Posts belonging to Category HealthBeat



Good Food on a Tight Budget

The following post is courtesy of a email from  Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, EWG, a nonprofit organization

EWG collaborated with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters to create our newest shopping guide – Good Food on a Tight Budget, http://tinyurl.com/8rjd5mb – to help you shop smarter and fill your grocery cart with the foods that deliver the biggest bang for your buck.

foodThis brand new shopping guide looks at 100 foods that are healthy, inexpensive, clean and green. The guide features simple tips for eating well, tasty recipes for meals and kids’ snacks, as well as proven money-saving tools for tracking food prices and planning meals.

Click here to check out EWG’s Good Food on a Tight Budget – including 15 recipes that average less than $1 per serving and tips like, http://tinyurl.com/8rjd5mb:

:: A pear a day keeps the pesticides away – more fiber, potassium and folate than an apple and fewer pesticide residues.

:: Eat your garnish – parsley packs a punch as potent as kale for a quarter the price.

:: Not a carrot lover? Sweet potatoes pack twice the fiber, potassium, and vitamin A as carrots.

:: Super okra? Okra beat out more than 100 other veggies to rise to the top of our lists.

Did you know: one serving of filling oatmeal is about half the cost of a bowl of sugared cereal? For animal sources of protein – roasted turkey tops the list. But to eat on the cheap, you can’t beat pinto beans or lentils for one-fifth the cost.

These tips are perfect for back-to-school, too – and to help you plan out food choices for those important meals, the guide’s lead author, EWG nutritionist Dawn Undurraga, pulled together visual suggestions for a week of easy lunches. Click here to read her back-to-school blog, http://tinyurl.com/bs5sflt.

We believe that eating healthy and affordably should be easy. I hope you enjoy this new guide.

You can own a hard copy of the 32-page, full color Good Food on a Tight Budget Booklet. It’s filled with tips, shopping guides and all the information you need to shop healthier and save money. EWG will send you a copy of the booklet when you donate.

Click here to donate and get your guide today, http://tinyurl.com/9pe3877.

 

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, wants all Americans to know about programs and resources to help children and parents curb obesity  including the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health’s We Can!! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition)® program.

Through public-private partnerships, safe places to play and nutritious food options are being made available in neighborhoods and schools across America. Exciting new programs include the Partnership for a Healthier America and Olympic Team USA’s commitment to provide 1.7 million kids the opportunity to participate in free and low cost physical activity programs offered by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USOC National Governing Bodies for sport, and others over the next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a new farm to school grant program designed to educate children about food sources, and increase the availability of locally sourced foods in schools.

obesityOver the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. According to the Centers for Disease Control,CDC, in 2010, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese. Children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to become obese adults. Overweight and obese youth are at greater risk of developing serious adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

That is why HHS, with the President’s Council, supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal to end childhood obesity within a generation through her Let’s Move! program. Everyone has a role to play – parents and caregivers, school teachers and administrators, community leaders, local elected officials, after school programmers, and health care providers.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents aged 6–17 years should spend 60 minutes or more being physical active each day.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released by HHS and USDA, provide nutritional guidance for Americans to promote good health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity. The guidelines recommend balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

To learn more about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month or for tips on how to help your kids lead healthy lifestyle visit http://www.fitness.gov

 

Healthy Foods…Healthy Moods

The web site, Fruit&Veggies More Matters at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, recently carried the following message about what foods we eat and how it can impact on our moods, even to the point of depression.

foodsA recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported that individuals eating a diet rich in whole foods were less likely to report feelings of depression than those who ate lots of desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.

After five (5) years, the study determined that a processed food dietary eating pattern is a risk factor for depression, whereas a whole food eating pattern is a protective measure for depression.

Another article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet of foods that include high intakes of fruits, vegetables, and soy products was associated with fewer depressive symptoms.

The study contributed these results to a cumulative effort of the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables as well as the omega-3 fatty acids in fish.

We’ve all turned to food after a bad day but instead of reaching for whatever seems soothing, eat food that may actually lift your spirits! A diet that promotes a healthy lifestyle is going to promote a positive outlook on life too! Your clothes are going to fit better, you’ll have more energy, and you won’t feel guilty about what you’re eating.

Leading a healthy lifestyle equipped with a healthy diet (rich in fruits and vegetables) and being physically active is just another aspect of your life you can be proud of!

So while more studies need to be done to determine if it is the foods themselves that enhance moods or the results of a certain eating pattern, we do know a healthy diet has many benefits to offer!

Source: Akbaraly, TN, et al. “Dietary Patterns and Depressive Symptoms in Middle Age.” British Journal of Psychiatry 2009; 195(5):

Nanri, A, et al. “Dietary Patterns and Depressive Symptoms Among Japanese Men and Women.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.86.

 

 

Tips from womenshealth.gov

womenshealth.gov, a project of  the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, recently published the following tips written by Health Day News.

tipsTips on What Can Cause Muscle Cramps

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says although the exact causes of muscle cramps aren’t known, the following conditions are thought to increase your risk:

  • Having tight muscles that haven’t been stretched.
  • Having poorly conditioned muscles that become easily fatigued.
  • Overusing your muscles.
  • Exerting yourself in extreme heat.
  • Being dehydrated.
  • Having low levels of essential minerals and salt, including potassium.

Tips on Avoiding Hurting Yourself While Gardening

The American Council on Exercise suggests how to garden without hurting yourself:

  • Use correct posture and form.
  • Warm up before you garden with a 10-minute walk.
  • Make sure all of your movements are smooth and steady.
  • Keep your abdominal muscles taut.
  • Lift with your legs (never your back).
  • Don’t twist your back while digging.
  • Breathe regularly. Exhale when you lift, and inhale as you lower a heavy load.

A Stop Bullying Message from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

bullyingThe following message about bullying comes from Nicholas Garlow with HealthBeat, a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bullying can be verbal, like name calling, social, to affect reputations and relationships, or even physical, which hurts someone or their possessions. It can happen anywhere, and to anyone.

We can help kids understand bullying by talking to them about it and teaching them how to stand up to it safely.

Erin Reiney, a public health specialist at the Health Resources and Services Administration says, “If a youth is being bullied, we really need to encourage him or her to talk to a trusted adult and not keep feelings insides. It’s important for a youth to tell somebody about the bullying in order to feel less alone.”

Children, parents, educators, and communities can learn how to take action against bullying and prevent it from happening by going to stopbullying.gov.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.