Eating Well While Eating Out

Can I Splurge When I Eat Out?

A slice of pizza once in a while won't do you any harm. What's important is a person's average food intake over a few days, not just in a single meal. So if you eat a less-than-healthy meal once in a while, try to balance it with healthier foods the rest of that day and week.

But if pizza (or any fast food) is all you eat, that can lead to problems. The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is weight gain — or even obesity.

But weight gain isn't the only problem. Too much fast food can drag a person's body down in other ways. Because the food we eat affects all aspects of how the body functions, eating the right (or wrong) foods can influence any number of things, including:

  • mental functioning
  • emotional well-being
  • energy
  • strength
  • weight
  • future health

Eating on the Go

It's actually easier than you think to make good choices at a fast-food restaurant, the mall, or even the school cafeteria. Most cafeterias and fast-food places offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. Be mindful of portion sizes and high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese.

Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:

  • Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans if you're a vegetarian), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don't qualify as veggies!), and whole grains (like whole-wheat bread and brown rice). That's why a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
  • Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades so that we are now eating way more than we need. The average size of a hamburger in the 1950s was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk.Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.

Tips for Eating at a Restaurant

Most restaurant portions are way larger than the average serving of food at home. Ask for half portions, share an entrée with a friend, or take half of your dish home.

Here are some other restaurant survival tips:

  • Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side and use them sparingly.
  • Use salsa and mustard instead of mayonnaise or oil.
  • Ask for olive or canola oil instead of butter, margarine, or shortening.
  • Use nonfat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Order baked, broiled, or grilled (not fried) lean meats including turkey, chicken, seafood, or sirloin steak.
  • Salads and vegetables make healthier side dishes than french fries. Use a small amount of sour cream instead of butter if you order a baked potato.
  • Choose fresh fruit instead of sugary, high-fat desserts.

Tips for Eating at the Mall or Fast-Food Place

It's tempting to pig out while shopping, but with a little planning, it's easy to eat healthy foods at the mall. Here are some choices:

  • a single slice of veggie pizza
  • grilled, not fried, sandwiches (for example, a grilled chicken breast sandwich)
  • deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread
  • a small hamburger
  • a bean burrito
  • a baked potato
  • a side salad
  • frozen yogurt

Choose the smaller sizes, especially when it comes to drinks and snacks. If you have a craving for something unhealthy, try sharing the food you crave with a friend.

Tips for Eating in the School Caf

The suggestions for eating in a restaurant and at the mall apply to cafeteria food as well. Add vegetables and fruit whenever possible, and opt for leaner, lighter items. Choose sandwiches on whole-grain bread or a plain hamburger over fried foods or pizza. Go easy on the high-fat, low-nutrition items, such as mayonnaise and heavy salad dressings.

You might want to consider packing your own lunch occasionally. Here are some lunch items that pack a healthy punch:

  • sandwiches with lean meats or fish, like turkey, chicken, tuna (made with low-fat mayo), lean ham, or lean roast beef. For variety, try other sources of protein, like peanut butter, hummus, or meatless chili. If you don't like your bread dry, choose mustard or a small amount of lite mayo.
  • low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • any fruit that's in season
  • raw baby carrots, green and red pepper strips, tomatoes, or cucumbers
  • whole-grain breads, pita, bagels, or crackers

It can be easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. It's OK to splurge every once in a while, as long as your food choices are generally good.

 

By: Marvin L. Gavin, MD

Original Article: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/eating_out.html

More Nutritional Health...

Can I Splurge When I Eat Out?

A slice of pizza once in a while won't do you any harm. What's important is a person's average food intake over a few days, not just in a single meal. So if you eat a less-than-healthy meal once in a while, try to balance it with healthier foods the rest of that day and week.

But if pizza (or any fast food) is all you eat, that can lead to problems. The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is weight gain — or even obesity.

But weight gain isn't the only problem. Too much fast food can drag a person's body down in other ways. Because the food we eat affects all aspects of how the body functions, eating the right (or wrong) foods can influence any number of things, including:

  • mental functioning
  • emotional well-being
  • energy
  • strength
  • weight
  • future health

Eating on the Go

It's actually easier than you think to make good choices at a fast-food restaurant, the mall, or even the school cafeteria. Most cafeterias and fast-food places offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. Be mindful of portion sizes and high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese.

Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:

  • Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans if you're a vegetarian), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don't qualify as veggies!), and whole grains (like whole-wheat bread and brown rice). That's why a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
  • Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades so that we are now eating way more than we need. The average size of a hamburger in the 1950s was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk.Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.

Tips for Eating at a Restaurant

Most restaurant portions are way larger than the average serving of food at home. Ask for half portions, share an entrée with a friend, or take half of your dish home.

Here are some other restaurant survival tips:

  • Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side and use them sparingly.
  • Use salsa and mustard instead of mayonnaise or oil.
  • Ask for olive or canola oil instead of butter, margarine, or shortening.
  • Use nonfat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Order baked, broiled, or grilled (not fried) lean meats including turkey, chicken, seafood, or sirloin steak.
  • Salads and vegetables make healthier side dishes than french fries. Use a small amount of sour cream instead of butter if you order a baked potato.
  • Choose fresh fruit instead of sugary, high-fat desserts.

Tips for Eating at the Mall or Fast-Food Place

It's tempting to pig out while shopping, but with a little planning, it's easy to eat healthy foods at the mall. Here are some choices:

  • a single slice of veggie pizza
  • grilled, not fried, sandwiches (for example, a grilled chicken breast sandwich)
  • deli sandwiches on whole-grain bread
  • a small hamburger
  • a bean burrito
  • a baked potato
  • a side salad
  • frozen yogurt

Choose the smaller sizes, especially when it comes to drinks and snacks. If you have a craving for something unhealthy, try sharing the food you crave with a friend.

Tips for Eating in the School Caf

The suggestions for eating in a restaurant and at the mall apply to cafeteria food as well. Add vegetables and fruit whenever possible, and opt for leaner, lighter items. Choose sandwiches on whole-grain bread or a plain hamburger over fried foods or pizza. Go easy on the high-fat, low-nutrition items, such as mayonnaise and heavy salad dressings.

You might want to consider packing your own lunch occasionally. Here are some lunch items that pack a healthy punch:

  • sandwiches with lean meats or fish, like turkey, chicken, tuna (made with low-fat mayo), lean ham, or lean roast beef. For variety, try other sources of protein, like peanut butter, hummus, or meatless chili. If you don't like your bread dry, choose mustard or a small amount of lite mayo.
  • low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • any fruit that's in season
  • raw baby carrots, green and red pepper strips, tomatoes, or cucumbers
  • whole-grain breads, pita, bagels, or crackers

It can be easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. It's OK to splurge every once in a while, as long as your food choices are generally good.

 

By: Marvin L. Gavin, MD

Original Article: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/eating_out.html

(CNN) -- Cholesterol has long been seen as a villain for heart health, but our understanding of this beast is changing. New recommendations suggest that risk factors should determine who should receive drugs called statins to lower cholesterol levels, and who should simply make lifestyle changes to combat the problem.

Anyone with diabetes, heart disease, "bad" cholesterol over 190 or a 10-year risk of heart attack above 7.5% should be taking a statin, the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology say. Everyone else with high cholesterol: Take matters into your own hands.

There's the caveat, too, that not all cholesterol is alike. There's "good" cholesterol -- high-density lipoprotein, or HDL -- that you want to maintain relatively high, and "bad" cholesterol -- low-density lipoprotein, or LDL -- that needs to be kept at bay.

Here are some lifestyle modifications you can try, with an eye toward pushing the bad cholesterol down and the good toward healthy levels. Keep in mind that, according to the American Heart Association, these strategies may not be enough, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about what treatment plan is best for you.

1. Lose weight

You may be able to reduce cholesterol levels significantly by losing 5% to 10% of your body weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Accomplishing that isn't necessarily easy, but you can begin with small steps. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine in simple ways, such as walking up and down stairs. Replace a fast-food lunch with a homemade, healthy meal and munch on carrot sticks instead of potato chips.

Slowly introducing more exercise and healthier foods can have a big impact on your weight and, by extension, lower your cholesterol.

I'm now a 175-pound 'ninja'

Healthy weight is so important for overall heart health, in fact, that the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released a new report calling for physicians to create customized weight loss plans and recommend counseling with a dietitian or certified weight loss professional for at least six months. Doctors should also offer bariatric surgery as a potential option for some patients with high body mass index, the report said.

11 simple weight loss tips

2. Be a picky eater 

What you eat can make a big difference in cholesterol.

Watch out for saturated fats, which lurk in red meat and dairy products. The Mayo Clinic recommends that less than 7% of daily calories come from saturated fat. Alternatives include leaner meat cuts, low-fat dairy products and monounsaturated fats, which you can get from olive, peanut and canola oils.

But avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil -- an ingredient that signals the presence of trans fat, a feature of fried foods and many commercial baked products.

Even products that say "trans fat-free" may not be truly clean of these fats; in the United States, the "trans fat-free" label can be stuck on any food with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Such small quantities can add up, so check ingredients for partially hydrogenated oil.

Health.com: 20 low-cholesterol meals

In general, you should consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily, and if you have heart disease or diabetes, that number goes down to 200. Organ meats such as liver, egg yolks and whole milk products are full of cholesterol; you can replace them with lean meat cuts, egg substitutes and skim milk.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables can all help lower cholesterol. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help lower bad cholesterol, too; these include certain fish -- salmon, mackerel and herring -- as well as walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseed.

Oatmeal is another fighter of bad cholesterol as it contains soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol's absorption into the bloodstream. Kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes are also good sources of soluble fiber.

Higher 'good' cholesterol linked to lower cancer risk

3. Get active

Aim to exercise 30 minutes per day, with your doctor's approval, and you can be on your way to reducing overall cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. Your weight loss journey can begin with 10-minute intervals of physical activity multiple times a day.

Look for opportunities to add exercise. Can you squeeze in a walk during your lunch hour? Can you ride your bike to work? Can you get a sports game going, or take an early-morning run? When you watch TV, can you do some situps?

Finding an exercise partner can help, too. You might also consider starting or joining a group that works out together.

4. No more cigarettes

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, so it will come as no surprise that smoking is harmful to the heart. If you quit smoking, you may improve your good cholesterol level.

What's more, your blood pressure decreases within 20 minutes after quitting,according to the Mayo Clinic. Risk of heart attack lowers within 24 hours of quitting smoking, and within a year the risk of heart disease is just half that of someone who smokes. Heart disease risk drops to levels similar to people who have never smoked within 15 years of quitting.

5. Lower alcohol consumption

Excessive drinking of alcohol may lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke. That's why it's recommended that women of all ages and men older than 65 only drink up to one alcoholic beverage per day; for men 65 and under, stick to up to two drinks.

Interestingly, high levels of good cholesterol have been linked to moderate use of alcohol, but this connection hasn't been demonstrated strongly enough to recommend alcohol to nondrinkers.

While these lifestyle changes can be useful, sometimes doctors still need to prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications. If your cholesterol is high, talk to your health care provider and come up with an easy-to-manage plan of attack.

By: Elizabeth Landau

Orginal Article: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/health/lower-cholesterol/index.html?hpt=he_t4

Fries or fruit? Ribeye or tuna steak? Soda or water?

Every time you decide what to eat, you either increase or decrease your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Let that inspire you to choose triglyceride-friendly meals.

“Changing the diet can have dramatic effects on triglyceride levels,” says Robert Bonow, MD, former president of the American Heart Association and professor of Medicine at Northwestern University. In fact, a healthy diet -- plus exercise and weight loss if you’re overweight -- can cut your triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%.

The meals below can help lower your triglycerides. You may need to adjust portion sizes to meet your calorie level.

Breakfasts That Protect Your Heart

Start the day off with healthy decisions. Choose one of these delicious breakfasts.   

Cereal & Berry Bowl

1 cup 1% or skim milk

1/2 cup oatmeal with 1-2 Tbsp of chopped walnuts

Or 1 serving of cold cereal, with 5 or more grams of fiber and 8 or less grams of sugar

1 cup raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries on top

Egg Sandwich

1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, or 1/4 cup egg substitutes

1 cup or more of diced tomatoes, spinach leaves, minced onion, and mushrooms

1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine or a small amount of olive oil

2 slices whole wheat toast

1 orange in sections or 1/4 cantaloupe on the side         

Yogurt Parfait

1 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt

1 cup high-fiber cereal

1 sliced banana, 1 cup mango, or 1 peach

A small handful of almonds on top

Salmon Bagel

1 whole-grain bagel

1 oz sliced smoked salmon

1 Tbsp low-fat or nonfat cream cheese

Capers or fresh dill

1 cup melon cubes with any type of berry on the side

Lunches to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack

Here are some flavorful lunches you can pack, and a few you may even be able to buy.

Soup & Salad

1 cup vegetable, black bean, or lentil soup (or any low-fat or vegetarian soup)

5 whole-wheat crackers

2 cups salad made with dark greens, like spinach, mixed greens, or radicchio

1 cup of any combo of colorful, chopped veggies: broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, snow peas, tomatoes

1 cup fruits: apples, grapes, kumquats, pears

1 Tbsp salad dressing made with olive oil or canola oil (or nonfat dressings)

Sandwich With Double Crunch

2 slices whole-wheat bread or 1 hamburger bun

2 oz tuna

1 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise

Minced onion

Dill pickle relish or sugar-free sweet pickle relish

Top with thin slices of apple or pear for crunch (1 medium piece of fruit)

Add this crunchy side: 

Finger Salad

1 cup veggies like baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and red pepper strips mixed with fruit such as apple, grapes, or pear (with peel)

Chinese Delight

1 cup veggie stir-fry with 2 oz shrimp, chicken, or tofu (request olive or vegetable oil)

1/2 cup whole-wheat pasta or rice (brown or wild)

1 cup pineapple chunks

A Friendlier “Burger”

2 oz grilled chicken breast on whole-grain sandwich (with 1 Tbsp low-fat or nonfat mayo)

1 cup side salad

1 piece of fresh fruit

Keep it simple at night to make choices easy to follow.

Chicken Dinner

3 oz skinless grilled or broiled chicken (breast or dark meat)

1 baked sweet potato, served with 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine

1 cup steamed broccoli with red pepper rings

1/2 cup light ice cream, frozen yogurt, low-fat or nonfat pudding, with 1 tsp chopped pistachios

Pasta Night

1 cup whole-wheat pasta or spaghetti squash

1 can of Italian diced tomatoes

1 cup or more of sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, peppers, or onions – veggies you like best

Add 3.5 oz. ground turkey breast, tofu, or crumbled meat substitute

Add basil, oregano, or rosemary, whichever flavor you prefer that night

1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, dry grated, reduced fat

Wine: 1 glass for women, 2 for men (Skip the alcohol if your triglycerides are over 200 mg/dL)

Easy Fish

4 oz grilled or sauteed salmon or tuna steaks

Or grilled or broiled shrimp kabobs

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup steamed asparagus with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup wheat couscous with mushroom broth and sliced scallions

1 cup roasted tomatoes

Vegetarian Night for Meat Lovers

1 (8 inch) corn tortillas

1/3 cup refried beans (fat-free or vegetarian)

2 Tbsp salsa

1 oz low-fat or fat-free Mexican cheese

1/2 cup slices of avocado

2 oz crumbled veggie sausage or meat substitute

Beer: 1 glass for women, 2 for men (no alcohol if your triglycerides are over 200 mg/dL)

Putting Together Your Own Meals

Fit in with your favorite meals by following these basics to lower your triglycerides.

  • Plan for a “moderate” amount of whole-grain carbohydrates. Use portion sizes on packages as a guide. Another way to estimate a healthy amount is to visually divide your plate into 4 equal parts. Fill half of it with fruits and vegetables, and fill a quarter of it with a whole grain. Fill the last quarter with a low-fat protein.
  • Limit “white” carbs and sugars. Keep foods made with white flour, desserts, candy, juices, and fruit drinks to a minimum.
  • Serve healthy fats because they can help lower your triglyceride levels. They are the unsaturated fats, especially omega-3s found in fatty fish, flaxseed, canola oil, and walnuts.
  • Don’t keep around tempting, unhealthy fats -- saturated fats found in red meat and baked goods and trans fats found in some packaged foods. If a food label says hydrogenated oil, don’t even open the bag.
  • Choose low-fat proteins, including chicken, fish, seafood, lean meats, and tofu.
  • Pour low or nonfat milk and choose low or nonfat dairy -- yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese.
  • Limit how much alcohol you have each day. That’s 1 drink if you’re female and 2 if you are male. But even a small amount of alcohol may raise triglycerides in some people, so ask your doctor what’s right for you.

Having trouble adapting to low-triglyceride meals? See your doctor or a dietitian for help. Together you can put together a healthy meal plan that will lower your triglyceride levels and help you lose weight if you need to.

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 12, 2012

People with life-threatening peanut allergies understand how vexing the wait has been for a proper remedy, prevention, or cure.

In a mouse study, researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver have discovered what might be a breakthrough in treating peanut allergies. They found that levels of the enzyme named Pim 1 kinase rise in the small intestines of peanut-allergic mice. Depressing or blocking the activity of Pim 1 significantly reduced the allergic response to peanuts.

The enzyme, Pim 1, plays "a crucial role in allergic reactions to peanuts,” said Erwin Gelfand, MD, senior author of the study and chair of pediatrics at National Jewish Health. “As such, they offer promising new targets for the treatment of allergic reactions to peanuts, and possibly other foods.”

Dr. Gelfand and his colleagues reported the discovery in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

In a mouse model of food allergy, the researchers found that Pim1 kinase levels increased in the intestines of allergic mice that had been fed peanuts. Levels of Runx3 mRNA, a partnering protein, dropped significantly in the allergic mice, however. When researchers inhibited Pim 1 kinase, the mice no longer experienced diarrhea and other symptoms associated with their peanut allergy.

Histamine, a potent cause of allergy symptoms, dropped to almost baseline levels after treatment with the Pim 1 blocker.

“Our data identified for the first time that Pim1 kinase contributes in important ways to the development of peanut-induced allergic responses, “ said Gelfand. “Targeting this novel ... axis involving Pim 1 kinase and Runx3 offers new therapeutic opportunities for the control of food-induced allergic reactions.”

Original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/peanut-allergy-treatment-_n_2082530.html

"Path to a Possible New Treatment for Peanut Allergies" originally appeared on Everyday Health.