Wondering whether you should be buying and eating only organic produce? Love the idea of it, but feeling daunted by the higher prices you have to pay for organic? Here's your answer: consider the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen.
Every year the EWG puts out a list of the top twelve (plus some honorable mentions) fruits and vegetables highest in pesticide residue and the top fifteen fruits and veggies lowest in pesticdes.
Drumroll please...here they are:read more...
On May 20, 2016 the FDA announced some welcome changes to the Nutrition Facts labels on the foods we buy and eat. What are the changes and what do they look like?
Bold, larger font for “Calories,” “servings per container,” and “Serving size.”
Required addition of actual amount and percent Daily Value of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.
A more clear explanation of what Daily Value means: “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
MY FAVORITE: “Added Sugar” in grams and as percent Daily Value will be required on labels.
You can kick your salads up a notch – and add so much flavor AND nutrition - with these simple ingredients. The best part is that a little goes a long way with these extras – so you get flavor without a lot of calories.
1) Hummus – so many flavors to choose from. Mix it right into your salad along with a little olive oil and vinegar.read more...
Do your salads leave you feeling bored - and hungry? Are you doing the same old lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes? Read on for ideas about how to make your salads exciting, delicious, healthy, and satisfying.
This week's Top 5 Salad Ingredients:
Dark leafy greens:
- Watercress, romaine, spinach, arugula, mache, kale, baby greens, etc.
- Mix and match.
- The darker the greens the more nutrient-packed they are – watercress tops that list.
Kale may be on every menu and in every juicer, but there are 14 other greens that are more nutrient-dense than trendy kale. Wondering which are the most nutrient-dense “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables? Can you guess which ranked number one? Read on for the top 41... read more...
With the change of season comes a change in our eating and exercise habits – more food and less exercise. Holiday time generally means more traveling, eating and relaxing and less physical activity. By the time New Year’s rolls around we arm ourselves with resolutions to take off those extra holiday pounds and get back on the treadmill. But with a little advanced planning you can avoid the holiday bulge and save your New Year’s Resolutions for other goals.
Do maintain regular physical activity, even when you’re traveling. Staying physically active will help you ward off those unwanted holidays pounds.read more...
The good news:
A recent study found that participants who consumed excess calories in the form of a high-protein diet stored 45% of the calories as lean tissue, or muscle mass. Those who consumed a low-protein diet stored 95% of the excess calories as body fat.
So this study showed that diet composition can affect how we metabolize and store food and that a high-protein diet can be effective for weight loss and muscle building.
The bad news:read more...
#1 way to curb your high-fat food cravings? Eat a high-protein breakfast. Yes, it’s that simple. Skipping breakfast or eating a low-protein breakfast sets you up for high-fat food cravings during the day and later in the evening.
Wouldn't it be nice to feel satisfied instead of hungry all the time?
Good sources of protein include eggs/egg whites, fish, lean meats like skinless poultry, lean red meat, greek yogurt, some soy foods, beans and more. Add some vegetables and healthy fats and you're all set. Try having an untraditional breakfast with more protein and fewer carbohydrates and see how it makes you feel. You may never go back to cereal or a bagel again - and you'll be a lot better off.
Have a hankering for pizza but you don’t want all those carbs and you do want more protein? What if you could swap the carb-heavy pizza dough for protein? Pizza omelet/scramble to the rescue! You can still enjoy the same yummy cheese and tomato sauce plus vegetables and more. You can use light cheese and all egg whites if you want to cut even more calories from this dish.
Here’s how to do it:read more...
Do you find yourself hungry for a snack between meals but really never sure what a good, healthy snack choice might be for you? Read on.
Snacks – just like meals – should ideally include lean protein and healthy fats along with fiber to help you feel satisfied. Throw in some fresh fruit and/or veggies and you’re in business.
Here are some snack ideas to try on for size:read more...
Wondering why your blood sugar dips and you feel famished by noon? Take a look at what you eat for breakfast and when.
The longer you wait to break your overnight fast, the hungrier you will be the rest of the day. And what you choose to eat for this truly “most important meal of the day” has a huge impact on how you will feel, how hungry you will be and what foods you will be craving all day long.
If you start your day with a sugar-and-refined-grains-loaded breakfast, you will send your blood sugar soaring and possibly feel a burst of energy for a short time…until it all comes crashing down: blood sugar, energy, mood…and carb/sugar cravings start rearing their ugly heads.read more...
Tired of your same old, same old breakfast? Love oats - especially steel cut - and all of the nutritional value they provide but don't have the time to cook them? Me too. I've got you covered. And this is no boring oats and brown sugar breakfast...
Choose your oats - Can't decide between old-fashioned rolled oats and steel cut oats? Use both! I usually make a half and half combo - makes the oats creamy AND chewy!read more...
Healthy eating is all about making good choices. Ensure you are giving your body what it needs by filling your kitchen with a variety of healthy foods. Make a commitment to yourself to stock up on nutrient-dense foods like complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats and replace foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and preservatives with healthier versions.read more...
Any time of year is a good time to check in on healthy and not so healthy habits. Here are some realistic goals to shoot for and habits to keep - habits that can and should become part of your lifestyle for the long term.
Habits to Keep
Eat more fruits and vegetables:
- Have fresh fruit or a side salad instead of french fries or chips at restaurants.
- Include lettuce and tomato on your sandwich – even better if it’s a dark green lettuce such as romaine. The darker the leaf the more nutrients it packs.
- When you’re traveling by airplane choose tomato juice or orange juice mixed with sparkling water instead of soda. And bring your own snacks – fresh and dried fruit and nuts are healthy options that can help keep you fueled until your next meal - they are also better bets than the giant cookies and potato chip stacks sold on the plane.
- Pack a baggie of cut-up fruit and/or veggies to bring to work to snack on when you get the late-morning or afternoon munchies. For added flavor and protein dip them in peanut butter or bean dip such as hummus.
- Add vegetables such as diced or shredded carrots, red pepper, squash, and spinach to sauces, soups, casseroles and pasta sauces.
- Buy a juicer and experiment with combinations of fruits and vegetables – carrot, celery, beet, apple, orange, blueberry…be creative!
Allegra Burton, MPH, RDN
Nutrition with Allegra
Chapel Hill, NC