WHAT IS CORNED BEEF??

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Get lucky πŸ˜‰

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and our mouths are watering for some corned beef and cabbage. But what exactly is Corned Beef?

First off, it has NOTHING to do with corn (on the cob)!!

Corned beef and cabbage
Corned beef and cabbage

Corned beef got its name from an old English word, “Corn”, which refers to large grains, or “corns” of rock salt, which were used to preserve and prevent from spoiling the large chunks of beef brisket. (FYI random knowledge: BRISKET is the underside chest or breast of the cow).

Today we usually brine the beef brisket in salt and flavorings (also including lots of spices and peppercorns), and then boiling the beef to cook it before serving.

What about nutrition in corned beef?

Since it is brined (aka soaked in salty salty water), there is A LOT of sodium in corned beef–about 1000 mg per 3 oz serving. Doctors recommend about 2500 mg sodium per day on average. Aside from salt, there is also a lot of protein and fat (about 15 grams each) in a serving. Given that it is beef, you are also getting about 10% iron from a 3 oz serving! Cool!

Now that you know the general ingredients and nutrition in corned beef, you can make the proper decisions to guide your own healthy eating plan! Remember, there are no bad foods if you eat with awareness and knowledge of nutritional content!! HAPPY ST. PATTY’S!!!!

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Do eggs have iron??

Do eggs have iron?

Eggs have many nutrients, but not that much iron!
Eggs have many nutrients, but not that much iron!

Hmmmmmmm.. For some reason we get this question a lot here at Positive Eats. And the answer is, while eggs are a nutrient powerhouse, there are other foods that are much better sources of iron.

Eggs contain <0.1 mg of iron each. We need on average about 8-10 mg of iron per day to maintain high energy levels and brain function.

So if you’re looking for a lot of iron..know that eggs contain a little bit..but there are other foods that are richer, such as meats, green veggies, beans, and cocoa πŸ˜€

If you're looking for iron, a dark chocolate egg may be a better option!
If you’re looking for iron, a dark chocolate egg may be a better option!

Interesting! Now pass this nutritional education on to a friend!!

Are refried beans really fried beans, fried again?

Nope. and Nope.

Refried beans, a staple side dish at Mexican restaurants, are really just cooked pinto beans sauteed in with some flavorings (onion/garlic/spices) and fat (oil or lard..or whatever is on hand), and then mashed. Simple!

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Refried beans. Picture taken from http://www.seriouseats.com

The word “refried” seems to conjure up images of deep frying something..twice. But refried beans are anything but.

Refried beans comes from the Spanish words frijoles refritos, which means well-fried beans. Usually the prefix “Re” in English means “again” or “repetition”, so we get confused and think that Re-fried means fried again. However in Spanish, refritos it means “well” or “very” fried. The beans are actually only “fried” once. And by that we mean that the beans are added to a pan of onions which are sauteed or cooked in some oil.

beans

Nutritionally, refried beans are amazing and have a LOT to offer. Why?

First off, refried beans are primarily BEANS. Beans have tons of fiber, protein, and iron. Beans themselves have very little to no fat. This is where the “refried” part comes in! A few tablespoons of fat in a recipe of refried beans adds exactly just a little bit per serving. Fat is great for our bodies because it helps us absorb those fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A,Β  and K.

Try cooking some refried beans to help you understand how EASY it is to make! And how nutritious it is for your body! Check out this nutrition summary of refried beans.

Don’t let the media scare you away from “fried” anything! Words (or the names of dishes) do not mean anything about a particular food. “Fried” does not equate with “bad”. NO FOODS ARE BAD! Do research, and then decide how particular foods can fit into your diet! πŸ™‚

Happy eating! Please comment below on refried beans! Did you know what they were before reading this post? What do you think about their nutrition?

 

Is there Pumpkin in that Starbucks drink?

October means Fall, which really means—hellllllo Pumpkin EVERYTHING. But the one thing that is most frequently associated with the changing of the seasons is the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

Do you like ’em?

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte (taken from starbucks.com)
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte (taken from starbucks.com)

Well if you do drink the occasional (or every-day-until-next-fall) Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, make sure you understand its nutrition!!

Because once you understand the nutrition of the foods you are consuming, you will see that there are no bad foods! All foods offer nutrition. And with knowledge of nutrition, we can make the best choices for our bodies and well-being! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Knowledge is power! And we can share our knowledge with our friends and loved ones..so they can make the best choices for their bodies!

So what exactly is in a Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte?

Answer: WE DON’T (exactly) KNOW!! Starbucks does not list the ingredients on their web page.

However, they do list nutritional info. And we can see that in the 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream topped pumpkin spice latte–there are 13 g of fat, 49 g of SUGAR, 14 g of protein, 15% Vitamin A, and 50% Calcium.

One thing that stands out from this list is the whopping 49 grams of sugar. That is A LOT of sugar!!! Which is not a BAD thing! Sugar is NOT bad! But we need to make educated choices. Recommended sugar intake is around 25 grams per day.

Sugar cubes

We can’t tell you to what to consume, but we can present the nutritional facts.

Another blogger has posted some further research into the ingredients list.

Whether you choose to drink Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte or not, you should be happy with your choice. If you decide you are fine without it, then don’t.

If you want to drink one, then savor it. Savor the taste, and envision the nutrients nourishing your body, giving you life and energy!

Please don’t food-shame!

HAPPY FALL!!!! Happy Pumpkin Season! Now tell us, should Starbucks be required to list the ingredients in its drinks?

 

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!!

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!!Β 

There’s something about the combination of peanut butter and jelly smushed in between soft bread. It’s timeless. It is delicious. Oh and did we mention..It’s NUTRITIOUS!!!!!

Probably the best sandwich ever invented. (photo taken from cnn.com)
Probably the best sandwich ever invented. (photo taken from cnn.com)

So what nutrients does our favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich offer?

Well, for one–PROTEIN! This comes from the peanuts (which is actually a “legume” or bean if you didn’t know!). And then there is FAT–this comes from the peanuts too. CARBOHYDRATES!–this comes from the jelly and bread, and a little from the peanuts.

Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are the three macronutrients we need for survival. We also need a balance of micronutrients–aka vitamins and minerals.

The classic PB&J also has many micronutrients to offer to our bodies as well. For example–iron (from the peanuts, and bread).

And the best part about the peanut butter jelly sandwich, is that is really is just a template for a thousand other delicious recipes that have a great balance of nutrition.

Almond butter and banana on a pita? YUM. Cashew spread and apple slices on ciabatta? Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal? The possibilities are endless!

Tell us- What is your favorite Peanut Butter and Jelly variation?

Mac and Cheese, Please!

Mmmmmmm Mac and Cheese. Who doesn’t love it?

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

The beauty of this dish is that it is such a cinch to put together, and such a crowd-pleaser.

Examine this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese nutrition label to get an idea of the nutrients in this delicious concoction.

But even if you don’t look at a nutrition label, knowing the main ingredients of any recipe can help you estimate nutritional content.

Mac and Cheese is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. Macaroni and, Cheese! However, usually some Milk and Butter are added as well to get just that right consistency.

So let’s look at these four ingredients: Macaroni, Cheese, Milk, and Butter. What nutrients do they offer?

Well…..

1) Macaroni (aka an elbow shaped pasta) is usually made of enriched flour. This means it is made from fortified wheat flour that contains many B vitamins and iron. And since it is made from flour, this means it is a carb! Our body loves and NEEDS carbohydrates.

2) Cheese is a processed dairy product, meaning it contains protein, calcium, fat, and sodium. Oh and since it is an animal food product, it contains the essential vitamin B-12!! Remember, B-12 is mostly only found in animal food products.

3) Milk is ..milk. Usually, the kind we consume comes from cows. And even though milk is used to make cheese, there are some key nutritional differences.

4) Butter. butter butter butter. So yummy, and so nutritious! Check out why it is great to include some butter in our diets. (Hint: Butter is a Fat. And we NEED fats!)

Phew! What a wonderful list of nutrition from our friend, Mac and Cheese. Remember to learn about the proper nutrition for YOUR body, and to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in your diet. Undernourishment, overnourishment, and malnourishment are no bueno.

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

Mac and Cheese can absolutely be part of a healthy diet once we understand the nutrients it offers! Look at the nutrition labels on mac and cheese ingredients to see what you’re consuming. And remember, recipes can be tweaked to fit your diet! That is why learning how to cook is essential in life. Happy Mac’ing!

How does a Chick-fil-a biscuit contain 15% daily iron?

Check out the nutritional info and ingredients here!

Biscuit. Picture from chick-fil-a.com
Biscuit. Picture from chick-fil-a.com

Educate yourself on the ingredients in foods and you will be able to estimate nutrient content without having to memorize numbers.

Share what you learn with friends, coworkers, family, ..anyone! The more you know about nutrition and nutritional needs, the better you will be able to make decisions for optimal health. And a healthier body means a happier you!

Also remember that rather than looking at foods as “good” or “bad”, choose to look at foods as different vehicles of nutrition. Some foods have more carbohydrates. Some have more fat. Some have lots of sodium. Some have tons of protein. Some have many vitamins. Some have few vitamins. Some foods have carbohydrates AND protein AND fat AND vitamins AND minerals. We need a balance of nutrients, and ALL foods have at least SOMETHING to offer us. That’s right, even soda, and a Chick-fil-a biscuit.

Which brings us back to the topic of this post: How does a Chick-fil-a biscuit contain 15% of daily iron needs? (take this “15%” number with a grain of salt, as it is based on the average diet..not necessarily yours).

Answer: If you look at the ingredient list, you will see “enriched wheat flour“. Enriched flour means there are vitamins and minerals added in. And iron is one of them!

Awesome. Now that we know a little more about biscuits, it is time for the relevant but irrelevant question of the day: What do you like to put on your biscuit? Jelly? Butter? Honey?