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All Entries For healthy foods

The 10 Healthiest Foods You've Never Tried


I recently saw a list of the 10 Healthiest Foods You've Never Tried. I pride myself on being an adventurous (mostly vegetarian) eater. When I saw the list, I was excited to see how many I'd eaten.

How many have you eaten?
Posted 3/10/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 668 comments   76,875 views
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Infographic: Why Coffee & Tea Are So Good for You


Editor's Note: Coffee, tea and caffeine. Sometimes you hear how horrible they can be for your body. Other times you're told that you're not drinking enough of them. What's the truth?

Today we are excited to share a fun and interesting infographic about the health benefits of coffee and tea from our friends at Greatist.com.
Posted 10/31/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 60 comments   33,140 views
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Healthy Homemade Popsicles


Oh the sweet sounds of summer! The birds are chirping, the kids are yelling as they pelt each other with water balloons with the yard, and, in the distance, a familiar melody tinkles. As the ice-cream truck rounds the corner, they race inside to the coin jar. The screen door slams, and they're back outside, lining up for sugary treats.

In the good old days, the ice-cream man's arrival meant a special treat, but with treats accessible at every event at school, friend's houses, and even sporting events, those treats seem like overkill.

No need to ban treats on hot summer days. But kill two birds with one stone by making your own frozen treats with foods that are healthy and naturally delicious, like fruit and yogurt. 
Posted 7/17/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 12 comments   28,620 views
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It Pays to be a Label Reader


I often get teased by friends and family when they offer my children new foods.  My kids always look to me first to see if its okay, and many times I like to read the label before telling them they can dig in. Whether it’s a treat, a snack or something else, I just like to know what my kids are eating.  I’m not crazy about it and they try new foods frequently, but I do work hard to make sure they have a healthy, balanced diet most of the time. 
Posted 6/5/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 61 comments   16,127 views
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3 Good Sources of Omega 3s


You probably already know that salmon and other fatty fish are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, those fats that boost brain and heart health while helping lower bad cholesterol.
 
Did you know that there are several other super sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, and they're easy to prepare! All you need to do is open the can and start cooking.
What are these fish? Anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. Don't wrinkly your nose! Keep reading to find out how to prep these fishy little fish and reap their health benefits.
 
Posted 5/29/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 24 comments   10,310 views
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How to Avoid the Mindless Munchies


We’ve all had the ''I deserve this'' or ''I just need to relax'' munchies. What can we do to prevent them? After a long day of work, you come home exhausted. Or maybe you’ve spent the day feeling depressed, or maybe you’ve worked really hard on your plan. Perhaps you’ve had a fight with someone, or have been disappointed. The ''I deserve this'' or ''I just need to relax'' munchies'' actually fall under the category of emotional eating.

The ''I deserve this'' category means something is missing. Maybe you’ve had someone be too hard on you; maybe you’ve been too hard on yourself. What you are looking for is a treat. If you can control the portion and lay down some rules, this can be overcome. I personally overcame it by allowing myself treats out of the house. Treats are too tempting in the house. If they do have to come home, they are in a small portion or size. The other method, which I find impossible, is putting treats on your no-no food list.

The ''I just need to relax'' munchies are a sign that you may have some anxiety or stress issues. I’ve personally handled these issues by talking, blogging, and attending professional therapy sessions. There is a list of things that calm me and soothe me without food now. Candles, baths, blogging, talking, helping others and physical activity all seem to help.

It's important to sort the ''head hunger'' from the ''real hunger.'' Try drinking a huge glass of water; this gives you time to distract yourself. Then try other distractions like playing games online, physical activity, relaxing with candles, shopping, getting your haircut or even scheduling an appointment. By then, you know if you are really hungry. If you are, eat a healthy meal or snack that actually fills you. If you are not, then you have to decide to do ''damage control.'' As I say, ''One slice of pizza always has less calories than two.''

Keep your head clear. Don’t be seduced by the eating frenzy that leads to the food coma state. Yes, it is enticing to some of us because we are hooked on the brain chemical release that being overly full produces. We literally get hooked on our own chemistry like a drug, so when we try to eat less, it is literally like withdrawal for some. That makes us feel nervous and like we ''need to relax.''

Posted 3/23/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Beth Donovan : 19 comments   10,353 views
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Would You Pay More for Eco-Friendly Food?


When my mom sees the things I buy from the grocery store, she often shakes her head.  I’m definitely someone who loves a good deal (I get that from her), but I’m willing to pay more for organic produce, I’ll go out of my way to shop at a farmer’s market versus the store, and I really like knowing where my food is coming from.  
 
I hosted Thanksgiving at our house last year, so I needed to get a turkey.  For me, it was important to know that the turkey had a good life and wasn’t pumped full of preservatives before it reached my door.  So I was willing (and lucky that I was financially able) to get a free-range turkey from a farm in our area.  It probably cost me four times what I would have paid in the store, but made me feel a lot better about serving it in my home.  My mom thought that paying so much for a turkey was the craziest thing in the world.  Everyone is different, so obviously what is important to me isn’t necessarily important to everyone else- and that’s okay.  New research says that shoppers in their 20’s and 30’s are willing to pay more for products with a low carbon footprint, versus those in their 40’s and 50’s.  
Posted 2/21/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 57 comments   8,113 views
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Will You Have A Gold Star Shopping Plan?


Last month I shared information about the new voluntary Facts Up Front package labeling system proposed by the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) and the FMI (Food Marketing Institute). I also mentioned that the IOM (Institute of Medicine) would be providing their consensus report and recommendations as well. Well, the IOM has released their final report and recommendations for front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols to help promote healthier food choices. It looks like instead of playing the game of red light, green light, they would rather give us gold stars.
Posted 11/3/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 51 comments   9,371 views
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What Can You Do with Chia Seeds? Plenty!


Mother knows best. Back in 2005, my mom starting telling me about this "amazing" seed that was great for health. She added it to smoothies, granola, breads, and just about everything else. Flax, I quickly learned, was versatile and an easy way to integrate those heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids into my diet.

But as much as I love flax for its nutritional benefits (fiber, lignans, the aforementioned Omega3s and protein), there are a couple of caveats when using it in recipes:

Flax must be ground for our bodies to process it. Whole flaxseeds pass through the body undigested, meaning they're only providing us with fiber. If a product contains whole flaxseeds and boasts that it's a great source of Omega-3s, it's like they gave you a treasure chest but forgot to give you the key! Sure, those heart-healthy fats are in there, but they are locked inside the seeds.

Their nutty flavor is tasty but hard to disguise, which makes it difficult for it to blend in to the background in a recipe.

A couple of years ago, I discovered a food that's become as much of a staple in my kitchen as flax (which I still use almost daily and love!). This seed is a bit harder to find and perhaps slightly more expensive, but it's a great product that I love to use.
What is it? It's chia seed. (Also called salba.)

**crickets**

You know, like Ch-ch-chia? (Rings a bell now, doesn't it?) As in Chia Pets? Those terra cotta sculptures that grow "hair" use the same seeds that grace my morning smoothies and afternoon "puddings."
Posted 6/23/2011  9:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 90 comments   94,432 views
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Go Nuts for Walnuts!


I grew up with a native black walnut tree in my back yard. Its ugly green corrugated round fruit would ripen and eventually fall in our yard each year serving as a routine lawn-mowing hazard. My brothers liked to use them to practice their baseball pitches. As they ripened on the ground, they would become yellow-black in color. When they looked like that, you knew not to touch them because their black dye would stain your hands. A great natural dye option perhaps but as a child I didn't have too many uses for that.

English Walnuts were first cultivated in the United States in California in the late 1700's.Today, 99 percent of the U.S. commercial supply of this type of walnut comes from California. A new report last week suggests that walnuts are the healthier nut choice.

Posted 4/4/2011  6:04:01 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 26 comments   9,685 views
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The 11 Healthiest Food Trends of the 21st Century


By SparkPeople Head Dietitian Becky Hand, RD, LD



Despite all the bad news out there about our collective health declining, it's easier than ever to eat right and improve your health. As 2010 draws to a close and we prepare for a healthy and happy 2011, we took a look back at the healthy eating trends that have transformed our supermarkets, our eating habits--and our lives--since the start of the 21st century. Read on to find out which 11 (in no particular order) top our list.


Posted 12/29/2010  2:02:20 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 39 comments   45,906 views
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Poll: Do You Eat Foods You Don't Like to Lose Weight?


Back in 2004, I was much heavier than I am now. I worked second shift, which meant my dinner was eaten at my desk or in the basement lunchroom of the newspaper. Usually, I grabbed takeout with my co-workers--and I rare had any leftovers. Every few months or so, frustrated with pants that were growing tighter, I made up my mind to lose weight.

I also wanted to save money, so I started making food at home and bringing it to work. One the menu: couscous and baked chicken breasts, with frozen broccoli or green beans. Little to no sauce, and just herbs and spices for flavor. Needless to say, I often abandoned my packed dinner in lieu of more exciting takeout options.

Why? Because I was forcing myself to eat bland and boring food I didn't really like in an effort to lose weight. In the end, it just didn't work, and I wasted money and gained even more weight.

I knew I wasn't alone. Plenty of other people fail before eventually losing the weight and keeping it off. In writing and researching SparkPeople's first cookbook, Chef Meg and I been hearing from people about the different foods they've eaten in an effort to lose weight. Many people reported that, while trying to shed those extra pounds, they chose foods they thought were healthier and lower in calories, but they ended up not wanting to eat them--and not losing much weight.

Posted 10/11/2010  12:15:50 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 176 comments   18,338 views
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Green Tea Benefits: Fact vs Fiction


More than likely, you have heard the health claims about green tea. Perhaps you have seen products containing green tea extracts on store shelves and read the claims of antioxidant benefit. You may also have read reports that green tea makers are in hot water with the FDA for making "unsubstantiated nutrition claims."

With so many things flying around, it can be difficult to decipher fact from fiction. Here is some basic information we hope will help you decide where green tea fits in your healthy beverage options.

Posted 9/23/2010  6:06:03 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 59 comments   25,463 views
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'No-Calorie Noodles': Will You Try Them?


Have you heard about the new noodles that have no calories? It's true. These noodles have no calories, fat, gluten or carbs. Made from a soluble fiber derived from a Japanese yam, the noodles have been available in Japan for years.

Some health professionals and manufacturers say the lack of carbs and fiber make these a viable food source for those who have diabetes, celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Their texture is similar to shirataki noodles, which contain the same fiber (glucomannan). Shirataki noodles--named after the shirataki yam (konyaku)--have been popular for a few years, but they have about 20 calories a serving because of the tofu they also contain. (The yam is also known as konjak, konjaku, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam.)

However, not everyone is a fan of the noodles, and for reasons other than their slimy texture and fishy smell straight from the bag. (The smell goes away if you rinse them, and they morph from a squishy, squidlike texture to firm noodle texture as you heat them. I ate them while living and traveling in Asia.)

The research I did on the noodles didn't mention that this isn't the first time konjac has been popular--and that the fiber it contains has been banned in some forms and in some countries.

Posted 9/16/2010  5:09:20 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 185 comments   24,050 views
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Poll: What is Your Monthly Spending on Healthy Foods?


Iím a pretty cost-conscious person. I donít spend a lot of money on clothes, shoes, or other disposable income items. I balance my checkbook to the penny and make sure our credit cards are paid off at the end of each month. But one area where I tend to (or really, always) splurge is on food. I buy organic produce, try to buy products that have the smallest number of ingredients possible, and always end up with a grocery bill that shocks me a little in the checkout line.
Posted 9/14/2010  6:08:48 AM By: Jen Mueller : 95 comments   11,245 views
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