My Plate: A New Alternative to the Food Pyramid

The new USDA model, MyPlate, replaces the familiar “food pyramid” diagram that underwent several changes in the 19 years since it was first introduced. The MyPlate model shows the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy) in a place setting. It is designed to be easier to understand in the context of a single meal than the more confusing pyramid. Continue reading

How Do I Get My Child to Eat Healthier Foods?

Between parents’ work schedules, after school activities, homework, and chores, you may find it impossible to make time for healthy meals that your kids actually want to eat. The challenge is even greater when kids get hooked on the pizza, soda, and chips provided at friends’ houses, activities, and parties. Even the most conscientious parent may find it hard to avoid the temptation of fast food and favorite snacks. But there are solutions! Continue reading

Do Chemicals in our Environment Cause Weight Gain?

Some chemicals that we are exposed to through our food, water, and the products that we use can interfere with our natural hormones, including our sex hormones. The chemicals that do this are called “endocrine disruptors” because they change the way our hormones (our endocrine system) operate. Chemicals can cause the body to “think” that it has to store more fat than it actually does, or they can interfere with the processes our bodies use to make fat cells. Babies developing in the womb are especially vulnerable to these kinds of chemicals. There is evidence that babies who are exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the womb may be at higher risk for obesity and other problems as adults Continue reading

Are Processed Meats More Dangerous Than Other Red Meats? Yes and No!

You have probably heard it many times already–whether from your doctor, a health magazine, or a health promotion poster: don’t eat too much red meat. Red meat has been linked to health problems such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. But, the latest research tells a somewhat different story. Red meat-beef, pork, and lamb-may not deserve its bad rap for those diseases. It’s possibly processed red meats, like bacon, hot dogs, and salami, that are the bigger problem. Continue reading