Apr 27, 2009

Swine Flu, Can You Eat Pork and More

The news is focused in on the Swine Flu and being only one state away from the most affected spot in the US, I've given it a bit of thought, but am not panicking. According to a report today given by the Mayor of New York there are people going to emergency rooms and doctors AFRAID that they have the flu, but none coming in at the time of this typing that have been diagnosed with Swine Flu.

Some wonder whether it is okay to eat Pork during this time....yes, it is perfectly safe...as a nutritionist I have other concerns about pork including the fact that it carries parasites and more potential for food poisoning than other meats and needs to be cooked very well, NO pink meat...I've had food poisoning from under-cooked pork and it is NOT fun.

But Swine Flu is not carried in the meat of Pork.

For more information on the Swine Flu, and to keep track of the latest developments, visit this page devoted to the topic at the Center of Disease Control (CDC) website.

The biggest thing you can do to to protect yourself from getting sick are some of the same things that I posted as a guest blogger at another site, "5 Practical Tips for Working Sick", and on top of the list...wash your hands, and avoid greeting one another with a kiss.

Updated 3/19/16

Apr 7, 2009

Basis for a Healthy Cookie Recipe

When I was growing up, and in my pre-teen (tween as they call it now) and teen years, my bedroom was upstairs. At the bottom of the stairs was our family kitchen, and when I reached the bottom of the stairs, straight ahead was the cabinet where the cookies were kept. I was never one to eat much for breakfast before I walked to school, but whenever there were cookies in the cabinet, I'd reach in and grab a few instead. I guess that wouldn't have been too bad if the cookies had been healthy, but somehow I survived :-) and have moved on to healthier things.

Here are some ideas for making cookies that you don't have to feel guilty about eating.

Avoid using prepared cookie dough in the store. It is loaded with preservatives even if the cookies are sugar free. Who needs preservatives when your home-made cookies will probably be eaten long before they pass their freshness? Only fresh ingredients should be used.

When making cookies, the basic dough is usually the same for most recipes. You need flour, eggs, and sugar. Cholesterol watchers can mix in egg substitute instead of regular eggs. Splenda is now formulated for use in baking even though it is a sugar substitute and can be used in our homemade healthy cookies. Be prepared though, the cookies may taste differently and require more or less baking time when using these substitutions so be sure to keep this in mind when using them. You can experiment with honey, I have done this, but remember, sugar gives cookies their "crunch", honey will give you a softer, but yummy cookie!

Now, it’s time for some fun. You get to add the special ingredients to the cookies. You know, the yummy ingredients that make the cookies taste oh so good. For chocolate chip cookies, instead of using regular chocolate chips, add a few of the mini chocolate chips. If you can find carob chips in your health food store, they are a healthy alternative to chocolate, similar in flavor, but slightly different. Or you might want to add raisins or other dried fruit, or nuts, be creative!

Fiber is a nutrient that helps us to stay regular. Certain fibers latch on to fats in the digestive system and flush them right out of the body. The more fiber you eat the more fat it can potentially flush out of your system. Fiber comes in many forms. Whole grains provide fiber so to add this healthy ingredient to your cookies, include some wheat germ, quinoa, oat bran, or whole oats to your cookie mixture. You can also add a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon to bring a somewhat spicy flavor to cookies.

Experiment and have fun creating your own cookie dough, then keep an eye on it when you bake it on waxed paper or a greased cookie sheet, cookies sometimes cook faster than you expect!

Updated 3/19/16

Apr 3, 2009

Inflammation Causing Foods and Consequences

In my reading and studies, the connection between inflammation and health would come up frequently. Not only is inflammation uncomfortable, but it can contribute to many health conditions, including some forms of cancer.

What causes inflammation? In the following article the focus is on food, and is provided by the author of a book that I am unable to locate at this March 19, 2016 update, "The Great Cholesterol Lie"...similar titles appear at the end of this post:

The Inflammation Disconnect - How will it rob your health

We all are plagued with the same condition-what doesn’t impact our lives through health in our own bodies we tend to dismiss until the inevitable happens and it’s knocking at our door. A look at statistics says clearly that very few of us will escape an inflammatory disease and when that happens, we’re all in for the fight of our lives.

Are you next? If this seems too negative or frightening, no apologies for it’s meant to shake you into taking a good look at what you can do now before you become a statistic. While mainstream health news has yet to shout the information, it is nonetheless true-we are in an inflammation epidemic.

Something is amiss in America when the statistics of disease nearly double every two years now seeping into the health of young children with record numbers of juvenile diabetes, obesity and prescriptions for ADD. What is the common denominator? Is it in the water we drink, air we breathe, or the very foods we eat?

While we might be very tired of hearing conflicting information about the foods we eat, the latest diet craze, low-fat, no fat and now trying to understand that essential fats promote good health. Science is speaking clearly even though we might be tired of hearing another favorite foods has come under attack.

The question is-how favorite will that food be, how tired will you be of hearing this, how much might you regret not paying closer attention to foods that cause inflammation when you succumb to an inflammatory disease? What diseases are inflammatory? Heart disease, diabetes, Crone’s, depression, Alzheimers, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis an endless list of illnesses scientists and researchers have linked to inflammation.

What foods promote inflammation? Unquestionably, packaged and processed foods high in Omega-6s, low-fat foods that pack high amounts of sugar, starches and vegetable oils to name a few. If it’s in a package, it is hazardous to your health.

Don’t you think it’s time to pay close attention?

Updated 3/19/16