Eat Smart!

Eat Smart! A bowl a day could keep high blood pressure away

bowl of whole grain cereal

The amount of cereal you eat, specifically whole grain cereal, can significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure, according to a Physicians Health Study.

The study analyzed data from more than 13,000 male physicians over a 16 year period. None of the men had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

The participants were grouped together by how much cereal they ate. The group who did not eat cereal was used as a control.

  • The group who ate one or less servings a week saw an 8 percent lower high blood pressure risk
  • Those who ate two to six servings a week
    saw a 16 percent lower risk
  • Those who ate seven or more servings a week saw a 25 percent lower risk

Hmmm, may be tomorrow morning you should include a serving of whole grain cereal.

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Eat Smart! Is your mid-morning snack undermining your weight loss?

A tasty snack
Eating a morning snack may be hindering your weight loss according to a study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The study reported that women dieters who ate snacks between breakfast and lunch lost less weight than those who did not have a mid-morning snack.

Researchers studied 123 overweight or obese women ages 50 to 75 over a 12-month period. Results showed those who ate a mid-morning snack lost 7 percent of their total body weight compared to non-morning snackers who lost 11 percent.

“This finding may not relate necessarily to the time of day one snacks, but rather to the short interval between breakfast and lunch. Mid-morning snacking may be a reflection of recreational or mindless eating habits rather than eating to satisfy hunger,” explained lead researcher Dr. Anne McTiernan.

And, as we all know, mindless eating can result in consuming too many calories. Making a conscious decision to eat a snack, planning your snacks throughout the day, and logging it into your Food Tracker are all ways to help you make sure your food choices are healthy. Better yet, take a 10-minute mid-morning walk instead of a snack. It’s a great way to get in an extra 1,000 steps and burn off calories.

When you do snack, McTiernan suggests limiting snacks to 200 calories and selecting healthier options like low-fat yogurt, string cheese, fresh fruits, non-starchy vegetables, whole grain crackers or a handful of nuts.

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Eat Smart! New study shows eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot

A healthy diet can cost less than junk food? Can this be true? According to a recent study it is possible.

Researchers at the University of Bristol wanted to test the theory that eating healthier food does not have to cost a lot of money, in fact, it could actually save money.

They used food diaries of families with obese children and had dieticians convert the data into healthier food choices. The researchers then calculated the cost of the two menus from prices at budget supermarkets, mid-range supermarkets and local grocery stores.

They found that the cost of the healthier food menu was actually less expensive at the mid-range store than the cost of the low nutritional menu.

Overall price comparisons of the healthier food choices range from UK ยฃ 2.31 ($3.59 U.S. dollars) more per week to a cost savings of UK ยฃ 6.58 ($10.22 U.S. dollars) per week depending on the food store.
The healthier food choices also reduced the participants’ daily calorie consumption by 214 calories.

“Food cost is frequently cited as a reason for failure to address eating behaviors in clinical practice, and this study demonstrates that for many this is a perceived rather than real barrier,” states professor Julian Hamilton-Shield, one of the lead researchers from the University of Bristol’s School of Clinical Sciences and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

The results do give one food for thought and maybe a few extra dollars in your pocket.

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Eat Smart! Eating fish is good for your brain

We have all heard it at one time or another – fish is brain food. Well, a recent study at the University of Pittsburgh showed that people who ate baked or broiled fish as least once a week had more gray matter than those who didn’t.

The benefits of eating fish are well known, but this study is the first to use brain scans to measure brain volume over a ten year period. The more gray matter, the healthier the brain.

The study, using MRI scans of the brain, found that older people who regularly ate baked or broiled fish lost less brain cells and performed better on cognitive tests.

People who don’t lose brain cells were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease according to Cyrus Raji, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who presented the results at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

MRIs were taken of 260 people (average age 71) with no memory problems at the beginning of the study and about seven years later. The participants filled out food questionnaires about how much fish they ate and how they prepared it. Of the people, 163 said they ate fish one to four times a week.

Only 3 percent of the fish-eating participants developed Alzheimer’s or mild impairment. More of their brain cells were preserved compared to the 47 percent of non-fish eaters who developed the disease over the next five years.

Results were from baked or broiled fish. Fried fish did not improve gray matter volume.

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Eat Smart! Don’t forget to change the time on your pedometer this weekend

It’s time to fall back. Time to get an extra hour of sleep, or better yet, an extra hour of walking. So this weekend, when you are changing the time on your microwave or coffee maker, make sure you reset the time on your pedometer, too!

To change the time on your Omron USB Pedometer press SET and hold it down until the hour starts to flash.

Then using the MEMO button scroll through the time until the time is correct.

Please double check that you have the correct AM and PM displayed on your pedometer or it will reset at noon instead of midnight.

Then use the SET button to scroll through the minutes, weight and stride length until it is back to steps.

It is VERY important to not change the time 10 minutes prior or 10 minutes after midnight. This could impact your account and placement of steps on the correct day.
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