health food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4500/all en-US 7 Generic Wellness Buys Better Than the Expensive Originals http://www.wisebread.com/7-generic-wellness-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-generic-wellness-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Woman_sunscreen_000045417138.jpg" alt="Woman buying generic wellness products that are better than originals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't need to spend a fortune to look and feel your best. Here are seven generic wellness buys that maintain the same high quality and perform as well (or even better) than name brands.</p> <h2>1. Vitamins</h2> <p>Because ingredients in vitamins are regulated by the FDA, there's little reason to choose expensive name brands over generics. What's relevant is the vitamin content and formulation. Compare the percentages of different vitamins and minerals across brands, and choose the best option for you. Often generics are exactly the same as name brands, but they almost always cost less.</p> <h2>2. Over-the-Counter Medications</h2> <p>Like vitamins, over-the-counter medications are also regulated. What you want to compare is the percentage and type of active ingredient. As long as those are the same as your usual name brand, you should get the same results at a lower cost.</p> <h2>3. Spa Day Supplies</h2> <p>Spas are expensive because you're paying a premium for service. But you can often find generics at your neighborhood pharmacy and chain stores with the same ingredients as name brands. And even cheaper still is making your own products, with the added benefit of fewer chemicals or harsh ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>A combination of brown sugar or sea salt with coconut oil and a dash of essential oil (any scent you like), for example, makes a luscious <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-beauty-treatments-that-actually-work">body scrub</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Half an avocado and one tablespoon of honey creates a deeply moisturizing face mask.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A quick hair rinse of white vinegar in a squeeze bottle restores shine.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And a handful of epsom salts with a dash of essential oil makes for a relaxing and detoxifying bath.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Sunscreen</h2> <p>It's important to apply sunscreen every day &mdash; no matter the weather. While the price varies widely across brands, what matters most is making sure your product is PABA-free and has a high level of SPF (experts recommend an SPF of at least 30). Focus on these facts and ignore the brands on the bottles.</p> <h2>5. Veggies</h2> <p>Up your vegetable intake, and you're sure to improve your health. Rather than buying expensive fresh vegetables that have a short shelf life, you can get the same benefits in frozen veggies that are often cheaper and fresher than even the crispest vegetables in the produce section of the grocery store. If you're feeling particularly ambitious (and patient!), you can also buy seeds and grow your own veggies at pennies on the dollar.</p> <h2>6. Personal Care Section at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h2> <p>Bed Bath &amp; Beyond carries the Harmon Face Values brand product for just about every personal care item you could want. This line has many of the same active ingredients as the name brands and is cheaper. You'll often see them side by side on the shelf with their name brand competitors and a price comparison sign to show you how much you're saving.</p> <h2>7. Health Food</h2> <p>Several grocery chains have drastically improved their generics in recent years. For example, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Wegmans all have store brands that have intense loyal followings and a wide variety of products. These lines are healthy and less expensive than their name-brand counterparts.</p> <p><em>Which generic wellness buys do you swear by?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-generic-wellness-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-linen-sprays">The 5 Best Linen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-supplements">The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-products-for-women">The 5 Best Hair Growth Products for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-removal-creams">The 5 Best Hair Removal Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping generic health food personal care vitamins wellness Wed, 20 May 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 1423466 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047157292_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's well established that the <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-the-brain-need-s/">brain uses more energy</a> than any other organ, accounting for up to 20% of the body's total energy needs. Feed your hungry brain these foods to keep it buzzing along at its optimal speed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber?ref=seealso">6 Foods Science Says Are Actually Making You Dumber</a>)</p> <h2>1. Avocado</h2> <p>This creamy fruit is a staple for many meatless dishes and for vegetarians and vegans who don't eat meat. It's unique among fruits because it is rich with high-quality protein and fats, compounds we typically associate with meat and dairy. It's <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/avocado-brain-function-6231.html">good for the brain</a> (and the body) because it aids blood circulation. Scramble it in eggs, mash it up to spread on toast, or slice it and sprinkle with a little salt, black pepper, and turmeric for a savory breakfast or snack.</p> <h2>2. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries</h2> <p>Blueberries prove that good things come in small packages. When it comes to brain health, research says they<a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-on-blueberries/"> stave off a number of diseases</a> such as Alzheimer's, enhance learning, and improve motor skills. They're very high in fiber, and though they have a touch of sweetness, they don't spike blood sugar. But make sure you use fresh or frozen blueberries. Dried blueberries often have sugar added and aren't as healthy. And since they have a fairly short growing season, substitute cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, grapes, and blackberries for many of the same health benefits.</p> <h2>3. Salmon</h2> <p>We know salmon makes our skin glow and it's very heart healthy. It's also <a href="http://womensbrainhealth.org/great-minds-think-alike/why-is-salmon-good-for-your-brain">highly beneficial for our brains</a> because of its omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat has been found to enhance memory (and therefore fight memory-related diseases brought on by aging), elevate mood, and reduce depression. This makes it a winner of a meal any time of year, especially in the winter when the short days and long nights can cause us to to feel blue.</p> <p>While farmed salmon is cheaper, I suggest opting for wild salmon whenever possible. You'll pay a bit more for it, but it has a much higher level of omega-3s than farmed salmon, so you don't need to eat as much to get all of the health benefits. If salmon isn't available or it's too expensive, tuna is a great alternative and it has vitamin B6, another vitamin important to brain health. Eggs are another option for vegetarians or for people who don't like fish.</p> <h2>4. Seeds and Nuts</h2> <p>Toss them in oatmeal or on top of salads, spread them on toast or fruit, and incorporate them into trail mix and baked goods. Seeds and nuts give us fiber like fruits and veggies, and protein like meat and dairy. This helps give our brains an energy boost and it keeps that boost going throughout the day. When it comes to brain health, the vitamin E and magnesium makes seeds and nuts especially valuable. Be careful to avoid sweetened nuts and nut spreads that are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar. Best bet for nut butters &mdash; make your own in a food processor or at the dry goods stations in grocery stores like Whole Foods. All nut, no additives.</p> <h2>5. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p>What? Your morning brew of coffee and tea makes you feel good and is good for you? You betcha! Along with that kick of caffeine that gives you a noticeable and often immediate charge, both beverages have fiber and antioxidants, and they've been shown to aid memory and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.drperlmutter.com/coffee-can-save-brain/">stall aging in the brain</a>.</p> <p>But there are some dos and don'ts when it comes to coffee and tea. Do make it free-trade, organic, and fresh. Don't drown it in sugar and heavy dairy, and don't have more than two to four cups per day. To add a bit of sweetness and get an added health benefit, I like to sprinkle in a warming spice like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg. You can also use a sweetener like stevia or agave nectar that is a much better alternative than granulated sugar because these alternatives don't spike, and then crash, your blood sugar. Spikes and crashes in blood sugar actually cause <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/low-blood-sugar-and-memory">damage to your brain</a>.</p> <h2>6. Oatmeal and Brown Rice</h2> <p>The high amount of fiber in oatmeal and brown rice keeps our hearts healthy and our blood pumping, and what's good for the heart is good for the brain. Oatmeal also has the added benefits of protein and omega-3, so it's an especially important food for vegans and vegetarians. Also, oatmeal lends itself to adding so many other brain-healthy foods like blueberries, seeds, and nuts, and it pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.</p> <h2>7. Dark Leafy Greens</h2> <p>Whether you like kale, spinach, arugula, or romaine, get your greens every day. Blend them up in smoothies, make them a base for your salad, or chop them up in a stir-fry. They're an excellent fuel for your whole body, and what makes them so valuable for your brain is their high iron levels without the fat and calories that come from many kinds of iron-rich meat. When we're iron deficient, our thinking gets clouded and our memory dulled. Healthy iron levels enhance our learning abilities and give us the energy needed to get the most out of life.</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough of these delicious brain foods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty brain food brain hacks health food healthy eating Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1284260 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chocolate-Dollarphotoclub_63094547.jpg" alt="chocolate" title="chocolate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeling down? Many people self-medicate with food when they get down in the dumps, but that pint of double fudge ice cream isn't doing you any favors (granted, it's not hurting your tastebuds). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today?ref=seealso">11 Things Scientists Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a>)</p> <p>The next time you're feeling low, try eating one of the following foods, which are scientifically proven to help turn that frown upside down.</p> <h2>1. Chili Peppers</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/red-chili-peppers-Dollarphotoclub_51133856.jpg" /></p> <p>Are you into spicy foods? That's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/24/281978831/sriracha-chemistry-how-hot-sauces-perk-up-your-food-and-your-mood">good news</a> for your mental wellbeing. Chili peppers contain two hard-hitting compounds: <a href="http://www.rsc.org/Education/EiC/issues/2006May/SpicingupChemistry.asp">capsaicin</a> and dihydrocapsaicin. These chemicals trick your brain into thinking that something is burning your mouth, which is where that &quot;ouch get it out!&quot; reaction comes from. But soon after, your body reacts by releasing endorphins and gives you a natural high. So go ahead and add some hot sauce to your meal when you need a little pick-me-up.</p> <h2>2. Spinach</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/spinach-Dollarphotoclub_71723946.jpg" /></p> <p>There may be good reason why Popeye was always so chipper. Not only is spinach high in calcium and iron, it's packed with antioxidants and folic acid (B vitamins), both of which are associated with good mood. One study found that low levels of folic acid <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/brain-and-behavior/slideshows/best-foods-to-eat-for-your-mood&mdash;and-a-few-bad-ones/3">increased risk for depression</a>, and more studies are being conducted about the effect of folate on mental health. Folate is water-soluble, so your body does not store it and therefore needs a continuous supply. Other foods rich in B vitamins include legumes, avocado, and broccoli.</p> <h2>3. Poultry</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/roasted-chicken-Dollarphotoclub_66130868.jpg" /></p> <p>Poultry like chicken and turkey contain an amino acid called <em>tyrosine</em>, which is involved in the production of stress hormones. Some scientists believe that when your body is under stress, it can't <a href="http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/tyrosine">make enough tyrosine</a>. Eating poultry could help replenish your supply and help reduce psychological stress. Lean poultry contains a variety of nutrients and is a high quality source of protein, so there's more than one reason to have chicken tonight!</p> <h2>4. Wild Salmon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/wild-salmon-Dollarphotoclub_49166527.jpg" /></p> <p>Most fish is really good for you, and salmon is at the top of the list. That's because it's full of omega-3 fatty acids. The coveted omega-3's are good for many things, including fighting inflammation and promoting a healthy nervous system. Both help regulate brain chemistry and bolster better thinking and a happier mind. According to a recent study, taking <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21784145">omega-3 fatty acids reduced stress</a> for medical students while they studied for exams.</p> <p>Salmon and other omega-3 rich foods are also thought to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet">lower risk for heart disease</a>, ease arthritis pain and improve asthma symptoms, among other benefits. So what are you waiting for? Get to the fish market!</p> <h2>5. Tomatoes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tomatoes-Dollarphotoclub_66998563.jpg" /></p> <p>Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a phytochemical that gives red fruits and vegetables their color. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can have a surprisingly strong effect on the body, and has been shown to help prevent heart disease and certain kinds of cancer. Researchers are investigating the potential for phytochemicals like <a href="http://www.alive.com/articles/view/23977/good_mood_foods">lycopene to fight inflammatory diseases</a> and help negate their negative effects on the brain. Tomatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and are just plain good for you and your mental health.</p> <h2>6. Garlic</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/garlic-Dollarphotoclub_69286967.jpg" /></p> <p>Garlic is often championed as one of the healthiest foods in world. Garlic is being studied for cancer and heart disease prevention, and promoting good cholesterol and a healthy immune system. Garlic contains chromium and other compounds, which some believe to function as a natural antidepressant. Dr. Henry Emmons claims that raw <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=j_Yxd9xnHAoC&amp;lpg=PA54&amp;ots=B3AmVlrgLf&amp;dq=%22the%20chemistry%20of%20joy%22%20garlic&amp;pg=PA91#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">garlic can encourage serotonin production</a>; depression is thought to be due to a serotonin imbalance. Studies are still being conducted on garlic's effect on mood and depression, but with it's anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties, why not eat more garlic? (Just carry some mints.)</p> <h2>7. Chocolate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chocolate-Dollarphotoclub_63094547.jpg" /></p> <p>I know, I don't need to tell you to eat chocolate when you're sad. Luckily, dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which can also be found in red wine. Resveratrol is thought to boost levels of endorphins in your brain as well as serotonin. Studies have shown that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117885">chocolate can improve mood</a> states or lessen negative moods, and more studies are being conducted. Now, if only I could get the doctor to write me a chocolate prescription!</p> <p><em>What foods are your go-to antidepressants? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-more-beautiful">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You (More) Beautiful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy">Why is it so expensive to be healthy?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty food science happiness happiness foods health food Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:00:10 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1267799 at http://www.wisebread.com If You're Eating These 6 Things, Your "Diet" Is Doing Nothing http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smoothie-bar-149720194-small.jpg" alt="smoothie bar" title="smoothie bar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dieting is hard. But guess what? <em>Bad</em> dieting can require the same amount of stress and effort, and no positive result. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dumb-things-holding-you-back-from-losing-weight?ref=seealso">14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight</a>)</p> <p>If you're trying to lose weight, it's hard to know what foods to avoid. Sometimes we fall into the traps set by food marketers, or fall prey to our own sweet tooths. We're especially susceptible to foods that superficially &quot;feel&quot; healthy, but are actually working against our regimens. If you're eating these six things, your diet is for nothing.</p> <h2>&quot;100-Calorie&quot; Snacks</h2> <p>We know that chips, crackers and cookies are bad, but even those 100-calorie snack packs are unhealthy. Part of the problem is how they train you to think about calories. The wrong idea that &quot;<a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/09/fed-up-asks-are-all-calories-equal/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">a calorie is a calorie</a>&quot; fuels the marketing of the seemingly innocuous packs, which cause an insulin spike that works against you by storing more fat.</p> <p>What's more, research shows that consuming a package boasting low-calorie count actually <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/9304/beware-100-calorie-snack-pack-warn-nmsu-researchers">makes us eat more</a>. Thus, diet ruined.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: A small handful of unsalted nuts will give you the power to last between meals without the useless empty calories.</p> <h2>Meatless Frozen Foods</h2> <p>Veggie burgers, meatless chicken nuggets, and everything else marketed as healthy or eco-conscious alternatives to meat are still processed foods. Many frozen veggie foods are full of grains and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.blisstree.com/2011/03/30/food/processed-meat-substitutes-may-be-unhealthier-than-actual-meat/">genetically modified soy</a>. Also, think of the carbs. Put a bun on that Boca Burger and now you have three times the carbohydrates!</p> <p>Many processed veggie patties also have upwards of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Calories-Veggie-Burgers-1133716">400 mg of sodium</a>, which can increase the risk of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002415.htm">high blood pressure</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Make your own veggie patties with as few ingredients as possible. Skew to tasty but nutritious foods like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-best-ever-veggie-burger-96967">beets and black beans</a>.</p> <h2>Flavored Yogurt</h2> <p>If you're eating yogurt that is not &quot;plain&quot; or &quot;unsweetened,&quot; you are hurting your diet with unnecessary sugar and calories. The average flavored yogurt contains around <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/10-diet-foods-that-make-you-fat/">16 grams of sugar</a>. Some yogurts have more sugar content <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/26/yogurt-sugar-twinkie_n_5379590.html">than a Twinkie</a>.</p> <p>Yogurts that read &quot;fat-free&quot; could be worse, because additives like cornstarch (known on labels as &quot;maltodextrin&quot;) provide extra carbohydrates.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Buy plain yogurt and add fresh (not preserved or dried) fruit for flavor to get more nutrition, decrease sugar, and fight the fitness plateau.</p> <h2>White Flour</h2> <p>We've been lying to ourselves with our flour tortillas, wraps, flatbreads, and &quot;gluten-free&quot; pasta. It's all refined carbs, and sometimes those items are even more calorie and sugar dense than regular old Wonder bread.</p> <p>The author of the book <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609614798/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609614798&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SHHO4HEWTSQSI5Y2">Wheat Belly</a>, Dr. William Davis, goes so far as to suggest that grains are the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2014/06/grains-endocrine-disrupters/">root of problems</a> such as gut flora imbalance and diabetes. Other doctors suggest to keep some of your favorite white flour items to a minimum and mostly eat more satisfying <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-white-foods">high-fiber carbs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that will make you fuller, longer, such as a plate of vegetables. If you're jonesing for a sandwich, go for a half- or open-faced sandwich using a high-fiber, sprouted grain bread.</p> <h2>Smoothies</h2> <p>Delicious smoothies. They can be great for you. But the ones we're drinking the most, the ones we order while on the go from places like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.eatingrules.com/2010/08/healthy-choices-jamba-juice/">Jamba Juice</a>, are basically just sugar delivery systems. Let's be honest, we usually don't use them as full meal replacements as intended, and here's why: You experience a sugar spike, crash, and then two hours later you're starving again.What do you do? Reach for whatever is closest to you regardless of health value (which, let's face it, is probably pizza). (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/youll-be-surprised-how-much-sugar-these-10-foods-have?ref=seealso">You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have</a>)</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Make smoothies for yourself at home <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/what-makes-a-smoothie-unhealthy">without unhealthy ingredients</a> like sugary fruit juices, excess dairy, or added sweeteners.</p> <h2>Dried Fruit</h2> <p>Dried fruit can be mor accessible than fresh fruit. However, it's also a lot easier to overeat, because it's addictively sweet. Dehydrating fruit makes it taste sweeter and makes each unit smaller than its fresh equivalent. This places dried fruit high on the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/disadvantages-dried-fruit-3227.html">glycemic index</a>. For example, a cup of grapes is 60 calories, while a cup of raisins is <em>460</em>.</p> <p>Dried fruit is also <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.jessainscough.com/2013/05/the-dry-facts-on-dried-fruit/">harder to digest</a> than fresh fruit, making your attempt to eat healthy for nothing.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Default to fresh fruit because it's easier to reap the benefits of its nutrients. If you do eat dried fruit, measure out a small amount (⅛ cup) before eating and mix it with a handful of nuts such as raw almonds.</p> <p><em>Can you think of anything else that's touted as healthy but is actually killing you diet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy">Why is it so expensive to be healthy?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter">10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet fitness health food junk food Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1166924 at http://www.wisebread.com Why is it so expensive to be healthy? http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy <p><img alt=" " width="299" height="145" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/obese.jpg" /></p> <p>Why are <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/santoshz/archive/2004/08/17/215826.aspx">poor people in America so fat</a>? Would you believe that farm subsidies have something to do with it?</p> <p>Walmart is where lower income consumers come to shop. Why? Because you get the most bang for your buck. Walmart is also notorious for having the fattest customers. Why? It comes back to value - it turns out that unhealthiest food also gives you the most caloric bang for your buck.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about </strong></p> <p>I shop at a grocery store that borders on one of Seattle's ghettos. In case you are wondering, Seattle's ghettos are nothing compared to other urban ghettos. Meaning, you can safely walk through a Seattle ghetto. But that's where the majority of Seattle's urban poor live, and if you want to see food stamps in action, you should shop at my Safeway.</p> <p>Food stamps are no longer in stamp form in Washington State - people are given debit cards that are referred to as &quot;benefit cards&quot;. Benefits cards are usually easy to spot, if you are looking. But you don't have to look at a person's form of payment to know what social class they belong to - you need only look at their shopping cart, and their waistline. This is anecdotal, of course, but no doubt you've noticed this, too: poor people eat more crappy junk food than rich people.</p> <p>There's a tendency in America to equate poor nutrition and subsequent obesity with a lack of education. It's familar logic: the poor aren't educated enough to work, so they stay poor. Being uneducated means that they don't know that Doritos are bad for you. Or, if you look to what a lot of us secretly think, the poor are simply too dumb to eat salad, too simple to know that Twinkies do not make a healthy meal.*</p> <p><em>Why would someone who has so little money to spend go and spend it on packaged food?</em> we wonder to ourselves. <em>Don't they know what a waste of money it is to buy junk food?</em></p> <p>We <em>tsk tsk</em> them in our heads. We load up our carts with loose leaf lettuce and portabella mushrooms, thinking ourselves superior for knowing better. Once we get to the checkout counter and see the total cost of our veggies, though, we probably do end up thinking: <em>wow, it's really expensive to be healthy</em>.</p> <p>From the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/magazine/22wwlnlede.t.html?pagewanted=1&amp;ei=5070&amp;en=ca312b0c78998cd3&amp;ex=1178078400&amp;emc=eta1">NY Times</a> (via Consumerist):</p> <blockquote><p class="blockquote">As a rule, processed foods are more &ldquo;energy dense&rdquo; than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them &ldquo;junk.&rdquo; Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly &mdash; and get fat.</p> </blockquote> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Bang for your buck</strong></p> <p>It <strong>is</strong> <a href="http://www.cherp.research.med.va.gov/cherpdocs/issuebriefs/Policy%20Brief_Fall2005.pdf">expensive to eat well</a>, even if you are only buying raw veggies. The truth is that lower income shoppers, and other populations that live on junk food, are getting more calories per dollar than the rest of us. It's economically efficient, if <a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5576/obesity_and_poverty_the_poorest_of.html?cat=51">tragically perverse</a>.</p> <p>The reason, as the New York Times article explains, has to do with the Farm Bill, which heavily subsidizes soybeans, corn, and wheat - three major ingredients, or sources, of many of the ingredients in junk food. The result?</p> <p class="blockquote">[T]he real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (aka liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.</p> <p>So even foods that are more processed, that require more labor to produce, cost less. The article goes on to explain the origins of the Farm Bill and the detrimental, albeit unintended, effect it is having on our population.</p> <p class="blockquote">The farm bill helps determine what sort of food your children will have for lunch in school tomorrow. The school-lunch program began at a time when the public-health problem of America&rsquo;s children was undernourishment, so feeding surplus agricultural commodities to kids seemed like a win-win strategy. Today the problem is overnutrition, but a school lunch lady trying to prepare healthful fresh food is apt to get dinged by U.S.D.A. inspectors for failing to serve enough calories; if she dishes up a lunch that includes chicken nuggets and Tater Tots, however, the inspector smiles and the reimbursements flow. The farm bill essentially treats our children as a human Disposall for all the unhealthful calories that the farm bill has encouraged American farmers to overproduce.</p> <p>Do click over and read the rest of the article. The author gives a good breakdown of calorie-per-dollar-spent between carrots and junk food.</p> <p>It ends on a hopeful note, claiming that the resurgence in organic farming and local produce, combined with consumer demands and the American ideal of a free market economy, may give us a chance to reclaim our farming heritage and our health. I'm not sure that I'm so optimistic about our chances for revamping what seems like extremely complicated and pork-filled legislation.</p> <p><em>(Picture by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/cgp314/"><em>Colin Palmer</em></a><em>)</em></p> <p>*Because so many people keep reading this sentence and thinking that I actually believe that the poor are dumb, I'd like to point out that the sentence is meant to generalize about the way that many wealthy Americans think about the poor, NOT THE WAY THAT I FEEL ABOUT THE POOR. My god, people, do you really think a web site dedicated to helping readers learn how to save money would feature a writer who loathes the poor? GET A GRIP. And for the record, I'm pretty fat myself, so it's not like I'm making fun of anyone for eating badly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty calories corn coupons expensive farm bill free market government subsidies health food junk food soy vegetables Tue, 24 Apr 2007 18:53:46 +0000 Andrea Karim 555 at http://www.wisebread.com