Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dessert Talk

In the summer, we often indulge on an increased amount of desserts due to fresh-fruit availability for pies/crumbles, weddings and anniversaries, graduations and many other social events.

Here are a few ways to decrease calories when preparing (or consuming) dessert:

· Make your dessert "a la mode" with a cookie scoop (1/4 cup) of light or low-fat ice cream instead of a 1/2-cup scoop of full-fat ice cream. You'll save 130 calories, 10.5 grams fat, 6.6 grams saturated fat, 59 milligrams cholesterol and 8 grams carbohydrate.

· Add a small dollop (1/8 cup) of light whipped cream instead of a big plop of heavy whipping cream (1/2 cup). You'll save 162 calories, 17.5 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat, and 65 milligrams cholesterol.

· Serve your fresh fruit atop a slice of angel food cake (weighing 50 grams per slice) instead of buttery pound cake (85 grams per slice). You'll save 95 calories, 14 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 80 milligrams cholesterol, and 16 grams carbohydrate.

· When your pie recipe calls for dotting butter or margarine on top of the filling or on top of the crust, just skip this step. You'll save 100 calories, 11.5 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, and 30 milligrams cholesterol for every tablespoon of butter you leave out.

· Reduce the sugar called for in any fruit dessert recipe by 25%. Sometimes you can cut the sugar even further, by 1/3 or half, depending on the recipe. You'll save 49 calories and 12.5 grams carbohydrate for every tablespoon of sugar you cut.

· Don't add oil or melted butter to cake mixes. There's already about 4 grams of fat per serving of dry mix. Add something liquid but low in calories instead, like fat-free sour cream, applesauce, strong coffee, or light yogurt. You'll save 54 calories, 6 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat per serving (if the cake mix calls for 1/3 cup of oil and makes 12 servings).

· Instead of a two-crust pie, opt for a fruit crisp topped with an oatmeal crumb mixture.  (For even more calorie savings, use a healthier crumb topping recipe with more fiber and less sugar.) You'll save 100 calories, 10 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat
Information Provided by WebMD

Friday, June 10, 2011

The “new pyramid” is no longer a pyramid?

On June 2, 2011, USDA recently released their new take on the infamous Food Guide Pyramid. Since 1916, USDA has released multiple charts, graphs, wheels, pyramids, and other images to encourage and educate on healthy food choices. The new icon is to be used to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate which includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy, the same food groups used on the previous pyramid. The icon comes out in conjunction with the recently revised and released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and incorporates some of the new points of interest from that document.

The new image is called, MyPlate, and illustrates a colorful plate that is sectioned into four colors to indicate the food groups for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. Along side the plate is a round circle representing the dairy group. The sections of the plate vary in size depending on the recommended portion of each food a person should eat.

The new icon is also paired with its own website , which gives consumers another resource to use to learn about nutrition and how to use this new method to make healthy choices on a daily basis.  Over the next year, USDA will unveil another tool online that helps consumers to track and mange their personal dietary and activity goals.

Overall, the hope for the MyPlate image, is to give Americans tools that empower them to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

(Image above courtesey of )