Luella Morehouse, NDSU Extension Service
What is the main reason people choose the foods they do? Are you thinking about nutrition, food safety or cost? All of these play a role, but taste or flavor is the top reason.
I have heard that potassium is important for heart health. Why is it needed and what foods contain it? Potassium has many jobs in our body. It helps our heart beat, our muscles move and our nerves fire. Having enough potassium in our diet may keep our blood pressure at a healthy level. In fact, by cutting back on sodium in our diet and increasing potassium-rich foods, we may protect ourselves from stroke. However, do not take a potassium supplement unless your health care provider recommends it.
What’s your favorite soup? Do you like vegetable beef, chicken noodle or turkey-wild rice soup, to name a few? Having a bowl of steaming soup can improve our nutrition and be good for our waistlines. C an eating soup help us manage our weight? Researchers at Penn State University compared the effects of two diets on 71 obese women ages 22 to 60. One diet was low in fat, while the other was low in fat and high in “water-rich foods.” Water-rich foods include soup, fruits and vegetables.
The holidays are just around the corner, and often turkey is the main course. How much do you know about turkey food safety and nutrition? This quiz is based on information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Turkey Federation. 1. About how many pounds of turkey are eaten per person per year in the U.S.? (Turkey is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, by the way.) A. 7 pounds B. 16 pounds C. 24 pounds
You've probably heard time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and fuels your body for the entire day. After your body has been fasting overnight, breakfast provides the energy your body and brain need to start the day off right. Mornings can be busy when you're trying to get ready for work, getting the kids ready for school and making sure everybody gets breakfast. So take just a few minutes to make sure you fit breakfast into your hectic schedule because it will make a big difference in your day.
What’s on your lunch menu? Do you buy lunch or make it at home? For kids, meals at school are a bargain, but sometimes kids may want a change of pace with a homemade lunch. For adults, purchased lunches at a nearby restaurant can add up to a hefty price tag. According to one study, the average purchased lunch costs about $8. During a five-day work week, that adds up to $40 per week – or more than $2,000 per year.
During the spring, many people take steps to clean their closets, garages and kitchens. Have you ever had to throw out food that has become moldy in your fridge? Have any of your packaged foods lost their appealing taste or color because they were “lost” in the back of a cupboard? Have you bought a large package of food because it had a lower “unit price” and you or your family became tired of the food? Most of us have had to toss food. No one likes to waste food because food costs money. These are several ideas to help avoid food waste and throwing your money in the trash.
Do you look forward to the green grass, red and yellow tulips and all of the other beautiful, blooming colors of spring? In honor of nature’s rebirth and the beauty around us, let’s consider how to maintain healthy vision. April has two national observances for eye health: Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Eat healthy. Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate, especially brightly colored fruit and vegetables. Consider your eyes if you plant a garden, and when you write your grocery list or visit a farmers market this summer.
March is National Nutrition Month, and that’s a great time to take steps to develop a healthy eating plan as we move toward spring. Ask yourself these questions and answer “yes,” “no” or “I’m trying.” Track your answers for the scoring at the end. Do you make half your plate veggies and fruits? Choose red, orange and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Do you include lean proteins in your menus? Choose protein foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, seafood, turkey, beans, lentils or tofu.