Tag Archives: diet

Simple Ways to Improve Your Eating Habits

Diet culture or societal beliefs that encourage restriction of food to get a leaner body are some of the ways people approach eating. Research shows that restrictive diet rarely results in long-term weight loss. Experts say that if you are in good health, you don’t necessarily need to severely  restrict your food choices.

According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 85% of your food should be focused on helping your body and leaving the rest for things you enjoy. It’s important to consult a doctor if you have restrictions on your diet related to health conditions.

If you’re trying to rethink your approach to food in the new year, experts suggest using the following three strategies to do it better.

It’s important to listen to your cravings and think about what you haven’t had in a while that will make you feel good. Allow yourself to have a little–remember you get that 15% indulgence!

The human body can tell you when to eat and when to stop, but diet culture has messed with those signals. Slow down, take your time with your meal, listen to the cues your body is giving and don’t over eat. Body-signal driven portion control can help reduce caloric intake.

Restricting what and how much you eat, like telling yourself you can’t have that burger or ice cream instead of allowing yourself to enjoy a treat, is behavior that can lead to eating more than you’re comfortable with later to make up for it.

Use all of your senses to appreciate what you’re eating. Much like listening your body for when to stop eating, use your senses to fully appreciate everything about the food you are eating–this will likely lead to your eating healthy and better prepared food. It will slow down your eating.

All About Cheese

Cheese is a beloved food all over the world. And between Thanksgiving and the new year, many snack trays presented to us will include cheese.

The USDA reported that in 2020 Americans ate a whopping 38 pounds of cheese per capita.

But how healthy is all this cheese eating?

While cheese is high in protein, vitamins, calcium, and amino acids it also is calorie-dense and is sometimes high in fats and sodium.

Many dieticians believe it can be a good source of both calcium and protein but that we should watch not to go overboard as the calories add up quickly when it comes to cheese. The protein in cheese is a good alternative to eating meat (attention: vegetarians) because it is still of animal origin and contains those same essential amino acids as meat that our body needs but cannot make on its own.

This makes cheese a so-called “complete protein.”

As with any food how much one consumes should be considered in the context of what else one is eating. Totally eschewing or eating tons of one kind of food or macronutrient is rarely healthy.

However, rest assured, consuming cheese in moderation can be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle.

“Hidden” Sodium Hurting Americans’ Health.

Being aware of the link between salt, high blood pressure and heart disease (a leading cause of death for Americans) and not adding salt to your cooked food at home and in restaurants and eschewing it in recipes may not be enough to minimize your sodium intake.

One can easily get over the daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium without adding or cooking with salt directly. Eating out or using processed ingredients can easily have one above the limit.

Look at your average salad dressings. Some have 23% of one’s daily value of sodium in just a 2-tablespoon serving.

Some of the worst culprits are breads, canned vegetables and chicken breast. Chicken breast is pumped up with salt water to make them look more appetizing and larger. And as mentioned, many breads contain lots of sodium.

Even take a look at some of your favorite sugar-free, sweet beverages like a soda-pop. There is a significant amount of sodium per serving in those as well.

The problem is that it becomes exponential—once you add the dinner roll, the pasta sauce, the dressing on one’s salad the amount of “hidden” sodium in our meals can become astronomical. In fact, the FDA claims that 70% of the salt American’s consume comes from salt added by the food industry before it even gets to the grocery store, restaurant or your home.

In fact, the FDA is going to ask the food industry to voluntarily reduce the amount of sodium in 163 categories of the most consumed prepared, packaged and processed foods.


Study On How Family Meals Changed During Pandemic Reveals Parent’s Thoughts on Fast Food

Whether it be a positive or negative change, how and what families eat has been affected by the pandemic.

A study from the University of Michigan that surveyed 2,000 parents with at least one child between 3 and 18 years old found that about 50% of parents reported their family ate home-cooked meals more often during the pandemic while 20% said their family at more fast food during the pandemic.

Kids who consumed fast food at least twice weekly were more common in low-income families (less than $50,000 annually). Parents with lower incomes were more likely to have stated they thought their child or children were overweight than those with higher incomes (more than $100,000 yearly).

Many experts believe that the data available demonstrates that consuming fast food on a regular basis predisposes kids to gain unwanted weight.

According to the study, most parents agreed that fast food was more expensive than cooking at home and less healthy for their children. Furthermore, they mostly agreed that fast food was not a good value for the money. Despite this, 72% of parents agree that when time is an issue fast food is a good option for their family. 82% of parents reported that they thought fast food was fine in moderation.

Most parents agreed that fast food is unhealthy for their children, more expensive than making meals at home and not good value for the money spent. Still, 72% of parents thought that when pressed for time, fast food is a good family option, and 84% thought fast food was fine in moderation.

Study authors stated that they message they are receiving from parents via the data that cooking at home is time-consuming and complicated and that heavily processed (fast) food is the solution. Study authors also noted that as humans are creatures of habit, the more often we order take out or fast food the more uncomfortable and difficult to get out a pot to boil water for a simple dish of pasta and veggies.




New Study Finds A Single Hotdog Could Shave 36 Minutes Off Your Life

While no single study is definitive, new research from the University of Michigan may have many of us rethinking what we eat. The study developed a formula and found that eating a single hotdog could shave 36 minutes off your life span.

The researchers looked at almost 6,000 foods in the US diet and measured their effects in minutes on the lifespan of the eater. The goal of the study was to make more visceral the impact individual foods have on our health.

Researchers developed an index that calculates the net benefit or determent to health according to minutes of life by consuming a single food. It is based in part on the Global Burden of Disease study that measures morbidity by a person’s food choices.

Some other examples from the index include: 0.45 minutes are lost per gram of processed meat a person consumes. Don’t worry, the index works both ways. 0.1 minutes are gained per gram of fruit consumed.

As stated, one food researched was a standard beef hot dog on a bun. With 61 grams of processed meat, one would lose 27 minutes of life. But when other ingredients like sodium or trans fatty acids were factored by the index, the final value was 36 minutes of life lost.

Unsurprisingly the study found that eating things like legumes, nuts, seafood, non-starchy vegetables and fruit had positive effects on health and longevity.

Consumption of foods such as nuts, legumes, seafood, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, on the other hand, have positive effects on health, the study found.

Study authors warned that the point of the study is not to say if you eat this bad food, eating that good food will end in a zero sum. But rather to make the choosing the best calories to consume. The point isn’t even to say never eat a hot dog, but it is certainly a food you want to limit in your diet. The study is not intended to tell us exactly what to eat day to day, but just one metric to help make better choices.