What’s Keeping Americans from Moving More?

ThinkstockPhotos-87633673The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) promotes eating smart, moving more, and being at a healthy weight as the three top ways to reduce cancer risk. Cancer prevention research says that you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day and avoid sedentary habits like too much sitting, TV watching, or screen time.

Survey respondents said the biggest barrier toward meeting this recommendation is TIME! A key strategy to overcome this barrier is to start adding it in your schedule in small increments and slowly build up to 30 minutes daily.

  • Take a 5-minute walking break: After every hour of sitting, get up and walk around. Walk down the street, down the hall, up and down the stairs; just move for 3 – 5 minutes, building up to 10 minutes for every 60 minutes of sitting.
  • Make it a family affair: Create family activity challenges. Craziest dance moves, most jumping jacks in a minute, fastest running in place—whatever your family would find fun. Let the kids take turns leading an exercise break.
  • Try a new activity or get back to that thing you used to do: Maybe you used to bike, hike, or play tennis. Find a like-minded friend(s), join a class, and make it a social occasion.

Source: AICR’s eNews, February 4, 2016.

Food Safety Protection in Iowa: Did You Know…

  • ThinkstockPhotos-499289680No Bare Hands: The Iowa Food Code does not allow food handlers to touch ready-to-eat food with bare hands when serving the public. This means that foods like fresh produce (already washed and cut), sandwiches, pizza, deli meats, and bakery products are handled with tongs/utensils, deli papers, or gloves over clean hands.
  • Certified Food Protection Manager: The Iowa Food Code requires that at least one employee with supervisory responsibilities in a foodservice/restaurant operation be certified in food safety. This requirement became law in 2014. Existing restaurants have until January 1, 2018, to get at least one manager food safety certified.
  • Temporary Food Stands: Local food inspectors are busy during the summer months! They arrive before the food is served and inspect food stands at the farmers markets and at community events (Ice Cream Days, Watermelon Days, etc.). They check food temperatures and cleanliness, and they make sure the food handlers have a way to easily and correctly wash their hands.

Lentil Tacos

LentilacosServing Size: 2 Tacos | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 package (1.25 ounces) of 40% less sodium taco seasoning*
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce.

* Homemade taco seasoning mix: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4–6 minutes, or until they become soft and fragrant. Stir several times during cooking.
  2. Add the lentils and seasonings. Stir so that the seasonings are mixed in.
  3. Slowly add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more until the mixture has thickened and the liquid is absorbed. Mash slightly with a fork.
  5. Heat corn tortillas according to package directions.
  6. Spread 1/4 cup lentil mixture onto each tortilla.
  7. Serve with salsa, cheese, and lettuce.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories, 11 g fat, 480 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 16 g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.

2016 – International Year of Pulses

ThinkstockPhotos-512114678If you’ve never heard of pulses you are not alone. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses as a way to increase public awareness of the nutrition benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production.

What is the difference between a legume and a pulse?

Legume: Legumes are plants whose fruit is enclosed in a pod like peas and beans, soybeans and peanuts, alfalfa, and clover. When growing, legumes fix nitrogen into the soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Pulse: Part of the legume family, the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils, and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are high in fiber, protein, and other nutrients. They are naturally low in fat and sodium.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming 1.5 cups of dried beans and peas (pulses) per week for a 2,000-calorie eating pattern. This includes cooked from dry or canned beans and peas such as kidney beans, white beans, black beans, red beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, edamame (green soybeans), and pinto beans. It does not include green beans or green peas.

Ways to increase dried beans and peas in everyday eating:

  • Add dried beans to soup. Think beyond the traditional bean soup and chili and add to vegetable- and tomato-based soups. Try new soup recipes that include dried beans.
  • Experiment with beans you have never eaten and learn more about cooking dried beans. They can easily be cooked in a slow cooker and don’t necessarily require presoaking.
  • Add beans to salads. They are delicious added to any vegetable-based salad such as a tossed salads, slaws, and pasta salads.
  • Add to any taco/Mexican dish, casseroles, and even egg dishes.

Physical Activity Guidelines

ThinkstockPhotos-526789591The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight. A key recommendation of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which help promote health and reduce risk of chronic disease. Remember the following:

  • Regular physical activity offers health benefits for everyone!
  • Some physical activity is better than none.
  • Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. You can get this amount in by being active 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration.
  • Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.

Need some motivation? Not sure where to start? The free online USDA Physical Activity Tracker may be a good way to get new ideas for being physically active and help you track your movement. This is available at https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/physicalactivitytracker.aspx.

Leftovers and Food Safety

ThinkstockPhotos-506506152The first step in having safe leftovers is to cook the food safely. Cook the food to the proper temperature by using a food thermometer. Bacteria grow rapidly in the temperature danger zone (40°F to 140°F), so be sure your leftovers are safe by following these steps:

  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking or holding it hot.
  • Throw away all cooked food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Cool foods rapidly. To do this, large quantities of food should be cut in smaller pieces first or divided into shallow containers that will aid in cooling.
  • Cover leftovers well before refrigerating. This helps keep odors and bacteria out and moisture in.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Although leftovers are safe indefinitely when frozen, quality will deteriorate when stored longer.

For a chart on storage times, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html.

Fish Sandwich

fish sandwichServing Size: 1 tablespoon | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 4 (3-ounce) frozen white filets (e.g., tilapia), thawed
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Optional sandwich toppings: sliced onions and tomatoes, leaf lettuce, tartar sauce, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Spread the cornmeal on a plate and press the fish into the cornmeal to coat all sides.
  2. Fry the fish in the hot oil until the cornmeal is lightly browned. This will take about 2–3 minutes on each side. Fish is done when the internal temperature reaches 145°F or it flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Move the fish from the frying pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Pat the fish dry with more paper towels.
  4. Assemble sandwiches with your favorite toppings.

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories, 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 22g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.

2015 Dietary Guidelines Released

ThinkstockPhotos-110884724The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were recently released. They emphasize that a healthy eating pattern isn’t a rigid prescription, but is adaptable so that individuals can enjoy foods that meet their personal, cultural, and traditional preferences and fit within their budget. This edition of the Dietary Guidelines focuses on shifts to emphasize the need to make substitutions—choosing nutrient-dense foods and beverages in place of less healthy choices.

An eating pattern represents the totality of all foods and beverages consumed. All foods consumed as part of a healthy eating pattern fit together like a puzzle to meet nutritional needs without exceeding limits, such as those for saturated fats, added sugars, sodium, and total calories. All forms of foods—including fresh, canned, dried, and frozen—can be included in healthy eating patterns.

Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. Individuals should aim to meet their nutrient needs through healthy eating patterns that include nutrient-dense foods. Foods in nutrient-dense forms contain essential vitamins and minerals and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may have positive health effects. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less than recommended amounts.

Healthy eating patterns are adaptable. Individuals have more than one way to achieve a healthy eating pattern. Any eating pattern can be tailored to the individual’s socio-cultural and personal preferences.

Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns. New to this edition is a specified limit to help achieve a healthy pattern within calorie limits:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium.

For more information on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, visit
http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/.

Functional Fitness

ThinkstockPhotos-78805084Functional fitness is one of the top ten fitness trends for 2016, as identified by the American College of Sports Medicine. Functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to make it easier and safer for one to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or playing a game of basketball with your kids. Functional fitness movements are often seen in exercise programs for older adults, but anyone can benefit from these exercises.

Tai chi and Pilates often involve varying combinations of resistance and flexibility training that can help build functional fitness. Below are some specific functional fitness movements that you can try at home:

Squat – www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/135/

Multidirectional lunges – www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/94/

Seated bicep curls – www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/2/44/

Step-ups with weights – www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/28/

After adding more functional exercises to your workout, you should notice improvements in your ability to perform everyday activities, leading to an increased quality of life. Find additional resources by searching the exercise library at www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/.

Source: journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2015/11000/WORLDWIDE_SURVEY_OF_FITNESS_TRENDS_FOR_2016__10th.5.aspx

Health Inspection Records at Your Fingertips

bldar022405079Health inspection records for eating establishments are now easier to find thanks to a new app—HD Scores. The app, available for both iPhone and Android devices, was developed by chef Matthew Eierman and his colleagues. The app displays a map of the user’s area and shows a percentage score for each establishment, based on a scoring algorithm created by HDScores.

HDScores emphasizes cleanliness and factors related to foodborne illness, and it focuses less on issues unrelated to contamination. This means it is possible for an establishment to score an A on their health inspection but receive a lower score on HDScores, like 75 percent, if they have only a few violations but those violations are directly related to foodborne illness risk.

Information on the app is updated frequently, with new inspection scores available within 12 to 24 hours of the health department’s filing. Currently the app contains data for more than 615,000 of the approximately 1.5 million eating establishments across the United States. The app covers the entire state of Iowa. For more information on the app, visit hdscores.com.