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Posts Tagged ‘ Healthy goals ’

February is heart month: a nutrition cheat sheet

In honor of heart health month, which is held the month of February, below are nutrition guidelines and tips on eating for a healthy heart.

* CHOOSE A DIET RICH IN  FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND WHOLE GRAINS.

* CHOOSE A DIET LOW IN SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FATS: LIMIT FRIED FOODS, FATTY MEAT, BUTTER, AND MARGARINE.

* INCLUDE FOODS RICH IN OMEGA 3 FATS:  SALMON, SARDINES, WALNUTS, AND FLAXSEEDS

* CHOOSE HEART HEALTHY FATS: NUTS, OLIVE OIL, CANOLA OIL, AVOCADO.

* LIMIT INTAKE OF SODIUM: DO NOT USE SALT SHAKER; USE HERBS AND SPICES INSTEAD; AVOID PROCESSED FOODS.

Below are BEST BETS: foods to include for heart health.

GRAINS/STARCHES

Choose foods high in SOLUBLE FIBER to reduce cholesterol levels

grains: oat bran, oatmeal, barley

starchy vegetables: sweet potato, winter squash (butternut, acorn)

Choose whole grains instead of white bread products

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Choose FRESH fruits and vegetables—they are rich in ANTIOXIDANTS, OTHER VITAMINS/MINERALS, FIBER and low in calories

FRUITS: citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, banana, apples, pears

fruit juices such as orange and grapefruit (watch portions of juice)

VEGETABLES: broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes,

spinach, cauliflower

MEATS AND ALTERNATIVES

Choose LEAN poultry: chicken breast without skin, fresh turkey breast

Choose fresh fish: baked, broiled or grilled

cod, flounder, red snapper, filet of sole (low in fat)

salmon, tuna, sardines  (rich in heart healthy omega 3’s)

Include beans, peas (split peas, chick peas), lentils: they are high in fiber and low in fat.

Include soy products–tofu, soy milk (good source calcium)

Limit red meat as it is high in saturated fat.

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Choose lowfat milk and dairy products

Skim milk, yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, low fat ricotta

Limit high fat cheese products as they are high in saturated fat.

FATS

Choose moderate amounts of olive oil and canola oil–as they are  high in monounsaturated fat (“Good fat”).

CAUTION:  USE IN MODERATION–ALL FATS HAVE ALOT OF  CALORIES.

Include nuts and seeds in moderation.

Limit butter, coconut oil, palm oil (high in saturated fat).

Limit margarine and other partially hydrogenated products (high in trans fats).

MISC

Avoid foods high in salt and sodium: pickles, soy sauce, processed foods, salt shakers

Limit high fat cakes and pastries.  Save for a treat.

Watch portion sizes!

Exercise!!!

© 2013 Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, CDN

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Rightsize your waist and your plate

Rightsize your Plate and your Waist: Portion control for the New Year.

Practicing portion control is one of the most difficult tasks facing anyone who eats out or even eats in these days. Look around you and everything is supersized. And not just fast food. Bagels, muffins, steaks, even frozen dinners have grown in size. I tracked the history of portion sizes increasing since the 20th century and found that portions are much much bigger than they were in the past, 2-5 times bigger to be exact. And so are people! No surprise. As I wrote in The Portion Teller Plan and in numerous articles, large portions contribute to weight gain because large portions contain more calories than small portions. Simple as it sounds, so many clients that I counsel don’t seem to apply logic to the equation. We know that if a 64-oz double Gulp soda is eight times bigger than a standard 100 calorie 8-oz soda, it should contain 8 times the calories. Yes, the Double Gulp contains 800 calories. Simple math?  Yes. But… if WE drink it, we think, how can a soda possibly have so many calories?

Our plates have increased, so have our mugs, glasses, and wine goblets. Our cabinets and  dishwashers are now larger to accommodate our satellite-sized dishes. And, car seats for our kids, who are now pudgier than ever, have also increased. And even caskets have become supersized!

Many of us don’t understand what a healthy portion is, and for good reason. A pasta portion in a restaurant is easily 3 cups, and many steaks are at least a pound. That is much too much food. The problem is that we’ve gotten used to these jumbo portion sizes and we think that a “portion” is whatever is put in front of us.

Getting used to normal-sized portions is not an easy task. Here are some tips:

Practice plate control. For starters, try eating off of plates your grandmother used. Next, change your expectation. Restaurants are in business to sell food, and lots of it. It is time to shift our perspective on what a reasonable amount of food is. If you use a smaller plate, you will probably begin to scale back on your portion.

Fill up on fruits and veggies. We want to scale back on our meat and potato portions and increase our intake of veggies. An easy trick is to fill half your plate with veggies. One quarter of your plate protein (meat, fish, poultry, tofu) and one quarter healthy starch (brown rice, quinoa, barley).

Buy single-servings when possible. Steer clear of the jumbo bags of chips, cookies, and nuts sold at price warehouse clubs such as Costco. We all love a good bargain, but beware when it comes to buying food. While you may want to stock up on toilet paper or paper towels, when it comes to food, buy smaller servings. Single-serve bags of chips will really help you practice portion control while snacking.

Order a small. In many cases you have a choice between a small, medium, or large. Order the small size whenever possible.

Avoid your triggers. If you can’t stop at one serving of chips, then don’t even start. Choose a treat you CAN control.

Don’t snack out of the bag. Familiarize yourself with the serving size on the food label, pour  yourself one serving, and put the bag away. Practice this for chips, nuts, pretzels and other treats.

Don’t be fooled by health halos. Just because a food is labeled organic or trans fat free doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Calories are still calories.

Skip all-you-can-eat buffets. They may be a bargain for your pocketbook, but not for your health. If you must visit a buffet, do a full lap around the buffet before choosing your selection and wear tight fitting clothes (you’ll probably eat less.)

Share, share, and share. Restaurant portion sizes are huge. Order one main dish and an extra veggie dish or salad and share both. And order one dessert for two or three people and you will still feel satisfied.

Eat like a Parisian. Eat slowly, savor your food, and enjoy your company.

Enjoy! Bon Appetit.

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Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

As so many of us know, making—and sticking to–New Year’s resolutions rarely works for the long haul. In fact, we often make the same ones over and over, just to start again next year. It is already mid-January and so many of us have probably already nixed those resolutions. Here’s why instead of making resolutions, I recommend small and simple changes that can be implemented one at a time and that are easy to follow.

Here’s where Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual illustrated by Maira Kalman (Penguin, 2011) comes in.  This wonderful book is an updated version of Pollan’s best seller along with some new rules and terrific illustrations. I have recommended it to many clients who are looking to make simple changes in their eating habits and also to the environment in which they live.

The rules are short and to the point and easy to implement. This updated edition offers some of Pollan’s new favorites. They include:

  • Give Some Thought to Where Your Food Comes From
  • “Order the Small.” (One of my favorites—not just because I am quoted).
  • “If You’re Not Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple, Then You’re Probably Not Hungry”
  • “No Labels on the Table”

Here are other favorites:

  • Eat mostly plants.”
  • “Eat slowly.”
  • “Cook.”
  • “Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.”
  • “If you have the space, buy a freezer”
  • “Avoid foods advertised on TV.”
  • “…Eat less”
  • AND OF COURSE, “Have a glass of wine with dinner.

This book is a must read for anyone who eats and drinks 🙂 !!

Kudos to Michael Pollan and  Maira Kalman.

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Drop in obesity for NYC kids

Good news, finally, for obese New York City schoolchildren. A new report released yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of obese New York City schoolchildren fell by 5.5 percent over five years. This decline was documented by annual fitness exams given to students from kindergarten through eighth-grade. It is the largest decline reported by a large city.

As written in the New York Times, overall, the rate of obesity dropped in New York City to 207 children per 1,000 in the 2010-11 school year, down from 219 five years earlier, meaning that 20.7 percent were still considered obese.

The results found that the declines in obesity were considerably higher among middle-class children than among poor children. They were also higher among white and Asian children compared with black and Hispanic children. Nonetheless, overall the drops held up to some extent across all races and economic levels.

“This comes after decades of relentless increases,” Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said. While the 5.5 percent drop may seem slight, he said, “What’s impressive is the fact that it’s falling at all.”  And, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the 5.5 percent drop translated into roughly 6,500 fewer obese children in the public schools

Dr. Farley attributed the progress, in part, to NYC’s  aggressive advertising campaign against sugary sodas, which he said may have altered what parents were serving their children. The city has also tried adding healthier options to school lunch menus and added strict rules on the calorie and sugar content of drinks and snacks in vending machines in schools.

Good news New Yorkers!!  Let’s keep it up!

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Healthy eating tips

Healthy eating tips.

So many people get confused with all the different studies and conflicting advice on diet and nutrition. Eating healthfully does not have to be complicated. Here are a few simple tips that I have successfully shared with clients over the years to help them become healthier and select a more nutritious diet.

  • Practice portion control. When it comes to weight control, how much you eat matters more than what you eat.
  • Allow yourself to indulge a small portion of your favorite food.
  • Deprivation does not work.
  • Do not eat diet food (unless, of course, you really think it tastes delicious.)
  • Limit soda and sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Choose a variety of fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose locally grown produce and buy what’s in season.
  • Eat real foods.
  • Limit processed food and packaged foods with a long ingredient list containing words you can’t pronounce.
  • When eating out, share a meal and enjoy the company.
  • Enjoy your food and eat slowly.
  • Cook more often (or learn to cook) .
  • Eat whole grains instead of refined grains.
  • Eat more plant based proteins instead of high fat meats.
  • Choose healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts instead of unhealthy fats such as butter and margarine. But remember, fats have lots of calories, so don’t overdo it.
  • Before eating, ask yourself, “am I hungry?”
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National nutrition month is here!

March is national nutrition month.

National nutrition month is a nutrition education campaign sponsored yearly by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). This year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color.”

Here are some tips to help you eat healthier:

  • Include fruits and vegetables at each meal. Sprinkle in berries to your yogurt, add a colorful green salad to your lunch, and include vegetables with your dinner.
  • Eat a variety of foods from each food group.
  • Aim for color!! Choosing a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables is best, as different antioxidants exist in the different color spectrums. The deep red pigment found in tomatoes and watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene, for example. The deep orange color found in cantaloupe and sweet potatoes contains beta carotene.
  • Include whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal instead of refined grains.
  • Choose locally grown produce that it is season.
  • Include plant based proteins such as beans, nuts, and legumes. They not only give you protein, but they have an added bonus as they are chock full of fiber.
  • Try new foods. A huge assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables are available to us. But we often get into a rut and stick with the usual fare. Give a new food a try. You may actually love it!
  • Spring is coming, so use this as an opportunity to get more active and take advantage of outdoor activities such as walking and bike riding.

UPDATE 2012: The ADA has been renamed to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

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