or apartment.
Ever wonder what healthy folks do to be and stay that way? Being healthy is a lifestyle, not just something you sometimes do and then fall off the wagon. Healthy eaters have many of these 7 habits in common — see how many of them you can adopt; you’ll feel better for it.
Any food you can grow on your own is better for your health and the health of the environment. Whether it’s a few pots of herbs or a full-blown veggie garden, get your hands a little dirty and start growing your own food.
Make This Habit Your Own: Gardening For Beginners
2. Food safety
Is your fridge the proper temperature? Do you know how to defrost meat or prevent cross contamination? Paying attention to basic food safety principles will keep you and everyone in your household that much more healthy.
Make This Habit Your Own: Counter-Top Safety
3. Meal planning
A little forethought can make a real difference. Make a weekly meal plan, eat most meals at home, and think about your entire day when making food choices. You will save time, money and a whole bunch of calories.
Make This Habit Your Own: Brown-Bag Lunch Menus
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your commitment to real food. Why did you start and how did you decide on the 100 day pledge?
Like many others I always knew eating whole grains and vegetables was supposed to be good for you, but the problem was I never truly understood the “why” behind this advice. I became intrigued by the topic after seeing Michael Pollan discuss where our food comes from in a TV interview, and then I went on to read his book In Defense of Food. What came next was a huge wake-up call for our family when I realized what I thought were healthy food choices were actually highly processed and not good for us at all. It wasn’t easy at first, but I felt compelled to completely revamp the way we planned our meals, shopped for food and cooked.
I also felt compelled to spread this important (and shocking!) message to others, which is why we decided to create our 100 Days of Real Food pledge. Cutting out highly-processed food was honestly not easy for us at first and even kept me up at night. I thought my kids might starve if Goldfish, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and Gogurt were suddenly out of the picture. So once we figured out how to realistically make the transition to real food it just made sense to share our research, tips, recipes and experiences with others to hopefully inspire them to do the same.
#1: Eat Breakfast
I can’t stress the importance of a healthy breakfast to help you settle into a hunger-free morning. Even if you’re the type of person who grabs their cup of Joe and runs out the door, make an effort to take in a piece of fresh fruit, yogurt or slice of whole grain bread with a tablespoon natural peanut butter.
#2: Step Away
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 83 percent of Americans claim to eat meals and snacks at their desks. Instead of mindlessly gobbling down whatever’s in front of you, step away from your desk, computer, electronic devices . . . you get the picture. Have a seat somewhere quiet where you can relax and enjoy each bite.