What’s Really in Halloween Candy?

These days, there’s more to a candy bar than simply chocolate. With a laundry list of ingredients, it’s hard to know which ingredients aren’t the best to ingest, and why they’re even in our candy bars in the first place. So we’ve peeled back the wrapper to uncover which ingredients are harmless, and which should go straight from the trick-or-treat bag to the trash.

SAFE
1. Tertiary butyl hydroquinone: This impossible-to-pronounce preservative prevents candy from going rancid and enhances storage life. Better yet, both the FDA and European Food Safety Authority say TBHQ is safe for humans. (And thank goodness, since it’s in America’s favorite Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.)

2. Polyglycerol polyricinoleate: PGPR is a chemical that blends the ingredients in candy bars to make chocolate super smooth. It’s safe for humans to consume and is found in Kit Kat Bars and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars.

3. Soy lecithin: This additive is a substance extracted from soybeans that emulsifies the cocoa and cocoa butter in candy, keeping the ingredients from separating. Although soy can be a dangerfood when eaten in large quantities (messing with hormone balance and testosterone levels), studies show small amounts of soy lecithin in our candy (like Almond Joy’s and M&M’s!) are a-okay.

CAUTION
1. Artificial flavors: Adding some flava flave to food can make them taste more appetizing (Butterfingers, anyone?). The studies of artificial flavors (not to be confused with artificial coloring!) are few and far between, but the Center For Science in the Public Interest says artificial flavoring is probably safe.

2. Milk fat: We’re talkin’ more than just whole milk, here. Milk fat is the main component of cream, and is composed of triglycerides, a type of fat that may thicken the artery walls and increase cardiovascular risk. The bad news is milk fat is found in most chocolate candies, including Snickers and Milky Way bars.

3. Salt: Yep, it’s not just in the savory stuff. Salt is often added to candy bars to offset all the sugar and corn syrup. And we definitely don’t need any more of the salty stuff: Most Americans consume more sodium than recommended (2,300 mg) which can raise blood pressure and contribute to heart disease.

AVOID
1. Artificial coloring: Sorry M&M’s and candy corn, it looks like you’re doing more harm than good. Although artificial coloring may make candy more appealing, it has been linked to behavioral problems, asthma, and even cancer when consumed in large quantities. Another (not so fun) fact? After Halloween in 1950, food dye Orange #1 was banned from candy (for good!) after many kids got sick.

2. High fructose corn syrup: Sugar and spice may not be so nice. The consumption of HFCS, a sweetener derived from (you guessed it!) corn, may sometimes lead to kidney damage and liver disease in high doses. Hold off on those king-size Twix and Milky Ways (and most other candy bars, in fact)!

3. Hydrogenated palm kernel oil: If you thought milk fat was bad, check out this oil creeping in our candy. More than 80 percent of palm kernel oil’s fat is the saturated kind (which can up LDL cholesterol) but is often used in foods because it’s cheaper than alternatives.

Have a Healthier Halloween: Your Action Plan
Don’t fret! These sneaky ingredients don’t have to take all the fun (and flavor) from Halloween. Check out these tips for a healthier Halloween, no creepy ingredients included.

1. Choose better: Okay, there’s no denying a least a few pieces of candy on Halloween. So while we’re at it, let’s pick some better options, like dark chocolate Raisinets, mini Hershey Special Dark bars, or a Twizzler or two. Or try low-fat popcorn and pretzels for some crunch!

2. Make your own: Ditch the wrapper and make candy from scratch. Try some classics like Snickers,Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or these vegan Kit Kats. That way, you’ll have control over everything that goes into the mix!

2. Sharing is caring: Stuck with a whole bag of Halloween treats? Make sure to spread the love! Bring the bag into the office or share with friends, while allowing yourself a bite-sized treat when that sweet tooth kicks in!

3. Get creative: The stomach can be satisfied on Halloween without going down the candy aisle. Sip on some spiced cider, munch on a caramel apple, or dip some sliced fruit in a creamy pumpkin dip.

4. Give it away: Donate the extra goods to people around the world. Organizations like Operation Shoe Box and Operation Gratitude are great places to start.

5. Celebrate outside: Halloween isn’t just about the sweets. Focus the fun on other traditions, like hayrides, apple picking, or walking through a haunted house (eek!). We promise you won’t miss those Almond Joy’s.

Read more:http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/whats-really-halloween-candy/page/2

5 things to eat to lose weight

Have a healthy breakfast
The cardinal rule to any weight loss programme is never to miss breakfast. And oatmeal, a complex carbohydrate is ideal. It is a satisfying breakfast cereal, and compared to any other grain it provides more protein per serving. The fact that it takes longer to digest and hence releases energy slowly makes it perfect because you feel full for longer. Oats also keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, which helps prevent fat storage. Have it with skimmed milk or yogurt.

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Opt for skimmed milk
Milk and its products are rich in calcium and can help keep your bones strong. Skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yogurt helps to break down fat cells.

Bean it
Foods that are high in fibre and are good sources of protein, can help you feel full for a very long time. And that, will help you control unnecessary bingeing. Protein has a very high satiety index and that is why make proteins an essential part of your meals.

Go for the grain
Grains have complex carbohydrates which during digestion release glucose slowly. Jowar, bajra and ragi etc can help in maintaining your blood sugars levels. The fibre and vitamins in them play an important role too.

Snack on nuts through the day
Stay away from fried and salted nuts but you can munch on raw, unsalted ones — almonds, and walnuts. These have essential roughage, protein, fat, minerals and micronutrient.
A handful can keep hunger at bay and provide energy.

Read more:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-05/diet/37766577_1_protein-healthy-breakfast-5-things

Is Your Diet Aging You?

Simple strategies to keep you young, inside and out.

Did you look in the mirror this morning and think, “Wow, I look great!”? Or did you think, “When did I get so old?”

If it was the latter, you might want to take a look at your refrigerator, kitchen cupboard, and dinner table for one of the culprits.

burger and fries meal

Aging happens to all of us, of course. And there’s no way to put the brakes on it, no matter what the latest “nutraceuticals” may claim. But an unhealthy diet can send your aging process into overdrive and leave you looking years older than you really are. And, it probably isn’t doing the inside of your body any favors, either.

Quality Counts

Timothy Harlan, assistant professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, a former restaurateur known as “Dr. Gourmet,” and author of Just Tell Me What to Eat!, says, “There’s an incredible amount of evidence that says that eating junk puts your body into an inflammatory state. Poor-quality foods, like trans fats, cause inflammation — and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state.” Harlan asks: “Can you look older because you’re eating crap?” And he answers: “Absolutely.”

For example, too much sugar and processed carbohydrates in the diet can lead to the production of what are called AGEs — advanced glycation end products. “These are associated with a number of diseases, like heart disease and diabetes,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a nutrition policy consultant for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. What’s more, she says, “they also damage the collagen and fibers of your skin.”

But it’s not just your looks that are on the line. Eating more than you should of foods that ramp up inflammation — or that clog your arteries or pack on extra pounds — can be bad news, from head to toe.

Foods to Limit

  1. Potato chips and French fries. Anything that’s deep-fried in oil is laden with trans fats, which contribute to inflammation throughout your body. According to the American Heart Association, you should keep trans fats to less than 1% of your daily diet.
  2. Doughnuts and sugary pastries. These pack a multiple whammy. Often they’re high in trans fats and, of course, they’re packed with sugar, which is also linked to inflammation. And they produce those wrinkle-generating AGEs Giancoli talks about.
  3. Hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni — any processed meats. Sad to say, the meats on your favorite home-delivery pizza and ballpark dogs aren’t doing you any favors. They’re high in saturated fats and also contain nitrates, both of which contribute to the inflammatory process.
  4. Less-than-lean red meats. The key with meat is to keep it lean to minimize saturated fats, which are big producers of inflammation and no friend of your arteries. The USDA’s 2010 dietary guidelines recommend eating a variety of protein foods, including lean meats. The American Heart Association suggests that you keep saturated fats from all sources (not just red meat) to less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.
  5. Alcohol. This is a tough one: Some alcohol may be good for you, but too much can absolutely age you prematurely. “Research says there’s a sweet spot for alcohol,” Harlan says. That’s one drink per day for women (such as a 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce glass of beer) and two for men. If you drink, on average, one or two alcoholic drinks per day, that may be good for your heart. More than that and you may be revving the aging process and its associated diseases such as liver disease and certain cancers. If you don’t drink, health experts don’t advise you to start. And if you do drink, talk to your doctor to make sure your drinking is in line with your particular health concerns.

More importantly, Harlan says, eating a diet rich in high-quality foods can reduce inflammation and help keep you looking your best. “It’s very clear that following a Mediterranean-style diet reduces the risk of a number of illnesses associated with aging, like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.”

Foods to Favor

Harlan and Giancoli are both reluctant to pick out a list of “superfoods” that help to keep you looking young and healthy.

“There are people who have these theories that foods that are very high in antioxidants somehow slow the aging process. And there is some scant evidence of that in animal models,” Harlan says. “But don’t just pick out a few foods and focus on them. The minute you start talking about individual foods, people lose sight of the big picture.”

So stay away from fad diets that are all about salmon and acai berries, he says. “I want you to eat lots of broccoli and sweet potatoes and salmon and chickpeas and good-quality chicken. Eat a healthy variety of foods and that will keep you looking your best.”

That’s not just one opinion. In general, many sources are now saying that a traditional Mediterranean style diet — rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein — is your best option for overall health.

Another important factor, Giancoli adds, is eating wholefoods, closest to their natural state as possible. “Don’t just eat plants; eat them pretty close to how they were when they came out of the ground or off the tree,” she says.

So instead of “superfoods,” here’s a list of five foods that are key elements of the Mediterranean diet and are examples of the kinds of foods you need to be getting more of.

  1. Romaine lettuce. Plain old Romaine salad is high in vitamins A and C, antioxidant vitamins that help battle inflammation. Other dark leafy greens that should be on your list include broccoli, spinach, arugula, watercress, escarole, and endive.
  2. Tomatoes. Along with watermelon, grapefruit, guavas, asparagus, and red cabbage, tomatoes are particularly high in the antioxidant lycopene.
  3. Salmon. As with other marine fish such as tuna and herring, salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation.
  4. Lentils. Beans are one of Harlan’s favorite sources of protein and are loaded with fiber and antioxidant vitamins. Try black beans, split peas, limas, pintos, and even fat-free refried beans. “Your skin is essentially made of protein, so if you don’t get enough healthy protein in your diet, your skin will reflect that,” Giancoli says. “Along with fish, beans are a great way to get it.”
  5. Oatmeal. Studies have found that whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, couscous, and quinoa help to reduce inflammation. “These also have B vitamins in them, like thiamine and riboflavin, which are important for skin as well,” Giancoli says. “Deficiencies in them cause rashes and scaly skin appearance.”

And you have to keep eating healthy to stay looking good. “Skin sloughs off all the time, so you need regular incoming doses of vitamins, nutrients, plant chemicals that we call phytonutrients, healthy fats, and proteins,” Giancoli says. “If you’re not getting enough of the good stuff on a regular basis, you won’t be able to produce healthy new skin cells in the way that you should.”

If you eat a diet like this, will you look better in the mirror? “That depends,” Harlan says. “I looked pretty ugly in the mirror before! But if you eat healthy, you are absolutely going to look better.”

read more:http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/is-your-diet-aging-you?page=3