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[IP] Food Reflections: January 2003



FOOD REFLECTIONS
January 2003

FREE Monthly E-mail Newsletter
 From the University of Nebraska Cooperative
Extension in
      Lancaster County
By Alice Henneman, Extension Educator &
Registered Dietitian

Providing a "How-To" Message on Food,
Nutrition
or Food Safety
for Health Professionals, Educators and
Consumers

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Feature: THE POWER OF ONE DIETARY CHANGE IN
LOSING WEIGHT
* Related Articles
* Educational Resources Available from Our
Office
* About Food Reflections:
        -
Subscribing/Unsubscribing/Reproducing/Web
archives

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THE POWER OF ONE DIETARY CHANGE IN LOSING
WEIGHT

Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension -
Lancaster County
email @ redacted

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NOTE: If you'd like to read this newsletter on
the Internet,
go to
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftjan03.htm

EXTRA: For special links and resources related
to January,
go to
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciqj.htm#theme

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What do 10 pounds of fat look like? For a
rough
estimate,
imagine 40 sticks of butter or margarine or 10
1-pound cans of
vegetable shortening.

Looks like a lot ... yet how many of us add
this
much weight in
a year without realizing it until our pants
fit
a little
tighter or our belt runs out of notches?

It takes an excess of about 3,500 calories to
gain a pound.
Break that into smaller bites and 100 extra
calories a day can
put on about 10 pounds a year. The GOOD NEWS
is
LOSING 10
pounds can be as easy as eating 100 calories
LESS each day for
a year.

Sometimes, we're too hard on ourselves when
we're trying to
lose weight. We eat some pretty awful-tasting
foods, forgo
getting together with friends if food is
involved, or take the
joy out of eating through a monotonous and
limited "diet."
While people have lost hundreds of pounds
through some of these
methods, it's often the same 10 pounds over
and
over again!

ONE dietary change may be all it takes. Here
are
some simple
changes, involving just ONE food; each will
decrease your daily
intake by about 100 calories. The amounts of
calories saved are
approximate; check Nutrition Facts labels on
specific foods for
exact amounts.

As a general rule, the "Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, 2000"
recommend a gradual weight loss of no more
than
1/2 to 2 pounds
per week. The Guidelines also recommend losing
weight under the
guidance of a healthcare provider, especially
for obese
children and older adults, the Guidelines
advise. If you'd like
to lose more than 10 pounds over the next
year,
try two or more
of the following changes daily.

It's difficult to obtain adequate nutrients if
you consume less
than 1,200 calories per day; supervision by
your
physician is
especially important when dropping below this
level. It's
beneficial for most people to increase their
activity level and
eat less.

=================================================
Single Dietary Changes Equal to about 100
Calories
=================================================

1. MODIFY YOUR MILK

Instead of drinking two cups of whole milk,
switch to two cups
of 1% lowfat milk or skim milk. The nutrients
are comparable.

2. MODIFY YOUR MAYO

Switch from two tablespoons of regular
mayonnaise to two
tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise.

3. RETHINK YOUR DRINK

Substitute a 12-ounce can of a diet soft drink
at 0 calories
for a similar amount of a regular soft drink
at
150 calories.
(Or, drink a cold glass of water, perhaps with
a
slice of
lemon!) This strategy also may help you eat
less
in other ways.
According to Dr. Barbara Rolls, Pennsylvania
State University
nutrition professor and author of
"Volumetrics:
Feel Full on
Fewer Calories:"

"Various liquids are processed by different
mechanisms in the
body. The hunger and thirst mechanisms are
quite
separate. A
soft drink will trigger thirst mechanisms, not
hunger
mechanisms, and add calories without
satisfying
hunger. You may
end up consuming more total calories than if
you
didn't take
the drink."

4. DOWNSIZE YOUR DRINK

If you've been drinking a 20-ounce container
of
a regular soft
drink, switch to a 12-ounce container size.

5. "DRESS," DON'T "DROWN" YOUR SALAD

Pam Anderson ("How to Cook Without a Book,"
Broadway Books,
2000) advises about 1 tablespoon of oil and a
teaspoon of
vinegar for each 1 1/2 cup portion of salad.

In "How to Make Salad" (Boston Common Press,
1998), the test
kitchen staff for "Cook's Illustrated"
magazine
advise a fourth
cup of vinaigrette should be enough to dress 2
quarts (8 cups)
of loosely packed salad, an amount they
suggest
for 4 servings.
That means each 2-cup serving of salad greens
should have about
one tablespoon of dressing on it.

(NOTE: Dressing slides off damp salad greens
and
collects in
the bottom of the salad bowl. You'll get more
flavor with less
dressing throughout your salad if salad greens
are washed and
thoroughly dried. If you're using bagged
lettuce
that's pre-washed
and labeled "ready to eat," it should be dry
enough as
is. If you need to wash salad greens, the
easiest way to dry
them is in a salad spinner. Pack lightly to
avoid overcrowding
and bruising the greens. After spinning, pat
off
any remaining
moisture with clean paper towels. If you don't
have a spinner,
dry greens thoroughly with clean paper
towels.)

If you've been using 3 (or more!) tablespoons
of
dressing per
two cups of salad, try cutting back to 1 1/2
tablespoons of
dressing or less. Or experiment with some of
the
reduced
calorie versions -- even then, your salad will
taste best if
"dressed," not "drowned."

6. SIZE UP YOUR CEREAL BOWL

A study reported in the "Journal of the
American
College of
Nutrition" (June, 2001) found the amount of
cereal eaten by
adults was approximately twice the serving
size
listed on the
box. That's not necessarily bad, but may be
one
place calories
are sneaking into meals. Check the portion
size
you're pouring
in relation to the size cited on the box;
decide
if you're
pouring more calories than desired. Try eating
from a smaller
bowl to aid in portion control.

7. WATCH YOUR BREAD AND SPREAD

Limit the amount of bread (or rolls) and
spread
eaten before
the main course to one serving when dining
out.
You always can
eat more later if you're still hungry!

8. COUNT YOUR COOKIES

A single medium-sized cookie easily can have
about 100
calories. Often we pop two or more into our
mouths before we
realize it. If you feel you're not getting
enough "crunch" by
limiting yourself to one cookie, try eating an
apple instead --
the calories are similar.

9. TOP YOUR POTATO WITH FEWER CALORIES

It's easy to slather a couple of tablespoons
of
butter or
margarine (200 calories/2 tablespoons)on a
baked
potato. Try
switching to sour cream; you can have as much
as
a fourth cup
for 100 calories. For even fewer calories, use
one of the light
or fat-free sour creams. Or, substitute yogurt
for sour cream.

10. LESSEN YOUR LIQUOR

If you drink alcohol, limit your daily
consumption to one drink
for women and two drinks for men as
recommended
by the Dietary
Guidelines. A typical 5-oz. glass of wine has
100 calories; a
12-oz. serving of beer, 150 calories; and 1
1/2
ounces of
distilled spirits, 100 calories.

11. BE SIZE-WISE WITH FAST FOOD

Try one or more of these strategies the next
time you visit
your favorite fast food restaurant and you
easily can save 100
or more calories:

        * Skip the mayonnaise when ordering
your
favorite fast
food burger. If you're not very hungry,
perhaps
a "small,"
"regular," "junior" or whatever term is used
by
the restaurant
for its smallest burger, may be enough for
you.

        * Order the smallest size of fries or
split them with a
friend.

        * Instead of fries, consider a side
salad with a fat-free
or reduced calorie dressing. It's still
important to check the
calories on the salad dressing. Many salad
dressings come in
packets; a reduced calorie dressing still may
contain around
100 or more calories per packet. Refer back to
tip number 5 --
your salad might taste just fine without using
the whole
packet.

        * Order a diet soft drink or plain
water. See tips 3 and
4 for more about this.

Most fast food places offer nutrition
information, including
calories, at their restaurant. Many also
provide
nutrition
information on their company Web site. At your
next
opportunity, total the calories you obtain
from
your favorite
fast food meal. For many adults and children
(age 2 and older),
a calorie range somewhere between 1,600 to
2,200
is sufficient.
It's easy to consume one-half or more of your
daily caloric
needs at one fast food meal, especially if
you're super-sizing portions!

12. PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL WITH POPCORN

Popping microwave popcorn can be a daily
occurrence in many
workplaces and homes. It's easy to eat half a
bag or more at a
sitting. While even TWO cups of the more
buttery
popcorns may
weigh in at 100 calories or less, the entire
package might
yield 10 or more cups, or possibly over 500
calories! To gauge
how many cups of corn you're consuming, one
cup
is about equal
in size to a baseball or to your fist.

Microwave popcorn can be a great snack. If
you'd
like more than a few cups, experiment with
some
of the lower-fat versions.

==================================================

Putting The Power of One Dietary Change into
Practice

==================================================

Think through the foods you eat on a regular
basis. Are there small changes, like those
mentioned in this article, you could
implement? Perhaps these have given you ideas
for other changes that might work for you. To
obtain an approximate idea of the calories and
nutrients in additional foods,check the USDA
National Nutrient Database at:
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp
or check the Nutrition Facts labels on foods.


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ABOUT FOOD REFLECTIONS


* You may reproduce Food Reflections for
educational but not
for sales purposes. Please credit as follows:

      Food Reflections E-mail Newsletter
      University of Nebraska Cooperative
Extension in Lancaster County
(lancaster.unl.edu/food/FoodTalk.htm)




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               Arnold Berkowitz

               email @ redacted


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