What’s New on the Nutrition Fact Labels?

1. Serving Size

Out with the old:

Have you ever eaten a bag of crackers or cookies and then looked at the label and realized you just ate two or three servings? This happens all the time and can be a big problem that compounds today’s obesity epidemic. An individual bottle of juice, which looks like a single serving, is sometimes 2-3 servings or an individual package of crackers may actually contain two servings.

Serving sizes listed on packages sometimes fall short of what people actually eat. Eating a “normal serving” of ice cream is sometimes three times the serving listed on the package. If people don’t realize this, they can pack in more calories, sugar and fat than they thought they would.

In with the new:

With the new label, the serving size and servings per bag will be closer to what Americans actually eat. Realistic serving sizes will help Americans gauge what they are eating. This will cut down on the confusion for sure, and people can get a more accurate picture. Also, items that are packaged as a single serving will be marked as a single serving. A bottle of juice or individual package of crackers will be labeled as one, not two servings.

2. Calories

Out with the old:

In the current label, calories are the same font size as every other item on the label. This is fine, but it is easy to glaze over them when scanning the label.

In with the new:

Notice the font. It’s bigger! Everyone needs to have a ball park idea of how many calories they need each day. This helps by making it big, really big. If you have a general idea and can see the amount listed in bold letters, you can decide if it fits into your calorie budget.

3. Calories from Fat

Out with the old:

On the first version, the label listed how much and how many of the total calories came from fat. This was another guide to give consumers an idea of how much fat they were taking in every day. It was often confusing for people because many consumers focus on total fat grams.

In with the new:

In the updated label, calories from fat have been deleted. Why? The newer emphasis is on types of fat instead of total fat. We now know, all fats aren’t created equal. Instead of looking at calories from fat, the focus is the type of fat. Limiting saturated fat and trans fat is far more important.

4. Added Sugars

Out with the old:

With the first label, there was not such a big emphasis on sugar. We have learned throughout the years that sugar is something we need to be aware of and monitor closely. With the current label, you can see how much total sugar is in the product, but you don’t really know where that sugar comes from. For example, sugars from milk or an apple could look the same as sugars from a cookie on the current version. We know this is not the case, and this can be quite confusing. It is easy to think skim milk or light yogurt has too much sugar, when in reality, this sugar comes naturally from lactose.

In with the new:

With the new label, added sugars are listed directly on the label. This gives consumers a chance to see how much sugar is added to a product vs. what occurs naturally. For example, applesauce would contain sugar (fructose, which is naturally occurring), but now you can see if there was any sugar added to the product.

The last edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA 2015-2020) recommends consuming less than 10 percent of calories a day from added sugar. This is about 50 grams of less of added sugar a day for a intake of 2,000 calories a day.

5. Essential Nutrients

Out with the old:

Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and potassium are listed, along with their percent daily value. This means if you are eating a 2,000 calorie diet, the current label lists what percent you are taking in of your total needs per day. This is nice information, but doesn’t mean a lot for those of us who don’t eat a 2,000 calorie diet.

In with the new:

There are changes in the nutrients listed. The focus is now on vitamin D, iron, calcium and potassium. We still see the information on percent daily value, but we also see how much of each nutrient is in the product per serving. This is helpful if you are monitoring your intake, and can be a great way for you to keep tabs on these nutrients.

 

Source: Your Weight Matters Magazine

Lemon Dill Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Prep: 1. Drain and rinse chickpeas. 2. Zest and juice lemon. 3. Chop dill, scallions, garlic. Make: 1. Add chickpeas, tahini, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, juice of lemon (about 3 tablespoons), and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until combined. 2. Run processor while adding olive oil and continue running until hummus is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice if desired. 3. Add dill and scallions and pulse to combine. Do not run too long or the dip will turn green. 4. Serve with you favorite vegetables.
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Nutrition Info Per Serving (based on 8 servings)

Calories 155;  Protein 4.28 g; Fat 9.57 g; Carbs 14.46 g; Fiber 3.71 g; Sugar 2.8 g
Source: gatheredtable.com

Do This, Not That

You’ve probably heard of the popular line of diet books called Eat This, Not That. It’s an incredibly successful line of books for one reason; it’s simple and straightforward. Eat this, not that. Cook this, not that. Drink this, not that. You get the idea. So here are some more do this, not that to add to your list.

Do get a To Go box at the beginning of your meal. Put half of your meal away before you start eating. You now have lunch for tomorrow and cut your calories in half.
Don’t eat to clear your plate or until your stuffed.

Do 15 minutes of cardio after your strength training workout to really burn your body fat.
Don’t do zone out on the treadmill with a magazine or watching TV. If you’re focusing on a book or your favorite Soap, you’re not focusing on what you’re trying to do in the first place – get in shape and burn body fat!

Do use extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for marinades and dressings.
Don’t use high sugar, high calorie, and high sodium marinades and dressings.

Do use an active rest within your strength training routine instead of a normal break. Try a 30 second plank in between strength sets. You’ll focus on your core while giving the other major muscles of the body a rest.
Don’t meander through the gym and look for your buddy or stop at the water fountain for idle chit chat. You’re there to get in shape. Save the social stuff for later.

Do utilize supplements for nutritional assurance. But consult with health care provider first (primary care physician, dietitian, surgeon).
Don’t expect to find a quick, easy, and nutritious meal in a drive thru.

Do incorporate variety. Try doing your entire routine backwards, flip the sets and reps, etc…
Don’t do the same thing over and over and over and over and over…

Do your workout with an eccentric focus. Concentrate on the “negative” portion of the exercise.
Don’t just speed through the exercise to finish the set.

Do use a dynamic warm up using all major muscles of the body.
Don’t jump right into exercise without a proper warm up.

 

Summer Produce: What’s In Season from A to Z

There is a lot of produce in season during the summer months, so  We all know about melons, berries, peaches, tomatoes and corn being in season this time of year, but there are many other less-common options to try this time of year. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that provide many health benefits, so try some new ones and find a new favorite.

Apricots are creamy to orange-colored fruits that are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. You want to choose apricots that are plump, firm and uniformly colored. Store them at room temperature until they are ripe and then they can stay fresh in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for 3 to 5 days.

Breadfruit is a great source of fiber, B and C vitamins and potassium. It has a green skin that will darken while in the refrigerator and will typically last one week in the refrigerator.

Crenshaw Melon is a cross between cantaloupe and casaba melons. It is a great source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Choose melons with a waxy, golden-pink flesh, with a soft rind at the large end. Avoid blemishes and those that are green. Whole melons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, but after they are cut they should be refrigerated and consumed within 5 days.

Endive is very closely related to the dandelion plant, is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Choose endive heads that are crisp and bright green and you can store this in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Green Soybeans (Edamame) are a good source of protein, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. This is the only vegetable that contains all nine essential amino acids. Choose beans that are crisp and blemish-free and keep them in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

Lychees are an excellent source of vitamin C. They have red shells and you want fruits that are heavy for their size and if you want a sweeter taste, choose ones with brown patches. Lychees can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.

Okra can be boiled, fried or pickled and is a great source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and fiber. Choose bright, firm pods and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tomatillo is a staple in Mexican salsas and is a low-calorie source of vitamin C.  You should choose dry, hard tomatillos with tightly fitting husks. Refrigerate them in the crisper drawer for 2-3 weeks.

Zucchini is high in vitamin C, manganese and molybdenum. Choose zucchini with skin clear of blemishes, but is slightly prickly. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days and should not be washed until you are ready to use it.

Source: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=996

Mango Cilantro Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ banana
  • 3 inch piece of cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves (1 big pinch!)
  • 1/2 lime, juices

Directions

Prep: 1. Chop and measure all ingredients Make: 1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Makes 1 entree sized smoothie or 2 snack sized ones.
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Nutrition Information Per Serving (based on 1 serving):

Calories 165; Protein 9.74 g; Fat 1.9 g; Carbs 30.11 g; Fiber 3.74 g; Sugar 18.98 g.
Source: Gatheredtable.com

Easy Mashed Cauliflower With Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, plain [or other milk]
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Prep: 1. Boil water for steaming cauliflower and garlic. 2. Cut cauliflower into florets Make: 1. Once water is boiling, place steamer insert and then cauliflower florets and whole garlic head into the pot and cover. Steam for 10-12 minutes, until very soft. Drain and return cauliflower to pot. Allow garlic to cool a little, then squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin into pot with cauliflower.. 2. Add in almond milk and salt to the cauliflower and garlic. Mash until smooth.
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Notes

Cook the cauliflower until it is very soft. If you like you can add 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt to this to make it a little creamier.
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Nutrition Information (Per Serving based on 4 servings)

Calories 52
Protein 3.16 g
Fat 0.54 g
Carbs 10.4 g
Fiber 2.57 g
Sugar 2.31 g
Source: gatheredtable.com

101 Things to Do Besides Eat

 

Imagine a healthier, energetic you • Walk around the block • Call a friend • Make a list of your Top Ten Reasons to get active • Read a child a book • Make a To Do list • Dance a little • Plan a vacation • Get a massage • Jot a thank you note to someone • Go to bed early • Read a great book • Write in your Awareness Journal • Give yourself a manicure or pedicure • Plan a healthy meal for your family • Surf the Internet • Finish an unfinished project • Walk your dog • Feel your feelings • Volunteer in your community • Start a hobby • Brush your teeth • Tape your favorite show to watch while exercising • Take 5 slow, deep cleansing breaths • Practice an instrument • Balance your checkbook • Plan a party • Say a prayer • Buy yourself some flowers • Do a few sit-ups • Make a phone call to someone you like • Chop veggies to keep on hand • Set your priorities • Try a new hairstyle • Give a massage • Write down something you are proud of this week • Clean out a junk drawer • Play a game with your kids • Try a new route on your walk • Scream! • Plant fresh herbs to use in your cooking • Drink a glass of water • Kiss someone • Try on some clothes • Catch up on your reading for work • Look at old pictures • Rent a video • Smell the roses • Wash your car • Chew some gum • Plan a date for someone special • Swim a few laps • Read Eat What You Love • Take a hot, soothing bath • Update your calendar • Get it off your chest • Build something • Check on an elderly person • Work in your yard • Start your holiday shopping list • Count your blessings • Write a letter • Fold some laundry • Notice your inner conversations • Take a nap • Run an errand • Work on your budget • Take a bike ride • Check your e-mail • Make a positive statement about yourself and repeat often • Give your dog a bath • Start a project you’ve been wanting to get around to • Send a birthday card • Meditate • Try a healthy new recipe • Play cards • Set your goals • Freshen your make-up • Hug someone • Rearrange some furniture • Go take a hike! • Help with homework • Light a fire or some candles • Say “STOP!” out loud • Organize your photos • Walk around your workplace • Try a new relaxation technique • Talk it over with someone • Get a head start on your taxes • S-t-r-e-t-c-h • Do a “Honey Do” • Say what’s on your mind • Go pick up your mail • Straighten a closet • Think • Do something nice for someone anonymously • Check the stock market • Plan a romantic encounter • Clean out a file • Tell someone how you really feel • When you become truly physically hungry, eat!

Source: Michelle May, M.D. From Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. AmIHungry.com

Easy Sesame Ginger Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • 6 zucchini squashes, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce [we love Bragg’s Liquid Aminos]
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

Prep: 1. Spiralize zucchini – you can use a spiralizer or a julienne peeler. 2. Place zucchini noodles in colander, sprinkle with some salt, and let stand for about 10-15 minutes to sweat and drain. 2. Grate ginger. Make: 1. Warm sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce in a large sauté pan until ginger starts to sizzle. 2. Add zucchini noodles and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes [do not over cook or noodles will break apart. 3. Season with additional soy sauce if desired.
Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Calories 79
Protein 3.06 g
Fat 5.03 g
Carbs 7.27 g
Fiber 2.35 g
Sugar 5.35 g
Source: gatheredtable.com
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