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Posts Tagged ‘Calories’

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Many things have changed in the American diet since the Nutrition Facts label was introduced 20 years ago.  The Nutrition Facts Label, introduced in 1993, helps consumers make informed choices and maintain dietary practices. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label found on most of the food packages here in the United States.

People today are eating much larger serving sizes than they did years ago.  According to the director of FDA’s Center for Health and Safety and Applied Nutrition, Michael Landa, “Obesity, heart disease and other chronic diseases are leading public health concerns.”  The proposed food label changes plan to bring greater attention to serving size requirements and calories. In addition, the proposed changes include requiring information about “added sugars:”   Many experts recommend consuming fewer calories from added sugars because they can decrease the intake of nutrient-rich foods while increasing caloric intake. Another change proposed is to require manufacturers to declare the amount of potassium and Vitamin D on the label. Calcium and iron would continue to be required; however, Vitamins A and C would now be included on a voluntary basis.

Food serving sizes will get a reality check. The proposed changes include changing the serving sizes requirements to adequately reflect how people actually eat and drink today. In the U.S., serving sizes have changed since they were introduced 20 years ago. By law, the label information will be based on what a typical person actually eats, and not what they “should” be eating. Serving sizes will be more realistic and reflect how MUCH people eat at one time.  Furthermore since package size affects how much a person eats and drinks, under the proposed changes, food packages will be required to label as one serving the amount that is typically eaten at one time.  Currently, the label states the number of servings in the package.  For example in the future, a 20 ounce soft drink that is typically consumed in one sitting would be labeled as one serving.   So, under the changes, both a 12 and a 20 ounce bottle would equal one serving, since people usually drink the entirety of either of those sizes in one sitting. Calories and serving sizes will be more prominent on the newly proposed label. This is highly important in addressing public health concerns for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease for our nation.

Written by: Susan Zies, Ohio State University Extension Educator, zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Cheryl Barber Spires, RD, LD, Ohio State University SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, spires.53@osu.edu

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm387418.htm

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM387431.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/labelingnutrition/ucm385663.htm

 

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Tis the season for chocolate. Most of us love chocolate anytime of the year but from Halloween to Valentine’s Day, chocolate seems to be all around us.Chocolate

Is dark chocolate really good for you? Do the flavanols in chocolate really help you?

Chocolate or cocoa powder does have flavanols. The cocoa bean is a rich source of flavanols which are a group of phytochemicals in food.

However, depending on how the cocoa bean is processed many flavanols can be lost. Flavanols tend to be bitter tasting, so manufacturers roast, ferment, pulverize, and sometimes alkalinize the cocoa bean to improve taste. Thus, it is hard to know how much benefit is in that chocolate piece.

• Consuming a large amount of cocoa flavanols has produced benefits including improved endothelial function (dilation of the artery). This helps blood flow through the arteries and may help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Some promises of lowering blood pressure and improving brain function have been seen with consuming large amounts of chocolate.
• Sorry, but chocolate does not help you lose weight. Studies show the more chocolate you eat the more weight you gain.Cocoa

So, how do you get the benefits of the cocoa bean without gaining a lot of weight? Using or eating cocoa powder is your best source. Two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder will provide you with 200 mg of flavanols and about 20 calories. You could try adding it to your coffee, warm milk, oatmeal or yogurt. That is unsweetened, so if you add sweetener the calorie content will jump. To get 200 mg of flavanols you can choose baking chocolate (unsweetened) providing about 70 calories; 1-1/2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips providing 200 calories or 2 ounces of dark chocolate (at least 65%) with 320 calories. Forget milk chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate syrup as they have few flavanols and lots of calories.

Enjoy chocolate in moderation, yes benefits, but also calories.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County

References:
Schardt, D. [2013]. How bittersweet it is, Nutrition Action HealthLetter, December 2013. 40(10). 8-11.
Zeratsky, K. [2012]. Can chocolate be good for my health? Available at http://mayoclinic.com

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augustblogpizza

In their February 2013 journal, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics took the position supporting the total diet approach, which is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Total diet is defined as “the combination of foods and beverages that provide energy and nutrients and constitute an individual’s complete dietary intake, on average, over time.”

The guidelines emphasize that all foods can be included, in appropriate amounts, in a healthy diet. Yes, this includes carbohydrates, fats, cupcakes, and even ice cream. It is important, however, to understand that although all foods can fit, the bulk of the diet should be largely comprised of nutrient rich foods necessary to meet energy and nutrient requirements (for your requirements, visit www.choosemyplate.gov).my plate

The total diet approach vehemently avoids labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” This tends to create a sense of black and white thinking concerning healthy eating leading to an emphasis placed on individual foods and/or nutrients. Isolating nutrients from their respective foods leads to confusion and frustration.

Researchers have not verified a “magic bullet” for better health, but there is evidence supporting the importance of variety. Eggs are touted as having one of the highest quality proteins, but they lack other nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants found in whole grains. Dairy is a great source of calcium and potassium, but doesn’t contain the Omega-3 fats you’d find in seafood or walnuts. The total diet approach encourages balance such that all nutrients can be obtained in sufficient quantities.

Understand, however, that the total diet approach is not a ticket to eat less healthful foods without reservation. Although all foods can fit, nutrient rich foods should be the foundation of your diet. Nutrient rich foods are those like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Nutrient poor foods (i.e. foods high in saturated fat or trans fat, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages) should be enjoyed in small portions or suggested serving sizes and remain within the recommendations.

Food is an important part of culture and tradition. Removing certain foods or food groups from your life can create a sense of loss and deprivation. The goal is to create an overall eating pattern, which includes your favorite foods that can be sustained over a lifetime. So you can have your cake and eat it too, but be sure the treats remain a treat, and not a staple.

This fall several  County Extension office are  offering a Free, “Live Healthy, Live Well” Fall Kick Off The Pounds Wellness Challenge .This email challenge can help to improve your overall health and well-being and help you with the total diet approach .This on-line challenge is designed to help participants get fit by encouraging regular exercise, nutrition, and wellness tips. Participants will receive weekly e-communications via blogs, Facebook, and email with tips and recipes to help them get fit.  There will be weekly drawings for prizes to encourage wellness- all participants are eligible to win.  Interested in participating in this on-line challenge?  Look for sign up  information coming in future blogs.

Written By: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County and Ryan Leone, Program, Program Assistant, Wood County with IGNITE: Sparking Youth to Create Healthy Communities Project.

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness

Sources:  “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Total Diet Approach to Healthy Eating.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics February (2013): 307-17. Print.

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In 1903, the “chew and spit” diet was the newest craze. In order to lose weight you would chew your food 32 times and then spit it out. The year 1925 brought about an even better diet: the cigarette diet. Not surprisingly, Lucky Strikes was behind the idea to “reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” This led to doctors actually prescribing cigarettes to patients hoping to lose weight.

These diets seem ridiculous to us now. Imagine your doctor today writing you a script to purchase cigarettes. It’s thought provoking. How many insurance companies would cover that? It’s safe to assume these can be classified as fad diets. The trend came and went, just like ripped jeans in the 1980’s and yo-yo’s in the 1990’s.

scale

While these particular fads have passed, fad diets themselves are becoming increasingly popular. Whether trying to fit into those new jeans or your old wedding dress, fad diets are appealing to many people. Offering quick weight loss with minimal effort, it’s no surprise they attract the attention of those hoping to shed a few pounds.

Unfortunately, relying on a quick fix for a lasting problem is a poor approach. While the diet may produce initial results, the effects are typically short lived. Often , fad diets are overly restrictive, commonly eliminating one or more food groups. These diets are not sustainable over a lifetime which will lead to eventual weight regain. If the practice is continued for a lengthy time, it can lead to health complications and nutrient deficiencies (think Ashton Kutcher and his fruitarian diet).

Although it may seem less exciting, the best path to long term health, wellness, and sustainable weight loss can be summed up by author Michael Pollan’s advice: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

This sounds a lot like My Plate. Fruits and vegetables should take up half the plate, one quarter should be whole grains, and lean protein should fill up the remaining quarter. Don’t forget to include a serving of  low-fat dairy as well!

Next time you hear about the best way to lose weight, ask yourself several questions:

  • Does this diet eliminate  food groups?my plate
  • Are there promises of quick and extreme results?
  • Can this way of eating be sustained over a lifetime?

The answers can help you determine whether the next best thing is a path to a healthier life or if you’re “reaching for a Lucky instead of a sweet.”

Sources: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Author: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu and Ryan Leone , Adolescent Obesity Prevention Project Manager,  Ohio State University Extension, County, leone.92@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

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I’m sure you have noticed how large the meals are that we are served when we eat out. Often the amounts we serve ourselves or our families at home are just as oversized as the restaurant portions. How can we control the calories we are eating each day to help us maintain a healthy weight?

One simple helpful tool is to recognize the difference between a “serving” and a “portion”.

A “portion” is the amount of food or beverage a person chooses to eat or drink. A “serving” is a standard amount established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People commonly portion out more than one serving to eat or drink at a time.

For example, a serving of soda is 8 fluid ounces. Sixteen fluid-ounce bottles of soda are common, and many people choose to drink 16 fluid ounces in one sitting. Even though a 16-fluid ounce bottle is commonly viewed as one “portion,” it is actually two servings! Many cups at fast food restaurants are 32 ounces or even 44 ounces. Think how many servings you are having if you refill the cup before you leave?deck of cards

A serving of meat or fish is 3 ounces – about the size of a deck of cards. But the portion that you have on your plate may be 6 – 9 ounces or more!  Now, think of the calories that you are consuming if you eat the “portion” instead of a “serving.”

One 3-4 ounce hamburger has about 330 calories; a 6 – 8 ounce hamburger comes in at about 600 calories!

We know that just 100 extra calories per day could lead to a 10 pound weight gain in one year. It would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes of exercise to burn off the extra calories from the double burger!

Research has shown that if people are given food in larger serving size packages, they are likely to eat the entire package. For example, a 10.5 ounce bag of potato chips contains about 11 one ounce servings (about 13 chips). Each 1 ounce serving gives you 140 calories, 8 grams of fat and 180 mg of sodium. If you multiply those by 11, you are eating 1,540 calories, 88 grams of fat and 1,980 mg of sodium!

It might be helpful it you divided a larger package into individual serving sizes. When you first open the bag, divide the chips into 11 separate baggies and you will be less likely to mindlessly eat the whole bag while watching TV!

To help you visualize how big (or small!) a serving actually is here are some helpful hints using everyday items to determine the size of a serving.

  • A 3 oz. serving of meat, fish and poultry = a deck of cards or the size of a computer mouse
  • 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter =      a ping pong ball
  • 1 ½ oz. cheese = 4 stacked dice
  • ½ cup of ice cream = ½ of  a baseball
  • 1 baked potato = a fist
  • ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or potato = ½ of a baseball

As you can see, a serving is much smaller than the portions we typically put on our plate!  You can download a portion card at: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

Choosemyplate.gov has the following suggestions to help you:

Measure out foods you regularly eat (such as a bowl of cereal) once or twice, to get a sense of how big your typical portion is. Also measure out what 1/2 or 1 cup portion size looks like to help you estimate how much you eat. Don’t forget to check the serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. It describes what the “standard” serving size is, and how many are in the package.

How much we eat each day is just as important as what we are eating.  Be sure to eat nutrient rich foods to supply the calories as part of your daily health plan.  Don’t forget to include some physical activity that you enjoy each day to balance the calories in the foods you are eating.

Written by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Resources:

North Carolina School Nutrition Action Committee, http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/TrendsEffectsSolutions/Texts/RightSizeYourPortions.pdf

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

USDA, Choose My Plate, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/current-consumption.html

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HeartFebruary is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Ohio for both men and women. We can reduce the risk of heart disease by promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. One key to heart health is eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Choose foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Eating a well-balanced diet includes a combination of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. To celebrate Heart Month, take the time to evaluate your diet to make sure you are eating heart healthy foods.

Heart Healthy Foods
• Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta
• Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach & red bell peppers
• Fruits: oranges, blueberries, red grapes, cantaloupe, papaya
• Beans: red, black or kidney beans
• Omega-3 fatty acids: tuna, salmon, olive oil, flax seed
• Nuts: almonds or walnuts

This baked oatmeal recipe is a good source of fiber, fruit and calcium. This recipe is a great make ahead treat to reheat for a quick healthy breakfast or snack. It also is great to serve for overnight guests.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Servings 4-6
2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 ½ cups fat free milk or soymilk
2 egg whites
¼ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted margarine
1 ½ cups diced apple

Optional Toppings:
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, applesauce, margarine, and cinnamon together.
3. In a larger bowl combine the oats and baking powder. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the oats and mix well. Gently stir in diced apples. Pour oatmeal mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until top is firmed and a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Add additional toppings to baked oatmeal if desired. Also, you may refrigerate and reheat for use later. Make a big batch on Sunday to use as a healthy breakfast all week long!
Nutritional Facts: 1 square equals 160 calories, 3 g fat, 80 mg. sodium, 4 g protein, 3 g fiber, 30 g total carbohydrate
Start today to take better care of your heart health by including heart healthy foods, exercising and promoting a healthy lifestyle!
Written by: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD, LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator

Reviewed by:
Carolyn W. Gunther, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Extension State Specialist, Ohio State University
Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D. Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension
Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

Sources:
Be one in a million this American Heart Health Month. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/healthstats/vitalstats/deathstat.aspx

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/apple-cinnamon-baked-oatmeal/

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ChooseMyPlate

ChooseMyPlate

As we begin a new year, we often reflect on the past year and what we hoped to accomplish.  Perhaps we are happy with our outcomes or maybe we see areas for improvement.  Each year always brings many New Year Resolutions.  When I managed a health and wellness center at a university, our memberships soared in January.  The facility was crowded the first part of the year but by springtime it leveled out and included the regulars and a few who established the health habit of working out.Many of us start the New Year with the motivation to get healthy this year.   Did your physician make health recommendations for you?  Did they say?

  • Lose 20 Pounds!
  • Eat more Veggies and Fruits?
  • Reduce your Stress?
  • Move More and Increase your Physical Activity.
  • Reduce the Sodium in your Diet.
  • Drink more Water.
  • .     .     .

Many times we know health and wellness areas that we can improve.   One of the best things you can do to start on your road to health is to set goals using the SMART method.

Set A SMART Goal

Set A SMART Goal

How do I set a SMART goal?  Make sure your goal contains all of these components:

S              Specific

M            Measurable

A             Action-Oriented and Attainable

R             Realistic

T              Time Specific

Let’s take water for an example.  You want to drink more water and this is your first wellness goal.  One of the most important things you can do to achieve success is to write your goal down.

My Wellness Goal:   By February 1, I will drink 5 glasses of water per day at least 6 days each week.

By setting this goal, I have covered the following components:

Specific – drinking more water (5 glasses) per day for at least 6 days each week.

Measurable- I am able to count the number of glasses of water I consume.  (Keep track on a log, calendar or your phone).

Action-Oriented and Attainable- setting the goal of drinking 5 glasses of water encourages me to increase my water intake at a reasonable level.  If I decided to go from drinking 2 glasses of water to 8 glasses, it might not be as easy to attain.

Realistic- setting the goal of 5 glasses of water is a reasonable goal.

Time Specific - one month to achieve this goal helps me to establish a new habit.

Don’t know where to begin?  The 2010 Dietary Guidelines set consumer messages that focus on three different areas.  Perhaps you will select one of these areas and write a SMART goal to help you make the changes.

Action Oriented Consumer Messages from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines:

Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose      the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

How do you get started?

Decide on your first wellness goal for the year.  Make it reasonable, specific, action oriented, time specific and measurable (SMART).  Once you’ve achieved this goal, continue this behavior and add a new goal.  Perhaps the next goal will be a little harder to achieve such as reducing stress in your life.   Look at the specific stressors in your life and explore ways to reduce stress.  How can you add balance to your life? Go through the same process and make this goal a SMART goal.  Remember that it takes time and effort to make wellness changes in your life and that every change does add up.  Here’s to your improved health!

Sources:

www.choosemyplate.gov

Setting a Goal.  (2011). Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu/news/2011/09/setting-a-goal/

Vig, T.  (2009). How to Set Achievable Wellness Goals.  Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://www.unm.edu/~market/cgi-bin/archives/004615.html

Writer:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu

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