Nutrition Notes

26 08 2011

 

By Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.

Her

In Season: Passion Fruit

That wrinkly purple-fleshed fruit in the produce section is worth a second look. It’s as sweet and tasty as it is odd looking. Plus, passion fruit is loaded with fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. One-half cup provides about 115 calories. This tropical fruit native to Brazil is ripe when its leathery skin is deeply wrinkled. Before it ripens, keep it at room temperature. Add passion fruit to salads and smoothies for a flavor boost, or liven up grilled chicken or fish with a generous spoonful.

Craving Something Salty?

Go ahead. Give in. Salty snacks like chips have no more sodium than a slice of wheat bread–certainly no more than most restaurant or processed food. But don’t let that be a license to overindulge. Keep your salty snack small and avoid anything with trans fats or more than 3 grams of saturated fat. Here are some top picks:

EDAMAME BEANS IN THE POD: One-half cup with a sprinkling of salt provides approximately 100 calories, 145 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0.5 g saturated fat and 8 g protein.

POPCORN:
6.5 cups microwave popcorn, a whole grain, averages approximately 110 calories, 220 mg sodium, 4 g fiber and 0.5 g saturated fat.

MIXED NUTS: A 1-ounce serving contains heart-healthy fats and approximately 190 calories, 60 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2.5 g saturated fat and 7 g protein.

TRISCUIT THIN CRISPS:
Made of whole wheat, a 1-ounce serving (15 crackers) contains 130 calories, 180 mg sodium, 3 g fiber and 1 g saturated fat.

Did You Know?

If you don’t eat enough fat, you may be setting yourself up for a sports injury, suggests a recent article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Among 86 female runners, those with the lowest fat intakes were the most likely to get injured. The researchers hypothesized many possible reasons including inadequate calorie consumption, lower intakes of fat-soluble vitamins and poorer energy supplies leading to fatigue while running. To make sure you consume the most healthful fats, choose fatty fish, nuts, oils and avocado.

A Healthy Read

Pick up The Jungle Effect by Dr. Daphne Miller and learn about the world’s healthiest diets–and how to improve your own. Miller travels the world in search of the foods that have protected populations from disease for generations. She visits Crete, where heart disease is rare; Okinawa, Japan, recognized for its low rates of breast cancer; and Iceland, where few people suffer from depression despite long, dark winters. To get you started on a healthier path, Miller provides plenty of tasty, authentic recipes. $23, harpercollins.com

Happy Travels

It may be to your advantage to skip the crummy airport food on your next trip. A recent study published in the journal Sciencesuggests that avoiding breakfast and lunch prior to the flight and eating upon arrival may fend off some of the problems associated with jet lag. Your brain’s circadian clock responds to light and controls the desire and ability to sleep, wake and eat. But when food is scarce, a “food-related clock” jumps in and overrides the “light clock.”

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