Thanks to consumer reports for some helpful food related tips. We’re all for unprocessed, close to the farm food as possible but we are a creative bunch when it comes to food.Â Whether it’s growing food, cooking it, marketing or selling it, we all love to eat food.Â We share that like the majority of our DNA. A delicious meal can work wonders.
OurÂ food choices make the biggest long term impact on our health, vitality, and quality of life.Â So here are some of their suggestions. ( If you like applesauce and you want some, you should eat some. Just buy organic and make sure there’s no sugar added).Â Let the “no sugar added” on a label guide you as you build some key criteria to know about the food you’re eating. The good news is that eating high quality, nutrition dense food impacts how your body responds – and how good you feel.
The report on unhealthy â€œhealthâ€ food features 12 not-so-nutritious foods that can fool you into thinking theyâ€™re good for you, such as turkey hot dogs and even applesauce.
â€œIf youâ€™re serious about losing those extra pounds, then these foods should be strictly off-limits,â€ says Gayle Williams, editor, Food & Fitness. Â â€œBut for every unhealthy food choice, thereâ€™s a satisfying alternative that we recommend to replace it.â€Â Some examples from the list:
Applesauce: When sweetened, it has a lot of added sugar, as much as 200 calories in a 1-cup serving.
TRY THIS: Reach for the unsweetened variety and try adding cinnamon. Or better, says Williams, eat an apple.
Turkey Hot Dogs: They tend to be surprisingly high in fatâ€”higher, even, than regular hot dogs. And some are loaded with sodium and nitrates.
TRY THIS: Consider a turkey breast sandwich and go for the version with the lowest amount of fat.
Vitamin-Infused Waters: Sure, they have added nutrients but theyâ€™re often packed with sugar and sometimes caffeine.
TRY THIS: Reach for plain old water or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange. Yeah, gotta say that works. It’s also my favorite strategy when being served water when eating out.
Banana Chips: Yes, theyâ€™re made from good-for-you bananas but theyâ€™re usually fried in coconut or palm oil, unhealthy sources of saturated fat. No wonder a serving can reach 210 calories and a whopping 13 grams of fat.
TRY THIS: A banana has lot of nutrients and zero fat.Â Again, if you’re on the go or backpacking, a real banana isn’t your solution. Why not just get dried banana chips? Who’s deep frying these things anyway? Maybe the South.Â Keep it as close to the plant as possible. Drying is a lot closer than frying. Geez.
Couscous: Regular couscous is a processed, refined grain, just like white pasta, delivering minimal nutritional value.Â
TRY THIS: Whole-wheat couscous or opt for a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice.Â Other excellent grain options are becoming more popular.
Vegetable chips: While they may contain the colors of the rainbow, they donâ€™t count as a serving of veggies and theyâ€™re unusually high in fat and calories.
TRY THIS: Air popped popcorn or dried veggies and watch the fat and salt on the ingredients label. There are tons of healthy snack foods vying for shelf space. Watch the label. Less (ingredients) is more in most cases.
The complete list of health food pretenders is available in Consumer Reportsâ€™ Food & Fitness magazine and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.Â Pick up a copy of the special Consumer Reportsâ€™ Food & Fitness magazine.
Getting to know our food is a life long affair. Why not make it as exciting and rewarding as possible?
The 25 Most Nutrient Dense Foods
Researchers asked volunteers to devote about a minute and a half to methodically imagining chewing and swallowing 30 M&Ms, one after another. Then, when presented with a bowl of M&Ms, those volunteers ate about half as many candies as volunteers who imagined eating only three M&Ms, or none at all.
That’s not what was expected. Conventional wisdom is “don’t think about food”. So what happens is we think about food.Â Suppression sensitizes us to cravings. The mind is pretty literal and when we try not to think about it, we do anyway. But when we actively think about food, it triggers a habituation reflex. Scientists used to think habituation needed direct stimulus, but that’s not the case. We can do it from mind alone. The impact of that on what we are able to achieve remains to be seen.
For those of us still dialing in that optimal zone of health and well being, or working to regain it, playing the “Is It Healthy?” Game isn’t just what we do, it’s who were being in the moment, either imagining the M&M’s or actually eating them. I think they’ve finally discovered how we can have our cake and eat it too!