POSTS WITH TAG: healthy choices

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    What's in your hot dogs? Do you really want to know -- or is that one of those questions better not asked, like "What's that weird smell?" and "Am I pulling off these skinny jeans?" Just in case you're a wee bit curious, we're pulling back the curtain on these mystery sausages. You'll find meat in hot dogs, that is for certain. But you'll also find these 7 ingredients in most mass-produced hot dogs. Do you dare find out?

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    It's official: Yogurt is dessert. I know we all talk about it like it's a health food. We're all, nom nom love me some acidophilus as we spoon it in, imagining that somewhere a nutrition angel just got her wings because of our virtual choice of snack. But we're forgetting one thing: Yogurt is loaded with sugar. Well, most flavored varieties are. In fact, some yogurts have more sugar than a Twinkie. That would be 19 grams -- and by the way, the American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 20 grams of sugar a day.

    Obviously eating a sugar-laden yogurt is still way better for you than eating a Twinkie. At least with the yogurt, you're also getting calcium and other nutrients. But still, wouldn't you like to know which yogurts are low in sugar? I would. Here are 9 varieties of yogurt that have less sugar than a Twinkie but still taste great.

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    I have a lunch problem. I'm so busy during the day, from working and taking care of my family's needs, that my midday meal is often an afterthought. Before my daughter went off to school, I always made sure we had a tasty and healthy lunch. But now that I'm all by my lonesome, not only has remembering to eat been an issue, but finding good, fast, nutritious meals has been a challenge.

    In honor of ALL busy (and hungry) moms out there, here are 5 quick lunches that taste so much better than they sound.

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    We all know what you're supposed to do if you want to lose weight and live healthy: Eat less and exercise. Calorie in, calorie out. It's that simple. Except -- it's not that simple, or we wouldn't be floundering in a tidal wave of type-2 diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases. Two generations ago losing weight was all about saturated fat and will power

    Now there's a new culprit on the menu. It could be responsible for the so-called obesity epidemic. And you may be powerless against it. Meet the most addictive drug on the market, the toxin you should be most worried about: Sugar. That's according to a new documentary out Friday, Fed Up.

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    Quick, tell me what gluten is. No Google peeking! What is gluten, exactly? Maybe that's an easy one for you, but when people were interviewed for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, they came up with the most ridiculous responses, or non-responses, to that question I've ever heard. Holy dinner rolls, nobody has even the foggiest notion of what the stuff is! Apparently we have some severe misconceptions about Big G. Maybe it's time we cleared up some of the biggest myths about gluten. How much do you know?

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    How much do we love thick, rich, creamy Greek yogurt? We love it with granola, with fruit, with honey -- any time of the day. We love it so much, we went on a hunt for recipes featuring our favorite snack and turned up loads. Basically you can use it to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner, little bites, and even dessert. Here's 10 amazing recipes. The first three of these recipes are from The Greek Yogurt Kitchen by Toby Amidor.

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    I admit, I've gone koo-koo for coconut oil. I love the taste; plus, coconut oil is supposed to have all kinds of amazing health benefits. I'm cooking with it, I'm slathering it on my skin, and I've even been spreading it on bread instead of butter. If I could, I would sleep every night in a tub filled with coconut oil, and I would rise every morning with the skin of a newborn baby, I'm sure of it. But are we getting carried away with the coconut oil craze? Here are 4 things you should know about coconut oil that might make you hesitate the next time you reach for that jar.

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    I knew it when I saw it sprinkled all over the baked goodies at my favorite Parisian-style bakery. Amaranth is having a moment. Amaranth is one of those so-called "ancient grains" that have become trendy lately, in the wake of quinoa's success. Just a couple short years ago I was searching for it in vain. Now it's all over the place -- even on my damn croissants! So what's the hype all about? Here's why you may want to give amaranth a chance.

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    These are unfortunate times to grow up loving sweet stuff. The World Health Organization just popped a lot of our (candy) bubbles when it recently released a study stating only 5 percent of our calories should come from sugar. That's waaay easier to say than do if you're like me and your number one favorite snack in the world is chocolate-covered strawberries dipped in (heavily sweetened) vanilla yogurt. No fair.

    But a fact is a fact. And rather than fight it and risk all of the health consequences involved with overdosing on sugar -- diabetes and obesity, for example -- we can embrace some of the sweet alternatives out there. Lucky for us, one of these sugar substitutes is healthy, not saccharine-sweet, and can be used in more delish recipes than you would believe. I speak of everyone's latest and greatest favorite sweetener: agave.

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    Do you know how much sugar is too much sugar? I had no effin' idea -- until now. According to the World Health Organization, only 5 percent of our calories should come from sugar. That's added sugar, by the way. Even broccoli has natural sugars, after all. WHO director of nutrition Francesco Branca admits that 10 percent is probably more realistic for most of us. But just out of curiosity, I wanted to figure out what 5 percent of your total calories per day would look like.

    Let's say you consume around 2000 calories a day. That would mean you could eat 100 calories in sugar. 100 calories of sweet, sweet indulgence. How many M&Ms is that, exactly? Well, our nutritional labels don't tell us that, yet. But you can estimate based on 4 calories per 1 gram of sugar.

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