Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

fruitWhat is the cost of eating healthy? A couple of studies looked at answering this question and found that it depends. It depends on your income, if you can cook, and how you measure your food.

The first study was conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). They found based on weight and serving size, fruits, veggies, low-fat milk and grains cost less than foods that were high in fat and sugar as well as fish, chicken and meat. Their message was that eating healthy costs less than eating junk foods.

A conflicting study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found the opposite. However, they took another approach to analyzing the data by studying the cost of food in relation to its nutritional content. They found that foods that were higher in essential nutrients coast more per calorie than foods poor in nutrient content.

Even though these studies do not agree when it comes to cost of food there are some things they do agree on. They agree that people who know how to cook are able to eat healthier without blowing the budget. For many, cooking healthy is a new skill and many would have to change the way they view food. They could also make their dollar stretch further if they opted for more nutritious options over foods high in sugar and fat.

Here are some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:

  • Take a cooking class and add a few more healthy recipes to your list
  • Visit a nutritionist, naturopath or dietician for advice on healthy and affordable eating
  • Do some shopping at farmers markets. They often cost less than supermarkets
  • Shop on a full stomach and you are less likely to fill your cart with junk food
  • Plan your meals. The more you plan the easier it is to eat healthy and stay on a budget



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thCADXAK06Aztecs and Mayans began using chia seeds as early as 3500 BC.  They were ground into flour, pressed for oil and mixed into water for drinking.  They were considered “magical” because of their ability to increase stamina and energy over long periods of time.  After the Spanish conquered Latin America, the seeds faded away as the Spanish introduced their own foods.

Chia seeds contain fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin zinc, antioxidants and protein.  In fact, they have more omega-3 fatty acids than even salmon and deliver more calcium than skim milk (18% of daily intake value).  Chia seeds are also known to reduce caloric intake since they absorb up to 12 times their own weight and expand.

They can be eaten in breakfast cereals, yogurt, salad, baked goods, water, juices, and smoothies.  It is now also being added to chicken and cattle feed for more enriched eggs and milk.  I expect the popularity will only continue to grow for chia seeds because of their numerous benefits.

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df0d3c2abcdeaa0c_fruit_xxxlarge_1I found this article on www.fitsugar.com written by Jenny Sugar.  I thought this was insightful so I wanted to share it with you.  I agree with Jenny Sugar. . . what you keep in your kitchen and how you keep it can make or break you with your weight loss quest.  Maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your kitchen. . . .


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This handy infographic guide to leafy greens was posted by One Medical Group.  It includes nutrition facts and great cooking tips.  Use this guide to figure out how to inlcude these benefical greens in your life.



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menI recently read a post by Cynthia Sass in the Huffington Post Healthy Living section on 5 mistakes people make with food and exercise that I thought I would summarize and share.  I have seen these same issues with people who I know.  Fix these missteps and the author feels you can better reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

  • Eating Too Little Fat – It seems like people these days are super fearful of fat.  Despite recommendations to include good fats in diet, people stay clear of any fat, often reaching for fat-free options.  Cutting back on fat too much can lead to fatigue, hunger, irritability, depression, weak immune system, and can increase risk of injury.  It is more of the most important nutrients in your diet.  Even if you are trying to reduce body fat, including good fats in your diet is essential to your health.  Look to add things like almond butter, avocado, or olive oil to get the fats you need.
  • Using A Sports Drink When You Really Don’t Need One – As a rule of thumb, if you are exercising less than 90 minutes in a climate controlled gym, water is all you need.  Sports drinks are for folks that work out for more than 90 minutes in hot or humid conditions.  They are meant to keep you going when you can’t stop to eat.  Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar so unless you are really pushing it, stick to water.
  • Not Eating After A Workout Because You’re Afraid To “Eat Back” What You’ve Burned – You may not want to over eat after a workout but you do need some nutrition to heal the body from wear and tear that you put on your body.  Again, you don’t want to overdo eating after a workout but eat with a goal in mind of delivering nutrients to your body to aid in recovery.
  • Only Eating Protein Post Workout – Protein is only one of the key nutrients for recovery.  You also need your share of healthy fat, whole grains and produce.  These help do things such as replenish nutrients, supply antioxidants, help muscles heal, replete glycogen, and optimize circulation.
  • Doubling Up On Recovery Meals – The author recommends eating something like a natural bar or shake 30 minutes before the end of a tough training or game to start the recovery process.  This has shown to maximize healing.  However, she recommends this for your pro athlete clients.  For the average person this can be overkill if it is followed by a full recovery meal.  As a tip she recommends that if you are going to eat within an hour after leaving the gym, skip the snack and wait for the meal.

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kaleIt’s not quite flu season but that is no reason to not get a jump on strengthening your immune system.  In a recent article on www.naturaltherapypages.com, Kat Tate recommends 10 ways you can do this pretty simply.

  1.  Eat your Greens.  Greens contain the nutrients you need to stay healthy and build white blood cells.  They also contain much-needed antioxidants which reduce risks of illnesses.
  2. Stay Relaxed.  Stress puts pressure on your immune system in a negative way which leaves you more prone to illness.  Try to alleviate stress with massage, yoga, meditation etc.
  3. Exercise.  In a study conducted in 2006, researchers found that those that exercised regularly were three times less likely to develop colds then those that did not.
  4. Get Sleep.  This is another way to reduce stress and alleviate pressure on your immune system.  When you don’t get enough sleep inflammatory chemicals increase which leads to illness.
  5. Spend Time with Friends.  Studies show that people who spend time alone have poorer health than those that socialize regularly.
  6. Stop Smoking.  In addition to damaging your skin and internal organs, smoking triggers inflammation.  When you smoke or are exposed to smoke you are more likely to develop illnesses.
  7. Spend Time in the Sun.  Most of us are Vitamin D deficient but you can combat that by getting a little sun every day.  Vitamin D is key in functions like bone health, neuromuscular function, cancer prevention, and enhancing the immune system.
  8. Eat Bacteria.  Good bacteria are found in probiotics, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut.  Consuming these microorganisms can reduce infections and other ailments.
  9. Get Immunized.  Make sure you are up to date on all of your immunizations because they can keep illnesses and infections at bay.
  10. Reach for Herbs.  There are plants like ginseng, astragalus, garlic, and Echinacea that can help boost your immune system.

For more advice on ways to boost your immune system consult a health professional such as a dietician, nutritionists or naturopath.

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thIn the United States, 429 deaths out of every million were associated with over consumption of salt.  This may be an indicator that we are eating way too much salt.  This is not just a problem in the United States but all around the world.  There have been 2 recent studies that support this statement.

In the first one, the American Heart Association showed that 75% of people in the world consume more salt than recommended.  The recommended amount of salt consumption by the World Health Organization is less than 2,000 milligrams a day while the amount recommended by the American Heart Association is 1,500 milligrams a day.  The study of 187 countries found that people around the world are eating nearly 4,000 milligrams a day on average.

On the low side, countries like Kenya and Malawi consume about 2,000 milligrams a day.  Higher consuming countries like Kazakhstan, Mauritius, and Uzbekistan take in around 6,000 milligrams a day.  The United States sits in the middle at 3,600 milligrams a day.

A second study involving the American Heart Association, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, researchers found that over consuming salt was associated with 2.3 million deaths in 2010.  These deaths were from heart related causes.

So, what are the biggest salt offenders and what should you be closely watching in your diet to reduce sodium intake?  The list below shows the largest offenders and the percentage of total daily sodium intake.  Perhaps reducing these will reduce your daily intake and lead to a healthier heart.

  • Breads and rolls                             7.2%
  • Cold cuts and cured meats           5.5%
  • Pizza                                                  5%
  • Poultry                                              4.5%
  • Soups                                                4.2%
  • Sandwiches                                      4.5%
  • Cheese                                              3.9%
  • Pasta mixed dishes                         3.4%
  • Meat mixed dishes                          3.5%
  • Savory snacks                                   2.8%

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