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Tag: calories

When I saw the advertisement for Jack in the Box’s Bacon Shake, I had to know what was really inside. Do they actually blend up bacon and ice cream?  As with the 21 ingredients in McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, I’m finding a trend with fast food menus. They give you a simple description of what’s in the product, but don’t actually tell you the ingredient list without some serious digging. Case in point. When you look up the Bacon Shake, here is what you see:

Bacon Shake
Made with real vanilla ice cream, bacon flavored syrup, whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.

While the descriptions sounds fairly simple and straight forward, there are some early warning signs. First, is the “bacon flavored” bit. If it really contained bacon, it would tell you so. Second is the “whipped topping.”  This is not to be confused with whipped cream as they are entirely two different things. Third, we’re all aware that no cherry is that candy-red in nature, so be assured you’re about to consume some red dye.

Here is the full ingredient list for the Jack in the Box Bacon Shake…all 48 of them:
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© Nikola Hristovski | Dreamstime.com

 

Chewing. The act of breaking down food in your mouth with your teeth. It’s something we take for granted because if we didn’t chew, we’d be preforming the Heimlich Maneuver on a daily basis. Chewing seems so simple. You just bite down a few times, swallow and repeat. But how often do you really chew your food and, quite frankly, why does it matter?

Here are 5 reasons you should absolutely care about proper chewing:
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Yesterday, we took an in-depth look at what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. In today’s post we’ll show you what to look for when buying Greek-style yogurt.

What to Look For at the Store

Not all Greek-style varieties are created equal. As always, you have to read the ingredient label. Traditionally, Greek yogurt is only made with 3 ingredients: milk, cream and live cultures, but many of today’s versions contain other “stuff.”

Flavor

We’re starting with flavor because that might be the most important decision when buying yogurt. The best advice here is to look for plain Greek-style yogurt. It is often the flavored varieties that add additional calories, sweeteners, thickeners, and colors. If you need to sweeten it, add your own toppings such as fresh fruit, granola (try this homemade tropical granola recipe), 100% pure maple syrup, or raw honey.

Additives

Milk Protein Concentrate – This cheap ingredient is added to Greek-style yogurt to increase thickness and the raise the protein levels. The concerns with MPC is that it is “ultra processed,” almost always imported, and highly unregulated (not a good combination). There is no reason to add this ingredient in pure Greek-style yogurt.
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This morning the USDA unveiled the new food guide for America titled MyPlate. This plate diagram replaces the old food pyramid that we’ve seen for years (see image below). If you visit choosemyplate.gov, in addition to this diagram, you will also see these dietary recommendations:

Balancing Calories
Enjoy your food, but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Make at least half your grains whole grains.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

MyPlate is an obvious improvement on the Food Pyramid which can be downright confusing at times. I also really like the bright, eye-catching colors and simplistic design. Here is my take on the diagram and accompanying recommendations:
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This is the flowchart everyone needs to see.

Check out our new flowchart and in your comment, tell us what sweetener you ended up on. Click on the image below to see the full flowchart and to get the embed code to add it to your site.

Click above to see the full flowchart

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Image: theimpulsivebuy via flickr

McDonald’s is making headlines again, this time for their Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. In Mark Bittman’s New York Times Opinionator article, How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong, he lambastes McDonald’s  for turning their oatmeal into “expensive junk food.”

So why is McDonald’s oatmeal so unhealthy? It starts with the fact that their new “bowl full of wholesome” contains 21 ingredients or as Bittman says,

“A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

So what is actually in the oatmeal? McDonald’s first ingredient list shows: Oatmeal, Diced Apples, Cranberry Raisin Blend, Light Cream. Wow, only 5 easy-to-understand and simple ingredients; sounds good, right? But then as you look down the page a bit you realize that each of those ingredients have sub-ingredients:
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