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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Health News Tidbits

I'm always looking at new ways to loose weight safely and over spring break I did find a way.  If you are having your kitchen remodeled, it is an excellent time to loose a few pounds as you can't access your food.  You do have to be careful not to go out and eat large, fattening meals though.  Just kidding.  I did lose a couple of pounds over spring break but I think that was due more to nerves.  We were all a bit stressed from the constant loud noise as they tore out tile and installed new floor supports.  The animals didn't eat as much either, not that they need to lose weight.

Anyway, I did hear some interesting things on the news last night.  Lately the news has been full of health related news.  BPI or Beef Products Inc. has suspended operations in 3 out of 4 plants due to the negative public reaction to pink slime and the fact that several top grocery chains will no longer purchase it.  They have promised to pay workers for 60 days as they try to convince the public that pink slime is perfectly ok to eat.  If you haven't read up on pink slime, check my post on March 13th.  You can read BPI's side and make up your own mind.  At least, meat containing pink slime should be labeled as such so the public can know exactly what they are buying.  Personally, I don't want to eat anything that has chemicals like ammonia sprayed on it.

On a more positive note, ABC news reported that popcorn is a more wholesome snack than we thought, IF you don't drown it in butter, salt and other oils.  One serving of popcorn has more antioxidants than a DAY's worth of fruits and vegetables.  Popcorn is the only food that is 100% whole grain and whole grains have more fiber and antioxidants that fruits and vegetables.  Other foods labeled 100% whole grain have other ingredients mixed in, like bread.  Popcorn hulls have the highest concentration of antioxidants.

This old popper has been in use since the mid 80's and is still going strong!

What are antioxidants you ask?  That is a pretty complicated answer but I'll do my best.  Antioxidants are substances like vitamin C which prevent or slow oxidative damage to our body.  When our body uses oxygen, free radicals are produced which cause the damage.  Antioxidants act to "mop up" the free radicals.  All you need to know is that free radicals are bad, antioxidants are good.  Antioxidants can help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

So dust off your popcorn popper, break out the Redenbachers and canola oil.  You do have a popper don't you?  I don't think that microwave popcorn is as healthy as most is filled with stuff you don't need.  If you do use microwave popcorn, buy the most natural, additive free version you can find.  Better to pop your own in an old fashioned popper like mine so you can control the oil, salt and other ingredients.  I should think popcorn popper sales will rise after this report.  Try using different spices to jazz up your popcorn in place of salt and skip the butter.  A serving is 3 popped cups by the way, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Last but not least, I had a great time at the Women's Health Conference on Saturday.  The women I spoke to were funny and interested in learning how to be healthier.  Try to make it next year.  

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