• Is Breakfast as a Weight-loss Strategy Off the Table?

    By Karen Asp

    Credit should probably go to moms across America for establishing the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s a sentiment 93 percent of Americans agree with, even though 56 percent of them don’t eat breakfast seven days a week, according to the 2009 International Food Information Council Foundation’s Food & Health Survey.

    Yet whether breakfast can help prevent obesity is a topic that’s up for debate, especially given a new study that found little support for this claim. This doesn’t mean, though, Americans have to give up their beloved breakfasts, but it does suggest that common assumptions about breakfast may need to be revamped. Of course, one of breakfast’s biggest claims to fame is the effect it can have on weight, perhaps even helping people slim down. For proof of this, look no further than the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of more than 10,000 individuals 18 years and older who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year. A whopping 78 percent of these individuals report eating breakfast daily, which researchers believe is a crucial component in weight maintenance.

  • Are You in the 9-to-5 Food Rut?

    Does this sound familiar? Despite being a fan of a variety of foods, you find yourself eating the same healthy foods repeatedly because it’s part of your routine—it’s easy, tastes good and you can automatically get what you need at the grocery store without having to think about it. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. We’re the first to admit that we have love affairs with a handful of our meals for these very reasons and we could eat them every day without ever getting bored. But what could be so bad about eating the same foods all the time, especially if the foods are healthy ones?

    Why Should I Add Variety to My Diet?

  • 4 Superfoods to Look Out For in 2015

    What is a superfood? Chances are you’ve heard of superfoods over the years and even incorporated them into your diet to boost your health and help lower your risk of disease.

  • The Lowdown on the Low-glycemic Diet

    When it comes to losing weight, there are countless approaches that people will employ, including eliminating specific food groups (e.g., carbs), reducing intake of certain nutrients (e.g., fats) and limiting consumption to so-called “weight-reducing” items such as grapefruits, cabbage or protein shakes. However, another theory of weight management that seems to lurk in the background of many modern approaches, especially those using pre-measured and pre-made meals, is the glycemic index diet. Although this concept is not specific to just one weight-loss plan, the principles and elements that surround this theory, when used as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle, can be a helpful tool for overall weight management.

  • Red Meat: How Much Is Safe to Consume?

    By Jim Gerard

    About 30 years ago, the American scientific community named cholesterol (and the foods most laden with it, red meat and eggs) Public Enemy #1 for its primary role in the dizzying rise in heart disease.

    Yet two new studies have discovered that the waxy substance, which also plays important, beneficial roles in our bodies, hasn’t been acting alone. In fact, cholesterol may play a relatively minor role in the development of arteriosclerosis.

  • What Would You Change In Food Labeling?

    Fitness Forum:

    Editor’s note: In our Food for Thought column in May, we asked readers what changes they would like to see emerge from the overhaul of the FDA nutrition label. A few readers shared their thoughts:

    I like the [FDA’s] proposed food label. It is easier to read and I feel that the bold lettering of some of the [% Daily Value amounts] really helps to make them stand out. I for one would be more likely to read the label because the information is so clearly stated.

    Jodi Dragseth
    Owner, JJ’s Bodyshop Inc.
    Crookston, Minnesota

    I would lobby for a change to show how much sugar should be in (or not be in) a user’s daily value percentage. It seems that, as a nation, we tend to consume too much sugar; it would be a nice guideline if consumers had a value to refer to versus just having sugar listed in grams. A personal training client asked me if 20 grams of sugar in her yogurt was a high amount of sugar. I think there’s a need for this recommendation so that people have a guideline.

  • Energizing Breakfast Ideas

    While breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day, a recent study reported that 50 percent of women don’t eat breakfast when they’re busy. If this sounds familiar, be aware that skipping breakfast sets you up for intense cravings later in the day. Eating a meal within an hour of waking provides fuel for both your body and brain, jump-starts your metabolism and can help reduce cravings later in the day. More importantly, a high-protein breakfast stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, which will calm those food cravings.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that your whole breakfast should be protein. We’re not talking about a meal comprised of eggs, bacon and sausage. A well-balanced breakfast should consist of four things: protein, fruit or vegetables, a high-fiber grain or starchy vegetable, and healthy fats. The carbohydrates from the fruits, vegetables and grains provide the glucose that your body and brain need for energy. Adding protein, fat and fiber to the mix helps slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream, giving you longer-lasting energy and making you feel fuller for longer.

  • 5 Foods You Should Never Let Into Your Kitchen

    Whether it’s hidden ingredients or compounds that may be damaging your digestive system and metabolism, these five foods should be quickly and permanently banished from your pantry and refrigerator:

    1. Packaged Instant Oatmeal

    While it’s true that oatmeal can be one of the healthiest foods in your kitchen, loaded with heart- and waist-friendly fiber, packaged oatmeal is a different story. This quick alternative is often packed with added sugar. Added sugar first thing in the morning is just asking for a mid-morning energy crash, not to mention the extra calories. Instead of starting your day with a blood-sugar spike from a bowl of instant oatmeal, opt for plain rolled or steel-cut oats flavored with nuts, fresh chopped fruit and your favorite milk. If a quick and easy breakfast is your goal, cook a large batch of oats ahead of time.

  • 7 Smart Post-Workout Snacks and How to Know When You Really Need One.

    If immediately after any workout, you reach for the next best snack, gulp down a big sugary drink or treat yourself to fatty foods, you may get instant gratification, but your body won't thank you for long.

    According to exercise scientists, if you work out at a moderate– to high–intensity level for 90 minutes or longer, you should consume a healthy snack within 30 minutes post–exercise. The recommendation by the American Dietetic Association is to consume 1–1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight to allow for maximum replenishment of glycogen stores, the primary fuel or energy used during moderate– to high–intensity exercise; and 10–20 grams of lean protein to help repair muscle tissue.

  • Superfoods: Your Fall Season Lineup

    The fall season is upon us, which means it’s time to bring out the winter gourds like pumpkin and acorn squash, tuberous roots such as rutabaga and beets, and the classic dark green leafies like kale and collards. But as colder weather approaches, many of us find that our food preferences begin switching over to the so-called comfort foods. We begin swapping out salads and other cold dishes for warm baked (usually gooey) foods. And if the thought of eating veggies or anything “healthy” makes you cringe, read on. You may just find a few tasty ways to get those vital nutrients by incorporating these superfoods into your diet this fall season and perhaps beyond.

    Dark green leafy vegetables are always a great addition to any meal. In addition to fiber and vitamins C and A, kale is a great source of iron and the antioxidant lutein, which helps gobble up the free radicals associated with cancer, heart disease and other health issues.