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Food Day Aims to Inspire Americans to “Eat Real”

Written on October 27, 2011 at 11:34 am , by

The Eat In table was set with harvest colors.

On Monday, some of America’s greatest chefs, nutrition researchers and food minds gathered in New York City’s Times Square for an “Eat In” to mark the first-ever Food Day. The Center for the Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) created the nationwide grassroots movement to show that it’s possible to eat a healthful, sustainable diet while enjoying delicious food.

We spied notables including Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me) and Mario Batali (who jetted over to Times Square after taping an episode of The Chew) enjoying a meal full of fall flavors, which was whipped up by chef and dietitian Ellie Krieger.

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., the executive director of the CSPI, says that Food Day was created to energize the growing food movement and will now become an annual event. “The basic message is that we need to clean up our diets. You don’t need an organization or a Ph.D. Take action by adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet today. If you don’t care about your own health, no one is going to,” Jacobson told us.

Participants in Food Day have six overarching goals:

  1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
  2. Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness
  3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
  4. Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms
  5. Promote health by curbing junk food marketing to kids
  6. Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers

About 2,000 events took place across the country earlier this week at schools, grocery stores, restaurants and more. If you’re interested in continuing the celebration in your own home, you can find 28 delicious, whole food-based recipes by 10 top chefs (Mario Batali! Emeril Lagasse! Mark Bittman!) in this free Food Day downloadable cookbook.

Or click below for one of the tasty recipes featured in the cookbook that will win over even the most diehard fried food fans.

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Best and Worst Cookout Foods

Written on June 2, 2011 at 9:15 am , by

grill and cookout foods

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Summer is here, and that means outdoor parties and cookouts with friends and family! But if you’re trying to eat healthier, it can seem hard to find good choices at the picnic table. You don’t have to hide out until September just to resist temptation, though. Use this guide to choose food that’s light, healthy and refreshing at any backyard blowout.

Burgers ‘n Dogs
Hamburgers and hot dogs don’t have to be a diet disaster. Start with a 100% whole wheat bun instead of white for a healthy dose of fiber, and watch the fat content of the meat. The average beef and pork hot dog contains about 180 calories and 17 grams of fat before you add a bun and toppings. Turkey dogs are tasty and won’t sabotage your diet—you can have two of them for less than 100 calories. If you’re going for a burger, stay away from the high-fat toppings like cheese, mayo and bacon. Choose cheese slices made with skim milk to reduce the fat content and load your burger with mustard and fresh veggies instead. Here’s the burger ‘n dog breakdown:

Worst Better Best
Hamburger patty (4 oz)

290 calories

22g fat

Turkey burger patty (4 oz )

160 calories

9g fat

Veggie burger patty (2.5 oz)

110 calories

4 grams of fat

Bratwurst (4 oz)
300 calories

25g fat

Beef hot dog (2 oz)

180 calories

17g fat

Turkey dog (2 oz)

45 calories

5g fat

Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms

150 calories

13g fat

Cheese, lettuce, tomato,
onion, pickles, ketchup, mayo and mustard

131 calories

9g fat

Lettuce, tomato, ketchup, pickles and mustard

25 calories

0g fat

Buttered bun

160 calories

6.5g fat

Whole wheat bun

110 calories

1.5g  fat

A lettuce leaf

5 calories

0g fat

Chips, Salads & Sides
If potato salad is your downfall, make your recipe healthier by leaving the skins on the potatoes (for more fiber and nutrients) and choose nonfat Greek-style yogurt instead of mayo. Make creamy cole slaw more waist-friendly by reducing the fat in the dressing by swapping plain low-fat yogurt for half the mayo. Baked beans are usually a good choice, but opt for vegetarian varieties that aren’t made with bacon, if possible. If you want to avoid the creamy salad temptations completely, fill your plate with fresh grilled vegetables. Spray chunks of red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant with canola oil spray and grill them on the barbecue. Add freshly ground pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar for extra punch.

When it comes to dips, look for vegetable and fruit-based choices like guacamole (made from avocado fruit) and salsa (made from tomatoes and veggies). These pack healthy nutrients that creamy dips often don’t.

Worst Better Best
Potato salad (1/2 cup)

179 calories

10.3g fat

Cole slaw (1/2 cup

150 calories

8g fat

Vegetarian baked beans (1/2 cup)

100 calories

1g fat

Ranch dressing (2 Tbsp)

180 calories

18g fat

Guacamole (4 Tbsp)

100 calories

8g fat

Salsa (1/2 cup)

60 calories

0g fat

Potato or tortilla chips (1 oz)

150 calories

10g fat

Pretzels (1 oz)

110 calories

2g fat

Raw vegetables (1 oz)

16 calories

0g fat

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