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Health TO YOUR Midvalley M idv va Newspapers January 2012 A guide to wellness and healthy living in the Mid-Willamette Valley Quick reads about health topics in the news Some cereals have more sugar than desserts If you’re feeding your kids Honey Smacks or Apple Jacks for breakfast, you might as well just give them a chocolate chip cookie or Twinkie, according to results from a nutritional analysis of kids’ cereals. The Environmental Working Group analyzed 84 cereals and found many contain as much or more sugar than many desserts. The worst culprit was Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. A one-cup serving packs 20 grams of sugar, more than a Hostess Twinkie, which has 18 grams of sugar. Post Golden Crisps and General Mills Wheaties Fuel also have more sugar than a Twinkie, according to the analysis. The Environmental Working Group recommends nutritional breakfast alternatives, such as eggs, fruit smoothies or oatmeal. You can find recipes here: report/sugar_in_childrens _cereals/healthy_breakfast _tips – The Baltimore Sun Does fast equal fat? Study shows link Sara Lee Thomas, clinical nutrition manager at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, demonstrates how to make “Healthy Hamburger Helper.” The recipe, along with several others that call for pre-cooked meat, is on page A6. AMANDA COWAN | TO YOUR HEALTH Think before you cook A little planning helps you prepare meals that enrich your health without stealing all your time By MARIA L. KIRKPATRICK arents aim for home-cooked and healthy meals, but too often, time crunches get in the way, making it much easier to grab something to go on the way home. It doesn’t have to be that way. Sara Lee Thomas, clinical nutrition manager at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, gives heart-healthy cooking demonstrations designed for the busy mom (and dad). “It’s easy to fall back on fast food,” Thomas said. But with a few tips and tricks, Thomas said, you can make meals that are fast, healthier and cheaper than those served at drivethroughs. Parents tend to keep an arsenal of basic recipes and old standbys. Thomas advises parents to make a few adjustments to those standbys so that they become healthier. For example, mix shredded cabbage with shredded lettuce and the recipe has more nutrition, a heartier crunch and becomes a powerful cancer fighter. Or add frozen vegetables to a can of soup. They are a big time saver and there is no waste. And frozen chopped onions add big flavor without tears. P ON THE WEB Many online sources are available for tips about quick and easy nutrition. Here’s a quick sample: ■ provides information on the new food pyramid and gives simple reminders for healthy eating and portion control. ■ offers recipes and tips for healthy meals with kid appeal. ■ provides recipes and videos for making heart-healthy meals. ■ assists individuals in planning low-cost, healthy meals. “This is not rocket science,” said Carol Walsh, registered dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic in Corvallis. “Don’t make it harder than it has to be.” Walsh said the easiest way to ensure healthy meals get to the table is to make a plan. Spend 15 minutes a week thinking about a weekly meal schedule and jot it down. “Keep in mind the My Plate diagram, look at the time available each night of the week and have in mind a strategy,” Walsh said, referring to the new food pyramid. Cooking a roast chicken one night can provide leftovers for chicken quesadillas another night, as long as tortillas and cheese are on hand. Walsh said parents tend to waste a lot of time by not having a plan. That’s when the family reaches for pizza — which is OK, in moderation, and especially if parents set out side dishes such as applesauce and carrots. Snacks can be healthy, Thomas said, and as easy as slicing an apple or serving a handful of nuts. Small pieces are easier, she said. We tend to grab for them more than we would a whole apple. Even chocolate can be healthy, as long as it’s dark and served in small portions. Keeping prepackaged meals out of the kitchen instantly cuts down the amount of fat, sodium and preservatives available. Fresh, frozen or canned are almost always better options. To reduce sodium in canned vegetables, Walsh said, rinse them with water. Drinks should be beneficial as well. Don’t try to replace fruit with fruit juice, Walsh said. Many bottled juices add unnecessary sugar and preservatives. Children should be served milk and water. For those who don’t easily down a glass a milk, Thomas suggests making a vanilla steamer for an evening snack. Just add vanilla and Splenda to a mug of milk and zap it in the microwave until warm. “A lot of kids don’t get enough milk,” she said. “This is a great way to get children to drink another serving.” A few tweaks give tacos a healthy twist Sara Lee Thomas, clinical nutrition manager at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, offers this advice for making heart-healthy tacos: • Use whole-wheat tortillas. Whole grains help prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, and they may help reduce the risk of asthma in kids. Also, whole grains help control weight. • Use refried fat-free pinto or black beans. They offer high amounts of fiber, twice as much as oatmeal. Pinto beans are high in antioxidants and also are jammed with many vitamins and minerals. Refried black beans have less sodium than refried pinto beans. Beans may help prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers (like breast cancer). • For the meat, use crumbled ground beef that you’ve cooked, drained and rinsed with boiling water to remove about half the fat, then flavored with a reduced-sodium taco seasoning packet. Or use part or all ground turkey — it’s less expensive and has half the fat of ground beef (even without rinsing). • Use a lettuce/cabbage mixture instead of just lettuce. Mix shredded lettuce and shredded cabbage half and half. For convenience buy the pre-shredded lettuce and the coleslaw mix. Cabbage has more nutrition than lettuce, gives some nice flavor and crunch, and is a powerful cancer fighter. • For the cheese, look for a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar. It costs the same as the cheddar but has 40 percent less fat. • Use fat free or light sour cream. You can save 50 to 100 calories by making this simple switch. Go with fat free if you can, but even the light sour cream gives you big savings in fat and calories. • Don’t forget the tomatoes. Most salsas are low calorie and fat free, and are a great way to add flavor to your food without adding fat. The main ingredients — which include tomatoes, garlic, onions, chili peppers and cilantro — are all good for you. • Consider sliced olives. Olives give you unsaturated fats, which are healthy for your heart. — Maria L. Kirkpatrick For more cooking tips and several time-saving recipes, turn to A6 The growing worldwide obesity epidemic has been blamed on a number of factors, but a study argues that it may be inexorably linked with wealthy nations and their fast-food restaurants. Researchers compared the number of fast-food restaurants per capita in 26 countries listed as advanced economies by the International Monetary Fund. They used one chain (Subway) as a proxy measure; at the end of 2010 the chain reportedly had the most restaurants worldwide. Countries with the highest density of restaurants per capita were the U.S. and Canada: 7.52 and 7.43 per 100,000 people, respectively. In the U.S., the prevalence of obesity for men and women is about 32 percent, while in Canada it’s about 23 percent. Japan, however, has far fewer of the fast-food restaurants, 0.13 per 100,000 people, and a far lower obesity rate: 2.9 percent for men and 3.3 percent for women. The researchers emphasized that the findings show correlation and not causality. The study was published in the December issue of the journal Critical Public Health. – Los Angeles Times Survey: Women are cutting back on tanning Self-tanning products might be keeping women from hitting the beach and tanning beds and courting dangerous UV radiation exposure, a study finds. A recent study released online in the Archives of Dermatology surveyed 415 women about their use of self-tanners and how often they tanned under the sun or in tanning beds in the previous year. While some health experts hail self-tanners as a safer alternative than tanning via the sun and beds, others worry that using the product compels people to seek out those conventional and harmful methods more often. Among women who used tanning products and sunned themselves, 36.8 percent said they had cut back on tanning in the sun because they were using self-tanners. Among those who used the products along with tanning beds, 38 percent said they reduced their use of the devices. – Los Angeles Times

To Your Health January 2012

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