Healthy Snack Options for People with Diabetes

Actor Tom Hanks recently revealed to David Letterman that he has Type 2 Diabetes, which shocked many since he has a lean body and appears to be in good shape. However, it is important to note that Type 2 Diabetes does not discriminate.

We at EALM, wanted to share some diabetes-friendly snack ideas for Tom and others with Type 2 Diabetes from Laura’s new book; The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet CookBook:

  • Nature Box offers a variety of healthy snacks to help you make eating with diabetes a lifestyle, not just a temporary fix.
  • Bitsy’s Brainfood orange chocolate beet cookies are the perfect answer to a chocolate craving. They contain real fruit and veggies, packed with antioxidants that fight heart disease and the inflammation associated with diabetes.
  • Fit Popcorn is a great low carb, high volume snack for those watching blooding sugar. Think night snack!!popcorn
  • Chias and yogurt – try fruit-flavored chias topped with Greek yogurt for the best texture fix! Plus omegas and 2 servings of protein.
  • Kashi cereal – mix with nuts, seeds and M&Ms to keep carbs low, good fats high, and yet not feel deprived of candy. Who would have guessed they could have a few M&Ms with Diabetes?

Remember, Tom and all those with a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis should keep snacks at 30 grams of carb or less to beat blood sugar damage!

 

This article was published on CloseConcerns.com.

 

5 Candies That Won't Spook Your Blood Sugar

Or Send Your Children Into A Crazy Tizzy!!

 

 

1). Annie’s Organic Orchard Strawberry Fruit Bites

One pack of these fun fruit snacks are a great option for your trick or treating tots!

http://www.annies.com/products/Organic-Orchard-Fruit-Bites

 

 

2) YummyEarth Organic Lollipops

Enjoy 3 lollipops!! http://www.yummyearth.com/

If you want quantity, you can lick three of these pops without worrying about your blood sugar.

 

 

3). Tootsie Pop

http://www.tootsie.com/health.php?pid=168

Want something to crunch and chew?? Choose a tootsie pop.

 

 

4). Lindt Chocolate

http://www.lindtusa.com/product-exec/product_id/44/category_id/5/nm/Excellence_85_Cocoa_Bar

Fix your chocolate craving with 4 squares of Lindt’s 85% cocoa bar.

 

 

5). Hershey’s Chocolate Bar with Almonds

http://www.hersheys.com/pure-products/hersheys-milk-chocolate-with-almonds-bar/standard-bar.aspx

Yes, you can eat a bar of chocolate with almonds. The best option is to eat half of this and save the rest for another day.

 

 

A Desert Where Shopping Matters

From comparing grocery store prices to analyzing a product’s nutritional label, a weekend trip to the grocery store can turn into stressful and overwhelming task. Many of us want to eat healthier, but how can we shop for healthy foods while on a limited budget? Although price often plays a major role in influencing what we buy when we go food shopping, buying healthy foods doesn’t have to be expensive.

Many organizations are making an effort to tackle this nationwide issue by teaching nutrition education, but one organization’s unique efforts is City Harvest’s Shopping Matters, which takes place right in local grocery stores. And just like many other Americans, if money is what is keeping you from making healthy food purchases, I challenge you to think again. What if you could learn to stretch your budget, to buy and eat healthy foods? Read on to learn about the awesome efforts made by City Harvest, and the programs’ tips to get the most healthful bang for your buck.

What is Shopping Matters?

Shopping Matters is an initiative created by City Harvest in partnership with Share Our Strength. The two-hour grocery store tour is led by a qualified facilitator, who teaches the participants how to shop on a budget, read food labels, how to identify whole-grains and stretch your budget to create more than just one meal. After one hour, participants are presented with a $10 challenge to put what they’ve just learned into practice. Participants must follow specific guidelines, i.e. grain must be whole-grain bread or cereal, to buy at least one food from each food group totaling no more than $10. This part of the tour is particularly fun and exciting for the participants because it not only tests their knowledge but it offers motivation to try new foods like 2% milk rather than whole milk.

Another Kind of Desert

Can you imagine travelling 15 miles to buy a head of lettuce or some fresh fruit? Many of us are fortunate to be able to call Whole Foods or Trader Joes, our local market. With organic foods and fresh produce so readily available to us, it can be easy to forget that for many Americans, this is not the case. Imagine if the closest grocery store was too far to get to without transportation. An area where grocery stores are scarce or missing, this is called a food desert. Although there may be bodegas or take-out restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood, it would still be considered a food desert since many atimes only highly processed foods are offered. It is in these areas that poverty, obesity and health related diseases are at an all time high. City Harvest considers these factors and implements the Shopping Matters Tours in only specific neighborhoods. The tours currently take place in the following neighborhoods: 1) The South Bronx, 2) Stapleton, Staten Island 3). Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. By conducting the tours in the actual neighborhood markets like Key Foods, not only places the participants in a realistic environment, but makes the food culture relevant.

Build the Skills To Make Healthy Choices While On a Budget

A Shopping Matters Tour may not be taking place in your local market but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the tips City Harvest has to offer! Here’s the inside scoop on the skills you need to build to stretch your budget and make tasty, healthy meals for you and your family:

  • Buy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables – Not only will your produce taste better, but during peak season fresh produce costs less.
  • Fresh, Frozen and Canned – People tend to think fresh produce is the “best” form. However, keep in mind that fresh produce often needs be used quickly and if not in season, can be expensive.  A more economical alternative is to buy frozen fruits and vegetables, which can cost less and is available year-round. If canned foods are on sale, they have a long shelf life and can be a good purchase. If opting to buy canned products, choose items without added sodium, low in fat, or 100% juice. If there is sodium in it, simply rinse off canned produce to reduce the sodium.  Surely every packaging has its pros and cons but by opening yourself up to fruits and vegetables in all their forms, in terms of prices, you’ll have more options to choose from.
  • Compare Prices – Use unit prices to find the best bang for your buck. The unit price shows ounce for ounce or pound by pound just how much you are paying for a particular item. For example, when comparing two bagged items of different sizes, it can help you identify just exactly which costs less.
  • Read Food Labels – Take a few seconds to check the serving size. If considering your family meals, this can be especially helpful in meal planning. Look at the calories, sodium and nutrients you will be getting from the product.
  • Read the Ingredients – Just because the bread is brown or says “multigrain” or even “100% wheat” doesn’t mean it is actually made with whole grain. Be a smart and saavy shopper and check for the first ingredient on the list. Some examples are: Whole wheat, bulgar, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice
  • Organic vs. Non-Organic – Some items need not be purchased organic. If you wish to purchase organic, check out this Dirty Dozen list for a better understanding of what items are better off organic and which ones you can do without. If cost is a factor however, getting your fruits and vegetables should be at the top of the list, even if its not organic.
  • Cut coupons and checkout weekly specials

Frozen Yogurt or Frozen No-gurt

Frozen Yogurt: Is your yogurt really yogurt?

Cold, sweet and creamy — If you’re like me, nothing screams “summer” more than ice cream! But under the heat of the sun, choosing a healthy, frozen treat isn’t always easy. In recent years, frozen yogurt chains have been making their way across the nation. Due to both food trends and as a health conscious society, many swap traditional ice cream for frozen yogurt as a lighter, healthier option than most traditional ice creams. Some people think that because it’s “yogurt,” it must be healthier. Well, fro-yo fans, read on to learn if this seemingly low-fat and cold snack is really healthier? Does it provide the same benefits as eating yogurt? And most of all, does your frozen yogurt actually contain well, yogurt?

Frozen Yogurt or Frozen No-gurt

Under the FDA, there is a standard of identity that defines yogurt: cultured dairy ingredients with a bacterial culture containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles. These beneficial bacteria then convert pasteurized milk, to yogurt. For frozen yogurt products however, there is no standard of identity that exists. In other words, any cold and creamy, sweet and swirly dessert can call itself “yogurt,” without actually containing any “real” yogurt! Don’t panic just yet-some frozen yogurts actually do contain yogurt.

So if frozen yogurt products aren’t required to actually contain these live and active cultures, how do we know if our favorite frozen ice cream alternative contains yogurt or no-gurt? Well thanks to the National Yogurt Association, they have developed an Active Cultures Seal, which can help customers identify what frozen yogurt products actually contain yogurt. The NYA’s Live & Active Cultures seal on frozen yogurt product signifies that it “contains at least 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.” For those individuals who think they are reaping the health benefits of yogurt the Live and Active Cultures seal can help you differentiate which frozen yogurt actually contains these good-for-you active cultures.

Does your favorite brand of frozen yogurt contain yogurt? When in doubt, ask the company for the seal of approval, or check out our quick guide to see if your favorite fro-yo brand made the cut: 

 

Frozen Yogurt Brand

 

 

Contains Yogurt or No-gurt?

 

Live & Active Cultures Seal?

16 Handles

No-gurt

No

Pinkberry

Yes

Yes

Red Mango

Yes

Yes

Tasty D-Lite

No-gurt

No

TLC

No-gurt

No

 

 A “Sometimes” Food

The trending idea that frozen yogurt is “more healthy,” does have some truth to it. Ounce for ounce, frozen yogurt typically contains fewer calories, and less saturated fat than ice cream.  Plus frozen yogurt has an extra bonus; it contains the beneficial bacteria that your belly needs and loves.

Portion with Caution

Fro-yo fans should be careful with portion size, choice of toppings (ie. fruits or cookies) and amount of toppings. Be most mindful in shops where customers like you, can self-serve. Calories easily add up to the equivalent or more than traditional ice cream. The machines distort a customer’s portion control. Because it can be difficult to eyeball exactly what “1/2 cup” or “3/4 cup” looks like, we often end up buying and eating more than we think. This is mindless eating and weight gain. For those who only want a few spoonfuls of a frozen snack, opt for a kiddie cup or use my 5 second rule with the self-serve machine. (Hold machine handle down for five seconds and then lift).

Tips to Navigate the Freezer

If you are aiming for health:

  • Look for the Active Cultures Seal or do your research online.
  • Choose fresh fruit for the toppings
  • Eat real yogurt such as Greek yogurt or Better Than Whey Yogurt

If you are being mindful of your waistline:

  • Opt for places with kiddie portions or use the 5 Second Rule.
  • Opt for no toppings
  • Buy prepackaged frozen pops that are pre-portioned

If you want ice cream:

  • Eat the real thing to satisfy your cravings
  • Eat a small portion of the real thing without toppings
  • Just eat it and enjoy, but not everyday

*Whether you’re a fro-yo fan or want to try it for the first time, this week Mom Dishes It Out is giving a month’s supply of Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars to 5 lucky followers! To enter, visit Mom Dishes It Out!

What's on our "Q"?

 The Skinny on Shakes for People With Diabetes

With so many meal replacements on the market, but how do you pick
which one is best? Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor. It can
be important to consider the sugar, carbohydrate or even protein content.11 Nutritious, Kid-Friendly Finger Foods

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Check out this easy to follow recipe made
from lean turkey breast, which helps turn this usual calorie fest into something
a bit healthier. And while your at it, make sure to check out the Mango Tango Tortillas!

Jet-Set With Your Picnic Basket! Fun Theme Ideas for Lunch

Themed picnics are a great way to incorporate entertainment, flavor, and
even education into a family outing. Add a clever theme to your picnic by
incorporating foods from another city or, better yet, from around the world!

Also in “Q”: Remember to tune in for Restaurant Week 2012 recommendations, this Wednesday AM on CBS’s W1NY!!

 

The Epidemic of Diabetes

Hydrate with water, not soda

Regardless of weight and age, America is heading towards a Diabetes epidemic. Americans must change their lifestyles by moving more, and eating less.

Diabetes does not discriminate based on overall weight. America needs to focus on decreasing belly fat, specifically, eating less processed food and moving more.

 

Based on the study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, Diabetes is increasing in our teen population. There was a 14% increase in prediabetes and diabetes in a ten year period. In 1999 – 2000, there was a 9% incidence of prediabetes and diabetes in teenagers between ages 12- 19. In 2007- 2008, there was a 23 % incidence of prediabetes and diabetes. This is more than two fold. However, the study also revealed this was regardless of weight. Across the weight spectrum, all teens had an increase in the incidence of Diabetes. In my mind, this is a Diabetes Epidemic not an obesity epidemic.

Obesity did not increase in our youth during this ten year period from 1999 – to 2008. One study from the NHANES reports an actual decrease in teen obesity, despite an increase in prediabetes and diabetes. Also, half of the participants in the study had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which means everyone needs intervention.

So what is the intervention? It depends on who you ask but the many agree America must move more, eat less processed food, and practice stress relief. America is eating too much and not moving enough. We are a culture of convenience. People need to eat because they are hungry rather than bored. We need to eliminate highly processed food such as chips and soda. We need to feel full with fiber and drink for hydration. Simple solutions are to replace chips with fiber rich berries and soda with bubbly water like Perrier. Ideally, we need to decrease insulin resistance and belly bulge (aka abdominal obesity).

The study admits to flaws. One of the flaws is the tool BMI – Body Mass Index. This measurement tool uses overall weight and height, not accounting for muscle mass and frame. Football players are considered obese when using BMI. A better tool to assess for obesity, belly fat, insulin resistance and or risk for diabetes would be the waist to height ratio. This tool would not qualify the typical football player as obese.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to share some of these thoughts with the HLN audience. Click here to see the clip.

 

May AL, Kuklina EV, Yoon PW. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999−2008. Pediatrics. 2012;peds.2011-1082.

Mom's Universal Snack List For School

Snack Ditty from Eco-Ditty

 

So it seems many schools have a suggested snack list. Moms keep asking what is appropriate for snack and how do you make a balanced snack choice. In honor of National Nutrition Month (Get Your Plate In Shape), here is my recommended snack list. You can modify if your school follows Kosher or Allergy Free guidelines. Happy Snacking!!

Suggested foods that are ideal for health and growth:

Organic and or local foods especially dairy and fruits; No added sugars are highly encouraged. Please try to buy products with sugar as the third ingredient or more, no preservatives and no artificial colors.

 

The children often enjoy participating in the shopping for their snack week. Let them help you choose snacks for the week. Try to purchase seedless varieties when possible especially for the 2’s and 3”s. Older children may be open to varied textures and more robust flavors.

 

Refer to Web MD’s To Buy or Not Buy, Organic: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic

Chemicals in our food: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

 

Please remember to bring enough snack for ___ children for the entire week.

 

Snacks: We recommend serving a healthy protein and or healthy fat (real cheese, hummus, edamame), and 1-2 carbohydrates, 1 whole grain (spelt pretzels, multi grain cheerios), and 1 fruit or vegetable equivalent (organic apples, clementines, carrots). There must always be a fruit or a veggie option on a daily basis.

 

Beverage: Water only.

Protein/Fats: Choose 1/day to serve

Real Cheese:  Mozzarella, Cheddar (the sticks tend to be very popular)

Hard boiled eggs,

Hummus, Guacamole

Edamame

Greek yogurts (Oikos), Yogurt Squeeze (Stonyfield or Horizon, no Danimals)

Olives

Soy Butter, Sunflower Butter (class specific)

 

Carbohydrates: Whole Grains: Choose 0 -1/day to serve

Ak-Mak crackers, Wholegrain crackers (Kashi), Kalvi Rye Crackers

Baked Tortilia Chips, Kale Chips

Multigrain Goldfish

Multigrain cheerios or cereal

Whole Grain Rice Cakes

Whole Wheat Matzos

Natural Air Popped Popcorn (Bearitos and Naked Popcorn)

Spelt, whole wheat or whole grain pretzels (Snyder’s, Annies Organic)

 

Carbohydrates: Fruits and Vegetables: Choose 1/day to serve

Organic Apples

Unswtned organic applesauce

Bananas

Organic Blueberries

Carrots

Clementines

Cucumbers – peeled and sliced, seedless

Dried fruit with no added sugars and or oils

Organic Grapes

Melons – seedless

Organic Pepper Slices

Organic Strawberries

Salsa

String-beans

Organic raisins

Or any fruit/veggie your child loves!

Pumpkinlicious

Tis the the season of pumpkin. Pumpkin is delicious and a great source of Beta Carotene and Vitamin C. So go ahead and try these pumpkinlicious recipes.

 

Pumpkin Hummus

 

Ingredients

1 15-ounce canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Directions

In a food processor, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy. If hummus is too thick, you can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 102 Calories; 5.5 g Fat; 0.9g Sat Fat; 13.1g Carbohydrates; 2.8g Protein; 4.4g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 306mg Sodium

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Ravioli

 

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

24 wonton wrappers

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Chopped parsley

 

Directions

Combine 1 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water and bring the 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 7 minutes. Drain in a colander. Place 1/2 cup broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in pan and bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 162 Calories; 5 g Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 22g Carbohydrates; 6g Protein; 2g Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 505mg Sodium

 

 

 

Pumpkin Enchiladas

 

Ingredients:

3/4 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-ounce can of red enchilada sauce

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1cup black or kidney beans

Large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup shredded cheese

5 ounces 0% greek yogurt

5 6” whole wheat tortillas

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté onion and garlic in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Stir in enchilada sauce. Add pumpkin and stir until combined. Add cilantro, cumin and chili powder.  Spread a light layer of sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Fill tortillas with an even amount of sauce and beans. Roll tortillas and place in the pan with the folded edges facing down to keep them closed. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 235 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2.52g Sat Fat; 33.6g Carbohydrates; 12g Protein; 7.9g Fiber; 11.9mg Cholesterol; 604mg Sodium

 

What are you giving out for Halloween?

Trick-or-Treat: Keeping Halloween Healthier Yet Fun.

With Halloween around the corner, why not think outside the box? We can’t trick our Halloween visitors but we can treat them to new Halloween delights. Read on to get some healthier options, unconventional goodies, and finally a run down at the candy counter.

New Delights:

Clif Kid Twisted Fruit Rope, Clif Z Bar (granola bars), Organic raisins, Blue Diamond mini nut packs – almonds, Bearito’s No Oil No Salt Microwave Popcorn or Earth’s Best Organic Puree (fruit and veggies pureed like applesauce in squeeze pack)

Unconventional Goodies:

Tattoos, bouncy balls, yo-yos, stickers, pencils, chalk and mini coloring books

Candy Counter:

For those that adhere to moderation the top 5 Halloween candy picks: Smarties, Tootsie Pops, York Peppermint Patties, Twizzlers and Milk Duds

 

**Just know I will be giving out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups because they taste so yummy and a variety of the above!!

 

Optional Reading – nutritional information listed below:

  1. Smarties: 25 calories, 0 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar (per roll)
  2. Tootsie Pop: 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 grams of sugar (per lollipop)
  3. York Peppermint Patty: 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 grams of sugar (per snack size patty)
  4. Twizzlers: 160 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 19 grams of sugar (4 pieces)
  5. Milk Duds: 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 20 grams of sugar (13 pieces)

 

The Other Butter:

My oldest son’s school is “NUT SAFE” meaning nut free. For many parents, this leaves us in bewilderment when trying to make our kids a nut free snack or lunch. This is especially challenging when we have picky palates to deal with.

The Solution:

If you can no longer send peanut butter to school, spread some soy nut butter on your kid’s sandwich. Shh, don’t tell them and see if they notice the difference. My picky eater noticed something was different, but liked it. Even better was when I sent the soy nut butter to school for snack week, the teachers reported the class loved eating it as their protein choice during snack time. The teachers commented that they were sharing the idea with the class parents.

Soy foods are listed as one of the top eight food allergens but are neither a peanut or tree nut. Therefore, they are typically safe and appropriate in a nut free environment. To learn more about food allergies specifically peanuts and tree nuts visit:  http://www.foodallergy.org/page/tree-nut-allergy. For more information on feeding your kids, stay tuned for my new mommy blog:  www.MomDishesItOut.com!!!