Food safety tips for vegetables, fruits and fresh-squeezed juices

vegetablesWhether from a supermarket, farm stand, or your own garden, fresh fruits and vegetables are highlights of summertime. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reminds you that safe handling of produce and fresh-squeezed juice is especially important during the summer months, because foodborne bacteria multiply faster in warm weather and fresh fruits and vegetables are often consumed raw.

To keep nutritious produce and fresh-squeezed juices safe, follow these food safety tips to prevent food poisoning (also called foodborne illness):

uy Right: Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged. When selecting pre-cut produce (such as a half a watermelon or bagged salad greens), choose only those items that are refrigerated or on ice. Bag fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood in your cart and shopping bags.

Wash Thoroughly: Wash all produce under plain running water before eating, cutting, or cooking, and dry with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present. Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. For prepackaged produce, read the label — if it says pre-washed and ready-to-eat, you can use it without further washing. And even if you plan to peel a fruit or vegetable, it’s important to wash it first so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the outside to the inside.

Prevent Cross Contamination: Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with soap and hot water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and seafood and the preparation of produce that will not be cooked. If you use plastic or other nonporous cutting boards, run them through the dishwasher after use. And always wash hands before and after preparing food! Continue reading

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Kale vs. Spinach: Which is Better for You?

kale vs spinishAnthea Poppmeier, a Registered Dietitian and Nutritional therapist, shared for Paleo Grub that almost each and every year a new food is hailed as the next miracle health cure for everything ranging from fatigue to eczema to the miracle answer to weight loss.

One that has been around for a while is Kale. It’s a green leaf, has no specific taste and nothing which obviously visually differentiates it from all the other traditional greens we have relied upon for decades.

Traditional wisdom tells us that dark leafy greens are a nutrient powerhouse, but then we’ve always had spinach. Pop culture has even taught us through cartoons that spinach makes you stronger and healthier (cue Popeye the sailor man).

Lets get to the truth, should we be finding farmers markets on weekends to buy the now famous Kale? Or will the tried and tested spinach suffice?

Kale

The most interesting thing we’ve dug up is that in fact Kale is far from being new! Kale has in fact been around for over 2000 years and was popular in the middle ages but disappeared when they discovered good old cabbage (who knew?). It is a particularly hardy leaf which is resistant to frost so would have thrived in the colder parts of the world (1). Continue reading

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What’s the difference between sherbet and sorbet?

sheebertKaren Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND American Institute for Cancer Research says that  sherbet and sorbet are frozen desserts made with fruit purée or juice, sugar, and flavorings. Sherbet also contains a small amount of milk, and possibly egg white or gelatin so sorbet is preferable for people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, vegetarian, or vegan.

Sherbet and sorbet differ in calories based on the brand. One cup of either one may contain about 160 to 200 calories, which includes some natural sugar from fruit, but also lots of high fructose corn syrup or other added sugar (from 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar). Both are low in fat, typically containing only about two or three grams per cup, far below ice cream. Because it does contain some milk, sherbet has 80 milligrams of calcium per cup, which is about what’s in a quarter cup of milk.

Sorbet and sherbet are both lower in calories than the rich, high-fat “gourmet” ice creams. However, their high sugar content means they may have about the same amount of calories as light ice cream or frozen yogurt, or some store-brand ice creams.

Since there is wide variation between brands, check labels as you make your choice. Don’t forget the impact of portion size — a low-fat or low-calorie choice still adds up if you eat a big bowl. No matter which you choose, enjoy a half-cup serving in a bowl filled with delicious fruit for fewer calories and more nutrients and fiber.

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Which is healthier, a tortilla or a slice of bread?

tortillaKaren Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND American Institute for Cancer Research shared that although hey are somewhat similar, but how much depends upon the tortilla — and the bread. Like bread, tortillas are made from a grain — either wheat or corn, so some nutrients are similar. But calories differ depending on the tortilla’s size, thickness and fat content.

A one-ounce slice of bread typically contains 75 to 100 calories. Corn tortillas, the traditional choice for tacos and enchiladas, generally have 60 to 65 calories in each small six-inch piece. Flour tortillas are slightly higher in calories because they contain added fat to make them softer and easier to roll. Small six-inch flour tortillas usually aren’t much more than 90 calories. However, many flour tortillas used for dishes like fajitas, large burritos and chimichangas are quite a bit larger and may be thicker, too. A 12-inch flour tortilla may contain nearly 300 calories with more carbohydrates than three slices of bread.

Beyond calories, nutritional value depends on whether the tortillas are made with whole grains and healthy fats. Instead of flour tortillas made from enriched flour (a refined grain), look for whole grain options (corn or whole wheat). Just as with bread, whole-grain tortillas provide more fiber and a more complete package of nutrients and health-protecting plant compounds. When buying flour tortillas, look for those made with vegetable oils. Learn more about whole grains in AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer.

• The American Institute for Cancer Research is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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Blueberry and Avocado Muffins

poaitive healthJackie Matthews, from Positive Health Wellness, shared that avocado is a healthy vegetable, full of good fats and oils for the body. Having it to start your day is a great way to kick-start your morning and set yourself up for a successful and productive day. Now you just need to find ways to use it, because eating one whole and on its own is definitely not appetizing.

There are plenty of great avocado recipes and breakfast ideas. Here’s one to start trying today.

Blueberries are another way to start your day just right, and you can get both the nutritious ingredients into your breakfast with muffins. Make your muffins as you usually would and then add in a seeded, peeled and chopped avocado.

You can also make this recipe allergy-free and vegan-friendly, by adding substitutes for the likes of flour, milk and butter. If there are no allergies, and you want to add in a little extra, why not try some walnuts or almonds? They work really well with the avocado, adding some extra healthy oils, protein and fibre.

These muffins work much better when served warm, but they can also make a great out-of-the-door breakfast when necessary. They will keep for around five days when kept in an airtight container.

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3 Meals That Will Help You Debloat Throughout The Day

detoxThis article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of SELF.

There are lots of key variables in the great abs equation including genetics, exercise, sleep, and diet. When it comes to factors you can control, what you eat really matters, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. Think high fiber, lots of protein, and healthy fats. Registered dietitians Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke have a few ideas to get you started. Eat clean and debloat with these R.D.-recommended eats that will keep you full (and your taste buds happy). —Cindy Kuzma

1. Breakfast: Ab-Tastic Oatmeal

Cook 1/2 cup rolled oats in 1 cup lowfat milk (or unsweetened dairy alternative, such as almond milk). Stir in 1 cup mixed berries. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp nuts or seeds (2 tbsp if using a dairy alternative). Drizzle with 1 tsp maple syrup.

2. Lunch: Super Veg Bowl

Roast 1 cup sweet potato chunks. Sauté 1 1/2 cups kale and 1 tsp chopped garlic in 1 tsp olive oil. Toss together with 1/4 avocado, sliced, 2/3 cup chickpeas and vinaigrette made with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

3. Dinner: Power Salmon

Broil 4 oz salmon with lemon and dill. Serve with 3/4 cup cooked quinoa drizzled with 1 tsp olive oil and 7 asparagus spears roasted (or grilled) with 1 tsp olive oil.

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Children’s migraines: How to help kids who get headaches

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