Nutritional

The Natural Sweetener You’ve Been Waiting For

There’s a brand new all-natural sugar substitute now available in your supermarket. And it’s getting here just in the nick of time. Even with all the artificial sweeteners that have been around for decades, Americans still eat an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar every day. That’s 352 extra calories just from sugar.  Every day. The American Heart Association recommends that women should limit their sugar intake to six teaspoons and men just nine. That’s a lot less than 22 teaspoons. By the way, that’s not just teaspoons of sugar you get out of the sugar bowl; it’s the sugar that you get in soda, candy, cakes, cookies, fruit drinks, ice cream, yogurt with fruit on the bottom, and everything else we eat that tickles our sweet tooth. Keep in mind that each 20 oz plastic bottle of Pepsi or Coke has about 17 teaspoons of sugar in it.

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How To Have More (Healthy) Birthdays

How To Have More (Healthy) Birthdays

A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. “I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said. “What’s your secret for a long happy life?” “Well, honey, I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise.” “That’s amazing,” the woman said “how old are you?” “26,” he said. At this time of year, many of us reflect back and look forward. We’ve all had an extra birthday since last year at this time. Here’re some suggestions on how to make sure that your future birthdays are healthy ones: MARRY AN EDUCATED WOMAN. Researchers have recently discovered that a woman’s education level is a stronger factor in her husband’s longevity than is the man’s own level of education. We’ve known for some time that being part

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The 20 Saltiest Foods in America

The 20 Saltiest Foods in America

About one-third of all adults in the US have a problem with high blood pressure.  By the time they’re 65 years old, more than 60 percent of Americans have blood pressure that’s too high.  Anything at or above 140/90 is considered actual high blood pressure, or by its official name, hypertension. A reading above 120/80 is designated as pre-hypertension. Your ideal goal is 120/80 or less. Surprisingly, getting rid of the salt shaker is NOT the best way to fix the problem.  Only about one-fourth of our salt intake comes from the salt shaker.  The rest comes from processed foods that we buy. Remember, a good daily target for your total sodium intake from everything is somewhere between 1500-2300 mg.  That sounds like a lot, but that’s only about 1 teaspoon of salt, total.  From everything. A recent article is Men’s Health magazine listed the 20 saltiest foods in America.

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Healthy Foods That Aren’t So Healthy

Healthy Foods That Aren't So Healthy

Things aren’t always as good as they appear in the American supermarket and restaurant.  Here’s ten food items that don’t always deserve their healthy reputation: Yogurt. Yes plain yogurt is a great, high-calcium food but it tastes like sour milk. And that’s because it is sour milk. So the food manufacturers add “fruit on the bottom” which is really more like fruit preserves or jelly, than real fruit. That gives you a food that now often has 5-10 teaspoons of sugar per serving. What I do is buy one large container of plain non-fat yogurt and mix it with one large container of non-fat vanilla yogurt. That cuts the sugar per serving significantly from the “fruit added” kind but still gives you a product that tastes good. Fish. Yes, fish is a great food for your health. But not fast food fish. Not only is it deep fried but it, as a

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What is Your Level of Commitment?

The success we experience in First Place is directly related to our level of commitment. I will often find myself struggling with one or more of the nine commitments. When I find myself losing the joy in this First Place journey, I take a little time to evaluate the level of my commitment in each area. I thank God that He is a God of new beginnings. When I first joined First Place, I thought we were going to learn how to get stronger, and these weight loss issues would be no more. Instead, I found First Place is all about surrendering my will, making a commitment, and then when I take a step in obedience, I am filled with God’s power. I discovered that sometimes I mistake commitment for deal-making. If I see the result that I think is fair, then I will be committed, or if some particular

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More Than Just Beginning Again

Most of us are so excited about the New Year and the new beginnings it offers. This year I am challenging myself to more than just “beginning again,” but to really get back on track in all areas of First Place. As we ended our fall session, I took a good look at what I had accomplished to see if there were areas that I could improve. I greeted 2004 with a renewed commitment to take specific steps to get   “back on track,” and to make sure that track is leading me toward weight loss, better health, and continued spiritual growth. I would like to share with you a couple of these very specific steps. One area of struggle is exercise. When the news came that an exercise program was beginning in my area, I joined. I was convinced that joining would help me be more successful, not just through

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A New Chapter

Dear First Place 4 Health Family, Erin DuBroc, our FP4H Registered Dietitian, has resigned to become a full time Mom.  Erin came on staff in January, 2007 and helped write the food plan for our new First Place 4 Health program.  Although Erin won’t be in the office any longer you will still have the pleasure of seeing her on our FP4H DVD’s. Below is a letter Erin wrote to the staff here at the church.  If you would like to send Erin a card, you can send it to 7401 Katy Freeway, Suite 337, Houston, Texas 77024. Dear Staff, What a blessing it has been working at Houston’s First Baptist with First Place 4 Health.  I have so enjoyed getting to know many of you over the past 2.5 years and always being greeted by sweet smiles in the halls.  My experience here has been such a blessing and

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Test Your Nutrition IQ

1. Which of the following are true statements regarding sea salt, kosher salt and table salt? A. Because of its fine grain, a single teaspoon of table salt contains more salt than a tablespoon of kosher or sea salt. B. Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving intact the minerals from the water from which it came. C. Kosher salt contains no preservatives and can be derived from either seawater or underground sources. D. All of the above. Answer: D. Taste and texture are the main culinary differences between these three. Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits, and includes a small portion of calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent added to prevent clumping. It possesses very fine crystals and a sharp taste. The minerals in sea salt flavor and color the salt slightly. Sea salts are usually expensive, it is worth keeping

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Eating Well During Pregnancy

I receive several calls a month from FP4H members asking about prenatal nutrition, so I felt it was time to include a comprehensive overview in a newsletter. Healthy maternal nutrition during pregnancy is essential for developing babies and the moms themselves. Here are some common questions and answers surrounding this important topic. How many calories do I need? Surprising to most, pregnant women only need an additional 300 calories per day beginning around the second trimester (13 weeks). That’s a 15% increase in total calories – hardly “eating for two”! It is a common misconception that women need to or should feel justified in eating double portions, and one that leads many women to gaining more weight than they should. Three hundred (300) calories equals about 3 cups of skim milk or a piece of whole wheat toast, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and a small banana. It is important

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Sports Nutrition Tips

As I’ve been studying for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified fitness trainer exam, I was pleased to see a fair chunk of the material devoted to the basics of nutrition and specifically, sports nutrition. More importantly, the information is accurate and fad-free – which always makes me happy! We dietitians tend to get a bit defensive about the massive amounts of nutrition misinformation readily available, so I was pleased to see that ACSM got it right. You may remember a few months ago that I wrote about how to prevent or plough through a plateau. One of the main takeaways from that article was that consistently consuming too few calories will lead to a reduction in lean body mass (or muscle). This causes the rate at which you burn calories (the “metabolic rate”) to slow down and thus preclude you from losing body fat. In other words,

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