Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

food borne illness



How to Safely Handle and Grill Chicken

Whether you’re a grill aficionado or you only pull out your miniature Weber for special occasions, it’s important to eat plenty of protein as part of a balanced diet.  While most nutrition experts recommend eating lean meats, tofu, beans and quinoa, we often neglect those during the summertime in favor of grilled steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Chicken is an easy alternative to red meat, which often has a lot of artery-clogging saturated fat. Chicken is versatile, grill-friendly and inexpensive, but when not handled or cooked properly, poultry can be a source of dangerous food borne illness.

Here are some important poultry-handling principles to follow this summer to ensure that all of your meals are safe and delicious.


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3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Family from E. Coli Contamination

A deadly E.coli outbreak that has afflicted Germany and other parts of Eastern Europe has sickened nearly 2,000 people to date. According to the New York Times, the deadly outbreak has been traced to tainted domestic sprouts and forced the closure of several farms in the Northern part of the country.

While this news might send some people running to empty their produce bins and avoid green vegetables, some public health experts are skeptical of these claims.

“We would want either epidemiological evidence or confirmed laboratory evidence,” Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of food-borne diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, told the New York Times.


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Plan a Healthy and Fun Summer Picnic

If you’ve spent the long winter and rainy spring hibernating in your home, the summer months are the perfect time to plan an outdoor activity.

Before you pack your basket and head to the park with a pretty blanket, a Frisbee – and maybe even a bottle of wine -  use these tips to make your outing simple and satisfying.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead. If you’re planning a homemade picnic meal, prepare as much as you can the night before. You can chop, wash and dry fruits and veggies so they’ll be crisp, fresh and ready for salads or snacking. To save even more time the next morning, assemble sandwiches the night before your picnic – just hold the water-based ingredients, such as cucumber or tomato, otherwise you’ll end up with soggy bread. You could also make one of these 8 creative picnic salads.


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Rare Burgers Banned in North Carolina Restaurants

North Carolina may be a red state politically, but many meat eaters are blue in the face crying foul over a state ban on rare burgers in restaurants. The state now requires restaurants to cook their hamburgers to a temperature of 155 degrees, which health officials say is enough to kill unhealthy bacteria such as E. coli.

While North Carolina’s citizens are still allowed to eat their hamburgers anyway they wish at home, restaurants can’t go any lower than medium on the cooking chart. Word has it that this legislation has created somewhat of an underground red meat-eating movement, a bit like the speakeasies of Prohibition days, I suppose.

North Carolina restaurants can still serve steaks rare to customers since they don’t pose the same threat as ground meat. If contaminants exist on a piece of steak they are usually on the outside and killed during the cooking process. However, when beef is ground up the bacteria is mixed inside.


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Proper Planning is the Key to Eating Healthy While Camping

There’s probably not one person alive who hasn’t been camping. Sleeping under the trees, cooking over a fire, enjoying the fresh air of the great outdoors – what’s not to love? Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity;  it’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time together. Pack up the car, grab your sleeping bag and you are on your way. But what will you eat? If you are out for more than a few hours, you’ll soon discover that being outdoors works up a tremendous appetite. Many of the traditional camping foods are not so healthy, especially perennial favorites like grilled hot dogs, canned meat spreads and gooey s’mores. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors without resorting to those admittedly easy to pack but maybe not so good for your diet foods?

Just as in your daily life, one of the main secrets to planning healthy camping meals is the need to take the time to plan and prepare your meals. It’s much easier to grab a pack of hot dogs and some buns and leave town, but a little bit of advance planning will help you avoid resorting to bags of chips and cold fried chicken.


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