How to clean your fruits and vegetables

December 16th, 2010 - By Alison Johnson, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) (MCT)

Recent reports of illness caused by fresh produce have upped awareness on the need to wash before eating. Each of the basic rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is “equally important,” says Robert Buchwald, environmental health supervisor with a branch of the Virginia Department of Health. “It’s just good to see the message being put out in different places where people can come across it.”

Wash everything. That includes prepackaged products—even if the label says “pre-washed” or “ready to eat”—and the outer rinds and skins of all produce (although you may not eat that layer, you can transfer dirt, germs, mold and pesticides inside fruits and vegetables when you cut or peel them).

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Lowfat—Pork, Cashew, and Green Bean Stir-Fry

December 14th, 2010 - By Marge Kullerstrand



1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pound boneless pork loin chops thin cut
4 cups (2-inch) cut green beans (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Cooking spray
1 to 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups hot cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews, toasted

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Tips to healthy up your holiday cookies

December 12th, 2010 - By Jim Romanoff for The Associated Press

These classic, crispy Pecan-Cinnamon Wafers are made with 100 percent whole-wheat pastry flour and are laced with healthy, monounsaturated fat-rich pecans. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

These classic, crispy Pecan-Cinnamon Wafers are made with 100 percent whole-wheat pastry flour and are laced with healthy, monounsaturated fat-rich pecans. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

More so than most holiday desserts, cookies are the perfect portion controlled treat that—when enjoyed in moderation—can be a better option than a big wedge of pie or cake. But in case you plan on eating more than one, there are some strategies for baking a healthier holiday cookie.

For starters, you can add fiber and nutrients by replacing some or all of the white flour with whole wheat. In most cases, up to half of the all-purpose flour can be replaced with whole wheat without significant changes to flavor and texture.

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Probiotics critical to digestive health

December 9th, 2010 - By Marilyn Bartels, owner of TnK Health Food Store in Waterloo

Winter is just around the corner, which brings the sniffles and sneezes. Recent trends show more people are turning to natural products to fight these nasty germs.

An important part of a strong immune system is having a well-functioning digestive system.

Digestive health is connected to every function of our body and is critical to a healthy body. Probiotics can play a crucial part in a healthy digestive tract. They are the “good” or “friendly” bacteria, also known as microflora, that keep our digestive systems running smoothly.

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Lowfat—Quick Coq au Vin

December 7th, 2010 - By Marge Kullerstrand


Cooking uncovered over high heat, the liquid reduces and concentrates its flavors in a fraction of the time required for the traditional long-simmered dish.


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1/3 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices Canadian bacon
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste

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December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

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Series gives consumers skinny on food choices

December 4th, 2010 - By Michael Hill, Associated Press
The books in the <em>Eat This, Not That!</em> series by David Zinczenko continue to offer sometimes surprising restaurant and supermarket tips. (AP Photo/Rodale Books)

The books in the Eat This, Not That! series by David Zinczenko continue to offer sometimes surprising restaurant and supermarket tips. (AP Photo/Rodale Books)

Looks like Americans really do like being told what to eat.

Three years after first telling readers to pick McNuggets over Filet-O-Fish and the low-carb slice over the deep dish pizza, books in the Eat This, Not That! series continue to offer sometimes surprising restaurant and supermarket tips.

The latest entries: the 2011 edition of Eat This, Not That! and a second Cook This, Not That! cookbook offers lower-calorie versions of restaurant favorites like burgers and calzones. That’s 10 books and more than 6 million copies in a series that still sells like hotcakes (which readers are advised to eat with fruit on top, not sugary supermarket syrup).

The Eat This concept is simple and clever. Compare similar foods—maybe two sandwiches from the same chain, or two canned soups or chocolate bars—and list the calories, fat, and salt in each. The healthier choice is tagged “Eat This” and the one clogged with bad stuff gets a “Not That!”

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Report: A bit more vitamin D is good, not too much

December 2nd, 2010 - By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer


Got milk? You may need a couple cups more than today’s food labels say to get enough vitamin D for strong bones. But don’t go overboard: Long-awaited new dietary guidelines say there’s no proof that megadoses prevent cancer or other ailments—sure to frustrate backers of the so-called sunshine vitamin.

The decision by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, could put some brakes on the nation’s vitamin D craze, warning that super-high levels could be risky.

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Lowfat—Parmesan Chicken and Rice

November 30th, 2010 - By Marge Kullerstrand


Rice and broth are added to sauteed chicken, onion, garlic, and mushrooms for a simple entree that requires only one pan.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

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Food choices can affect antibiotic’s effectiveness

November 29th, 2010 - By Julie Deardorff, Chicago Tribune (MCT)

When your child needs antibiotics, dietary choices can get complicated.

Food can help support the body nutritionally and hinder the effectiveness of the medication, depending on what your child eats and when.

Antibiotics kill the nasty bacteria that cause the illness but also can wipe out the beneficial microbes that the body needs to absorb key nutrients, including several B vitamins and vitamin K.


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