Monthly Archives: November 2011

What Foods Have the Highest Quality Protein?

What Foods Have the Highest Quality Protein?

Approximately 20 amino acids comprise proteins. Nine of these amino acids cannot be made by the human body and are considered essential, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. High quality protein foods provide the body with these essential amino acids.

Meat, Poultry and Fish

Animal products make up the bulk of high quality proteins, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these high quality proteins double as a source of saturated fat. To limit the intake of saturated fat in the diet, choose lean sources of animal protein. Lean animal proteins include beef round steaks, beef roasts, pork loin, ham, fish and skinless white meat poultry. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends people choose poultry and fish as their primary source of animal protein and limit their intake of red meat to 18 oz. a week. In general, a 1 oz. serving of meat, poultry or fish contains 7 g of protein.


Eggs are also a source of high quality protein. A 3 oz. egg provides 7 g of protein, according to the Center of Young Women’s Health at Children’s Hospital Boston. Unfortunately, eggs double as a source of cholesterol, and people with high cholesterol should limit their intake of egg yolks to two a week, according to

Dairy Foods

Low-fat and fat free dairy foods over whole fat version are recommended to limit the intake of saturated fat. One cup of milk provides 8 g of protein, an 8 oz. container of yogurt provides 11 g of protein and a 1/2 cup serving of 1 percent cottage cheese provides 13 g of protein.

Soy Foods

Soy is the only plant food providing all of the essential amino acids. In addition to being a good source of protein, soy also provides fiber and polyunsaturated fats. A 3.5 oz. serving of cooked soybeans provides 16 g of protein and a 3.5 oz. serving of cooked edamame provides 11 g of protein. Tofu is also a good source of high quality protein with 9 g in a 1/2 cup serving. Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake with 15 g of protein in a 1/2 cup serving.


Kids breathe better with bananas


Slice a banana to top junior’s oatmeal or pack a whole one in your  girls Hello Kitty  lunchbox. New research from the Imperial College of London shows that kids who ate one banana a day had a 34% less chance of developing asthma symptoms.

Researchers collected dietary informations from 2,640 children age 5-10, and found that banana eaters were one-third less likely to encounter breathing problems such as weezing. Children who drank apple juice daily experienced a 47% reduction in asthma symptoms.

Outcomes from the same study, which was funded by Dole, suggests that kids with low fiber intake are more vulnerable to respiratory problems associated with secondhand smoke.

Carrot Cake Protein Bars

Calories: 94
Fats: 1.25 grams
Carbs: 10 grams
Protein: 10 grams



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, whey protein, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and salt
    together in a bowl.
  3. Mix egg whites, Splenda, baby food carrots and water (optional) in a
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
  5. Spray glass pyrex dish with non-stick butter spray.
  6. Pour ingredients into dish.
  7. Bake 20-30 minutes.Makes 16 squares, 2 squares per serving.

Defining the terms on labels?

Ever wondered exactly what the terms on your food are drink labels actually mean? Well, here are some of the more common ones that we see. Hopefully this will clear up any questions you may have.


  • Calorie-free – less than 5 calories
  • Cholesterol-free – less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol
  • Fat-free – less than .5 grams of fat
  • Sodium-free or salt free – less than 5 milligrams of sodium
  • Sugar-free – less than .5 grams of sugar



  • Low calorie – less than 40 calories
  • Low in cholesterol – less than 20 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
  • Low fat – 3 grams or less of fat
  • Low in saturated fat – contains one gram or less of saturated fat
  • Low sodium – less than 140 milligrams of sodium
  • Very low sodium – less than 35 milligrams of sodium



  • Products with 1/3 fewer calories or 50% less fat and sodium content reduced 50%.



  • These products must contain 25% or less of a nutrient or calories than the regular product, as well as 2 grams of less of saturated fat.


“Percent Fat Free”

  • “Percent Fat Free” refers to a low-fat or fat-free product that must accurately state the amount of fat per 100 gram serving.


“High/Rich In/Excellent Source”

  • Product contains 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) of a given nutrient.


“Good Source”

  • Product contains 10%-19% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) of a given nutrient.



  • A term used to describe the fat content of meat, poultry and seafood. A “lean” product must contain less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz.).


“Extra Lean”

  • A term used to describe the fat content of meat, poultry and seafood. An “extra lean” product must contain less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz.).



  • A product can be labeled “healthy” if it is low in fat and saturated fat, has 480 milligrams or less of sodium per serving, and contains at least 10% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) for one of the following nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein or fiber.

Chocolate Protein Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, vanilla whey protein, baking soda, salt,
    baking cocoa) together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Splenda, Berry flavored Baby Food,Water)
    together in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
  5. Spray cooking dish with a non stick butter spray and add batter to dish.
  6. Bake 20-30 minutes in oven.

Makes 16 squares, serving size=2 bars

Looking for ways to substitute healthier ingredients?

 Focus on Fat

  • Fats are calorie heavy with 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein have just 4 calories per gram.
  • Read labels to find low-fat and fat-free options for favorites like milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, half-and-half, ice cream and whipped topping. To adjust more easily, make a gradual switch from reduced-fat to low-fat and then on to fat-free ingredients.
  • Use part-skim cheeses, like Mozzarella, instead of higher fat counterparts, or use sharper-flavored cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan, feta or Gorgonzola since their more pungent flavors allow you to use less.
  • Canola, soybean and olive oils are good fats to use for stir-frying, cooking and some baking because they have less saturated fat than many other options.
  • Egg substitutes can replace eggs at a savings of 5 grams of fat each (1/4 cup = 1 large egg).


  • Choose lean and extra-lean ground meats or ground turkey breast.
  • Choose loin and sirloin meats and skinless white-meat poultry.
  • Trim fat from meats before cooking.
  • Cut bacon or sausage amounts in half, or switch to turkey bacon, low-fat sausages or vegetarian alternatives.
  • Cut meat amounts in chilis and casseroles in half; add beans for extra protein and fiber.
  • Blend or process 1/4 to 1/3 of a soup to make it creamy instead of adding cream or thickeners; stir into remaining soup.


  • Try replacing butter with no-trans-fat vegetable oil spread. Or, replace half of the butter with canola oil.
  • Try replacing half the fat with applesauce. Next time, go further if you like the results.
  • Cut chocolate chips in half and use miniature chips to make the flavor go further.
  • Toast nuts for fullest flavor, then use half the amount and chop.
  • Use cooking spray to grease pans; spray cupcake liners to release muffins easily

Punch up the Flavor

  • Fat carries flavor. When fat is reduced or removed, foods can become bland, so it’s important to increase flavorings and/or seasonings to compensate for that lost fat.
  • Use grated or shredded lemon, lime or orange peel, or squeeze fresh juice to heighten flavor.
  • Add high-flavored ingredients like Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, garlic, gingerroot, chili peppers, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, hoisin sauce or other full-flavored condiments.
  • Sprinkle or stir in chopped fresh herbs just before serving to enhance flavors.
  • Double or triple the amount of vanilla, and increase spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg when baking.

Check the Sodium

  • Buy low- or reduced-sodium instead of regular chicken broth, soy sauce, canned foods and prepared pasta sauces.
  • Rinse canned veggies and beans before using.
  • Cut added salt in half or leave it out completely.
  • Instead of salt, use a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice or a splash of high-flavored vinegar.
  • Check the ingredient list on dried herb mixtures to avoid added sodium.

Add Fiber

  • Double the amount of veggies and/or legumes in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, stews and salads to help fill you up.
  • Switch to whole grain pasta, rice and grains.
  • Mix oatmeal or other cereal into burgers and meatballs.
  • Crush high-fiber cereal such as Fiber One® cereal to coat chicken breasts and fish fillets or use as a topping for baked dishes like casseroles or muffins.
  • Replace half the amount of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour when baking


What is Zumba?

For those of you that are unsure of  what Zumba is, this is a brief description for you. I hope it answers any questions you may have.

Zumba is a dance fitness method based on salsa and other
Latin dance moves, performed to Latin and world music beats, and choreographed
to allow people of any fitness or dance experience level to enjoy a fantastic
workout. If you think you’d like an exhilarating class filled with good feelings
and party-like fun, Zumba makes an excellent choice of a group fitness method to
support your fitness goals.

Fat and Calorie Burning

At its core, Zumba classes are intended to provide a
large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training in mind.
Depending on body weight, sex, fitness level and other common physical factors,
the number of calories you burn in a typical Zumba class will equal that of any
fast social dancing hour, such as salsa, disco or jitterbug. For most people,
that can add up to 400 to 600 calories burned per hour. With the classes
choreographed to provide intervals of intensity in both pace of music and type
of movements, class members’ energy expenditure is maximized for fat-burning
benefits. Fitness moves are also incorporated within Zumba dances, so don’t be
surprised if you find yourself moving from a fast merengue beat to a long, slow
set of push-ups on the wall, or doing several sets of squats followed by
plyometric jumps.

Full Body Workout

Zumba is both a dance class and a fitness class. Aside
from its heart-health benefits, Zumba provides a workout for the whole body.
From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body,
to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles, this fitness
method touches on nearly every muscle and joint. Even those who are just
learning the dance steps will find themselves waking up the day after a Zumba
class with a definitive post-workout feeling. Hips and abs receive particular
attention in the Latin dance style, and as with many dance exercise classes,
thighs and butts often end up being sore the day after class. Flexibility is not
ignored in a Zumba class either, with warm-ups and cool-downs a regular part of
Zumba programming.

Fun for Everyone

Zumba classes are winning over fitness enthusiasts from
across the world as Zumba instructors are being certified to teach classes in
record numbers. Owing to popular demand, gyms and studios worldwide are offering
standard Zumba, Zumba Gold for senior citizens, Zumba for kids and even
Aqua-Zumba done in swimming pools. Because Zumba is based on music and dance, it
seems to speak a universal language that people of all nations can related to.
There is no large learning curve in a Zumba class, either. New participants may
receive small-scale steps rehearsals before some longer dances, but in most
cases, first-timers can simply jump right into a class and follow along with the
instructor. Zumba instructors are trained to explain little with words, and
instead use their body and hand motions to indicate which steps will follow, to
keep class plans flowing and easy-to-follow. Whoops and hollers are a regular
occurrence while the dancers have legitimate fun dancing to infectious rhythms
and specialty songs.

So what’s the one reason not to try Zumba?

You probably knew I was going to say this: the only downside is that if you try it, you will love it, and you’ll find yourself scrambling to sign up at the nearest gym no matter the cost, just so you can keep going. So don’t wait any longer….Come join the party!!!




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