Food trends through the years: A mixed bag for heart health?

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by Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School Remember when packaged foods emblazoned with the words “fat free” seemed to be everywhere? Then came labels boasting “zero grams of trans fat.” “Sugar free” and “low sodium” claims soon joined the chorus. These days, gluten-free foods are all the rage. For the most part, food industry trends have echoed the nutritional mantras of the time and were designed to improve our health — especially cardiovascular health. But just how successful have these efforts been? “It’s a mixed picture, but over… Read More →

Weighing in on Sugar Substitutes

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by Berkeley Wellness Artificial sweeteners—used in count­less “sugar-free” products, from sodas, fruit drinks, and candies to baked goods, yogurt, jams, and ice cream—are often thought of as weight-loss aids since they have few or no calories. And more people than ever, over­weight or lean, are con­suming them in “diet” foods and beverages—about 40 percent of adults and 25 percent of children in the U.S., which is a large increase from about 20 years ago, according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics…. Read More →

Pumpkin Apple Cake

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by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Ingredients 1 package (18.25 ounces) white cake mix 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2/3 cup apple juice 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla Nonstick cooking spray and flour Instructions 1Preheat oven to 350ºF. 2Combine cake mix, pumpkin, cinnamon, apple juice, eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. 3Beat at low speed for 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. 4Pour into a 12 cup bundt pan or a 9″x 13” cake pan that has been sprayed with… Read More →

Is Olive Oil Really That Special?

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by Berkeley Wellness In the past 25 years, olive oil has taken on the sta­tus of a health food, initially among those trying to improve their cholesterol lev­els and protect their heart, but then also among people who were just generally health-conscious. Yes, olive oil, like all plant oils, is 100 percent fat—but supposedly a “good fat.” A large part of its attrac­tion has been due to accumulating research about the health benefits of the Mediterra­nean diet, of which olive oil is a key element. Smart marketing has… Read More →

Here Comes the Fall

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By Bridgette Wilson Although the temperature is not quite hitting the crisp coolness of October yet, for some reason I am starting to be reminded of my childhood days of the Fall festivities. Every year, my elementary school had a carnival for the entire neighborhood. It was always around Halloween. It was open season for costumes, pumpkin carving contests, cake walks, Frito pies, candy corn and bobbing for apples. Of course, back then, I wasn’t worried about calories or sugar grams. However, time has changed and now I… Read More →

Flavors of Fall Zipped up in a Bag: Pumpkin Pudding

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Flavors of Fall Zipped up in a Bag: Pumpkin Pudding @SpendEatSmart http://bit.ly/2fy3fk6 #recipe #kids Written by Jill Weber, Human Sciences Specialist-Nutrition and Wellness When my girls were young we often made Pumpkin Pudding for a fall dinner dessert. Pudding is inexpensive and also light and not overly filling. The Pumpkin Pudding recipe includes a full can of pumpkin, so you are also getting the added fiber and Vitamin A pumpkin is known for. With the pumpkin pie spice seasoning added, it tastes like pumpkin pie! For a fun… Read More →

Electronic screen alert: Avoid this vision risk

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Electronic screen alert: Avoid this vision risk @HarvardHealth Looking at a screen too long? http://bit.ly/2fu1nbx There are many reasons to restrict the amount of time you spend in front of an electronic screen. For example, more hours sitting at a computer or smartphone means fewer hours of being physically active, and looking at a computer screen at night can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to fall asleep. Click link to read more…

Think twice before going gluten-free

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Think twice before going gluten-free @HarvardHealth Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye… http://bit.ly/2wshoFY Unless you have celiac disease, banning gluten from your diet won’t boost your heart health—and may actually hurt it, suggests an observational study published May 2, 2017, in The BMJ. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. In people with celiac disease, eating gluten triggers the body to attack the small intestine, causing inflammation and leading to malnutrition and gastrointestinal distress. The inflammation, in turn, can increase heart disease risk…. Read More →

Local Honey: Is it the sweet remedy for seasonal allergies?

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by Bridget Wilson Like most people in Central Texas, battling seasonal allergies is as traditional as tailgating in the parking lot of the first football game of the season. Weather changes creates a lot of challenges for those of us who deal with seasonal allergies. When I first arrived to Austin in the late Fall of 2006, I was immediately introduced to what the locals call cedar fever. During the peak of a major sneezing attack, I was left standing at the pharmacy counter reading the warning labels… Read More →

Back to School: Back to Basics

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by Bridget Wilson While most of us have already returned to the “back to school” routine, the dreadful feeling of less time and more responsibilities start to creep upon us. When it comes to meal planning, time management is the key. In my last blog, I talk about healthy time management and how we need to take care of ourselves first. During the most stressful times, one of the best ways to take care of ourselves and others is to have a game plan for meal time. Creating… Read More →