Archive for September, 2011

11 Ways to Pick Out Healthy Food-Part II

Posted on 2011/09/30. Filed under: FEBICO Nutraceuticals |


Stay below 20% of your RDA of sodium (about 460 mg for a daily allowance of 2,300 mg, or 300 mg for 1,500 mg). Several companies make low-sodium soups that fall within this range.

Calories should be limited to 200 per serving unless the soup constitutes your entire meal, in which case you can reach 400 calories.

And check the serving size. A can typically contains two servings, and eating the entire thing could put you over your sodium limit.

Protein is a plus, and a soup can make a good snack or partial meal if it has between 5 and 10 grams of protein. If it’s your entire meal, it should have at least 10 grams.

7.Rice and pasta

Choose rice and pasta that are high in fiber, and preferably pasta that is 100% whole grain. Brown rice doesn’t have as much fiber, but it has more than white rice.
Ideally, you want 7 grams of fiber per serving (and 25 to 35 grams daily), but before you dig into a bowl of rigatoni, check the serving size. Pasta expands as you cook it, so an ounce of uncooked pasta has more fiber—and more calories —than an ounce of cooked pasta. If the label doesn’t specify, assume the serving size is for cooked pasta.
And with flavored/packaged rice, check for added salt. There’s likely to be a lot—up to 1,000 mg in certain brands.

8.Salad dressing

Almost all salad-dressing serving sizes are two tablespoons, making them easy to compare. Stick to 50 calories or less per serving, and the less sugar the better.
“Basically any sugar in salad dressings is added sugar,”. Choose salad dressings that are made of olive oil, like vinaigrettes, rather than mayonnaise, like ranch or Thousand Island.
And again pay attention to sodium. The more processed foods you eat, the more salt you get.


Yogurt can be a low-cal way to get protein and calcium, but choose the wrong kind, and you could eat a container with nutritional content similar to that of ice cream.
Pick low-fat varieties, with at least 6 grams of protein. Greek yogurts have more protein per serving than plain yogurt, but full-fat Greek yogurts can contain up to 18 grams of saturated fat.
Also check for sugar. “Oftentimes sugar is off the charts in yogurt,”. Aim for less than 20 grams of sugar per serving. Choose a version that has lower sugar, between 6 and 12 grams, like plain yogurt, then add your own sweet fruits.
The good news is yogurt is low in sodium

10.Sports drinks

Unless you’re involved in an endurance activity for over an hour, you don’t need a sports drink. Be aware that if you do reach for a sports drink, you can end up consuming more than 60 calories per serving.
If you are sweating heavily and need replenishment, have one that has below 60 calories per serving and make sure you know what the serving size is (bottles often contain two servings).
“A lot of them are just sugared water, and you’re getting extra calories, which you don’t need,” Gans explains. Though sports drinks are great while exercising, choose water if you’re simply thirsty on a hot day.

11.Salty snacks

Salty flavor is a favorite among snackers, but you should make sure you don’t get more than 15% of your daily sodium from snacking.
To indulge wisely, first check the serving size. Find out how many pretzels or chips constitute one serving. Take only that amount from the economy-size bag and don’t go back for seconds.
Search for the least amount of salt and fat per serving (pretzels tend to have less fat than chips). Baked versions are better than fried ones, as they contain less fat. But be careful. These snacks often pour on more salt to compensate for flavor.

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11 Ways to Pick Out Healthy Food- Part I

Posted on 2011/09/30. Filed under: Health issue |

Prepared food that’s healthy too
It’s a common ploy. You walk down the grocery store aisle and are bombarded with “all natural” and “immunity boosting” claims on boxes, bags, and bottles. With so many enthusiastic labels shouting out to you, how can you tell which packaged foods are healthy and which ones are nutritional nightmares?Use our savvy shopper tips to choose healthy versions of 11 common snacks, meals, and drinks.

1.Breakfast cereal

Most cereals are similar in serving size and calories but differ in fiber and sugar content. Buy those with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and less than 12 grams of sugar per serving. The only way sugar in cereal is good for you is if it comes from dried fruit, and not in the form of high fructose corn syrup, molasses, or honey. In general, the fewer the ingredients the better (for example, shredded wheat is usually just that). Stay as close to 5% of your age group’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sodium as possible, and definitely don’t consume more than 20% with your cereal


Look for bread with no more than 100 calories and 150 milligrams of sodium per slice, and at least 3 grams of fiber (which rules out white bread). And not all wheat bread is healthy. “Just because something says it might have whole-wheat flour in it doesn’t mean it’s 100% whole wheat,” .Instead, look for breads that say, “100% whole grains.” And it’s worthwhile to read the ingredient list. Whole wheat, oats, or other whole grains should be the first ingredient, as opposed to refined flours. If whole-wheat flour is listed first and followed by other flours, that bread will be lower in fiber. Limit molasses and other sweeteners too

3.Snack bars

Pay attention to the protein content, along with the calories, fat, sugar, and fiber, in these portable noshes. The best buys have at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, less than 10 grams of sugar, and no more than 200 calories, if it’s a snack.
It can contain 300 calories if it’s a meal, and 8 to 10 grams of protein is fine, but 20 grams is probably too much. Limit yourself to about 10 grams of total fat, and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, but also check where the fat is coming from. “Nuts are the best source of fat in a snack bar,”.

4.Microwave meals
Even low-cal options can contain more than 30% of your daily sodium. “You need to compare brand to brand, because most frozen dinners are going to have more salt than they should,”. “Look for the ones with the smallest percentage of daily value.” Also, fat and calorie content is an issue with these meals. They can include unsaturated fats from olive oil and salmon but not saturated fat from cream or butter. Also aim for less than 500 calories. And since this is a meal, make sure you have 10 grams of protein or more per serving. But bear in mind that you’re probably not going to get enough veggies from a frozen dinner, so enjoy a side salad too.

5.Frozen veggies

If you don’t have fresh veggies, frozen ones can fill the greens gap. However, choose products that contain just vegetables sans sauce. “I guarantee if they’re made with anything, it’s typically a cream or cheese sauce, and you’re better off if you just make your own,”. If you like the extra flavor, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the veggies. One half-cup serving of Birds Eye Broccoli and Cheese Sauce contains 90 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, and more than 20% of your daily sodium, while the same serving of steamed broccoli with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese contains 37 calories, 2 grams of fat, and about 5% of your daily sodium.

to be continued …………
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10 Things That Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss

Posted on 2011/09/26. Filed under: Health issue |

So you’ve got your plot to drop the extra pounds. It certainly seems sensible: You’re going to eat right, eat less, and exercise. After weeks of declining dessert and diligently hitting the treadmill, you step on the scale and…only 2 pounds gone? You conclude that something or someone must be sabotaging you. You might be right. While experts say weight loss can always be reduced to the simple “calories in, calories out” mantra—meaning if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight—a host of oft-hidden saboteurs may be meddling with the balance. Here’s a smattering of them:

1. Treating healthy foods as low-calorie foods. “A lot of times they’re not consistent,” says Scott Kahan, co-director of the George Washington University Weight Management Program in Washington, D.C. So while whole grains, avocados, and nuts might be kind to your heart or cholesterol levels, dieters who binge on such foods can, before they know it, add hundreds of calories to the day’s total. Enjoy calorie-rich healthy foods, dietitians urge, but ration them out: a quarter of an avocado on a salad or a small handful of almonds for a snack.

2. Shunning shuteye. Some research has linked shorter sleep duration to a higher body mass index (a measure of body fat) and increased hunger and appetite. Additionally, if you’re tired, you might be prone to grab a sugar-laden treat for a midday boost, skip the gym, and have takeout for dinner to avoid cooking. It’s a vicious cycle. Aim for seven or eight hours a night.

3. Underestimating calories eaten. Quick—how many calories have you had today? No idea? Calorie ignorance is common and fueled by quite a few factors, dietitians say. First is a warped understanding of portion sizes. “People will tell me, ‘Oh, I eat a half teaspoon of butter and I spread that on a piece of toast,’ ” says Ellen Liskov, a registered dietitian and nutrition specialist at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “I don’t think you can do that mechanically.” (People typically use a tablespoon or more.) You’re going to have to recalibrate: Measure everything for a few days and work from recipes that calculate calories per serving or do it yourself. And be diligent about checking serving sizes. One sleeve of PopTarts, for example, is two servings. Also, be wary of seemingly innocent things like fruit, juice, trail mix, and dips. It’s particularly easy to go overboard here. Forgetfulness magnifies calorie ignorance. With all the to-do’s jammed into your brain, you probably don’t want to add a food diary. Too bad—your selective food memory is going to continue to sabotage you “until you start to pay attention every time you put something in your mouth,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and author of The Real You Diet. Also, while a couple healthy snacks strategically spread throughout the day is a good hunger-control tactic, Liskov warns of “random” snacking. You’ll almost certainly lose track of all those calories.

4. Overestimating calories burned. “We tend to reward ourselves with too many calories of food for the amount of calories we burned exercising,” says Kahan. Suppose you go for a 30-minute jog. The University of Maryland Medical Center’s “calories burned calculator” estimates a 150-pound person would burn about 370 calories. Eat a few cookies later that day and you’ve just canceled it out.

5. Feeding your thirst. If you’re not sure whether you’re hungry or thirsty, assume it’s the latter. Drink a water or tea and see how you feel. Some research even suggests drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner may help you manage hunger and eat less.

6. The food environment. Commercials on TV hawk junk food. Billboards for fast-food restaurants bombard you on the road. “We’re in a society that really lends itself to eating a lot,” says Kahan. Without addressing these saboteurs, he says, it’s “almost overwhelmingly difficult” to lost weight. His solution: “Engineer your environment.” At home, do a junk-food purge. At work, avoid the treats in the kitchen and lobby your coworkers to hide the Hershey’s Kisses and go on a healthy-eating kick with you.

7. Saving up calories to eat junk. A couple hundred calories a day for an indulgence is OK, but don’t get carried away. “You could eat a bag of chips ’til the cows come home, but that’s not going to make you satisfied,” says Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, a dietitian at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Without enough protein and fiber, you’ll be ravenous an hour later and blow your calorie limit.

8. Medications you take. It’s worth a check with your doctor if you don’t know whether weight gain is a side effect of a medicine you’re on. Psychiatric medications to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression, along with heart medications like beta blockers, commonly cause weight gain. While treating the primary condition is most important, says Kahan, you may be able to find a substitute sans the side effect.

9. Your family and friends. This can manifest in many ways. Maybe it’s too heartbreaking to turn down grandma when she insists you have a third helping of her double-fried chicken. Or the rest of the family isn’t on a diet, meaning some junk foods linger to tempt you. Perhaps your nights out with friends always revolve around food-and-drink binges. No wonder a 2007 report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that one’s chance of becoming obese increase by 57 percent if a close friend becomes obese.

10. Yourself. Don’t be overly restrictive. “If you set too many limits on yourself, you get bored and resentful. And that, mentally, will hinder your weight loss,” says Tanner-Blasiar. Aim for slow and steady, shedding maybe a couple pounds a week, and don’t obsess over the scale. You didn’t gain the weight over the course of a couple weeks; likewise, it’ll take more than that to lose it. Above all, remember: “You can’t be perfect. You can’t be perfect in your relationships, in your job, in your life—certainly not in your weight-loss attempts,” says Kahan. “There’s nothing wrong with having a piece of cake on your birthday. There’s nothing wrong with trying to aim for moderation.”

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