Archive for September, 2011

Straight From the Headlines: Having Low Cholesterol Can Ward Off Prostate Cancer

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

According to a recent report put out by www.msnbc.com, new studies show that many men may be able to lower their risk of acquiring the most aggressive form of prostate cancer if they keep their cholesterol levels in the healthy range.

The report states that “men whose cholesterol was under 200 had less than half the risk of developing high-grade prostate tumors compared to men with high cholesterol.”

While having high cholesterol is typically a consequence of aging, young people are not in the clear either. Luckily there are preventive measures that anyone can do to help lower their cholesterol levels.

There are four basic ways to help maintain a healthy cholesterol level:
1. Eat a healthy diet
2. Exercise
3. Lose weight
4. Take medicine – in some cases

Some people will need to implement only one of these, while others will require a combination of these tips to help regulate their cholesterol.

Fall Squash and Gourds: A Little Background on These Fall Fruits

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Now that summer is coming to a close, it’s time to enjoy one of the most popular fruits that fall has to offer: squash and gourds. While in cooking squash and gourds are considered vegetables, botanically speaking squash and gourds are fruit.

Summer squashes like zucchini and yellow crookneck are harvested during the growing season, are eaten almost immediately and require very little cooking time.

Winter squashes like butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkin are harvested at the end of the summer, can be stored in a cool, dry place for eating later and generally require longer cooking times.

Gourds are from the same family as squashes.

When purchasing these fruits, look for squash and gourds that are fairly heavy and firm. Choose squash that have bright, glossy exteriors and avoid squash that have nicks, bruises or soft spots.

Back to School and Back to Lunch

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Today’s parents constantly worry that their children aren’t getting the right foods in their lunch. That’s why the right lunch begins well before noon. The right lunch begins at the grocery store and carries over in every meal they eat. Here we breakdown the grocery store for you section by section.

Supermarkets are filled with nutritious choices nowadays and by enlisting the help of your child when shopping for their lunch foods, he or she can learn how to make the best choices as they grow up and create meals of their own.

Be sure to check out the following areas of your supermarket and your child’s lunch will not only be filled with great tasting foods, but it will also create a healthy lunch.

The Produce Section- The produce section is always a good place to start when it comes to a healthy lunch. Choosing fruits and vegetables that your child enjoys and even some they may have never tried is a great idea and is always a good place to find those important vitamins and minerals that every child needs.

The Drink Aisle-
While many children would love to enjoy a sugary soft drink with their lunch, a better option is a 100 percent juice instead. Be a label reader and avoid juices with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and artificial flavors.

The Dairy Section- The dairy section is also an area where you can find some great foods. Try low-fat dairy options, like cottage cheese, string cheese and yogurt.

The Snack Food Aisle- Many parents would avoid this aisle completely, but there are still
some great lunch items that can be found in the snack food aisle. Be on the lookout for baked and not fried snacks, avoid trans fats, choose whole-wheat over non-whole grain snacks, grab some all natural granola bars that offer whole grains, nuts and pieces of fruit all in one snack.

Just by paying some attention to the labels and what is going into your child’s lunch each day, your child will have the nutrition and energy necessary to get through his or her day, the healthy way.

Additional good grocery shopping tips include:

• Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Avoid the center aisles where junk foods lurk.

• Choose “real” foods, such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain items with as little processing and as few additives as possible.

• Stay clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. If you don’t want your kids eating junk foods, don’t have them in the house.

• Avoiding foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Straight From the Headlines: Eating Junk Food An Addiction?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

According to a recent study published in the journal “Nature Neuroscience,” a high-calorie diet, including junk food, may be as addictive as drugs like nicotine or even cocaine.

The study, conducted on rats, shows that over consumption of high-calorie foods can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, thereby turning the rats into compulsive eaters.

Decreased levels of a specific dopamine receptor – a brain chemical that allows a feeling of reward – have been found in these overweight rats, as they are found in humans with drug addictions.

The research was conducted in conjunction with the announcement that obesity-related diseases cost the U.S. and estimated $150 billion each year and an estimated two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

Researchers say that eating snack foods are okay to eat from time to time, it’s when we repeatedly overindulge that the problems begin.