Healthy Eating

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Healthy Eating : 

Healthy Eating USDA Food Pyramid; Common Diet Myths; Your Caloric Intake; Fat Substitutions & Simple Summer Drinks

USDA Food Pyramid : 

USDA Food Pyramid

Grain Group : 

Grain Group Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products. Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel -- the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include: whole-wheat flour bulgur (cracked wheat) oatmeal whole cornmeal brown rice Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are: white flour de-germed cornmeal white bread white rice Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains.

Vegetables : 

Vegetables Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Fruits : 

Fruits Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.

Fats : 

Fats Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Foods that are mainly oil include mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, and soft (tub or squeeze) margarine with no trans fats. Check the Nutrition Facts label to find margarines with 0 grams of trans fat. Amounts of trans fat will be required on labels as of 2006. Many products already provide this information. Most oils are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. Oils from plant sources (vegetable and nut oils) do not contain any cholesterol. In fact, no foods from plants sources contain cholesterol.A few plant oils, however, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil, are high in saturated fats and for nutritional purposes should be considered to be solid fats.

Dairy : 

Dairy All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group, while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Most milk group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.

Protein : 

Protein All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of this group. Dry beans and peas are part of this group as well as the vegetable group. Most meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry.

Diet Myths : 

Diet Myths Myth No. 1: Don't Eat After 8 p.m. The theory: You burn up the food you eat earlier in the day, while late-night calories sit in your system and turn into fat.The reality: Calories can't tell time. Your body digests and uses calories the same way morning, noon, and night- Mary Flynn, Ph.D., a research dietitian at the Miriam Hospital, in Providence. The best advice: If you often unwind before bed with a bowl of ice cream or buttered popcorn, try cutting the snack out. The calories saved may be enough for you to lose a few pounds a year. Night eaters tend to overeat (which leads to weight gain no matter when it's done) because often they've been skimping during the day and come home famished. Being so hungry that you grab whatever is at hand means you're more likely to make poor choices.

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Myth No. 2: Eating Small, Frequent Meals Boosts Your Metabolism The theory: If you keep adding small amounts of food to your fire (the fire being your metabolism), you will keep it going strong and burn more calories overall. The reality: Food intake has a negligible effect on metabolism. Some foods, including those with caffeine, may slightly and temporarily increase metabolism, but the effect is too small to help you lose weight. What most affects your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories at rest, is body composition and size. More muscles and bigger bodies generally burn more calories overall. The best advice: Build up your muscles. A pound of fat-free tissue burns about 14 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just two to three calories.

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Myth No. 3: Pasta Makes You Fat  The theory: When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugars, which are then stored as fat.The reality: Carbohydrates per se don't make you fat; extra calories do, whether you eat them in the form of carbs, fats, or protein. Besides, carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are important parts of a healthy diet. In short, the problem isn't pasta but the sheer volume consumed. The best advice: Pasta in moderation is fine. Dietitians recommend two or three ounces of uncooked noodles per person―or half of a one-pound box to serve a family of four. This may look like a puny amount, but try thinking of pasta as an ingredient, rather than as the basis of a dish. Make your pasta―or bread or rice or cereal―whole-grain, which has more vitamins and minerals than white pasta. You'll also be getting fiber, which helps you feel full.

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Myth No. 4: Coffee Can Help You Lose Weight The theory: The caffeine in coffee acts as an appetite suppressant and a metabolism booster.The reality: While coffee may temporarily squelch your appetite, drinking a couple of cups a day won't have enough of an effect to help you lose weight. Besides, pouring too much coffee into your system―drinking, say, four to seven cups a day―may lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.The best advice: Enjoy a cup or two of coffee (or tea) every day, if you please. Just be sure that if you add anything to the brew―like cream, sugar, or cocoa powder―you take those calories into account. For example, a 16-ounce Starbucks Café Mocha can contain a whopping 330 calories (60 more than some chocolate bars). What's more, those calories might not make you feel as full as the same number of calories eaten in solid form.

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Myth No. 4: Going on a Diet Is the Best Way to Lose Weight The theory: Switching to a prescriptive plan temporarily is the smartest way to drop pounds.The reality: Short-term, you do lose weight on any plan that results in your eating fewer calories. But temporary changes don't lead to permanent losses. You need to make a Lifestyle change. The best advice: Don't go on a "diet"―a quick fix that begins on New Year's Day or before bathing-suit season. Instead, change the way you eat. Find a satisfying eating plan that you can live with long-term, and make sure you're eating the right amount of calories for weight loss. Then, when you've taken off some weight, don't go back to eating as much as you did before you cut calories.

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Myth No. 5: To Lose Weight, You Need to Cut Calories Drastically The theory: Eat much less; weigh much less.The reality: Sure, if you subsist on 1,200 calories a day, you'll take off weight, but it won't be for long. Consider an analysis of 31 studies of long-term diets, where the diets averaged 1,200 calories a day. The report, published last April in American Psychologist, found that within four to five years, the majority of dieters in these studies regained the weight they had lost. "Psychologically, it's difficult for people to adhere to strict diets over a long period because they feel deprived and hungry," says Traci Mann, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, and the lead author of the report. "Also, our bodies are brilliant at keeping us alive when we try to starve them." Your body becomes more efficient at using the calories you consume, so you need fewer to survive. In addition, people who are put on a very-low-calorie diet (800 calories a day) have an increased risk of developing gallstones and digestive issues.The best advice: Don't starve yourself. If you want to lose weight and keep it off forever, you need a modest calorie restriction that you simply continue and never stop.

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And Your Number Is… You exercise: Almost neverMultiply your current weight by: 12You exercise: Lightly, one to three days a weekMultiply your current weight by: 13.5You exercise: Moderately, three to five days a weekMultiply your current weight by: 15.5You exercise: Vigorously, six to seven days a weekMultiply your current weight by: 17You exercise: Vigorously, daily, and you have a physical jobMultiply your current weight by: 19 Caloric Intake

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Myth No. 7: Eating Fat Makes You Fat The theory: Fat has nine calories per gram, whereas carbs and protein have only four per gram, so to lose weight you have to avoid fat.The reality: Fat is not the enemy. Although fat-laden products can be full of calories, a modest amount of fat may help you feel full (so you eat less overall) and make healthy foods, like vegetables, taste better (so you may eat more of them). The best advice: Eat fat, but don't go overboard. And think about which fats you do eat, as some are better for you than others. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in liquid oils such as canola, safflower, and olive; most nuts; and fish. These fats don't raise blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The fats to limit or avoid are saturated fats, found mainly in beef and dairy products, and trans fats, which are in a lot of packaged foods, fried fast foods, and margarine. These are no more caloric than the good fats, but they are less healthful, as they increase the risk of heart disease.

Low Fat Summer Drinks : 

Low Fat Summer Drinks Sangria Sparkler Sharing a pitcher of sangria with friends is a great way to kick off summer. Sliced oranges are a traditional addition to this refreshing Spanish beverage. With their bright red flesh, blood oranges give extra impact. Prep: 10 minutesChill: 2 hours Makes: 12 servings 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine1 cup light orange juice1/4 cup brandy or cognac1/4 cup orange liqueur2 tablespoons sugar2 medium oranges, sliced2 cups club soda, chilled Crushed ice and/or orange peel curls (optional) 1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, orange liqueur, sugar, and orange slices. Chill at least 2 hours. Add club soda before serving. Serve over crushed ice and/or with orange peel curls, if desired. Nutrition Information per serving: 100 calories, 0g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Enhance a regular blended margarita recipe with a can of frozen limeade, which adds extra citrus flavor. Prefer something sweeter? Make a batch of strawberry margaritas with fresh summer strawberries. Start to Finish: 10 minutes Makes: 10 servings 12-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate2/3 cup tequila1/2 cup light orange juice or orange liqueur4 cups ice cubes1/2 of a medium limeCoarse saltOrange slices (optional) 1. In a blender container combine limeade concentrate, tequila, and orange juice. Cover and blend until combined. With blender running, add ice cubes, one at a time, through opening in lid, blending until mixture becomes slushy. 2. Cut a thick lime slice; cut slice in half. Rub slices around rims of eight glasses. Dip rims into a dish of coarse salt to coat rims. Pour mixture into prepared glasses. Garnish glasses with orange slices, if desired. Nutrition Information per serving: 122 calories, 0g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber Strawberry Margaritas: Prepare as above, except blend half of the mixture at a time adding 1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries along with 2 cups of the ice cubes. Repeat with remaining mixture, 1 cup additional frozen strawberries, and remaining 2 cups ice cubes. Continue as directed, substituting coarse sugar for the salt on the glasses. If desired, garnish each glass with a whole strawberry. Make-ahead directions: Prepare as above through Step 1. Pour into a 1-1/2-quart freezer container. Cover and freeze overnight. To serve, use a large spoon to scrape across frozen surface and pile into salt-rimmed glasses. Frozen Lime Margaritas

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Pomegranate Martinis Flavored martinis have gone the way of the pom'. Pomegranate syrup can be found in the coffee or baking aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. Prove you're the best hostess by offering all three flavor options -- pomegranate, orange, and apple -- to your guests. Start to Finish: 10 minutes Makes: 8 servings 1/2 of a medium orange, cut into wedgesSugar1 1/2 cups vodka or gin1/3 cup pomegranate syrup (grenadine)3 tablespoons dry vermouthIce cubesSmall pomegranates (optional) 1. Rub orange wedges around rims of 8 martini glasses. Invert glasses into a dish of sugar to coat rims; set glasses aside. In a small pitcher, combine the vodka, pomegranate syrup, and vermouth. Place ice cubes in a martini shaker. For each drink, add 1/4 cup of the syrup mixture; shake. Strain into one of the prepared martini glasses. Garnish with a small pomegranate, if desired. Nutrition Information per serving: 146 calories, 0g protein, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber Orange Martinis: Prepare as above, except use 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, in place of the syrup. Omit garnish. Apple Martinis: Prepare as above except use 1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, in place of the syrup. Garnish with fresh orange peel curls.

Fat and Calorie Claims : 

Fat and Calorie Claims You might think you’re being lied to…. Fat Claims Fat-free: less than 0.5g fat/serving and /reference amount Low-fat: 3g or less fat/reference serving size Reduced or less fat: 25% or less fat/serving than regular (full fat) product Percent fat free: Based on 100g, when product meets the definition of low fat or is 100% fat free, claim can be made when a product meets the definition of fat free and contains no added fat For meat, poultry, seafood and game meats: Lean: less than 10g fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol/reference serving and /100g Extra Lean: less than 5g fat, less than 2g saturated fat and less than 95 mg cholesterol/reference serving and /100g Calorie Claims Calorie-free: less than 5 calories/serving and /reference amount Low-calorie: 40 or less calories/reference serving size Reduced or fewer calories: 25% or less calories/serving than regular product Calorie and Fat Claims Light: 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2 the fat of the reference food. (If the food derives 50% or more of its calories from fat, the fat must be reduced by 50%.)

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Fruit Purees Applesauce and other fruit purees can be used to replace all of the fats in most baked goods, and at least 1/2 the fat in cookies. Good substitutions include: Applesauce – most cakes, muffins, gingerbread, cookies Mashed bananas – chocolate cakes, spice cakes, muffins, other quick breads Pureed peaches – spice cakes, muffins Pureed pears – coffee cakes, quick breads Pureed prunes – spice cakes, muffins, scones, chocolate cakes, coffee cakes, crumb crusts, brownies, cookies Use 1/2 as much of the fruit puree as the total amount of fat called for in the recipe and then if the mixed batter looks dry, add a little more of the substitute. The exception is recipes that call for oil. In this case, substitute 3/4 as much of the fat replacer. Cooking Substitutions:

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Mashed Vegetables Cooked mashed squashes (such as pumpkin) or sweet potatoes can be used to replace all or a portion of the fat in most baked goods, and at least 1/2 the fat in cookies. Use 3/4 as much of the vegetable puree as the total amount of fat called for in the recipe (or the same amount if the required fat is oil) and then if the batter looks dry, add a little more of the substitute. Mashed squashes and sweet potatoes are particularly good in muffins, quick breads, gingerbread, fruit cakes and other dense cakes, and bars, especially if the recipe calls for cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cloves.

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Fat-Free Dairy Products Fat-free buttermilk or yogurt can be used to replace all the fat in most baked goods and at least 1/2 that in cookies. Dairy substitutes are particularly good in muffins, quick breads, cakes, chocolate baked goods, biscuits, and scones. Use 1/2 as much of the substitute as the total amount of fat called for in the recipe (or 3/4 if the recipe calls for oil) and then if the batter looks dry, add a little more of the substitute.

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Sweet Fat Substitutes Jam, apple butter, prune butter, corn syrup, honey, chocolate syrup, molasses, and fruit juice concentrates can replace all the fat in many baked goods, as well as in sweet crumb toppings and crusts, and at least 1/2 the fat in cookies. Good substitutes include: Apple butter – bran muffins, spice cakes Chocolate syrup – all chocolate treats Corn syrup – most baked goods Fruit jam – muffins Fruit juice concentrates – carrot cake, fruit crisp crumb toppings (juices don’t work as well in scones or biscuits) Honey – muffins, cookies, scones, biscotti, oat bars Maple syrup – muffins, spice cakes, quick breads Molasses – quick breads, spice cakes, muffins, oat bars, certain cookies (spicy, whole wheat, or oatmeal) Prune butter – spicy muffins, cakes, quick breads Use 3/4 as much of the substitute as the total amount of fat called for in the recipe if using a liquid sweetener such as honey, 1/2 as much if using a thicker sweetener such as apple butter. Exceptions include fruit juice (use 1/2 as much) and converting recipes that call for oil (use an equal amount). Reduce sugar by the same amount as the sweetener added.

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Low-Fat Butter and Margarine Reduced-fat margarine and butter can be used in place of their high-fat counterparts to cut the total fat content in most baked goods including pie crusts, cookies, and crumb toppings. However, if using margarine, be sure to choose one that does not contain hydrogenated fats. When replacing full-fat butter or margarine with low-fat variants, use 3/4 the amount called for in the recipe.

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Converting High-Fat Recipes to Fat-Free Choose recipes that are more likely to maintain their textures when converted to low-fat or fat-free. Muffins, quick breads, dense cakes (i.e., carrot, chocolate, spice), and cookies that contain oats or other whole grains tend to convert well. Light, fluffy, tender cakes may not be as adaptable, though it is still possible to cut some of the fat without ruining them. With refined flour cookies, replacing just 1/2 the fat is recommended, as removing all of it may make them cakey or rubbery. Add fat substitutes with the liquid ingredients rather than creaming them with the sugar (except for reduced-fat butter or margarine). When eliminating fats from fluffy cakes, to replace air lost from creaming, whip egg whites and fold them into the batter gently. Fat-free recipes often require a shorter baking time and lower oven temperature than their high-fat counterparts. Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and test for doneness earlier than the recipe requires. If converting a recipe from high-fat to fat-free causes the baked goods to become coarse or tough, next time the recipe is made, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of soy lecithin granules to improve the texture. This will add 4-8 grams of fat, but only 1-2 will be saturated fat, and the overall fat content of the baked goods will still be quite low. Soy lecithin, a by-product of soy oil production, is available at many health food stores.

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