Blueberry and Vanilla Yogurt Smoothie

WHITE SMOOTHIE

Let me start off by saying that I am generally not a smoothie person. My husband and I make them every now and again but overall, it’s not generally a “go to” item for me. I have nothing against them at all but I usually have trouble creating the perfect consistency, whether it be too thick, too thin, or too chunky to easily sip through a straw. Long story short, I just don’t find them convenient for me; perhaps with a little behavior/routine change I’ll have different thoughts in the future on this 🙂 However, earlier this week I decided to whip one up for me and the hubs as a drinkable breakfast. Based on my recent grocery trip and what we had in the fridge, I decided to go with a Vanilla Yogurt and Blueberry Smoothie as seen below:

IMG_20130611_083118

Yes, I did use NASCAR glasses for our smoothies… I am not ashamed at all  (okay, maybe just a little 😉 ). Overall it was pretty tasty and wasn’t as much of a hassle as I thought to make. Below I’ve listed the recipe. I’ve got a few other things in the fridge this week that could be used for some smoothies including kale, so if I can convince my husband to drink it, I would like to get in more of a habit of making them, especially after having such as positive experience with yogurt and blueberry one that I originally found on prevention.com.

Vanilla Yogurt and Blueberry Smoothie
(INGREDIENTS BELOW YIELD ONE SERVING— “DOUBLE” QUANTITIES FOR 2 PEOPLE 🙂 )

1 cup skim or soy milk
6 oz (80-calorie) vanilla yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1-2 Tb ground flaxseed
Handful of ice OR 1 cup frozen blueberries

Combine milk, yogurt, and fresh blueberries plus ice OR frozen blueberries in a blender along with ground flax. Blend for 1 minute, transfer to a glass.

For one serving

For one serving

After analyzing this recipe, the calories are a little higher than I typically have in a breakfast, but thankfully a lot of this comes from naturally occurring sugars. Calorie count could be reduced by using less milk and using a lower sugar content yogurt— I’ll probably make these adjustments this weekend. Overall though, fiber and protein content are great which I could tell from how well it kept me full that morning. 

If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think! Also, please feel free to share any smoothie recipes that you swear by so that I can join the smoothie band wagon 😉


Monday Mind-Pick: What’s Your Definition of Healthy?

sheena fat

Me and my 5 lb fat model after a lunch and learn presentation today.

Since it’s Monday, I thought I’d take advantage of today and do a little Monday Mind-Picking. What I want to know from my readers today is, “What’s Your Definition of Healthy?” when it comes to food/eating? This summer with work I’m doing a series of group nutrition presentations to help my clients with summer weight loss goals. I believe a lot of times our biggest gamechanger with our eating habits involves our own personal definition of what we consider to be a healthy food.

I know that my dietitian colleagues will likely have their own definition of “healthy” and I too will share my intepretation soon as well, but I’d love for you all to comment today on what your definition of a healthy food is. As tempting as it is to Google the phrase “healthy” or “healthy food” today, I encourage you to just share what comes up off the top of your head.  Say for example, would you consider iceberg lettuce healthy because it’s low calorie and it’s a vegetable? Or would you consider a potato unhealthy because it’s white and a starchy carbohydrate?  These are just a few examples of some things, but I’d like for you to provide your own food examples as well.  I’d like to use your responses to create a series of posts this summer that will correlate with some of the information I’ll be sharing with my Summer Slimdown series at work.

The more responses the better so please feel free to comment 🙂


Delicious, Nutritious, {Roasted} BROCCOLI!!

roasted broccoli

Shout out to my broccoli lovers in the house! I consider broccoli to be on my personal list of super foods. Why? Need some fiber? Bam, here’s your broccoli! Need water soluble vitamin C or fat soluble vitamin A? Get some broccoli. Or maybe you need some calcium and folic acid…yep, broccoli is there to the rescue. Maybe you’d just like some nice phytochemicals to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases—bring out the broccoli.

For some people however, broccoli can be a daunting task to eat. I used to relish the opportunity to put raw broccoli florets in my salads at work until I realized how sensitive my tummy was to raw broccoli. If you didn’t know, broccoli is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables (which includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy) which has been known to provide stomach discomforts to some people in its raw form due to the fiber content, providing subsequent bloating from the gases that are formed in the stomach during digestion. Doesn’t sound too fun huh? Though broccoli and other cruciferous veggies have their best health benefits in the raw form, cooking broccoli appropriately (avoiding overcooking) can help diminish these negative tummy effects while also keeping the nutritional integrity of the veggie.

Most people steam their broccoli but yesterday I found a fantastic recipe for oven roasted broccoli at The Gingered Whisk. She has some incredibly delicious recipes! Last night I thought I’d put her recipe to the test right after pinning this bad boy on Pinterest.  This recipe was originally from The Amateur Gourmet who adapted it from the wonderful Ina Garten.

20130604_182133Get out the delicious broccoli…

20130604_182504Chop into florets to arrange on a foil lined baking sheet

20130604_182855Aren’t they so cute and delicious looking?!

20130604_183155

Pull out your seasonings…I didn’t have any kosher salt so ended up using some sea salt; I also pulled out the garlic powder to supplement with the minced garlic I ended up using

20130604_183509

20130604_184828

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425

20130604_190615

Add your lemon juice and Parmesan cheese…I had some leftover Sargento in the fridge

20130604_190557

20130604_190953

YUUUUMMMMMM!!!!

Roasted Broccoli Recipe

Ingredients
4-5 pounds of broccoli
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
zest and juice from 1 lemon

Directions
Preheat your oven to 425
Take 2 large bunches of broccoli and cut it into florets.
Wash them and dry them super thoroughly.
Put some tin foil on a lined cookie sheet.
Place your broccoli on the cookie sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, sprinkle with kosher salt and some black pepper to taste.
Slice 4 heads of garlic and place these on the cookie sheet, too.
Now toss it all together.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp tender and getting a bit brown on the tips.
Remove the pan from the oven and zest a lemon over the broccoli, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice.
Drizzle a little more olive oil on top, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and toss.
Enjoy!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to eat broccoli any other way. The lemon juice and zest really enhance the flavor of this dish. My husband and I paired the broccoli with some roasted chicken. If you try this recipe, please tell what you think! 🙂

P.S. Next up this week will be my tasting of some bacon and cheese flavored crickets I picked up at the market in Charleston. Video will be included so you don’t want to miss 🙂


Creating the Perfect Salad

Dining out….we love and we hate it, especially if we’re trying to follow a particular eating regimen. So many of my clients get apprehensive when it comes to eating out, especially if they’re going to an establishment that doesn’t explicitly list the nutrition content on the menu or website. Are you the same way? In some cases, we may feel like the only way we can eat healthy at a restaurant is if we order a salad; speaking from past experience, I’ve been in this boat as well.

Sometimes when we order a salad, one of two things can happen:

1) Scenario one… we get a salad for the sake of the word “salad” being in the title and it’s basically a plate/bowl of fried chicken tenders, shredded yellow processed cheese, 1 cup of croutons and about 1/2 gallon of ranch dressing…maybe something similar to the picture below.

Image

This salad has some great components but having a lot of dressing (not necessarily as seen in this picture) or a whopping deep fried chicken breast can provide excessive saturated fat, sodium, and calories to your meal.

2) Scenario two…you order an iceberg or romaine lettuce salad with barely anything on it but a tasteless piece of grilled chicken and a virtually calorie free vinaigrette, maybe something similar to this:

Image

Sure this is low in calorie but you’ll find yourself getting hungry sooner than later without the necessary fat that you need and adequate carbohydrate to provide energy.

Now don’t get me wrong, salads are wonderful awesome meals that can house the components we need for a healthy meal (carb, protein, and fat) but often times we order on two extremes of the restaurant salad spectrum. Components to a meal worthy salad include the following:

1) Great lettuce– romaine and iceberg are fine and dandy but are primarily water and don’t house many vitamins or minerals. Instead, go for dark green/colorful lettuces such as spinach or a baby spring mix

2) A variety of veggies– adding things like carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, etc., can really enhance the textures and flavors in your salad while also providing a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals….without adding excess calories

3) Carbohydrate– most of the time when people think of carbohydrates, they only think of the starchy things like breads, rice, pasta, etc. Luckily, fruit and dairy products such as dried/fresh fruits and milk/yogurt can provide carbohydrate in a meal which the body uses as it’s preferred fuel source. If you’re not a fruit in your salad kind of person or you’re not a crouton kind of person either, having a serving of bread on the side or a baked potato with minimal heart-healthy margarine and low fat/fat free sour cream can provide some good carbohydrate.

4) Have protein– protein in your salad is so important as the protein along with fat help bring satiety to your meal and keep you full for a longer amount of time because protein and fat take longer to digest than carbohydrate. Protein on a salad could be grilled chicken, boiled egg, nuts/seeds, cheese (think outside of just regular shredded yellow cheese for more variety), beans, tofu, etc.

5) Get your fat– as with protein, fat will bring the satiety to the salad that your body needs. Fat can come from the salad dressing that you use (try to use vinaigrette based things vs. cream based dressings most of the time) and even the protein components that you add such as nuts/seeds, cheese, etc.

DSC_0023

Can we say yummy?!
This is courtesy of Spaghettofu!

Now, I do want to say that these suggestions primarily apply if you’re having a salad as your main entree. If you’re doing a side salad for sake of primarily getting in your veggies servings during the day, then feel free to have your carbohydrate/protein/fat components within your main dish 🙂

Curious about some of the worst salads to have at a restaurant….check out this article from Men’s Health!

Soon I’ll be posting some helpful tips on ordering out in general — stay tuned! Yes it’s possible to eat healthy without having to get a salad 🙂


A Filipino Foodie Meets Dr. Gourmet

One aspect that I really love about my job is getting to meet other people passionate about health, especially when it comes to nutrition. This week, myself and two of my other dietitian colleagues got to meet with Dr. Tim Harlan,  who serves as the Medical Director at Tulane University Medical Group and as Executive Director for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine. His presentation this week to our college focused on the efforts of a Teaching Kitchen for medical students at Tulane….essentially teaching medical students how to cook, not only to practice what they preach, but to have a more in depth understanding of how the quality of the diet affects various aspects of health.

How cool is that? Imagine having a doctor that could provide you with some practical information connecting cooking with your health. In fact, the teaching kitchen effort is also set up to provide cooking classes to the New Orleans community taught by medical students and residents! What I love about Dr. Harlan is that he is so passionate about keeping his patients off medication through making lifestyle changes, most definitely including improving the quality of his patients’ overall diets. This passion for food may come from the fact that before becoming a doctor, Dr. Harlan was a trained chef, owning his own French Bistro at the mere age of 22.

Dr. Gourmet

Though Dr. Harlan is coined by his own entrepreneurial endeavors as Dr. Gourmet, Dr. Harlan provided us with some great information representing Tulane’s Culinary Medicine program. His interest in spreading the trend of other medical schools providing a culinary aspect was pretty evident, and I can’t wait to see what comes of this program in the next few years. Dr. Harlan also provided everyone with a copy of one of his cookbooks, Hand on Heart.

20130507_122944

Dr. Harlan providing his lecture— not the best quality picture, I know

20130508_193958

One of Dr. Harlan’s cookbooks provided to us— everything in here looks so yummy! I can’t wait to make many of these recipes and share with you!

Below I’ve also included a few books that Dr. Harlan recommends– I’ve read a few of these before but I’d like to re-read and share some reviews with you guys in upcoming posts 🙂

Interested in learning more about Tulane’s Teaching Kitchen or Dr. Gourmet? Check out the links below!

http://www.drgourmet.com/index.shtml
https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/november2012/314006/kitchen-classroom.html
https://www.facebook.com/tusomkitchen
http://tmedweb.tulane.edu/mu/teachingkitchen/


Hummus!

Today’s post is inspired by my dog Lou’s insatiable appetite for hummus. Sometimes I think he eats better than me and my husband with his affinity for hummus, mangoes, clementines, and Greek yogurt. One thing I look towards the most every day is coming home and snacking on hummus with my pup 🙂

Lou collageCall it the food nerd and dietitian in me, but sometimes I get excited thinking about how something so delicious can be so healthy for you. And with the varieties of hummus that are out there, the sky is the limit on the flavor and nutrition profiles you can create with this great dip. Because hummus is essentially pureed garbanzo beans typically including olive oil and other “hummus staples”, hummus is a great source of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. Folate, zinc, and magnesium are additional vitamins and minerals that tend to be present in hummus as well.

Making your own hummus at home can be easy and fun, especially when putting your own spin on recipes. My favorite varieties of hummus tend to be on the spicy side 🙂 Below I have included One of my favorite recipes from fellow dietitian Roberta Duyff with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Sun-Dried Tomato-Olive Hummus (don’t worry, not spicy 🙂 )

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Italian (flat) parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine chickpeas, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin. Process until smooth. Consistency should be smooth but not runny.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, olives and cilantro.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer to blend flavors.
  4. To serve, top with pine nuts and/or paprika, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serves 12 (1/4 cup serving)
Calories: 100
Calories from fat: 30; Total fat: 3.5g; Saturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium 210mg
Total carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary fiber: 3g; Sugars: 2g
Protein 4g

**

If you’re trying to decide how to eat your hummus outside of dipping a pita chip in there, see the 10 Helpful Hummus Tips from WebMD to create some variety in your hummus lifestyle:

1. Hummus serves as a super spread on sandwiches and wraps. Try it instead of mayonnaise. You’ll get more flavor with less fat.

2. Hummus turns into a tasty dressing. Blend some hummus with broth, water, or wine until you get your desired drizzling consistency to make a dressing for cold pasta salads.

3. Hummus serves as a great dip with raw veggies. Fill a serving bowl with the hummus of your choosing and surround the bowl with assorted raw vegetables such as sugar snap peas, sliced cucumber or zucchini, grape or cherry tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets.

4. Hummus + salsa = a spicy dip. Spice up plain hummus by blending in your favorite salsa. With about 20 seconds of mixing, a spicy dip is born.

5. Hummus is for hamburgers. Use hummus as a spread for veggie, turkey, or beef burgers in place of traditional condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard.

6. Make a better bruschetta with hummus. For a more satisfying serving of bruschetta (an Italian appetizer of grilled sliced bread traditionally topped with a mixture of chopped tomato, garlic, olive oil, onion, and basil), top a sliced toasted baguette with some hummus before adding a dollop of the tomato bruschetta topping.

7. Hummus is easier to make than you may think. Just combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for a minute. It keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

8. Serve hummus with whole grains. Hummus works well as an appetizer served with whole grain crackers and crisps. Toasted whole wheat pita pocket crisps or grilled whole grain tortilla triangles are ideal but whole wheat crackers complement the flavor of hummus, too.

9. Spread hummus instead of cream cheese. Try hummus on your whole grain bagel instead of cream cheese.

10. Hummus is a friend of falafel. If you are a fan of falafel (fried or baked crispy balls made with chickpeas, bulgur, and spices), hummus is a nice condiment for falafel served as an appetizer or as a filler in a pita sandwich.

Do you have a favorite hummus recipe? Please share and spread the hummus love 🙂 🙂


Quick and Yummy Jasmine Rice Pilaf

Today I’m going to share a simple recipe for a deliciously fragrant jasmine rice pilaf you can easily make in your rice cooker. Earlier this week the hubs and I wanted a starchy side to go along with some leftover smoked chicken and veggies we had in the fridge. We always have jasmine rice on hand and luckily I had some other things in the pantry and fridge from some previous recipes this month that helped pull things together. My recipe for this rice pilaf is similar to others I’ve seen before, but for the sake of what was in my fridge at the time, I put my own little spin to some traditional recipes I’ve seen before.

20130424_193910-1

Jasmine Rice Pilaf

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

2 cups chicken stock (chicken broth will also work)

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 bay leaf

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 small shallot chopped (can also use regular onion)

2 teaspoons olive oil or margarine

3 teaspoons minced garlic cloves

Directions
In a small to medium frying pan, saute chopped garlic and shallot in olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. In your rice cooker, combine the rice, chicken stock, almonds, bay leaf, mushrooms, and garlic/shallot mixture. Cover and hit the “cook” button 🙂 Your rice should be done in about 20-30 minutes 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about simple, especially when I can utilize things I’ve already got in the pantry. One modification you can also do is making this recipe with a portion of brown rice to add fiber. I absolutely love jasmine rice vs the traditional long-grain white rice because of it’s fragrant qualities — very nostalgic for me as a child. White rice usually gets a bad rap as a starchy carbohydrate but this is typically due to eating it in large amounts or adding copious amounts of sugar, salt, and fat before and after cooking. Using the natural flavor profile of garlic and onions and adding heart healthy fats from the olive oil and almonds can bring your typical side of rice to an all new level 🙂

20130424_192856

Don’t be alarmed to see some of your mixture’s components collect to the top of the rice.

20130424_192905

Give that rice a nice mixing so that each serving gets a good mix of the mushrooms and other ingredients.

20130424_193615Bon Appetit!


Hungry? Is it Physical Hunger or Emotional Hunger?

edgeofreason_zellweger_blanket_500

It’s 8:30 p.m. and you’re up watching your favorite t.v. show. During the commercial break, you decide to flip it to Food Network and see Guy Fieri trying a delicious malted milkshake on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Hungry yet? Or maybe you keep the commercials on and see that DQ Grill and Chill has a promotion for buy one blizzard, get one free; magically, you are on the move to find something sweet in your fridge or pantry….or maybe even looking for your car keys to make a run through the drive through for a dipped cone. Does any of this sound familiar?  Or maybe you’re just really hungry for something sweet and savory after a rough day at work or an argument with a friend over the phone. Can you relate to any of these scenarios? I most definitely can and can also admit that I’ve given in to a lot of them as well. With a lot of the clientele I see, an important topic of discussion is helping people figure out when they’re truly hungry and using intuitive eating as a way to eat sensibly throughout the day.

stressed

Sometimes we may eat out of boredom and maybe just because someone suggested to go eat because it was something to do. I’ve worked with people in the past that use food for comfort— especially knowing that they can count on that pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream to taste exactly like it did the last time they bought it without the emotional baggage of the boyfriend that made them mad a few hours before 🙂 If you’ve ever wondered if you’re walking the line between physical hunger and emotional hunger, I’ve posted a graphic below to help you decipher between “symptoms”:

8 Traits of Emotional HungerThe information above can be really helpful in trying to decipher between physical and emotional hunger. Sometimes people tell me they never really feel hungry at all, or at least not until the end of the day. Did you know that eating more frequently throughout the day can actually help that sensation of hungry come back? Trust me, this is a good thing. If we’re the type of person on the go and rarely set aside time for meals or snacks, our body will start to think, “well buddy, if you’re not even going to do something about this hunger then I’m not even going to give you that hunger feeling anymore”. Now don’t get me wrong, just because that hunger feeling has gone away does NOT mean your body isn’t in need of those calories. But, if we start to change our habits and eat sensible meals and snacks every 3-4 hours, our metabolism starts to “wake up” and provide us those natural feelings of hunger that can help us achieve intuitive eating.

To complement some of the things I shared in finding an appropriate vending machine snack to address your hunger needs in a bind, I’ve listed some key things below to help with the hungry (or perhaps hangry) battle:

1. Take Time with Your Meals – Be sure to take at least 15-20 minutes when you eat if you’ve got the time. It takes about this length of time for your brain and stomach to communicate chemically and actually give you that sensation of fullness. Often times though, we end up eating so quickly that within the first five minutes of eating we’ve already eaten the volume of food it would take for our stomach to be full. But since it’s only been five minutes and there’s still more food left to be had on your plate or at the table, you may keep eating until you reach that level of “over full” about 30 minutes later. Think of that overly full feeling that makes you want (or need) to unbutton your blue jeans and put on some sweat pants, or in my case, take off my spanx 🙂 Ways you can extend your meal time include putting the fork down in between every bite of food (i.e. don’t have bite #4 of mashed potatoes hovering by your mouth ready to go before you even completely swallowed bite #1), or taking sips of water or other low calorie beverage in between bites of food as well.

2. Make Sure You’re Staying Well Hydrated- Feeling hungry pretty soon after already having your meal or snack? That rumble in your tummy might actually be your body telling you that you’re thirsty. Before getting to the point of dehydration and having a parched mouth or dry throat, your body may give the sensation of hunger to prompt you to drink more water. Take home point: if you feel “hungry” pretty soon after already eating your meal or snack not too long ago, have a glass of water and then reassess the hunger that you’re feeling. If you’re still hungry after rehydrating, you may have truly not eaten enough at your previous meal or snack.

3. Avoid Going Long Periods of Time Between Meals and Snacks- Just like a burning fireplace, our metabolism likes to be fed every few hours to continue to burn. This also includes breakfast which could be considered the “lighter fluid” that jump starts your fire /metabolism for the day. Having breakfast within 30 mins-1 hr after rising can help literally ‘break the fast’ that your body was experiencing while sleeping. Only eating 1 or 2 times a day puts our body in survival mode, training it to hold on to any calorie we give it for dear life. Also, if you’re eating small mini meals/snacks throughout the day, this keeps you from being overly hungry at your next meal. One other helpful tip, especially if you’re going out to eat: have a snack 30 mins-1hr prior to going out to eat if you know you’ll be ravenously hungry by the time you go out to eat. Having a small snack such as an apple or peanut butter crackers can help curb your appetite enough to prevent you from gorging on a whole basket of chips and salsa (or bread and butter) before your entree gets in front of you.

As a last thought, I do want to acknowledge that there are foods out there that have been created just for pure pleasure….which is great! We most definitely eat to nourish our bodies but we also eat for pleasure too. Finding a balance between addressing your body’s nutritional needs and incorporating your favorite “pleasure” foods is all part of eating a balanced healthy diet. Using intuitive eating and listening to your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues can help decipher between physical hunger and emotional hunger 🙂


Understanding Food Label Language and Claims

ImageOh food labels…before coming to college I was pretty aloof to their information…specifically what was considered a serving size for a product or how many servings were in one package. I am even embarrassed to admit that before studying nutrition I was under the impression that a pint of ice cream was one portion size….not four 1/2 cup servings! This is still a common question I get with many of my patients. Being aware of the claims on food labels and nutrition facts labels are not just important if we’re trying to shed a few pounds (or gain) but is also quite important for people with diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, among other chronic and acute conditions.

Reading food labels can help you become a better shopper. Below I’ve listed the government definitions for terms you’ll want to understand, especially in regards to calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc. It’s important to remember that these claims are based on a single serving of that particular food.

Calories

  • Low calorie– 40 calories or less per serving
  • Reduced calorie– at least 25% fewer calories per serving when compared to a similar food
  • Light or Lite– 1/3 fewer calories or 50% less fat per serving
  • Calorie free– less than five calories per serving

If more than half the calories are from fat, the fat content must be reduced by 50%

Fat

  • Fat free– less than 1/2 gram (.5 gram) of fat per serving
  • Low fat– 3 grams of fat or less per serving
  • Reduced fat– at least 25% less fat when compared to a similar food

Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol free– less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol per serving AND 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Low cholesterol– 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol per serving AND 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving

Sodium

  • Sodium free– less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving
  • Very low sodium– 35 milligrams or less sodium per serving
  • Low sodium– 75% less sodium than the amount in non-reduced sodium item (140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving)
  • Unsalted– food prepared without salt that normally is salted during processing

20130415_101123 (3)Other claims that you may see on a label often times may include:

  • High fiber– five or more grams of fiber per serving
  • “High in…” – provides 20% or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving (ex: Vitamin C)
  • “Good source of…”- provides at least 10 to 19% of the Daily Value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving

Do any of these phrases ring a bell for some of your favorite food products? If you don’t already pay attention to these claims on food labels, now you’ll know exactly what this means 🙂 Happy eating and happy shopping!