Ruth - I agree that recipes can be made more healthy by altering some of the ingredients and I usually have to do that. But my main objection to the article in the first place is including a recipe that is not a "healthy" one. When I read an article on SparkPeople, with staff who are dieticians, if they are publishing an article labelling a recipe as healthy, I expect it to be just that. Articles must be approved by SparkPeople, otherwise how would they get posted on their Start Page? I would expect a food related article would be reviewed by a SparkPeople dietician and for that dietician to exclude one that contains that much sodium, or at the very least, point out how high it is. If an article is being posted as the article of the day type thing and it is not reviewed by staffers, there should be a disclaimer on at the beginning that the content is not necessarily the view of SparkPeople. We are relying on their expertise for our tracking and such and if they are putting something forward for us, I expect they are encouraging us to use the information in it. If we can't believe this is a "healthy" recipe as it is written and published on SparkPeople as such, how then can we believe that the SparkPeople nutrient tracking system for Diabetics is what it should be, or that the recommended exercise required is as it should be, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (1,430)
181 10/12/13 8:56 A
The conveniences of canned items vs. cooking our own has been a major contributor to our being overweight. The excess sodium also contributes to fluid retention which in turn causes high blood pressures. It is a vicious cycle that can be eliminated with just a little extra effort and time spent in food preparations.
I am as guilty as everyone because I "love" convenience. But, I am making it a goal to eat whole, healthier foods. The effort will be worth the better health, more energy and weight loss.
10/12/13 7:48 A
Along the lines of what the pp mentioned... I've found that a lot of "healthy" recipes are focused on say, calories, or fat content. They do not cover ALL the bases ie sodium etc. So when I read through recipes, and discover a high sodium content-- I look for where the sodium is coming from. Canned beans can be high in sodium. I do not use canned beans, I do my own from dried. So I then look at the sodium "savings" from my beans vs. canned, to see if I can make over the recipe to suit MY focus.
In other words, often a "healthy" recipe can be made MORE healthy, depending on what your particular focus is. Like a pp commented, that she chooses not to use artificial sweeteners. So she can use the recipe as a "base" and make changes to suit her.
i think one other thing to remember about these articles is the target audience. it's the sort of article that's meant to bring people in with an easy recipe. is it the healthiest thing on the planet? no. but it's not meant to be an end all be all recipe. it's meant to help people easily transition between what they were eating and what they're going to be eating. in other words let people eat something that they like, that's easy to make, that's better than what they would have had otherwise. and while it might be a good deal of sodium, for anyone eating out or using premade meals it's likely the same or less sodium than they would have been eating before and likely with more nutrients to boot.
I like to use the green bean 'juice' on my baked potato instead of butter.
Fitness Minutes: (295,532)
10/11/13 10:47 A
Great interaction, love it.
One tip, when rinsing canned beans or vegetables don't just pour the liquid off and run water in the can to rinse the contents. Get out the colander and pour in the contents of the can, let the liquid run through and then rinse with cool water. In the case of beans you may want to use warm water for the 1st rinse to beak down the starch in the liquid. Then follow with a cool rinse.
thanks for the information on the change to the recipe description.
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,505 10/10/13 12:27 P
I'm glad you shared your honesty. I hope someone has the time to do so for each of those recipes so that people can be guided to health, over being just pacified with compromising options.
Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 10/10/2013 (12:29)
10/10/13 11:50 A
Canned beans often are very high in sodium. You can find reduced sodium beans or cook your own at home from dried beans.
10/10/13 11:29 A
The recipe was actually not accounting for the fact that the beans are drained and rinsed before going into the dish. So once that info was corrected, the sodium level became much more reasonable.
Hope that helps,
10/10/13 10:35 A
Thanks for your feedback! I will pass it along to our Content staff.
10/10/13 10:24 A
I had similar thoughts about the pumpkin scones recipe, but from another angle. Based on the research that artificial sugars may confuse our metabolisms, I just won't eat them. So I took out the splenda and egg beaters and changed the recipe to be all whole, unprocessed foods to start with, including whole wheat pastry flour. I'll be making it today, to celebrate DH's work-related success, so I'll see how it tastes then.
The calories went up only 2 calories with these changes. I also increased the pumpkin and decreased the applesauce, for both color and flavor, I hope.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
10/10/13 10:10 A
I left the following message at the end of the article "11 Healthy Comfort Foods:"
The Black Bean Chili has 1,258.5 mg of sodium in one serving.
In Canada, the recommended daily consumption is between 1500-2300 (danger level) and if older, Diabetic, etc. less than 1200 mg. In the US, the recommended daily consumption is less than 2300 mg or less than 1500 if 54+ years, Black, have high blood pressure, Diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
I doubt a person would eat only this one item in a day yet it takes up almost all of the recommended daily intake of sodium and I question it being included as a "healthy" choice.
I took my numbers from the Health Canada website and the Mayo Clinic website. I have a chronic heart condition as well as Type II Diabetes and I have been advised by health professionals that I should have no more than 1200 mg of sodium a day. That is me but there are thousands of SparkPeople members who participate in the heart and the Diabetes forums plus who know how many others with one or both of those conditions who do not participate in the threads. I think this particular recipe should be re-evaluated and taken off the list of "healthy comfort foods."
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