All Entries For nutrition

The 15 Worst Foods of the Year

Each year many people make food-related New Year's resolutions or goals. Figuring out how to make dining out fit in with those goals can be a big challenge. Over the years, we've highlighted many of the healthier options in our Diet Friendly Dining series. Last year we were encouraged by the increased number of nutrition conscious restaurant options that were available.

This year, we've seen all sorts of new foods hit the market. Some, like the recently invented Cronut, throw nutrition caution to the wind. Others, like Satisfries, are an attempt to create tasty lower-calorie favorites. We scoured restaurant menus to find the biggest nutrition disasters so you'll know what to avoid when eating out in the new year.  
Posted 12/27/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 31 comments   87,232 views
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16 Seasonal Supermarket Treats Worth Trying

Which flavors come to mind when you think about fall? Apple, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger? Probably no flavor is more closely associated with fall than pumpkin. It seems as though every food company and restaurant under the sun is offering limited edition pumpkin delights these days—you can find the flavor in just about everything from yogurt to granola bars to tea.

But just like a lot of the foods found year-round that may sound healthy, many pumpkin-flavored treats are high in calories, fat and sugar (or all three). (Check out our list of fall's most fattening foods here.) In many cases, you'd be better off having a slice of pumpkin pie, than that "innocent" impulse item tempting you from the checkout line!

So which pumpkin treats are worth trying this fall? We scoured supermarket shelves to discover seasonal offerings that will let you indulge—without breaking the calorie bank.

There are actually more supermarket options than you might think, some of which even contain real pumpkin (instead of artificial pumpkin flavor). Pumpkin, along with the rest of the winter squash family, is packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, potassium and fiber.
The top supermarket pumpkin treats worth trying fall into three categories:

Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks
While you won't find any actual pumpkin in most pumpkin-flavored drinks, they can still offer a low-calorie way to enjoy fall's most popular flavor.

Pumpkin-Flavored Bars
You always have to be careful in this aisle, as snack and energy bars are often just candy bars wearing a "healthy" halo. But the right bars can be a convenient, on-the-go choice when you're busy.

Pumpkin-Flavored Breakfast Foods and Snacks
Pumpkin makes a great complement to many breakfast foods. It's easy to find pumpkin donuts and pastries at the grocery store, but there are low-calorie, high-flavor options, too.

This tea offers lots of flavor with zero calories. 

If you have a Keurig brewer, you can try this flavorful brew.  

If you use a regular coffee machine, Trader Joe's offers this fall coffee flavor.

To punch up the flavor of pumpkin or regular coffee, use this syrup.  

If you like your coffee with cream, International Delight offers this tasty creamer

If you crave a cold, pumpkin-flavored drink this beverage could be just the thing to quench your thirst.  

This coconut milk contains some real pumpkin and only 1 gram of fat. 

These granola bars are 170 calories per serving (that's two bars per package).

These nutrition bars would be appropriate before or after a strenuous workout.

This Alt bar is also workout-worthy with 220 calories and 10 grams of soy-free protein.

This cream cheese spread is offered every fall—and it’s made with real pumpkin.

Pop two of these waffles into the toaster for a filling breakfast at home or on the go. 

For a protein-packed option, this yogurt flavor comes with a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving.

These cereal bars are not a bad choice to satisfy a pumpkin craving without going for a pastry.

Swap out your usual breakfast cereal for one serving of these for a tasty choice to keep you full through the morning. 

To add protein, healthy fat and some fun pumpkin flavor to yogurt or oatmeal, try these almonds.  

Serving  Size  Calories  Fat  Carbs  Sugar  Protein  Contains Pumpkin
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
Califia Pumpkin Spice Latte Cold Brew Coffee 8 oz 90 3 g 15 g 12 g 1 g yes
Clif Spiced Pumpkin Pie Bar 1 bar 240 4.5 g 45 g 25 g 8 g yes
Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice K-Cup 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
International Delight Fat Free and Sugar Free Creamer 1 Tbsp 15 0 g 3 g 0 g 0 g no
Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax 2 bars 170 6 g 26 g 10 g 5 g yes, seeds
Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Mini-Wheats 25 biscuits 190 1 g 46 g 12 g 5 g no
Larabar Alt Pumpkin Pie Bar 1 bar 220 6 g 30 g 18 g 10 g yes
Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffle 2 waffles 210 7 g 35 g 6 g 2 g yes
Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds 28 g 160 12 g 9 g 5 g 5 g yes
Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt 1 container 130 2 g 13 g 11 g 14 g yes
So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk Beverage 1/2 cup 70 1 g 15 g 14 g 0 g yes
Torani Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Syrup 1 oz 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
Trader Joe’s low-fat Pumpkin Bars 1 bar 140 2.5 g 27 g 1 g 15 g yes
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread 2 Tbps 70 5 g 6 g 4 g 0 g yes
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
More Food Ideas for Pumpkin Lovers
  • These sweet treats feature the goodness of real pumpkin, which adds moisture and flavor while lowering the fat in the recipes.
  • For a festive fall twist on hummus, try this pumpkin bean dip.
  • To warm up a fall evening, fill up a bowl with delicious spiced pumpkin soup (that can be made in just 20 minutes)!
What your favorite healthy way to enjoy fall's favorite flavors? Have you tried any of the fall foods above?
Posted 11/1/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 42 comments   62,079 views
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Is the Junk-Food 'Addiction' Study Junk Science?

"I'm fat because of Oreo cookies!" screamed the woman as she entered the weight-loss class I was coaching last week. In hand, she waved the press release from Connecticut College, which blared the warning, "Oreos are just as addictive as drugs!" 
"I am addicted to certain foods, just like those rats were addicted to Oreo cookies," she continued on.  "It's supposed to be worse than being addicted to cocaine. How am I ever going to be successful with my weight loss?"
Posted 10/23/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 76 comments   28,041 views
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Join the 30-Day 'Fit Food' Challenge!

Now is the perfect time to kick off a brand new challenge to help you get on your way to your healthiest, fittest self yet: 30 Days of Fit Food. It's a great way to kick the season and head into the holidays (just around the corner!) feeling your best.
Posted 9/26/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 29 comments   131,946 views
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We Tried It: Frozen Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is all the rage because of its high protein content and versatility. It can be eaten like traditional yogurt (sweetened with fruit or honey, if you like), whirled into smoothies or used in place of sour cream in recipes. It's become so popular and has such a good reputation as being "healthy," that it's even showing up outside of the yogurt tub. You'll find the buzz words "Greek yogurt" outside of the dairy case these days in some unusual places like coating packaged granola bars, inside cereal boxes, mixed with store-bought hummus and even in frozen desserts.
We decided to take a look at this trend and see whether frozen Greek yogurt desserts offer any health benefits when compared to regular frozen yogurt. Plus, we wanted to answer the most important question of all: How does it taste?!
Posted 8/21/2013  8:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 53 comments   99,052 views
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Food Showdown: How Sweet is Your Tea?

As temperatures continue to climb this summer, sitting out on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea might sound like the perfect way to relax and refresh. Iced tea certainly isn't new on the beverage scene, but we have been slowly increasing our consumption of the warm-weather staple; last year, a national consumer survey reported that 10% of U.S. consumers are purchasing more iced tea than they did in 2009. The survey also revealed that 73% of tea drinkers prefer green tea for its antioxidants and health benefits. Drink companies have taken note of America's love of green tea and have produced dozens of flavored varieties over the past few years; however, many of those varieties pack a mean sugar punch that rivals the most sugary soft drinks on the market.

Between two popular flavored green tea varieties, Arizona Georgia Peach Green Tea and Snapple Peach Green Tea, which one should you choose if you're watching your sugar intake?
Posted 6/20/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 75 comments   36,160 views
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The Healthiest Leafy Green--and How to Eat It

We all know it's a good idea to eat leafy green veggies. They're chock-full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, and they're low in calories to boot. But if you can only stomach so much green in your life, which leafy green should you choose for the maximum nutritional benefits: Spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, or collard greens?
Posted 6/6/2013  9:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 97 comments   71,691 views
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To Beef or Not to Beef?

Red meat gets a bad rap sometimes. Criticized for its high levels of fat and cholesterol, it's been avoided in the diet world for years. However, not all red meat is created equal; when choosing the right cuts in moderation, beef can be a great source of iron, protein and zinc. Between 3 ounces of cooked flank steak and 3 ounces of cooked 80/20% ground beef, which is the leaner choice?
Posted 5/30/2013  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 67 comments   49,075 views
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In the News: 6 Things You Don't Know About Your Muscles

A round-up of the most interesting and thought-provoking stories of the week.

Advice on Practicing Yoga in Middle Age, Part 1
Dr. Loren Fishman, a back-pain and rehabilitative medicine specialist who studied yoga under B.K.S. Iyengar, answers readers questions about how to safely practice and alleviate pain in the first of three segments. A must-read for anyone who practices yoga, anyone who wants to, or anyone with back or nerve pain.

6 Things You Don't Know About Your Muscles
Our muscles do more than most of us realize. Tip #1: Think of them like “scaffolding for your entire body.” Don't miss the rest...

Best Road Races for Beginners
If you’re a new runner interested in road races, you’ll want to check out this list of events known for their crowd support, good swag, and non-competitive vibe.

Frank advice from Star Jones
A decade after weight-loss surgery and three years after open-heart surgery at age 44, the former View star shares her thoughts on healthy living.
What 100 Calories Look Like: Frozen Treats
Craving something cool and creamy? Look before you lick.

Posted 5/18/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   21,596 views
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Poll: Whom Do You Trust for Nutrition Information?

I've noticed a popular trend this year among friends who have children.  A common New Year's Resolution I heard other moms talking about was to feeding their families fewer processed foods.  This has been one of my goals for quite some time, but I know from experience that it's not very easy.  One reason it can be difficult to feed your kids healthier foods is that you get different recommendations about the "right" and "wrong" things to eat depending on where you look.  Your doctor says one thing. The doctor on TV says another. SparkPeople's dietitians recommend certain strategies. And those tips might conflict with what your best friend has tried successfully.
According to a new national survey, moms will be making changes to their food-buying decisions over the next year, and looking to more non-traditional sources for advice.  When it comes to food and nutrition, "Moms place higher priority on the opinions of bloggers and peers than that of experts like doctors and dietitians," according to the survey results. This stood out to me; it seems we trust one another more than the people we've been told to trust as "experts" all these years. So who do you trust more?
Posted 3/25/2013  4:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 28 comments   15,467 views
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The Surprising Benefits of Nut Butter

Nut butters have become popular in the health world in recent years—and for good reason! Nut butter is a great source of healthy fats, which are important for regulating your energy, mood, and even your weight. However, some nut butters also deliver a more unexpected benefit: They're great for your bones! Let's take a look at two of the most popular nut butters--almond butter and peanut butter. Between the two, which one should you choose for better bone health
Posted 3/2/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 63 comments   44,893 views
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Shocking Restaurant Meals to Avoid This Year

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has recently released their Xtreme Eating 2013 report. This yearly publication highlights the most shocking levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium in restaurant dishes across the country.

We've seen some noteworthy diet-friendly dining choices over the past several years, but restaurants still have a lot of work to do in the nutrition department—and this list is proof of that! Check out some of these outrageous meals from CSPI's ''no-no'' list, plus smarter alternatives. Have you tried any on the list?
Posted 1/24/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments   30,629 views
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A Better Way to Get Vitamin C (Besides Orange Juice!)

With cold and flu season in full swing, most of us are trying to do all we can to avoid catching one of the nasty viruses floating around. Some swear by vitamin C-rich orange juice for warding off disease. Although the evidence about vitamin C's illness-fighting powers is conflicting, there's no doubt that it's still a good nutrient to consume. Since the body does not produce vitamin C, you must obtain it from outside sources to create and repair skin cells and fight off the effects of damaging free radicals. If you eat your veggies, though, it's not hard to reach your daily quota, since all fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C to some degree. That's right; orange juice isn't your only option for getting this important nutrient! Which type of produce will deliver the highest amount of vitamin C per serving: Red bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi, or oranges?
Posted 1/19/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 51 comments   49,470 views
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13 Recipes High In Protein, Low In Fat

Are you tired of eating plain, boring chicken breast every night for dinner, or are you having a hard time eating enough protein to meet you daily needs? Studies suggest that eating protein helps you feel fuller for longer and keeps your body's systems function properly. At the same time, many high protein recipes are also loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol that work against your efforts to stay healthy. A health and balanced diet requires 10-35% protein. That's an average of 50-175 grams daily. To find the right balance of protein and fat follow these suggestions:
  • Grill, bake, poach or broil your food to limit fat.
  • Select nonfat or low fat dairy options.
  • Use egg whites in place of the whole egg.
  • Select lean meats and trim the fat and skin before cooking. 
Prepare these high protein, low fat recipes to help you stay on track and satisfied.

Posted 1/15/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 30 comments   788,290 views
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Which Super Seed Packs the Most Nutrition?

If you've ever been to a health food store, you've probably seen the dozens of bulk bins filled with tiny seeds. Though they may look like bird food, don't turn your nose up at these little kernels of nutrition! Two of the most talked-about seeds are chia seeds and flax seeds. Both have been prominently featured in the media in recent years for their health benefits. If you had to choose, which seed will give you the most nutrition per ounce?
Posted 12/1/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 53 comments   40,997 views
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