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Fall Challenge 2014

Join Ohio State University Extension for a six-week personal wellness challenge. This fall the Live Healthy Live Well challenge for better health will run from September 8-October 19. This is an online challenge designed to help adults get fit by encouraging regular physical activity, healthy eating and wellness tips. This is a free event. Participants will receive e-communications twice weekly sent directly to you from your local OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Professional. This challenge focuses on:

• Organic/natural foods
• Calcium and fiber in your diet
• Superfoods
• Gluten-free and whole grains
• Incorporating fitness into your day
Sign up by following this link to enroll: http://go.osu.edu/Mahoningfall14
Once you register, you will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting the week of September 8, 2014.
We look forward to taking this fall challenge journey together!

Written by: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD,LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, MA, LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

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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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There are some specific nutrients we are looking to gain when consuming dairy and not all milk is created equal. So let’s crack the shell on nut milk and see how some popular milk alternatives stack up to cow’s milk when it comes to the nutrition facts label.

picture of milk

Cow’s milk

Nutrition Facts: Non-fat Skim Milk 83 Calories, 0g Fat, 8g Protein, 12g Carbohydrate, 30% DV Calcium 

Cow’s milk is a nutritional powerhouse. It is one of the most nutritionally dense beverages we can consume; containing a unique package of nutrients. At just 83 calories per cup, non-fat skim milk provides nine essential nutrients (1). Milk is also a great source of complete protein, which is found in animal products. Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids (the ones that our bodies do not make). In terms of protein quality and content per serving, you can’t beat cow’s milk. Animal products such as cow’s milk also contain cholesterol, which should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (2). One 8 ounce glass of skim milk contributes less than 5mg of cholesterol, making it part of a heart healthy diet. Three servings per day of dairy is associated with better weight management, bone health and reduced risk of certain chronic diseases (1).

Cow’s milk provides a wide variety of benefits but dietary restrictions including allergies, intolerances and vegan lifestyles create the need for milk alternatives.

*FYI- The nine essential nutrients found in cow’s milk are also found in milk alternatives. However, calcium, and some other nutrients must be fortified to be equivalent to cow’s milk. Soy, Coconut and Almond Milks do not naturally contain much calcium at all.  Most are fortified but not all brands are.  It is important to read labels and understand that the calcium in fortified milks is not as readily absorbed as the calcium in cow’s milk.

Soy Milk

Nutrition Facts Soy Milk 100 Calories, 4g Fat, 7g Protein, 8g Carbohydrate, 30% DV Calcium

This beverage can be a great alternative if you are in need of a substitute for cow’s milk. Soy milk is considered a good source of calcium and other nutrients at 100 calories per glass (3). This milk also contains 7 grams of complete protein per cup. Soy is one of the few non-animal sources of complete protein. Research also shows that consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day, along with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease (3). Since soy milk is a plant based product it is cholesterol free and also low in saturated fat.

Coconut Milk

Nutrition Facts: Coconut Milk 80 Calories, 5g Fat, 1g Protein, 7g Carbohydrate, 10% DV Calcium

At 80 calories per 8 ounce glass, coconut milk is similar to cow’s milk when it comes to calorie content and contains no cholesterol. However, this beverage isn’t a great source of protein at only one gram per cup. Unlike most plant products, coconut milk contains a significant amount of saturated fat.

Saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 7 percent of total daily calories or about 16 grams of saturated fats per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet (4). Three glasses of coconut milk would add 15 grams of saturated fat to your daily intake. Using small amounts of coconut milk in cooking to add a tropical flavor may be more appropriate than swapping it out for the three recommended servings of low fat dairy per day.

Almond Milk

 Nutrition Facts: Non-fat Skim Milk 60 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 1g Protein, 8g Carbohydrate, 45% DV Calcium

Almond milk is low in calories at only 60 per cup. This milk provides zero grams of cholesterol and zero grams of saturated fat. Almonds are rich in many nutrients; however almond milk provides far less protein than cow’s milk. One 8 ounce glass provides only 1 gram of protein. This milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals, but doesn’t stack up to cow’s milk in the protein department.

Conclusion: Some milk alternatives can provide a good source of nutrition for those avoiding cow’s milk. Just keep in mind that label reading is key when choosing an appropriate substitute to meet your needs.

References:

http://www.drink-milk.com/health-wellness/3-every-day.aspx

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Fats-and-Oils-AHA-Recommendation_UCM_316375_Article.jsp

http://silk.com/products/light-original-soymilk

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp

Written by: Molly Kayser, BGSU Graduate Student intern with Wood County Extension.

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

Cheryl Barber Spires R.D., L.D. ,Program Specialist, SNAP- Ed, Ohio State University Extension, West Region

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mitochondria“M” word #1: Metabolism

Many of us blame our “slow” metabolism when we don’t lose weight as quickly as we would like. But what exactly is metabolism, and why does it vary so much from person to person? Metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that (1) converts food into fuel, and (2) affects how efficiently you burn that fuel. It is influenced by your age (it goes down about 5% per decade after the age of 40) and your gender (men burn more calories at rest than women). But the three primary factors affecting your metabolic rate include:

1. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR),
2. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and
3. Your Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE).

The resting metabolic rate (RMR) reflects the number of calories you burn to maintain your body processes when you are at rest (sleeping, watching TV, sitting at your desk); it’s about 65-75% of your total daily calorie expenditure. The thermic effect of food (TEF) reflects how many calories you burn throughout the day digesting food; approximately 5-10%.

The third component of your metabolism, the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE), is the most varied percent range (15-30%). How much above your RMR can you rise if you become physically active? It depends. People who exercise regularly develop more muscle mass, which increases the number of calories they can burn each day. To illustrate; a pound of muscle uses six calories a day to sustain itself. On the flip side, a pound of fat burns only two calories per day. That difference may not sound like a lot, but over time it really adds up.

So here’s the mathematical formula you need to memorize: RMR (doing nothing) + TEF (digesting food) + PAEE (physical activity) = Your Metabolism. I’m not a math geek, but even I can see that adding physical activity into your daily routine will benefit your weight loss goals by increasing your metabolism.

“M” word #2: Mitochondria

Mitochondria are tiny bean-shaped ‘organelles’ inside your muscle cells. The more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number. In case this didn’t sink in, I’m going to repeat it: the more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number.

The reason this is so important is because mitochondria are like little furnaces that chew up fats and sugars and spew out energy for your muscles to use. And they do it on demand. As you run, cycle, or swim, the mitochondria have to crank out more energy and consume more fat and sugar. At lower levels of intensity, your mitochondria can consume the bulk of their energy needs from fat. But as the intensity of your activity increases, they will begin to use muscle sugar (glycogen) as well.

If you have only a few mitochondria in your muscle cells, there will not be much fat and sugar burning action going on in there. Let’s say you took to heart what I just shared with you at the beginning of this article about your PAEE/metabolism. You decide to start exercising daily. At first, you will probably get tired and/or winded because there aren’t enough mitochondria to keep energy flowing to the muscles. But, (and here’s the awesome part), by the end of your exercise session your muscles will be producing more mitochondria. Eventually your muscle fibers will be stuffed full of mitochondria. Now exercise will get easier. You will be able to exercise longer with less effort.

And here is where all this information leads to weight loss. Your muscles start to burn more fat and sugar all the time – because mitochondria don’t sleep. Your ability to burn calories and lose weight has increased exponentially because you added physical activity to your daily routine. Mm, Mm, Good!

Writer:
Donna Green, Extension, Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

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

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/make-most-your-metabolism

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/morning-workout-increases-metabolism-throughout-day

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-for-energy-workouts-that-work

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/Mitochondria.pdf

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Start Your GardenAre you interested in maintaining your weight or even losing a few pounds this spring? Could you use some encouragement and guidance but don’t have time to attend classes? Want tips to help you grow herbs, start a garden or eat more local foods? Does this sound interesting to you?

If so, give our Spring Live Healthy Live Well Email wellness challenge a try.

“Spring Live Healthy Live Well Challenge” is an on-line challenge designed to help adult participants get fit by encouraging regular physical activity, nutrition, and wellness activities. Participants will receive e-communications twice each week, containing nutrition, health and fitness tips. Additional food and activity logs will be available for download to help participants track their progress. They will also have access to supplemental information available on Blogs and Facebook.

Sign up by following this link to enroll: http://go.osu.edu/SpringPick

If you’ve joined us on other challenges, you’ll see new themes during this spring challenge. We will learn about these topics and be encouraged to participate in wellness behaviors.

• Vegetables and Fruits – adding more of these foods to your diet.
• Fitness Focus Tips – finding ways to move more.
• Root Vegetables – trying new recipes for veggies and fruits.
• Local Foods – visiting a Farmers’ Market or the local foods section of your store.
• Gardening – planting an herb, vegetable or fruit in a container or plot garden.
• Seasoning with Herbs – using herbs instead of salt to season foods.
• Sunscreen – wearing sun protection or sunscreen every day.

Once you register, you will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting the week of April 7, 2014. While Facebook™ will be utilized; participants only need to have an email address.

The program is funded by Ohio State University Extension and County Commissioners Cooperating.

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

Reviewer: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

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

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family mealPoor nutrition + inactive lifestyle = childhood obesity.  That is a very simple formula.  Every day there is a new story in the media about childhood obesity.  Obesity is running a close second to smoking as the nation’s number one preventable killer.  It is a major factor for heart disease, and increases the potential for high cholesterol, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 8 preschoolers are obese in the United States. Obese children are 5 times more likely to become obese adults and suffer lifelong physical and mental health problems.

How did we get here?  Life today is so hectic for families. Some parents are working longer hours away from home and children. Days are so filled with stress that some parents simply do not have the time or energy to apply healthy eating rules into their homes. For example, breakfast is often skipped or consists of a pop tart on the run.  Family meals are rare and have been replaced with meals on the run at fast food restaurants.  We live in a “super sized” world where we are led to believe that bigger is better.

Adding to the issue of nutrition there is also the concern of inactivity. Kids today spend too much time sitting still.  Exercise is out and video games, laptops and TV shows are in. Recess time or free time during the school day is very limited.  And sadly many of our neighborhoods are too dangerous for kids to play outside without adult supervision.

So how do we fix this? Parents are the key to changing the behaviors in their home. By changing family behavior and creating a healthy weight environment you can help your family to engage in a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some tips to help start your family on a pathway to a healthier lifestyle:

  • Set goals and start small. New habits take a while to become routines.  A simple goal might be to offer vegetables or fruits at snack time.
  • Drink water at mealtimes and as a refreshing snack.  If you are eating at a restaurant, you will save money and make a healthy choice by drinking water.
  • Recognize triggers that will tempt you to fall back into old habits.  If your child loves video games limit their screen time and encourage them to play outside.
  • Surround your family with healthy foods.  Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains available.
  • Try to  eat at home more.  Explore easy meals and try new, healthy recipes.  Check out http://go.osu.edu/healthyrecipe      for some guidelines to help you personalize your eating plans. You will  find ways to combine fresh and convenience foods to make a healthy meal in  a hurry.
  • Take the time to read labels.  There are some fruit juices and juice drinks that have as many or more grams of sugar as      soda.
  • Plan ahead for busy days.  Cook once for two or more meals.  Dust off the crock pot and make a healthy recipe. Visit this website for recipes you can make with your favorite ingredients.       http://go.osu.edu/recipefinder
  • Join your  kids as you all move more. Take a walk or bike ride around the block or play a game of tag. Physical Activity is an important key to good health.
  • Celebrate  success with rewards.  Make sure the rewards are healthy – what about a visiting the nearest playground or park to play with your family?  Fly a kite with your kids for a fun springtime activity.
  • Be flexible.  If the plan is not working, make the necessary changes to reach your goals.

All of these things are something parents can control. Parents are the key to the health and lifestyle choices of their children. Being a good role model, remaining confident in your parenting choices, and feeling competent to address the resistance of family members might require being a strong parent, but with practice it can be done. Take charge of future, not only for yourself, but your children as well. They will thank you for it later.

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/ChildhoodObesity/

www.choosemyplate.gov

Writer: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA.

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

 

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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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