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Posts Tagged ‘Apples’

At the beginning of this year, I wrote Baby-steps To A Healthier You. I shared how I was going to make smaller weekly goals to help me reach my overall goal of losing weight and becoming healthier. Last month I shared my reflection about my progress in My Healthy Breakfast Evaluation. Just a quick recap, I am giving myself time to put my goal into action and then additional time to reflect on how things are going and what adjustments I need to make to continue progress toward my goal. I want to make sure that I feel successful so I do not get discouraged and lose momentum. The last thing I want is to revert to old habits. I was going to start with breakfasts first and then move onto snacks.

My breakfasts took a little longer to accomplish than I had anticipated. We all know that life can throw you curve balls and sometimes things can get a little chaotic. For the past two months, my life has been a whirlwind, so I have been living one day at a time. However, I am happy to report that I have lost 5 pounds! Could I have lost more? Certainly. However, I shared that this is a complete lifestyle change for me as I am trying to break old habits. I continue to remind myself that even if I cannot physically see the results, this does not mean that my body is not changing on the inside. After all, slow progress is still progress.

I have officially graduated myself to snacks this week. In preparation, I have done some research to help set myself up for success. If you suffer from Snack Attacks like myself, then I have great news for you! The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has fantastic handouts for healthy snacks. They even have handouts broken down into specific categories. Maybe you are looking for snacks to control your blood sugar, snacks under 100 calories or just a list of healthy snacks in general. You can find all of these handouts, plus more on their patient education health information website.

A snack helps control your appetite.

apples and peanut butter

Think of it as a mini meal to help your body get the nutrients it needs. Make sure your snack has a balance of carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. 1 small apple with 1 piece of light string cheese
  2. 1 cup of carrots with 1/3 cup hummus
  3. 6 ounces Greek yogurt with ½ a large banana
  4. ¾ cup blueberries and ¼ cup almonds

 

I encourage you to print off one of the snack handouts from the Wexner Medical Center and tape it to the inside of one of your kitchen cabinets. This way if you’re stuck on what to eat you have a quick reference!

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Sources:

Brinkman, P. (2011). Snack Attacks!. Live Healthy, Live Well. livehealthyosu.com/2011/11/23/snack-attacks/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Losing Weight: Getting Started. cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (2018). Patient Education. patienteducation.osumc.edu/Pages/Home.aspx

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power up your salad

Choose colorful vegetables and greens for a nutritious meal.  Lettuce and greens vary in levels of nutrients.  Although paler lettuces, such as iceberg, have some nutritional value, it’s best to choose the deeper, brighter ones – these contain the cancer-fighting antioxidants. Mix and match a variety of colors and textures, such as crunchy romaine tossed with soft, nutrient rich spinach leaves or peppery arugula leaves and add red leaf lettuce.   Spinach contains almost twice the amount of iron of most other greens and is an essential source of nitric oxide which helps dilate the arteries and deliver oxygen.  Arugula is rich in cancer fighting phytochemicals.

Add in tomatoes which are loaded with lycopene- great for your skin and bones.  Black beans, chickpeas or a hard-boiled egg all are good sources of lean protein.  Toss in carrots (great source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C) and artichokes, which aids in digestion.

Add fruits in season, mixed berries, oranges, apples or pears.  Toss with a healthy option salad dressing that is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat.  Olive oil and vinegar may be a simple tasteful choice.

Written by:  Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD,  Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,  stefura.2@osu.edu

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

Sources:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits-why.html

http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=23199

 

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Next to football, my favorite thing about fall is apples!  I have my personal favorite variety; what’s yours? Here are a few facts about apples:

  • Nutrition – We all know, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”, but do you know why? Apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories (about 80), and they are still very inexpensive. Apples have 4 grams of fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the incident of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.  It is best to eat apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin and eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content.  For complete apple nutrition facts, check out this site: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/nutrition.cfm
  • Varieties – Did you know there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide? How do you ever decide which one becomes a favorite or which one is best for a particular purpose? Apple varieties have different qualities. Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth or crisp and crunchy, depending on the one you choose. Some are perfect for baking, others work better for salads, and some are ideal for eating fresh off the tree. For example, Jonathans are tart, great for baking or eating. Honeycrisps are sweet, crisp, and delicious for eating. Galas are sweet, good for, eating, or salads.  Granny Smith apples are tart and great for baking.  Here is a  wonderful guide to help you know which varieties are best for what you plan to do: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1402.html
  • The Best Place to Buy Apples – If you have the chance, there are benefits to buying your apples locally.
    • Locally grown food is full of flavor.
    • Eating local food is eating seasonally.
    • Local food has more nutrients.
    • Local food supports the local economy.
    • Local food benefits the environment.
    • Local foods promote a safer food supply.
    • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown.

When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food. To find a Farmer’s Market in your area that sells apples, the Ohio Proud website will allow you to enter your county and find a place to buy apples close by. See: http://ohioproud.org/searchmarkets.php

  • A Recipe – Fall is a good time to enjoy this recipe for Apple Salad:

3 med apples (unpeeled), cut in chunks

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/4 cup celery, diced

2 T raisins

3 T plain yogurt

2 t mayonnaise

1 T pineapple juice

1/8 t cinnamon

Combine apples, pineapple, celery, and raisins. Mix yogurt, mayonnaise, pineapple juice and cinnamon together and blend into other ingredients. Yield: Four 1 cup servings. Calories: 121 per serving.

Written by: Kathryn K Dodrill, MA, CFCS, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Washington County

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ross County

Sources:

Apple Nutrition, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/nutrition.cfm

Apple Varieties, http://www.bestapples.com/varieties/index.aspx

Suggested Uses for Ohio Apples, http://www.ohioapples.com/ohio_apples_uses.htm

Apples: A Guide to Selection and Use, http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1402.html

5 A Day Roadside Market Project, http://ohioline.osu.edu/5-a-day/apples.html

Find a Farmer’s Market, http://ohioproud.org/searchmarkets.php

7 Benefits of Eating Local Foods, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods

 

 

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One of the hardest issues to deal with when you’re trying to lose weight is achieving satiety (how “full” you feel after eating). It has been a problem for me for decades because I am a very fast eater. Anyone else out there like that?? I can inhale a meal in literally five minutes. This is problematic because it takes 15-20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you have had enough food. Because I eat so fast, I used to still feel hungry after one plate of food. Then I would go back to the kitchen for seconds. Unfortunately, after a second round of food, I didn’t feel very good. I felt stuffed the way most of us do on Thanksgiving Day. I finally hit rock bottom a couple of years ago. I knew I was probably not going to eat more slowly, so I had to learn to control the amount of food I ate.

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Truth or Fiction?  Many recent studies are finding that there is some truth to that saying.

The phytonutrients, flavonoids and polyphenols in apples work together to help regulate your blood sugar.  The pectin in apples seems to help lower the body’s need for insulin.

Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased with consumption of apples.  It is important to eat the whole apple to gain the cardiovascular benefits. A recent study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, found that a high intake of apples, pears and other white-fleshed fruits and vegetables reduced the risk of stroke by 52 percent.

Apples can provide satiety.  Researchers found that people eating whole apples reported less hunger than people eating applesauce or drinking apple juice.  When adults ate one medium-sized apple about 15 minutes before a meal they reduced the amount of calories they ate by 15%.

Apples consumption is linked with a decreased risk of asthma and lung cancer risk.  In some recent studies apples helped reduce the symptoms caused by asthma.  Preliminary results show that eating apples can be beneficial in preventing other cancers too.

Apples may help protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and actually help increase bone density.

Apples may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slow cognitive decline seen in normal aging.

With so many varieties of apples you can choose sweet, tart or in-between.  The free fact sheet from Ohio State University Extension “Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Apples,” available at http://ohioline.osu.edu  can provide information on best choices for different recipes.  Store apples in the refrigerator (32 to35° F) in a perforated plastic bag and wash apples before eating or using in a recipe by rinsing in cool water.

A few ideas for serving apples:

  • Add chopped apple to your breakfast oatmeal.
  • Add sliced or chopped apples to your green or fruit salads.
  • Microwave an apple for a quick baked apple for dessert or snack.
  • Braise a chopped apple with red cabbage.
  • Serve sliced apples with peanut butter or cheese.

How do you serve apples?

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