Red Flags to Red Meat

College of DuPage Nursing Student  Zach Striplin writes that in most suburbs in America, burgers and hot dogs are readily available. In my neighborhood alone, I can count 10 fast food joints within a 5-minute car ride. America is the largest consumer of red meat, and more likely than not, if you have had a cheeseburger in the last week, according to U.S Department of Agriculture the average American eats about 71 pounds of red meat a year.

Although, certain red meats, such as beef, pork and goat can be cheaper and even considered delicious, they are not the healthiest choices to have on your plate. Eating red meat regularly causes an increased incidence of hypertension, stroke, diabetes and certain forms of cancer such as colon cancer, but I am sure most of you have heard that before.

A study that was conducted by a team at Harvard School of Public Health observed a correlation between red meat consumption and increased mortality rates over the course of 36 years in approximately 120,000 individuals. The NIH states, “one additional serving per day of unprocessed red meat over the course of the study raised the risk of total mortality by 13%. An extra serving of processed red meat (such as bacon, hotdogs, sausage and salami) raised the risk by 20%”.

Now, if you are frequent red meat eater there is time for change and it is not necessary and nearly impossible to cut out red meat from your diet altogether. Red meat is a great source of protein and iron in our diet but protein should be a relatively smaller portion of our plates compared to fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy.

An 8oz. steak has roughly 78 grams of protein and the recommended daily value is around 56 grams! One average sized steak puts a person over the daily threshold of what is recommended. Healthier alternatives or methods should be used to reduce the risk of potential health problems attributed to red meat. One method is reduction. Some alternatives for protein to replace your red meat intake would include poultry (chicken or turkey), eggs, peanuts or peanut butter and fish. Beef can also be purchased, but it is best to purchase lean meat rather than fat. Lastly, although bacon and many processed red meats are delicious and trendy, if not avoided, they should be eaten rarely or treated like a sugary snack.

There is nothing more American then going to Cubs game in the summer and having a ballpark frank, but instead lets make the conscious decision to settle with the peanuts.

Rooted in Benefits: Ginger

College of DuPage Nursing Student Ellis Quinn asks you to think of the last meal you made. Did the ingredients include ginger? The answer is most likely no, like many other Americans. Ginger is not a commonly used spice in the American diet.

Zingiber officinale, better known of as ginger, is a widely used spice in many Southern Asian countries. Cooking with ginger can add a distinguished spicy sweet flavor to many types of food. It is often used for baked goods in America, but it can be added to many other dishes such as chicken stir fry or fresh salads.

Why would you want to add ginger into your foods though? Ginger doesn’t only add delicious flavor to meals, but it also can have many health benefits. Ginger has been used in for thousand of years in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions. The Chinese would use ginger for multiple health reasons. They believed it to aid in digestion, as well as help treat upset stomach, nausea, and flatulence. Besides digestive health, ginger was used to help treat arthritis, painful menstruation periods, and even the common cold. (Better Nutrition)

The research done on the health benefits of ginger is very slim as with many herbal medicines. That being said, many health care providers see patients who report beneficial outcomes from drinking and eating ginger. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there is evidence that indicates ginger may help relieve pregnancy-related and chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting.

You do not have to be an amazing chef to add ginger into your diet. The simplest way for you to increase your intake of ginger would be to drink it. Ginger tea is very easy to prepare.

Ginger Tea

  1. Peel and finely dice a knuckle size piece of ginger
  2. Place in a strainer inside a mug
  3. Add boiling hot water to mug
  4. Let steep for 5-8 minutes
  5. Add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten


Ginger is a relatively safe spice to add to any foods. Certain people may have some mild side effects that cause gastric upset. Always check with your doctor or healthcare provider to check for interactions with any medications you may be taking.


Ginger [Fact sheet]. (2016, September). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from National

Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website:


Smith, M. D. (2014, October). Medicinal foods: Garlic and ginger. Better

Nutrition. Retrieved from




How Much Salt is Too Much Salt?

College of DuPage Nursing student Teresa Hammonds shares that there are foods that many consider to be low in sodium but you must keep in mind how the foods are processed. The American Heart Association recommend a range frpm 1500 to 2300 milligrams of sodium a day. To cut back you need to decrease the use of the salt shaker and watch what you eat.

The amount of sodium on the nutritional label isn’t for the whole package but for one serving. Check to see how many are in each container.

Food labels claim can be confusing so here is a few recommendations:
-sodium free is less than 5 milligrams a serving
-very low sodium is 35 milligrams or less per serving
-low sodium is less than 140 milligrams per serving
-reduced sodium is 25% less sodium
-unsalted, no salt added or without added salt is made without the salt normally used but still has the sodium that is a natural part of the food itself.

There are some medications that have sodium carbonate or bicarbonate in them. These include headache or heartburn medications. Read the ingredient list and warning statement to be sure.

Some dishes to stay away from. Most restaurants will prepare your food without salt if you just ask. Get rid of toppings except for vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes. Skip the cheese, go easy on the condiments and don’t add salt. Don’t supersize. Order off the children’s menu for smaller portions. Eat a low sodium diet for the rest of the day. Ask for a nutritional fact sheet at the restaurant or find it online before you goto help you make the best choices.

If you are not sure how much sodium you take in for a day, then try using a daily log of what you eat and drink. Then look up how much sodium is in each item. The average american takes in 3592 milligrams of sodium each day which is well above the daily limits.

U.S. guidelines call for about half of americans to limit sodium to 1500 milligrams or less per day including people 51 or older, african americans, people with high blood pressure, diabetes or long term kidney disease. Cutting down on salt can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and kinet damage in those who have high blood pressure.

Good options are fish as long as you pay attention to how it is seasoned, steamed vegetables withoout salt and salad with the dressing on the side. Low sodium desserts include fruit, ice cream, sherbet or angel food cake.


Jess from the eReplacementParts blog recently published an illustrated blog post that creatively illustrates what types of fat are found in your food (and what to avoid), the health benefits of different nuts and how nuts can help with weight loss.

She shared that for years, people have been hesitant to eat high-fat foods for fear of gaining weight. As a result, many have shunned nuts from their diets because they contain a high amount of calories from fat. Recently, however, dieticians have dispelled this myth and have begun promoting the consumption of nuts as a key element in a well-balanced diet.

All Fats are not Created Equal

There are foods with high fat contents that should be avoided – such as processed meat, fast food, pizza, chips, or anything out of a deep fryer. But there are also foods with equally high calories from fat that should be eaten on a regular basis, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Now you’re probably thinking this doesn’t make sense: Isn’t fat the same no matter where it comes from? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone in your confusion. Many people don’t realize there are good fats and bad fats. Let’s explore both:


To read the rest of this fantastic article just click here.

What Are the All of the Benefits of Kale?

Joey Bruno, co-owner of thrive cuisine loves Kale. He is dedicated to spreading scientific information about the healthfulness and disease preventing power of vegetables/fruits.  One of these food is Kale that Joe says has become massively popular over the past decade. What was once a forgotten leaf only seen as a decor piece on salad bars has risen to a smoothie superstar and juicing staple.

However, as you may know, popular doesn’t necessarily equate to good, especially in the world of diet and health where misinformation and marketing tactics are rampant. As a result, many people find themselves asking the following questions:

“Is this really good for me? What are the actual benefits?

But fear not…

Joe put together the ultimate, no nonsense guide to kale. It’s everything you wanted to know – and more – backed by peer-reviewed scientific research with no fluff!

His article, covers:

Please let Joe know what you think of his great article on Kale!

8 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Amy Marturana from My Fitness Pal shared that sugar is delicious. Anyone who denies that is lying. But because life is unfair, sugar, especially in copious amounts, is really bad for your health. In fact, once you learn about all the ways sugar impacts your body, it’s difficult to look at it the same way (despite knowing how heavenly it tastes).

So how do you know if you’re eating too much? Here are eight red flags your body is sending you that it’s time to cut back on the sweet stuff.

1. You constantly crave sugary things.

The more sugar you eat, the more you’ll crave it. “More cravings then equal consuming more sugar—it becomes a vicious and addictive cycle,” Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger, tells SELF. This isn’t just because your taste buds have adapted and left you needing more and more to get that same taste, but also because of how sugar gives you a high followed by a crash, just like an actual drug. “By eating a high sugar diet, you cause a hormonal response in your body that’s like a wave, it brings you up and then you crash down and it triggers your body to want more sugar.”

2. You feel sluggish throughout the day.

What goes up must come down. After sugar causes an initial spike of insulin and that “high” feeling, it causes an inevitable crash. “Energy is most stable when blood sugar is stable, so when you’re consuming too much sugar, the highs and lows of your blood sugar lead to highs and lows of energy,” Alpert says. Eating a lot of sugar also means it’s likely you’re not eating enough protein and fiber, both important nutrients for sustained energy.

3. Your skin won’t stop breaking out.

“Some people are sensitive to getting a spike in insulin from sugar intake, which can set off a hormonal cascade that can lead to a breakout like acne or rosacea,” Rebecca Kazin, M.D., of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and the Johns Hopkins department of dermatology, tells SELF. A sugar binge can show up on your face in just a few days. If your skin’s unruly, Kazin recommends reassessing your diet, otherwise “you may be treating skin for other issues without getting to the bottom of what’s really going on.”

Read more

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweighs the risks of pesticides

It’s a list of the 12 vegetables and fruits with the most pesticides, and some people only buy organic versions of the items on the list. It’s the companion piece to the “Clean Fifteen,” which showcases the 15 options with the least pesticides.

These annual reports generate a lot of media coverage, and their presence seems to influence our grocery shopping habits. But research shows that the lists — which are being questioned for their scientific validity — may be doing more harm than good.

Organic or nothing?

It’s vital to eat your veggies. Low in calories but rich in vitamins and antioxidants, vegetables and fruits have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Yet, most Americans aren’t getting enough. Could the “Dirty Dozen” list may be part of the problem?

That depends on what message we take away when we read about pesticides in vegetables and fruit.

Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago wanted to know how the list influences our buying habits. They surveyed more than 500 low-income shoppers about their thoughts on organic and conventional vegetables and fruit, and published results in the journal Nutrition Today.

They found that specifically naming the “Dirty Dozen” resulted in shoppers being less likely to buy any vegetables and fruit.

That’s right — it’s not just consumption of the top 12 pesticide-laden items that drops, it seems we buy and eat less of every vegetable and fruit. Misinformation about pesticides breeds fear and confusion, and many find it easier to skip fresh produce altogether.

And when asked about the promotion of organic produce, 61 percent of participants said they felt the media encouraged them to buy organic foods. The problem is that they are often unaffordable.

Read more

Bacon, soda & too few nuts tied to big portion of US deaths

Overeating or not eating enough of the 10 foods and nutrients contributes to nearly half of U.S. deaths from these causes, the study suggests.

“Good” foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains.

“Bad” foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks.

The research is based on U.S. government data showing there were about 700,000 deaths in 2012 from heart disease, strokes and diabetes and on an analysis of national health surveys that asked participants about their eating habits. Most didn’t eat the recommended amounts of the foods studied.

The 10 ingredients combined contributed to about 45 percent of those deaths, according to the study.

It may sound like a familiar attack on the typical American diet, and the research echoes previous studies on the benefits of heart-healthy eating. But the study goes into more detail on specific foods and their risks or benefits, said lead author Renata Micha, a public health researcher and nutritionist at Tufts University.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Micha said the foods and nutrients were singled out because of research linking them with the causes of death studied. For example, studies have shown that excess salt can increase blood pressure, putting stress on arteries and the heart. Nuts contain healthy fats that can improve cholesterol levels, while bacon and other processed meats contain saturated fats that can raise levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

In the study, too much salt was the biggest problem, linked with nearly 10 percent of the deaths. Overeating processed meats and undereating nuts and seeds and seafood each were linked with about 8 percent of the deaths.

Read more


Cindy Maloney, R.N, B.A, PEL-CSN, Certified School Nurse at Glenbard North High School, shared this Wellness Tip:

Color your plate! A good variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure nutritional quality. The colors to include regularly are: dark green (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans), yellow/orange (sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe), red (Cherries, strawberries, red peppers, tomatoes) and blue/purple (blue berries, purple grapes, eggplant, plums). Each of these colors contributes a unique health-promoting phytonutrient to you diet. Enjoy!


Source: Lynn Dugan, Registered Dietitian – check out Lynn’s web site for great recipes and more nutrition tips 

Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free: What Do They Really Mean?

Sandy Getzky, is the executive coordinating editor at The Global Nail Fungus Organization, a group committed to helping the 100+ million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus and is also a registered Herbalist and member of the American Herbalist’s Guild.  She was very gracious and wrote the following article especially for the Healthy Lombard blog:

Not all diets can get you the results that you need. Many fad diets that can be quickly completed only offer short-term results because you go back to eating normally after the diet period. If you’re aiming for a long-term solution, consider diets that offer permanent changes to your eating habits.

Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten-free, for example, are all diets that can change your lifestyle, even more so, if you follow them religiously. Many people adapt these lifestyles because of the nutritional benefits, such as getting more antioxidants and vitamins, that can boost your immune system. These can help reduce the risk of health complications such as diabetes, fungal infection, and arthritis.

Just like any major change in your life, proper planning and accurate information can help you reach your goal more efficiently. Consulting an expert is always a great first step – especially if you already have allergies or dietary restrictions. If you want to try a diet that entails a big lifestyle change, then read on to find out exactly what you may be getting into.

Veganism, A Way Of life

A Vegan diet means that all animal-derived ingredients are excluded from your meals. Yes, this includes meat, egg, and dairy products. Instead, a normal vegan diet usually includes dishes that have grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Popular food, such as ice cream, cheese, and hot dogs, have their own vegan versions that usually involve the use of soy milk and tofu.

In a vegan diet, you need to correctly plan out all of your meals otherwise you might be missing key nutrients such as protein, omega-3, calcium, and vitamin B12. More often than not, people who rush going through a vegan diet replace animal products with junk food, such as white bread and pasta, that have little nutritional value. Also, carefully read the labels of soy-based products to ensure that they are not laden with sodium and preservatives. Some complications arising from a poorly executed vegan diet include skin disease, tooth cavity, anxiety, and exhaustion.

While it is possible to get all the nutrients you need from a vegan diet, it is difficult to put into practice – often requiring lots of knowledge and discipline. If you are planning to start this diet, it is best to do it slowly while consulting a professional. Read more