How many calories should my restaurant meal be? Here’s how many.

New regulations announced last week by the FDA mean you’ll now be able to see how many calories foods and drinks contain at your favorite chain restaurant. That’s potentially good news for cancer prevention because it can help help diners better manaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAge their weight. But it also means you will need to know how many calories you’re aiming for in that restaurant meal.

Everyone’s calorie needs differ. And many people — six of seven according to one national survey — can’t estimate the number of calories needed to maintain their weight.

-To help consumers understand the posted calorie information, the FDA says menus and menu boards will include the statement: “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.” Here, you can use the USDA site to give you calorie estimates based on your height, activity level and other characteristics. It will differ depending upon if you want to lose weight or stay the same. Continue reading


Cook meals – eat better, new study (it can help prevent cancer too)

We talk a lot about food and eating here because research shows it matters for cancer prevention. Now a study that quantifies the benefits of home cooking finds that if you frequently cook dinner at home you’re more likely to eat fewer calories, both at home and eating out, compared to those who seldom cook.canstockphoto18508832

The study was published in Public Health Nutrition yesterday.

People who cooked dinner the most, at least six nights a week, were eating 137 fewer calories per day on average compared to those cooking dinner only once a week or not at all.

Study authors used data from almost 9,600 adult participants of the government National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants answered questions about how many times they cooked during the past week and what they ate during the past 24 hours, along with questions such as about dieting.

The more people cooked, the less calories they ate. In 8% of adults’ homes, someone was cooking dinner once or less a week. These people were eating on average 2,301 calories a day. Almost half of households – 48% – were cooking dinner six to seven times a Continue reading


Adding Red to Your Rice

A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.canstockphoto12136641

This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.

All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.

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