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Archive for February, 2012

If you decided to express love to your valentine by making healthy food choices, consider helping the entire family live a healthier lifestyle. With so many meals eaten away from home, choosing the most healthful items becomes a challenge. Many restaurants help patrons make good choices by identifying items with fewer calories. Others offer smaller portions.

Several tips can help cut calories when eating out.

  • Order red instead of white sauces to lower calorie intake.
  • Request all dressings, sauces, butter, and gravies be served on the side so you can control serving size. Then use sparingly.
  • Choose entrees of chicken, seafood, or lean meat instead of fatty meats.
  • Check for menu items marked “healthy.”
  • Choose steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached, or roasted foods instead of those fried, smothered, sautéed, creamed, or au gratin.
  • Avoid cocktails, appetizers, and bread and butter before the meal.
  • Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets and specials. Order from the menu.
  • Split orders with someone else, ask for smaller portions, or ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal to help control the amount you eat.

With busy schedules, sometimes fast-food seems unavoidable. To make healthier choices and to teach your children to do likewise, consider the following tips.

  • Hold the mayo and other sauces.
  • Choose low-calorie dressings for salads
  • Avoid double meat portions. One portion is usually more than a serving size.
  • Choose chicken over higher fat burgers.
  • Ask for baked, broiled, or grilled fish sandwiches instead of fried fish.
  • Omit bacon on sandwiches. It’s high in sodium, usually high in fat, and adds little nutritive value to the meal.
  • Eat sandwiches open-faced to cut the extra calories from the top part.
  • Order whole-wheat buns or bread when available.
  • Choose low-fat milk, diet drinks, or water instead of regular colas.
  • Choose unsweetened tea instead of sweetened tea.
  • Skip the fries and request a fruit, fruit-cup, or vegetable such as salad.

Eating healthy isn’t nearly as hard as some try to make it. If you can’t bring yourself to make all these changes at one time, pick out a few you think your taste buds will tolerate and start there. You will at least be on your way to healthier eating and will probably lose a little weight along the way—which for most of us would be an added bonus. Bon appétit.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a thoughtful remembrance from that special someone on Valentine’s Day? Sure, we’re delighted with red roses or drool over Godiva’s, but what better gift could you give your significant other than a healthy heart—your healthy heart?

February is American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons against cardiovascular disease. They recommend the following simple steps for optimum physical well-being.

  • Choose a variety of foods from all food groups each day in the following quantities (based on a 2000 calorie diet).
    • 6-8       Grains with at least half from whole grain sources
    • 4-5       Vegetables—including sufficient green and yellow varieties
    • 4-5       Fruits—especially those with high vitamin C levels
    • 2-3       Cooked lean meat, poultry, or seafood
    • 2-3       Fats/oils
    • Nuts, seeds, legumes, 4-5 servings per week.
  • Watch serving size. Many consume too many calories because they eat excessive amounts. Consider the following as a guide to portion control.
    • Grains:            dinner roll—Yo-yo; cereal—baseball; pasta—tennis ball
    • Vegetables:     green salad—baseball; cooked vegetable—small fist; potato—computer mouse
    • Fruits:              light bulb
    • Meats:              three ounces poultry, beef, or pork—deck of cards; fish—checkbook
    • Fats/oils:        1 tablespoon tub margarine—three thumb tips; two tablespoons salad dressing—shot glass
    • Nuts:               one-ounce—cupped palm of medium-sized hand
  • Curb the amount of nutrient-poor foods.
    • Choose less fatty or fried foods
    • Drink smaller amounts of beverages with added sugar
    • Strive to limit sodium to no more than 1,500 mgs per day
    • Reduce intake of trans-fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
    • Choose fat-free dairy products
  • Use as many calories as you take in. Remember that the only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than you use. To maintain a healthy weight, balance the amount of calories you eat with appropriate activity to burn up those calories.

You have only one heart. Use these suggestions to help assure yours will be healthier to celebrate Valentines 2013.

 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Nutrition-Center_UCM_001188_SubHomePage.jsp

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Like a pendulum, the latest food craze swings from one extreme to another. How will this year measure up to previous years? As consumers become more health conscious, food trends shift. According to The Hartman Group, we can look ahead to several changes in 2012. A few of those include:

  • Change in portion size. Smaller portion sizes emerge as customers, restaurants, and retailers move away from the idea that “Bigger is Better to Smaller is Beautiful.”
  • Emphasis on personalized nutrition. Look for increased interest in nutrigenomics (nutritional genetics) as customized diets replace the “one-size-fits-all” attitudes of past years. Expect processed food choices to shift toward higher quality foods.

A taste for real food beckons today’s consumers as the following trends increase and more outdated ones decrease.

  • Real butter replacing margarine.
  • Grass-fed meats displacing soy protein. Reports of side effects and advice from health professionals have caused soy to plunge into disfavor.
  • Healthy fats instead of fat-free.
  • Cage-free whole eggs emphasized more than egg whites.
  • Dairy from grass-fed cows instead of grain-fed. Milk from grass-fed Jersey, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss cows produce higher quality fat than those grain-fed which have higher levels of less healthy Omega 6 fatty acids.
  • Fresh produce touted over excessive supplements.
  • Stevia favored over artificial sweeteners.
  • Local, seasonal fruits replacing out-of-season exotic fruits with claims of higher antioxidant levels. Blueberries remain high on the list of preferred high-nutritional foods. Cherries continue to surface as a new favorite for athletes and health-conscious consumers. Expect to see a wider variety of local berries and tree fruits.

While consumers continue to follow older trends, healthier fares abound for 2012. Will you be in the mainstream of positive changes toward a healthier lifestyle?

For questions about any of these trends, contact me or see http://www.hartman-group.com/downloads/looking-ahead-2012-trends.pdf

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