Meals to avoid when eating out

Restaurant food generally is a minefield of fat, salt and sugar so as tasty as it might seem, it’s best to avoid it as much as possible when you’re trying to eat something resembling a healthy diet.

Check my Eating Away from Home page for some of the least unhealthy alternatives I’ve found at various restaurants. And if you want to know what to avoid, this article, These are the most unhealthy meals in America, ranked is a good place to start.

Chicken parm pizza style? Really. Avoid it.

On the list:

Chicken Parmesan “Pizza Style” at The Cheesecake Factory. I haven’t eaten at a Cheesecake factory in more than six years, since my first stent went in. Even the salads there are loaded with so much unhealthy stuff they make a mockery of any expectation that  salad will be a healthy choice. This dish totals 1,870 calories, basically a day’s worth. The article doesn’t get into salt and fat but I’m sure it’s mega-artery clogging. Continue reading “Meals to avoid when eating out”

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More food items to avoid at Costco

Anyone who knows me or who has read my blog, knows of my displeasure with Costco for dropping chocolate frozen yogurt from its food courts and replacing it with trendy frozen acai.

That change disrupted my life for months and has turned me from a Costco lover to a Costco hater. I no longer go every week and now spend as little time and money as possible when I’m there. I also downgraded my membership from Executive to regular.

What had been my weekly Costco lunch is no more. Who dumps chocolate from the vanilla-chocolate combo? Shame on you Costco.
What had been my weekly Costco lunch is no more. Who dumps chocolate from the vanilla-chocolate combo? Shame on you Costco.

So I’m up for any Costco bashing I see, which is why this recent Cooking Light post, 6 Things You Should NEVER Buy at Costco, According to Superfans. Continue reading “More food items to avoid at Costco”

Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too

Heart-healthy approaches to eating usually emphasize eating a lot of fresh, rather than processed, foods. That means your refrigerator should be stocked with fresh produce, fresh fish and fresh chicken, depending on your tastes.

Start with white meat chicken. Cut it into bite-sized cubes.
How long can you keep chicken in your refrigerator, even after you’ve frozen it? Check this list.

But how long can you keep those before they start to spoil, even in the refrigerator?

WebMD has a handy illustrated guide, although the first thing that struck me about it is that we shouldn’t be eating many fo the items covered here — like deli meats, Mayonnaise, butter, most high-fat ground beef and cheese. Continue reading “Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too”

Some happy talk about the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet has become a favorite of nutritionists in recent years, especially for those with heart and other ailments. Now a new study that looked at a lot of earlier studies thinks it also can help mood.

Veggie plates are common in Italy, why can’t U.S. places offer the same?

“The evidence so far pointed to the idea that the foods we eat can make a difference in lowering our risk of depression, even though there is no solid clinical proof yet,” reports the BBC in detailing the new study in Molecular Psychiatry. The study reviewed 41 studies published within the last eight years. Continue reading “Some happy talk about the Mediterranean Diet”

Don’t be taken in but these food buzzwords

Food processors are getting the message that today’s consumer, especially millennials, want to eat healthier and won’t shop in traditional stores unless they change their product mix to reflect that.

Think anything that says whole grain is healthy? Think again.

But rather than simply make healthier products, some processors have turned to buzzwords that appear to mean healthier while not actually conveying anything healthy about a given food. Don’t be taken in by these terms, read labels and actually study what is in a product before buying it.

Here’s a list from Cooking Light Continue reading “Don’t be taken in but these food buzzwords”

Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list

It’s literally been years since I regularly shopped in the deli section of a supermarket. The processed meats there are loaded with salt and fat plus other additives most people, not just those of us with heart issues, should avoid.

But if you still get the urge once and awhile, at least avoid the worst of the worst. WebMD recently posted this Best and Worst Choices From the Deli Section.

Among the best– rotisserie chicken, low-sodium turkey breast, roasted vegetables, bean or lentil salad, coleslaw (the kind without mayo), veggie Quiche and sushi with brown rice.

No more bologna for me, bye-bye old friend.

I’d avoid some of those as well because of high salt content.  I once had a long conversation with cooks at Mariano’s, an upscale chain here in Chicago which specializes in prepared foods and has large buffets in its stores, and was told all their offerings would be considered high in salt content for someone like me. Continue reading “Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list”

Pasta, swordfish, eggplant — if you like all those, try this

Pasta is always a favorite for me, although these days I eat only multigrain pasta because of my heart issues. I normally make my own tomato sauce to avoid high-salt processed alternatives. But occasionally, I’ll try something without a traditional tomato sauce, like this fun-sounding dish, Sicilian Swordfish Pasta With Eggplant and Tomatoes.

Rigatoni with swordfish, eggplant and tomatoes.
Rigatoni with swordfish, eggplant and tomatoes.

Swordfish is a relatively healthy fish when it comes to the type of fat it contains, but eating large amounts of it could cause other problems since it’s a fish that can contain high levels of mercury (sorry, every food seems to have its ups and downs healthwise doesn’t it).

The recipe is fairly simple to make.

Step 1: Fry the Eggplant
Step 2: Infuse Oil With Garlic
Step 3: Add Swordfish and Cook
Step 4: Add Tomatoes, Wine, and Herbs
Step 5: Add Eggplant, Then Finish

For all the details, simply click here to go to the site where I found this recipe.