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Top 10 Heart-Healthy Foods

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Many foods can help keep your heart at its best. Some help lower your blood pressure. Others keep your cholesterol in line.  So to maintain good heart health, the WebMD says it a good idea to add these items to your shopping cart:

 
1. Salmon
This ocean-going fish is a top choice because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “Omega-3s have an anti-clotting effect, so they keep your blood flowing,” says Rachel Johnson, PhD, RD, Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont. They also help lower your triglycerides (a type of fat that can lead to heart disease).
Aim for at least two servings of oily fish each week, says the American Heart Association. A serving is 3.5 ounces. That’s a little bit bigger than a computer mouse. Other options: Tuna, trout, sardines, and mackerel.

2. Walnuts.
Nibbling on 5 ounces of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half. Walnuts have lots of “good” fats. When you use these monounsaturated fats in place of saturated fats (such as butter), you cut your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your “good” HDL cholesterol.
Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fats. (They don’t have the same kind of omega-3s as fish, though.) Many foods can help keep your heart at its best. Some help lower your blood pressure. Others keep your cholesterol in line. So add these items to your shopping cart: Other options: Almonds, cashews, pistachios, flaxseed, and chia seeds.

3. Raspberries
These berries are loaded with polyphenols — antioxidants that mop up damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fiber and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke.
Other options: Any berries — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries — are great choices. Fruits and vegetables in general are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fiber.

4. Fat-Free or Low-fat Milk or Yogurt
“Dairy products are high in potassium, and that has a blood-pressure-lowering effect,” Johnson says. When you choose low-fat or fat-free dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, the kind of fat that can raise your cholesterol.
Other options: Most fruits and vegetables also have some potassium, Johnson says. Bananas, oranges, and potatoes are especially good sources.

5. Chickpeas
Chickpeas and other legumes (lentils, other kinds of beans) are a top-notch source of soluble fiber — the kind of fiber that can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol. If you buy canned beans, look for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties (sodium can raise your blood pressure). Rinse them in water to wash off any added salt.
Other options: Eggplant, okra, apples, and pears are also good choices for soluble fiber.

6. Oatmeal
Oats have a type of fiber (called beta-glucan) that lowers your LDL cholesterol. One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal or a little over a cup of cooked barley gives you the amount of beta-glucan you need daily to help lower your cholesterol.
Other options: You can also find beta-glucan in barley, shiitake mushrooms, and seaweed.

7. Olive oil
A cornerstone of the traditional Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a great pick when you need to limit saturated fat (found in meat, whole milk, and butter). Fats from animal products, and trans fats (“partially hydrogenated oils”) raise your “bad” cholesterol and can make fat build up inside your arteries. Other options: Canola oil and safflower oil.

8. Dark Chocolate
Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavanols, which can help lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It also acts as an antioxidant, which can keep “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls. Choose dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) to get more flavanols and less sugar, Johnson says. (Sugar raises your risk of heart disease.)
Other options: Think beyond the bar. Choose natural cocoa powder over Dutch-processed to get more flavanols. (Check the label to make sure you don’t get too much sugar.) For a totally unsweetened take, try cacao nibs. Add them to your granola.

9. Avocados
These fruits get their creamy texture from “good” (monounsaturated) fats, which lower your “bad” cholesterol.
“They also seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, so you don’t get chronic inflammation that makes atherosclerosis — the hardening of artery walls — worse,” Johnson says. Use mashed avocado as a spread in place of butter, or add cubes of it to salad, or over black bean chili. As delicious as they are, avocados are high in calories, so keep your portions modest.
Other options: Nuts and sunflower oil

10. Unsalted almond butter
Nut butters are great on whole-grain toast instead of butter. They’re a wonderful source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Use unsalted, natural options to avoid added salt, sugar, and hydrogenated fats found in other forms of peanut butter, Johnson says.

Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet!

  1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs

  1. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

  1. Select whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain farro, quinoa or barley.

  1. Limit unhealthy fats

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1. Choose low-fat protein sources

Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties

  1. Reduce the sodium in your food

Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet

  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)
  • People age 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.

   7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus

Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

  8. Allow yourself an occasional treat

Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you’ll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind!

To Learn more go to:  www.eatingwell.com

 

 

10 Foods That Last Forever

Monday, January 25th, 2016

 

 

The following foods stand the test of time and will last forever in your kitchen if stored properly. So any time you find a great price for these items, you’ll want to jump on them! Take a look:

  1. Honey: as long as it’s kept away from humidity, honey can last indefinitely. If your honey does crystalize, just gently reheat it to restore it.
  2. Salt: keep salt from absorbing moisture and it will last forever.
  3. White Rice: raw white rice will last indefinitely as long as it’s stored properly in a cool, dry place.
  4. Sugar: Bacteria does not grow on sugar due to its low moisture content, so properly stored sugar can last forever. If sugar gets damp, it will become hard or lumpy; on the other hand, the evaporation of molasses from brown sugar leaves behind clumps. You can easily fix lumpy sugar by breaking it down with a food processor or heating it in the microwave on low power for one to two minutes per cup
  5. Dried Beans: while gradual moisture loss will affect the taste and texture of dried beans, they’ll last up to 30 years. Just be aware that older beans by need to soak and cook longer.
  6.  Vinegar: some vinegars can last forever (which shouldn’t be surprising as vinegar is often used to preserve other foods).
  7. Cornstarch: keep this stuff in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place and it will last indefinitely.
  8.  Corn Syrup: this is safe to eat forever as long as it’s stored in a sealed container.
  9. Powered Milk: this stuff can be kept in the cupboard forever and used in place of regular milk.
  10. Maple Syrup: unopened syrup has an indefinite shelf life.

 

 

Gluten-Free Dinners

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

 

Don’t let your gluten restrictions keep you from enjoying a delicious meal. Check out these wonderful, yet light dinners and experience some mouth watering recipes that are gluten-free!

Also, if you’re trying to juggle both gluten-free and gluten-containing dinners, keep things organized. It’s best to prepare the gluten-free version first to prevent contamination of work surfaces, cutting boards, and cooking utensils. To prepare both at the same time, is not recommended; it’s too easy to get confused and more likely to cross-contaminate.

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/gluten-free-dinners/view-all

25 LOWEST CARB VEGGIES

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

It’s not always easy to compare apples to oranges when it comes to carbs. Fruits and vegetables come in all shapes and sizes, and while it might seem like one is a lower-carb choice than the other, it may just seem that way because of the size and weight differences. We leveled the playing ground for you here, so you can compare apples to apples… so to speak!

#1 is ARUGULA!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup of arugula contains 1g of carbs.
Arugula is rich in phytonutrients, which may reduce the risk of several kinds of cancers, including breast, stomach, and colon.
Note: To help you visualize a 50-gram portion, here are some examples: 10 grapes, 1/3 of a medium sized peach, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 35 blueberries, or 2 extra-long spears of asparagus.

#2 is CUCUMBER!
It contains 1g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced cucumber contains 2g of carbs.
The flesh of a cucumber is mostly water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. The skin is rich in fiber, magnesium, and potassium — a combination that may help lower blood pressure.

#3 is BROCCOLI RAAB!
It contains 1g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked broccoli raab (also spelled “rabe” and also sometimes called “rapini”) contains 3g of carbs.
This immune-boosting vegetable is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help prevent macular degeneration. It’s also a great source of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K.

#4 is ICEBERG LETTUCE!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup of shredded iceberg lettuce contains 2g of carbs.
Iceberg lettuce is an excellent source of potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, and manganese, which is essential for bone health and may help regulate blood sugar levels. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

#5 is CELERY!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. Two medium stalks of celery contains 2.5g of carbs.
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also rich with nutrients such as phthalides, which may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and coumarins, which may protect against some forms of cancer by preventing damage from free radicals.

#6 is WHITE MUSHROOMS!
They contain 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of raw sliced white mushrooms contains 2g of carbs.
Mushrooms are extremely dense with nutrients, including selenium, a trace mineral that may help fight cancer. They are also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and may help prevent cardiovascular disease.

#7 is RADISHES!
They contain 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced raw radishes contains 2g of carbs.
Radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium. Like other cruciferous veggies, they are thought to have cancer fighting properties, and have been used as medicinal food for liver disorders.

#8 is TURNIPS!
They contain 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked turnips contains 4g of carbs.
Turnips are especially high in cancer-fighting glucosinolates. Turnip greens are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and manganese. They are also a good source of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.

#9 is ROMAINE LETTUCE!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup of shredded romaine lettuce contains 1.5g of carbs.
Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which work together to prevent the oxidization of cholesterol. It is also rich in potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure. This makes romaine a heart-healthy vegetable.

#10 is ASPARAGUS!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked asparagus contains 3.5g of carbs.
Asparagus is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It may help reduce the risk of heart disease and regulate blood sugar because it is rich in fiber and B vitamins, which play a key role in the metabolism of sugar and starches.

#11 is GREEN PEPPER!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced green peppers contains 2g of carbs.
Green peppers are a great source of vitamins C and A, and vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. The folic acid found in green peppers can reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that damages blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

#12 is OKRA!
It contains 2g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked sliced okra contains 3.5g of carbs.
Okra contains glutathione, which is necessary for immune system support. It is also high in protein and fiber — one cup provides 4 grams of fiber.

#13 is CAULIFLOWER!
It contains 3g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup of cooked cauliflower contains 5g of carbs.
Cauliflower is a potent cancer fighter. It provides special nutrient support to the body’s detox, antioxidant, and inflammatory systems — all of which are connected to cancer development. With 6 grams of fiber (and only 50 calories) in 2 cups of raw cauliflower, it also comes with all the benefits of fiber foods.

#14 is YELLOW PEPPER!
It contains 3g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced yellow pepper contains 3g of carbs.
Yellow peppers are a good source of vitamins C and A, two powerful antioxidants, and vitamin K. It is rich in folic acid, which helps lower levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine can contribute to heart disease, stroke, dementia, and peripheral vascular disease.

#15 is CABBAGE!
It contains 3g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup cooked shredded cabbage contains 8.5g of carbs.
Cabbage is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and glucosinolates, compounds thought to have anti-cancer activity. Red and purple cabbage contain anthocyanins — antioxidants known as powerful weapons against cardiovascular disease.

#16 is RED BELL PEPPER!
It contains 3g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced red pepper contains 3g of carbs.
Red bell peppers are a good source of vitamins C and A, two powerful antioxidants, as well as vitamin K, which is necessary for bone health. They are also rich in B6 and folic acid, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

#17 is BROCCOLI!
It contains 4g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One cup of cooked chopped broccoli contains 11g of carbs.
Broccoli is a great source of a family of anti-cancer phytochemicals known as isotheocyanates, which work by neutralizing carcinogens. It is unusually high in vitamins K and A. The anti-inflammatory properties found in broccoli help to reduce cardiovascular risks. Broccoli is also good for digestive health due to its fiber content.

#18 is SPINACH!
It contains 4g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked spinach contains 3.5g of carbs.
Spinach is one of the best sources of vitamin K, which helps build strong bones. It contains more than a dozen flavonoid compounds that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. It is a good source of antioxidants that reduce problems related to oxidative stress, such as high blood pressure. Spinach also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against eye disease.

#19 is BEETS!
They contain 4g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of sliced canned beets contain 12.5g of carbs.
Beets get their color from betacyanin, which may help prevent cancer. They are a good source of betanine and folate, which reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine can damage blood vessels and contribute to heart disease, stroke, dementia, and peripheral vascular disease.

#20 is GREEN BEANS!
They contain 4g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked green beans contains 5g of carbs.
Green beans are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that lowers levels of homocysteine levels, an amino acid that can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. Green beans are also rich in manganese, a trace mineral essential for growth, reproduction, wound healing, peak brain function, and proper metabolism of sugars, insulin, and cholesterol.

#21 is CARROTS!
They contain 5g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of carrots contains 6g of carbs.
Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A carotenes. These help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and promote good vision. Carrots are rich in carotenoids, antioxidants that may be beneficial to blood sugar regulation and are inversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

#22 is KALE!
It contains 5g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup chopped cooked kale contains 4g of carbs.
Kale is rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrients. It contains powerful phytochemicals, such as indoles, which have been found to protect against some forms of cancer. Kale is also loaded with calcium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help prevent macular degeneration.

#23 is SUGAR SNAP PEAS!
They contain 5g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of whole raw sugar snap peas contains 1g of carbs.
Snap peas are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids. This combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.

#24 is ONIONS!
They contain 7g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One-half cup of cooked onion contains 11g of carbs.
Onions provide many anti-inflammatory benefits and may be protective against some forms of cancer. They are rich in sulfur compounds, which are responsible for many of their health benefits. These compounds can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which makes onions heart healthy vegetables.

#25 is CORN!
It contains 10g of carbs in a 50-gram portion. One medium ear of corn contains 26g of carbs. (Okay, that’s not really low carb at all, but that’s why it’s number 25!)
Corn is a good source of folate, which helps to lower levels of homocysteine. It is also rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which may lower the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, corn contains the B vitamin pantothenic acid, which is necessary for carb, protein, and lipid metabolism.

The nutrition information is adapted from The George Mateljan Foundation’s “World’s Healthiest Foods” website (www.whfoods.com).
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Avocado: A Butter Alternative

Monday, September 29th, 2014

If you’re looking for a natural butter alternative, there’s an option you may not expect, but it’s healthy and delicious: It’s the avocado.

A Butter Alternative That Cuts Fat

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, and when used as a butter substitute, avocado can cut the fat in a recipe by almost 40 percent, according to The Kitchn. In fact, the oils found in avocados aid in reducing LDL cholesterol and can help fight against heart disease, according to Prevention. Avocados also make a healthy alternative to mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and other high-fat creamy dips and spreads. This nutrient-dense fruit also offers a healthy alternative for salad dressing.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Along with cutting bad fat and adding good fats, avocados provide nutritional benefits by adding fiber as well as 20 vitamins and minerals to your diet, according to Nutrition Data. These include potassium, folate, vitamins K, B6, C, and E, riboflavin, and niacin.

How to Use Avocado as a Butter Alternative

It’s easy to substitute avocado for butter in baked dishes like brownies, like in this recipe from Dr. Oz, and cookies, like in this recipe from Lemons and Basil. The substitution gives brownies a smooth and thick consistency, and while this fruit may give your cookies a greenish cast, the results are delicious. When using avocado as a butter alternative in your own recipes, the rule of thumb is to substitute half the amount of butter with mashed avocado. If you totally eliminate the butter for avocado, the recipe will work, but results will be flatter.

How to Determine Avocado Ripeness

When replacing butter with avocado, it is important that the avocado be ripe. When Haas avocados are green and firm, they are not ripe. When the outer skin turns dark and the fruit has a little give (but is not too soft), it’s probably ripe. Another way to check for ripeness is to remove the little “belly button” left on the fruit from where the stem had been connected. If it’s green beneath the button, the avocado is perfect for eating, notes Northwest Edible Life. If it’s brown beneath the button, you don’t want that avocado because it is overripe.

The healthy fats and fiber in avocados will keep you feeling fuller longer. Avocados aren’t just satisfying because they’re delicious, they satisfy in a way that can help you snack less. However, it is important to remember that while avocados are a healthier alternative to butter, they are relatively high in fat compared to other fruits and vegetables and should, like most things, be enjoyed in moderation.

Visit the Wayfield Foods free shopping list organizer and start planning meals with your health in mind.

Easy Ways to Battle Childhood Obesity

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Childhood obesity is a serious problem across the nation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has dedicated the month of September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to help educate parents and children about healthy eating and exercise.

How to Participate

If the idea of starting a healthy lifestyle program with your family conjures up thoughts of tasteless recipes or joining an expensive gym, don’t despair. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many simple changes you can make that have major impact.

Make It a Family Affair

Children learn by watching their parents. If you eat a poor diet and never exercise, your kids will do the same. By making healthy living something the entire family participates in, everyone will reap the health benefits.

Get Moving!

According to Healthfinder.gov, children should get at least one hour of physical activity per day. But it doesn’t have to be 60 minutes all at once. To get your kids moving, try these activities. Remember, it’s more fun to exercise with someone else, so try to get the whole family involved.

  • Dancing or skipping
  • Playground activities
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing basketball or soccer
  • Going for a family bike ride
  • Walking the dog
  • Weeding outdoor flower beds
  • Helping an elderly neighbor do yard work or light housekeeping

To add incentive, create a “Move More Reward Chart.” Allow your kids to choose a sticker to place on the chart for every hour of exercise they complete. When they’ve hit a target number, celebrate by taking a family outing to a movie or local attraction.

Cook from Scratch

While it’s easy to swing by a fast food joint for dinner, it’s not healthy. Fast food meals are loaded with fat, calories, sodium, and added sugars, not to mention chemical preservatives and additives.

Teach your child healthy cooking habits by planning healthy menus and preparing them together. Commit to making at least three healthy meals from scratch each week.

Keep Meals Simple

Healthy meals don’t need to be complicated. You can even enjoy your favorite comfort foods like macaroni and cheese or fried chicken if you make low-fat substitutions and/or change your cooking methods.

For example, make mac and cheese healthier by using whole-grain pasta and low-fat cheese and milk, as in this recipe from EatingWell. Or make a “skinny fried chicken” by baking it or cooking it in a slow cooker instead of frying, like in this recipe from Skinny Ms.

Here are more healthy eating ideas:

  • Snack on air-popped popcorn instead of potato chips.
  • Ditch the sodas and drink water flavored with fresh fruit or flavored decaffeinated teas instead.
  • Instead of eating full-fat ice cream, make yogurt smoothies by blending plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt with fresh fruit and ice. Or make a low-fat milkshake using skim milk, fresh or frozen fruit, and frozen yogurt.
  • Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise.
  • Substitute applesauce for butter and oil in baked goods.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Cook more fish and lean poultry and less red meat.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast high in protein and low in refined sugar. Try whole-grain pancakes or waffles with low-sugar apple butter or oatmeal instead of breakfast pastries.

Create a Habit

When you consistently do something, it becomes a habit. If you commit to a healthy eating and exercise program for you and your family, you’ll reduce your kids’ obesity risk and help them develop healthful habits that will last a lifetime.

Visit the Wayfield Foods free shopping list organizer and start planning meals with your health in mind.

Study Shows Calcium for Kids May Help Prevent Diabetes

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

According to Science Daily, a study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) showed that calcium for kids may be even more important than you think. The study determined that African-American children who are genetically predisposed to diabetes may lessen their risk by consuming more calcium.

The Study

The study states that “body mass index [BMI] and percent body fat are strong indicators of a child’s risk of developing diabetes later in life.” It also indicates that African-Americans are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that the disease’s path often begins during childhood. The study showed that African-American children who had positive genes for type 2 diabetes but consumed higher calcium amounts had a lower BMI.

Recommended Daily Allowance

The USDA recommends that children ages 4–8 get 1,000 mg of calcium per day and children 9–13 get 1,300. African-American children often do not meet these guidelines, states the National Dairy Council. This puts them at risk not only for an increased BMI and diabetes, but also other health problems.

Adding More Calcium for Kids

Helping your kids add more calcium to their diets doesn’t have to be hard—you just need to know what to buy and how to incorporate calcium into their foods.

  • Drink More Milk: Milk has been replaced by soda in many homes. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), by replacing at least one soda with an eight ounce glass of milk each day, your child gets 299 mg of calcium. For even more benefits, stop buying sodas altogether or save them for a treat.
  • Make a Healthy Milkshake: Some kids don’t like the taste of milk and refuse to drink it plain. But when it’s added to a milkshake, they’ll drink it up. This shake provides a double punch of calcium from both milk and frozen yogurt: To make, add 1/3 cup low-fat or skim milk and one cup frozen yogurt (any flavor) to a blender; blend until smooth.
  • Eat Greens: Calcium isn’t only found in dairy foods—many leafy greens are great sources. For example, according to the NIH, one cup of kale has 100 mg of calcium. Other good sources are collard, mustard, and turnip greens.
  • Add Some Sweetness: The UCSF Medical Center notes that blackstrap molasses has a surprisingly high calcium content, with one tablespoon having 135 mg. Drizzle on sweet potatoes or pancakes.
  • Eat Almonds: Almonds are a good source of calcium. If your child doesn’t like to eat whole almonds, try almond butter alone or slathered on apple slices, celery, or rice cakes.
  • Enjoy a Parfait: Layer calcium-rich vanilla yogurt with fresh berries and granola or chopped almonds for a healthy dessert or snack.
  • Add Calcium to Lunch: If you pack your chlid’s lunch, add low-fat string cheese, a handful of almonds, and/or a yogurt.
  • Supplements: With a little creativity, you should be able to add enough calcium to your child’s diet through the foods he eats. But if you’re still concerned about his calcium intake, you may want to add a calcium supplement to his diet. Check with your pediatrician to determine if that’s the best course of action.

The best way to help your kids get the calcium they need is by setting an example. Your kids watch what you buy at the grocery store and watch what you eat. When you talk to them about the importance of calcium and provide them with calcium-rich foods, they will easily get the recommended levels they need.

Visit the Wayfield Foods free shopping list organizer and start planning meals with your health in mind.

9 Different Types of Milk Explained

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The varieties of milk on store shelves seem almost endless: low-fat, whole, almond, lactose-free, soy…and that’s just the start.

So, drink up! The United States Department of Agriculture encourages consumers to choose low-fat or fat-free milk instead of sweetened products, like flavored milk or yogurt drinks. Make several different types of milk part of your menu each day. Here’s the USDA daily dairy recommendations:

  • Ages 2–3, 2 cups
  • Ages 4–8, 2 1/2 cups
  • Ages 9 and up, 3 cups

So, which container of milk should you grab?

Nonfat Milk

Milk produced by cows is rated by the amount of fat (by weight) that is present in the milk. Nonfat milk has all the fat removed, giving the drink a lighter flavor. This is your lowest-calorie dairy milk option.

Low-Fat Milk

If you prefer a creamier milk that is not too rich, choose low-fat. This is often labeled as 1 percent milk, meaning it has 1 percent milk fat. Use low-fat milk for drinking, pouring over cereal, or baking.

Reduced-Fat Milk

When you crave an even creamier milk, to make homemade ice cream or pasta sauce, reach for reduced-fat milk. This is labeled as 2 percent milk and is an all-purpose milk that also tastes great to drink.

Whole Milk

Full-fat milk, or whole milk, generally contains 3.5 percent milk fat. It’s great for making homemade butter, cream, and cottage cheese, and it’s rich in flavor and thicker in texture than reduced-fat milk.

Whole milk is important to the growth and development of toddlers over 12 months of age. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) notes that fortified cow’s milk is an important part of a toddler’s diet because it provides protein, calcium, and vitamins A and D. Fat and cholesterol restriction should be avoided in children younger than two years. Fat is a calorically dense nutrient, containing nine calories per gram, which makes it an important component of toddlers’ diets because of their limited gastric capacity. Infants and young toddlers may need high amounts of energy from fat because of increased caloric requirements for growth and rapid brain development.

Lactose-Free Milk

For some people, milk causes digestive upset. LActose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk, is unable to be broken down in the digestive system due to a lack of lactase, a digestive enzyme in the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some milk producers remove the lactose, making the milk safe for people with a lactose intolerance.

Soy Milk

If you are on a dairy-free diet, venture into different types of milk made from plants, as noted in Women’sHealth. To make soy milk, soybeans are processed into a pale-colored liquid that is delicious to drink or use in your cup of coffee or tea.

Almond Milk

Another dairy-free milk option is almond milk. This milk has a slightly nutty, sweet flavor and creamy texture. It works well served cold as a drink, used in smoothies, or in lieu of regular milk when baking sweets.

Rice Milk

If you have a nut allergy or are lactose intolerant, consider trying rice milk. One of the gentlest milk types, rice milk is often fed to infants with dairy allergies. The milk has a watery texture and can substitute for sports drinks since it’s rich in electrolytes.

Organic Milk

Any type of milk can be produced organically. This means the animals, nuts, or grains that created the milk must be grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or any other lab-created chemicals.

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7 Healthy Substitutions to Lighten Your Favorite Recipes

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Eating healthier doesn’t have to mean a complete diet overhaul. Even simple changes can go a long way. Making healthy substitutions for certain ingredients can lighten up your favorite recipes so that you can still enjoy what you love eating. These easy ingredient swaps can make your meals healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Whole-Wheat Flour for White Flour

Whole-wheat flour packs in nearly four times more fiber per serving than white flour, notes EatingWell. According to the Mayo Clinic, increasing fiber in your diet can help lower your cholesterol. Whole-wheat flour is also higher in potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

Simple swap: Swap out at least one-half of the white flour that a recipe calls for with whole-wheat flour. This makes a great healthy substitution for pizza dough. For softer baked goods like banana bread, muffins, or cookies, use whole-wheat pastry flour instead to keep it lighter and prevent it from being too dry.

Unsweetened Applesauce for Sugar

One of the easiest healthy substitutions you can make is to swap in unsweetened applesauce for calorie-heavy sugar. Applesauce contains significantly less calories than sugar, and it adds nutritional fiber.

Simple swap: For every cup of sugar a recipe calls for, swap in one cup of applesauce. However, if the recipe calls for any liquid, like milk, you will need to reduce the liquid’s amount by 1/4. This makes a great substitution for cookies, breads, and cakes.

Avocado for Butter

It may sound strange to add an avocado to your favorite brownie recipe, but the truth is avocados have a very mild flavor while adding the same creamy texture as butter, notes Avocado Central. They also pack in plenty of nutritional value and they are much lower in saturated fat.

Simple swap: For every one cup of butter or oil a baking recipe calls for, swap in one cup of pureed avocado. You may need to increase your wet ingredients slightly to compensate. Play around with it until you get the consistency you like.

Brown Rice for White Rice

According to POPSUGAR, brown rice contains much more potassium and magnesium per serving than white rice, and it’s also higher in fiber.

Simple swap: Brown rice works especially well in dishes like rice casseroles, where your regular seasoning will cover any flavor differences.

Eggs Whites for Whole Eggs

A whole egg is loaded with protein and nutrients, like phosphorous and vitamins A and D. However, for those watching their fat and cholesterol intake, egg whites, which have no cholesterol and nearly no fat according to the USDA, make a much healthier substitution.

Simple swap: For a healthier breakfast, scramble up a plate of egg whites or build an egg white omelet with your favorite ingredients.

Romaine, Kale, or Spinach for Iceberg Lettuce

All salads are not created equal. Romaine, kale, and spinach all make healthy substitutions for iceberg lettuce, packing in tons of calcium, folate, and vitamins.

Simple swap: If you don’t like the taste of straight kale or spinach, create a blend of different dark leafy greens in place of iceberg lettuce.

Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

Greek yogurt and sour cream are nearly identical in taste and texture, however, Greek yogurt contains less than half the calories of sour cream and significantly more nutrients, according to LIVESTRONG.com.

Simple swap: Add a dollop of Greek yogurt to fajitas, tacos, and chili, or swap it into dips.

Start out with a few healthy substitutions, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier diet overall.

Visit the Wayfield Foods free shopping list organizer and start planning meals with your health in mind.