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Benefits of Coconut Water

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Coconut water not only tastes delicious but it is extremely good for you in so many ways.  Here are just a few:

Benefits of Coconut Water

  • Coconut water is much healthier than orange juice because it has much fewer calories.
  • Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk because it has less fat and no cholesterol.
  • Coconut water is better than processed baby milk because it contains lauric acid, which is present in mother's milk.
  • Coconut water is a universal donor and is identical to human blood plasma.
  • Coconut water is naturally sterile.
  • Coconut water is a naturally isotonic beverage; the same level that we have in our blood.
  • Coconut water has saved lives in Third World Countries through Coconut IV.

Food for Thought: Ways to Avoid Comfort Eating

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Overeating seems to be inevitable this time of year. The stress that comes with shopping, cleaning, and cooking make it easy to turn to food for relief. Resisting the urge to eat because of emotions rather than to satisfy hunger can be difficult. Here are some tips to avoid comfort eating during the holidays:

How to Avoid Comfort Eating

Continue usual routines: Sticking to an everyday schedule helps to keep anxiety at bay. If you only eat three meals and a snack before the holidays, keep it that way. Working out can also divert you from the tempting leftovers in the refrigerator. It helps your mind stay active and distracted.

Identify your triggers: Knowing what specifically drives you to emotional eating can make an incredible difference. Stress and boredom are the main causes for most people. Keeping

yourself calm yet entertained can significantly reduce the want to munch on some unhealthy treats.

Respond, not react: After immediately having a craving, most of us go straight to the pantry to fulfill it. Allowing yourself to take a moment and think about what you are about to do and the guilt you will have afterwards can stop the craving all together. Have some nutritious snacks ready and waiting, so during that pause, you have the time to remember that you have a healthier option.

Moderation: There must be a balance in your meal plans. Sometimes, it can be impossible to avoid the comfort foods, so only have a small portion. Giving yourself a taste of what you have been yearning for can satisfy those cravings without blowing your diet.

In the News: Understanding High Fructose Corn Syrup

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It seems that one of the most asked questions these days is high fructose corn syrup worse for you than regular sugar.  Well, according to studies, last year alone Americans consumed 27 pounds of high fructose corn syrup, after all it can be found nearly everywhere including the fruit on the bottom of your yogurt and in many whole wheat breads.

High Fructose corn syrup

While that number is down from the 37.5 pounds consumed per person back in 1999, it seems that most Americans are filling in those remaining calories and pounds by adding in good old-fashioned sugar.

Normal table sugar is made up of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. But since fructose is sweeter than glucose many manufacturers increased the ratio, to inexpensively hook their consumers.  High fructose corn syrup contains 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.

Because it is sweeter, people who eat foods high in high fructose corn syrup it may cause overeating and weight gain.  Studies have also shown that high fructose corn syrup may also contain varying amounts of mercury.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy stated that “mercury was present in nearly a third of 55 popular brand name food and beverages in which high fructose corn syrup was the first or second ingredient on the label.”

It is important to be a good label reader and avoid foods that list high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient on the label. Even if an item is marked “natural” or in the health food aisle, it still can contain high fructose corn syrup as a main ingredient.

Even though table sugar isn't as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup, it can still wreak havoc on your diet and weight loss goals.  Indulge in sugary items as a treat or only on special occasions, instead of at every meal.

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Cranberries

Written by Lisa Jillanza

  • Cranberries contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. They also include only 45 calories per cup.
  • Cranberry's juice can be used for the prevention of urinary tract infections and bacterial adhesion in the stomach.
  • The same bacteria preventing ability of the cranberry juice can avert the formation of plaque, which leads to fewer cavities.
Health Benefits of Cranberries

Recipe: Easy Cranberry Bread

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon, rind of
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 3/4 cups cranberries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add egg, finely grated orange peel, lemon peel, and orange juice all at once; carefully stir until the mixture is evenly moist. Fold in cranberries. Spoon and spread evenly into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
Optional: Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. Pick out and discard any damaged or bruised cranberries. Put the water and sugar in a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the cranberries to the pot and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst.  Once the cranberries have burst you can leave the cranberry sauce as is or dress it up with other ingredients. We like to mix in a half a cup of chopped pecans with a few strips of orange zest. Some people like adding raisins or currants, or even blueberries for added sweetness. You can also add holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. Remove the pot from heat. Let cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator.

Food 101: Choosing a Safe Fish

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Whether you celebrate the feast of seven fishes on Christmas Eve, or if you are just looking to eat healthier, many people will be checking out the seafood aisles this season.  While choosing the perfect fish can be a little confusing at times, it boils down to choosing a fish with the least amount of mercury.  Mercury in fish has been linked to brain and nervous system damage. Here are some ways to keep your mercury levels in check:

Selecting a Safe Fish

  • Pass on shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish as these fish have longer life spans and tend to eat other fish, absorbing the mercury in their prey.
  • Eat approximately 12 ounces a week of canned light tuna, Pollock, salmon and catfish because they tend to have a shorter life span and feed on aquatic plants, worms and insects.

Check out your state's website to determine how mercury-laden the local fish can be.