Saturday, January 30, 2021

Fiber Focus Month


Dietary fibers are found naturally in the plants we eat. They are either soluble (dissolves in water) or insoluble (does not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact). Both types of fiber are important for health, digestion, and preventing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation.

Health Benefits
1. Fiber may aid in the prevention of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol.
2. Fiber helps control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
3. Adequate amounts of fiber from foods can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
4. A high-fiber eating plan is lower in calories and tends to make you feel full faster.

Recommendation
The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. After age 50, the daily fiber needs drop to 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

Food Sources
Sources of soluble fiber: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, cucumbers, and carrots.

Sources of insoluble fiber: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

Serving Ideas 
1. Include 2 cups of fresh fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day
2. Use whole grain breads and cereals 
3. Snack on fruits and vegetables
4. Include vegetables and beans in stews and casseroles
5. Add oats to meatloaf and breads
6. Add fruit to cereal
7. Include a salad with at least one meal per day

Kids 'n Fiber

Getting kids to eat the fiber they need can be a challenge. Join FDA dietitian, nutritionist, and mom Shirley Blakely and a group of hungry Kids in a kitchen for some good-tasting high fiber foods.





Liz Weiss, RD explains how your kids can make whole grain
choices at school and at home.


References
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, What is Fiber?
WebMD, Dietary Fiber: Insoluble vs. Soluble



Ensure accurate and cost-effective nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact: Dietitians-Online.com; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN at recipenews@gmail.com

January - National Birth Defects Prevention Month



 March of Dimes Report Card 

The health of babies in the United States has taken a step backward as the nation’s preterm birth rate worsened for the first time in eight years. According to the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, the U.S. earned a “C” grade amidst widening differences in prematurity rates across different races and ethnicities.




Birth defects are common, costly, and critical. Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States and are a leading cause of infant mortality. Babies who survive and live with birth defects are at increased risk for developing many lifelong physical, cognitive, and social challenges. Medical care and support services only scrape the surface of the financial and emotional impact of living with birth defects.



Prevent Birth Defects


National Birth Defects Prevention Month is a time to raise awareness of birth defects and promote healthy pregnancies.

A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother’s body. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.

Many birth defects can be prevented. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, these tips can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:

* Take a multivitamin with folic acid every day before and during pregnancy.

* See your doctor or midwife regularly as soon as you think you're pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.

* Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.

* Eat well and stay active.

* Avoid alcohol, smoking, and other drug use.

* Prevent infections from food and other sources.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Diet and exercise
Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Health problems are linked to weighing too much or too little before and during pregnancy. Your health is affected by what you eat and by your physical activity.

Here are a few important guidelines for healthy eating:

• Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley, and brown rice. These are excellent sources of the vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber you need every day to feel your best.

• Eat less of the foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as meat, poultry, and whole-milk dairy foods (low-fat dairy is okay). Saturated fat and cholesterol are strongly linked to heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

Regular physical activity helps control weight, strengthen your heart, and give you more energy. It also reduces depression and relieves stress. It’s a good idea to exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Alcohol and drugs

Drinking alcohol or taking any type of legal or street drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy can hurt your unborn baby. That’s when the brain and other organs are forming.

If you drink alcohol, so does your unborn baby. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy is a leading known cause of mental retardation. If you are considering pregnancy, it’s best to stop drinking alcohol before you conceive.

Cocaine, crack, heroin, amphetamines and other street drugs can badly hurt your baby if you use them while you are pregnant. Your baby could suffer lifelong health problems. Get help to stop using drugs before you become pregnant and stay clean.









Monday, January 25, 2021

Soup's On
National Soup Month




Soup is a combination of foods with endless possibilities. It represents comfort, warmth, tradition, and nourishment.

Soups can be an economical way of meeting nutritional needs. Leftovers are perfect when preparing soups.

Soups have been known to curb the appetite and slow down the eating process. Studies show slower eaters are more likely to notice signs of fullness sooner and consume fewer calories. With the extra time, enjoy the flavor, aroma, and texture of the foods.

Soups can be prepared with a wide variety of healthy ingredients and traditional favorites made healthier with some substitutions.

 

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

To put my food science background to the test, Jan Norris, a food writer and journalist sent me a "Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup" recipe. Jan and I have worked together for many years and she often challenges me to make a recipe healthier. 

Jan states “Don’t go with any recipe for beer-cheese soup if it’s not from Wisconsin, where beer and cheese rule the culinary world." This is a favorite for Superbowl parties.

Original Nutrition Analysis: 577 Calories; 46 gm Fat; 27 gm Saturated Fat; 144 mg Cholesterol; and 818 mg Sodium.

Modified Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup: 266 Calories; 16 gm Fat; 8 gm Saturated Fat; 41 mg Cholesterol; and 522 mg Sodium. The recipe is still high in fats and sodium, but by making some small changes, we were able to save 311 Calories; 30 gm Fat; 19 gm Saturated Fat; 103 mg Cholesterol; and 296 mg Sodium. The soup makes for a filling main course and perfect for those cold winter days.

Modified Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup, serves 14, 1 cup =
1- 1/2 cups diced carrots
1- 1/2 cups diced onion
1 -1/2 cups diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash (or to taste) hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups beer
1/3 cup margarine, unsalted
1/3 cup flour
4 cups 2%milk
6 cups reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
popped popcorn, for topping

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat margarine in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese. Keep warm. Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture. Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Adjust for hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Serve topped with popcorn.

Jan Norris is a journalist and food writer. She spent 26 years at The Palm Beach Post, 21 years as editor of the weekly Food and Dining section. Jan’s blog is full of food, travel, Old Florida, the South, and a world of people with stories to tell.

Foods you can substitute to make heart-healthy choices.
Instead of:
 Try these heart-healthy suggestions:
whole milk or 2% milk1% milk or skim milk
whipped creamchilled evaporated skim milk, whipped
cheese, (American, Cheddar, Swiss)Cheeses with 5 or less grams of fat per ounce. Terms used: reduced-fat, low-fat, or fat-free. Reduced-fat is easier to substitute when cooking.
creamed cottage cheesenonfat or 1% fat cottage cheese, or farmers cheese
cream cheeselight, fat-free products, or Neufchatel cheese
Mozzarella cheesepart-skim mozzarella cheese
Ricotta cheesenonfat, lite, or part-skim
sour cream, regularnon-fat, light, or low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt.
butterlower-calorie margarine in soft tubes, vegetable cooking sprays, or nonstick cookware.
margarine, regularlower-calorie margarine in soft tubes, vegetable cooking sprays, or nonstick cookware.
mayonnaise, regularreduced-fat, cholesterol free, low fat, or fat-free. If making a dip you can substitute plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt. Reduce the amount required in the recipe.
salad dressingreduced-fat, cholesterol free, low fat, or fat-free dressings or lemon juice, vinegar, or mustard. Reduce the amount required in the recipe.
one whole eggequals 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
egg noodlesnoodles made without egg yolk
condensed cream soup99% fat-free condensed cream soup
salteliminate or reduce by 1/2; explore herbs and spices
gravygravies made with low sodium broth and thickened with flour/cornstarch
beef, pork, veal, lambchoose lean cuts trimmed of all visible fat, or substitute with chicken or turkey without the skin.
oil for sautéingwater, broth, tomato juice
fryingbroil, bake, microwave, poach, steam, grill, stir fry

Healthy Soup Additions
1. Instead of salt, add herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Explore the many possible seasonings available.
2. Increase fiber, vitamins, and minerals by adding fresh, frozen, or leftover vegetables (use fruits if making a cold soup). Avoid canned vegetables high in sodium. Read the label. A low sodium food contains 140 mg or less per serving of sodium.
3. Increase fiber and protein by using foods such as beans, lentils, brown rice, whole grain pasta, barley, and bulgur.
4. Increase calcium and protein by using skim milk, evaporated skim milk, non-fat dry milk powder, or calcium-fortified soymilk. These low-fat ingredients can replace the higher fat alternatives like whole milk or cream.

Canned and Dry Soup Mixes are known for their high sodium content, Read the label and check the serving size. Remember, a low sodium food contains 140 mg or less per serving of sodium.


There are some companies within the food industry making great strides in lowering the sodium content in their products. At Campbell,  they have more than 100 products with a healthy level of sodium; more than 200 that are low in fat and saturated fat; more than 150 products that have 100 calories or less per serving; and more than 85 products certified by the American Heart Association.


As I searched the Campbell archives, I came across a commercial from 1959. Campbell had the foresight to recognize the importance of nutrition over 50 years ago.


Campbell's Soup, 1959


Soup Tidbits
Soup is a staple in almost every American home. After NBC's "Seinfeld" show introduced the "Soup Nazi" in the United States on November 2, 1995 - Soup became a fashionable food.

The Soup Nazi - Revenge


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Healthy Weight Week Resources


Celebrating Healthy Weight Week by looking at Weight Bias, Body Image, Self-Esteem, Lifelong Healthy Habits, Identifying Fad Diets, and Beauty Comes in All Sizes and Shapes.


It is crucial to continue research and education. Eating disorders or disordered eating affects up to 24 million Americans and 70 million individuals worldwide.  (Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics, and Resources, October 2003)

Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents. (Public Health Service's Office in Women's Health, Eating Disorder Information Sheet, 2000).

20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems. (Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, "Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics, and Resources," published September 2002, revised October 2003).

It is estimated currently 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
(National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) 


Resources and Support


Healthy Weight Network provides information and resources pertaining to “health at any size”. Green Mountain at Fox Run, sponsor of Healthy Weight Week. Green Mountain at Fox Run is the country's first and oldest all-women's educational community for weight and health management. It is nationally recognized as an effective solution for ending struggles with eating and weight through the “non-diet” approach it pioneered.

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) provides education, resources, and support for those individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves to prevent, cure, and access quality care. NEDA sponsors events, programs, and research on eating disorders, and contains a section on its site featuring recent news articles and information.

Academy for Eating Disorders (AED). The Academy for Eating Disorders aims to provide comprehensive information on the facts of eating disorders, treatment plans, and education to prevent others from developing eating disorders.

Alliance of Eating Disorders Awareness was created as a source of community outreach, education, awareness, and prevention of various eating disorders. Their goal is to spread the message, recovery from these disorders is possible, and individuals should not have to suffer or recover alone.



Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsProvides nutrition resources about eating disorders, including an extensive nutrition reading list. 

Obesity Society is the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. They are committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity, and to keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances. AOA provides obesity awareness and prevention information.


Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) is the national organization focusing on increased prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for Binge Eating Disorder.

Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, Inc. An activist group influencing public opinion and policy through education, information, and networking.

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA). A 12 step self-help fellowship for anorexics and bulimics. EDA offers membership to any person who needs help recovering from an eating disorder. The site has meetings around the United States, publications, recovery information, EDA news, and helpful links to other sites.

Eating Disorders Coalition.  
The goal of the Eating Disorders Coalition is to "advance the federal recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority." The nonprofit organization lists the federal policy on its website, congressional briefings, events, information/resources on eating disorders, and a blog.

Eating Disorders Information Network 
(EDIN) is a nonprofit organization committed to the prevention of all types of disordered eating, from obesity to anorexia, and the promotion of positive body-esteem through education, outreach, and action.

Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center 
(EDRIC) includes links to sites that provide additional information on eating disorders and related topics.


Eating Disorders Resource Center 
(EDRC) is a non-profit organization that links resources, information, and support for eating disorders in Silicon Valley. The mission of EDRC is to increase awareness and understanding of eating disorders for the general public and health professionals; to promote early diagnosis, effective treatment, and recovery; and to advocate for mental health legislation and effective insurance coverage. EDRC offers a comprehensive, online resource directory.

F.E.A.S.T. 
Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders is an international organization providing support to families and friends of those suffering from eating disorders. The site announces events and conferences, groups around the world, treatment providers, online caregivers, and current news.

International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals 
(IAEDP) is well recognized for its excellence in providing education and training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professionals, who treat the full spectrum of eating disorder problems.


Kristen Watt Foundation provides support for those suffering from eating disorders. The site has sections for parents, friends, and coaches. They are dedicated to increasing awareness of eating disorders, education, and treatment.

Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association 
(MEDA) is a nonprofit organization working to prevent and treat eating disorders. Their aim is to do this through early detection and increased public awareness. This site has events listed, resources, and a place for individuals to join the organization.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) seeks to alleviate the problems of eating disorders by educating the public and healthcare professionals, encouraging research, and sharing resources on all aspects of these disorders. Their website includes information on finding support groups, referrals, treatment centers, advocacy, and background on eating disorders.


National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders provides information on anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, the effect eating disorders can have on men, treatment options, and helpful resources and links.

Perfect Illusions. Discover what an eating disorder is, find help and resources, and look into the lives of several individuals and their families who are struggling with the consequences of anorexia and bulimia.


The Renfrew CenterResidential treatment facility specializing in eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders) and related mental health issues. The Renfrew Center is a women's mental health center with locations in Philadelphia and Radnor, Pennsylvania; Coconut Creek, Florida; New York City; Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Ridgewood, New Jersey; Charlotte, North Carolina, Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX, and Bethesda, MD.

Womenshealth.gov The National Women's Health Information Center is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site has information on body image, cosmetic surgery, eating disorders, and a list of links to various informational websites.







Healthy Weight Week

This week is Healthy Weight Week. During Healthy Weight Week attention is focused on Lifelong Healthy Habits; Self-Esteem; Weight Bias; Fad Diets and Gimmicks; Women’s Healthy Weight; Health at any Size and Professional Resources. The goals are to prevent eating disorders and weight problems.


What is Healthy Weight Week?
Frances M. "Francie" Berg, MS, LN is the founder of Healthy Weight Week. She is a licensed nutritionist, family wellness specialist, and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School Of Medicine. Francie is the author of 12 books and the founder, editor, and publisher of the Healthy Weight Journal (established in 1986).



Mission
"Healthy Weight Network (HWN) provides a critical link between research and practical application on weight and eating issues. Recognizing weight is a complex condition of increasing concern throughout the world, the HWN is committed to bringing together scientific information from many sources, reporting controversial issues in a clear, objective manner, and the ongoing search for truth and understanding.

Recognizing weight is easily exploitable health and social concern, the HWN is committed to exposing deception, reshaping detrimental social attitudes, and promoting health of any size. Our mission is to be a voice of integrity and insight in a field that has been much abused and neglected."


Francie M. Berg, MS, LN

Every Girl Is Beautiful / Self-Esteem PSA


Do You Think I'm Fat?
A Public Service Announcement from the
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
For help visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ 




Friday, January 22, 2021

Healthy Dining Out Strategies

To get the New Year started off right, here are strategies when dining out.
Healthy Dining Out Strategies

Foods Better Selections Limit
Beverage.
Request herbal teas; mineral or sparkling water; skim milk; unsweetened fruit juices and occasional decaffeinated diet drinks.
Alcohol; beer; wine; caffeine diet drinks, coffee, or tea; chocolate; cocoa; milk shakes and soft drinks.
Bread.
Request whole grains, 
biscuits, crackers, lavosh, muffins, or pumpernickel.
Glazed cakes; Danish; jelly filled or salt covered items; sweet rolls.
Appetizer.
Request bouillon, clear broth, or consommé; fresh fruit; fish or meat cocktails; gazpacho; raw or plain vegetables; tomato or vegetable juice; unsweetened fruit juice.
Breaded or fried items; canned fruit; dips; oil marinated or sauce covered items.
Salads.
Request fresh fruit; lettuce; tossed or vegetable salad.
Canned fruit; salads with dressings already mixed in.
Fats and Salad Dressings.
Request no butter or margarine, or little- or no-fat, low-salt, whipped or soft butter or 
margarine. Use lemon, vinegar, and mustard in salads or request 
olive oil. Request oil on the side.
Regular butter, margarine or oils; cream sauce; gravy; salads with mixed-in dressings.
Vegetables.
Request boiled, raw, steamed, or stewed.
Au gratin; cheese or sauce covered;  creamed, escalloped, fried, or sautéed.
Potatoes and Substitutes.
Request baked, boiled, or steamed potatoes; plain pasta or rice.
Creamed, Delmonico, escalloped, French-fried, hashed-browned, or mashed potatoes; potato chips and salads.
Meat, Fish, or Poultry.
Request meats to be trimmed of fat before it's baked, boiled, broiled, roasted, or stir fried.
Braised, breaded, fried, gravy covered, sautéed, or stewed.
Eggs.
Only occasional use of boiled (hard or soft), plain, poached, scrambled, or low-cholesterol substitutes.
Creamed, fried, or oil-cooked omelet's.
Desserts.
Request fresh fruit, jello, plain angel food, sponge, or unsweetened fruit filled cake.
Layered cakes, canned fruit, custard, ice cream, pastry, pie, puddings, or any sugar-based item.
Delicatessen Selections
Extra lean corned beef, pastrami, or roast beef, beef brisket, and turkey breast are best; whole wheat or multi-grain breads; chicken or tuna salad; chopped herring; chef salad; fresh fruit plate with cottage cheese; dry bagel; borscht or broth soup; tossed salad, sliced tomatoes, beet salad, or carrot raisin salad.
High-fat meats (regular corn beef, hot pastrami, beef bologna, hot dogs, knockwurst, liverwurst, and salami); potato salad; mayonnaise-based salads; combo sandwiches (Reuben); smoked fish (lox); creamy coleslaw; chopped liver; excess cream cheese and cheese spreads; sauerkraut (high in sodium).
Pizza Parlor Selections 
You cannot go wrong by ordering extra toppings such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomato slices, broccoli, and spinach. Other possibilities include chicken, crab meat, or shrimp.  
Fat starts with the basic cheese, so avoid extra cheese and in particular mozzarella. Other culprits include bacon, meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, and prosciutto, as well as anchovies.
Sandwich Shop Selections 
Both 100% whole wheat and pita bread are great choices. Good sandwich fillers are grilled chicken breast, ham, roast beef, and turkey breast. Instruct the server not to add butter, margarine, or mayonnaise to the bread and substitute with ketchup, mustard, or horseradish. Good salad choices include chef, garden, or Greek salads, but remember to ask for low-calorie dressings on the side and to omit egg or cheese. Broth-type soups are good, such as barley, beef, chicken, lentil, split pea, and vegetable noodle.
Avoid croissants, cheese, excess mayonnaise, egg, and creamy soups. Beware of "diet plates" with big burgers and scoops of cottage cheese, which have loads of saturated fat. Omit cheeseburgers, cheese sandwiches, or grilled cheese "melts" over chicken and seafood salads; and cold cuts. Combo sandwiches with meat and cheese and club sandwiches are best avoided due to the large portion size.

Remember that salad combos such as tuna, chicken, and crab meat have lots of mayonnaise. Avoid creamy soups such as chowders or cream of "anything."
Submarine Shop Selections
Order the smaller size roll or pita bread. Turkey, smoked turkey, ham, and roast beef are acceptable. Ask the server to go light on the meats, omit the mayonnaise or oil, and generously load up on the shredded lettuce, onion, peppers, pickles, and sliced tomatoes. Choose salads as alternatives when available, such as chef or tossed salads with perhaps a scoop of tuna, chicken, or seafood served with
Italian or pita bread. 
Omit meats such as bologna, Italian cold cuts, salami (hard or Genoa) and sausages. Stay away from cheeses and steak and cheese. Other items to omit include antipasto salads, fried eggplant, and chicken cutlets.



Chinese Selections
Order plain steamed rice; boiled, steamed, or stir-fried vegetables (ask for little oil to be used); moderate fish and shellfish; non-fried tofu; skinless poultry and egg roll (insides only).

Anything fried (rice or crispy noodles), or with sweet and sour sauce; egg dishes or soups; salty soups; avoid duck and limit beef, pork and pickled foods; excess soy sauce; ask chef to leave out MSG and cut down the use of commonly used corn starch, sugar, and salt.

Indian Selections
Order chutney (except mango); curry sauce (yogurt-based); fish (omit butter basting); yogurt with shredded vegetables; basmati rice. Biryani (vegetable dish); chapatti or papadum bread; tandoori chicken; lentil or mulligatawny soups
Creamy or high-salt soups; clarified butter (ghee); deep-fried meats; poori or paratha bread; fried samosa or pakora; ask to prepare dishes without excess salt and to omit coconut milk, if possible; omit garnishes with nuts or dried fruit.

Italian Selections
Order antipasto (no oil or excess meats); crusty bread (no oil or butter); broiled or grilled 
fish, seafood, chicken, and meats; garlic; plain or vegetable pasta; fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese; steamed leafy vegetables (kale and broccoli); salads; fresh tomatoes; zucchini; ices.
Garlic bread; stuffed pastas (ravioli and lasagna); fried eggplant; meatballs or sausage; sauces with butter, cream, oil, and wine base; pesto sauce; cheese-filled or parmesan style dishes; spumoni or tortoni ice cream. Beware of risotto rice; polenta; and high-fat, high-sodium prosciutto ham and pancetta; veal cutlets and Caesar salads.

Japanese Selections
Order rice; steamed fish; sushi; sashimi; miso soup; raw vegetables; tofu; sukiyaki (stir-fried); yakimono (broiled fish).
Tempura and other deep-fried food; excess peanut and teriyaki sauce; pickled foods; excess salt and sugar in sauces; excess salt in soy marinades and sauces. 


Mediterranean (Middle East) 

Selections
Order couscous, bulgar, and pita bread; legumes such as chickpeas, fava beans, and lentils; hummus; grape leaves; yogurt.
Phyllo dough dishes for sweet desserts such as baklava; feta and kasseri cheese; excess anchovies and olives; high sodium foods; feta, olives, and sausage; appetizers in general, except salads; excess fat from butter, olive oil, omelets and tahini.

Mexican Selections
Order soft-shell tacos; burritos; fajitas; salsa; chicken enchilada; black beans or Mexican rice; grilled fish or chicken; salads without chips or shells;  moderate corn or flour tortilla, using minimal oil; cerviche (marinated fish); gazpacho; chile con carne soup, with no cheese. Acceptable items include shredded lettuce; spicy meats; diced tomatoes; salsa verde; picante or tomato sauce; use Mexican salads as appetizers, with salsa as the dressing.
Chips, nachos; super nachos; chili con queso; fried taco or tortilla shells; guacamole; sour cream; cheese; refried beans; beef and pork dishes; olives; items such as chilies rellenos, chimichangas, chorizo (sausage), and flautas.



Thai Selections
Order steamed rice; broth-based soups (tom yum koang and pok taek); non-fried proteins, such as chicken, seafood, and tofu; vegetables; satay or steamed mussels; salads with light dressings, made with Thai spices.
Excess sodium; soy sauce and sugar; MSG; coconut milk, coconut oil; cream dishes, high milk, and sodium soups; many fried appetizers; curry or curry sauce; fried eggplant; cashew and peanut toppings.


Nutrition.gov News

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