Healthy Vending Machine Snacks
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The wrong snack from the vending machine can easily deliver an entire meal's worth of calories and fat. But most vending machines these days are stocked with a number of somewhat healthy foods. Learn how to spot the best (and worst) picks now!
Transcript: Attempting to outsmart the vending machine usually ends in one of two ways. You walk away hungry or disappointed...
Attempting to outsmart the vending machine usually ends in one of two ways. You walk away hungry or disappointed or you hit D6, grab your candy bar and scurry back to work. If you have no choice but to indulge, you may as well go all the way, right? Not so fast. Most vending machines these days are stocked with a number of somewhat solid snacks. You just need to know what to look for. Let's start with that candy bar. It's true that research shows the healthy fats in peanuts may improve heart health, but I can guarantee you the people in those studies were not eating peanuts covered in chocolate and caramel. If you're set on chocolate, minty candies tend to be the best choice for an occasional treat. If any sweet will satisfy you, look for a Rice Krispies Treat. Since the bulk of the bar is cereal, it won't set you up for calorie overload when dinner time hits - but remember it's still a treat. You may think candy like licorices are a good choice because they say "a low fat candy" right on the label. But the truth is, they're little more than ropes of high-fructose corn syrup. You're much better off choosing Fruit Snacks made with 100% real fruit and fortified with vitamins C, A and E. It's about as close to real fruit as you can get at the vending machine but remember, its still a treat. When you want something salty, don't let labels like "made from whole grains" or "100% real cheese" fool you. For example, Cheez-Its are actually higher in calories than most average bags of greasy potato chips. Smarter salty snacks include: Goldfish crackers, pretzels, or a combo of crackers and cheese. The small serving sizes will hold you over until dinner and keep you from mindlessly munching through 10-serving bag. Still, there's one vending machine snack that beats all the rest -- honey roasted peanuts. The peanuts win because they're loaded with protein, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which may even be more than you can say about a snack you'd pack from home. Just remember they do have added sugars and sodium, so you don't want to eat this snack every day. Remember this the next time the afternoon slump sets in, and you'll now be able to make much better choices. For more tips on how to eat healthy when you're away from home, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-24 | Tags »
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There are several helpful tips to healthy restaurant dining. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: Monitoring your weight doesn't mean that you can't enjoy an evening on the town! Keep watching for ten...
Monitoring your weight doesn't mean that you can't enjoy an evening on the town! Keep watching for ten easy tips that will ensure your dining experience is a healthy one. Most Americans eat out four to five times a week. If you're watching your weight, that doesn't mean you can't join them! A few simple tips make it easy to exercise restraint so you can dine at a restaurant without a side of guilt. Let's start with a simple tip. Before leaving home, ask yourself this question: Which will I enjoy most: an appetizer, a cocktail or dessert. A. After you make a selection, stick to your resolve. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your favorite part of dining out, B. but be smart - indulge in what you really want, and practice restraint elsewhere. These days, restaurant portions are bigger than ever. The average restaurant meal is usually 5 times the FDA recommended size for a full meal! When you are eating out, remember that portion size is important! How much food you eat is almost as important as what you eat. A great way to watch your intake is to set aside a reasonable amount of food before you start eating. You can ask for a separate plate or a to-go container to help you portion your food. Another means to control restaurant indulgence is to ask for toppings, dressings and sauces on the side. Doing this allows you to enjoy exotic flavors while still controlling how much you consume. Whenever you can, ask for extra vegetables to be added to your dish. Not only are veggies a healthy choice, they're also rich in fiber, so they leave you filling full fast! Avoid all-you-can eat deals and buffet restaurants. Studies have shown that most of us eat up to 25 percent more when the price is all-inclusive, simply because we want to get more bang for our buck. And watch your liquid calories! A restaurant-sized soda with one free refill will set you back 400 calories. And an 8-ounce margarita has five-hundred and forty calories! A better bet is to replace that soda with water and lemon. Instead of a highly caloric mixed drink, try a glass of wine instead, which has about 110 calories. When you're eating out, look for waist-friendly words on the menu. Steamed, baked, grilled, broiled or poached are all likely to be healthier options. An insider restaurant tip is to make friends with salsa. This low-calorie, tasty treat is a great topper for potatoes, chicken, fish, and even salads! Remember that restaurant-dining is about customer-service. Most chefs will be happy to cater to your dietary needs. Ask to speak to a chef, or explain to your waiter that you'd prefer a lighter preparation. Eating out doesn't have to mean missing out! By choosing wisely, you can find a meal to enjoy at any restaurant.More »
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Finding a healthy meal or snack at the airport can seem like a lost cause. But major airport restaurants do offer at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free option. You just need to know where to look.
Transcript: These days, finding healthy food in the airport is just as hard as finding a roundtrip ticket for less...
These days, finding healthy food in the airport is just as hard as finding a roundtrip ticket for less than $300. And since making it through security is an accomplishment in itself - it's easy to throw healthy eating habits out with your liquids and find comfort in a big juicy cheeseburger and fries. You're on vacation so it's okay to let go a little, right? That may be a fine excuse every once in a while, but for frequent fliers, it's a quick way to pack on the pounds. Not to mention the countless health problems tied to being overweight. Just think about the options in a typical terminal. You can almost always find a sports bar, a deli, a coffee or bagel shop - certainly one of the major fast-food chain and maybe a sit-down restaurant like Chili's or Applebee's. It's basically a gastronomic high-security shopping mall. But wait - you're diet is not doomed!! According to a recent survey from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 80 percent of major airport restaurants offer at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free option. The hard part is finding it. Lucky for you, I can help with that. For an early morning departure, you may not have a lot of options. But since even the smallest airports have a coffee shop, remember these general rules: Nutritionally speaking, nothing beats a regular cup of coffee or unsweetened tea. But if your regular caffeine fix is a little fancier, stick with skim milk, sugar-free syrups and no whip cream. Ordering your latte with sugar-free syrup and no whip cream knocks off about 37 grams of sugar. That's more sugar than you'd find in three glazed cinnamon donuts from crispy cream. Speaking of doughnuts, along with bagels and muffins, they may be appealing for their portability, but that's not a good enough reason to settle for their processed carbohydrates and lack of nutrients. You almost always have the option of high-fiber oatmeal or a sensible breakfast sandwich. Look for one with protein - think eggs or ham - so you'll stay full during your flight. And always choose an English muffin as the outer shell. Most bagels have about 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates. For afternoon or evening flights, you have a new set of options. Every airport food court seems to have its token on-the-go Chinese chain. It may be a Manchu Wok, Panda Express, or the regional favorite, but my advice is the same for all: Skip rice and noodles and opt for double vegetables and only one ladle of a protein selection. You'll save hundreds of calories AND add a ton of nutrients. To keep the strands from sticking together, most Chinese noodles are made with a lot of oil. And unfortunately, the oil used tends to be less healthy oil. Even if you find yourself in a tiny airport, it's almost guaranteed that there's a McDonald's. The fast food favorite actually has a number of acceptable orders on the menu. Snack wraps are one of the most popular additions to the menu, and as long as you stick to the grilled versions sans mayo, they're also one of the healthier choices. And when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth on the fly, McDonald's snack size Fruit and Walnut salad is a great mix of protein, fat and fiber .The nuts and fiber from fruit will keep you satiated. As long as you know where to look, you can find healthy food at the airport and return from any trip just as trim as you were during takeoff. For more tips on how to eat healthy when you're away from home, check out other videos on this site.More »
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Latest research shows that alcohol increases cravings for greasy and fatty foods. Watch this video and decide for yourself can happy hour be healthy?
Transcript: When someone decides they want to lose weight and improve their diet, alcohol is usually one of the first...
When someone decides they want to lose weight and improve their diet, alcohol is usually one of the first things to go. And it's no secret why. The average serving of one ounce of alcohol, which is less than one shot glass, has about 90 calories. When you add sugary mixers like fruit juice and sodas, the calorie count goes through the roof. For many people, though, the real fear may be that they won't be able to resist the greasy food that goes so well with those drinks - since alcohol blurs our impulse control. Unfortunately, that fear is justified for another reason. A new study published in the Journal of The American Dietetic Association found that drinking alcohol releases a hormone in the brain that prompts cravings for fatty foods. So even if a grilled chicken salad is on the menu, you'll still be more likely to dive into a basket of fries. Of course, you don't have to sit at home every night to avoid gaining weight, and you don't have to commit to a life of vodka sodas or white wine spritzer. If your coworkers invite you to grab a beer after work, you can almost always order a bottle with less than 100 calories. MGD 64--Beck's Premier Light-- Amstel Light--- Miller Lite and Budweiser Select all make the cut. But if you prefer a little more flavor, Guinness Draught is your best bet with just 126 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. When it comes to wine, most glasses have about 120 calories, but only red wine has an antioxidant called resveratrol that may help you live longer and prevent cancer and heart disease. To get the most reservatol possible, order a glass of pinot noir. Mixed drinks have potential for diet disaster. The worst example is a Long Island Ice Tea. With five different liquors, a huge shot of high-fructose corn syrup from the sweet-and-sour mix, and Coke -- one glass can actually have more calories than a slice of cheesecake. In terms of calories alone, your best bets are a mojito, a vodka soda, or a glass of champagne. But in terms of overall health, there's nothing better than a bloody mary. You get a couple of servings of vegetables from the tomato juice, plus a healthy punch of lycopene, a potent cancer-fighting antioxidant. The bottom line is that happy hour has the potential to be a positive and negative experience for your body. According to most experts, enjoying one drink a day can possibly reduce your risk of heart disease. So go ahead and accept that invitation to happy hour - Just select wisely and watch how many you have. For more tips on how to eat healthy when you're away from home, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-07 | Tags »
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Tomatoes are easy to throw in a salad or eat on their own, and they're super good for you. How super? Watch this video to find out why tomatoes are super foods.
Transcript: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a substance that provides a host of feel-good benefits to you! Among their...
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a substance that provides a host of feel-good benefits to you! Among their many talents, tomatoes can help lower the risk of developing prostate and pancreatic cancers, act as antioxidants to destroy harmful free radicals, and reduce heart disease risk. If you weren't already convinced, a cup of tomatoes only has 35 calories, so it's also a smart snack!More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-08 | Tags »
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Men and women are different -- at least their bodies are. Watch this video to learn the nutrition needs for men.
Transcript: It doesn't take a scientific study to prove that men and women are different in a lot of ways But it...
It doesn't take a scientific study to prove that men and women are different in a lot of ways But it may require a little research to know exactly what those differences mean in terms of your dietary needs Gender specific formularies can confuse even the most health-conscious eaters, so we're going to make this as straightforward as possible. Men are generally larger and have more muscle mass than women, so their daily nutrition requirements are greater. It's really that simple. But you'll need a little more detail to find out if you're meeting or exceeding your daily needs, which brings us to the first rule of male nutrition -- Men need to eat more calories than women. The exact number that's best for you depends on your lean body mass and daily activities. In one day, men need about 14 calories for every pound of lean body mass. Lean body mass refers to the sum of the weight of your bones, muscles and organs. Basically, it's everything in your body that's not fat. The typical 180-pound man who has 17% body fat would have 150 pounds of lean muscle and need 2,100 calories per day at rest. On days that you exercise, you might add 300 to 500 calories, bringing the total up to about 2,500. Second, a man's protein needs may be greater than a woman's, especially if you're active and trying to build muscle mass. The generally accepted formula for how much protein men should eat every day is one gram per 2.2 pounds of body weight. So, that same 180-pound guy eating 2,1000 calories per day should get about 82 grams of protein in his diet each day--which isn't always easy. High-protein snacks such as cup cottage cheese and fruit, a can of tuna, one tablespoon of peanut butter or even beef jerky can help you meet your daily needs when you don't have time to cook. But if you're going to snack on beef jerky, try to stick to versions from the health food store, because convenience-store brands are often high in salt. Finally, men need to reintroduce themselves to calcium, and stop thinking of osteoporosis as a "woman's disease". Research shows that approximately 20 percent of osteoporosis-related fractures occur in men. But be careful not to take in too much calcium Studies have linked high levels of calcium in men to increased risk of prostate cancer. The recommend amount is 800 mg of calcium per day, which you can easily get from 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy such as milk, yogurt, and cheese or from nondairy sources including: kale, broccoli, salmon, spinach or whole-wheat bread. For men trying to build muscle, there's even more motivation to pour yourself a glass of milk. Research shows that the combination whey and casein, 2 high-quality proteins in milk, helps your body build muscle. In fact, a 2006 study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that low-fat chocolate milk is as good as or better than Gatorade for replacing glucose in tired muscles after a workout, helping you recover faster. To learn more about nutrition and how choosing the right foods can improve your life, check out more videos on this site.More »
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Nutritional needs for women are different from those of men for several important reasons. Watch this video to find out which vitamins and minerals you should be consuming if you're female.
Transcript: Nutritionally speaking, men and women don't start out all that differently. But like many things, a woman's...
Nutritionally speaking, men and women don't start out all that differently. But like many things, a woman's dietary needs completely change when she hits puberty. Adult women generally need to eat fewer calories than men. Sound unfair? Blame it on body composition. Women tend to be smaller and have higher fat percentages than their muscular male counterparts. Since muscle takes more calories to maintain than fat, even when they sit around doing nothing, men are burning more calories. The average female needs 1600 to 2000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight, but you may need a little more if you're highly active. By "highly active." I mean you take part in a vigorous level of activity for 60 minutes most days of the week. If you're working so hard that you can't say more than a few words at a time, that's a vigorous level of activity. The second rule of women's nutrition concerns their need for more than twice as much iron as men. The blood that women loose during menstruation each month often leads to iron deficiency. Studies show that women with low iron have to use more effort to do the same amount of physical work than women who are not iron deficient. So, they end up feeling exhausted and unable to perform at their best. For women under 50, the recommended daily amount of iron is 18 milligrams. Lean meat, low-mercury fish and skinless poultry are the most obvious sources of iron, but spinach, chard, beans, lentils and oatmeal are great alternatives for vegetarians. For the over-achievers out there, up the amount of iron your body absorbs by combining it with vitamin C. It's as simple as drinking a glass of OJ with your oatmeal in the morning or adding a side of broccoli to your dinner. Men and women can both benefit from the B-vitamin folate, or folic acid, which has been linked to better heart health and protection against colon cancer. The daily recommended intake of folic acid for men and women is 400 micrograms. But for women who are either pregnant or trying to get pregnant, the daily recommended value increases to about 600 micrograms of folic acid. This is because folate can greatly reduce the chances of neurological birth defects. A new animal study on folate suggests that high levels of the B-vitamin may prevent heart birth defects induced by alcohol exposure in early pregnancy, a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome. The researchers have yet to replicate their results in humans, but even so, it's nearly impossible to overstate the need for women to get sufficient folate before and during pregnancy. A lot of breakfast cereals are fortified with 100 percent of your daily value, so you can easily hit your mark before noon. As with all supplements and medicines, there are potential side effects with improper use of folic acid. Recent studies suggest that an excess of folate may raise the risk of breast and colon cancers. But there's no risk in overdosing on the natural form of this vitamin, which is the kind you get from foods like leafy greens, beans and orange juice. Just avoid getting too much from fortified sources like cereal and supplements. To learn more about nutrition and how choosing the right foods can improve your life, check out more videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-07 | Tags »
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Many people think that all fats are bad, but there are certain fats that are actually healthy. Watch this video to learn about the good fats and the bad fats.
Transcript: If no one knew smoking was unhealthy, people would never quit. Well, the same principle applies to your...
If no one knew smoking was unhealthy, people would never quit. Well, the same principle applies to your food. You may think you're doing your body a world of good by eliminating all fat from your diet -- but the truth is you may be missing out on important health benefits tied to certain types of fat--the "good" fats. Fat is the umbrella term for harmful fats like saturated fat and trans fat, as well as healthy fats likes monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. What makes a fat "good" or" bad" from one perspective is how it affects the level of cholesterol in your blood. Studies show that eating too much saturated fat and trans fat - the "bad" fats - can increase your risk for developing certain diseases--mainly heart disease. Mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, can actually lower your risk for heart disease and other chronic diseases. The United States Department of Agriculture recently reported that 11 to 12 percent of American's total daily calories are coming from the saturated fat in the food choices they are eating. That's way too much - the American Heart Association recommends that anyone older than 2 years should limit their saturated-fat intake to less than 7 percent of their total daily calories. So, where's all that "bad" fat coming from? Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and full-fat dairy products all contain saturated fats. But, of course, you shouldn't completely eliminate these foods from your diet. Choosing lean meats and low-fat and fat free dairy products, and removing the skin from chicken and turkey before eating are good all ways to reduce saturate-fat intake. For example, 3 ounces of extra-lean ground beef has about 2.6 grams of saturated fat while 3 ounces of regular ground beef has 6.1 grams of saturated fat. And whole milk has about 3 times the amount of saturated fat as low-fat (1%) milk. Now - what about those "good" fats? Mono-unsaturated fats are found in nuts like macadamia nuts and hazelnuts, seeds, and certain plant oils. Research has found that certain amounts of these healthy fats can help decrease "bad" cholesterol - LDL -- and increase "good" cholesterol, or HDL. Olive oil and avocadoes are other good sources of this healthy fat. Foods that deliver the most omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, walnuts, salmon and sardines. These healthy fats may play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of health conditions - heart disease, diabetes, migraine headaches, depression - the list goes on. Even healthy fats need portion control,--so here's a general guideline: Limit your total fat intake to 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories For someone on a 2000-calorie diet, that's about 44 to 65 grams of total fat a day. And emphasize fats from healthier sources like nuts and olive, canola and nut oils. Also: Don't forget to watch out for trans fats - the most dangerous fat. Trans fats have been shown to raise "bad" cholesterol and lower "good" cholesterol. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, so they're typically found in French fries, cookies, chips, crackers and some microwave popcorns and peanut butters. The bottom line is that all fats are not created equal-- certain types are unhealthy and the right amounts of others CAN provide a lot of benefits to your health. Just remember that eating too much fat --can contribute to weight gain. For more tips on how to upgrade your diet, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-25 | Tags »
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Feeling the midday slump is almost inevitable. But before you order a shot of espresso or crack open an energy drink, watch this video for some healthier ways to boost your energy with these energy foods.
Transcript: In Spanish cultures, everyone leaves work for a few hours in the afternoon to "rest and rejuvenate" -...
In Spanish cultures, everyone leaves work for a few hours in the afternoon to "rest and rejuvenate" - so they can come back strong for a few more hours of hard work. There's even a name for it - the siesta. Sadly, an afternoon nap isn't quite as normal in the American working world, so feeling the midday slump is almost inevitable. But before you order a double-shot of espresso - or crack open a carbonated energy drink - you may want to consider what you're really pouring into your body And then consider some alternative ways to boost your energy. Sugar-packed energy drinks are loaded with stimulants like caffeine, guarana and taurine - which have been known to increase the "stickiness" of blood and raise the risk of blood clots. A team of researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit linked energy drink consumption to increased heart rate AND high blood pressure. As a result, the American Heart Association warns that anyone with cardiovascular problems -- should avoid or at least cut back on energy drinks. Instead, turn to foods like soy nuts, watermelon and low-fat dairy for an added boost! Soy nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your whole body, but especially your circulatory system. Studies have shown these fatty acids can help lower cholesterol levels and relieve stress on your arteries. Watermelon is dripping with four essential nutrients that can help fight fatigue, including: vitamin C, lycopene, iron and potassium. Arizona State University researchers found that vitamin C helps the body absorb nutrients - resulting in higher energy levels and an increased ability to burn fat. Not to mention, watermelon is a great source of water - and hydration and energy go hand-in-hand. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese are also high-energy foods because they're packed with zinc. Studies show that zinc plays an important role in at least 80 reactions in your body that increase energy. Zinc also rids your muscles of carbon dioxide, which can cause fatigue. One cup of low-fat yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts or flaxseed is a great afternoon snack to help you power through your workday. To learn more about how nutrient-rich foods can improve every part of your body, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Studies show that you are more likely to gain weight when under stress. However, there are some stress fighting foods that can help. Learn more from this video.
Transcript: In our world of pinging inboxes, ringing phones, and rising prices, stress is just a part of life. Unfortunately,...
In our world of pinging inboxes, ringing phones, and rising prices, stress is just a part of life. Unfortunately, though, it comes with some nasty side effects. A 2008 British study found that stressed-out people are 54 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks and stroke. And more research shows that stress spikes levels of the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to store fat. In other words, the more stressed you are the more likely you are to gain weight. But only if you're eating the wrong foods or ones that are notoriously high in processed carbs unhealthy fat and preservatives. The RIGHT foods, on the other hand, may not only relieve stress, but they can also help you lost weight. Leafy green vegetables, almonds and low-fat cottage cheese are 3 stress-fighting foods that you can easily squeeze into your diet. Leafy greens such as arugala, chard and spinach are rich in the B vitamins that help produce feel-good hormones in your brain. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing found that a LACK of vitamin B6 can cause nervousness, irritability, even depression. Crunching on a serving of almonds can obviously help relieve that stress that builds up in your jaw, but it's the vitamins you're sinking your teeth into, that really do the trick. Almonds are packed with vitamins B and E, as well as magnesium, zinc, and the hormone serotonin. Stress hormones can deplete your body's supply of magnesium, reducing your ability to cope with everyday pressures. So eating almonds can help settle your nerves. For a cold stress-fighting snack, combine berries with a half-cup of low-fat cottage cheese. The protein and calcium in cottage cheese will keep you feeling full, and the vitamin C from the berries act as antioxidants. Not to mention, a half-cup of low-fat cottage cheese is only 79 calories. Now while you're adding these stress-fighting foods into your diet, you may also want to cut back on foods that may tend to cause stress and weight gain like Sugar, caffeine and alcohol. A can of soda might seem like a good idea when you're stressed, but a study from the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drink 2 and a half cans of soda a day are THREE TIMES more likely to be depressed and anxious when compared to those who drink less. Remember, living a stress-free life is as easy as eating a spinach and almond salad for lunch. To learn more about how nutrient-rich foods can improve every part of your body, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Wouldn’t it be great if we could cheer up just by eating something? Well, that dream has come true. To learn more about mood foods that help, click here.
Transcript: It's probably "not so comforting to hear" that most of our favorite comfort foods are high in calories...
It's probably "not so comforting to hear" that most of our favorite comfort foods are high in calories and saturated fat. A typical grilled cheese sandwich, for example, has 18 grams of saturated fat from the butter and oily cheese ingredients. And one Chicken Pot Pie from Kentucky Fried Chicken has 13 grams of saturated fat, with a total fat count of 42 grams. Just think that one meal will cost you almost an entire day's worth of saturated fat. So the next time you're feeling blue, find comfort in foods that can boost your mood without making you feel like you need to hit the gym. Spinach, garlic and dark chocolate each have their own special way of increasing levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin acts as a link between neurons and cells in the brain triggering responses that can boost mood and help you relax. Researchers at Indiana University found that low levels of serotonin can lead to depression, anxiety and excess anger. Since spinach is loaded with folic acid, a nutrient that aids in the production of serotonin, it can actually put a smile on your face. The more folic acid you have in your diet, the more balanced your mood will become, while feelings of anger and depression decrease. While spinach will boost your happiness, garlic can help you feel more relaxed and calm. Research has found that enzymes in garlic can help increase the release of serotonin, that feel good neurotransmitter. It's easy to add more garlic to your diet by tossing a few extra cloves into your next pasta sauce or healthy stir-fry. Unlike our first two mood foods, dark chocolate supplies the same quick euphoric rush you're used to when eating comfort foods. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and it contains a mild mood elevator called PEA or phenyl-ethylamine, which is found in high concentrations in happy people. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and increase flow of blood to the brain. In one Italian study, people who ate dark chocolate every day for two weeks showed decreased blood pressure levels, compared to those who had nibbled on white chocolate. Look for chocolate that is 60 percent cocoa or higher and remember portion control. To learn more about the best foods for every part of your body, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Eating the right foods is just as important as hitting the gym to lift weights when it comes to training. Click here to learn all about the best muscle building foods.
Transcript: When it comes to building muscle, there's no better place to start than in the kitchen. Yes, lifting...
When it comes to building muscle, there's no better place to start than in the kitchen. Yes, lifting weights is important, too, but by eating the right foods, you can help your muscles recover faster, increase in size and grow stronger after every workout. So if you're ready to whip up a batch of biceps or lean legs, just add chicken, yogurt and quinoa to your shopping list. A skinless chicken breast is one of the leanest sources of protein you can eat. A single serving delivers 26 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. And since chicken breast is also cheap and easy to cook, there's really no excuse for not embracing it. Yogurt works double duty. The combination of protein and carbohydrates helps your muscles recover after a workout and restores energy levels. Yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid, a special type of fat proven to help reduce belly fat. According to research, though, this only happened in people who paired their yogurt with a balanced diet and moderate exercise five days a week. Quinoa, the next muscle food on our list, has been called one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Why? It has about twice the protein of regular cereal grains, fewer carbohydrates and it's packed with all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. On top of all that, it's a grain that can make a delicious side dish and it's easy to prepare. You might also want to consider how coffee can help when working on your muscle mass. Researchers at the Australian Institute of Sport found that having caffeine before a workout reduces the feeling of fatigue. And drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee triggers the muscles to start using fat as an energy source, rather than carbohydrate sugars. So it's not surprising that the International Olympic Committee lists caffeine as a banned substance. To learn more about the best foods for every part of your body, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Stomach fat can put you at risk for heart disease, but there are foods you can eat to help cut the inches. Watch this video to learn more about flat belly foods.
Transcript: Ask any 4 people to name their LEAST favorite body part, and at least one of them will say their belly....
Ask any 4 people to name their LEAST favorite body part, and at least one of them will say their belly. That's the conclusion from a recent Health and Beauty Survey conducted by American Laser Center. But the concern over belly fat is more serious than not looking good in your bathing suit. Research shows that abdominal fat, or visceral fat, leads to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancers. The problem's not just too much fatty food or not enough exercise. Poor sleep habits, stress, and sneaky trans fats in packaged foods can all contribute to a soft fatty stomach. But don't worry - you don't need to transform your entire life for a flat stomach. You just need to fine-tune your diet. To start, eat fewer refined and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels and muffins and then to replace those foods add in a mix of proteins, monounsaturated fats and foods high in antioxidants. Beans are an amazing source of protein, and since they come in a lot of varieties, you'll never get bored. The protein in navy, kidney and lima beans has a high thermic effect on the body, which means your metabolism speeds up since you're using a large amount of energy to digest and use the protein. They're also a source of meat-free protein, meaning no artery-clogging saturated fat. To loose belly fat, 25 to 30 percent of your total calorie intake should come from lean protein sources. When Danish researchers put 65 people on either a 12 percent protein diet or a 25 percent protein diet, the low-protein group lost an average of 11 pounds, which isn't bad. But the high-protein subjects lost an average of 20 pounds - including twice as much belly fat as the low-protein group. Studies also show that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats may help prevent belly fat. Monounsaturated fats come from the healthy oils found in plant foods such as olives, nuts, and avocadoes.Peanut butter counts, too. Two tablespoons of peanut butter offer 7.9 grams of monounsaturated fat and 22.4 mg of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Just be sure to choose natural peanut butters. The label should showcase only one or two ingredients: peanuts and a bit of salt. Many brands add partially hydrogenated oils in their products meaning they come packed with harmful trans fat. Any remember to keep your servings in check. Eating too much of even the healthiest of foods can undo their healthful benefits. If you have trouble fitting these "flat-belly foods" into your meals and snacks, keep a box of green tea bags around. New research has found a direct link between consuming green tea and smaller waistlines. The tea contains compounds called "catechins" that boost energy expenditure, increase the release of fat from fat cells, and speed up the burning of fat by the liver. Study participants drank four to five cups a day, but any amount will have some benefit. Just as with peanut butter, you'll want to make sure your tea is sugar free. To learn more about the best foods for "every part of your body"--- check out other videos in this series.More »
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