Want to test drive a vegan diet?

If you’ve ever wanted to try the vegan lifestyle, here’s a great start. You can follow the 21-day Vegan Kickstart Program and experience what it’s like to be a vegan for 21 days.

And even if you don’t want to be completely vegan but you do want to eat healthier, there are great tips here…

PCRM 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 21-Day Vegan Kick

Whether you’re drawn to chocolate, cookies, potato chips, cheese, or burgers and fries, we all have foods we can’t seem to resist—foods that sabotage our best efforts to lose weight and improve our health. But PCRM’s Vegan Kickstart will help you win the food fight.  For more information about the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, visit support.pcrm.org

Lori

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Processed meats boost health risks

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that identifies the real bad boys of the meat counter.

Eating unprocessed beef, pork or lamb appeared not to raise risks of heart attacks and diabetes, they said, suggesting that salt and chemical preservatives may be the real cause of these two health problems associated with eating meat.

The study, an analysis of other research called a meta-analysis, did not look at high blood pressure or cancer, which are also linked with high meat consumption.

“To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating,” said Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation.

“Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” Micha said in a statement.

Based on her findings, she said people who eat one serving per week or less of processed meats have less of a risk.

The American Meat Institute objected to the findings, saying it was only one study and that it stands in contrast to other studies and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“At best, this hypothesis merits further study. It is certainly no reason for dietary changes,” James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute, said in a statement.

Most dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat. Individual studies looking at relationships between eating meat and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have had mixed results.

But studies rarely look for differences in risk between processed and unprocessed red meats, Micha said.

She and colleagues did a systematic review of nearly 1,600 studies from around the world looking for evidence of a link between eating processed and unprocessed red meat and the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

They defined processed meat as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives. Meats in this category included bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats.

Unprocessed red meat included beef, lamb or pork but not poultry.

They found that on average, each 1.8 oz (50 grams) daily serving of processed meat a day — one to two slices of deli meats or one hot dog — was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.

They found no higher heart or diabetes risk in people who ate only unprocessed red meats.

The team adjusted for a number of factors, including how much meat people ate. They said lifestyle factors were similar between those who ate processed and unprocessed meats.

“When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed red and processed meats eaten in the United States, we found that they contained similar average amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol,” Micha said.

“In contrast, processed meats contained, on average, four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives,” Micha added.

Last month, the Institute of Medicine urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of salt added to foods to help Americans cut their high sodium intake.

The FDA has not yet said whether it will regulate salt in foods, but it is looking at the issue.

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Dieting for workplace dollars

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer

ATLANTA — How much money would it take to get you to lose some serious weight? $100? $500?

Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways.

“There’s been an explosion of interest in this,” said Dr. Kevin Volpp, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives.

Take OhioHealth, a hospital chain whose workforce is mostly overweight. The company last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win — up to $500 a year.

Anecdotal success stories are everywhere. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain’s five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes.

But does will this kind of effort really put a permanent dent in American’s seemingly intractable obesity problem? Not likely. [Read more...]

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Can we starve cancer?

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Rats lesson: junk food is a drug

I am encouraged when I see powerful confirmations of what I’ve insisted for years.  This report regarding the narcotic, addictive effects of sugar and fat doesn’t surprise me at all.  I hope it prompts you to cut back on junk food, even if it means conceding that it took lessons from rats to change your view  –  Lori


By Jeff Ostrowski
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

In a study that compares cupcakes and cookies to cocaine, scientists at Scripps Florida say rats fed a diet of junk food grew so addicted to unhealthy food that they starved rather than eat healthy fare.

Scripps Florida scientists Paul Kenny and Paul Johnson say junk food changed the rats’ brain chemistry in the same way that chronic cocaine use alters an addict’s brain function. Their study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience, bolsters the increasingly popular theory that Americans’ bulging waistlines can be blamed in part on the addictive attributes of unhealthy food.

As part of three years of experiments, Kenny, an associate professor, and Johnson, a graduate student, served one group of rats healthy, nutritionally balanced fare. Another group got unlimited access to the worst stuff Johnson could find at Publix, including bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, Ding Dongs and frosting. [Read more...]

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FDA: Truth suffers in battle of the bulge

The Food and Drug Administration is moving toward a more active role in seeing that packaged food consumers have accurate, adequate nutrition labels to guide purchasing decisions.

Please read this article by Andrea Thompson of LiveScience.com  –  FDA cracks down on defective nutrition labels

If you’d be willing to participate in a simple, 10-question study about how consumers evaluate nutrition labels, please click this link to provide contact information and we’ll send you the survey form.

Thanks for making a difference in your world.

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National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Registered Dietitian Day, also celebrated in March, increases awareness of registered dietitians as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.

Below are three videos to help you toward better nutrition and, ultimately, toward better health.









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The whole grain truth

In my business, I see a lot of diabetics or folks that just want to lose weight and want to know the best foods to eat. When it comes to grains, I always let them know that the less processed the better because whole grains provide more nutrients such as vitamins, minerals plus more fiber than ground grains. The following is an excellent article explaining the digestive benefits of whole grains — Lori

By Diana Mirkin
co-author of The Whole Grains Cookbook

When grains are processed into flour or cereals, the primary concern is loss of nutrients. However, if you grind your own grains or use products that are made from the whole grain without discarding anything, you get all or most of the nutrients of the original grain. But grains that have been broken apart in any way will be digested quicker. That’s a big disadvantage for diabetics and dieters.

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugars, and only single sugars can be absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream. The foods that cause rapid rise in blood sugar are those that are digested most quickly; the worst offenders are sugar and anything made from flour.

When you eat whole grains (seeds), it takes a long time to break apart the capsule, separate the carbohydrates from the fiber, and completely digest each grain. Your blood sugar rises slowly, stays slightly elevated for a long time (so you don’t feel hungry again soon after eating) and never reaches the high levels that come from sugar or flour. [Read more...]

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Healthy recipes for happy tummies

I have two delicious reciptes to share with you, one a simple solution for a quick, healthy breakfast and the other, a mouth-watering dish for which the effort is far outstripped by scrumptuous outcome.

Having Sweet Potato Pudding for breakfast is a great way to load up on cancer-fighting beta-carotene. It takes just minutes to make if you keep cooked sweet potatoes or yams on hand.

Makes three 1/2-cup servings

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup fortified soy or rice milk
1 cup cooked sweet potato or yam
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Nutrition information per 1/2-cup serving:

Calories: 119
Fat: 1.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
Calories from Fat: 10.1%
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 3.7 g
Carbohydrates: 23.9 g
Sugar: 8.6 g
Fiber: 2.9 g
Sodium: 40 mg
Calcium: 77 mg
Iron: 1.4 mg
Vitamin C: 7.7 mg
Beta-Carotene: 5541 micrograms (5.5 mg)
Vitamin E: 1.2 mg

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

Making a lovely dinner for a nice occasion doesn’t require a lot of rich and fatty ingredients. A light white fish dish takes around 15 minutes to bake and it contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids — the compounds that have been associated with lower risk for colon and prostate cancers.

Whitefish Papillote

Whitefish Papillote

(Recipe care of American Institute of Cancer Research – www.aicr.org)

White Fish en Papillote
Parchment cooking paper
Non-stick cooking spray
4, 3-oz. white fish fillets (such as Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, striped bass)
4 Tbsp. commercial tapenade, or see recipe below
Juice of 2 medium lemons (about 4 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup white wine (not too sweet, such as Pinot Grigio),
or may substitute with an equal amount of chicken broth or white grape juice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare four 8” x 10” pieces of parchment paper by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Place one fish fillet in the middle of each piece of parchment paper. Spread 1 tbsp. of tapenade on each fillet. Top each with 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1 tbsp. white wine (or non-alcoholic substitute).

Form a packet around each fillet by folding over sides of parchment paper, forming a tight seal.

Place packets on baking sheet in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes for thinner fish, a little longer for thicker fillets. You can test doneness by opening one packet. When fillet has turned opaque, it is done.

Homemade Tapenade
2 cups black olives, preferably oil cured, pitted
3 anchovies, rinsed and patted dry (optional)
3 Tbsp. drained capers
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is still coarse, but has a uniform consistency. Makes about 2 3/4 cups of tapenade.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (with homemade tapenade): 135 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 3 g carbohydrate, 16 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 290 mg sodium.

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Food tip of the week

Pack for a Pigskin Picnic

One of the highlights of fall and winter weekends is the football tailgate party. Whether for high school, college or the pros, tailgating is as much of a tradition as foam fingers and face paint.

Tailgate food tends to mean snacks and desserts. Try these ideas for a tailgate that’s easy on the waistline:

* Start with fruit skewers and yogurt dip along with vegetables and hummus.
* For the meal, serve deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread loaded with sliced veggies and low-fat cheese.
* Another option is a pot of vegetarian chili and whole wheat bread.
* If you like to grill, choose leaner cuts of meat or poultry.
* For dessert, serve angel food cake chunks mixed with fruit and yogurt, chocolate brownies or even fruit skewers with melted chocolate.

May the best team, and meal, win!

source:  American Dietetic Association

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