Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Women Have Hearts Too

I was perusing a magazine the other day when I saw a really interesting advertisement entitled, “Women Have Hearts Too.” The ad was not for a particular product but encouraged women to examine their risk for heart disease. According to the ad, “Nearly every minute a woman diet from heart disease in the United States.” That’s a pretty scary statistic!

Apparently there some key factors a woman can try to adjust in order to avoid her risk for heart disease:

Smoking: Because women are smaller, cigarettes are even more harmful for us. Our bodies are exposed to more of the harmful chemicals. Basically, there’s a really easy way to fix this: STOP SMOKING! It’s incredibly harmful to your health and offers no benefits except for yellow teeth and a bad odor.

Cholesterol Abnormalities: High levels of LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol, is a huge risk factor for heart disease. You also want to keep your HDL cholesterol levels high and triglyceride levels low. Margarine can be helpful in lowering the bad cholesterol and can help you live a heart healthy lifestyle. You know I had to get my margarine plus in there. I love the stuff!

Hypertension: High blood pressure, which is defined as 140/90 or higher, is also a high risk factor. Apparently high blood pressure is more common in women than I thought. I did a quick survey of the women sitting around me at work, and many of them have high blood pressure.

Heart disease isn’t always preventable but there are a lot of things you can do to lower risk of getting it. Eating properly, exercising and good communication with your physician can help ensure you stay healthy for a long time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Halloween is Almost Here

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely adore Halloween! Here in Atlanta, the weather is starting to cool down and the leaves are turning. Fall is such a great time of year.

In preparation for Halloween, I went and gathered my Halloween costume yesterday. I plan on being a disgustingly ugly witch. Yes, large mole on my nose and all! What will you dress up as for Halloween? Here’s a delicious Fall recipe, courtesy of Recipe4All.com that’s perfect for Halloween. And, it’s only got 121 calories per serving. Enjoy!

PUMPKIN ROLLS INGREDIENTS: PUMPKIN ROLLS
Instructions:

Yield: 24 servings
1 package Active dry yeast
1 cups Warm water (110 F)
1/3 cups Honey
2 tablespoon Margarine
1 teaspoon Salt
½ cups Nonfat dry milk
1 cups Canned pumpkin
About 1.5 tb pumpkin spice
OR
1½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¾ teaspoon Cloves
¾ teaspoon Nutmeg
¾ teaspoon Ginger
2½ cups To 3 cups all purpose flour
1½ cups To 2 cups whole wheat flour
Nonstick vegetable spray



1. In a large bowl or food processor, dissolve yeast in water. Add honey, margarine, salt, dry milk, pumpkin, spices. Beat well to blend, then gradually beat in about 4 cups of the combined flours to make a stiff dough.

2. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth about 15 to 20 min, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

3. Turn dough over in a bowl coated with nonstick spray, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1½ - 2 hours) Punch down dough, knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air.

4. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball and place balls in 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans coated with nonstick spray. Cover and let rise until almost double.

5. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool on racks.

1 roll, 121 calories 3 g protein, 1 g fat, 24 g carbohydrate, .3 g fiber, 0 cholesterol, 103 mg sodium, 82 mg potassium Exchange: 1½ starch/bread

Your PUMPKIN ROLLS are ready. Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Tuesday to All

Oh, what a weekend! To celebrate my upcoming birthday, which is October 21st for those who are interested, I made the long trek home to Houston, TX this weekend. Although my brother and I both went away to colleges n the Southeastern Conference (Go Dawgs!), my parents decided to stay put in Houston.

My weekend was one of many indulgences. I shopped a lot, ate a lot and slept a lot. Now I’m back at work in Atlanta, sitting at my desk and watching the rain fall outside and wishing I were at home in my bed. I absolutely adore my job (really!) but in my opinion, rainy days should be spent at home in bed, curled up with a good book or movie.

Anyways, I’ll be back with an interesting article on margarine on Thursday so be sure to tune in. In the meantime, wish me luck getting through the workday. The only bad thing about going on vacation is sorting through the hundreds of emails you receive while you’re gone. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Margarine May Benefit Pregnant Women

Pregnant women who consume products with vitamin E, such as margarine, may help reduce their child’s risk of asthma, suggests a study from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom. Researchers examined the vitamin E intake of 1,253 mothers and the respiratory status of their children throughout a 5-year period, according to Newswise.

Children whose mothers were in the low vitamin E consumption percentile were 5 times more likely to have asthma than children with mothers in the high percentile for vitamin E consumption.

“Our findings suggest that vitamin E has a dual effect on lung function and airway inflammation and that the effects could change at differing periods of prenatal and early life,” said lead researcher Dr. Devereux. “Lung function was associated with early vitamin E exposure independent of atopy, whereas allergic airway inflammation was associated with vitamin E exposure later in life.”

Researchers from the study recommended vegetable oils (sunflower, rapseed and corn), margarine, wheat germ, nuts and sunflower seeds as major sources of vitamin E.

In my opinion, this is yet another reason that margarine can be part of an overall healthy diet!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Have a Heart Healthy Snack

I would like to say thanks to Audrey over at the SugarFreeStyle blog for giving me this recipe. These muffins are packed with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They can also be part of an overall healthy diet since they're made with margarine instead of butter. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!


Healthier Blue Berry Muffins
1 Box of Duncan Hines Bakery Style Blue Berry Muffins
2 cups frozen blue berries
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup whole flax seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
One egg
*******************************
Crunchy Topping
2Tbsp light margarine
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Splenda for Baking
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Pinch of salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven and prepare the muffin batter according to the directions on the box (adding the canned blue berries, egg, and water or milk). Then add the frozen BB, oatmeal, protein powder, and flax seeds. Check batter consistency. Add one egg and a little more water if the muffin batter is too thick. Spoon batter into muffin cups or into greased muffin pan. For the topping, melt the margarine in a sauce pan and remove from heat. Next, add the splenda and the pecans and a pinch of salt. Stir all ingredients. Topping should be moist and crumbly. Top each muffin with the mixture and bake as directed on the box. They should come out of the oven when the tops are golden brown. Note: because of the added protein, they will have a different consistency than standard muffins (might be a little chewy). Play around with the recipe to adjust it to meet your taste/preferences. Hope you enjoy!

Nutritional advantages:
Higher fiber
High protein
Lower Glycemic load
Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Increased anti-oxidants

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Debunking the Myths About Margarine

This article from Health 24 debunks many common myths surrounding margarine. The Internet is a constant source for information but often it ends up providing misinformation. In order to prevent any additional false information being spread (no pun intended!) about margarine, I have included some of the factual information included in this article:

“Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys”

This statement then goes on to say that margarine killed the turkeys, which made the manufacturers turn to a human audience instead.
According to www.margarine.org, "margarine was created by a Frenchman from Provence – Hippolyte Mège-Mouriez – in response to an offer by the Emperor Louis Napoleon III for the production of a satisfactory substitute for butter.
"To formulate his entry, Mège-Mouriez used margaric acid, a fatty acid component isolated in 1813 by Michael Chevreul and named because of the lustrous pearly drops that reminded him of the Greek word for pearl – margarites. From this word, Mège-Mouriez coined the name margarine for his invention that claimed the Emperor’s prize in 1870."
So, no turkeys were involved.

“Butter has many nutritional benefits, where margarine has a few only because they are added!" – incorrect
Butter is a source of energy and vitamin A, as is margarine, but whereas margarine is nowadays enriched with a variety of other nutrients such as vitamins E and D, and calcium, butter only contains traces of these nutrients.

"Margarine is very high in trans fatty acids" – incorrect
While this may have been true before the danger of trans fatty acids was identified about 15 years ago, manufacturers have taken great care to ensure that modern margarines only contain traces of trans fatty acids and in some cases, none at all.
Be logical – if you were a manufacturer and were told that your product contains potentially harmful fats, would you not also take great care to remove these fats and adapt your manufacturing process to make sure that your product is free of these harmful fats?
I'm sure you would, and this is precisely what margarine producers have done.

"Margarine lowers the quality of breast milk" – incorrect
The quality of breast milk is not solely influenced by eating margarine, but by the entire diet ingested by the nursing mother.