Friday, February 25, 2022

Canned Food Nutrition

The internet is swamping with canned food controversy. Are they healthy? Do they provide nutrient content comparable to their fresh food counterparts? The answer is a resounding, yes! Canned foods are reliable sources for nutrient intake. They are also convenient and affordable for any budget. 
Determining the packaging liquid can help you recognize nutrient concerns. Some canned items are packaged in high-sodium or high sugar liquids. This problem can be averted when aiming for low-sodium options, and products canned in 100% fruit juice rather than sugar water and rinsing the product in clean cool water before consumption. 

Canned foods are packaged fresh and of high quality to withstand the canning process. This makes them reliable quality products. They are also available year-long, shelf-stable, and inexpensive. Making them a great addition to your family pantry stash.

The bottom line is canned foods are nutritious options for your family. Focusing on low-sodium, low-sugar options can increase nutrient benefit. 


Easy Homemade Granola

 Eating whole grains is a great way to increase satiety and cut calorie intake. Fiber is another benefit to whole grain intake. Reading food labels is an easy way to indicate whole grain content. Aim for products that have whole grain ingredients near the top of the ingredient list. This indicates a large portion of the product is whole grains. Another way to boost intake is to make recipes that incorporate whole grains or substitute them into your favorite refined grain recipes. 

Check out this easy granola recipe. Use it to top yogurt, ice cream, or add milk for a healthier cereal alternative. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Recipe of the week: BAKED CARROT CHIPS

Carrots play a healthy part in a balanced diet. From raw, boiled, baked, and sautéed, recipe options are limitless. Carrots are packed with Vitamin A, which aids in healthy eye development. A few other key nutrient components in this vegetable:

  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin K
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Lutein

Not to mention many other potential benefits, including: weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and lowering risk of certain types of cancer development.

Aim to incorporate carrots into your weekly menu. Here is a fun recipe to try!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Facts about ADDED SUGAR

Sugar! It gets a bad wrap. When in fact sugar (carbs) is our body's main source of energy. It fuels our muscles, heart, and brain. Gives us the energy to function optimally physically, mentally, and biologically.
Excess intake is when concerns come into play. Unfortunately, this is the group most Americans fit into. Aiming for complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables rather than simple carbs like white bread, donuts, and foods high in added sugar can be a great start. Another tip; learning to recognize hidden sources of sugar on the food label to better manage intake.
There are several different types of sugar. Naturally occurring sugars, such as lactose (in milk products), fructose (in fruits and vegetables), and maltose (in starchy grains and vegetables). These are healthier sugar choices. The complex forms also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need to function properly.

Added sugar is another type. These sugars can have different titles, serve different purposes, and be more difficult to recognize. The bottom line, these sugars are typically in excess and lack nutrient content. Making them empty calories that serve no nutrient purpose in our bodies. These foods consumed in moderation can be tolerated. But overconsumption can lead to chronic disease and prevent nutritious food intake. 

Reading food labels can help you manage you're sugar intake.
  • < 5% is generally considered low.  
  • >20% in generally considered high.
The food label also includes an ingredient list. Manufacturers effectively hide sugar ingredients with unfamiliar names. Keep an eye out for names like these. 
Aim for these ingredients to be toward the end of the ingredient list, as ingredients are listed in highest to lowest abundance. Keep in mind sugar can be in foods that aren't even sweet, like; sauces, dips, and dressings.

Keeping watch of your sugar intake can decrease your risk for chronic disease development, help you effectively manage your weight, and increase satiety after meals. Aim for less than 200 calories of added sugar a day and make a habit of reading food labels. Simple steps to a healthier, happier you!

Mindful snacking

Paying close attention to our snacking routine can help increase nutrient intake and cut unnecessary calories. It’s a smart idea to use the USDA’s MyPlate as a tool for food group focus for meals and snacking. Recognizing nutrient-dense food groups that you're lacking at mealtime can be an excellent choice for snacking options. 
Portion control is another smart focus at snack time. Too much of any food, even a healthy one, isn’t good for you! Checking the food label is a great way to be aware of serving size and nutrient intake of the food you're eating. 
Quick, easy, and inexpensive snacking ideas.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Increase Produce Shelf Life

Fruits and vegetables play a healthy role in a balanced diet. They can however spoil quickly if not stored properly. 

A huge factor in produce rot can be attributed to ethylene gas exposure. Some fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas, naturally, when ripening. This increases the ripening process. When "none ethylene" produce is sensitive to these gases, exposure can cause them to ripen too quickly and lead to quicker spoilage. 
If increased ripening is desired place an ethylene emitting fruit in a brown paper bag with the desired fruit or vegetable needing ripening. 
If quicker ripening isn't your goal, check out these produce list breakdowns, to help you identify and store products properly. This will increase the shelf life and quality of your healthy purchases. 

How are your storage methods? Any necessary adjustments can be simple and improve your quality of fruit and vegetable shelf-life duration. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

February Seasonal Produce

Shopping seasonal produce is budget-friendly and ensures quality and flavor. Grocery stores typically highlight seasonal options in their weekly sales ad. This is when products are in abundance and optimal quality.

Check out this list of seasonal produce for February. Consider ways you can incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your weekly meals. A simple tip to a healthier lifestyle.