- View the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [PDF]
- What is the best and worse popcorn for your health?
- Why is movie popcorn so different from store bought?
- Leading cancer killers for men and women
- The facts about obesity
- See more, eat more
- Starbucks on steroids
- How does soda affect my diet?
The best and worse popcornStep #1 Look for “94% Fat-Free” or “light”
Step #2 Look for less sodium
Step #3 Skip the popcorn candy (i.e. Cracker Jacks, Crunch & Munch)
Good picks for a rich movie-theater-like buttery taste:
- Jolly Time Butter-Licious Light
- Orville-Redenbacher’s Light Movie Theater Butter
- Jolly Time Healthy Pop
- Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop
- Pop-Secret 94% Fat Free or Light
- Healthy Choice
- Newman’s Own Butter Boom
- Newman’s Own Organics Butter Pop’s Corn
Because it’s usually popped in highly saturated coconut oil, and because the servings are on steroids. The seven cups in a buttered small, for example, have 600 calories and 1 1/2 days’ worth of saturated fat. A large (20 cups) with butter has 1,600 calories and nearly four days’ sat fat. Some theaters pop in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is better for your heart, and few use non-hydrogenated oil, which is best (though none are good for your waistline).
Why is movie theater popcorn so much worse than the supermarket variety?
X Rated- AMC, Edwards, Hoyts, Regal, United Artists(Coconut oil)
R Rated- Carmike, CineMark, Cineplex Odeon, Loews, Multiplex, Muvico, Showcase
(Partially hydrogenated canola oil)
PG Rated- Century, GKC
(Non-hydrogenated canola or sunflower oil)
G Rated- Your Theater (assuming you can sneak some in)
Leading Cancer Killers
Estimated number of Cancer Deaths for 2002(Source: American Cancer Society.) back to top
Obesity Spreads(J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 288: 1723, 1728, 2002.)
Two out of three Americans are now overweight, and one out of three is obese, according to the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. That’s a jump since the early 1990s, when “only” one out of four was obese. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was one out of seven. Roughly 15 percent of school-aged children are now overweight, up from 11 percent in the early 1990s.
What to do: Don’t wait around for a new scientific breakthrough to keep (or get) you trim. If you can’t find a restaurant that serves half-portions, make your own (with a doggy bag). Watch out for 600-calorie muffins, 700-calorie tuna sandwiches and 800-calorie Frappuccinos. And get off your you-know-what, preferably for an hour a day.back to top
See More, Eat More(Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 76: 1207, 2002.)
The larger the serving size, the more you’re likely to eat, says a new study from Pennsylvania State University. Researchers told 51 men and women in their 20s to eat as much macaroni and cheese as they wanted at a no-cost lunch. It didn’t matter if they were male or female or overweight or trim. When the portions (either on their plates or on a serving dish) were large (35 ounces), on average they ate about 30 percent more calories than when the portions were smaller (18 ounces). What’s more, the people reported feeling no fuller after eating the big portions than the smaller ones.
What to do: If you’re trying to cut calories, shrink your servings. Some suggestions: Order a “small,” split a dish with someone else, or stash half of what you’re served in a doggie bag before you start eating.
Starbucks on Steroids(Source: Nutrition Action Newsletter October 2002, pg. 16)
We should have seen it coming. Restaurants chains can’t resist the impulse to sell even bigger and more indulgent foods, and Starbucks is no exception. The chain’s newest drinks are more like milk shakes than coffee.
Let’s all welcome the new Coconut Crème and the Vanilla Crème Frappuccinos- the “coffee free indulgence” you were looking for. Call us crazy, but we suspect that few Starbucks customers are looking for the 870 calories in a venti Coconut Crème Frappuccino. Its 32 grams of fat—19 of them saturated—are just a tad steep for a beverage, don’t you think?
The original venti Coffee Frappuccino—a “sweet, creamy coffee blended with ice”—was more than a cup of coffee, but less than a meal. It had 400 calories and 18 teaspoons of sugar (some of it from the milk), but only three grams of saturated fat.
Starbucks quickly rolled out three more flavors. The Caramel, Chocolate Brownie and Mocha Coconut all featured whipped cream on top and more fat and sugar inside. A 20-ounce venti of all but the Caramel supply roughly 600 calories and 23 grams of saturated fat. (The Caramel has “only” 500 calories and nine grams of sat fat.)
Indulgence sounds so good...until you realize that your britches are feeling a little snug. Then you get to indulge in a little Weight Watchers or a new prescription for drugs to lower your cholesterol or blood sugar.
And to think: You could have had a venti Iced Café’ Latte with skim milk for only 110 calories. Ah, decadence.
Ten weeks to a Fatter You(Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 76: 721, 2002.)
Want to put on a few pounds? Add four cans of regular soda to your daily diet. Danish researchers gave 41 overweight men and women food and soft drinks made with either artificial sweeteners or with 125 to 175 grams of sugar a day (larger people got more sugar). That’s the sugar you’d get in three to five cans of soda. Roughly 80 percent of the volunteers’ sugar came in soft drinks. The sugar-eaters compensated somewhat by eating less of other food, but not enough to make up for the 500 to 700 extra calories they were getting every day from the sugar. After just ten weeks, they had gained 3 1/2 pounds, while those getting the artificial sweeteners had lost two pounds.
What to do: Watch out for the hidden calories in soft drinks, sweetened teas, fancy coffees, milk shakes and even juices. And don’t assume that artificially sweetened drinks are your only option. Remember water? Seltzer?