Healthy Eating – Overview

How do you get started on healthy eating?

Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.

A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation.

  • Aim for balance. Most days, eat from each food group-grains, protein foods, vegetable and fruit, and dairy. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
  • Look for variety. Be adventurous. Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don’t reach for an apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will help you get all the nutrients you need.
  • Practice moderation. Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.

Why pay attention to what you eat?

Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy. It can help you handle stress better.

Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems, such as:

Is healthy eating the same as going on a diet?

Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.

Diets are temporary. Because you give up so much when you diet, you may be hungry and think about food all the time. And after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed.

Eating a healthy, balanced variety of foods is far more satisfying. And if you match that with more physical activity, you are more likely to get to a healthy weight-and stay there-than if you diet.

How do you make healthy eating a habit?

First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set an example for your kids?

Next, think about some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep doing.

  • Don’t try to change everything at once.
  • Set an easy goal you can reach, like having a salad and a piece of fruit each day.
  • Make a long-term goal too, such as having one vegetarian dinner a week.

Where can you get support?

Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious recipes and cooking tips.

If you need more help, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Look online for groups that support healthy eating and share success stories.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/tc/healthy-eating-overview

 

Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immunity

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by UTTORAN SEN

Our body fights a constant war against bacteria and virus. The immune system of our body is in charge of this war and unless you have a strong immune system you cannot win this war.

A strong immune system will keep you away from flu and cold, will fight more viruses and keep you disease free. In order to have a strong immune system you will have to eat foods that boost your immunity. In this article, we are going to cover some of the top immunity boosting foods.

Yogurt – You need good bacteria to fight bad bacteria. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that keep the digestive tract clean and germ free. Probiotics are tasty; use it as an alternative to ice-cream. Among other ways, Probiotics can be changed into a great drink, known as – “Lassi”. Put some yogurt and sugar into your food processor and churn it for a few minutes. If possible, add some mango slices and your tasty and healthy drink is ready for serving.

Garlic – This onion type food is excellent for fighting bacteria and viruses; however the taste is real bad. If you can manage it, try eating one raw clove of garlic in the morning. It will not only boost your immune system, but is also believed to help you in curing arthritis.

Mushrooms – This food is usually considered tasty but low in vitamin content. However, mushrooms have selenium which is important to keep the flu away, which makes it a good flu fighting food. Also, mushrooms have anti-bacterial and anti-viral features that boost our immune system.

Acai Berry – This – “Super food” has been highly exaggerated on the internet for the last few years. Acai berry no doubt has many health benefits and among some of those benefits is its disease fighting abilities and anti-oxidants.

Watermelon – This – “Zero Calorie” food is great to keep yourself hydrated in the hot summer days. Among other benefits of eating watermelon is its powerful antioxidant which keeps the immune system healthy.

Chicken soup – Ever been sick during your childhood and your mother or grandmother have brought you chicken soup? Surely tasty and provides you with plenty of energy and along with that the hot and warmth of the chicken soup helps you in getting rid of the secretions from your nose and makes you healthy again.

Almonds – Another super food and all you need is a handful and your stress levels will come down by quite a lot. Along with vitamin E, almonds have other benefits that boost our immune system.

Citrus fruits – Are you looking for vitamin C to boost you immunity and fight cold and flu? What other than citrus fruits such as Oranges, lemon, Tangerine, Grapefruit, etc. can aid you in such a case.

Honey – Honey is the best natural sweetener available; it has a flavour of its own which makes it very tasty. A spoonful of honey, if possible mixed with – a few crushed “Tulsi” leaves can cure cold pretty fast and along with that boosts your immunity levels for future cold attacks.

Salmon – Omega 3 fatty acids helps in boosting immunity and fishes such as Salmon, tuna, sardines, oysters etc. contains plenty of omega 3 fatty acids.

Keeping a healthy immune system is not difficult. With some of these foods, and perhaps a glass or two of green tea, along with some antibodies likes Abgent and plenty of water to drink throughout the day, one can easily maintain a good and healthy immune system.

http://www.hivehealthmedia.com/top-10-foods-to-boost-your-immunity/

Penne with Basil and Ricotta and Crispy Pine Nut Topping

Penne with Basil and Ricotta and Crispy Pine Nut Topping
Serves 6

30 minutes or fewer

Think of this casserole as mac and cheese for adults. Ricotta adds extra creaminess to the sauce, and pine nuts make the breadcrumb topping extra-crunchy.
1 ½ cups penne pasta
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped (2 Tbs.)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1 ½ tsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup low-fat milk
1 ½ cups low-fat ricotta cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. pine nuts
2 Tbs. panko breadcrumbs
½ tsp. dried basil

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then drizzle with 1 tsp. oil. Keep warm.

2. Preheat broiler. Coat 6 1/2-cup ramekins with cooking spray, and place on baking sheet.

3. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in flour until paste forms. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until sauce thickens. (If sauce becomes too thick, add a few spoonfuls of water.) Whisk in ricotta, then gradually whisk in 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in fresh basil, and season with salt and white pepper, if desired. Stir penne into sauce. Spoon heaping 1/2 cup penne mixture into each prepared ramekin.

4. Combine remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil, pine nuts, panko breadcrumbs, and dried basil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 Tbs. pine nut mixture. 5. Broil ramekins 2 to 3 minutes, or until topping turns golden brown.

Note: I did not have ramekins. I used a small casserole dish. It worked great. Very tasty!

nutritional information
Per 1/2-cup serving:
Calories: 294
Protein: 16 g
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 28 g
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sodium: 371 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 5 g

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/penne-with-basil-and-ricotta-and-crispy-pine-nut-topping/

Calories Are Not Equal!

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from Men’s Health…

I remember going to my first nutrition class at Penn State.

I was eager to jump right in since that was what I was there for, but had to wait until some of those darn pre req classes were out of the way.

I walked in day 1. Liz Evans was our professor. And she certainly didn’t look like the people I saw in the pages of the magazines I was getting all my information from up until this point. Hey, you have to start somewhere.

Anyhow, after going over the syllabus, “one of the most important lessons in nutrition — in the entire course,” Liz said, “is that all calories are equal. Nutrition, health and weight loss are really simple” she continued “Calories in equal calories out, your weight is stable. Calories out are more than calories in, you lose. If calories in are more than calories out, you gain weight.”

Like all the other students, I was writing as quickly as I could.

And this message continued. Through my masters and into my PhD, where my research focus was on teaching people how to lose weight permanently.

But it was then that I started to question things a bit more.

REALLY? Are all calories the same?

It didn’t make sense to me. You see from a law of thermodynamics, it does make sense. If you walk for 1 mile you burn 100 calories. If you eat 100 calories worth of food, you’ve essentially created a “wash.” Nothing gained. Nothing lost if we’re solely looking at this with regards to body weight.

But what if you compare extremes?

1 pound of sugar = 1,540 calories

~26 apples = 1,540 calories

Same calories. But do you think the quality of 1 lb of sugar and 26 apples is the same? Of course not…aside from the laundry list of nutrition problems eating a days worth of calories from just sugar would cause (nutrient deficiencies, scurvy, tooth decay, etc), how do you think the person eating the 1 pound of sugar would look, feel and perform after she did so? Of course 26 apples isn’t the ideal “diet” either, but you get the point.

It’s kind of like the saying, a pound of bricks is the same weight as a pound of feathers. Sure, they weigh the same … but there are certainly different qualities between them, even though the scale may read the same.

So as we started to look into this more on our own, with our own clients at Mohr Results, and with our own writing & research … we changed our tune and go against the grain of mainstream nutrition to instead give this message:

QUALITY of the diet is more important than QUANTITY of the diet.

Of COURSE calories still do matter.

But quality is crucial to permanent success. And it made us even happier when we read a recent study by researchers at Harvard University confirming our point of how the quality of the diet — above and beyond just quantity — can help with fat loss.

The study certainly wasn’t the final word — and definitely had limitations — it wasn’t a “cause and effect” study, but rather a correlation study that asked over 120,000 healthy, well educated men and women about their dietary habits every 2 years for a total of between 12 and 20 years.

They then teased out some of the food items that were associated with weight loss or weight gain among the subjects.

First, as a whole, they found that the average participant gained about 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) per year. Who cares, right? It’s JUST 1 lb. The problem … year after year after year … that 1 lb adds up and people never lose it and long term it’s more and more dangerous.

The question, then, is what foods did they find contributed to the weight loss vs. those that contributed to weight gain?

Weight Loss:

Veggies
Fruits
Nuts
Whole grain foods
Weight Gain:

Sugar sweetened drinks
Processed meats
Potatoes
Interesting, huh?

Again, we’re certainly not saying there aren’t limitations to this study or this type of correlation study, but there were some interesting findings to consider. The take home points from the authors were to not focus so heavily on calories and rather look at the quality — limit processed or refined carbohydrates and focus instead on veggies, fruits, and healthier food options … even if they are higher in calories (like nuts). Basically a lot of this boils down to how these foods affect the hormones in our body – namely, insulin, a powerful storage hormone.

Again, it’s not just how much you eat, but WHAT you eat.

Just as an aside, we also don’t think potatoes are a “devil” food — we do think the ways people eat them (such as French fries) are. Again, take this data with a grain of salt.

At the end of the day, though, we want you to focus on overall diet QUALITY … our message remains the same. Lots of veggies and fruits, nuts, healthy fats, lean protein and some whole grains.

Pretty basic. But very effective.

Read more at Men’s Health: http://blogs.menshealth.com/bellyoff-nutritionist/nutritionists-are-lying-to-you-calories-arent-equal/2012/11/05/#ixzz2NstZ7VCx

The Truth about ‘Healthy’ Oils

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Written by: Markham Heid

Olive. Canola. Corn. Walnut. Coconut. Flax Seed. Peanut.

There are dozens of cooking oils you can use to whip up your favorite dishes, dressings, and desserts. But which is best?

Olive oil is good for you, but not in unlimited qualities.

Well, consuming lots of olive oil lowers your risk for stroke, according to a recent analysis of more than 7,600 people conducted by French researchers. People who used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing for bread lowered their risk of stroke by 41 percent when compared to those who never used olive oil, according to the study.

Other research has shown that moderate olive oil consumption—defined as 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day—can improve your heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol, according to the FDA.

Olive Oil Healthy, But Beware of Calories

So, is olive oil’s healthy reputation well-earned? Yes, but there’s a catch, explains Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a nutrition expert and author of “Read It Before You Eat It.”

“Apart from its association with heart health, olive oil is also a great source of cancer-preventing antioxidants,” Taub-Dix explains. “But just because olive oil is healthy for you doesn’t mean you should use it in unlimited quantities.”

Taub-Dix says olive oil has 120 calories per tablespoon, which people tend to forget when drizzling it over salads or dabbing it with a chunk of bread. “We feel like if something’s healthy we should just pour it on, but that could turn your 50-calorie salad into a 350-calorie salad, and that’s no good,” she says.

If you’re worried about consuming too much but don’t want to sacrifice on flavor, reach for a heavier oil. The darker the olive oil, the more intense the flavor, Taub-Dix says.

Taub-Dix also cautions that, as with any oil, the word “light” on the label doesn’t mean the oil is any less fattening. “Light olive oil is lighter in color and in flavor, but it has the same number of calories,” she explains. (Related from MensHealth.com: Tossing salad with olive oil is one of our 100 Ways to Protect Your Heart.)

Which Oils Are Best for Cooking?

Olive oil isn’t just healthy; it’s also great for cooking, explains Rania Mekary, Ph.D., a clinical nutritionist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Mekary said all oils are either rich in monounsaturated fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids. “This makes a huge difference when it comes to cooking,” she explains. The monos, like olive and canola oil, break down at higher temperatures than the polys, which can come into play whether you’re grilling, sautéing, or microwaving.

And oils—even healthy ones like olive oil—can become toxic when they break down, causing congestion of the arteries and joint disease, Mekary says. So you want to cook with those monosaturated oils that break down at higher temperatures.

If the oil itself starts to smoke, Mekary says, it’s too hot.

Canola Oil Good, Corn and Coconut Oils Bad

Both Mekary and Taub-Dix recommend canola oil as a healthy, less-expensive alternative to olive oil.

“The chemical structure is very close to that of olive oil, and it’s cheaper,” Mekary explains, adding that canola oil’s health benefits are also similar to olive oil, just less flavorful. She also says that most nut oils, such as walnut and almond oil, are healthy (though typically more expensive) options.

Which oils should you avoid?

“Corn oil,” Mekary says. “It’s cheaper, so it’s commonly used for cooking. But it degrades at a much lower temperature than olive oil.”