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Health & Spirit

Nutrition News: New Year, New You

Charlyn Fargo on

To be successful with that resolution, make time for it -- make time to exercise or to prepare foods to eat healthy. Put it on your calendar so you'll give it priority. Your schedule is likely a stumbling block to making healthy foods at home. Can your slow cooker help? Can you purchase already cut veggies and pre-sliced meat for the stir-fry? Can you plan meals on Sunday afternoon for the week? Maybe you just need a new blender to make smoothies in the morning or a jar for your overnight oatmeal. Maybe it's as simple as having the right foods in your pantry.

At age 88, my mom still makes lists to accomplish what she wants to get done each day and what she plans to purchase at the grocery store (based on the ads, of course). Make a list of the foods you plan to eat; make a list of the foods you do eat and make a list of your exercise goals and accomplishments.

You can do this. Take the journey one healthy meal at a time. The hardest part is often taking that first step.

Q and A

Q: Is it true that meats are plumped with additives?

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A: Who doesn't want to bite into a succulent piece of chicken or receive kudos for cooking a juicy piece of meat? To make certain that your efforts in the kitchen are rewarded with tender delicious food, raw meat and poultry products are sometimes enhanced, marinated or plumped with injected water, salt and other flavorings and additives to keep the product moist and flavorful during cooking. The USDA estimates that up to 20 percent of poultry, 15 percent of beef and 90 percent of pork (including ham) may contain some kind of added solution. Depending on the liquid used, these enhancements may add 200-500 mg of sodium per serving compared to products that have not been enhanced. With recommendations from some health agencies to reduce daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg, that additional sodium might be an issue for some people. The USDA requires the solutions added to meat and poultry to be identified on the label. Additionally, some meat and poultry may contain moisture from processing, not necessarily injected for flavor or juiciness. The label must then indicate "retained water." -- Environmental Nutrition.

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Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Springfield, Ill., and the media representative for the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For comments or questions, contact her at charfarg@aol.com or follow her on Twitter @Nutrition Rd. To find out more about Charlyn Fargo and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

 

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