Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Friday, January 26, 2018

Reduce Added Sugar


Currently, there are no federal guidelines regarding the amount of sugar you should consume.  However, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we consume less sugar overall as part of a healthy lifestyle- no more than 6 teaspoons (tsp.) or 100 calories a day of sugar for most women and no more than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories a day for most men.

Added sugar in foods such as desserts, candy, cookies, soda, and many cereals are providing empty calories.  Empty calories are calories that contain no nutritional value. Taking in these added/extra calories overtime can lead to unwanted weight gain and can also impact blood sugar levels for those diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Reducing your sugar intake may be easier than you think.  Here are some tips to get you started!
  • Cut down on adding sugar (table sugar, syrup, honey) to foods (cereal, cookies, pancakes) and beverages like coffee or tea. Try decreasing the amount you typically add and cut it in half and then continue to decrease from there.  
    • Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, try fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  • Remove soda. Choose a seltzer that's naturally flavored or you can add a splash of 100% fruit juice (such as Pomegranate, orange, grape…) to flavor a plain seltzer or just choose plain water if you don’t like the bubbles. 
  • Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Choose fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits that are in water or natural juice. 
  • When baking your favorite cookies, brownies or cakes, decrease the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. You can cut it by ½ the amount or slightly less and you will likely not even notice. 
Note: You do not need to count the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and milk toward your daily intake of added sugar.

Bottom line is that it is important to be aware of your sugar intake and reduce it if you find that you are taking in more added sugar than the AHA recommends.  Use the tips mentioned above and work toward consuming less sugar overall.
Resources:
  • Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar. Accessed January 24, 2018 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Tips-for-Cutting-Down-on-Sugar_UCM_461811_Article.jsp#.WmkQbyMrJok




Monday, January 1, 2018

New Food, New Me

Monday, January 1, 2018 | 12:00 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments

Looking for a New Year’s resolution that can be good for you and fun? Challenge yourself to try new foods! Regardless of how old you are, it is possible to discover new foods or discover a new liking for a food you thought you didn’t enjoy.

Mix it up
Foods often take on very different flavors depending on how they were prepared. This is especially true for vegetables, which most of us should be resolving to eat more of. Raw spinach in a salad has a very different flavor than sautéed spinach. Texture can also change with preparation and can be a big factor in whether or not we like a food. Some people enjoy the crunch of a raw carrot, but do not enjoy the soft feel of a cooked carrot. Flavor combinations will also impact whether or not we like a given food. Give different herbs, spices and sauces a try on any food you are trying.

Try, try and try again
You have probably heard the idea of exposing children to food multiple times before deciding that they do or don’t like it. This same approach may work with adults as well. Don’t give up on a food the first time you try it. Simply becoming more familiar with a food may increase the chances that you will like it. It is also important to remember that factors beyond flavor can impact your reaction to a food. The setting, the way the food is presented and even who you are with when you try it could influence your preferences.

Make it social
Achieving a goal is often more fun and attainable if you do it with friends. Gather a group and start a tasting club. Challenge yourselves to try at least a certain number of new foods each month. Meet for lunch and share a new dish in addition to your regular meal. If it doesn’t become your new favorite, you haven’t wasted a full portion. Find something you like? Share your new discovery on social media with #NewFoodNewMe. Search the same hashtag to see what new foods other people are discovering.

January 2018