Friday, July 20, 2018

Healthy Eating on a Budget

April 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Few weeks ago, we did an article about 5 ingredients you shouldn’t leave the grocery store without. We are publishing another article related to the same topic – Eating Healthy doesn’t have to break the bank, there are ways to make healthy eating fit your budget. You’ll be surprised by how spending just a little extra time can save you money.

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And the more time you spend—in planning, shopping, and cooking—the more money you’ll save.

Save money by learning and planning:

  • Plan and shop for a week’s worth of meals at a time. You’re less likely to go out to eat or buy expensive convenience foods during the week when the ingredients for dinner are already in your kitchen.
  • Keep a list of what leftovers are in your refrigerator and freezer. That way they won’t go to waste because you forgot they were there. And you can use the list when you’re planning next week’s meals.
  • Watch grocery store ads for sales so that you can stock up on items you know you will use. You can sometimes save money by buying more of something. For example, some stores may give you a discount if you buy 12 cans of chicken broth instead of just 2 or 3.
  • Learn how much food costs. That way you can tell when an advertised sale is really a good deal.
  • Use coupons. People who invest time in saving and organizing coupons often save a lot of money.
  • Learn how to grow your own vegetables. If you don’t have the space, see if there is a community garden in your neighborhood. Or try growing a few vegetables or herbs on your porch or in a sunny indoor room.
  • See how many convenience foods you can cross off your list by planning something healthier and cheaper instead. For example:
    • Instead of potato chips, buy unpopped popcorn you can make at home.
    • Instead of ready-made desserts, make your own cookies, cakes, or muffins.
    • Instead of packaged snacks, buy crackers and peanut butter to make your own little sandwich snacks. Or snack on fresh or dried fruits.
    • Instead of sweetened cold cereals, buy oatmeal or other hot cereal.

Save money at the grocery store:

  • Always shop with a list. Try not to buy anything that’s not on your list, but be open to unexpected sale items that you know you will use.
  • Shopping with family members can cost you money if they talk you into buying things that aren’t on your list. Shop by yourself if you have to.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. They are likely to be fresher and cost less.
  • Buy frozen vegetables. They are picked at the peak of ripeness and have just as many—or more—vitamins and minerals as fresh. And they cost less.
  • Buy store brands instead of name brands.
  • Shop in the bulk foods aisle, where things like beans, rice, pasta, and other dried foods may be cheaper.

Save money elsewhere:

  • Whole-grain bread is healthier than regular bread, but it usually costs more. If you have a bakery outlet in your community, you can buy day-old whole-grain bread there at a discount.
  • Buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market or a produce stand. Prices are usually—but not always—lower there than at the grocery store.
  • Many fruit orchards let customers pick the fruit themselves to save money.

Save money in your kitchen:

  • Build up your cooking skills. Buy one good, general cookbook. Used bookstores are a good source.
  • Invest in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot. With a slow cooker you can buy less expensive cuts of meat, because the long, slow cooking time makes them tender and very tasty. Plus, the dish cooks all day while you’re at work or busy with something else.
  • Learn how to cut up a chicken. You can save money by buying whole chickens and cutting them apart yourself. And make soup with the bones.
  • Make vegetables your main dish, and serve your meat as a smaller side dish. You’ll save money by eating less meat. You can also serve beans instead of meat.
  • Make your own lunch, and take it with you to work.
  • Use recipes you can double or triple, so you can freeze leftovers for later.
  • When a recipe calls for milk, use dried fat-free milk. It’s cheaper and doesn’t need to be kept cold. You just add the milk powder to water to make only as much as you need.
Source: Article was sent to via “write-for-us” by Coleen Western
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Understanding Food Labels and Nutrition Facts

April 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

food_labels_readingI don’t know about you but for me, grocery shopping and reading labels are  a real headache but it might be delight for some. Regardless of how you feel about them, determining whether a particular food product fits into your healthy diet plan has become easier.

In addition to listing the amounts of macro-nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate including fiber), a food label may also indicate vitamin and mineral content of the product. This provides good information to help a consumer determine if a particular food product meet his or her nutritional needs.

What is on A Nutrition Facts Label?

Food labels are designed to help consumers make healthy food choices. In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act went into effect. The USDA and the FDA developed these guidelines so that consumers would have access to useful nutritional information to help make smart choices.

But how do you make sense of a food label?

According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, all packaged food products must contain the following information:

  • Common name of the product
  • Name and address of the product’s manufacturer
  • Net contents in terms of weight, measure or count, and
  • Ingredient list and Nutrition Facts

Components of a Nutrition Facts panel

nutrition-facts-labelNutrition Facts

Common nutrients, such as total fat, cholesterol, and sodium, are required fields. Other nutrients, such as potassium and Vitamin K, are optional and not required to be listed. Each package must identify the quantities of specified nutrients and food constituents for one serving. It is important to note the following:

  • 1 g of fat = 9 kcal
  • 1 g of protein = 4 kcal
  • 1 g of carbohydrate = 4 kcal
  • 1 g of alcohol = 7 kcal

Serving Size

Serving sizes are standardized to make for easier comparison among similar food items. They are expressed in both common household and metric measures. It is always important to pay attention to a serving size. For instance, a serving of chocolate chip cookies is typically 2 pieces. Hence, if you eat 4 pieces, you will need to double the amount of nutrition content listed on the label.

Calories (kcal)

Calories provide a measure of how much energy you obtain after eating a portion of food. It is always important to find out the total calories. Many consumers are surprised to find that a fat-free product is not necessarily low in calories. Similarly, a sugar-free product is not always low in Calories or low in fat.

Nutrients listed

Total fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, total carbohydrate (including fiber and added sugars), protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron are required on the label. Other nutrients are optional and may be listed at the discretion of the manufacturer.

In addition to total calories and total fat, a few other nutrients relevant to heart health are important to pay attention to when reading a label. These include saturated fats, cholesterol and fiber. All labels started  including trans fatty acids from January 2006.

Percent Daily Values

Percent Daily Values provide an estimate of the percentage of a nutrient from one serving in a typical 2000 kcal diet.

Daily Reference Values Footnote

This footnote reminds consumers of the daily intake of different foods depending on their own nutritional needs.

Reading Food Labels – the Bottom Line

Food Labels and Nutrition Facts enable you to compare products based on key ingredients. When comparing products, focus on those nutrients that are important to you.

  • If you are concerned about your weight, you should compare products based on BOTH calories and fat.
  • If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you should focus on the amount of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Choose products containing less than 20% Daily Values for fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • If you have diabetes, you should pay attention to the amount of carbohydrate, sugar added as well as fiber.

Source: How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label – FDA/Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition

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Yoga’s Role In An Excercise Regime

April 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness

yoga-pose-locustPracticed in India for literally thousands of years, yoga is a system that has the potential to transform an individual at every level: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual! It works at the very root of a problem and helps the body to bring itself back into equilibrium.

The goal of yoga is a state of ‘samadhi’ (a state of bliss). Although this may seem abstract and strange at first, yoga does not teach abstraction. It simply takes you to the first step in the process, knowing that you will automatically progress. We start by being aware of the body, after which the concentration shifts to the breath, then the mind takes priority. With some effort and devotion the practice of yoga helps one to ultimately move beyond the mind to a state of constant awareness and bliss!

Yoga can easily be adapted for any person at any age and in any physical condition. Yoga has become more popular in recent years due to the many benefits that can be had from regular yoga exercises.

One of the great things about yoga is the fact that it is very powerful at relieving stress. For those people who are aware of how stress affects the condition of the skin and the aging process, it is easy to understand how powerful yoga can be to help wind back the clock.

By releasing stress from the body energy levels increase and allow you to participate in more activities. This in turn increases your physical fitness and mental fitness. With the ability to perform more physical activities the body becomes healthier stronger and effectively younger.

The suppleness that comes about from doing regular yoga exercises reduces the amount of aches and pains that we suffer as we get older. Having constant pain, and the energy that this saps from your body, is very often mirrored on the face, making you appear older.

Anti-Aging and yoga are very closely connected. Yogis look young even when they turn old because yoga involves less wear and tear of muscles. The muscle tone remains untouched, leading to a very healthy skin. The immunity of the body is increased because there are less toxins in the body leading to the body falling sick less often. Yoga works at all levels of the body to ensure that every aspect of the body’s functioning is smooth, balanced and in equilibrium!

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