October 21, 2007

Enjoy your food (the RightWay)

It's not about dieting, it's about enjoying - CNN.com:
"(Oprah.com) -- As a trained chef, restaurant owner, healthy-cookbook author, and confirmed food lover, I absolutely refuse to let the word diet hijack my life -- and I don't think you should, either. Smart eating is not about settling for less; it's about heaping more good stuff on your plate." more...
This has been my life for the past 14 months. Less food and a lot more joy. I know it's hard to believe but each meal is a celebration of life. This week's meals have included french green beans with pignoli, spinach brownies, tiger shrimp, turkey burgers, roasted carrots and zucchini, homemade whole wheat banana muffins (with sugar substitute), beautiful tomatoes with mozzarella and my garden-grown basil, and mushroom and egg white omelets. Buon Appetito!

Seeing stars in a cafeteria?

Rudd Sound Bites: Nutrition Sells:
"An article in The New York Times last month reported on a grocery store chain in Maine, The Hannaford Company, that over a year-long period let consumers know which products were more (or less) healthy by placing “stars” next to them. The healthiest products (those lowest in saturated and trans fats, those that contained whole grains, were low in added sugars, high in fiber, etc.) received up to 3 stars while less healthy products received anywhere between 0 and 2 stars.

Would implementing a similar type of “star” rating in company cafeterias also have this kind of beneficial effect? I imagine that there’s a company somewhere that has already done this, but I’d be really interested to see whether it was effective." more...

10 ways to lose weight without hunger | Dr Briffa's Blog

Dr Briffa's Blog:
"Eat fewer calories than you burn’ has been the weight loss mantra for decades now. The problem is, cutting back on food and taking more exercise almost inevitably makes people hungry, which can make changes quite unsustainable in the long term. In this article, I offer some practical solutions to this, by outlining several approaches that can help put the body in ‘caloric deficit’ and promote weight loss without the need to go hungry." more tips...
I'm don't agree with tip #1, because I know reducing calories is the only sure way to lose weight. But the rest of his blog makes sense.

A blogger asks: Should Fat People Be Allowed To Eat at Buffets?

The blogger Cheobu asks?
"Should Fat People Be Allowed To Eat at Buffets? Last Friday, I went for a buffet dinner at Hilton Hotel (Read my food review) and I saw this really fat guy making his rounds taking food. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against fat or obese people, and I understand some of them are like that due to hormonal or medical problems. However, I somehow think it is not 'right' for somebody of that size eating at buffets. Why? Because firstly, it fuels greed and secondly, it's really unhealthy to be eating so much when you are already that fat whatever the cause of your obesity might be. This guy that I saw, is REALLY huge." more...

Your stomach says: Don't overload me!

From the Iowa City Press-Citizen.com:
"For four days next week, University of Iowa students who dine at Burge or Hillcrest Hall Market Places will be encouraged to do something they probably haven't been asked to do since leaving home: clean their plates. From Tuesday to Friday, students can join the Clean Your Plate Club at tables near the dining facilities' entrances. In exchange for a club button, students pledge to select only as much food as they're likely to finish so that little of it -- and ideally none -- winds up in the trash. The button features a smiling plate in the middle of a tray and the words, "Don't overload me! more..."

October 15, 2007

Another lousy invention by a fast food company

Hardee's rolled out its new Country Breakfast Burrito -- two egg omelets filled with bacon, sausage, diced ham, cheddar cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy, all wrapped inside a flour tortilla. It's guaranteed to quench your appetite and maybe your life.

The burrito contains 920 calories and 60 grams of fat.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocate for nutrition and health, has called the Hardee's line of Thickburgers "food porn."

The group's senior nutritionist, Jayne Hurley, said the burrito was "another lousy invention by a fast-food company."

The "country breakfast bomb," as she called it, represents half a day's calories and a full day's worth of saturated fat and salt, to say nothing of cholesterol.

"That's all before 10 o'clock in the morning," she said.

Even Hardees' chicken salad -- topped with onion rings and crispy chicken -- has 1,100 calories and 83 grams of fat.

Hardee's makes no apologies.

"We don't try to hide what these are," a spokesperson said. "When consumers go to other fast-food places they feel like they've got to buy two of their breakfast sandwiches or burritos to fill up. This is really designed to fill you up."

October 7, 2007

Best Fast Food or Worst?

In the annual Citysearch Poll of 2007, Hardee's was voted best fast food in 13 cities.
People really love Hardee's and its Thickburgers(TM). According to Citysearch.com's annual 'Best of' poll, Hardee's was voted the no. 1 fast food restaurant by voters in 13 cities, including: Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Tenn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Norfolk, Va.; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; and Tampa. In addition, Hardee's Thickburgers were voted 'Best Burger' in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Louisville, Minneapolis and Kansas City, Mo. Read more at Hardee's Franchise News.
Now take a look at those states and look at that state's obesity rates. You don't need to be a research scientist to see a relationship. You don't see Colorado, Massachusetts or Connecticut on the "best burger" -- or is it worst burger for you -- list.

Just for the record, the average Thickburger will make you thicker by 850 calories. If you are a man trying to lose any weight, then that's half your calories for the day. If you are a women one Thickburger means you need to walk for 10 miles or else you'll be adding thickness to your thighs.

Everyone talks about moderation. Just eat in moderation, says the CEO of Hardees. The problem with this "best food" is: there is no moderation. The burger by definition is extreme. If you have this sandwich, it's nearly impossible not to overeat and nearly impossible to exercise it off. Stay away from this "best food", it can't be good for you.
"We think it's great that people recognized both Hardee's as best fast food and our Thickburgers as their favorite hamburger,' said Brad Haley, Hardee's executive vice president of marketing. 'Our thick, juicy, Angus beef Thickburgers have won a number of 'best hamburger' competitions across the country, and it's no surprise since we set out to make the best burgers we could."
Did they set out to make Americans unhealthy as well?

October 4, 2007

US restaurant should offer European portions

Justine Lescroart writes in The Harvard Crimson about the differences between American restaurants and European eateries. I'll give you a hint, it's a giant indictment of America's huge appetite.
Granada, Spain -- In the U.S., an average can of Coca-Cola (or at least the one in my fridge at home) contains 355 ml of soda. Cans in Spain (or at least the ones in my fridge here) hold only 200 ml. At home, Cold Stone Creamery’s “small” portions of ice cream are five ounces. In Spanish gelato shops, a 2.5 ounce scoop is the norm. By American standards, European food portions are tiny, but living abroad, I’ve come to see things in a different light. In reality, American portion sizes are huge, not to mention that they contribute to a national obesity epidemic and they flat-out waste food. The rest of the world’s food suppliers manage to provide reasonably-sized portions. Why can’t we?

Thanks to smaller portion sizes, European citizens eat healthy, “diet-sized” servings without feeling like they’re depriving themselves. Americans should be able to do the same. When food suppliers offer small, high-quality amounts of food with the right marketing scheme, it’s a win-win situation: customers drop weight, and restaurateurs pick up a profit.


October 3, 2007

Senate debating what you will eat

The Senate is debating the 2007 Food and Farm Bill this month. And what you eat and pay for food hangs in the balance. You think -- because you aren't a farmer -- that the "farm bill" doesn't affect you. But you are wrong.

Even though the USDA and nutritionists want Americans to eat less fat, less sugar and more fruits and vegetables, your governments pours billions of dollars into livestock and sugar and very little into vegetables. Why is it that it costs just an extra buck for another hamburger or a another quarter for a supersized drink, but there's no break when you buy three apples or broccoli and carrots?

Could it be the billions of dollars our government gives to the corporate farmer for growing cattle over cauliflower?

For the past 20 years our government has had a a policy that values corporate interests over the health of the American people.

Call your Senator today and tell him or her you want a bill that promotes health, not obesity.

October 1, 2007

McSubway project: Virtuous diners eat more

When you go to Subway and order the lite turkey sub with no mayonnaise and no cheese, do you, then, reward yourself and munch down on chips and cookies as well?

If you do, you are not alone. And that's trouble.

In today's USAToday.com, Brain Wansink says, "There's a health halo that surrounds a lot of the foods at restaurants like Subway that leads people to overeat on side dishes and grossly underestimate the number of calories they consume."

The director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, N.Y created the 'McSubway Project,' a series of studies that examine the habits of fast-food customers. Much of the research compares foods at McDonald's and Subway, which advertises that it has more healthful options.

What he found was diners significantly underestimate the calories at Subway and McDonald's, but underestimate much more at Subway.

Though Subway has a health halo, "there's also a health shadow that's cast on McDonald's. People know what they are eating may be indulgent, so they come much closer to estimating the right number of calories," says Wansink, the author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

People who consumed about 1,327 calories at a meal underestimated the calories by an average of 484 at McDonald's and 681 at Subway.

"There's a double curse to the health halo because you grossly underestimate the calories, and you overeat afterward because you think you deserve it," Wansink says.

Without help, diners cannot figure out how many calories they are eating and what's good for them. One alternative is not to eat at Subway or McDonald's. But a better way would be to figure out how to help Americans eat appropriately at restaurants. Starting with better choices, clear, posted information, and a government-led program to make the dining experience healthier. What to we have to lose?