The Forbidden Culprit: Sugar!

Today I wanted to discuss the forbidden culprit that everyone wants to remove from their diet, Sugar!

Most people know that too much sugar can add extra calories to their diet and cause unnecessary weight gain, so they avoid obvious things like; candy, chocolate, pastries, juice, and soda. We all know these items are loaded with empty calories and full of sugar, but what about the hidden sugar items? There are lots of food items that we may think are better than cookies and sodas, but the reality is they still contain a significant amount of sugar in them. To be specific, I’m talking about items like pasta, yogurt, granola, bread, condiments and sauces. One 6 ounce container of strawberry Yoplait yogurt contains 18 grams of sugar. If you top it off with a ½ cup of Special K granola you would be adding 6 extra grams of sugar. That’s a total of 24 grams of sugar in one small snack. The Dietary Guidelines for 2015 only recommends 30 to 35 grams of added sugar a day in a 1200-1400 calorie diet. This snack alone is more than half of the recommended daily dietary guidelines.

Also, condiments, dressings, and sauces are another culprit when it comes to hidden sugars.

The problem with these is that we tend to use more than the recommended amount causing a sugar overload. Take for instance Chick-fil-A, everyone has their favorite sauce that they just have to dip their chicken in. My personal favorite is Polynesian sauce. It contains 5 grams of sugar in one container. Most people tend to grab 2 to 3 extra sauce packets for their meals, you must have enough to cover the entire meal (sandwich and waffle fries) but that’s where the culprit comes in to add the extra calories. By adding the dipping sauce, you have increased your overall sugar intake for that meal 10 to 15 grams just in sauce alone. Being mindful and aware of these hidden sugars can help you cut back on your added sugar intake.

Some tips that I would suggest are if you just can’t have Chick-fil-A without the sauce try minimizing it to one container only. Also try to keep things simple. If you want yogurt try having plain unsweetened yogurt then add fresh fruit or granola to plain yogurt. That way you only have one item that adds the extra sugar. Also, always read the nutrition labels and stick to the serving sizes. When you increase serving sizes you increase sugar.

My name is Danielle Lamb. I’m from Nashville, Tennessee.
I’m a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University.
I’m currently a Dietetic Intern at Oakwood University.

 

References:

Cording, Jessica. “Looking to Reduce Your Family’s Intake of Added Sugars? Here’s How.” Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., 2018, www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/looking-to-reduce-your-familys-added-sugar-intake-heres-how.

Madison Ready Fest: The Final FINAL Reminder!!!

Hey gang! This is your ultimate, final, absolutely last reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Madison Ready Fest: The Final Reminder!!11!

Hey gang! This is your last reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Madison Ready Fest: Your First Reminder!!

Hey gang! This is a reminder that I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Madison Ready Fest: Are you ready?!

Hey gang! I’m going to be at Madison Ready Fest on April 14th from 10AM until 2PM dishing up protein balls and answering your questions about nutrition! Feel free to stop by and see me.

Madison Ready Fest
Church of Christ of LDS
1297 Slaughter Rd
Madison, AL 35758

Here’s a snippet from the website, to let you know a little bit more about what you can expect from Madison Ready Fest:

When life happens, you need a plan! MadisonReadyFest is a free one-day event on Saturday April 14th from 10 AM- 2 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1297 Slaughter Road. The event is supported by the City of Madison, with City officials making presentations. There will be Police, Fire, 20 informational booths, 10 guest speakers and mini classes covering various topics including: financial planning, medical screening, natural disasters, child safety, self-defense, career networking, water filtration, food storage and gardening. Our aim is to help individuals and families to become self-reliant and prepared for emergencies.

And for more information about how important protein is, check out this article, which I think you’ll really enjoy!

Tis the Season to be Healthy- Appetizers and Drinks

It’s that time of the year again. The time of the year when families, friends, and coworkers come together to feast for the holidays, which can unfortunately wreak havoc on your diet if you’re not careful. Fear not, dear reader! With this collection of healthy holiday recipes, you and your waistline are sure to have a happy holiday season!

coffeePumpkin Spice Latte
Being a great source of Vitamin A, Calcium, and Potassium, it’s no wonder that the plucky pumpkin is a popular source of nutrition during the fall season! And what compliments a chilly fall breeze better than a warm cup of pumpkin-spiced latte? This home made version of the popular coffee drink keeps all the flavor without all the sugar-heavy syrups.
http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-To-Make-A-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-/10000000215112876/g.html

hot_apple_ciderHot Apple Cider
If coffee isn’t your preference, then another great drink that will warm you up is a hot mug of apple cider. This delicious beverage is filled with the natural antioxidants found in apples along with vitamin B, calcium, and other important nutrients to keep your body happy and healthy.
http://delightfulmomfood.com/best-homemade-apple-cider-recipe

chicken_avacado
Credit to delish.com

Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
One of the great things about this appetizer is that you have the heart healthy benefits of the avocado merged with the creamy texture and savory flavor of chicken salad. This yummy combination makes for a great utensil-free snack for any Thanksgiving or Christmas party. Truly, this recipe is a win-win for your taste buds and your waistline.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipes/a47064/chicken-salad-stuffed-avocado-recipes/

Credit to parsnipsandpastries.com
Credit to parsnipsandpastries.com

Roasted Grape Crostini with Lemon Ricotta and Honey
If you prefer your appetizers to be a little less savory and a little more sweet, then this next appetizer is right up your alley. This delicious snack recipe not only contains antioxidant-rich grapes, it also has calcium-filled ricotta and fibrous whole wheat bread, topped off with a touch of honey for just the right amount of sweetness.
http://www.parsnipsandpastries.com/roasted-grape-crostini-lemon-ricotta-honey/

Credit to cookingclassy.com
Credit to cookingclassy.com

 

Garlic Lemon and Parmesan Oven Roasted Zucchini
Last, but certainly not least, among the healthy list of holiday appetizers, these roasted zucchini sticks provide healthy amounts of manganese, a nutrient that helps decrease the risk of bone loss along with vitamin C to help with your immune system. The combination of lemon juice and garlic along with lightly spread Parmesan cheese crumbs for flavor creates a tasty combination for a perfect recipe that will leave you and your loved ones having a happy holiday season.
http://www.cookingclassy.com/garlic-lemon-parmesan-oven-roasted-zucchini/

For more healthy snacks and tips on weight loss for the holiday season, don’t forget to follow: http://beksbites.com/

Other Sources:
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-zucchini.html
https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267290.php?page=2
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Healthy Halloween!!

costume-screaming-demon-devil-41521The shelves at the grocery stores are packed to bursting with bags of chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel candies all awaiting the last night of October to find their way into the treat bags of the ghouls and goblins that roam the streets. Most of these treats have ingredients that are questionable at best and hair-raisingly terrifying at worst.

Beware the Shiny Candy Wrappers!

Reading food labels can be tricky and sometimes the frightening ingredients can be the hardest to decode. Just look for anything that you can’t easily pronounce. The weird ingredients in those foil-wrapped candies add a lot of scary to their recipes such as:

  • Carcinogenic food colorings and artificial flavorings
  • Sour and sticky ingredients that erode tooth enamel
  • Crushed beetles and other insects
  • Chemical-based preservatives like petroleum

giant-rubber-bear-gummibar-gummibarchen-fruit-gumsConjure up a Healthier Halloween

Don’t be bewitched by the dangerously red sugar-coated shell on those candied apples, look for healthier ingredients such as dark or milk chocolate, peanuts, peppermint oil, and honey in store-bought treats. To find treats made with things you can recognize, look in health food stores or in the organic section of your local grocer.

If you want to try some Halloween magic, consider creating treats in your own kitchen. Check out the links below for wickedly healthy recipes:

Toffee Popcorn Balls

Dark Chocolate Bark

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

Caramel Dip and Apple Slices

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties

Fruit Treats (Banana Ghosts and Tangerine Pumpkins)

As you get ready for your weekend of Halloween fun, start with a spooky Easy Friday lunch. Remember the ingredients in your holiday treats should be easy to read and if not, consider making healthy treats at home so you always know what you’re eating!

Resources
http://www.takepart.com/photos/worst-halloween-candy/some-halloween-treats-are-downright-scary

https://www.honeycolony.com/article/halloween-candy-the-good-bad-the-ugly/

All the Colors of the Rainbow – Cauliflower

CauliflowerThis post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.

Cauliflower

Steamed, broiled, boiled, sautéed, stir-fried or microwaved, cauliflower can be the most flexible vegetable in the garden! It can become mashed “potatoes,” white “rice” or even pizza crust. Cauliflower itself comes in a rainbow of colors – purple, orange, white and broccoflower (which is light green and is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower). Cauliflower is closely related to broccoli and is interchangeable with it in many recipes. 

One medium-sized head of this white vegetable has 146 calories so it’s no wonder it has grown in popularity. Cauliflower traveled through the gardens of Spain, France and Italy after being introduced from Syria in the 12th century. From Louis XIV’s table to England then to India in 1822, the vegetable found a new home in America later in the 19th century.

cauliflower-1Cauliflower’s bumpy exterior hides great nutrients like being high in calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as a good source of folic acid. Vitamins K, B and C make healthy showings in this vegetable as well. Being in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and kale, cauliflower has similar health benefits such as:

  • Boosting heart and brain health
  • Easing inflammation
  • Improving digestive health
  • Fighting cancer

Cauliflower has many colors, names and ways it can be prepared, and all of those ways lead to better health. In this week’s Easy Friday lunch, we encourage you to get out your slow cooker and enjoy a hearty soup using this multifaceted vegetable.

Resources:

http://www.cauliflowerfestival.com/cauliflower-history.html

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–864/all-about-cauliflower.asp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cauliflower

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx

Cooking tip

Cauliflower Balls
Cauliflower Balls

Cauliflower can be stored up to seven days and should not be rinsed until right before you are ready to cook it. Wash cauliflower with salt or vinegar water to remove all the dirt. Cauliflower may give off a weird smell when being cooked. Don’t worry, cooking it until it’s crisp will reduce this scent.

All the Colors of the Rainbow – White Grapes

This post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.

7336418324_55c13a21d0_oWhite Grapes

Perfectly stored and rinsed white grapes are the basis for lots of jellies, juices, and wines, and whole grapes make a great paring with fish, chicken and other proteins. White – sometimes-called green – grapes are often seedless which makes them an easy choice for snacking as well as for inclusion in a variety of dishes. White grapes have been enjoyed as dried fruit called sultanas and are most often used in breakfast bread recipes.

There are three main types of white grapes: European and North American, and a hybrid of both, though the fruit is native to Mediterranean region. Grapes need a hot, dry climate with mild winters to flourish. California has grown 90% of this crop for the United States since 1839 and began transporting it nationwide in 1869, after the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

gruner_veltliner_grapes_being_hand_harvested_at_hahndorf_hill_vineyard_in_the_adelaide_hillsAs with most grapes, they have few calories and are considered a super food based on their nutritional value. This white fruit contains vitamins A, C, and K and is a good source of potassium and iron. Other health benefits include:

  • Boosting immunity
  • Replenishing electrolytes
  • Promoting bone health
  • Improving blood flow and aiding in heart function
  • Increasing energy

Who knew that such a small, easily accessible fruit could pack in so many nutrients? Now that you know, you can put that knowledge to work and add white grapes to your diet. We can help you do that with this week’s Easy Friday lunch, which includes a healthy turkey salad wrap and your new favorite fruit.

7336418324_55c13a21d0_oCooking tip

After purchasing your white grapes, store them unwashed until ready to eat. It is recommended that your wash them in a colander and under cold water. Sometimes white grapes have a dusty covering, this is called a bloom and can be easily removed with baking soda or salt. The bloom is to prevent moisture loss and is safe to eat.

Resources:

http://www.sun-world.com/how-to/wash-grapes

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-raisins-sultanas-and-currants-223285

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/green-seedless-grapes-good-1864.html

http://www.sun-world.com/grapes-nutrition/health-benefits?gclid=CN3Su4XT0M8CFctbhgodLLQBZQ

 

All the Colors of the Rainbow – Eggplant

This post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.

Eggplants

Picking the best eggplant at the height of peak season – late summer – means that you can get the very best this…vegetable…uhm, fruit has to offer. Yes, like its bright, red cousin, the tomato, eggplants are fruits and not vegetables. But we will not be discussing eggplant ice cream in this post!

eggplant_dsc07800This dark black-purple fruit has been called by many names: aubergine, guinea squash, mad apple or garden egg and has many more based on the region in which it is found. Early varieties of this plant were small, round, and yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs. The eggplant’s history goes back to the 5th century in Asia and India, and was introduced in the Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages. It made its way into England in the 16th century then into North America soon after that thanks to Thomas Jefferson.

With 20 calories in one cup of eggplant, this slightly bitter fruit contains loads of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, K, B6, and folate, magnesium and niacin. Other exceptional health boosts include:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Increased brain function
  • Protection against digestive cancers
  • Managing diabetes and controlling blood sugar
  • Lowering “bad” cholesterol

Eggplants may have a funny shape and wild, deep purple color but a lot of nutrition is packed into this unusual plant! This week’s Easy Friday Lunch will pair this fruit with its “fruity” cousin, the tomato, along with other healthy ingredients like olive oil, garlic and mozzarella. So get ready to shop for the freshest ingredients this week.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/eggplant.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-great-reasons-to-eat-eggplants.html

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/eggplant.html

Cooking tip

Peaking in late summer, Eggplants are best if prepared immediately after purchase but if this is not possible, store them in the crisper for up to five days. After five days, the eggplant will become bitter.