The Children's Alliance

Commit to Healthy Foods for the New Year PDF Print Email
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Courtesy of Mecklenburg County Health Department --- Sahsine Davis, PhD, RD, LDN/School Health Nutritionist

 

COMMIT TO HEALTHY FOODS for the NEW YEAR

We all know and hear over and over again these messages about diet and health:

  1. Achieve and maintain an appropriate body weight
  2. Limit dietary fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
  3. Aim for balance, variety, and moderation in food choices
  4. Engage in physical activity

Sounds good, but how do we make it happen?

First, let’s remember the dietary recommendations that we can follow at home and our work place:

  • Eat less than 30% of your total calories from fat (40-60 grams of fat per day)
  • Eat less than 10% of your total calories from saturated fat (15-20 grams of    saturated fat per day)
  • Eat less than 8% of your total calories from sugar (USDA recommendation). American Heart Association recommends that 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men; 20 grams or 5 teaspoons for women; and 12 grams or 3 teaspoons for children daily sugar intake is not harmful for the body.

High Sugar Foods
Using 40 grams as the Daily Value for added sugars might reveal how much sugar per day is ideal for our body. For example, a cup of regular ice cream contains 60 percent of the proposed Daily Value for sugar, a typical cup of fruit-flavored yogurt contains 70 percent, and a 12-ounce soft drink or quarter-cup of pancake syrup contains 100 percent.

High Sugar Diets and Obesity
High sugar diets, or high glycemic index diets, can cause obesity. If you eat a high glycemic food or a high glycemic load meal, it will triggers a rapid rise in our blood sugar levels so the pancreas is over-stimulated and releases large amount of insulin. Result? This large quantity of insulin rapidly mops up the excess sugar in the bloodstream, causing blood sugar levels to dip quickly below normal, causing us to feel hungry once more. So even though we may have eaten a high calorie meal, we are induced to feel hungry and eat again within a short time. This process may lead to excessive calorie intake and weight gain, possibly causing obesity.

HOW CAN WE PUT INTO PRACTICE THESE SCIENCE BASED FACTS?

Parties are opportunities to be social, so have fun! Don’t let the food distract you from talking with friends and family. And even if the tables are laden with your favorites, with a little forethought and preparation, you can make healthy food choices that won’t derail your and your friend’s good eating habits.

 

HERE ARE SOME HEALTHY PARTY SNACKS FOR YOUR TEAM MEETINGS, OR HOME ENTERTAINMENT:

NUTS: Nuts are high in fat but they are full of the good kind of fat-unsaturated. Grab a handful of them.

RAW VEGGIES: The veggie tray is always a hit at any party! No matter what kind of veggie; vegetables are full of nutrients and water, low in calories and 100% fat free.

HEALTHY PARTY DIPS: Instead of mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese based dips, reach for hummus or fresh salsa.

FRESH FRUITS: Just like veggies, fresh fruit is nutrient-dense, full of water and low in calories and fat- and they will help you fill up before the main course.

AIR POPPED POPCORN: It is perfect snack for those of you who need to constantly be handling food. One cup of popcorn has only 30 calories and provides more than one gram of fiber. You can use Mrs. Dash seasonings to make it tastier instead of butter.

WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL WITH RAISIN: You can mix cheerios with raisin and make nutrient-dense and tasty snack.

WHOLE GRAIN TORTILLA CHIPS WITH LOW FAT CHEESE AND GRAPES

WHOLE GRAIN VEGGIE WRAPS

MINI RICE CAKES TOPPED WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND RAISINS OR ANGEL FOOD CAKE TOPPED WITH FRESH BERRIES AND CHOPPED PECANS: These are nutrient-dense sweets for people who have a sweet tooth.

PLAIN WATER: It hydrates your body and no calories; best drink ever.

VEGETABLE JUICES WITH NO ADDED SUGAR OR FRUIT JUICES: These are full of nutrient that you need daily.

The above are only samples; you can create your healthy snack by combining your own low calorie healthy ingredients.

 


 

 

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