Archive for July, 2011

postheadericon Eggs & Your Cholesterol – What You Need to Know

Eggs Nutritional Information

Eggs

Many people are afraid to eat eggs, which began when all that information came out years ago about how eggs are too high in dietary cholesterol. This scared a lot of people into thinking that eggs are unhealthy, which they are not. In fact, eggs contain lots of nutrients, such as (lots of!) protein and vitamins (especially vitamin D), as well as helps the body to absorb calcium.

USDA

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs are now lower in cholesterol than before. The average amount of cholesterol found in one large egg is now equal to 185 mg, which is a 14% decrease when compared to previous calculations. The reason for this decrease? It is believed that the use of higher-quality chicken feed, which provides chickens with better overall nutrition, is now more commonly used. The recommended daily amount of cholesterol is 300 mg, so be aware that if you eat one egg, you are consuming more than half of the recommended daily amount. If you’re worried about too much cholesterol in your diet, simply counteract this by eating foods that are lower in cholesterol for that particular day. Also, you may want to only eat eggs 2 or 3 times a week, which is completely dependent on your particular dietary needs.

Eggs are Healthy!

Eggs are one of the most natural foods to eat, and I eat them quite often. Eggs aren’t processed or contain any preservatives or additives – it’s just a simple, beautiful egg! Since eggs are healthy when eaten in moderation, be sure to eat them in a variety of ways, such as scrambled, poached, and soft boiled. We would love to hear your favorite egg recipe, so be sure to share! One of my all-time favorite egg recipes is Eggs Benedict, with either ham or asparagus. Delicious!

postheadericon Butter – Is Butter Really that Bad? Is Margerine any Better?

butter

Butter

Butter

People tend to have a taste for both fatty foods as well as sweet foods, making the taste of butter one that is very popular, especially at breakfast time when it seems to be used a lot! We tend to put this creamy treat on our pancakes, waffles, toast, french toast, not to mention putting a pat or two into a pan when we’re getting ready to cook our special breakfast treats. Butter is definitely a controversial subject when it comes to your health. When it is commercially made it consists of about 82%t milk fat, 18% water, and 2% milk solids. Salt is often added for flavor, while the unsalted form is often known as sweet butter. There are more than 120 compounds included, with only 5 key ingredients that make up the flavor – fatty acids, lactones, methyl ketones, diacetyl and dimethyl sulfide. There are also some vitamins included – vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin, E, and vitamin K, so it’s not all bad, right?

Is Butter Bad?

So… is butter bad? Well, my personal conclusion is that it is not too bad if used in moderation, which is how I feel about most foods. I also think butter has a different impact on different people. For example, some people have eaten it all of their lives and live to be 90 or 100, while others may end up with clogged arteries before they’re 50 because they choose to eat this dairy product. I highly suggest everyone visit their doctor for a thorough check up and then ask their doctor’s opinion on what they think about how butter may be affecting your life. I personally use butter instead of margarineor other forms of fat for cooking. I used to use margarine because I thought it would be a healthier option, but after reading that it really isn’t much better than good old-fashioned butter, I went back to using butter. I like the taste of butter much better, and just try to use it as little as possible when cooking and/or putting it on my toast. Yummy!

Butter Substitutes

Instead of using butter, try using fruit preserves or applesauce or even yogurt or hummus. I love all three of these substitutes, which I have to admit are all not only much healthier options they are all quite delicious. These substitutes are great when served on foods like pancakes, waffles, and french toast. Oh, that reminds me of a breakfast I used to eat (what happened?) that consists of toast with tomatoes and olive oil drizzled on top… no butter here and it’s delicious!

postheadericon Chocolate Milk – Chocolate Milk Choices & How to Make Your Own Chocolate Milk

Chocolate Milk - Delicious!

Chocolate Milk – Delicious!

Chocolate Milk

I love drinking chocolate milk! When growing up we bought Nestlé’s Quik, and I remember putting at least 3 heaping spoonfuls into a big tall super cold glass of milk. Yum! Nowadays, I’m a bit more health conscience, so since I don’t believe in cutting out any foods and/or drinks and instead believe in moderation, I still drink chocolate milk, I just choose healthier ways to drink chocolate milk as well as drinking a little less of it.

A Little about Chocolate

Although there are many benefits to eating chocolate, be sure not to confuse ‘real chocolate’ (meaning chocolate that doesn’t have a lot of extra, unnecessary ingredients and/or preservatives in it) with the types of chocolate used for making chocolate milk. In order to keep prices down, most manufacturers use low-quality chocolate as well as diluting the chocolate so that what you are really adding to your milk is mainly sugar, which is not good! High-quality chocolate includes lots of antioxidants, which are essentially protective chemicals that are found in plant foods. Possible benefits from eating chocolate (the darker the better!) includes lower blood pressure, anti-clotting abilities, and protection against heart disease.

Chocolate Milk Choices

There are many different brands from which to choose from when you are wanting to buy chocolate milk. I’m not going to endorse any one particular brand as there are a couple I like, but everyone has different tastes so I suggest first looking at the ingredient label of a few different brands and then choose a couple to try.

Make Your Own Chocolate Milk

Add 1 cup of cocoa, 1 1/2 cups *sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pan, bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Store leftovers in the fridge in a well sealed glass container. Simply add one or two tablespoons to a glass of milk, and enjoy! *You can substitute agave syrup for the sugar. Important! Stay away from high fructose corn syrup! If it’s in the list of ingredients, put it back. Thx! (-: Would love to hear your favorite chocolate milk recipe! So please feel free to share…