All Entries For nutrition

Making Room for Real Foods

How many times a day do you open your pantry or fridge hoping that something new, healthy and filling will appear? Does your kitchen seem messy, cluttered and full of unhealthy foods? Do you want to make over your pantry and fridge, but aren’t sure where to start? 

We are here to help! Make a pledge to rid your pantry and fridge of unhealthy items and to re-stock it with real foods using the following doable steps. 

Part with the Unhealthy Non-Perishables 

It’s easy to promise yourself that you'll eat better, but you’re setting yourself up for sabotage if you don’t physically remove the unhealthy foods from your house. Go through every single item on your kitchen shelves and get rid of or donate anything that is overly high in sugar, sodium, artificial colorings or preservatives, or with a long laundry list of ingredients that you can't pronounce. Many condiments fit this bill—consider how much you and your family enjoy them and whether or not you can find substitutions for these items. Only keep those foods that you truly think you can continue to eat in moderation. 
Posted 10/5/2015  12:00:00 AM By:   : 3 comments   2,824 views
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Best Foods for Runners before a Race

You're preparing for your race when hunger suddenly strikes, but after months of training you're worried that a meal will slow you down during the big event. Trainers and friends give conflicting advice on what to eat, but your stomach is rumbling louder than they are. Luckily, there are tasty foods that you can eat before a race that will keep you full without harming your performance. In fact, these top foods will help you to harness all of your power during the race! First, let's look at the general timeframe of your pre-run meals before getting into the specific foods.

Posted 8/6/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 0 comments   8,356 views
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The 6 Best Foods for Runners

Running is a fantastic activity to help maintain a healthy heart and weight. But the real magic happens when you refuel after your run! To get the most out of running, it's crucial that you eat healthy foods filled with vitamins, healthy fats, plus carbs and proteins that aid in muscle repair and development. Incorporate the following foods into your diet to reap maximum running rewards. 

Posted 5/19/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   22,269 views
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The 6 Best Foods for Glowy Skin

When it comes to healthy, glowing skin, what you put into your body can be even more important than what you put on it. "Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York. While there are many nutritious foods available, the following list will give you the maximum skin benefits for your bite. 
Posted 5/13/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 1 comments   14,024 views
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Please Stop Feeding My Kids Junk Food

I’ll admit that I’m very particular when it comes to the foods my kids eat.  I’ve learned not to be too restrictive, because it’s important how to teach them to make their own choices and how to incorporate treats and other foods they love into their diets.  My oldest is 8, and so far, I think we’re doing pretty well.  My kids don’t feel deprived that they don’t eat fast food on a weekly basis, and they don’t mind when I add kale or other leafy greens to their favorite smoothies.

I always assumed that school would be a place that would support my healthy eating efforts.  What I’ve found is actually quite the opposite:  by far, school is where my kids get the most junk food. 
Posted 12/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 12 comments   10,460 views
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The Best Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss Success

Are you bombarded in the break room by the latest diet adventures of your co-workers? Are you thinking about starting that metabolism-boosting diet splashed on the cover of your magazine? You’d love to lose 30 pounds. But where do you begin? Eliminate carbs, reduce your fat, count points, track calories, push protein, use prepared meals? Is your head spinning from all these choices? 
Posted 9/9/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 20 comments   47,422 views
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Itís Here! The Best App for Eating Better On the Go

Over the years, we've learned that some of our best ideas and most useful tools come from you, our SparkPeople community. A few months ago when we were releasing the newest updates to our Calorie Counter and Healthy Recipes apps, we asked our members (that’s you!) how we could improve our tools to better fit them into your lives. You responded with honest and insightful ideas that are helping us decide which tools we want to work on next.

There was one suggestion in particular that we kept hearing: You wanted a simple app that could pull up the nutrition information for any food, without the food tracker component. That's it--just a streamlined, one-use app that wouldn't take up much space on your phone, but would still be able to access SparkPeople's extensive food database to deliver quick nutrition information on demand. So, we decided to give the people what they want! Today, we're proud to announce the final product: the SparkPeople Nutrition Lookup App.
Posted 8/11/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 12 comments   18,991 views
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The Truth about the Paleo Diet

If you've been in touch with diet trends over the past few years, chances are that you've heard of the Paleo diet. When you Google the word "Paleo" or "Paleo diet," you'll find thousands of blogs, recipes, articles and best-selling nutrition books. But what exactly is Paleo—and is its popularity warranted? Is it all hype and marketing, or is this truly the best diet to adopt for optimal human health? Let's take a look at what the evidence says. 
Posted 8/4/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 52 comments   134,131 views
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Eating to Fuel Different Race Lengths

Running is an incredible source of exercise and one of the best things about it is that you can compete against yourself. Whether you are participating in a 5K or a full marathon, there are races for all levels, and plenty of good causes to get you out there to run. But before you lace up and take off, make sure you are taking the time to fill your tank with proper food and hydration. Here are some ways to ensure that you are adequately fueled to finish any race with power and energy.
Posted 5/21/2014  5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   66,228 views
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How Fasting Affects Your Health

Many religions recommend fasting for both spiritual and/or health benefits. All religious fasts are different: Some restrict certain foods, while others only restrict the times of day in which one can eat. Few religious fasts involve a long-term or complete abstinence from food, but no matter what the nature of the fast is, you may wonder just how it really impacts your health.
Three religious fasts have been studied the most:
  • Islamic Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, which varies according to the lunar calendar, Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset.
  • The 3 annual fasting periods for Greek Orthodox Christians:  The Nativity Fast (40 days prior to Christmas), Lent (48 days prior to Easter), and The Assumption (15 days in August).
  • Biblical-Based Daniel Fast:  This fast typically incorporates a 21-day fasting period.
Read on to find out how these fasts impact your health and weight-loss efforts.
Posted 3/27/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 10 comments   28,686 views
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How to Prevent Muscle Loss When Losing Weight

When starting a weight-loss plan, most of us hope to lose body fat, specifically—not muscle mass. But when we lose weight, a large percentage of the total weight lost can be muscle. Is there any way to reduce that muscle loss?
Posted 3/22/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 12 comments   108,931 views
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You Asked: Can You Really Eat Too Much Protein?

For a healthy adult, eating more protein than your recommended daily range once a week or so won't have any major impact on your long-term health or weight loss (assuming you still eat approximately the same amount of calories for the day). Based on your food selections for that day, if you consume a larger-than-normal amount of protein you may notice:
  • A change in bowel habits in the next 24-48 hours (due to a lower fiber intake)
  • A sluggish or light-headed feeling (if you also ate very few carbs)
  • Some abdominal discomfort if your fat intake sky-rocketed
  • No noticeable changes at all
However, you may be wondering how a long-term high-protein diet affects your health in the long run...
Posted 3/21/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 29 comments   110,474 views
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Why Fruits & Vegetables Are So Good for You

The 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that all Americans eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Government guidelines aside, you surely grew up with your mom telling you to eat your vegetables. Or maybe you even hear it now from your doctor.  
When you're new to adopting a healthy diet, you may wonder: What's so good about fruits and vegetables anyway? What kind of benefits will I see if I eat more?  Here are four good reasons to be like Bugs Bunny and chomp away on more fresh produce.
Posted 3/9/2014  12:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 3 comments   17,875 views
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You Asked: Are 'Negative Calorie' Foods Real (or Too Good to Be True)?

You might have heard that you can eat as much of you want of certain foods because it takes more energy to burn them than they actually contain. But is it true? Can eating more of these foods really help you lose weight?
Posted 2/28/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 9 comments   88,162 views
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The Healthiest Choices at Panera Bread

These days, it can be really tough to find a bite to eat on the go that won't break the calorie bank. Fast food chains are convenient, but most options are loaded down with excess calories, fat and sodium. Panera Bread has emerged in recent years as a healthier choice in a sea of burger joints. Although some of its menu items aren't the greatest (720 calories for a bowl of clam chowder, anyone?), we've scoured the menu to find some decent choices the next time you find yourself in a pinch for food—right now.

Panera has stepped up their nutritional game recently with their Power Menu, a selection of high-protein, low-carb entrees with some seriously impressive nutritional stats. We've included some of them in our top six favorite healthy Panera entrees below, followed by 10 more of our honorable mentions. (Note that salads do not include dressing nutritional information.) 
Posted 2/23/2014  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 216 comments   257,278 views
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