At the beginning of the twentieth century heart disease in the public was a small problem; by the end of the century it had become the most frequent cause of death. Studies have shown a strong association between dietary saturated fat intake and the occurrence of this disease. The American diet provides an overabundance of saturated fat and cholesterol found primarily in animal products.
Alarming statistics show that childhood obesity contributes to diabetes, hyperglycemia, and high blood pressure. The popular notion that overweight children will “outgrow” their condition is not realistic. Childhood obesity is one of the most prevalent nutrition problems among children, exceeding iron deficiency anemia, the previous leader. Twenty-five percent of American children are now obese; this is not a game to play with a child’s health.
Poor food choices are often to blame for obesity. Flirting with excessive snacking, frequent romps to fast-food restaurants, and repetitive “just-this-once” high-fat food choices all contribute to childhood obesity. Quick-grab snacks among kids include chips, cookies, soda, candy, hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries. A recent survey of grade-school children showed that only about 25 percent had eaten five servings of fruits and vegetables during any given day.
As scientific investigators have traced the causes of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, migraines, and digestive problems, the least likely suspect had to be milk. We poured it on our cereal, pushed it on our children, and couldn’t imagine it to be anything but healthful. But more and more researchers now view milk with skepticism about its benefits and concern about its risks. They are linking the epidemics of prostrate cancer, digestive problems, and other ills to our habitual consumption of specific foods including-and especially-milk.
Salads at home once meant iceberg lettuce topped with a few carrots and perhaps a tomato. A salad was just a bland diet food or a precursor to a meal. Not so today. With all the varieties of greens now available at the supermarket, it has never been easier to make a healthy and tasty salad.
To turn a plain-Jane salad into a spectacular dish, just pick a blend of greens and add your favorite ingredients. It’s that simple and the possibilities are infinite when it comes to the delicious and healthy salad creations you can make. So let these recipes inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and enjoy a great salad every day.
Water provides true refreshment for the thirsty, but most people don’t know that it also plays a vital role in all bodily processes. Unfortunately, most people don’t drink enough water, perhaps because they don’t realize just how important it is. The fact is, not drinking enough water affects every aspect of your body, right out to your skin.
The first written record of the soybean was found in Chinese books dating back to 2838 B.C. It has been the primary protein source for people in Asia for centuries. Americans have used it for little more than oil and livestock feed. But things have changed.
The humble soybean has captured the attention of health-conscious consumers everywhere–with good reason. Research has shown that incorporating soy protein into the diet provides numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and reducing the levels of LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” in the bloodstream. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recommendation for consumers to integrate 25 grams of soy protein per day into their diets.
If you are a vegetarian, the thought of having a food-borne illness probably never crosses your mind. After all, everyone knows that E. coli makes its home in raw beef, and Salmonella breeds rapidly in undercooked chicken or pork.
Well, it’s time to rethink your past beliefs about food-borne illness, as fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, lentils, and dairy products can also play host to a variety of deleterious bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. In fact, some of the most common carriers of food-borne germs include basil, cantaloupe, lettuce, potatoes, raspberries, scallions, strawberries, and tomatoes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food-borne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths in the United States each year. Not only are the symptoms uncomfortable; food-borne illnesses can lead to secondary long-term illnesses. For example, there are some strains of E. coli that can cause kidney failure in young children, while Salmonella can lead to reactive arthritis and serious infections. For pregnant women, the Listeria bacteria (commonly found in soft cheeses such as brie and feta) can cause meningitis and stillbirths.
To stay slim and trim, John runs five miles almost every day. Because of his vigorous workouts, he feels he’s earned the right to eat whatever he wants. His wife, Sue, however, would rather read the fine print on the insurance policy than get anywhere near a treadmill or gym. Her solution to weight control is carefully selecting what she eats. That’s why you’re more likely to see her reach for a piece of fruit instead of a cookie or slice of cake.
Called the Salad Lady by some in my churches, I love to bring fresh raw foods to our luncheons and potlucks. I learned to love these gourmet salad greens, sometimes called mesclun mix. My sister had married an Italian from Sicily. He loved a big green salad with exotic lettuce, and thus we all learned to love them.
Since I love to garden, I was soon growing my own fresh greens: romaine, arugula, and red lettuce. Later I added radicchio, escarole, and endive to my repertoire. At first I painstakingly gathered the young leaves one by one. That being too time-consuming, I soon learned that I could easily use a sharp knife, trim a whole section off, and they would soon grow new leaves.
Now in my small backyard I have my lettuce garden, along with my other vegetables, interspersed with my flowers. They are so easy to grow, and I love to give them away to friends who appreciate their subtle and not-so-subtle flavors.
Everyone wants a quick fix. A quick checkout. A quick teller. A quick commute. And we treat dieting no differently. When we decide to lose weight, we want to do it quickly. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey was a good example of this when she went on a liquid diet and lost some 60 pounds. But she and everyone else who watched saw the pounds come back.