Category

Healthy Eating

Events That Led to The Obesity Crisis

The obesity crisis was not caused by a single factor. Unfortunately, like the perfect storm, many events come together in sequence to result in this  health emergency tidal wave;  Such is the #ObesityCrisis.

To date, the obesity crisis and our lack of understanding has destroyed the quality of life of millions of Americans.  The lack of:

  • Nutrition education – What the body needs and gets from different foods – energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients
  • Biological functions – How the body works to achieve homeostasis – energy balance.

This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to achieve a healthy weight for the long term.  Don’t take my word for it, review the scientific evidence of @KevinHall, PhD. Kevin is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK).  What is significant about Kevin is he is the Section Chief of Integrative Physiology Section, Laboratory of Biological Modeling.   @BonnieLiebman, MS is an author, and Director of Nutrition at the #CenterForScienceInThePublicInterest (CSPI).  Bonnie interviewed Kevin and published in the #NutritionActionHealthLetter (a publication of CSPI) – How Did We Get Here? July/August 2018 Volume 45 No. 6; pg. 3 – 5 print.

The Basic Science of Human Weight Management

Normally, 2 key hormones work against each other to control our weight:

  • Leptin (the starvation hormone) – Main function is long-term regulation of the body’s energy supply. Leptin signals the brain to stimulate or suppress appetite and alter the burn rate of stored energy. When we lose body, fat leptin stimulates appetite and reduces stored energy burn rate. Weight gain triggers the opposite series of events (eat less burn more).
  • Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) – signals the brain when to start and when to stop eating. It is released by the stomach, and other glands.  #LeptinVsGhrelin

The Calm Before the Storm (Before 1970):

  • Leptin and ghrelin went about their business of cooperating to control our body weight
  • Families ate at home more than at restaurants and at other eateries; additionally high food prices and family size prevented excessive eating
  • Families were more physically active (work & play – virtually no access to computers)

The Storm is Energized by Key Players (1970):

  • President Nixon became aware of complaints about the rising cost of food. Consequently, he directed the USDA to fix the problem.
  • The USDA initiated policy to subsidize farming to stimulate yield of basic foods like corn and soybeans.
  • The farmers subsequently increased the production of corn, soybean, and other crops. This caused a drop in the price of basic foods that became major ingredients in the processed food supply.
  • The manufacturers of processed foods employed food scientists, and engineers to develop ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup to enhance “Ultra-Processed” food products that were:
    • Great tasting – Food scientists are better cooks than mom and granny; they mastered the ideal combination of salt, sugar, fat, and flavor additives to increase flavor, (and unfortunately calories). This development triggered a super-normal appetite.  #BlissPoint
    • More Stable – The addition of extra salt, high-fructose corn syrup and other technologies helped foods last longer in unrefrigerated settings like store shelves and homes.
    • Cheaper – Consumers enjoyed more food at lower prices, and consequently began to eat more meals away from home.
    • More Convenient – Less cooking required. Heat and serve made busy lives more manageable.

 

  • Powerful Food Advertising That Target Children – Drove consumption of unhealthy foods high in carbs/sugar, salt, and fats resulting in consumers:
    • Eating the foods that are most profitable”. #WeightOfTheNation
    • Eating more at restaurants, and dining halls
    • Buying more heat and serve food products.
    • Snacking more on delicious high calorie food products
  • Physical activity continues to be inadequate in burn off the significant increase of calories consumed.

The Abyss of Overweight and Obesity

Overweight, and obesity  significantly increases the risk for preventable  illness, disability, and premature death:

  • 34 million people of all ages (9.4%) had diabetes in 2015
  • 1 million people (33.9%) were estimated to have prediabetes
  • 2 million suffered from cardiovascular disease – coronary heart disease, Stroke, heart attack, etc. in 2015. (CDC)
  • 40% of all cancers diagnosed are associated with overweight and obesity. (CDC)

What About Dieting, Exercising, and Wishing?

The casual observer may interpret Kevin Hall’s weight loss research as leptin and ghrelin appearing to have gone rogue. But, in actuality, these two hormones have not deviated from their mission:  To prevent our bodies from quickly losing weight. However, the super tasty and fragrant food products have given rise to our super-appetites.  To counter the weight gain brought on by our super-appetites, we continue trying a variety of weight loss programs.  Unfortunately, as we work to lose extra fat pounds, leptin and ghrelin work against our goals.  So, as our fat level drops, leptin level drops and ghrelin level rises. Also, leptin helps to decrease the rate at which we lose weight (burn fat;, pausing at the dreaded ‘plateau’Spoiler alert: Hunger is a tough sensation to ignore.

Kevin Hall’s experimentation and modeling revealed that, “when people were losing body fat weight, their appetites increased by about 45 calories per day (above baseline) for every pound of weight that they lost”. To make weight loss more difficult, leptin reduces the rate at which a person burns fat weight.

Again, Kevin cites that, “the number of calories that they were burning went down by between 10 and 15 calories per day for every pound of weight they lost”.  This means if you lost 10 pounds, the average person would burn 100 to 150 less calories per day. Keep in mind that burning 3500 calories equals 1 pound lost. It is going to take time to lose weight. Prepare your mind for this reality.

Climbing Out From the Abyss

Currently, there are no miracles for achieving persistent weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off is difficult for most mortals.  There are many suggestions, products, and practices on the internet that promise to help us easily lose weight.  Sadly, many of these plans are not based on scientific evidence. Consequently, most are doomed to failure, and may harm the individual. Search the WEB for ‘fen-Phen’ heart valve crisis.

Some uncontrollable factors that drive weight gain and obesity.

  • Genetics
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Prescribed medications

But, for those of us who are lucky enough to carry excess fat weight that we can shed; must work at it (plan-do-measure-repeat). We must learn to eat differently for a lifetime.  We must sacrifice a little or a lot due to our eating traditions, habits, and the uncontrollable factors. Some of us must suffer to some degree, depending on our level of obesity.

Sustained self-managed weight loss requires persistent commitment that ranges from eating differently to experiencing gastric by-pass surgery and its potential complications. And, even then post-surgery patients must eat differently before and after the surgery or suffer consequences. We must understand that healthy eating requires that we provide our bodies all the macro and micronutrients it needs to function properly. #PortionControl #PrecisePortions.com

Failure to persist in losing excess weight [based on body mass index (BMI)] and keeping it off increases the risk of developing debilitating diseases like:

  • Type 2 diabetes (leading to cardiovascular disease)
  • High blood pressure (leading to stroke)
  • Types of cancers

To fight obesity, all of us who are committed to community health have a crucial role to play in empowering consumers to follow effective and sustainable weight loss strategies.  At the same time, consumers need to hold themselves responsible to attempt only evidence-based strategies to achieve self-managed weight control.

Let us all continue the conversation to help:

  • Alert public awareness to the forces driving #overeating and #obesity
  • Reduce the increasing rate of obesity in the USA, and the world

5 Foods to Avoid in the 3rd Month of Your Pregnancy.

Good news and congratulations for walking the great journey of pregnancy into the third month. However, escaping from the hands of being unable to eat due to nausea, vomiting and other discomforts of morning sickness, you may need to know how important a healthy eating habit is to you and your baby, especially at this stage of the pregnancy. Your practical class of healthy eating habits just began. The food a woman consumes during pregnancy is her baby’s main source of nourishment and diabetic pregnant women need to start with the diabetic portion plates, this may help put them in check in what they eat.  During the 3rd month of your pregnancy, a lot of development is happening to that little treasure inside of you. It is during this time the baby begins to experience any developmental changes and growth; it period marks the beginning of the baby:

  • Gaining more definite shape
  • Joints are beginning to form
  • Eyelids are getting formed
  • The four chambers of the heart are formed
  • Vital organs
  • Fingers no longer webbed
  • You may start to hear his heartbeat as the baby also is becoming more active.

Nevertheless, a lot have been said about the type of healthy foods that a to-be-mother should take during pregnancy; foods which may include: lean protein (fish, meat, eggs, beans, tofu, and cheese), whole grains (breads, whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice), fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, and many more. However, only little information is available on the type of foods that needed to be avoided during the period or perhaps a diet plates portion control for pregnant women in their third month; foods which are capable of mocking your healthy eating habits or program. And that’s exactly what will be revealed in this article.

Nevertheless, a lot have been said about the type of healthy foods that a to-be-mother should take during pregnancy; foods which may include: lean protein (fish, meat, eggs, beans, tofu, and cheese), whole grains (breads, whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice), fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, and many more. However, only little information is available on the type of foods that needed to be avoided during the period or perhaps a diet plates portion control for pregnant women in their third month; foods which are capable of mocking your healthy eating habits or program. And that’s exactly what will be revealed in this article.

Foods you should avoid in your 1st trimester Raw Sea foods
Many sea foods such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish contain high level of methyl mercury; a toxic compound which has been found capable of crossing the placenta to cause brain function impairment in the developing baby. So stay off them.

Unpasteurized dairy foods
During this crucial stage of your pregnancy, it’s advisable you steer clear of unpasteurized dairy foods such as milk, blue-veined cheese and camembert. This will prevent you from possible food poisoning that may result from the bacteria; Listeria monocytogene found mostly in these unpasteurized foods. This bacterial infection could cause miscarriage, still birth, preterm labor, and illness in newborns.

Fruits
Yes. Not all fruits are good for your consumption during pregnancy. If you are concern about having a healthy eating habit during pregnancy, this implies that you need to avoid such fruits as they are obviously not meant for you. Some of these fruits may include:

  • Papaya or Paw-paw: except very ripe, taking semi-ripe paw-paw may cause uterine contractions and thus leads to premature labor due to the high proportion of latex in them.
  • Grapes: may lead to body heat, especially during the last trimester. So avoid them.
  • Pineapples: may also cause premature labor due to Bromolain found in them.

Therefore, it’s clear that it goes beyond only ‘what to eat’ when it comes to talking about healthy eating habits in pregnant women. It also extends to what ‘not to eat’ or an appropriate diet plate portion control plan. A diabetic pregnant woman may consider the diabetic portion plate. As a matter of fact, these foods that are meant to be avoided, when continuously taken due to lack of knowledge, can go as far as sabotaging the effort put into healthy eating habit during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

Diabetic Portion Control Plate

A diabetes portion control plate is an important tool in the management of diabetes – whose complications are among the leading causes of death and morbidity. While these plates are important in the management of type 2 diabetes, they also have a role in the management of the type 1 (that depends on insulin therapy). In addition to these; people in the pre-diabetes phase and the obese can all reap health benefits from using the precise portion plates.

Many people with type 2 diabetes are also obese. Therefore reducing weight by the use of  a diabetic portion plate not only promotes better sugar control in the body , but also helps to keep it at bay for those at an increased risk due to obesity.

The benefit of using diabetic portion control plate
Smaller, healthy portions support good insulin metabolism and prevents insulin resistance – a significant factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

How to plan your diabetic portion control plate
There are two ways.

  1. Use an ordinary plate

Draw 2 imaginary lines on your plate. One line divides the plate into two halves. The other divides one half into two to make 3 sections.

  1. Section 1 – half of the plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables such as cauliflower and carrots.
  2. Section 2 – a quarter of the plate should contain lean proteins like tuna and turkey
  3. Section 3 – the last portion to contain starchy foods such as whole grain products or tubers such as potatoes.

    2. Use of a precise diabetic portion control plate

This removes the guesswork from the portions you eat. Many types are available including kids-friendly products. You can find more information about these here. For a variety of diabetes portion control plates and related products see these.

 

Diet Plates for Portion Control

What are diet plates for portion control?

These are plates with information printed on it about various servings for dinner. Other types of dishes are designed for cereals. These have printed differently sized guiding lines that correspond with the size of particular amounts of dry cereals.

Diet plates for portion control are perhaps the best tools to ascertain that you manage your weight effectively. People looking to reduce or maintain a healthy weight soon find out that it is not easy to maintain controlled food portions without an accurate reminder of how much of each type of food they are supposed to take. Sticking to the use of a diet portion plate consistently and accurately determines more than just what goes into your mouth.

What a diet portion control plate achieves

These include:

    1. The amount of food you eat. Here referred to as portions
    2. Helps you to regulate the foods you eat
    3. For people with blood sugar control problems, they enjoy better control and more energy throughout the day.
    4. Helps you to know the amount of calories you are taking in.
    5. Guides you in eating a balanced diet
    6. It removes the hassle of measuring food quantities by weight

Is there an ideal food portion plate?

The market offers a wide range of dieting portion plates. Choose one that you find easy to understand. Look for the type that gives you as much information as possible without confusing you. A plate with a wide range of food names printed in each section is better that one with a few or general groups of foods. The former helps people with different education backgrounds do better in their healthy eating efforts.

Does it work?

In a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity of 2006, it was found that smaller food portions topped the 5 best weight loss measures usually taken by different people. So diet plates for portion control are important tools in weight management efforts. See how it works and the various types here.

Healthy Eating Habits

“Let food be thy medicine and thy food medicine.”

This widely known quote is attributed to Hippocrates – the father of modern day medicine. While it sounds paradoxical, some critics have even dismissed it; it has important content to think about. The essence of it is that the foods you eat can have both immediate and long-term effects on your health.

For example; eating high sugar foods (high glycemic) raises your blood sugar fast. This in turn leads to a sudden spike of insulin. If this process is repeated over many times for long enough the body tissues will respond to insulin poorly and may increase the riskof developing type 2 diabetes. Other foods also increase risk of obesity and its associated disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis among many other health issues.

Healthy eating habits defined
Healthy eating habits that promote good health include:

  • Right amounts of foods from all the classes of food groups
  • It is a lifestyle that is followed throughout and not just for a while
  • It involves different types of foods under the main classes of foods because no one type of food is exactly the same as another even in the same group
  • People with specific types of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or high cholesterol needs modified eating habits as guided by a qualified health dietary professional.

How to improve your eating habits
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC offers 3 easy to follow steps in the healthy eating habits journey. These are:

  1. Assess how you are currently eating. This includes what you consider to be good or bad eating habits.
  2. Remove any bad eating habits from your current eating plan.
  3. Continue with your good old or adapted new eating habits.

An important part of healthy fresh food eating habits is to consume the right quantities of the right foods at the right time. To help you with this, the resource here will help you to overcome the constant struggle many people go through in their efforts to start and maintain healthy eating habits.

Nutrition & Health Quizzes, Puzzles, and Calculators

healthy eating habits for children

Calculators
Nutrition & Health Quizzes, Puzzles, and Calculators

  • 10-year CardioVascular Disease (CVD) Risk Calculator (Risk Assessment Tool for Estimating Your 10-year Risk of Having a Heart Attack ,  and suggestions on how to reduce your risk of having a heart attack) (Read More)
  • Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) – BMI measures body fat based on your weight and height  for  women and men. It determines Underweight, Normal weight, overweight, and obese – Standard BMI Calculator (Read More)

Quizzes, Questions, and Answers on Diet & Nutrition

  • Learn About Carbohydrates – An illustrated lesson on carbs, sugars, starch and their digestion. (Click here)
  • Learn About Nutrition – A click animation of how the pancreas, liver, and blood react when you eat carbs and sugars. (Click here)
  • Learn About the Digestive System – An illustrated interactive lesson and quiz of how human digestive system works when you eat a meal.(Click here)
  • Portion Control Quiz Part 1 (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)  – Fun question and answer lessons on today’s increased calories per portion and the physical activity needed to burn them  (Read More)
  • Portion Control Quiz Part 2 (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute) – More fun question and answer lessons on today’s increased calories per portion and the physical activity needed to burn them(Read More)
  • What Is Coronary Artery Disease – What is plaque and how can it hurt you? (Read More)
  • Cholesterol Heart Disease – What Does Your Cholesterol Level Mean? (Read More)
  • Test Your Food Label Knowledge (FDA/CFSAN)! Loads of information about how to use food Nutrition Facts Labels to control blood sugar, blood cholesterol, blood fat and weight gain.  Question 1
  • Search the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference – A huge data base that will break down any food and give info like calories, carbs, protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins  (Read More)

Activity Planners

  • Menu Planner (Interactive)- Suggests your daily food and meal choices based on your daily calorie plan (Read More)
  • MyPyramid.gov – United States Department of Agriculture  – Offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help plan/ assesses your food choices based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Read More)
  • Create A Diet Activity – Uses your weight, height, and activity level to suggest calories per day and foods that will help reduce blood cholesterol and chance of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. NHLBI
  • Food Label Activity  National Heart Lung and Blood Institute-CHD  Test your ability understand Food Labels
  • Nutrient Data :   Measurement Conversion Tables Change teaspoons (tsp) to tablespoon (tbsp) & more (Read More)
  • MyPyramid Tracker is an online dietary and physical activity assessment tool that provides information on your diet quality, physical activity status, related nutrition messages, and links to nutrient and physical activity information. (USDA – Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion)

Picky Eaters

diabetes portion control chart

Is your child a picky eater or, a very picky eater? Are you an adult who can only stand to eat a just a few food items and hate all others? This may be a case of selective eating disorder (SED). Selective eating disorder is a poorly understood eating disorder when a child or adult has a very limited number of food items they “can” eat. They avoid eating all other foods. There is a similarity to food neophobia, an avoidance to eating new or different foods.

The root cause of this disease is not well understood. It seems that a person’s biology or psychology may play a role in causing this disorder. According to Dr. Nancy Zucker, the Director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders, selective eaters tend to like similar foods, that are bland and processed. They love salt, peanut butter,certain meats like bacon. Vegetables are a major turnoff.

Picky eaters may lead you to think of a class of Americans called “supertasters.” According to Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, professor of otolaryngology (study of eye, nose, & throat) and psychology, around 25 percent of the American population is born as “supertasters,” a group with an unusually high number of taste buds. The increased number of taste buds changes the way food tastes for these people. How a foods taste to someone determines if that person will like it or not. And what their diet will be. Since diets can contain major risk factors for many chronic diseases, it has become important to find the cause of these eating disorders.

Picky eaters may not be “supertasters” because picky eaters seem to be turned off by the sight, smell, and texture of foods, according to .Dr. Bradley C. Riemann, the clinical director of obsessive compulsive disorders at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee.

Also, this disorder should not be confused anorexia nervosa (a disorder characterized by a fear of food due to issues related to body weight).

How to Help
One important thought to remember is that the picky eater is not trying to be difficult or stubborn. A small number of children do not grow out of their picky eating behavior. They become adults who without help develop problems with their social life and careers. Therefore, if this behavior persists into preteen age, parents should speak with their pediatricians who then may refer them to a specialist.

research

Research is currently under way at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Eating Healthy For your Heart

portion control lesson plan

Eating Healthy For your Heart

Heart disease is the major cause of death in the United States and many other countries of the world. It could be considered as a life-threatening lifestyle disease due to our high intake of trans-fats from foods like cakes, biscuits and chips, as well as saturated fats from meats and dairy products. Eating healthy for your heart can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Switching over to a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle are the way to go. We give you some tips on eating healthy for your heart…

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 1: Limit Unhealthy Fats

Our diet usually consists of saturated fats from red meats and dairy products, increasing the bad cholesterol and making us prone to coronary diseases. The best way to reduce this risk is to reduce our intake of unhealthy fats like butter shortening and margarine added to the food. Also, ensure that you are eating lean meats without the fat and skin. Use mono-saturated fats like olive or canola oil for cooking.

Baked products like cookies and cakes or a bag of chips will usually contain trans-fats that are also bad for the heart. It’s much healthier to snack on a handful of nuts or use a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and lime on your salads instead of mayonnaise. The American Heart Association recommends that trans-fats should form less than one percent while saturated fats should be less than 7 percent of your total calorie intake.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 2: Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and are also a good source of fiber. Vegetables eaten in the form of salads (without high-fat dressing) are low in calories but high in fiber. Leafy vegetables like spinach are an excellent source of iron. Five servings of vegetables and fruit or more, each day are ideal for the body. You can easily snack on fruits like apples or bananas and include a vegetable dish with lunch or dinner.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 3: Select low-fat protein sources

Meats are a rich source of proteins, but you must opt for lean meats so that your fat intake is reduced. Include low fat poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products in your meals. Opt for skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breast instead of fried chicken. The idea is to reduce fat as much as is possible. Including fish in your meals at least three times a week is good for the heart. Certain kinds of fish, namely salmon and tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce blood fats. Plant sources of protein include lentils, beans, peas, canola oil, flaxseed, soybeans and walnuts. When you include these foods in your diet, you not only get the proteins but also other essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. And it’s quite easy to work these into your diet – just add a can of beans to soup or use canola oil for your cooking or sprinkle some powdered flaxseed on your low-fat yoghurt or your green salad.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.4: Eat whole grains

The best way to include whole grain in your diet is to switch over to whole grain bread and pasta, have brown or parboiled rice instead of white rice. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals that help to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary diseases.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.5: Use portion control plates

Although it is important to eat heart healthy foods, it is equally important that you take them in the right proportion. Heaping your plate with two helpings of each food item will finally lead to you towards the path of coronary problems. So make sure that you know how much of each food item you should eat, and if you are not too sure of the portions, use a portion control plate. That way you’ll never go wrong and it’s easy to get portion control plates from any crockery store or websites selling these items.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.6: Reduce salts and drink plenty of water

To maintain heart health, it is necessary to reduce the salt in your foods. Use products that are low in sodium or simply add a dash of lime juice to your salad instead of salt. Drinking plenty of water (more than eight glasses a day) not only keeps you hydrated but it also flushes out the toxic waste from the body.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

free nutrition lesson plans

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

When we eat out at restaurants, the food that is served is very high in saturated fats and sodium. With the huge portion sizes becoming the norm, you also end up eating a lot of unwanted calories. And if it is a regular affair and you don’t follow the principle of eating healthy when dining out, you are likely going to be a candidate for heart disease and obesity. Many of us would say that it is almost impossible to be eating healthy when dining out, but this isn’t so.

It is up to you to exercise the self control when you are dining out by making healthy eating choices. And believe me, all restaurants cater to the diet conscious patrons, you only need to ask. The thumb rule for eating healthy while dining out is to avoid deep fried foods, refined starchy foods and sugary foods like sodas. Here are some more detailed tips to avoid those unhealthy trans-fats, processed sugars, refined oils and starches present in restaurant food.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #1: Avoid starchy carbohydrates

When eating out at restaurants take a careful look at the menu and opt for dishes made with whole grain. Dishes with brown rice, whole wheat bread or whole grain pasta are much healthier that white rice or white bread. Food items made with refined flour have hardly any nutritional value apart from needlessly increasing the calories. Instead of fries with your sandwich or burger, ask for baked potatoes on the side.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #2: Select more vegetable dishes

Rather than opting for meat based items on the menu, try out the vegetable platter. You might be surprised at the variety of vegetable dishes that are available and find them to be extremely delicious. If you order pizza, ask for one with vegetable toppings like onion, tomato, mushroom and bell peppers rather than cheese or meat.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #3: Choose low saturated fat cooking methods

The way the food in is cooked in restaurants makes it too rich for those looking to eat healthy. Choose meats that have been steamed, broiled or roasted or those cooked in their own juices. Grilled chicken is a better option for your sandwich than fried chicken. Select sautéed or stir fried vegetables.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #4: Avoid heavy sauces and cream based gravies

Request for rich sauces, salad dressings and gravies to be served on the side so that you have a control over how much of saturated fats and cholesterol you consume. Order salads with a light dressing, like a vinaigrette and go easy on the cheese toppings.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #5: Portion sizes

You may have portion control plates and scoopers at home, but when you dine out, you have to deal with “super size” servings which pack a huge quantity of food. So share your meal with a companion, or better still, order appetizer-size portions or side dishes that are usually a smaller portion size.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #6: Go easy on the soda

Go for iced tea or plain mineral water or water with lemon when you order a beverage. Tea with skim milk or coffee are other options. Avoid sodas or sweetened juices as these are only empty calories with little nutritional content.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #7: Choose a healthy desert

If you must have desert, choose fresh fruit salad or sorbet or low-fat ice-cream to satisfy your sweet tooth. Ideally, it would be best to skip desert at the restaurant and have a small piece of low fat chocolate at home.

Eating Healthy When Traveling

balanced nutrition for kids

Eating Healthy When Traveling

Those of us who have driven hundreds of miles on American freeways known what it is like; cheap fast food joints, sodas, pies, jelly, fries and burgers. At the end of the day we have a bloated stomach that could do us proud at a burp and gas contest. You may laugh at the memory of your own road trips but you also know there’s little to joke about our road experiences. In this article we present you some helpful tips on how to keep both your stomach and your spirits up and alert on the long stretches of highway.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 1 Plan your pit stops

Plan your trip with precision. We know it’s difficult especially when there are kids traveling with you but do your best to estimate arrival times at various towns and cities along the route. Plan your trip in such a way that you pass through a town at lunch, snack and dinner time. Google the selected towns and create a list of the best restaurants. These days you can probably also view their menu online if so, look for restaurants that have a wholesome menu i.e. menu that has salads, vegetables, baked potatoes, whole grain breads and so on. If in doubt, call them up to make inquiries and reservations if required.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 2 Prepare the first snack at home

Prepare for the journey by carrying sandwiches with you for the first half of the day. Spiced Turkey or Chicken sandwich with salad leaves and herbs would be ideal. Each person including kids should have one large bottle of water in their hand and an equal quantity in the luggage hold.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 3 Snack every two hours or so.

Roughly two hours into the journey, hand out the prepared sandwiches to all. Often in the excitement of the trip, we forget to drink water so you need to make sure everyone consumes the water provided to them. Stop as often as required to pick up more drinking water.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 4 Top up!

When you stop at a gas station, stop for gas or drinking water or to visit the rest room – not for food. Most of us do not want to ‘waste time on eating’ but trust us, you and your family will be more than glad you did not eat junk food at the gas station.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 5 The Restaurant.

Make whatever detour is necessary to stop at the restaurant that is on your list. When ordering request for little or no fat cooking. Start with a healthy soup. Order a salad such as the Sesame Chicken Salad. It is usually made with Grilled chicken strips tossed with Romaine lettuce, fresh cilantro, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, green onions, and crispy wonton strips sesame vinaigrette. Order meat only if it is grilled or baked. If grilled or baked is not on the menu, select fish if available. If your kids insist on pizza, order thin, non-stuffed crust with pineapple or broccoli or grilled chicken toppings. If this is a Mexican restaurant order soft, non-fried tortillas as in burritos or enchiladas.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 6 On the road snacks

Stop where you are likely to get a healthy sandwich or other snack. If your kids see a McDonald’s and holler for a stop, order the Egg McMuffin – it’s healthy and your kids will love it.