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Tag Archives: Food

Outsmart Sugar Cravings

Outsmart sugar cravings by eating small meals regularly to prevent blood sugar swings. For weak moments, keep fruit on hand.

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Got a sweet tooth with a mind of its own? It doesn’t have to rule your food choices. One way to keep sugar cravings in check is to eat small, regularly spaced meals or snacks to prevent hunger, irritability and uncontrolled urges for a quick sugar fix. Those snacks should contain protein, healthy fat and fiber to keep your energy level steady throughout the day: Think peanut butter on a whole-wheat pita or celery; hummus and vegetables; dried fruit and nuts; or grapes and walnuts. Remember to keep temptations like cookies or candy out of reach (and maybe out of your home or office completely). You’ll have an easier time making healthy choices. For those moments when your craving just won’t be satisfied, choose quality over quantity. A luxurious piece of dark chocolate is healthy and rich enough to hit the spot. Eat it slowly and savor it. Believe it or not, you’ll derive more pleasure from eating a small piece of chocolate than eating an entire bar.

source: the Cleveland Clinic Daily Wellness site

 

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Eating Breakfast May Help you Lose Weight

Feel full and get your weight down: Eat your biggest meal at breakfast. Consuming more calories in the morning may increase weight loss.

scaleYou nibble at breakfast or run out the door without eating anything at all, eat a good-size lunch, and then stuff yourself at dinner. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. It is, after all, the way most of us were brought up to eat. (Remember the clean plate club?) But provocative new research suggests that the way to feel fuller throughout the day, and even lose weight, is to eat your largest meal in the morning, then progressively less throughout the day. To test this theory, researchers placed two groups of dieters on the same 1,400-calorie meal plan for 12 weeks. One group ate 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 during dinner. The second group’s calories were distributed in exactly the opposite way (200 calories at breakfast and 700 for dinner). Those in the big-breakfast group shed 17.8 pounds, while those in the big-dinner group lost only 7.3. The big-breakfast group also displayed significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides throughout the day, which translates into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and elevated LDL (lousy) cholesterol levels.

 

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The Great Debate: Plastic in the Microwave and Dishwasher

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Worried about chemicals in plastic? Use BPA-free containers labeled 1, 2, 4 or 5, and never put any plastic in the microwave or dishwasher.

Just because a plastic container is labeled “microwave-safe” doesn’t mean it won’t leach chemicals into your food. Rather, it means that the container won’t melt when heated. Whether or not it’s safe to heat your food in plastic at all is a subject of much debate. Some experts — such as Frederick Vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, who’s been studying plastic for more than a decade — say there’s no such thing as a safe microwaveable plastic. The heat from microwaves and dishwashers can degrade the chemical structure of plastic, causing it to leak into your food. At a Mount Sinai School of Medicine symposium on chemicals and cancer, when doctors were asked how they reduce their own risk, the most common response was to avoid putting all plastic in the dishwasher or microwave. When Good Housekeeping did their own testing of frozen entrees, plastic wrap and plastic food containers, they found that most food showed no detectable amounts of BPA or phthalates — the two chemicals that have been most linked to reproductive health problems. Of 31 products tested, four leached BPA or phthalates into the food they contained. The analysis did not examine other types of chemicals. According to the Environmental Working Group, while “most of the chemicals making the culinary crossing are considered ‘safe,’ that’s generally not because they’ve been proved safe, but rather they haven’t been proved to be unsafe.” Bottom line: If you’re wary about chemicals from plastic, it’s okay to store food in BPA-free containers, as well as those marked 1, 2, 4 and 5. But strongly consider using glass or ceramic containers for reheating, or for hot food and liquids. And make sure plastic wrap doesn’t come in contact with your food.

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source: the Cleveland Clinic Wellness site

 
 

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Fit but Overweight…

Fit but overweight? Take a look at your plate. Protein is important, but complex carbs like veggies and beans are key to shedding pounds.

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Sometimes we think that, because we work out, we can eat whatever we want. But research shows that more athletes are overweight than ever before. “One of the potential causes of extra weight among athletes may be the ‘healthy halo’ that athletes tend to put on their food and beverage intake when they are active,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, director of wellness coaching at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “For example, some runners I know feel that they can load up on foods high in sugars, fats and salt because they are running a few miles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.” Here are Jamieson-Petonic’s tips for staying fit and trim while working out:
• Focus on slow-digesting, or complex carbs like legumes, fruits and vegetables, and 100 percent whole grains. These foods will provide longer-lasting energy, are rich in nutrients, and tend to be lower in calories than stripped carbs, so they’ll help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.
• Load up on fruits and veggies. These foods offer a multitude of vitamins and minerals, plus plenty of fiber for staying power.
• Hydrate. Even slight dehydration (approximately 2 percent) can hinder performance and weight loss. Keep in mind that your body is 60 to 70 percent water, and keep your tanks full for optimum functioning.

source: Cleveland Clinic Wellness

 
 

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Nutritional Bang for your Buck

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Get big nutritional bang for your buck with potatoes, greens and beans. They deliver the most nutrients per penny.

Trying to figure out how to squeeze more nutritious food from your budget? Add potatoes, greens and beans. A cost analysis found that these foods provide the most nutrients per penny and that tubers offer the best nutritional value in the produce aisle. Potatoes are a valuable source of potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and fiber, especially when eaten, after cooling, with the skin. They cost just 11 cents per one-cup serving and are filling to boot. Greens are simply a nutrition powerhouse. Canned or dried beans are an inexpensive and healthful alternative to meat, which is often among the priciest items at the supermarket. “Protein sources like beef, turkey, fish and chicken can be really expensive,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, director of wellness coaching at the Cleveland Clinic, “but if you buy beans and lentils, you’re getting a lot more for your money.” One cup of beans supplies a third of a woman’s daily protein needs.

 
 

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