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Posts Tagged ‘healthy choices’

Grocery store shelfAre you being tricked at the grocery store? Are you sure products you are buying really are as healthy as they claim?

Many consumers are tricked by words on the label and ingredients in food into making choices which cost more money but may not be the healthiest choices. Watch out for these tricks of the trade by companies:

• Companies add vitamins and minerals to junk food or plain water. Thus, junk food appears healthier. Skip expensive waters and drink plain water. If you need vitamins and minerals take a daily vitamin pill.

• Companies use flavorings, colorings and other ingredients to create fake berries or other fruit. Check ingredients to make sure real fruit is in the product.
• Colorings and flavorings are also used in beverage drinks so you will pay more and not realize you are not getting fruit or very little fruit. Read labels to find and buy only 100% juices.

• Monosodiumglutate and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are used so companies can skimp on the real food. These usually help with meaty flavors. Check ingredients to avoid or limit these.

• Transglutaminase (enzyme) allows companies to put some pieces of meat together so it appears as a larger steak. Make sure your steak is one piece of meat.

• Companies want you to drink more soda so they add caffeine as it is mildly addictive. Drink water.

• Carotenoid Colorings such as canthaxanthin and astaxanthin are added to make farmed salmon pinker, so it looks more like expensive wild salmon. Check the ingredients or ask if “wild caught” or “farmed.”

Beware of some words such as “real, fresh, simple, premium and artisanal. “ These words do not have defined meanings in the food industry.

Real conveys the image of no fake or chemical ingredients. However, real doesn’t have to be chemical-free or not be processed food.

Fresh does not have a time period associated with it according to the Food and Drug Administration. Fresh means the food cannot have been frozen or preserved.

Simple can have multiple meanings. We think it means less processed and less ingredients. However, the food can include sugar and fat as part of the ingredients.

Premium is another word that does not have a meaning. It can trick you into thinking you are getting a better product or deal than you are.

Artisanal conveys the image of handcrafted baked goods and cheeses. Many grocery store products labeled “artisanal” are not produced by small-batch producers and may have many ingredients only used by larger producers. Check the ingredient lists.

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

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Wood County

References:

Jacobson, M. [2014]. Food Safety: Learn More about Food Additives with this Helpful Infographic What are additives used for and which should you avoid? Downloaded from Nutrition Action.Com Downloaded at http://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/food-safety/food-safety-learn-more-about-food-additives-with-this-helpful-infographic/?mqsc=E3775989&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=Nutrition_Action_Daily_Tips+Nutrition%20Action%20Daily&utm_campaign=2014.07.19%20Daily%20Tip:%20Food%20Safety

Consumer Reports, [2014]. Consumer Reports: New food label gotchas, Downloaded at http://articles.courant.com/2014-07-12/business/hc-ls-consumer-reports-food-gotchas-20140712_1_new-food-label-consumer-reports-food-packaging

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water 2What do you, a tree and a hamster have in common?

You all need water! All living things need water to survive whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage!

How many of you think of a nice, cold glass of water when you need to quench your thirst? Whether we are indoors or out – we need to remember to keep our bodies hydrated and water should be the first thing we reach for. Your body is about 60% water and constantly needs to be replenished. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly.

  • Why water? Well, water does a great job in helping to keep our bodies hydrated without adding any sugar, caffeine or other substances
  • How much? You’ve probably heard for years that we all need 8 glasses of water every day – for a total of 64 ounces. Researchers have pointed out that the need for fluid can vary widely among individuals.
  • Does it have to be “plain” water? No, there are many ways to dress up the taste of a glass of water. A fairly common way to flavor the water is to add fruit or vegetable slices – lemons, strawberries, cucumber, etc. You can also add herbs to the water for refreshing drinks. Try a sprig of mint for a refreshing change of taste!
  • Can it help me lose weight? That is a possibility! If you drink a full glass of water before your meal, you may trick your brain into thinking that you are full sooner!       Also, if you substitute water for high calories drinks, you are helping control the number of calories your body is taking in each day.
  • Don’t always rely on your body to tell you that you need some water. When you are hot and sweaty, your thirst mechanism can shut off and you don’t know that you need some fluids. . If our bodies become dehydrated it can lead to physical and mental problems.
  • While water is the best source of fluids for your body, don’t forget that you can count all of the fluids you drink during the day. Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat have high water contents – try watermelon, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and celery.
  • Try to keep track of how much water you drink during a typical day. Aiming for the 8 glasses is not a bad thing – just remember that the amount your body needs will vary with your activity level, your body size and the temperature if you are outside and other factors.

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

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Treber.1@osu.edu

 

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/feel-your-best-with-water

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

How Much Water Do You Really Need? Health and Nutrition Newsletter: Tufts University. July 2014. Volume 32, No.5

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SunburnOuch!  You didn’t think you were out in the sun that long.  What happened?  Now, your skin is red and really hurts.  What do you do?

•First get out of the sun and indoors, if possible.

•Put a towel dampened in cold water on your skin. Change the towel every 10 to 15 minutes. This will help remove some of the heat out of your skin. You can also take a cool shower or bath. Just gently pat your skin dry, leaving some water on your skin.

•To help relieve dryness of the skin you can apply a moisturizer with aloe vera or soy. This will help trap the water in your skin. Aloe vera has a soothing action on the skin. However, be careful with lotions and creams as those containing petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine should not be used. Petroleum products can trap heat in your skin and make you more uncomfortable. Benzocaine and lidocaine can irritate your skin. Hydrocortisone cream may help if you have an area that feels especially uncomfortable.

•You can take an over the counter pain reliever to help reduce discomfort, swelling, and redness. Don’t use home remedies as these can slow or prevent healing.

•Drink extra water. Being sunburned dries you out so you need to drink extra water to prevent dehydration.

•Don’t pop blisters. Popping blisters can make your sunburn worse. If you have blisters you have a second-degree sunburn. Blisters protect you from infection if you allow them to heal naturally and don’t pop them. If they do pop on their own, apply an antibacterial ointment in the area.

•If you feel dizzy, weak, sick to your stomach, cold, itchy, feverish, or if you develop a rash or are just not feeling well, you should seek medical help. These symptoms signal the sunburn may be making you really sick, or you may be very dehydrated and need medical attention. Heat exhaustion is also a possibility requiring medical attention.Sun hat and applying sun screen

•Be careful until your sunburn heals. Skin healing from a sunburn can easily burn again in the sun. Wear sunscreen and additionally protect your skin with tightly-woven clothing in dark or medium colors.

Sunburns cause damage to your skin which can last for some time. Sunburns increase your risk of skin cancer in the future. Protect your skin with a 30 SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen when going outside and reapply every two hours. Learn and follow other sun safety tips.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Reviewer: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

References:
American Academy of Dermatology, (2014). Treating Sunburn, Available at http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/for-kids/about-skin/skin-cancer/treating-sunburn

Mayo Clinic, (2012). Sunburn: First Aid, Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-sunburn/basics/art-20056643

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Smoothies continue to be a popular treat at restaurants; although special equipment is promoted to make them it is not necessary. While we think of them as a tasty way to increase our dairy and fruit consumption, they can also be a wonderful way to slide in a few vegetables. Yes, I said “vegetables”!

The perk with smoothies is you can add things that people may not usually think they like – yogurt or kale – and your children (or picky spouse or co-worker) won’t even know they are there. Vegetables that work well in smoothies are spinach, kale, steamed broccoli, romaine lettuce, cucumber, peeled avocado, and carrots. Using low fat dairy, skim milk and lite yogurt, a smoothie can provide calcium and protein in addition to the vitamins and fiber in vegetables and fruits.

Smoothie Tips:

  • While special smoothie machines aren’t necessary, a blender with a tight fitting lid is a must.green smoothie
  • To prevent damage to your blender, always use 1 cup of liquid, either skim or almond milk, or fruit juice.
  • Add a 6 ounce container of light yogurt, vanilla blends well with any combination, but all types work.
  • Choose your washed and chopped vegetable from the list above and add ½ to 1 cup. Remove stems from leafy veggies and add up to 2 cups.
  • Add 1 to 1 ½ cups assorted fruits like – bananas, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pears, pineapple, peaches, or kiwi. To prepare fruit – wash and chop into smaller pieces for even blending. Freezing fruit ahead will give an icy consistency without the work on your blender of breaking up ice.
  • If you want to add ice – limit the amount to 4 cubes or no more than ½ cup.
  • Blend until smooth without over-blending. Vanilla extract and a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg can be a tasty addition.

To make a green monster smoothie blend: kale, grapes, yogurt, skim milk, and bananas.

Smoothies can be a fun snack for families to make together, just supervise blending and limit servings to about 1 cup.

Sources:

University of Maryland Extension, http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/Green%20Smoothie.pdf.

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/smoothies_a_healthy_alternative .

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County.

Reviewer: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Fayette County.

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Girls Spraying Each Other While Washing Dog

We have officially started summer with the Memorial Day Weekend! The weather was beautiful in our part of Ohio and after weeks of cloudy, rainy cold weather, we were all ready to be outside and enjoy the warm sun. This is a good time to remind ourselves how to be safe while having fun in the sun!

We often think about the dangers from too much sun. Much is written about using sunscreen, limiting time out during the hottest part of the day, etc. We sometimes forget to also protect ourselves and our children from excessive heat.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has great advice for us:

  • Drink more fluids. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Keep a bottle of water close by at all times.
  • Don’t drink liquids with lots of sugar or alcohol – they can actually cause you to loose body fluid.
  • Some medications can cause dehydration, check with your doctor or pharmacist and follow advice about sun and heat exposure.
  • Infants, young children and the elderly are more sensitive to excessive heat and sun exposure. Be sure and limit their time spent outside on hot, sunny days.
  • If the heat is excessive, try to stay in an air-conditioned place. Electric fans can help but once the temperature reaches 90°, fans do not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Wear light weight, light colored clothing.
  • You might want to carry a water bottle mister or keep a wet washcloth in your cooler for instant relief from the heat!
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning or evening hours if possible. Between 10 am and 4 pm the sun is its strongest.
  • Try to rest in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

The American Cancer Society provides a sun-safety quiz (http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/quizzes/app/sun-safety-quiz)

Take a few minutes to take their quiz and see how sun smart you are!

So, enjoy being outside in the sun and heat, but be smart…protect yourself and those in your care so that everyone has a happy, healthy summer!

 

Writer: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

Sources:

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/besafeinthesun/index

http://www.extension.org/pages/32345/playing-it-safe-in-the-summer-heat-sun

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.asp

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Have you started wearing your shorts? Are you white legs showing? We are happy to have the warmer temperatures but having very pale legs can make some people feel self-conscious. We know we should not use tanning bedsSunless Tanner but how about the sunless tanning products?

Sunless tanning products are recommended by the American Academy of Dermatologists. But are they safe? The most common ingredient in sunless tanning lotions is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This is a color additive approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for external application on the skin. DHA has not been approved to be applied to areas near the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid these areas when applying. DHA comes from sugar and when it is rubbed on the skin it produces a golden brown color. The reaction is much like a peach turning brown when exposed to the air. The color usually fades in 7-10 days.

No clear evidence has appeared indicating DHA is harmful as long as it is applied externally as directed on the container. Self-tanning sprays carry some concerns to risk of inhalation and ingestion of which neither is recommended. If using spray tanning products you should wear protective gear for your eyes, nose and mouth protecting the mucous membranes.

Shopping for a sunless tanner
Look for products containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as an active ingredient. Most preparations contain 3-5 percent DHA. Avoid products that do not contain DHA as they may be a tan accelerator or contain skin irritants. Self tanning products are available in lotions, creams, sprays, and towels or wipes.

Applying sunless tanners
To achieve even coverage from your sunless tanner follow these steps:
1. Exfoliate. Using an exfoliating soap or rub will help remove dead skin cells, especially rub ankles, knees and elbows.
2. Make sure skin is dried off before you start to apply the sunless tanners.
3. Apply to your body in sections. Apply to your legs, then your arms and then torso. Apply in a circular motion to achieve uniform color. Lightly apply to areas from the ankles to the feet and wrists to the hands. You should not apply tanner on your soles of your feet or the palms of your hands. Wash and dry your hands after applying to each section of your body.
4. Dilute sunless tanner on joints. Your knees, ankles and elbows tend to absorb more tanning solution, so lightly rub these areas with a damp cloth or apply some moisturizing lotion.
5. Allow at least 10 minutes to dry before you get dressed. Wearing loose clothing and avoiding sweating for the next three hours will help you have better results.

The American Academy of Dermatology has a YouTube video on applying sunless tanners check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqpGvQwTaao

Sunless tanners do not protect you from Ultraviolet light, so apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least at 30, before you go out in the sun.

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

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fairfield County, Heart of Ohio EERA

References:
American Academy of Dermatology, [2012]. Dermatologists give young adults something to tweet about: tanning is out, American Academy of Dermatology. Available at http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/dermatologists-give-young-adults-something-to-tweet-about-tanning-s-out
Bank, D. [2014]. Ask the expert: Can sunless tanners cause cancer? Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/news/tanning/study-finds-sunless-tanning-deters-uv-tanning
Mayo Clinic Staff, [2013]. Sunless tanning is a practical alternative to sunbathing. Find out how sunless tanning products work, including possible risks and how to get the best results. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/sunless-tanning/art-20046803
Palm, M., [2014]. Ask the expert: Are self-tanners safe? Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/can-sunless-tanners-cause-cancer
Skin Cancer Foundation, [2014]. Study finds sunless tanning temporality deters UV tanning. Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/news/tanning/study-finds-sunless-tanning-deters-uv-tanning

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IMG_0692

If you are at all like me, you were anxious to get outside last weekend and enjoy the beginnings of spring! Whether you took a long walk, rode your bike or spent some time cleaning up your yard after a long hard winter, you can probably fill in the blank above with “Back”, ‘Legs”, “Neck”, etc.

It is amazing how muscles and joints that we don’t normally even think about can suddenly command our attention. The soreness and stiffness that we sometimes experience can make us hesitant to jump back into these activities again – but don’t give up! Learning more about preventing and treating sore muscles and aching joints will allow you to continue with the activities you enjoy.

There are several causes for sore muscles. It might be doing an activity that you are not used to or suddenly increasing the intensity of an activity. These changes can cause microdamage to the muscle fibers and connective tissue. It usually doesn’t hurt right away but about a day later you may start feeling sore. The good news is that it will ease in a day or two and the next time you do the activity, your muscles will start to get used to the movement and will become stronger and you’ll become less sore.

Pain in your joints is often a sign of osteoarthritis. The cartilage that cushions the joints wears away and can lead to increased pain with use of that joint. Pain can be caused by overuse or injury.

One way to help prevent sore muscles is through stretching. It is important to stretch properly.

Here are some stretching tips:

  • Stretching should never be painful but should cause your muscle to feel comfortably stretched but never distressed.
  • Take your time and ease into each stretch.
  • Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and perform the stretch three times.
  • Breathe naturally when you are stretching – never hold your breath!

Always consult your physician before any type of physical activity – including stretching.

If you do have a sore muscle, most experts recommend using ice wrapped in a thin towel for immediate relief. This will help reduce inflammation then you can use heat later to increase blood flow to the area. Heat is often helpful for joint pain.

So, go outside, enjoy the warm spring weather that has finally arrived. But remember, ease into new activities to avoid the aches and pains!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

Sources: Managing Sore Muscles and Joint Pain.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/art- sore-muscles-joint-pain

Stretching and Flexibility as We Age

http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/0171.html

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Are you eating wheat products?  Lately, the news has included many stories on how wheat is bad for you causing abdominal fat, triggering diseasewheat and breads, and being linked with Alzheimer’s, headaches, depression and others.

If all that is true why is wheat recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by nutrition experts and American Heart Association?   Isn’t it a part of the Mediterranean Diet which is highly recommended by nutrition professionals.

Does wheat contribute to abdominal fat or belly fat?  High consumption of refined grains has been associated with greater belly fat in studies.  However, lower belly fat has been associated with the consumption of eating whole grains including whole wheat.  Thus, whole grains including whole wheat do not seem to be the problem.  The problem is our consumption of refined grains.  Cutting out processed foods made with refined wheat (wheat flour, white flour, enriched wheat flour, all-purpose flour) and loaded with sugar and saturated fat will help us all avoid or limit the “wheat belly.”   Limit your consumption of cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, and white bread.

So what about the other charges on mental effects?  Research has shown that both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet lower the risk of dementia.  Both diets include consumption of whole grains including whole wheat.  Following those diets showed better cognitive ability in adults ages 65 and up over a period of 11 years.  It is true higher glucose levels from too many carbohydrates is a risk factor for dementia, but cutting out all carbohydrates is not the answer either.  Our brain needs glucose (Carbohydrates break down to glucose in our body.) for energy as it does not store glucose.  Thus, diets low in carbohydrates can hurt our thinking and memory.

Again, it is important to eat whole grains.  Whole grains including whole wheat can provide the glucose needed for our brain.   Whole grains including whole wheat breaks down more slowly than simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sugar.

Whole grains also provide fiber.   Consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber without whole grains would be very difficult.  Gluten-free diets usually only contain six gram of dietary fiber a day, a lot less than the 25-38 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Do cwhole-grain-stamphoose a variety of whole grains but including whole wheat, unless you need a gluten-free diet.  When shopping be sure to choose products made with “whole wheat” or “whole-grain wheat.”  You can also look for the 100% Stamp from the Whole Grains Council on foods made with all whole grains.

Note:  If your doctor recommends you follow a gluten-free diet, please continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

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

Reviewed by:   Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Tufts University, [2014].  The truth about the war on wheat, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Health & Nutrition Letter, March 2014 Special Supplement, p. 1-4.

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blogchem

When choosing foods we eat, the texture, moistness, taste, color, nutrient content, and cost are all important. It can be easy to determine if we want to buy foods based off the food label, but what about home cooked foods- especially if we are the culpable chef? Can I decrease the amount of sugar without jeopardizing the signature sweet taste? What happens if I replace the oil with yogurt? The cooking fun starts with the wiggle room every recipe allows for healthy ingredient swaps, or modified amounts of familiar add-ins.

The Ohio State University Extension office supplies a factsheet on this very topic. In it contains ingredients to use instead of the unhealthy versions, along with ways to reduce sodium, fat, and sugar, and how to increase fiber, provided by this link: http://go.osu.edu/factsheet. For example, sugar is important in recipes to increase tenderness, color and taste but it still can be reduced without a noticeable defect. Being creative with what to add to the recipe can also be fun. Adding spices, for example, can reduce the need for salt and add more flavors.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, formally known as the DASH diet, is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute’s plan for decreasing blood pressure by the foods we eat. They posted a recipe that combines the low-sodium foods of the DASH diet along with the beauty of swapping higher fat foods (like mayo) with yogurt. The recipe also uses spices and herbs to generate flavor loss from higher fat ingredients.

Yogurt Salad Dressing
8 oz plain yogurt, fat-free
1/4 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
2 Tbsp chives, dried
2 Tbsp dill, dried
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate.
Makes 5 servings
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp

Written by Rachel Tobe,B.S. Dietetics Food and Nutrition, Intern with Wood County Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewer : Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA, zies.1@osu.edu

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Laptop on Kitchen Table with Cup of CoffeeShould you eat lunch at your desk?

Do you find yourself eating at your desk at work more and more often?  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that at least 83% of Americans eat at their desk several times a week. While many of us would prefer to have lunch with a friend or at least go out for lunch, we often find ourselves “too busy” to do so.

So is eating at your desk healthy?  When we eat at our desk, we often are totally unaware of just what and how much we are eating. We’re not focused on the food as we answer emails, sort papers and answer phone calls. But you can make healthy choices by bringing your lunch from home and avoiding take-out lunches which can tend to have excess calories, fat, and sodium and are often lacking in nutrients. Some healthy lunch choices could include:

  • A salad with added protein and fiber – some leftover chicken, healthy beans and/or nuts.
  • A whole grain wrap filled with veggies.
  • Homemade or low-sodium prepared soup that you can heat in the microwave.
  • Yogurt with added fruit and granola.
  • A sweet potato or fresh vegetables that you can pop into the microwave.
  • Water with a slice of lemon, lime or orange.
  • For a sweet ending to your lunch, fresh fruit makes a great dessert.

If you are bringing your lunch from home, use an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack to keep your food cold until you can put it in the refrigerator at work. You want to be sure and wash your hands before eating your lunch and clean your desk top. According to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics survey only 36 percent of survey respondents said they clean their work areas, desktop, mouse and keyboard on a weekly basis; 64 percent said they do so on a monthly basis or less.

A 2007 study from the University of Arizona found that desktops have 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat!

So, if you are going to eat at your desk, take a few minutes to disinfect the area before opening your food. Once you start eating, avoid touching your phone, mouse,
etc. as you could be constantly re-contaminating your food.  You might also use a placemat or at least a paper towel under your lunch for added protection!

To answer the question, eating at your desk is not the healthiest activity!  Not only are you likely to eat more unhealthy foods, you are risking contaminating your food and potentially becoming ill. Take a little time for yourself at lunch time – walk to the kitchen or break room, invite a co-worker to join you and enjoy that healthy lunch you have prepared!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/7-tips-eating-while-you-work

http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442464916&terms=lunch%20food%20safety#.Uwd2PMYo7DQ

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