Reading in Between the Lines of the Nutrition Facts Label

KIND bars are making headlines for their not so healthy health claims. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires foods to have less than 3g of Total Fat, less than 1g of Saturated Fat, and 0g Trans Fat in order for the product to be labeled “healthy”. Just like the FDA, Registered Dietitians have their own healthy guidelines, which you will find as you read along. There are a few things to consider when purchasing a breakfast/snack bar. Here’s the check list

1. The Ingredients.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I allergic to any of the foods listed in the ingredients?
  • Can I read the ingredients listed?

It’s important to be able to read the ingredient list and eat foods that agree with your body. If you have an allergy or intolerance to certain foods it’s not a good idea to eat products containing those foods just because a label claims to be healthy. Many people choose breakfast/snack bars because of their quick and convenient grab-and-go accessibility.  Although they can help you get to work or school on time, they are processed products that may contain ingredients that you wouldn’t normally consume.

2. The Nutrition Facts. Do they follow the guidelines below:

Nutrient Amount Per Serving
Total Calories 200 calories or less
Total Fat Less than 5 grams
Saturated Fat Less than 3 grams
Trans Fat 0 grams
Sodium Less than 140 milligrams
Carbohydrates Less than 30 grams
Fiber 5 grams or more
Protein 7 grams or more

We have learned from this recent news that just because a food claims it is healthy, that doesn’t mean it is. My job is to educate you so you know what to look for and your job is to look! Bring this article with you when you go shopping at the grocery store for your grab-and-go breakfast snack.

Although some flavors of the KIND bars are not in compliance with the FDA, they can still fit into a person’s meal plan depending on their health goals. Keep in mind that a healthy diet is a reflection of your overall intake; one food choice cannot predict the healthfulness of your diet. The best way to stay healthy is to eat a variety of whole foods including, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts/seeds, low fat dairy and lean meats and to practice portion control!

Homemade Hummus

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Classic Hummus Recipe

Ingredients

1 can (15oz.) of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, washed and strained

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1/4 cup of tahini

1/2 garlic clove, minced/chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Ground paprika for garnish

Directions

1. Place tahini and lemon juice in a food processor, mix for 1 minute

2. Scrape sides and then add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt. Mix for another 30 seconds, scrape sides again, and then mix for 30 seconds more

3. Add half the can of chickpeas and mix until creamy (about 1 minute), scrape the sides and add the rest, mixing until smooth and creamy

4. If the consistency is too thick, add water (1 tbsp at a time) until the texture looks perfect.

5. Remove from food processor, drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika for a fresh looking garnish.

Pair 2 tablespoons of hummus with 1 cup of raw veggies for a delicious, healthy, and filling snack!

Dining Smarter

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Vegetable Fajita

When dining out to eat we are often tempted by the mouthwatering menu and are quick to make decisions with our eyes rather than our minds. The weekend might be a difficult time for you to stay on your diet plan. During the week we have a schedule, but on the weekend it’s fair game, anything goes…or so we think. Going off your healthy eating plan every weekend is what we call “Yo-Yo dieting”. Yo-Yo dieting can contribute to those awful feelings of disappointment, sluggishness, and self-doubt. In order to be successful in achieving your health goals  you need to be consistent and make healthy choices every day. We are not perfect however one mess up should not lead to another, in fact that little slip up should motivate you to get back on track.

So what do you do when your friends want to go out to eat at your favorite restaurant that you’re used to ordering that juicy bacon cheeseburger from?

You have two options, one, suggest another restaurant because even if you  plan on ordering something else the pure torture just isn’t worth it or two, commit to the challenge! Before you go to the restaurant review the menu and decide on a healthier choice. When you sit down to eat and the wait staff comes to take your order, order first before anybody has the chance to change your mind by requesting the meal you’ve been drooling for. I know what you’re thinking.. how boring! But the feeling you get when you finally get through the meal and realize that is wasn’t so bad is exactly the feeling you’ve been looking for. Eating healthy is not so much a choice but a learned behavior. Like all other habits, it takes time to break your negative tendencies and time to build the positive ones. Nothing can happen over night but with the right mind set you will be sure to reach your goals sooner rather than later!

Here are some other helpful tips for dining out to eat:

  • Skip the appetizer if you’re getting an entree/order from the appetizer list for your meal
  • Split your entree in half, share with someone/take half home for lunch the next day!
  • Say you’re too full to order dessert, order coffee/tea instead
  • Drink water. Limit sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages to 1 or none
  • Swap fries/unhealthy sides for a baked potato, steamed veggies, or lettuce and tomato

 

 

*If you are interested in one-on-one diet counseling and want a personalized meal plan to meet your needs, e-mail me at TipsWithToni@yahoo.com. I would be happy to assist you!*