Monday, June 4, 2012

Guilt-free Grilling & Two Summer Super Foods: Saturday's Show

Here's a recap of this past Saturday's Show since I completely forgot to write over the weekend.  I know that it's a lot of information, but if you want to keep your summer healthy it's worth the read.

Guilt-Free Grilling Tips:
I found some great grilling tips on Fitbie that I shared on Saturday.  Here's the recap on some ways to make Summer a bit healthier while keeping all of the flavors we all love.

Hamburgers:  All beef patties are loaded with fat.  A better choice is Bison (152 Cal and 7g Fat) or if you really want to go for the gold the best option is to mix equal parts lean ground beef or turkey with ground mushrooms to cut the calories in half.
Hot Dogs: Typical hot dogs are loaded with nitrates and sodium and 84% of their calories are fat.  The best option is a low-sodium uncured chicken dog (60 cals & 250mg Sodium).  I've never tried these so I can't vouch for Fitbie's opinion on this in regards to taste.  I do like their middle option though - low fat turkey dogs.  I bought some turkey sausage for Memorial Day and they tasted terrific.
Hamburger/Hot dog Buns:  Fitbie recommends 100% whole wheat for both, and I agree.  They taste good, are typically lower in calories and you get more fiber.
Mustard: If you like the gold stuff, Fitbie says to pick yellow mustard over Dijon because it's got 50% less sodium.
Mayo: Regular mayo is just not healthy - unfortunately.  A better option is a canola oil version which has half the fat and calories plus heart smart omega 3s.  Personally, I love the olive oil mayo.   However, if you are looking for healthy, the best option would be to bypass mayo altogether and use mashed avocado.
Lettuce: You could use regular Iceburg.  It's not horrible, but if you want the healthiest options here's what Fitbie says.  Romaine has more vitamins and comes in as a better choice.  Their pick for the best choice is antioxidant rich spinach or kale.  I like both of these healthier options and I honestly think they taste better.
Pickles:  Bread-and-butter and sweet-and-sour pickles can add calories because they have added sugar; the better option is Dill pickles, which are sugar free.
For more of their picks, check out the article [here]

Eat Your Sunscreen: (Article)
Ok, don't eat the white stuff in that tube.  You should, however, eat those summer foods you're craving anyway.  They actually protect your skin from the inside out. Fresh fruits and veggies like - Watermelon, tomatoes, pineapple, raspberries, brightly colored bell peppers are essentially edible sunscreen.  They are rich in antioxidants that help fight off free radical damage triggered by sun exposure which ultimately leads to inflammation, DNA damage and possibly cancer.  The Journal of Nutrition did a study which shows that, "a mix of carotenoids -- a group of antioxidants including lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelon), lutein (in spinach and other dark-green veggies), and beta-carotene (in orange, red, and yellow produce) - reduced skin's susceptibility to ultraviolet damage. Other studies have produced similar results with green tea and ferulic acid (an antioxidant found in pineapple, oranges,apples, and coffee)."  Hasan Mukhtar, Ph.D., director and vice chair for research at the University of Wisconsin Medical Science Center says, "As a rule, the richer and darker the color of your produce, the better. Aim for a mix of yellows, reds, greens, and purples.  You'll get a variety of antioxidants, which is important because they protect cells in different ways.  Some antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals before they penetrate the skin and cause inflammation. Others throw a bucket of water on inflammation and could even repair DNA damage that can occur despite our best efforts. A few, like green tea, may do all three."  Check out the article for more ways to naturally protect your skin this summer.

Summer Super Foods: (Article)
Here's some info about a couple of summer super foods - tomatoes and watermelon.

Cherry Tomatoes: "The same compound that makes tomatoes red, lycopene, helps maintain mood by preventing the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds , like interleukin-6, that are associated with depression. This magical molecule is also known to protect against a vast number of cancers (including breast, prostate, and pancreatic). Organic tomatoes have three times as much of this molecule as conventionally produced ones.  Tomatoes are high in other mood enhancers like folate and magnesium, both used to treat depression. They contain iron, tryptophan, and vitamin B6: the main ingredients needed by your brain to produce important mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Add to this a high concentration of niacin, vitamin K, chromium, vitamin C, and potassium, and it makes sense that tomatoes protect us against choronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. One way these nutrients work is by lowering homocysteine in the blood, a risk factor for depression, heart attacks, and strokes."

Watermelon: I must admit, I don't like the taste of watermelon.  Even still I was really impressed with what I found on Fitbie.  You can absolutely feel great about this summer snack.  Here's what they said, "The red flesh of watermelon is bursting with the powerful antioxidant lycopene, much more so actually than the tomato. Lycopene protects our skin from the intense summer sun and kills cancer cells. Studies show you can boost the levels of this important nutrient by up to 40 percent (and beta-carotene by 150 percent) by letting it sit outside the refrigerator at room temperature for several days.

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