Food Choice - Convenience

Convenience is a huge factor in our decision making process. So how can we make eating healthy more convenient? 1) Make extra dinner. If you’re going to take the time to make a healthy dinner, go ahead and double the recipe and eat the second half for lunch the next day. So for example, if you’re making a chicken breast with rice and veggies, make 2 chicken breasts and double the other portions. That way you have a healthy, already made lunch the next day. 2) Food prep. Certain foods can be started at the beginning of the week. For example, you can make a batch of pizza dough, and then separate it into 7 different balls to be made into crusts each day. Then when it’s dinner time, it’s just baking the crust for 10 min, then adding toppings and baking until toppings are fully cooked and cheese is bubbly (usually 15 min). 3) Shortcuts Use shortcuts when making food. Things like canned or frozen vegetables are great since you can just pop them in the microwave and they’re done quickly.

Food Choice- Taste

     There is a lot of misinformation about fat. The first common misconception is that eating fat, makes you fat. This is incorrect. Eating more calories than you burn is what causes weight gain. So while a food may be considered “fat free”, it may have a ton of sugar which can cause an overconsumption of calories. Swedish Fish for example, are considered fat free. However, one serving of the normal version (about 30 g or 5 pieces), is 110 calories and has 23 g of added (refined) sugar. Compare this to avocados (a fatty food), where 30g is about 48 calories.  All fat as been generalize to be bad. This is also misinformation. Oils are essential to several functions of the human body. There’s also different kinds of oils/fats. There are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils, which have good fats, or good cholesterol. There are also saturated and trans fats that are bad oils or bad cholesterol. You’re body has a certain amount of total cholesterol, the ratio is what’s important. You w

Food Choices - Cost

       When it comes to choosing food there are three main attributes people use to choose which are cost, taste, and convenience. These can be unconscious or conscious choices. So if we’re trying to change our diet, how can we combat our old habits? Let’s start by talking about the first attribute, cost.   Healthy food does not have to cost significantly more than junk or unhealthy food. According to Walmart, a 15 oz bag of Cheetos crunchy cheese flavored is $3.48 while 1 lb (about 16 oz) of fresh carrots is about $0.92. The Cheetos are about 23.2 cents per oz with carrots being about 92 cents per lb (92/16oz = 5.75 cents per oz), so by weight the carrots are cheaper. There are 160 calories per 28g of the Cheetos, while there are about 12 calories per 30g of carrots. The Cheetos have about 10 g of fat (1.5g being saturated fat), 250 mg of sodium, 15 g total carbohydrates (less than 1g being from fiber), 2 g protein, and .4 mg iron all per 28 g of Cheetos (about 21 pieces per serving,

Cardiovascular Health

What does the cardiovascular system entail? The lungs, heart, arteries, and veins. In an average lifetime the heart will beat about 3 billion times and 42 million gallons of blood. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death in the United States and other developed countries.  What causes cardiovascular disease? Fatty build-up in the artery wall is the main culprit, causing about 85% of cardiovascular disease. The fatty build-up can also cause strokes, the third leading cause of death.  The fatty-build up can be reversed with intense lifestyle changes. These changes may or may not be accompanied with the use of medication to lower cholesterol. Risk factors that can attribute to the fatty build-up include the use of tobacco (including smoking), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity (less than 30 accumulative minutes of moderate to intense activity a day. Moderate can be gardening or a brisk walk), obesity (BMI over 30), and diabetes. Physical inactivit

Maintaining Weight

 How Can We Maintain Our weight?      The amount of calories we burn in a day heavily impacts our weight. If we only burn 1,500 calories but eat 2,500 calories in a given day, that is an excess of 1,000 calories per day. 3,500 calories is 1 lb (2.2 lbs is 1 Kg). So over the next 3-4 days you would gain 1 lb. Over 1 year (365 days/ 4 days per lb) you would gain around 91 lbs.      So what is the best option? Moving more, trying to get at least 30 accumulative minutes of moderate to intense activity most days of the week, is the greatest predictor for maintaining weight loss. Moderate activity can be a brisk  walk, gardening, or taking the stairs. Accumulative means it doesn't have to be all at once, as long as each section lasts 10 min. So if you were to garden for 10 min, then take a brisk walk for 10 min, and then deep clean for another 10, your activity goal for the day will be met. Intense activity is things like a fast run, weight lifting, or swimming laps. Activities that grea

How does nutrition affect health?

  How does nutrition affect health?  There is a range of health issues, ranging from purely genetic to completely diet based, with diet influenced genetic disposition in the middle. There are 5 components of a healthy diet. These five components are adequacy, balance, calorie control, moderation, variety. Adequacy means the food provides nutrients your body needs. These nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Balance means consuming foods from all food groups. The food groups include dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein foods, and grains. Calorie control means to only eat as much as you burn. It is better to eat slightly under burned calories than to eat more, as obesity leads to many chronic health conditions. However, too little is also a concern and may be indicative of an unhealthy food relationship and will also lead to chronic health conditions such as anemia or osteoporosis. Moderation means not eating too much of one food, for example only eating a