Are You the Food Police in Your Family?

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julosstock (

How to Stop Nagging and Still Get Your Family to Eat Right

Remember what the road to hell is paved with? Yep, good intentions. So even though your intentions are good when you “encourage” family members and friends to eat more healthfully, if you overstep and start to seem like the self-appointed Food Police, there could be a very damaging backlash. For instance…

  • The people you’re trying to help may assert their independence by obstinately doing the opposite of what you’re pushing for.
  • Your criticism may wound a loved one’s self-esteem.
  • Relationships can be damaged or destroyed if other people decide to tune you out or avoid you altogether to escape your proselytizing.

Food Police are all too common. “In my practice, I routinely counsel couples and families in which one person has unwittingly offended another in an effort to help that person eat better,” said Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, CDN, owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants in New York City and Long Island, New York, and author of Read It Before You Eat It.

Here’s what to do—and what not to do—to help those you cherish clean up their eating habits… Read the rest of this entry »

How to Know if You Are Getting Enough Omega-3s

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neonza (

Ask for This Test!

The positive research just keeps on coming. First, scientists told us that omega-3 fatty acids help guard against heart disease. Then research showed that these healthful fats also may help prevent other serious conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and polyps that can lead to colon cancer.

What we’re not being told: A little-known report from the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has estimated that about 70% of Americans are deficient in omega-3s.

So how do you know whether you’re getting enough of them? Read the rest of this entry »

Trick Your Taste Buds Into Craving Veggies


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ba1969 (

Which would you rather have for breakfast? A spinach and kale blended beverage? Or a “Love at First Sight” Breakfast Smoothie?

For lunch, how about an arugula salad? Or would you prefer tender baby arugula leaves tossed in a honey Dijon dressing?

Time for dinner. Would you like just Brussels sprouts as your side dish or Grandma’s sweet, slow-roasted Brussels sprouts?

Of course, the foods I’m offering you are the same each time.

But how a food is described—whether the description is written on a menu, said out loud or simply thought in your head—can play a large role in whether you want to eat it, according to new research.

In other words, if you want to eat the healthiest diet, foods don’t just have to lookappetizing to your eyes—they also have to sound appetizing to your brain!

And with a little creativity, you can use this naming trick to fool yourself into wanting to eat more healthful foods, such as veggies… Read the rest of this entry »

Tasty Breakfast on the Go

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Mornings can be hectic! Here, tasty and nutritious breakfasts that you can make in advance and easily take with you when you’re on the run… Read the rest of this entry »

Light & Healthy Lunches

For a midday meal that’s packed with taste and nutrition but naturally low in calories, try these lighter versions of traditional lunchtime favorites.
Recipe: Cut a whole-grain bagel in half and scoop out the inside. Inside each half, spread 1 Tbsp. of low-fat cream cheese, add 1 oz. of smoked salmon, and top with chopped tomato and onions.
Benefits: Fiber for good digestion from the bagel, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon, and cancer-fighting phytonutrients from the tomato and onion.

Calories saved: About 150, compared with a whole bagel and regular cream cheese.


Recipe: Mix ¼ cup each of walnuts, small multigrain pretzels, broken whole-grain crackers and dried banana chips.

Benefits: Energizing protein plus omega-3s from the nuts, magnesium to regulate heartbeat from grains, and potassium for blood pressure control from the banana.

Calories saved: At least 100, compared with trail mix with raisins and chocolate chips. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Butter Better?

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For many years, butter was replaced by margarine on the menus of health-conscious consumers. But like many dietary taboos, that’s beginning to change. A little butter is better than the fake stuff, says Daily Health News contributing medical editor Andrew L. Rubman, ND. Butter is a natural food that supports good health, while margarine is a processed product chemically fashioned from refined polyunsaturated oils. Don’t take this as Read the rest of this entry »

Dietary Supplements Update



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  • Black cohost or red clover do not work better than a placebo in treating hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.  (published in Menopause by University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Ginkgo bilobadoes not help prevent or delay severe memory loss or Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in November in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Conducted in five medical centers, the study looked at more than 1,500 people, 75 and older, for six years. The herb, taken twice a day in standardized doses, did not reduce the rate of dementia or slow the development of Alzheimer’s, whether subjects began the trial with normal or impaired memory. This study adds to the substantial body of evidence that ginkgo extract does not prevent mental decline.  (Journal of the American Medical Association).

Read the rest of this entry »

Kosher – Anyone?

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More people are turning to kosher foods even if it costs more – not because they are Jewish but because they think these foods are safer, healthier, and of better quality. There is little published research comparing the safety of kosher and nonkosher foods.  It is not purer or more wholesome, not necessarily more nutritious or flavorful, and has just as much sugar and fat than nonkosher.  The salting process may reduce attachment of bacteria to the carcass surface and so they are easier to rinse off.  But, this is not a sterilization process and you still need to handle the meat carefully.  The kosher symbol is no guarantee of safety.  Read the rest of this entry »

Where’s the Added Sugar?

Regular sodas add the most sugar to a typical American’s diet.


It isn’t hard to reach—and far exceed—the new limits set for added sugar by the American Heart Association— 25 grams a day for women, 37. 5 grams for men (see page 1). Even foods like yogurt and baked beans may be loaded with extra sugar, beyond the sugar naturally in them. Sugar content varies among brands; the amounts below are averages. Many people consume more than the serving sizes listed. For example, we list a cola as 8 ounces, but soda cans are 12 ounces and bottles are 16 ounces or larger.

Beverages (8 oz)                  Added sugar (g) Read the rest of this entry »


CWMGary (

Goji is actually a generic term given to various berries in the Lycium family that grow in Asia, where they’ve been consumed for centuries to supposedly promote good eyesight, agility, and longevity, among other benefits. Wolfberry is another common name for these small, red, tangy berries.  There is no evidence to support the claim that they prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Other claims—that they ward off everything from cancer and liver disease to impotence and obesity—are also unproven. According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, there is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of goji berries for any medical condition. Moreover, goji may interact with blood thinners (such as warfarin) and other medications. And as with some other food imports from China, the FDA has issued import alerts on goji berries for having illegal pesticide residues.

 There’s nothing magical about goji berries—or “Tibetan” goji berries, in particular. They are healthful, but not the “healthiest food source on the planet.” All berries, including blueberries, are nutritious and high in antioxidants. Go for goji if you like it and can afford it, not in hopes that it will prevent or cure any disease. There’s no evidence to support the use of goji capsules.

 Nearly as inflated as the health claims is the price of goji juice ($20 to $35 for 32 ounces), which is often sold through multi-level marketing programs. The dried berries are about $1.50 an ounce; fresh berries are rarely available here.

(source: UC Berkeley)

Is Wetter Water Better Water?

There’s a huge market for waters with additives: vitamins, minerals, herbs such as ginseng and ginkgo, flavorings, mint, aloe, fiber, green tea, caffeine, and more. On market shelves and in many vending machines, you’ll find products such as Vitamin Water, Dasani Plus, SmartWater, Propel Fitness Water, SoBe Lifewater, and Snapple Antioxidant Water.  These waters are usually not as sugary as a regular soft drinks—though some, like most VitaminWater products, do contain as much added sugar. The vitamins and minerals in them are certainly not going to make you healthy, boost immunity or energy, or relax you, despite the claims. recently found that one vitamin water had 15 times as much folic acid as claimed—1, 500 micrograms, a potentially risky level for some people if they drink it regularly (see Wellness Letter, September 2009). On the other hand, unless you drink the water with food, you cannot absorb much of the added vitamin E, D, A, or K, since these need some fat to be absorbed. You do not need the herbs and other substances in these products. Read the rest of this entry »