Posts tagged: ingredients

10 Easy Super Foods To Keep In Your Kitchen

 

10 Everyday Super Foods

These easy-to-eat foods are packed with multiple nutrients to help you stay healthy.

 

Top 10 Multitasking Super Foods

  1. Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. “Yogurt is a vehicle food that can be enriched with probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and beneficial, heart-healthy plant stanols,” says Zied. “And lactose sensitive people may tolerate yogurt better than milk.” Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc. Don’t like yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. “Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition — and in just the right balance,” says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. “No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical.”
  2. Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. “Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Enjoy them at any meal or hard-cooked as a portable snack.
  3. Nuts have gotten a bad rap because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list. The key to enjoying nuts, experts say, is portion control. “All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss,” says Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD. “I like pistachio nuts because they also contain plant sterols and it takes longer to crack the shell and eat them, making it easier to control the portion. Whether you prefer pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans, an ounce a day of nuts help fill you up. Nuts add texture and flavor to salads, side dishes, baked goods, cereals, and entrees. They taste great alone, too. Zied recommends putting together your own “100-calorie packs” of nuts for easy and portable snacks.
  4. Kiwis are among the most nutritionally dense fruits, full of antioxidants, says Ward. “One large kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C,” says Ward. “It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it.” The sweet taste and colorful appearance of kiwis makes it easy to slice in half, scoop out with a spoon and enjoy alone, or slice it into desserts, salads, or side dishes. Kiwifruit can also have a mild laxative effect due to their high fiber content.
  5. Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat, according to Zied. “It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron,” she says. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, she says. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet.
  6. Beans, beans, good for your heart — really! Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Bauer favors edamame (whole soybeans) because they also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal, says Bauer, but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.
  7. Salmon is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice weekly. Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. You can simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salad greens. If you don’t like salmon, Lichtenstein recommends eating other kinds of fish, like canned tuna. And what about the mercury content? (Mercury is known to accumulate in fish.) “The benefits of eating salmon or other fatty fish twice weekly far outweigh any risks, but if you are concerned, check with your doctor,” says Zied.
  8. Broccoli is one of America’s favorite vegetables because it tastes good and is available all year long. It’s a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. “Some people think beta-carotene (vitamin A) is only found in orange and yellow vegetables, but broccoli is an excellent source,” says Ward. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
  9. Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato. And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked — and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. “If we eat more foods like sweet potatoes that are rich sources of potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can blunt the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss,” says Zied. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.
  10. Berries pack an incredible amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. They’re loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available. Cranberries are also widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. All can add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.

Sugar: How much is too much?

SUGAR

How Much Sugar Can I Eat a Day?

Sugar is a carbohydrate, and you should get about half of your calories from carbohydrates every day. But most of them should be in the form of complex carbohydrates that come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and not from added sugars like table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or honey.
Many people consume more sugar than they realize. It’s important to be aware of how much sugar you consume because our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly. Added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.

 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons.

 

Nutrition - Examples of Typical High-Sugar Beverages (spot)

Foods Containing Added Sugars

The major sources of added sugars are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punch); dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).

If you think of your daily calorie needs as a budget, you want to “spend” most of your calories on “essentials” to meet your nutrient needs. Use only left over, discretionary calories for “extras” that provide little or no nutritional benefit, such as sugar.

Tips for Reducing Sugar in Your Diet:

Take sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses off the table — out of sight, out of mind!

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there, or consider using an artificial sweetener.
  • Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.Nutrition - Mixed Fruits (spot)
  • Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (try bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  • When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
  • Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in recipes (use equal amounts).
  • Try non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin in moderation. Non-nutritive sweeteners may be a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding more calories to your diet. The FDA has determined that non-nutritive sweeteners are safe.

http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/howmuchsugar.htm

 

 

How Much Calcium Does Your Child Need?


Why Calcium is Important

Calcium is vital for building strong bones and teeth, promoting nerve and muscle function,helping blood clot, and activating enzymes that convert food into energy.

How much calcium does your child need?

Ages 1 to 3 years: 500 milligrams (mg) per day

Ages 4 to 8 years: 800 mg per day

Ages 9 to 18 years: 1300 mg per day

Your child doesn’t have to get the recommended daily amount of calcium every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.

The best sources of calcium

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are some of the best sources of calcium, but you’ll also find it in less expected places. Some calcium-rich foods to try:

  • 1/4 cup raw tofu, prepared with calcium sulfate: 217 mg
    (The calcium content of tofu varies, depending on how it’s processed. Check the label.)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt: 207 mg
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses: 200 mg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat fruit yogurt: 122 to 192 mg
  • 1/2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice: 133 to 250 mg
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese: 167 mg
  • 1/2 cup milk: 150 mg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk: 144 mg
  • 1/2 ounce Swiss cheese: 112 mg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt, soft serve: 102 mg
  • 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese: 102 mg
  • 1 slice calcium-fortified bread: 100 mg
  • 1/2 ounce mozzarella: 91 mg
  • 1/2 slice cheese pizza (fast food chain): 91 mg
  • 1/4 cup collard greens: 89 mg
  • 1/4 cup homemade pudding (from mix or scratch): 76 mg
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed butter): 64 mg
  • 1/4 cup turnip greens: 62 mg
  • 1 ounce canned pink salmon, solids with bone: 61 mg
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach: 60 mg
  • 1/2 cup ready-to-eat cereal, calcium fortified: 51 mg
  • 1/2 cup soy beverage, calcium fortified: 40 to 250 mg

 

The amount of calcium a food contains will vary somewhat, depending on the brand, the size of the fruit or vegetable, and so on.

Kids may eat more or less than the amounts of food shown, depending on their age and appetite. You can estimate the nutrient content accordingly.

Tips for maximizing your child’s calcium intake

Some experts believe that many children are falling short of their calcium requirement, in part because juice and other nondairy drinks are so popular that kids are drinking less milk. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure your child gets enough calcium:

  • Use milk instead of water when making cereals, hot cocoa, and soups.
  • Use evaporated milk in place of regular milk in recipes – it has twice the calcium of regular milk.
  • Add yogurt to fruit salads; nonfat milk powder to pancake batter, sauces, and smoothies; and cheese to vegetables, sauces, and mashed potatoes.
  • Buy calcium-fortified juice, bread, and cereal.
  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so make sure your child is getting enough vitamin D, too.

Can your child get too much calcium?

Milk is a wonderful source of nutrients, but it is possible to overdo it. Kids who drink too much milk or take too much calcium in the form of supplements (or a combination of those) can exceed 2,500 mg daily, the maximum amount considered safe by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. (This is called the tolerable upper intake level or UL.)

How much milk is too much? If your 1- to 3-year-old drinks more than three 8-ounce cups of milk or your 4- to 8-year-old drinks more than four 8-ounce cups of milk a day, it may be time to cut back, especially if he’s eating other calcium-rich foods such as yogurt and cheese.

An excess of calcium can lead to iron deficiency because it blocks the absorption of iron, as well as other minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Large quantities of milk also add extra calories that can contribute to obesity. And kids who fill up on milk often lose their appetite for other healthy foods.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_calcium-in-your-childs-diet_10324689.bc#articlesection1