conscious eating

The Breakdown: Antioxidants

The Breakdown: Antioxidants

It seems that television news broadcasts are constantly advertising a new antioxidant-rich "superfood".  They tout the cancer prevention values of antioxidants as if it's a miracle.  It's no wonder that cancer prevention is a hot topic in the news. About 25% of deaths in the United States are caused by various forms of cancer.  But for all of the talk about antioxidants, I for one, was clueless about what they actually do. What are antioxidants?  How do they help prevent cancer?

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The Breakdown

Enter the supermarket and enter a place full of uncertainty and pitfalls.  Claims of low fat, and reduced sodium pop out from the packed aisles in every color and shade.  The 50% off sale on Cheetos vies for your attention.  Economy size bags of neon candies scream out, "Buy me!"  But you just went in there to find something good to eat.  Traditionally we deal with this by picking up a package and reading the back.  Nutrition facts can help inform our choice, but they don't show the whole picture.  Fat from a grass-fed cow has vastly different nutritional value than fat from a corn-fed cow.  In the nutrition facts, fat is fat, so there is no noticeable difference in nutrition value of 90% lean ground beef from either type of cow.  When we look closer, we find that the chemical composition of the fat in each cow is where difference lies. 

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Shade Market Cooking: Hard Boiled Eggs

Chicken eggs are a low calorie, nutrient dense food.  One large, boiled egg contains only 78 calories while providing a great source of complex protein, omega-3 fatty acids, choline and iodine, as well as a variety of B vitamins.  Without getting too scientific, all of these nutrients are necessary to our bodies' proper functioning, and some are hard to find in such high levels in other foods.  Eggs are also high in cholesterol, which has at times been seen as cause for alarm.  However, the cholesterol found in eggs is called HDL and is considered the healthy type of cholesterol.  There is no evidence to show that, in an otherwise healthy diet, eggs pose a threat to cardiovascular health. 

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Moderate Yourself

With Thanksgiving a couple days away, it's fitting to discuss this topic which few Americans have mastered: why is it that we can't seem to monitor ourselves in eating moderately? We've heard it countless times - eat until just before you feel full. Why don't we listen to our bodies? It's not like we feel good after we stuff ourselves to the point where it's hard to breathe. The human body can use up to 80% of its energy to digest food. If we could make this process easier on our systems - by consuming whole foods that are easily digested, heavy in nutrients, and stopping before we're full - think of the energy we could save and use towards other activities.

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