health

Dear Dietitian – What effects do trans fats have on the body?

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Dear Readers,

We've all heard of trans fats by now, but what are they and what effect do they have on the body? "Trans" is a chemistry term that refers to the arrangement of molecules. In a trans formation, molecules are arranged on opposite sides of the carbon: carbon double bond.

Trans fats, which are unsaturated, are found in small amounts in animal products. The big offender has been artificial trans fats, like shortening, which contained partially hydrogenated oils. The good news is as of June 2018, artificial trans fats have been banned in the United States. 

27 simple ideas to increase your physical activity – and your health!

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Make physical activity a regular part of the day

Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly. Fitting activity into a daily routine can be easy -- such as taking a brisk 10-minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop, or subway station. Or, join an exercise class. Keep it interesting by trying something different on alternate days. Every little bit adds up and doing something is better than doing nothing.

Dear Dietitian – What are natural foods?

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Dear Readers,

What images come to mind when you think of a natural food?  An apple freshly picked from a tree?  A loaf of bread fresh out of the oven?  Fresh green beans right out of the garden?

Some food manufacturers are finding themselves in hot water for labeling their foods as "natural" when maybe they're not so natural after all.  Food companies are cashing in on the "natural" perception, as consumers often believe these products are better for them and are willing to pay more.