Eating Well While Eating Out

Can I Splurge When I Eat Out?

A slice of pizza once in a while won't do you any harm. What's important is a person's average food intake over a few days, not just in a single meal. So if you eat a less-than-healthy meal once in a while, try to balance it with healthier foods the rest of that day and week.

But if pizza (or any fast food) is all you eat, that can lead to problems. The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is weight gain — or even obesity.

But weight gain isn't the only problem. Too much fast food can drag a person's body down in other ways. Because the food we eat affects all aspects of how the body functions, eating the right (or wrong) foods can influence any number of things, including:

  • mental functioning
  • emotional well-being
  • energy
  • strength
  • weight
  • future health

Eating on the Go

It's actually easier than you think to make good choices at a fast-food restaurant, the mall, or even the school cafeteria. Most cafeterias and fast-food places offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. Be mindful of portion sizes and high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese.

Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:

  • Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans if you're a vegetarian), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don't qualify as veggies!), and whole grains (like whole-wheat bread and brown rice). That's why a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
  • Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades so that we are now eating way more than we need. The average size of a hamburger in the 1950s was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk.Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.

Tips for Eating at a Restaurant

Most restaurant portions are way larger than the average serving of food at home. Ask for half portions, share an entrée with a friend, or take half of your dish home.

Here are some other restaurant survival tips:

  • Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side and use them sparingly.
  • Use salsa and mustard instead of mayonnaise or oil.
  • Ask for olive or canola oil instead of butter, margarine, or shortening.
  • Use nonfat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Order baked, broiled, or grilled (not fried) lean meats including turkey, chicken, seafood, or sirloin steak.
  • Salads and vegetables make healthier side dishes than french fries. Use a small amount of sour cream instead of butter if you order a baked potato.
  • Choose fresh fruit instead of sugary, high-fat desserts.

Tips for Eating at the Mall or Fast-Food Place

It's tempting to pig out while shopping, but with a little planning, it's easy to eat healthy foods at the mall. Here are some choices:

  • a single slice of veggie pizza
  • grilled, not fried, sandwiches (for example, a grilled chicken breast sandwich)
  • deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread
  • a small hamburger
  • a bean burrito
  • a baked potato
  • a side salad
  • frozen yogurt

Choose the smaller sizes, especially when it comes to drinks and snacks. If you have a craving for something unhealthy, try sharing the food you crave with a friend.

Tips for Eating in the School Caf

The suggestions for eating in a restaurant and at the mall apply to cafeteria food as well. Add vegetables and fruit whenever possible, and opt for leaner, lighter items. Choose sandwiches on whole-grain bread or a plain hamburger over fried foods or pizza. Go easy on the high-fat, low-nutrition items, such as mayonnaise and heavy salad dressings.

You might want to consider packing your own lunch occasionally. Here are some lunch items that pack a healthy punch:

  • sandwiches with lean meats or fish, like turkey, chicken, tuna (made with low-fat mayo), lean ham, or lean roast beef. For variety, try other sources of protein, like peanut butter, hummus, or meatless chili. If you don't like your bread dry, choose mustard or a small amount of lite mayo.
  • low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • any fruit that's in season
  • raw baby carrots, green and red pepper strips, tomatoes, or cucumbers
  • whole-grain breads, pita, bagels, or crackers

It can be easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. It's OK to splurge every once in a while, as long as your food choices are generally good.

 

By: Marvin L. Gavin, MD

Original Article: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/eating_out.html

More Nutritional Health...

Can I Splurge When I Eat Out?

A slice of pizza once in a while won't do you any harm. What's important is a person's average food intake over a few days, not just in a single meal. So if you eat a less-than-healthy meal once in a while, try to balance it with healthier foods the rest of that day and week.

But if pizza (or any fast food) is all you eat, that can lead to problems. The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is weight gain — or even obesity.

But weight gain isn't the only problem. Too much fast food can drag a person's body down in other ways. Because the food we eat affects all aspects of how the body functions, eating the right (or wrong) foods can influence any number of things, including:

  • mental functioning
  • emotional well-being
  • energy
  • strength
  • weight
  • future health

Eating on the Go

It's actually easier than you think to make good choices at a fast-food restaurant, the mall, or even the school cafeteria. Most cafeterias and fast-food places offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. Be mindful of portion sizes and high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese.

Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:

  • Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans if you're a vegetarian), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don't qualify as veggies!), and whole grains (like whole-wheat bread and brown rice). That's why a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
  • Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades so that we are now eating way more than we need. The average size of a hamburger in the 1950s was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk.Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.

Tips for Eating at a Restaurant

Most restaurant portions are way larger than the average serving of food at home. Ask for half portions, share an entrée with a friend, or take half of your dish home.

Here are some other restaurant survival tips:

  • Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side and use them sparingly.
  • Use salsa and mustard instead of mayonnaise or oil.
  • Ask for olive or canola oil instead of butter, margarine, or shortening.
  • Use nonfat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Order baked, broiled, or grilled (not fried) lean meats including turkey, chicken, seafood, or sirloin steak.
  • Salads and vegetables make healthier side dishes than french fries. Use a small amount of sour cream instead of butter if you order a baked potato.
  • Choose fresh fruit instead of sugary, high-fat desserts.

Tips for Eating at the Mall or Fast-Food Place

It's tempting to pig out while shopping, but with a little planning, it's easy to eat healthy foods at the mall. Here are some choices:

  • a single slice of veggie pizza
  • grilled, not fried, sandwiches (for example, a grilled chicken breast sandwich)
  • deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread
  • a small hamburger
  • a bean burrito
  • a baked potato
  • a side salad
  • frozen yogurt

Choose the smaller sizes, especially when it comes to drinks and snacks. If you have a craving for something unhealthy, try sharing the food you crave with a friend.

Tips for Eating in the School Caf

The suggestions for eating in a restaurant and at the mall apply to cafeteria food as well. Add vegetables and fruit whenever possible, and opt for leaner, lighter items. Choose sandwiches on whole-grain bread or a plain hamburger over fried foods or pizza. Go easy on the high-fat, low-nutrition items, such as mayonnaise and heavy salad dressings.

You might want to consider packing your own lunch occasionally. Here are some lunch items that pack a healthy punch:

  • sandwiches with lean meats or fish, like turkey, chicken, tuna (made with low-fat mayo), lean ham, or lean roast beef. For variety, try other sources of protein, like peanut butter, hummus, or meatless chili. If you don't like your bread dry, choose mustard or a small amount of lite mayo.
  • low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • any fruit that's in season
  • raw baby carrots, green and red pepper strips, tomatoes, or cucumbers
  • whole-grain breads, pita, bagels, or crackers

It can be easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. It's OK to splurge every once in a while, as long as your food choices are generally good.

 

By: Marvin L. Gavin, MD

Original Article: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/eating_out.html

 

American Diet Trends

 

                  When you first make the decision to lose weight, a few words come to mind: exercise and diet. There have been many diet trends all over the world, but America can take the cake (no pun intended) on some of the more interesting and beneficial diet trends. Here are six of the most popular:

 

  1. Choosing water over other sugary drinks
  2. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables
  3. Decreasing trans-fat in your diet
  4. NO fast food
  5. Eating a lot of nuts
  6. Consumer fewer calories

 

Many of these "diet hacks" have worked for Americans, helping them improve their lifestyle. The ultimate trick to maintaining a diet is finding one that works continuously for you. If anything, try some of the trends listed and see if there is something that you can stick with.

 

For more information on this topic, read this article http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/30/health/gallery/american-diet-trends/index.html

 

Take the thinking out of meal prep, suggests trainer Brett Hoebel: Find a few fast, healthy recipes for each meal of the day and keep the ingredients on hand.

It's time to put up or shut up. But that doesn't mean you have to go for broke eating healthy. The myth that eating healthy is too costly is just that: a myth. Here's the truth behind the lies about healthy eating and what it will cost you.

When it comes to eating healthy, decision is the ultimate power. Make the decision to lead a healthy lifestyle and become powerful instead of powerless.

The Money

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, "fast food is the cheapest option in my neighborhood," or "I really can't afford to eat healthy right now." The fact is a $2 bag of brown rice, $15 package of chicken and $10 in bulk veggies can feed a family of four for an entire week! This option costs much less than a $4 fast food meal each weeknight (if you can find a fast food meal that cheap these days).

Get real. There are far too many programs, web apps and meal plans that will literally show you how to eat healthy on a budget, so don't knock it until you actually try it!

The Time

"I don't have time," you say? Please … do I really have to list all the screen time on the Internet we use up doing absolutely nothing for our health? Not mention our drive time and leisure time going to waste.

Incorporate planning for meals into your daily routine, and multi-task when you can. Cooking takes up valuable time, so if you are working hard throughout the week, I suggest preparing meals in bulk on a day off, and keeping a go-to list of quick recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner so you can make healthy meals on the go.

The Taste

"These vegetables are bland," It continues to shock me how many people dislike whole foods and exchange them for processed ones. But guess what all of the processed foods try to mimic? The taste of whole foods.

 

Skittles are fruit-flavored, but a natural kiwi, mango, and peach are so tasty without any additives. Tossed vegetables with herbs and olive oil are divine, but we give them up for bland-tasting fried potatoes drenched in ketchup – talk about bland.

Don't believe the hype: Healthy food IS tasty, and unhealthy food is some of the most bland stuff on the planet. That's why the ample amounts of salt, sugar and other additives have to be added to processed foods – they don't have any flavor! So don't get fooled. Taste can be altered. Just take the time to find the best recipes for healthy foods that meet your taste expectations.

Grocery Shopping Tips

• Avoid the white devils – white sugar, white milk, white rice, white salt and white flour.

• Focus on lean, healthy protein like chicken or fish, loads of fruits, veggies and nuts and a huge helping of H2O!

• Stick to brown or wild rice if necessary, and choose almond milk over dairy when you can.

• Use unprocessed, Himalayan salt and a healthy dose of fresh herbs and spices for seasoning.

• Purchase healthy fats like coconut oil, egg and avocado.

The Steps to Eating Healthy at All Costs

1. Skip the four-syllable ingredients: If you can't imagine your breakfast bar growing out of the ground, falling off of a tree or running around in the wild, it probably isn't a whole food! A nutrition label with ingredients you can't pronounce is a processed mess you should avoid. My rule of thumb: three ingredients or less, period.

2. Stay away from packages: A general rule of thumb is the more packaging, the more processed. If you can pick up the piece of produce or have the butcher pass you the meat, you are in good shape. Frozen, dried, canned, bagged or boxed food is usually not whole food. Be very wary of terminology like "all-natural," "natural-tasting," "lite" or "low-calorie." Whole foods don't need a marketing campaign; they're healthy, and you know it.

3. Check the expiration date: If the product doesn't expire until next year and is from a land far, far away, it is likely chock full of nasty preservatives. If it doesn't expire on the shelf for months and months, what makes you think your stomach will easily digest it?

The first step is always the hardest because it takes a few weeks for your body to get used to the new way of eating, and many people have withdraws and cravings in the beginning. Instead of focusing on the food, focus on your positivity and health, and keep smiling. After four weeks of eating healthy, you will become happier and more energized. In twelve weeks, your family and friends will notice the difference and need to know your secret.

You are what you eat. Sound off…

By: Brett Hoebel

Orginal Article: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/essential-tips-eating-healthy-budget-article-1.1528712

To many of my friends, buying organic is more than a supermarket choice. It’s a badge of good parenting. They proclaim “I buy only organic” with the same flush of pride they assume when announcing their child has made the honor roll. As I guiltily follow their lead, I can’t help but wonder whether organic foods have as much of an impact on my family’s health as they do on my wallet.

Health experts and consumers have long debated whether organic foods are more nutritious—and safer—than conventional foods. “This is a controversy that’s been going on for a long time,” says Dr. Michelle Hauser, a certified chef, nutrition educator, and clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

A study released this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine tried to get to the core of this food-fueled debate, but it ultimately may do little to end the controversy. While the study finds that organics do have some safety advantages over conventional foods, nutritionally speaking they have little extra to offer.

The organic rationale

People who buy organic usually cite these reasons for their decision:

  • They’re safer. Fruits and vegetables labeled as organic are generally grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Livestock raised under organic practices aren’t fed antibiotics or growth hormones.
  • They’re kinder to the environment. Organic farming practices are designed to be more sustainable, emphasizing conservation and reducing pollutants.
  • They’re healthier. A few studies have suggested organic foods might be higher in nutrients than their traditional counterparts.

Of these three reasons, the health claims for organic foods have been the most tenuous. To investigate these claims, researchers at Stanford University evaluated nearly 250 studies comparing the nutrients in organic vs. traditional foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, poultry, meat, and eggs), and the health outcomes of eating these foods.

The researchers discovered very little difference in nutritional content, aside from slightly higher phosphorous levels in many organic foods, and a higher omega-3 fatty acid content in organic milk and chicken.

Organic produce did have the slight edge in food safety, with 30% lower pesticide residues than conventional foods. In general, pesticide levels in both organic and non-organic foods were within allowable safety limits. It’s still not clear, though, just what that means to consumers’ health. “Just because these foods aren’t going over what they call an ‘acceptable limit’ doesn’t mean they’re safe for everyone,” Dr. Hauser says. There haven’t been enough studies evaluating pesticide exposure to confirm the health effects, particularly in children and pregnant women, she adds.

Organic chicken and pork were also about a third less likely to contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventionally raised chicken and pork. However, the bacteria that cause food poisoning were equally present in both types of foods.

Should you buy organic?

That’s a decision only you can make based on your family’s needs and wants, and your budget. If you’re buying organic solely for better nutrition, based on this review there’s no evidence you’re gaining any real advantages. But if you’re concerned about pesticides and you can afford organics, it might be worth it to buy them.

For many people, cost is the deciding factor. Organic foods are more expensive—and often significantly more so—than non-organic. A visit to my local supermarket revealed a huge price difference between a half-gallon of non-organic 1% milk ($3.25) and organic milk ($4.59). The same was true for just about every food I compared, from chicken stock ($2.59 vs. $3.59) to nectarines ($1.99 per pound vs. $3.99).

The Annals study won’t lay the “organic is better” argument to rest. However, it should at least relieve some of the guilt many of us feel whenever we steer our shopping cart around the organic produce case.

Organic alternatives

You can still buy organic without overspending by being choosier about the types of organic products you buy. Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases its “Dirty Dozen”—a list of 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest contamination levels. These foods might be worth buying organic, while the “Clean 15″—which are lowest in pesticides—might not justify the extra cost.

Purchasing food raised in farms in your area is another alternative to going organic. It ensures you’re getting the freshest foods at the peak of season. If your neighborhood supermarket doesn’t carry local produce, talk to the manager.

You may also be able to reduce your pesticide exposure from conventional fruits and vegetables by washing them with a mixture of water and mild dishwashing detergent before eating, and by peeling off the outer skin.

By: Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Orginal Article: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/organic-food-no-more-nutritious-than-conventionally-grown-food-201209055264