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March is National Nutrition Month

March 19th, 2013

ID-100134782-bananaGood Foods with a Bad Rap

March is national nutrition month.  This is a great time to reflect on your diet and how it is impacting your fitness and wellness goals.  To celebrate this month, we’d like to share three “good for you” foods that have gotten a bad rap.

  1. Bananas.   Bananas have gotten a bad rap because of their high sugar content.  Bananas have a glycemic index of about 55.  (Apples have a glycemic index of about 38.)  The glycemic index measures how quickly the carbohydrates in the food get digested and turned in to blood sugar.  So as far as fruit goes, bananas are at the higher end of the spectrum.
    • The good news?  Bananas are nutrient rich—containing potassium and magnesium as well as other necessary nutrients.  What’s even better?  They’re available year round for about 35 cents each, making bananas an affordable and satisfying snack.
    • The bottom line:  For people who aren’t diabetic or on a low carb diet, bananas are a great choice for breakfast or for a snack.
  2. Coffee.  Caffeine is bad for you right?  Who says?  If you think the only thing you’ll get from coffee is a buzz, think again.
    • The good news? Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which may help prevent diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. A little bit of caffeine can also help boost your energy level and help you carry out daily tasks a little more quickly.
    • The bottom line: As long as you’re not considering that sugar and cream loaded Carmel Macchiato as regular coffee—feel free to enjoy a morning cup of Joe.  And you should stay under 2 eight oz. cups a day, or you might throw off your sleep or irritate your digestive system.
  3. Avocados.  Avocados have gotten a bad rap because of their fat content (14.8 grams per half).
    • The good news? The “fat” number may seem on the high side, but avocados actually boast a lot of monounsaturated “good” fat, which means that they can help decrease the risk of heart disease when eaten in moderation. They’ve also been found to help prevent certain kinds of oral cancers.
    • The bottom line:  You don’t have to skip the guacamole.

Remember, moderation is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.  How much and how often we eat something is more important in determining risk-benefit than any single attribute of a food. If you need help getting your nutrition back on track, contact us to learn more about our nutritional services.

Sources used to write this article:
Harvard School of Public Health.

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