Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cheap Healthy Foods – Watch Your Weight and Your Budget

March 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Many of us are looking at our grocery bill for the first time. If you are like me, you buy what you need without paying too much attention to the cost of the item. Today, we are looking at ways to maximize the bang for our grocery dollar. But being frugal doesn’t mean skimping on nutritious food for you and your family.

Here is list of the top 5 nutritious food items you can get for less than $3 dollars:

  1. Frozen Vegetables – I love frozen vegetables, they are picked in season and have the same amount of nutrients as the fresh ones. The advantage is that you do not have to wait for the season to eat them. In addition to being nutrient rich, they also have high fiber. They can be used in soups, stews and stir-frr.
  2. Canned Salmon – For women in their reproductive years, Salmon is much better option than Tuna due its lower mercury levels. I also think it is little more upscale than tuna and can be easily added to salads and pastas. All the parts included in the can – skin and bones are all edible. The Salmon bones are great source of Calcium.
  3. Brown Rice – We all know brown rice has high levels of fiber, but they are also high in E vitamin. They take 45 minutes to cook so cook in a large batch, and freeze them. A small bag of brown rice usually has 19 individual servings and cost less than $3.
  4. Edamame – These have great heart health benefits of Soy, they are also high in protein and fiber. They are extremely easy to cook – just boil them for 6 minutes. Use them in Soups, stews and dips. Great food for kids and can be eaten hot or cold.
  5. Sweet Potato – Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet vegetables that kids love and great for baby food. Sweet potatoes contain large amounts of vitamin A and fiber. Very high source of beta Carotene which is good for our eyes.

Never leave the grocery store without these 5 top nutrient foods. Please share your list of cheap but healthy foods which we call can benefit from.

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Vegetarian Paella

March 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Healthy Recipes

Recipe Submitted by Jane Rollins, Orlando FL


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked Valencia or other medium-grain rice
¼ teaspoon saffron strands, crushed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen lima beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
Lemon wedges for garnish


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes; add garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add rice and saffron and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Stir in tomatoes and lima beans and cook for 1 minute more.

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Add broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and reduce heat to simmer.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes. If needed, add ¼ to ½ cup water or vegetable stock to prevent rice from sticking, then cover and cook another 5 minutes.

Stir in peas and cook until just tender and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Avoid overcooking; the rice should be just slightly al dente. (If not tender enough, add a bit more water and continue cooking.)

Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

Simple & Healthy Recipe Substitutions

  • Substitute brown rice to increase your fiber intake, as well as several vitamins and minerals. (Additional cooking time and water required.)
  • Use low-sodium canned tomatoes and rinse before use.
  • Substitute ½ to 1 teaspoon turmeric and/or ½ to 1 teaspoon cumin for saffron to reduce cost and increase anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Substitute frozen shelled edamame beans for lima beans to add soy protein.

Nutrition Facts

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Per serving: 210 Calories, 6 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 340 mg Sodium, 34 g Total Carbohydrates, 6 g Dietary Fiber, 7 g Protein

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Monosodium Glutamate: America’s Favorite Additive

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

msgMonosodium glutamate (MSG) is the salt form of glutamic acid, one of the Amino Acids that make up complete proteins.  It’s used as an additive in food to enhance flavor and belongs to a class of substances known as excitotoxins.  Excitotoxins work by tricking the brain into thinking something tastes good.  But being on the salty side, it’s typically in savory foods like ketchup and Doritos – and of course Chinese food.  The FDA performed extensive studies on MSG when it was introduced and found that most people metabolize it as a protein.   There are other studies that contend that the FDA studies were flawed and that MSG causes temporary brain lesions in laboratory rats.  A recent chain email going around claimed that MSG is behind America’s obesity problem – that since scientists use it to fatten mice for obesity studies that perhaps it is having a similar impact on humans.

Some individuals, like myself, have a reaction to MSG.  This is considered by the FDA to be rare, with mild and transitory symptoms.  Symptoms typically include a headache typically described as one’s “face hurting”, ranging to the more extreme muscle twitching and vomiting.  It can trigger an attack for asthma sufferers like my brother.  Typically small amounts of MSG are tolerated, but it reportedly can build up in one’s system over the course of a few days to a level that causes a reaction.

The MSG studies available on medical websites do confirm that scientists add MSG to the food of mice to fatten them up.  However, there are also studies that demonstrate that mice react differently than humans to MSG and that mouse studies cannot be extrapolated to humans.   The idea behind the mouse weight gain is that MSG makes the food more palatable, so the mice eat more and gain weight more rapidly than just with fattening food.  There was a conclusion for human studies to the effect that MSG should be investigated for  use with geriatric patients to make food more palatable.   My own conclusion about the MSG-obesity link is that it’s another case of wishful thinking that something besides eating too much and not exercising is behind the weight gain.  My doctor friend scoffs at the idea propounded in the scare email that one could gain weight without consuming more calories than one needs.

However, the increased focus on MSG and other additives has caused some manufacturers to begin either removing it from products or creating MSG-free versions of products.  This is a boon to those of us who need to avoid MSG.  The information on the web about avoiding MSG says that individuals who have a reaction to it would have a reaction to any form of free glutamic acid.  That is, the amino acid split out from its source protein.  There is a list of about 75 items to avoid.  Here is one of the websites containing a list: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html .  I haven’t personally tested the entire list to see if it makes me ill.

The list includes anything protein enriched (protein isolates), malted barley flour, caragheenan, yeast extract and “natural flavors”.  Since MSG is often extracted from seaweed, it is indeed a natural flavor, which means organic products can still include these ingredients.  Some foods labeled “no MSG” still contain other forms of free glutamic acid.

The list of ingredients to avoid are in almost all salad dressings, soups, condiments, prepared poultry products, snack crackers, breads, gelatin, canned tuna – getting the picture?  The broth injected in your holiday turkey is usually MSG and water.  I make most of my own foods from scratch and am a diligent label reader.  The simple approach is to look at low sodium versions of foods or not to buy prepared foods that have a long list of ingredients.  Eating out, the safest course is to eat spicy ethnic or at expensive restaurants.  I’ve never had an issue with Indian or Mexican food (not counting Taco Bell).  Avoiding MSG at a deli is nearly impossible.  Fast food restaurants at least post their menus online, so one can check the ingredients ahead of time.  Thai and Chinese food usually contains MSG, but except for buffets, can almost always be prepared without it.  And unlike American restaurants, they prepare the food fresh instead of pulling it ready-made from a freezer, so know what’s in it.  Basically, for those who don’t become ill from MSG and it’s relatives, it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth to avoid it.

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Food Hygiene – Food Poisoning Is On The Rise

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Every year, many people worldwide suffer from food poisoning, whether at home or abroad. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths.

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Food poisoning is preventable if you follow simple food hygiene tips.

Preparing food

In order to prevent bacteria from spreading, remember to do the following:

  • Wash your hands before and after preparing food, especially if you are touching raw meat
  • Prepare raw and ready-to-eat food separately
  • Always use clean utensils and equipment. Always wash chopping boards and knifes that come into contact with raw foods
  • Keep tea towels and hand towels clean and wash them frequently. Remember to replace wash cloths on a regular basis

Cooking food

Always remember to cook food properly to kill any harmful bacteria that arises

Chilling food

Many foods need refrigeration and when using these foods, it is essential that you pay attention to the ‘use by’ dates.

Always remember:

  • When you get home from shopping, to always place food requiring refrigeration
  • into the fridge
  • Cool cooked food as quickly as possible and then put it in the fridge
  • Keep raw meat and poultry in a sealed container. Place this container at the bottom of the fridge to stop it touching or dripping on to other nearby foods
  • Keep your fridge organized according to food type and do not overload food into it, as you can prevent cold air circulating
Source: Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States, www.cdc.gov
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Right Nutrients Bring Real Difference

March 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Vitamins

get_vitaminsFor many people who are overweight the simple fact that they have become overweight due to poor nutrition and over eating results in many instances of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

By simply supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals in the correct quantities this will help to reduce those deficiencies and that alone can assist in reducing the need to eat copious quantities of food due to the constant feeling of hunger.

There is another problem that faces people who are trying to lose weight and that is the fact that many of these diet and weight loss programs create their own deficiencies in vitamins and minerals by not supplying suitable amounts of food to sustain the persons good health while trying to help them lose weight.

Any diet that leaves you constantly feeling hungry is lacking and more often than not it will also be lacking in your body’s need for vitamins and minerals.

Unless the diet has been prepared with the specialist help of dietitians who have a comprehensive knowledge of the bodies need for all the various vitamins and minerals then the chances of you succeeding on a diet will be minimal and this is one of the biggest reasons why many diets are a failure.

It is not so much the person’s willpower to make it work as the fact that the body is crying out for its needs and they aren’t being met with the food that has been allowed on that particular weight-loss program.

If you’re on a diet and you find that you are constantly hungry or craving particular foods then it will be well worthwhile supplementing that diet with a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that will give you your recommended daily requirements.

You might find that this is all you need to help you to succeed.

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