Nutrition Nugget is under Construction

Patience is a virtue while this site is updated and recreated.

In the mean time, you can find articles by the Nutrition Nugget author, Casie Terry, at Stop Aging Now’s Live in the Now Blog and Family Health Guide

Questions can still be received at NutritionNugget@Gmail.com

All the best!

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Shedding Some Light on a Vitamin D Deficiency

Be sure to check out Stop Aging Now to find out how you can Shed Some Light on a Vitamin D Deficiency and determine how much vitamin D you should take!

Would You Pay a Fat Tax?

burgersThe obesity epidemic costs Americans an estimated 122.9 billion dollars a year. That’s a mighty impressive number for an incredibly preventable problem. With the health care field in crisis and discrepency over funds, I have to wonder: Would you pay extra money for your right to fattening and unhealthy food?

If an idividual makes the choice to purchase trans fat, cup cakes, and chips in lieu of fruits, veggies, and grains- why should their consequent health problems come out of tax dollars? It makes sense that one would suggest a ‘fat tax‘: a percentage of cost taxed onto items that are catagorized as ‘unhealthy’ and ultimately detrimental to health when consumed as a part of the daily diet. This is somewhat unrealistic, however, in the grand scheme of things it could be a nice new government piggie bank to throw towards the health cost of those without diet control. Would you add 1-2 percent to build health care and, hopefully, deter the people with weight and diet control problems from purchasing these foods?

I would- happily.

And I’m no angel- I love a dorito stint now and then followed by a taco bell run- but I also understand that that’s a bad choice on my end and and truthfully- I’d be willy to pay a little more. Especially since, for me, that’s not a bad habit that’s destroying my health and costing this country- its an occational treat. So the extra couple bucks I’d spend on a ‘fat tax‘ wouldn’t dent my budge.

But what would be categorized as ‘unhealthy’? It would likely take a team of experts to studyt the epidemiological trends and then weight the pros and cons of a food item. If the health risks out weigh the health benefits- tax it! And some are already taking action

Certainly some would argue that categorizing foods as ‘unhealthy’ would create very blurred lines and be unfair to those who take responsibility for their health, but, just as cigarettes we’re eventually taxed, maybe a saturated and trans ‘fat tax’ isn’t too far away.


Some Old Nutritional Sayings Ring True!

momIn a world full of “old wives tales” and urban legends, it’s good to know that some old sayings still ring true and can be used to make better health choices no matter what time throws at us. A few to remember and pass on:
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away: Apples are a great source of Quercetin, a compound which offers antioxidant benefits in addition to fighting the flu and allergies. Make sure you chow the peel as well for even an even bigger dose of fiber and nutrients.
  • You are what you eat: Literally, you are! Every cell in your body is composed of the foods you eat….well, ate. Each macro-nutrient (the carbs, fats, and proteins) is broken down for use to form, repair, and further grow your body and each micro-nutrient (the vitamins and minerals) contribute to this process. This old saying is true in the most literal sense.
  • Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach: We’ve all been there. We load our plates with more than we can handle only to find that we’re full after eating only half of it. Some people have the will power to stop but most of us just plow right through, consuming more food than necessary. The human stomach has a volume of 45 ml. During a ‘feeding’ your stomach relies on some stretch receptors which allow most people to consume about a liter comfortably. After a 3 course meal, a few glasses of water, and some bread, it’s no wonder most people feel a little overwhelmed! Its always a safe bet to load your plate with half of what you think you need.
  • Eat some carrots to protect your eyes: The carotenoid compounds in carrots protect your night vision and prevent degeneration of the macula, a pretty important part of your eye that also protects your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Drink your milk for strong bones: Sure milk can’t be your only source of the bone securing mineral, calcium, but it sure is a good one! Calcium and iron fight for absorption and, being absent of much iron, milk is a great way to obtain- and keep- your calcium. Plus it’s easy to consume being that you can drink it plain, add it to a smoothie, eat a bowl of cereal, or moisten some fruit and granola.
  • Starve a fever, feed a cold: After a meal your body temperature rises so if you already have a fever, its best to avoid the further body temp spike. But in the absence of the hot mess, your body needs the extra calories to adequately fight the virus.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is: Fad diets, miracle pills, cleanses, and diet drinks- the list of products and gimmicks that promise dietary reform and fat loss are endless. But not a single one of these miracle approaches has had staying power. Nutrition and health that contribute to a fabulous lifestyle, make you feel good, and make you look good require a little attention and hard work. Nice try, but, this old saying is about as true as they come.

So while the field of health is ever changing and on the brink of new discoveries, sometimes the old nutritional tricks brought to us by the wise men and women of our past are the ones to rely on.

5 Nuggets of Advice For Guilt Free, Low-Cal 4th of July FUN

biggerThere’s really no way to avoid the caloric dangers that will lurking on the picnic table this Saturday afternoon. It’s pointless to warn you of the hidden sodium, fat and sugar in your favorite holiday snacks and beverages. The burgers will be greasy, the hot dogs will be over processed, and the potato salad will be mayo laced carbs. But all are must-haves for the 4th. So instead of setting yourself up for disappointment by planning to abstain from these fatty fatty treats, just accept that you’re probably going to dabble, and take a different approach: Moderation.

Here are five nuggets of advice to help you moderate your way out of a calorie ridden situation:

1. Nibble on the veggie plate first. It’ll fill you up and [just maybe] you’ll eat less potato salad than you would other wise.

2. Grab the ‘light’ beer option, especially if you’re going to have a few.

3. When you grab the cheeseburger, load it up with some veggies like extra lettuce and tomato. It’ll fill you up more and add some nutrient goodness.

4. WARNING: You’re going to see a super yummy desert at the end of the table. It’ll probably be a cake with white icing and strawberries for stripes and blueberries for stars. Its the Fourth- have a slice…. A SLICE… ONE.

5. If you know you’re the kind of person to go up for seconds, wait 15 minutes. Remember, the hormones in your stomach that signal ‘I’m full!” to your brain are slow pokes! So give them time to get up there before you grab a another plate.

As for tomorrow:

In the world of weight loss studies there’s something called the ‘weekend effect.’ While following the trends of caloric intake, researchers found that intakes typically spike for Saturday and Sunday. So it might be wise to have a little fun and let yourself goon a holiday, as long as you make up for it over the next couple of days. There are two ways to do this:

  • If you take in roughly 500 calories more on the holiday than usual, try to cut 250 calories from Sunday and Monday. Which is really just a slightly smaller lunch and dinner….Not too bad, right?
  • Aim to burn the calories the next day by going for a slightly longer jog (or your choice of cardio activity). Quick calculation: If you jog 11-12 min. miles for an hour, you’ll burn around 530 calories. Break that up over two 3o minute jogs (Sunday and Monday) and you’re golden!

Go enjoy some potato salad!

Mojito Maddnes doesn’t have to be a Calorie Killer

mojito-main_FullSure you might be that annoying girl in the bar, but you’ll be the only one who can fit into her skinny jeans. When you order a mojito, the summer’s hottest cool and refreshing patio beverage, ask that it be a skinny version. If your bartender doesnt know what that is, give him or her the breakdown.

  • Cut the Sugar: Ask your bartender to skip the simple syrup. This mixture of just sugar and water will not only spike your blood sugar (leading you to crave fatty fat foods), it’ll tac on many unnecessary calories. Instead, request that your drink be made with one pack of splenda and a dash of warm water.
  • Replace the Flavor, Not the Calories: Worried that the lack of simple syrup will destroy the yummy flavor you’ve been looking forward to all day? Worry no more!  Ask your bartender to use Bacardi Limon. It has the same number of calories as Bacardi Light and Bacardi Sliver yet twice the flavor. This is, of course, optional. For those that don’t have a sweet tooth, the Bacardi Light is delicious.
  • Ask for Extras on the Side: Ask for an extra splenda and a few limes on the side so that you can spruce up your drink a little if need be. Getting these up front will be better in the end by sparring your bartender the frustration and pressure of needing to cater to your oddities (anymore than he or she will already be doing). Plus, a few more limes puts this fabulous summer favorite into a whole new field of yummy.

These little tricks can save you up to 140 calories per drink! So don’t worry about asking for a drink that needs a little extra love. After all, it’s YOUR waistline at stake here.

Cheers.

Nuts…In a Nutshell

mixednuts1Nutshells hold dear a little nugget of goodness that we too often dismiss.  Due to their “high fat content”, many people shy away from this nutrient packed snack, ignoring that it’s a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Per gram, nuts can pack more nutrient punch than almost any other food!  

So what are the top nuts?

Walnuts: Snack on a few of these between meals to curb hunger just a little bit longer.  They are packed with Omega-3s, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and have high antioxidant activity.

Brazil Nuts: They’re somewhat unheard of, but the Brazil Nut offers up lots of selenium and they have been known to have high anti cancer properties.

Almonds: This nut can be used for cooking, baking, or snacking.  Either way, you get an unbeatable source of vitamin E, biotin, and protein.  Eat the skin along with it and you’ll increase your polyphenol intake which boosts your body’s antioxidant activity!

Pistachios: My favorite snack nut by far!  They are fun to eat, taste great, and are full of healthy properties.  These nuggets of a nut contain high amounts of fiber, B-vitamins, and potassium.

Any of these nuts can be kept in an easy to reach bowl for a healthy snack in the middle of the day (which certainly beats taking the walk of shame to the vending machine), or included in a trail mix snack of nuts, whole wheat chex, and raisins. Another delicious trick is to crush up some nuts and bake them with some vegetables such as squash or asparagus. You might also try to add some nuggets of nut goodness to your salads to increase the protein value.  However you choose to do it, add some nuts to your life!