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portion control



Restaurant Customers Want Smaller Portions

small piece of fruit tart on a big plateEarlier this week, McDonald’s announced they will be cutting the portion of fries that come with a Happy Meal and including a serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal. But McDonald’s isn’t the only company that might see success with a strategy of portion-reduction, as a new report reveals that consumers want smaller portions at restaurants.

In the United States, many restaurants have offered huge servings to convey a sense of value to customers. But a market research company, The NPD Group, found that 57 percent of the people they surveyed want to eat smaller portions when dinning out. The firm surveyed over 5,000 adults. Smaller portions were seen to be the most important to consumers between the ages of 35 and 45, an age when many people find it easy to gain weight.

“We were trying to understand what constitutes healthy eating or a healthy lifestyle in consumers’ minds,” Dori Hickey, NPD’s director of product management, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “What we saw was a difference in where they’ve been and where they aspire to be.”


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Keeping Your Cholesterol Numbers in Check

Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.

So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:

  • HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
  • Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL


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Ten Ways to Enjoy National Ice Cream Day

National Ice Cream Day is July 17 and though one of summer’s favorite snacks can be heavy on the sugar, fat and calories it can also be a nutritious way to consume healthy vitamins and minerals.

If you look in the freezer section in your local grocery store you might be overwhelmed by the plethora of ice cream varieties that tout various health benefits for all dietary needs.

If you’re Gluten-Free
Try Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Chocolate Chip. Made with organic ingredients and rice milk, Good Karma offers nearly a dozen flavors of non-dairy dessert based on rice. Keep it simple with Chocolate Chip but if you like more creative flavors, opt for Key Lime Pie, Coconut Mango or Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.


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NutriSystem Flex Offers Dieters A Flexible Meal Delivery Diet

For those who want to lose weight, but still enjoy some flexibility in your diet, NutriStystem Flex could be the answer for you. This new program from NutriSystem offers you five days of prepackaged meals each week. The other two days are your flexible days, making it the most convenient and lowest price program that NutriSystem offers.

On the days that you eat the prepackaged meals, you will be eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dessert. You can select your own meals, or choose to have some of the most popular items sent to you. A lot of the guesswork is eliminated because you will receive a Flex Meal Planner with your food. This planner will tell you what to eat, when to eat and how to balance NutriSystem meals with your own recipes.


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SnackWell’s Introduces New Higher Calorie Treats

Remember SnackWell’s snack cakes? Think back to the mid 90s and you might remember the distinct green packaging and popularity of their Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes. Nabisco SnackWell’s came along in 1992 and grew enormously popular as the go-to brand for low-fat snacks. Unfortunately, other brands caught on to the low calorie snack craze and forced SnackWell’s to stop advertising in 2005.

Now SnackWell’s is reintroducing the brand with several new snacks that are higher in calories than the popular 100 calorie portioned snacks that are widely available. The new offerings from SnackWell’s will have a very different packaging and will vary in calories but range from 130 to 150 calories per serving.

Although these snacks offer a low calorie count, all calories are not created equal. This product line is still very highly processed. The new products from SnackWell’s include Cinnamon Raisin Cereal Bars, Peanut Butter Cereal Bars, Chocolate Cereal Bars, White Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn, Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn, Vanilla Crème Brownie Bites, Fudge Crème Brownie Bites and Fudge Drizzled Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. A closer look at the ingredients on these new products reveals that most of them have brown sugar, sugar, maltitol syrup and corn syrup listed in the first five ingredients. They also include things like fructose, which is also a form of sugar, and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil which is trans-fat. The products are still allowed to make the claim of being trans-fat free if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is the case with the SnackWell’s products. This new product line proves the importance of reading nutrition labels.


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