Category Archives: Nutrition & Wellness FAQ
Sometimes when I get home from work and am tired and starving I grab the box of Wheat Thins and just go to town!! Taking the time to read the food labels and photograph 100 calories worth of all the snack foods in our pantry was really eye opening to me……..I mean only 11 Wheat Thins! I bet I can and do eat 40 in one sitting!! Ok check out these images of what 100 calories looks like and then I will share some healthy snacking tips.
Healthy Snacking Tips
- Just don’t buy the bad stuff. Avoid purchasing crackers, chips, cookies, etc. All of these processed foods lack any real nutrients and are packed full of calories. If these foods are not in your home, you will not be tempted to eat them. (If I could just get my husband to stop buying all these terrible snacks…)
- If you do have some high calorie snack items that you want to enjoy, prepare yourself single servings. Read the label and count out 100 calories of your snack item and package these servings individually. This way you will not mindlessly eat out of the box/bag. This is a major calorie saving technique.
- If you like cookies, try this little trick; buy or prepare cookie dough and freeze or refrigerate it, when you are craving a cookie, bake ONE cookie. This way you are not left with 11 extra cookies just tempting you to devour them!
- Stock your refrigerator with healthy low calorie snack items such as; cut up veggies and fruit. If this food is easily visible and already prepared you will be more likely to choose these healthy options when you want a snack.
- Lastly, employ the apple test. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough to eat an apple?” If the answer is “No”, you are not truly hungry and don’t need a snack. Have a glass of water and continue with your day 🙂 This is really helpful in eliminating boredom snacking.
Even as a dietitian there are times I am overwhelmed by all the products on the market that claim nutrition and health benefits. I was reminded of this when I recently visited the big Whole Foods store in Dallas (you know the one up North that is ginormous). As I walked the aisles, I was amazed at the number of products that were new and unfamiliar to me and so I came up with the idea to select one of these mysterious products, do a little research and share with you what I learned here on the blog.
I chose Kombucha today because I actually have been drinking the ginger flavor Kombucha tea for a while now. Besides telling you that I like the taste (it tastes like ginger ale) and find it refreshing, I could not have shared much more about what Kombucha is or what it’s potential health benefits are………until now.
Kombucha is a fermented tea made with sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although, it is sometimes called “mushroom” tea, Kombucha is not a mushroom, it is a colony of bacteria and yeast. Most accurately, Kombucha is a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts).
Kombucha is believed to have originated in China, used for thousands of years as an elixir to treat illness. Kombucha also had a strong presence in Russia during the 19th century. The fermented tea first arrived in the US during the 1990’s, but lost popularity after the CDC linked the drink to one man’s death. In 2003 – 2004 the drink made its return when Whole Foods began distributing the tea nationally.
Health benefits attributed to Kombucha include improved digestive health, boosted immune system and cancer prevention……oh and some even claim it makes their hair grow faster. It should be noted that available scientific evidence does not support claims that Kombucha tea promotes good health, prevents any ailments, or works to treat cancer or any other disease (1).
There have been a few reports of adverse consequences from Kombucha, mainly stomach upset and allergic reactions. Anyone with a serious medical condition or who is taking medication should consult their doctor before drinking Kombucha.
So what do I think? There is not enough scientific evidence to make me strongly for or against Kombucha, there are many studies in preliminary phases so maybe in a year or so I will have a more formed opinion. Considering that Kombucha does contain calories (the ginger tea has about 60 per bottle) I will probably limit the amount I indulge in this fizzy, fermented tea. As always, water is and will remain the best way to hydrate one’s self!
1. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietandnu