Tag Archives: calorie count

A Summer Food Bucket List: 5 Recipes from Calorie Count

By Mary Hartley, RD, MPH for Calorie Count.

There’s no denying that this summer was a scorcher. Certainly one for the record books. Come winter, we’ll be wishing for a heat wave – and summer food – again. Just so there are no regrets later on, it’s time to attend to your summer food bucket list. Beat the heat one last time with these highly nutritious, oh so good, summer favorites. This list of foods to eat before summer dies includes recipes that are analyzed and maintained in Calorie Count’s extensive recipe browser.

Caprice Salad

The queen of tomato salads from the magical Isle of Capri. There is nothing to cook, but it does require perfectly ripe, heavy, aromatic, lycopene-filled tomatoes and cool, fresh, calcium-loaded buffalo mozzarella. (more…)

Huge Meta-Analysis Shows No Link Between Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Saturated fat was recently in the news at the Institute of Food Technologists expo when experts revealed, again, that the link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease is inconclusive. Both the public and professionals are now confused, since diets low in fat, particularly saturated fat, have been the mainstay of scientific consensus for more than 30 years. Saturated fat, a solid fat mainly found in animal foods, includes cheese, whole milk, butter, and fatty cuts of meat. It, together with liquid poly- and mono-unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, grains and fish, make up all naturally-occurring dietary fat.

Back in the 1970s, the American Heart Association and other authorities said to reduce all fat to 30 percent of total calories and saturated fat to 10 percent or less. The recommendation was drawn from epidemiologic studies that compared the diets among different countries, in particular, the Seven Countries Study. Those studies showed a correlation between total fat intake and rates of heart disease. That, along with the National Diet-Heart Study of the 1960s, form the basis of the message that reduction in saturated fat lowers blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

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Inca Peanuts Touted as Best Snack for Weight Loss

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Not only did Dr. Oz inherit Oprah’s timeslot, he also snagged “The Oprah Effect,” (When Oprah endorses a product, business explodes.) Case in point: Inca Peanuts. Had you heard of them before?

Here’s what Dr. Oz wants you to know.

“Inca Peanuts are the best snack for weight loss,” according to Dr. Oz. That’s because they control your appetite. They don’t suppress it like diet pills. Inca Peanuts are loaded with protein, fiber and fat, three nutrients that promote satiety. Inca Peanuts take the edge off hunger.

The protein in Inca Peanuts has all the essential amino acids, just like in animal foods. And the protein is highly digestible, as plant proteins go. Inca Peanuts are high in fiber with 6 grams of fiber per ounce. As a point of reference, one ounce of regular peanuts has only 2.4 grams of fiber.

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Should You Spring Clean Your System With a Detox?

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Counters want to know whether or not it is wise to cleanse the system with a detox diet. Here are a few of the readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+As” about spring cleaning.

Should I fast to prepare my system for a change?

Fasting is unnecessary. Your system does not need to prepare for change. In a fast lasting longer than a day or two, the body starts to breakdown some of its muscles and organs to generate fuel for the central nervous system. Because muscle is a major calorie burner, less muscle could lead to lowering overall calorie requirements, which could make it more difficult to lose weight in the future. And then, due to feast-or-famine thinking, food deprivation could lead to overeating when food becomes available again. Instead of fasting, it’s best to just go ahead and begin to eat a balanced diet of wholesome food at a lower calorie level.

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The Best of “Ask Mary” Valentine’s Day Edition

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Count members want to know, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Here are a few of our readers’ favorite “Ask Mary” questions about the differences in dieting and weight between the sexes.

Ask Mary: Why do men lose weight more easily than women?

Compared to women, men just have higher calorie requirements. It’s easier for them to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. Men have high testosterone levels and testosterone makes them build muscle. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns calories. If you compare a man to a woman of the same height, weight, age, and activity level, the man will need 15 percent more calories than the woman. Coupled with a man’s tendency to be taller and bigger, it’s easy to see why men need more calories. And so when men eat less, there is a huge gap between the amount they need and they eat, which promotes quick weight loss. Women, on the other hand, have a completely different fat-to-muscle ratio with more fat to support the demands of pregnancy and lactation. Their day-to-day calorie requirements are lower and so their calorie deficit is less.

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Americans Still Waiting for Missing 2010 Dietary Guidelines’ Release

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

UPDATE 1/31/2011: The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released this morning. A full rundown on the changes can be found here.

The nutrition community has been expectantly waiting for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which at this point, are a month late in their release. The Guidelines contain the authoritative information about the best diet to prevent disease. Since 1980, they have been published every five years by law.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly published by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They are revised to reflect scientific advances in the knowledge of what constitutes an ideal diet. They are the basis of Federal nutrition education programs, including My Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts labels, and they guide the foods that are offered by School Lunch, WIC and other Federal nutrition programs.

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SMART Planning for New Year’s Resolution Success

Want to know about getting a jump start on lifestyle changes that commonly begin after the New Year? Here are a few reader question favorites from “Ask Mary Q+As” about planning for change.

Ask Mary: Where should I start with my healthy lifestyle change?

Start with changing one thing and add others over time. It’s always best to practice the change that brings you the most joy. To find the parts of your diet in need of change, keep a food log for 3 to 7 days – before changing the way you eat. Do you snack between meals, frequently eat in restaurants, or neglect to eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day? Would you like to give up soda or might you prefer to slowdown your eating? Each change is noble and should be greeted as an adventure. Once you decide upon a change to make, set a S-M-A-R-T goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise”, get S-M-A-R-T. Say, “I will walk for 20 minutes at lunchtime Monday through Thursday”. Then envision yourself easily reaching your goal and you’re part way there!

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Ask Mary Answers How You Can Control Your Metabolism

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Count members want to know about specific foods that affect metabolic rate (the speed at which the body uses calories for fuel.) Here are two of the readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+As” about metabolism and food. (more…)

Ask Mary Answers Your Burning Questions About Belly Fat

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Count members are more concerned with belly fat than with any other weight issue. Here are two of the readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+As” about weight around the middle.

Ask Mary: What is the quickest way to tone my midsection? (more…)

Healthier Beer Choices for Oktoberfest

When you hear “Oktoberfest“, what comes to mind? If you are anything like me, it’s beer. Beer can be a caloric bomb, though, next bringing to mind the term “beer belly”.

Beer doesn’t contain fat; however, it does have tons of carbohydrates, protein and alcohol- and that’s it. Beer is the epitome of empty calories, giving you all the calories with no vitamins, minerals or redeeming health qualities whatsoever. A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, a gram of protein 4 calories, and a gram of alcohol has a little over 7 calories. This is why different beers can have higher calorie counts in relation to their alcohol content.

To keep things in perspective, I found this information online at realbeer.com: “A five-ounce glass of wine contains about 125 calories; one ounce of distilled spirits, 90 proof, 75 calories. Beyond the world of alcohol: an eight-ounce glass of milk has 160 calories, one ounce of potato chips 160 calories, a banana split 550 calories, and a Burger King Whopper 650 calories. Oh yeah, just six French fries have 12 grams of fat (about as many calories as a light beer).” (more…)