Tag Archives: snacks

Do you REALLY know how much sugar is in your food?

FoodFacts.com just recently discovered this, and we figured we would share it.

Thank you Cousin Marilyn for sending in this information!

4.2 grams = 1 teaspoonful of sugar = 1 cube.

**Each cube is a teaspoonful.**


















As always, wishing you the best from FoodFacts.com!

Eating Healthy, for Less – You Asked, We Delivered.


At Foodfacts.com we understand with food prices continuously rising, it’s hard for shoppers to buy the healthiest ingredients without going over their monthly grocery budget. Therefore we have compiled 10 easy tips that should help you save money on your future shopping trips.

Tip #1: Plan your meals. Making an agenda of what meals you will be making each night will not only save you stress and time throughout the week, but will also come in handy when it’s time to hit the aisles of the grocery store. 31-shopping_list1

Tip #2: Make a list. When you have a controlled list of items you actually need, you won’t wonder off to other purchases. There have been many times I have found myself buying pretzels I already have, but have just forgotten about. Making a list will help you stray from buying double products, and also help you save time while at the store.
clipping coupons

Tip #3: Find a sale. All supermarkets provide sale items, and most of these stores advertise their sales in newspapers, or online. After your create your shopping list, head online, or browse through your circular to see if there are any discounts on your items. Don’t be ashamed to cut coupons, it’s free money. Also, check with your supermarket to see if they provide discount savings cards. Most of the time you can send online coupons directly to these cards to avoid scanning loads of bar codes at the checkout line. This too will save you time and money.

Tip #4: Never go food shopping on an empty stomach. This is more of a cardinal rule for anyone wanting to stick to their budget. Hungry + endless aisles of groceries = mountains of food in your shopping cart. Try to eat a small snack or drink a tall glass of juice before stepping into a food store. This alone will save you money.

Tip #5: When you get to the store, shop the perimeter first. Most food stores carry their healthiest items around the perimeter. Think about it, you have your produce, all your dairy products, and your meat or poultry. Get these items completed first before moving into the middle aisles, where most of the pricey processed foods are.

Tip #6: Buy produce in larger quantities. Sometimes you’ll notice that buying individual fruits and vegetables, per pound, will ring up pretty heavy at checkout. Usually you can purchase bags of pears, apples, peppers, onions, etc. and this will normally be a little cheaper. However, it’s also important to get a good look at all the items in the bag to check if they’re still in good shape.

Tip #7: Buy ingredients to make your own snacks. A lot of food companies have created products very convenient for busy households. However, these convenient items are also very costly for their size, and not that healthy. Try to steer clear of purchasing a $6 or $7 box of individually packaged snacks.
• Instead, try buying a medium-sized bag of granola, a container of your favorite mixed nuts, maybe some plain popcorn, and sandwich bags.
• Mix the ingredients however you would like and store them in sandwich bags for whenever you want to grab a serving.
These products will last much longer, and you’ll be saving money.

Also, you would have control of what your ingredients are. But be creative, mix and match whichever ingredients you would love most. And another plus, this is a great way to get your kids engaged in healthy snacks when they start creating their own.

Tip #8: Less meat, is more money. We know a good portion of our followers buy organic, and that’s great! However, we’re sure you’re aware of how pricey organic foods can get, especially meats. On the bright side, there’s no rule that says you should eat meat 7 nights a week. In fact, 3 times per week tends to be the usual recommendation. Save money by purchasing your meat products for only 3 nights a week. They’ll still be at higher costs, but you won’t be buying as much of it.

Tip #9: Community-Supported Agriculture. Buying locally-grown produce can be a HUGE money-saver. Farmers in these programs usually sell subscriptions or memberships, and in turn you receive a box of seasonal fruits and vegetables each week. Though these memberships probably range in price in different states and cities, you can check out this Local Harvest website to see which programs are available in your area.


Tip #10: Buy frozen. Some people may prefer to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but frozen is a good option for those who want to save money and simply meet their daily fruit and veggie quota. Many frozen fruit and vegetable products are still packed with nutrients. Check the ingredients carefully to check for “whole” fruits, without any added sugars or preservatives. Some will try to sneak them in there.

Top 10 Scariest Food Additives

Here at foodfacts.com, we like to keep our readers informed of all current and up-to-date information regarding health and food. Here is a recent news article discussing the 10 scariest food additives in some of the most popular food products most can find in their pantry.

There was a time when “fruit flavored” and “cheese flavored” meant “made with real fruit” and “made with real cheese.” Today? It’s artificial everything. Most of the food at your local supermarket is no more authentic than Snooki’s tan. Our fruit comes packaged in Loops, our cheese delivered via Whiz. Sure, it’s edible, but there’s no way your great grandparents would recognize this junk as food.

The problem with additives runs deep. The FDA currently maintains a list of ingredients called Everything Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS), which features more than 3,000 items and counting. Thankfully, most EAFUS ingredients are benign, but a few of them do have potentially harmful effects. Why they’re legal is a mystery to us. Some of them might be backed by powerful lobby groups, while others probably survive simply because some guy at the FDA has too much paperwork on his desk and hasn’t made time to adequately review the data.

Below are 10 of the most dubious ingredients hiding in your food, compliments of Eat This, Not That! 2011. Even if you’re not convinced of their danger, you have to admit this: The more filler ingredients you cut from your diet, the more space you have for wholesome, nutritious foods.

Scary Ingredient #1: Olestrapringles
A fat substitute synthesized by Procter & Gamble. Because human digestive enzymes can’t break down the big molecules, Olestra contributes 0 calories to your diet.

Why it’s scary: In the late ’90s, Frito-Lay released Olestra-enhanced WOW chips and Procter & Gamble introduced Fat Free Pringles. Both products were required to carry warning labels to notify customers about the risk of “loose stools.” Within 4 years, some 15,000 people had dialed in to a hotline set up specifically to handle adverse-reaction complaints. Apparently the complaints didn’t move the FDA, because in 2003, the administration revoked the warning-label mandate. If you want to take your chances with diarrhea, go ahead, but first consider this: Olestra also appears to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb some crucial nutrients like beta-carotene and lycopene. To counteract the effect, processers add some nutrients back, but it’s unlikely that all the blocked nutrients are adequetly replaced.

Furthermore, just last week I tweeted that an animal study at Purdue University found that fake fats like Olestra may cause more weight gain than real fat.

Where you’ll find it: Lay’s Light chips, Pringles Light chips

Scary Ingredient #2: Caramel Coloring
An artificial pigment created by heating sugars. Frequently, this process includes ammonia.stove-top

Why it’s scary: Caramel coloring shows up in everything from soft drinks and sauces to breads and pastries. When made from straight sugar, it’s relatively benign. But when produced with ammonia it puts off 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, chemicals that have been linked to cancer in mice. The risk is strong enough that the California government, a bellwether for better food regulation, categorized 4-methylimidazole as “known to cause cancer” earlier this year. Unfortunately, companies aren’t required to disclose whether their coloring is made with ammonia, so you’d be wise to avoid it as much as you can.

Where you’ll find it: Colas and other soft drinks, La Choy soy sauce, Stove Top stuffing mix

Scary Ingredient #3: Saccharin
An artificial sweetener discovered by accident in the 1870s.sweet-n-low

Why it’s scary: Studies have linked saccharin to bladder tumors in rats, and in 1977, the FDA required warning labels on all saccharin-containing foods. In 2000, the agency changed its stance and allowed saccharin to be sold without warning labels. But that doesn’t make it entirely safe. A 2008 Purdue study found that replacing sugar with saccharin in rats’ diets made them gain more weight, proving once again that you should be aware of these faux fat foes.

Where you’ll find it: Sweet ‘N Low, TaB cola

Scary Ingredient #4: Potassium Bromate
A compound that conditions flour and helps bread puff up during baking.

Why it’s scary: Potassium bromate causes thyroid and kidney tumors in rats, and it’s banned from food use in many countries. In California, products containing potassium bromate are required to carry a cancer warning. Fortunately, negative publicity has made the additive relatively rare, but until the FDA banishes it, you should remain on the lookout.

Where you’ll find it: Johnny Rockets Hoagie Roll

Scary Ingredient #5: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Petroleum-derived antioxidants and preservatives.

Why they’re scary: The Department of Health and Human Services says BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” yet the FDA allows it to be used anyway. BHT is considered less dangerous, but in animal research, it too has resulted in cancer. Oddly, the chemicals aren’t even always necessary; in most cases they can be replaced with vitamin E.

Where you’ll find it: Goya lard, Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Orbit gum

Scary Ingredient #6: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
A semi-solid fat created when food processors force hydrogen into unsaturated fatty acids.sandwich

Why it’s scary: Partially hydrogenated fats are the principle sources of trans fat in the American diet, and a Harvard study estimated that trans fat causes 70,000 heart attacks every year. The good news: Partially hydrogenated oils are beginning to slowly retreat from our food. Progressive jurisdictions like New York City are starting to restrict the allowable amounts in restaurants, and many chains are switching to healthier frying oil. Still, the battle isn’t over. At Long John Silver’s, for example, there are still 17 menu items with more than 2 grams of the stuff. According to the American Heart Association, that’s about the maximum you should consume in a single day.

Where you’ll find it: McDonald’s McChicken, Long John Silver’s Broccoli Cheese Soup

Scary Ingredient #7: Sulfites
Preservatives that maintain the color of food, and by releasing sulfur dioxide, prevent bacterial growth. fig-enwton

Why it’s scary: Humans have used sulfites to keep food fresh for thousands of years, but some people—especially asthma sufferers—experience breathing difficulties when exposed. In the 1980s, unregulated use resulted in at least a dozen deaths, prompting the FDA to slap warning labels on wine bottles and develop new guidelines for proper use. Now restaurants can no longer soak fresh ingredients in sulfites. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, there have been no known deaths since the new legislation took hold. The bottom line: If you’re among the majority of people not sensitive to sulfites, consumption won’t hurt you. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor for a test.

Where you’ll find it: Wine, Sun-Maid Mixed Fruit, Jolly Ranchers, Fig Newtons

Scary Ingredient #8: Azodicarbonamide
A synthetic yellow-orange dough conditioner bagel

Why it’s scary: This chemical is used most frequently in the production of industrial foam plastic, and although the FDA has approved its use for food in the States, the United Kingdom has labeled it a potential cause of asthma. In a review of 47 studies on azodicarbonamide, the World Health Organization concluded that it probably does trigger asthmatic symptoms. The WHO concluded, “exposure levels should be reduced as much as possible.” I’ll put it more concisely: Avoid it.

Where you’ll find it: Dunkin’ Donuts bagels, McDonald’s burger buns

Scary Ingredient #9: Carrageenan
A thickener and emulsifier extracted from seaweed.popsicle

Why it’s scary: Seaweed is actually good for you, but carrageenan is a mere seaweed byproduct. Through animal studies, it has been linked to cancer, colon trouble, and ulcers. It isn’t certain that carrageenan harms humans, but avoiding it is clearly the safer option. Most studies examined degraded forms of the additive, and research from the University of Iowa found that carrageenan could be degraded through the normal digestive process.

Where you’ll find it: Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Bars, Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, Creamsicles

Scary Ingredient #10: Ammonium Sulfate
An inorganic salt that occurs naturally near active volcanoes and is used commercially to nourish yeast and help bread rise.4036996_orig

Why it’s scary: This nitrogen-rich compound is most often used as fertilizer, and also appears commonly in flame retardants. Thankfully, the ingredient only sounds scary—a 2006 Japanese rat study found the additive to be non-carcinogenic. Both the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the FDA deem it safe.

Retrieved from: Yahoo.com

Do you eat in your sleep?


For Leslie, it all started around menopause: the fatigue, the weight gain and the eating in the middle of the night. Sometimes she would have absolutely no memory of getting up to eat, but would find a mess in the kitchen. Other times, she would feel half-awake but out of control and compelled to get out of bed and find food.

I had a strong suspicion that Leslie had a parasomnia that we call sleep-related eating disorder. The key features are: 1. Nocturnal eating while asleep or half-asleep and therefore there is no or little recall of the events but there is evidence of eating or there are witnesses. 2. Bizarre and sometimes dangerous things are consumed. 3. Elaborate food preparation often takes place but in a careless, sloppy manner 4. There are often underlying eating disorders and/or a primary sleep disorder. As she continued her story, I became more convinced that indeed Leslie had this disorder.

At first, the episodes occurred perhaps once a week, then it was more frequent and now it was nearly every night. At first, the things that she was eating were pretty normal but rarely very healthy. Carbs, fat and the occasional protein.

She was alarmed by the time that she made a baked potato in the middle of the night. “Do you know how long it takes to bake a potato! It scares me that the episodes last that long and also the reason I know that I baked it in the oven, rather than microwaving it, is because the oven was still on in the morning.”

Then the things that she was eating got a bit bizarre. For example, one time, her husband found her trying to eat a frozen veggie burger. But what brought her to the sleep center was the episode where she found an open, half-eaten can of cat food and she was not sure if she had really fed it to her cat.

As of yet, there is not a lot of research on this disorder. Prevalence rates are estimated to be approximately 4% of young adults which is not an insignificant number. The prevalence rates are even higher among people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Typically, people are in their 20s or 30s when they present with this complaint, but the fact that Leslie was in her early 50s and just going through menopause was a clue that she might have an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, which often appears or becomes worse when women go through menopause because the loss of estrogen means the muscles in the throat are not as toned as they once were.

Accordingly, the diagnostic workup should include a thorough evaluation for another underlying eating or sleep disorder. An overnight sleep study is usually performed and the person is asked to keep a sleep diary for two to four weeks to document what he or she recalls and what evidence there is of their nocturnal eating.

This disorder should be distinguished from night-eating syndrome, which involves excessive eating between the evening meal and bedtime. This disorder is characterized by complete nocturnal awakenings and fully conscious eating in the middle of the night. No bizarre foods are consumed and the eating behavior/food preparation is not sloppier than usual. In this disorder, it is less likely that the patients have an underlying sleep disorder and more likely that they have longstanding issues with food and weight gain.

That brings us to some of the health consequences of sleep-related eating disorder and night-eating syndrome. People can gain a lot of weight and sometimes over a short period of time. They can develop type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and it can be difficult to manage these disorders with the usual medications if people are consuming excessive, empty calories in the middle of the night. In sleep-related eating disorder, people can ingest toxic substances. They can also leave the stove on, thereby endangering themselves and their loved ones. Patients can have problems in their relationships because they are waking up their bed partners. Some patients even bring food back to bed, so even if it wouldn’t bother you if your spouse got up every night, few of us would want to wake up to find our spouse in the bed pulling apart a greasy chicken and throwing the carcass under the covers. Finally, patients are very psychologically disturbed by how out of control they feel.

There is not much research on what treatments might help these patients. Of course we treat the underlying eating or sleep disorder. If there is none or that approach does not resolves the symptoms, then we try medications such as topiramate or zonisamide, which are anti-convulsants. Other medications that have been given with some success are dopaminergic agents, benzodiazepines such as Clonazepam and opiates. With Leslie we lucked out; she did indeed have severe sleep apnea and when we treated it all her nocturnal eating stopped.

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.


Have A Healthy Valentine’s Day

Sure, it’s easy to get carried away with the aisles filled with bags of Valentine’s Day candy. Hey, you might even feel a little guilted into buying these indulgent treats. But be careful, some of these treats are filled with unhealthy ingredients, calories and fats. A chocolate free Valentine’s Day?? No, no, we aren’t suggesting that! But there are healthier Valentine’s Day treats and we tell you all about them in this video:

And remember, everything in moderation!

Check out health scores for your favorite candies here:

The Damaging Effects Of Eating Late At Night

Late Night Eating | Foodfacts.com

Late Night Eating | Foodfacts.com

All of us are guilty of late night refrigerator raids once in a while. Sometimes a stressful day, depression, illness, working late, inability to sleep, or just plain boredom will draw us to the kitchen when we should be sleeping. Many of us eat the equivalent of a full meal in these late night scenarios, often eating more than we do in daytime meals. Both men and women, with studies citing over 40% of men, and close to 60% of women, engage in night eating. So, it seems to have become a common practice amongst a lot of people. However, let’s examine why I all of that  late night eating is a bad habit best left alone. In fact, it can sabotage not only your sleep, but your weight control efforts, as well as negatively impact other significant health issues. Continue reading

Top 5 Healthy Christmas Snacks For Kids

Healthy Christmas Snacks For Kids | Foodfacts.com

Healthy Christmas Snacks For Kids | Foodfacts.com

Foodfacts.com observes that, with the holiday season setting in and Christmas round the corner, food takes up a vital stature. Amongst other concerns like setting up the right menu or planning some innovative and delicious recipes, one of the prime concerns is also to balance health and taste, especially if kids are around. To give you some guidance, therefore, we have come up with these top 5 healthy Christmas snacks for kids: Continue reading

Do You Have Healthy Snack Habits?

Are your meals healthy? Maybe you already focus on making sure you have lean protein, whole grains, and lots of vegetables. Hopefully, you’re also careful about how you prepare your foods. Using herbs and spices instead of salt? Good idea. Maybe you steam your veggies instead of frying them in oil.

Foodfacts.com observes that, unfortunately, meals aren’t the problem. Continue reading