With all the delicious treats options around, it can be challenging to eat healthily. So, what’s the easiest way to maintain a healthy diet? Here’s a question to get started:

How many times in a week do you eat the same foods?

Unless you’re a professional chef or a food critic, most of us consume the same things every day. Even if you dine out somewhere new, breakfast and lunch are likely to be routine.

To make your daily meals healthier over time, you can make your go-to dishes more nutritious. How can you do that, you might ask?

  • Swap a banana for breakfast with banana overnight oats.
  • Replace a turkey wrap for lunch with turkey breast and veggies.
  • Opt for foods that are higher in protein, lower in calories, and more filling overall.

A little knowledge of the foods that nourish your muscles and metabolism without being high in calories goes a long way.

I like to call these **High Performance Foods**. You don’t need to track every meal every day. Just consume more of these foods more frequently, and you can sustain your energy and achieve your desired body shape while still enjoying special meals out.


Here is a list of 30 proteins arranged from highest protein to least protein. Per 100 calories you can see how many grams of protein each yields. Click the list to expand or hide.

Protein: Grams Per 100 Calories

  1. Chicken Breast: 22 grams of protein per 100 calories
  2. Tuna: 22 grams
  3. Egg Whites: 22 grams
  4. Turkey Breast: 20 grams
  5. Shrimp: 20 grams
  6. Cod: 20 grams
  7. Whey Protein: 20 grams
  8. Lean Beef: 18 grams
  9. Pork Loin: 17 grams
  10. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt: 15 grams
  11. Cottage Cheese: 14 grams
  12. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese: 12 grams
  13. Greek Yogurt: 10 grams
  14. Tofu: 10 grams
  15. Tempeh: 9 grams
  16. Edamame: 8 grams
  17. Lentils: 8 grams
  18. Chickpeas: 7 grams
  19. Black Beans: 7 grams
  20. Soy Milk: 6 grams
  21. Eggs: 6 grams
  22. Mozzarella Cheese: 6 grams
  23. Cheddar Cheese: 6 grams
  24. Peas: 6 grams
  25. Milk: 5 grams
  26. Almonds: 4 grams
  27. Peanut Butter: 4 grams
  28. Quinoa: 4 grams
  29. Whole Wheat Bread: 4 grams
  30. Sunflower Seeds: 3 grams


Here is a list of 30 Vegetables arranged from least energy-dense to most energy-dense, with their respective calorie content for a 300-gram serving:

Veggies: Calories Per 300 Grams

  1. Cucumber: 45 calories
  2. Lettuce: 45 calories
  3. Celery: 45 calories
  4. Radishes: 48 calories
  5. Zucchini: 51 calories
  6. Tomatoes: 54 calories
  7. Asparagus: 60 calories
  8. Mushrooms: 66 calories
  9. Bell Peppers: 69 calories
  10. Pumpkin: 69 calories
  11. Spinach: 69 calories
  12. Eggplant: 75 calories
  13. Cabbage: 75 calories
  14. Cauliflower: 75 calories
  15. Green Beans: 93 calories
  16. Fennel: 93 calories
  17. Broccoli: 93 calories
  18. Carrots: 123 calories
  19. Brussels Sprouts: 126 calories
  20. Beets: 129 calories
  21. Onions: 132 calories
  22. Kale: 147 calories
  23. Leeks: 180 calories
  24. Artichokes: 192 calories
  25. Potatoes: 231 calories
  26. Peas: 252 calories
  27. Sweet Potatoes: 258 calories
  28. Butternut Squash: 294 calories
  29. Corn: 297 calories
  30. Parsnips: 300 calories


Here is a list of 20 fruits arranged from least energy-dense to most energy-dense, with their respective calorie content for a 200-gram serving:

Fruits: Calories Per 200 Grams

  1. Watermelon: 60 calories
  2. Strawberries: 64 calories
  3. Cantaloupe: 68 calories
  4. Peach: 78 calories
  5. Papaya: 86 calories
  6. Plums: 92 calories
  7. Oranges: 94 calories
  8. Pineapple: 100 calories
  9. Raspberries: 104 calories
  10. Apples: 104 calories
  11. Blueberries: 114 calories
  12. Pears: 114 calories
  13. Mango: 120 calories
  14. Kiwi: 122 calories
  15. Cherries: 126 calories
  16. Grapes: 138 calories
  17. Figs: 148 calories
  18. Pomegranate: 166 calories
  19. Bananas: 178 calories
  20. Avocado: 320 calories


Here is a list of 15 starches, ordered from least energy-dense to most energy-dense, based on a consistent serving size of 200 grams:

Starches: Calories Per 200 Grams

  1. Zucchini noodles: 40 calories
  2. Spaghetti squash: 62 calories
  3. Acorn squash: 80 calories
  4. Butternut squash: 90 calories
  5. Oatmeal: 142 calories
  6. White potato: 154 calories
  7. Sweet potato: 172 calories
  8. Brown rice: 222 calories
  9. Couscous: 224 calories
  10. Quinoa: 240 calories
  11. Whole wheat pasta: 248 calories
  12. White rice: 260 calories
  13. Regular pasta: 262 calories
  14. Whole wheat bread: 494 calories
  15. White bread: 532 calories


Developing a Common Foods List to Streamline Meal Planning
Now that you’re familiar with the food hierarchy and lists, it’s time to create your own go-to list – the Common Foods List. This will be the foundation of 80% of your weekly meals, leaving room for 20% of indulgences, especially during the holidays. Select the top 5-10 items from each list to form the basis of your Common Foods List for your regular meals.

Per 100 calories you can see how many grams of protein each yields

  1. Chicken Breast: 22 grams
  2. Tuna: 22 grams
  3. Egg Whites: 22 grams
  4. Turkey Breast: 20 grams
  5. Shrimp: 20 grams
  6. Whey Protein: 20 grams
  7. Lean Beef: 18 grams
  8. Pork Loin: 17 grams
  9. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt: 15 grams
  10. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese: 12 grams


Per 300 grams you can see how many calories each one yields. You can eat more with fewer calories the higher up the list you go.

  1. Cucumber: 45 calories
  2. Lettuce: 45 calories
  3. Celery: 45 calories
  4. Radishes: 48 calories
  5. Zucchini: 51 calories
  6. Tomatoes: 54 calories
  7. Asparagus: 60 calories
  8. Mushrooms: 66 calories
  9. Bell Peppers: 69 calories
  10. Canned Pumpkin: 69 calories


Per 200 grams you can see how many calories each one yields. You can eat more with fewer calories the higher up the list you go.

  1. Watermelon: 60 calories
  2. Strawberries: 64 calories
  3. Cantaloupe: 68 calories
  4. Peach: 78 calories
  5. Papaya: 86 calories
  6. Plums: 92 calories
  7. Oranges: 94 calories
  8. Pineapple: 100 calories
  9. Raspberries: 104 calories
  10. Apples: 104 calories


Per 200 grams you can see how many calories each one yields. You can eat more with fewer calories the higher up the list you go.

  1. Zucchini noodles: 40 calories
  2. Spaghetti squash: 62 calories
  3. Butternut squash: 90 calories
  4. Oatmeal: 142 calories
  5. White potato: 154 calories


Now that you have these lists you can create 5 ingredient meals quickly. These simple plates of food are going to fill you up without getting you a ton of calories. Lots of food, high nutrient density, tons of protein, and not the excess energy you don’t need.

By doing this, you can continue to build or retain your muscle this holiday season. Additionally, since you may overeat calories on the weekends and at family gatherings, you will be able to easily offset that extra energy with these meal foundations.

Below is a quick example of how to turn a list like this into meals with a few simple seasonings and just a little creativity. These 5 meals take at least one item from each of the categories above and help you construct a variety of meals that are high protein, low calorie, and pleasing to the senses.

  1. Chicken Breast with Zucchini and Watermelon Salsa
    • Protein: Chicken Breast
    • Vegetable: Zucchini (grilled or sautéed)
    • Fruit: Watermelon (chopped for a fresh salsa with cilantro, lime, and a touch of jalapeño)
    • Starch: Zucchini noodles
  2. Seasoning: Garlic, black pepper, and a hint of chili powderTuna and Tomato Stuffed Bell Peppers
    • Protein: Tuna (canned in water)
    • Vegetable: Tomatoes and Bell Peppers (bell peppers as the container for the mix)
    • Fruit: Oranges (zest and a bit of juice in the tuna mix)
    • Starch: Spaghetti squash (mixed with the tuna)
  3. Seasoning: Basil, oregano, and a sprinkle of sea saltShrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry with Pineapple
    • Protein: Shrimp
    • Vegetable: Asparagus
    • Fruit: Pineapple (diced)
    • Starch: Acorn squash (cubed and roasted)
  4. Seasoning: Soy sauce (low sodium), ginger, and garlicLean Beef and Mushroom Skewers with Peach Chutney
    • Protein: Lean Beef (cubed for skewers)
    • Vegetable: Mushrooms
    • Fruit: Peach (grilled or made into a chutney)
    • Starch: Butternut squash (roasted cubes or mashed)
    • Seasoning: Rosemary, thyme, and black pepper
  5. Greek Yogurt and Raspberry Parfait with Oatmeal Crumble
    • Protein: Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
    • Vegetable: Cucumber (finely diced and mixed into the yogurt)
    • Fruit: Raspberries
    • Starch: Oatmeal (baked into a light crumble)
    • Seasoning: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a drizzle of honey


It’s time to take action and stock your pantry and fridge for success.

Here is a shopping list of the top 6 ingredients from each of the lists above. This is built for a family of 4. Here is how I’m shopping for my family for the next few weeks to keep it super simple. I’ll save this list in my Instacart and repeat it each week, subbing out 1-2 items just for some variety.

Shopping List:

  1. Chicken Breast – Buy enough for multiple meals, considering different cooking methods (e.g., grilled, baked).
  2. Tuna – Canned or fresh, depending on preference.
  3. Egg Whites – Large carton of liquid egg whites or enough eggs to separate.
  4. Turkey Breast – Deli slices for sandwiches or a whole breast for roasting.
  5. Shrimp – Frozen or fresh, according to preference.
  6. Whey Protein – One large tub.
  7. Cucumber – Several cucumbers for salads and snacking.
  8. Lettuce – A mix of types for variety in salads.
  9. Celery – One or two bunches.
  10. Radishes – A bag or bunch for salads and garnishes.
  11. Zucchini – Several for side dishes or zucchini noodles.
  12. Tomatoes – Various types (cherry, Roma, etc.) for salads and cooking.
  13. Watermelon – One or two, depending on size.
  14. Strawberries – One or two large containers.
  15. Cantaloupe – One or two melons.
  16. Peaches or Plums if in season, or frozen berries and fruits work too
  17. Papaya – One or two, depending on size.
  18. Plums – A bag or two.
  19. Zucchini Noodles – Pre-made or several zucchinis to make your own.
  20. Spaghetti Squash – One or two, depending on size.
  21. Butternut Squash – One or two, depending on size.
  22. Oatmeal – A large container of rolled or steel-cut oats.
  23. White Potato – A bag for multiple uses (baked, mashed, etc.).


There are two types of dietary sugar:3
  • Naturally occurring sugars 
    • Found naturally in foods such as
      fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose)
  • Added sugars 
    • This includes any sugars or
      caloric sweeteners that are added to beverages or foods during processing or
      preparation. Added sugars and sweeteners can include natural sugars such as
      white sugar, brown sugar, and honey. They can also contain chemically
      manufactured sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup.
Where added sugar is hiding:3
Nutrition facts panels of food
doesn’t make it easy to distinguish how much added sugar is in product. The
line for “sugars” includes both natural and added sugars. Products that contain
milk or fruit will contain some natural sugar (lactose or fructose). Reading
the list of ingredients on a processed food’s label can tell you if it contains
added sugars, but not the exact amount.
Names for added sugar:2,3
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose”
    (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup
How much is too much:2,3
According to the American Heart
Association, men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of added
sugar per day, and women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons or 21 grams.
For reference a 12oz can of Coke has 44 grams of sugar or 12 teaspoons.

Benefits of Naturally Occurring
Most naturally occurring sugars
are found in fruits and vegetables, these plants have high amounts of fiber,
essential minerals, and antioxidants. The body digests these foods more slowly,
so the sugar offers a steady supply of energy to the cells. A high intake of
fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease such
as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

Tips to Decrease Your Added
  • Choose water, unsweetened tea or
    coffee instead of soda or sweetened beverages
  • Choose fruit as a naturally sweet
    dessert or snack instead of foods with added sugars
  • Choose packaged foods that have
    less or no added sugars such as plain yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, or frozen
    fruit with no added sugar or syrup

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.
1. Added Sugars. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2. Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). The sweet
danger of sugar. Retrieved from


are four Macro Nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Water.

Often the most overlooked macronutrient. Our bodies are a large
majority water and it isn’t something we should deprive ourselves of.

If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated

There are numerous reasons we feel thirst: Hunger, side effects of
numerous medications, being in a hot or humid climate, exercise, and

It is suggested that we drink roughly half our body weight (pounds) in ounces. So,
if I weighed 180lbs I should drink about 90 oz of water a day.

Some modifications to this can be made depending on your exercise
level/intensity, and the climate you are in. Generally, if you are working out
at a high intensity, or sweating a lot you will be losing water, therefor you
should be drinking more than that starting 90 oz. If you live in a very hot
climate, or a humid one, you will also want to increase your water intake to
account for it.

Everyone’s body reacts differently on how we divide our intake between the
macronutrients. For some eating more carbs than fat and protein may cause them
to lose weight, where that could cause another person to gain weight. Finding
the right balance for your own body is about knowing what you are putting into
it and adjusting the balance between your macros. It may take some trial and
error but a healthy body is a happy one!

Tips & Tricks:
  • Try and drink 1/2 of your body weight (pounds) in ounces per day
  • Bring a water bottle with you to work and the gym to have on hand
  • Get an app for your phone to remind you to drink water throughout
    the day
  • Switch out a sweetened beverage for a glass of water instead
  • Try and drink a glass of water when you first get up in the
    morning to kick start your day!

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.


are four Macro Nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Water.

are a main source for energy in our bodies. Exercise bouts longer than 20
minutes use fat as the main energy source.

Eating fat will make me fat.

Fat is an essential part of the human diet. there are different types of
fat that effect the body differently.

Saturated Fat
Typically, solid at room temperature, like a stick of butter. Most
saturated fats come from animal products. 

Unsaturated Fat
Typically, in liquid form at room temperature, like oils. This
type of fat can help decrease LDL cholesterol in the body.

This is not a natural form of fat and was originally made as a
“healthier” substitute for saturated fat. Through research trans-fats
have been linked to an increase risk for heart disease and it is suggested by
the USDA to limit the intake of any trans-fats in our diets. Trans-fats are
commonly found in fast foods and highly processed “junk” food. Tip:
look on the label for
hydrogenated and
partially hydrogenated oils

Tips & Tricks:

  • Avoid
    Tran- fats. Check labels for “hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils”.
  • Try
    and use high fat foods that are also packed with nutrients. Such as avocados or
  • Worried
    about cholesterol? Try switching to vegetable fats such as olive oil in your
  • No
    one nutrient makes us “fat” on its own, it is the combination of
    these nutrients in our diets and how much of each we consume that create the
    complex equation that leads to weight gain, weight loss, or weight maintenance. 

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.


are four Macro Nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Water.

Proteins are comprised of amino acid chains that are the basis of
many compounds in our bodies.

protein can only be found in meats and protein bars.

Vegetarians and vegans do not just have to get their protein from
powders or bars. Foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and peas,
nuts, seeds, and processed soy products are all considered part of the Protein
food group.
Protein is highly important in our muscle function and muscle growth. Protein
is the building block of our cellular structure.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Protein rich snacks can include: yogurt, mixed nuts, seeds, and
    protein bars.
  • When choosing a protein bar look for one low in sugar content.
  • Iron found in many red meats can be absorbed better by the body
    when paired with vitamin C (like a glass of OJ!).
  • Try and have a protein within 20 minutes of exercise to aid in the
    healing of your muscles.

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.


There are four Macro Nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Water.

Carbs are foods based upon carbon compounds and one of our body’s main sources for energy. Carbohydrates are the initial energy source for exercise bouts.

Myth: all carbs are bad for me and will make me gain weight.

Facts: Carbohydrates can be further separated in to simple or complex carbs.

Simple carbohydrates are more easily broken down in the body into sugar. These carbs are mostly found in our highly processed foods such as white bread, cakes, muffins, donuts, bagels, etc. Tricks to finding out which products these are would be too look at the nutrition labels and if you see “enriched flour” it is a simple carb. The ease of digestion for this type of carbohydrate creates a fasted spike in blood sugar levels and often do not keep your body feeling full for that long, which can lead you to consume more.

Complex carbs contain the whole part of a grain, also listed as whole grain on most boxes. these carbohydrates naturally contain more fiber and take longer for the body to digest. The longer digestion time of these carbs allow the body to sustain a more normal rise in blood sugar and the fiber will help your body feel full longer. Complex carbs can also be found in vegetables and are often used in recipes as lower carb options.

Tips & Tricks
  • Look for Carbohydrates high in fiber. Whole grain should be listed as one of the first ingredients on the label
  • Going “low carb”? Swap out regular pasta for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!
  • Avoid added sugars. Try and limit the amount of added sugar in your diet by checking labels and trying to keep to natural sugars such as those in fruit.

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.

Diet is Not a Bad Word

As defined by
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary diet is habitual nourishment; food and drink
regularly provided or consumed.
The United
States Department of Agriculture provides daily recommendations for the dietary
intake of Americans. These are guidelines for designing your diet and will vary
based on each person’s individual needs and activity level.
(Sugars, grains, Fruits, Vegetables) should make up 45% – 65% of your
caloric intake
Lipids (fats,
butter, oils)
should make up 25% – 35%
Protein (beef,
poultry, pork, fish, tofu
) should make up 10% – 30%

How to

calories x Percent recommended intake
Example:         2000 Cal x 0.45(Low) = 900 Calories
2000 Cal x 0.65(High) = 1300
Carbohydrate intake should be 900
– 1300 Calories per day

Serving size vs Portion size

A serving is the recommended amount eaten at a time.
Portion size is the amount you actually consume.

Serving Sizes:
Vegetables: 2 Cups
Fruits: 1 Cup
Protein: 3-4 oz
Grains: 1 Cup
Oils: 1

Water Intake

to drink half of your body weight (lbs) in ounces.

How to
Body weight
in pounds / 2 = Ounces of water you should drink a day
Example: 110 lbs / 2 = 55 ounces of water per day

Next week
look for more information on the Facts & Myths about Carbohydrates!
post by Erin Womboldt.

Heart Health Month

Did you know that February is Heart Health Month?


minutes of walking a day can lower the risk of a heart attack and stroke
  • Tips:
    Park farther away
  • Choose the stairs over the escalator

minutes of exercise per week
  • Trouble
    keeping track?  Just try to move more! Get up from your desk/couch and
    just walk around the room every once in a while

Healthy Nutrition

Adding more fiber to the diet can help naturally lower your body’s cholesterol
is a great winter vegetable that is high in fiber
the rainbow”: When choosing fruits and vegetables try and get multiple colors.
Different colored vegetables contain different nutrients, the more variety the

Health and Wellness

Recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep
  • Tips
    for a better night time routine: Set an alarm to go to bed, lowered the
    brightness on your phone/tablet, turn your phone on “Do not Disturb” so
    notifications don’t wake you
  • Stress:
    Lowering your stress helps lower blood pressure, boost your motivation, and
    help you sleep
  • Things
    to try: Positive self-talk, meditation. Count to 10 before reacting. Take a
    break by reading a book, drawing/coloring, exercise, or listening to music.  

to your doctor!
  • About
    old concerns, new concerns, or more tips on how to keep you and your heart

Source: American Heart Association
post by Erin Womboldt.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s apple season!  We all have our favorite types of apples—my personal
favorite is Macintosh—and ways to incorporate apples into our diet (apple pie
for the win!) but have you ever used Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?  Here are some benefits:
Helps Lose Weight
Always check with your doctor or nutritionist before adding anything new into your diet but when taken before meals, ACV lowers the glucose and insulin levels
in the blood after the meal. This has a threefold effect of keeping one
full, reducing fat storage, and improving risks of heart attacks caused by
glucose spike. 
Take 1 tablespoon diluted in 1 cup of water before a
meal daily. Do not have more than 2 tablespoons per day.
Offers Cosmetic Benefits For Skin And Hair
ACV is popular as a natural hair and skin care remedy. Here are
some ways you can use it. Remember, these are home remedies that have been used
by individuals, but until scientific study backs up wider use, you may want to
try these with some caution – and only if your skin and hair are not too
sensitive. Always test a small patch of skin first to ensure you don’t have an
adverse reaction to the remedy.
  • Skin Toner
    And Facial Cleanser: Mix a tablespoon of ACV into a cup of clean water and dab
    onto your face with a clean cotton ball. You should feel your skin tighten and
    your pores should close up. Rinse off once dry.

  • Sunburn Remedy: If you have a
    sunburn, applying diluted ACV (about half a cup to every four cups of water)
    can help heal the skin and may even prevent blistering.

  • Dandruff Remedy: For dandruff or
    itchy scalp, rinse hair and scalp with ACV that has been added to your regular
    shampoo. You could also just rinse it through with a mix of plain water and
    ACV, with both in equal amounts.

  • Natural Deodorant: The acetic acid
    in ACV kills the bacteria on your skin that decomposes sweat and creates
    body odor. Dip a cotton ball in a 1:1 ACV and water mixture. Swab your armpits
    with it. Let it evaporate. Then powder the armpits with a 1:1 cornstarch and
    baking soda mixture to keep dry. If you are worried about the vinegary
    smell, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Detoxes Your Body
ACV also features in detox regimens. That is because it may bind
to toxins that have accumulated in your body and help expel them. As toxins
build up in your body, its ability to function at its best also declines.
Taking ACV may help offset some of that.
Lowers Blood Pressure
ACV may also have benefits for those with high blood pressure.
Animal studies have proven the hypotensive action of the vinegar, showing that
it can lower blood pressure possibly due to the acetic acid in it. However,
human studies must be done before it can be suggested as treatment for the
problem. It also helps that the potassium in ACV eases tension in your blood
vessel walls, lowering blood pressure.
Alleviates Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis causes red raised patches and silvery skin to
develop in those afflicted. Besides the knees, elbows, and lower back, it can
also leave you with a scalp that’s itchy and painful. According to the National
Psoriasis Foundation, using ACV as a rinse on the scalp can relieve symptoms
like itching and associated pain or discomfort.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity In Diabetics
Insulin resistance and diabetes have the uncomfortable ability to
make life that extra bit challenging. Which is why the antiglycemic effect of
ACV is so important. ACV can improve insulin sensitivity in those who have type
2 diabetes. It ups the glucose intake by the tissues of your body and prevents
the complete digestion of complex carbs. The result are blood glucose levels
dip, enabling you to avoid spikes and fluctuations that diabetics dread. With
better control over diabetes, you are that much closer to getting your health
back on track.
But here’s where it gets tricky. Taking ACV with blood
glucose-lowering medicines may dip your sugar levels below normal, leading to
hypoglycemia. So always ask your doctor.
Reduces Bad Cholesterol And Increases Good Cholesterol
Another area in which ACV makes a mark is heart health. If you are
hoping to ward off cardiovascular illness, taking some ACV can help.
The antioxidant polyphenols in it can help lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol
levels in the body. Chlorogenic acid, one such polyphenol, also does not allow
the LDL to oxidize and form fatty deposits in the arteries. This helps keep
your blood pressure in check and your heart in better shape.
By improving your heart health, you boost overall fitness. You
may, therefore, be able to stay active and build up the stamina to work out –
good signs if you want to lose weight.
Even if you eat a cholesterol-rich diet, like fatty meats and
dairy, drink a little with warm water before all meals to improve
digestion and reduce serum cholesterol levels.
Stimulates Growth Of Helpful Gut Bacteria
ACV is a functional food that helps you keep a favorable balance
of gut flora. Considered a prebiotic, ACV can also help stimulate the growth of
good bacteria in your intestine. These are needed not just for good digestion
but also for health and well-being and enable the body to fight off infections
better. A tablespoon of ACV mixed with water is a good aid for digestion
too. Apple cider vinegar can also
treat acid reflux.
 Drink 2 teaspoons mixed in a glass of water at each meal.
Protects You From Fungal Infections
ACV has antifungal properties. This is invaluable when dealing
with common problems caused by the growth of the yeast candida, also
responsible for oral thrush. Research has shown it to be an effective
antifungal agent with therapeutic potential in problems like denture
stomatitis, which is the inflammation and redness of the area beneath a
Other Possible Benefits
There are a lot of popular claims about how ACV can cure the
common cold, treat eczema, and get rid of warts. But we do not yet have any
scientific evidences to prove these, so we cannot recommend ACV for these
purposes. But you can of course go right ahead and drink ACV for all its other
How To Have ACV For Health Benefits
Whatever your purpose, ACV can be consumed in a few popular ways.
Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL)
per day. Do not go above that, because excess consumption may have harmful
  • Plain ACV: If you have a stomach for it, simply drink up the
    dosage suggested by your naturopath or specialist, or have a therapeutic dose
    of about a teaspoon before each main meal as most people do. Make sure to wash
    down with a glass of water as ACV can erode tooth enamel and burn the tissue of
    the esophagus. 
  • ACV With Warm Water: Another popular way is to mix the apple cider
    vinegar with a glass of warm water so it goes down easy.
  • ACV In Drinks: Simply add ACV to water, add some honey, and you have
    a refreshing drink. You can also add some to smoothies or juices.
  • ACV In Food: You can also add it to salad dressings and marinades.
    Also use it as a glaze or baste meat and vegetables with it.

Should You Have Raw Or Organic ACV?
Raw or organic apple cider vinegar usually refers to the
unfiltered version of the vinegar. It has a cloudy appearance and contains some
of the bacteria involved in the fermentation process as well as enzymes and
protein strands – also called the “mother.” Non-organic ACV is pasteurized and
its nutrient content is thought to be lower than organic ACV.
While some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for all
the health benefits of ACV, this hasn’t been proven adequately via scientific
research. Also, the high bacteria content in the unpasturized organic version
may not agree with everyone.
On the other hand, the acetic acid in both organic and non-organic
ACV has been found to have some marked benefits. Depending on your constitution
and needs, your healthcare provider will be best equipped to recommend one of
the two.

post by Ally Wilson.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

summer, it’s hot, and you’re thirsty. While those sports drinks and
“Zero” thirst quenchers look tempting, think twice before packing
your gym bag full of them.
they taste great the drink you reach for could have more calories than you
think. Sugars, sugar substitutes, and food dyes are all too common in the
drinks we choose to cure our summer thirst.
calories add up, the ones you eat and the ones you drink, but there is a
difference in how our bodies react to them. Calories you eat from your meals,
protein bars, and other snack help cure hunger and give our bodies a feeling of
fullness. The calories that come from beverages on the other hand may make you
feel refreshed, they have little to no impact on the feelings of hunger or
fullness. This is a calorie over look that can cause us to add hundreds of calories
to our daily intake without even realizing it and it could be why your summer
diet of lean proteins and lots of salads may not be showing results. 
common beverages to watch out for:
  • Gatorade
    = 34 g sugar, 130 cal
  • Minute
    Maid Lemonade = 67g, 260 cal
  • Snapple
    Iced Tea = 46 g sugar, 200 cal
  • Coca-Cola 12oz = 39g sugar, 140 cal
  • Vitamin
    Water = 33g sugar, 125 cal
  • Apple
    Juice = 52g sugar, 240 cal
  • Red
    Bull = 27g sugar, 108 cal

have many names, be familiar with them!
  • High-Fructose
    Corn Syrup (equivalent to 10 teaspoons of table sugar)
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame
  • Steviol
  • Saccharine
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose

is an important part of our diets and fitness routines, just be aware of what
else your drink may be adding to your diet. When in doubt stick to what’s
natural to our bodies… water!
Blog post by Erin Womboldt.

Coconut Water vs Sports Drinks for Rehydration and Electrolytes

What’s in your drink?

Everyone knows that water is important to drink throughout the
day, especially if you are active. Physical activity requires an increased
fluid intake because we sweat- which contains not only water but also salts and
other compounds and helps regulate body temperature. This loss of salts can
lead to an electrolyte imbalance. It is important to replace these
electrolytes, especially after vigorous activity. Electrolytes such as sodium,
potassium, and calcium are essential for the body to function and plain water
typically does not contain these vital electrolytes. Coconut water and sports
drinks are often looked to after physical activity to restore hydration levels
as well as electrolyte levels. But which is better?

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young, green coconuts.
Coconut water is different from coconut milk which is squeezed from the white,
freshly outer layer.2 It is packed with naturally occurring
potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus- all very important
electrolytes. Coconut water also contains natural sugars and protein.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are specifically made with added electrolytes,
carbohydrates, or protein, depending on the brand. Many now have a “low
calorie” version, but typically contain calories in the form of carbohydrates
to help restore energy levels during or after physical activity. Sports drinks
sometimes contain protein to help aid muscle recovery, adding to the calorie

Which is Better?

There are only a few research studies comparing coconut water,
sports drinks, and plain water directly. In regards to rehydrating, Harvard
Medical School recommends drinking plain water if you are not doing vigorous
physical activity. “Drink when you are thirsty and don’t waste your money or
calories on sports drinks- choose water instead…  Athletes who have had a muscle cramps may
need to drink extra, and may need more electrolytes.”4 While it is
better to drink either coconut water or a sports drink to replace electrolytes,
the studies that have been done found no significant difference between
rehydrating with either one. Both will replace the electrolytes lost, help
refuel you with energy, and contain protein.1,2,3 However, it was
found that both coconut water and sports drinks will lead to more
gastrointestinal bloating compared to plain water.3 Interestingly,
those participants drinking sports drinks felt that their thirst was quenched
better than those drinking plain water or coconut water.1
Overall, all agreed to rehydrate! Save the coconut water and
sports drinks for moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity. Drink plain
water throughout the day. If you are not sure how much water you should be
drinking, check with your doctor.
  1. Kalman, D. S., Feldman, S., Krieger, D. R., & Bloomer, R. J.
    (2012). Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink
    on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. J
    Int Soc Sports Nutr Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,
    9(1), 1. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-9-1
  2. Levers, K. (n.d.). NATURE’S GATORADE: Effectiveness of Coconut
    Water on Electrolyte and Carbohydrate Replacement. Retrieved March 09, 2016,
    from https://huffinesinstitute.org/resources/articles/articletype/articleview/articleid/446/natures-gatorade-effectiveness-of-coconut-water-on-electrolyte-and-carbohydrate-replacement
  3. Saat, M., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R. G., & Nawawi, M. (2002).
    Rehydration after Exercise with Fresh Young Coconut Water,
    Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Beverage and Plain Water. [Abstract].J. Physiol.
    Anthropol. Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY and Applied Human Science,
    21(2), 93-104. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12056182
  4. Skerrett, P. J. (2012, July 30). Trade sports drinks for water [Web
    log post]. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/trade-sports-drinks-for-water-201207305079

Blog post by Nikki Courtney.

The Magic of Seltzer Water

The human body needs water for a number of reasons. We need water
for not only vital functions like digestion, temperature regulation, and blood
pressure, but a lack of adequate water intake can lead to a multitude of health
concerns. Water makes up about 60% of the body weight of an average adult.
There are many ways to ingest water including from the foods we eat. Drinking
plain water can get boring and with options like soda and fruit juices, it’s
hard to get enough. Carbonated water, also known as seltzer, is a great
alternative for soda drinkers to drink more water. But is seltzer just as
healthy as plain “still” water?
Seltzer is water that is infused with carbon dioxide, giving
seltzer and soda their signature fizz. The carbonation in seltzer water causes
it to be slightly acidic, around 5 or 6 on the pH scale. Plain water has a pH
of 7, making it neutral (neither basic or acidic). Most soda has a pH as high
as 2.5, making it acidic. Acidic drinks can sometimes soften tooth enamel,
especially if they contain citrus fruits. Seltzer is a better choice than soda
because it does not contain sugar and is less acidic.
Besides having no sugar and a low acidity, seltzer water can also
help you with your diet. The carbonation in seltzer can help you feel more
full. This can be beneficial to help control portion sizes and help you lose
weight. However, drinking too much seltzer water can cause some
gastrointestinal discomfort, especially if you have a preexisting
It’s important to note that there are many different types of
seltzer water, each with its own benefits. Plain seltzer water is just water
infused with carbonation. Mineral water comes from natural springs and contains
minerals. Club soda, on the other hand, is seltzer water with added minerals.
That means it’s not from a natural spring and is essentially “artificial”
mineral water. Lastly, tonic water is really in a class of its own. Tonic water
is carbonated water infused with quinine, a bitter tasting alkaloid extracted
from the bark of a cinchona tree. Tonic water is the only seltzer water that
generally does contain calories. Mineral water, club soda, and plain seltzer
water generally have ZERO calories!
Plain water is almost always the best choice but if you want to
change it up or try something new, try seltzer water! You should always consult
your doctor or nutritionist before making a drastic change in eating habits. If
you are looking for a healthier choice with less calories and sugar, or if
you’re looking for a less acidic drink that won’t wear on your tooth enamel as
much as soda, try seltzer water.

Blog post by Nikki Courtney.

Dehydration & Exercising with Certain Medical Conditions

What don’t
we need water for?

Water is essential in everyday life. The human body needs water
for anything from digestion to hormone regulation to circulation. The body will
function properly as long as there is an adequate fluid intake. The water we
need can come from both foods and beverages. “In the United States it is
estimated that about 22% of water comes from our food intake while it would be
much higher in European countries, particularly a country like Greece with its
higher intake of fruits and vegetables, or South Korea1.” When the
human body needs more water than what is taken in, dehydration occurs.
Dehydration can have some severe signs and symptoms and can also exacerbate
some medical conditions. Also, certain medical conditions require medication
use that can change how much water the body needs.

and Diuretics

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is sometimes treated with a
diuretic or “water pill.” Diuretics encourage the body to get rid of “unneeded”
water and salts through the urine. By getting rid of this excess water the
heart can pump more easily and as a result lowers blood pressure. Diuretics can
also be used to treat heart failure, liver problems, and kidney problems. A
common side effect of water pills is increased urination to expel the extra
water from the body. Dehydration can occur in individuals on this type of
medication during exercise due to the increase in perspiration coupled with the
diuretic medication. It is important to remember that diuretics help to get rid
of unneeded water and it is still very important to drink water throughout the
day and when you exercise.


On the other hand, drinking water can actually help hypotension
(low blood pressure). Orthostatic hypotension- low blood pressure caused when
changing from a lying position to a sitting or standing position, often too
quickly- can be mediated by drinking small sips of water over a 15- 20 minute


Drinking water can help get rid of headaches. “Ingestion of water
provided relief from headache in most individuals within 30 minutes to 3 hours3.”
Headaches can be caused for a number of reasons. Dehydration headaches can be
caused by a lack of water or an electrolyte imbalance, so hydrating and
replacing the electrolytes that were lost is best.

Intake (AI) for Water

The World Health Organization (WHO) has done multiple research
studies to find out how much water to drink each day. Every person is different
and the amount of water an individual’s needs just to survive varies depending
on age, gender, height, weight, climate, and activity levels. The WHO came up
with an adequate intake guideline. Please keep in mind that 1 liter is equal to
almost 34 fluid ounces.
AI for boys and girls birth to eight years of age2
0- 6 months
0.7 L/day of water, assumed to
be from milk
7- 12 months
0.8 L/day of water, assumed to
be from milk and other beverages
1- 3 years
1.3 L/day
4- 8 years
1.7 L/day
AI for ages nine and older2
9- 13 years
Boys: 2.4 L/day
Girls: 2.1 L/day
14- 18 years
Boys: 3.3 L/day
Girls: 2.3 L/day
19- 70+ years
Men: 3.7 L/day
Women: 2.7 L/day
If you have questions about water intake, dehydration, or its
effects on certain medical conditions, please speak with your doctor directly.
They will be able to help determine exactly how much water you need!
1.  —Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2011, August 1).
Water, Hydration   and Health. Retrieved
February 13, 2016, from  
2.  Grandjean, A., & World Health Organization. (2004,
August). Water   Requirements, impinging
Factors, and Recommended Intakes. Retrieved  
February 13, 2016
3.  —Simpson, M. R., Howard, T., & American College of
Sports Medicine. (2011).   Selecting and
Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness. Retrieved February   13, 2016, from
https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-  effectively-using-hydration-for-fitness.pdf

Blog post by Nikki Courtney.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: Yes or No?

Diet fads: they’re everywhere.
It’s hard to keep healthy eating habits when there is a fast food
joint on every corner and pizza is just a phone call away. We’ve all been
there- too tired, no time, or just too lazy to want to cook. Two key factors to
good nutrition are planning and balance. Planning what to eat throughout the
week will help keep you on track while balancing food groups will ensure
adequate nutrient intake. 

A new fad is supplementing the nutrients you miss in
your food in order to meet the recommended daily intake. There are a lot of
supplements out there, but how do you know if they’re “good for you” or
actually work?
There are many different types of nutrients found in food. These
can be broken down into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. When we think about food,
these are what we typically think about. Most of our diets consist of these
three nutrients because we need them in large amounts to survive.
Micronutrients, however, are often overlooked. Vitamins and minerals are
micronutrients; we only need these nutrients in small amounts. Without
micronutrients, our bodies would not function properly.
If you eat a balanced diet, you typically do not need to take
supplements. Not getting enough vitamins and minerals, however, can be very
detrimental to your health. For example, B vitamins are essential for healthy
skin, hair, and brain function. Vitamin D works to maintain calcium levels
which is needed for healthy teeth and bones; calcium- a mineral- also plays a
very important role in muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmissions.
If you do not get enough of these nutrients in your food,
supplementing them can be very helpful. However, many nutritionists recommend
getting these vital nutrients from food first because the body will more easily
break them down. The body can have a harder time catabolizing supplements,
specifically fat soluble vitamins which is absorbed better when eaten with a
food that provides fat.
If you are curious about nutrition, supplements, or eating
healthier, you should speak to your doctor or nutritionist first. Everybody is
different.  A doctor or nutritionist can
help you break down your eating habits, add nutrient rich foods, and possibly
recommend the supplements that will work best for you. 

Remember- planning and
balance are key to healthy eating habits!

Blog post by Nikki Courtney.

What’s the Deal with Paleo?

The Paleo diet is quickly gain popularity and is taking the diet world
by storm. It is also known as the “Stone Age Diet”.  What exactly is this diet? To simplify it, it
is a diet that focuses on eating like our prehistoric ancestors did. This was
back in time when we did not have processed foods, refined sugars, or dairy.
The diet focuses on only eating foods that can be hunted, fished, or gathered.
The belief behind this diet is that if we eat the way that our ancestors did
that we will be healthier, lose weight, and curb disease. As with any diet,
there are always going to be pros and cons. You also always want to check with
a doctor or dietician before you start any kind of diet or change in your
eating habits.

What the diet emphasizes: Meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables,
and eggs
What the diet eliminates: Processed foods, whole grains, dairy,
potatoes, sugar, and salt

Pros of Paleo:

  • Cuts out added sugars and sodium.
  • The combination of plant foods and diet
    rich in protein helps control blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, contribute
    to weight loss, and prevent type II diabetes.
  • Diet is rich is protein.
  • Emphasis on protein in fiber in this
    diet helps suppress appetite leaving us fuller for longer.
  • Potassium is still plentiful in this

Cons of Paleo:

  • Expensive: The meats and other foods
    that are used in this diet can be very pricey to purchase
  • The diet cuts out certain food groups
    (such as dairy and whole grains) – Cutting nutrient enriched foods out of a
    diet can be tricky because that can lead to nutrient deficiencies which may
    lead to other health issues.
  • Low carb: In this diet only 23% of
    calories come from carbs when in reality it should be closer to 45-60% calories
    coming from carbs. Diets low in carbs can lower one’s energy source and leave
    you feeling tired.
  • It can be difficult to keep up with and
    maintain this diet.
  • It is low in calcium due to cutting out
    dairy products– We need calcium to keep our bones strong.
If you are looking to start this type of diet, I would suggest to keep
eating whole grains and dairy but in moderation. It is never healthy to cut out
a whole food group that has benefits to your body. As always check with you
doctor or a nutritionist before starting any sort of diet program.

post by Krista Post.

Spring Cleaning Your Diet

Spring is a great chance to clean out almost anything including what
you eat on a regular basis. As the cold weather goes away finally (Yay!), we
start to lose interest in those winter foods such as soups and casseroles. The
other good thing about spring coming is that many fresh fruits and vegetables
are going to be coming to a store near you. This will make healthy food
shopping a lot more convenient for many. Eating spring fruits and vegetables
can make it easier for you to keep up with a consistent healthy diet. 

many fruit and vegetables will vary by area, here are a list of some of
spring’s finest fruits and vegetables that will be sure to keep you going
during these beautiful spring months.
  1. Apricots – Try some chopped up fresh
    apricot in your salad. It will give it a nice sweet flavor.
  2. Broccoli – Broccoli is loaded with fiber
    and antioxidants which makes it an obvious choice. Try steamed or sautéed.
  3. Spring greens (Swiss chard, mustard
    greens, etc.) – Whip together a salad and add some of the other fresh
    vegetables to this mix. If you want more flavor add some lemon juice and olive
    oil to spice it up.
  4. Oranges –
    Oranges are
    mostly in season during the winter but they carry over to the spring as well.
  5. Strawberries – This fruit is known as a
    summer fruit but taste sweeter in the spring.
  6. Spinach – Try spinach as a topping as
    your sandwiches. It is also great when you incorporate it into a smoothie with
    other fruits and vegetables.
  7. Mangos – One of my favorite spring
    fruits. Mangos can be added to almost any kind of dish to
    add an extra fruity flavor. Toss some cut up mangos into a blender with some
    low fat yogurt to make a delicious and tasteful smoothie
  8. Asparagus – Asparagus can be found fresh
    in many grocery stores during the spring months. Try sprinkling them with olive
    oil, pepper, and touch of salt then either baking or grilling them.
Another hint to add more spring fruits and vegetables to your diet is
cooking them up on the grill. Grilling is one of the healthier ways to cook up
your food. Just remember that no matter what time of year it is you can always
incorporate healthy foods into your diet.

Blog post by Krista Post.

Go With the Flow

Finally we are starting to get some nice weather as well as a little sun.
Along with the nice weather comes keeping hydrated. Whether you are preparing
to run a 5k or just going for a walk along the beach you want to make sure you
are keep your body hydrated and fueled with water.
Water is one of the most essential nutrients for our body. Our bodies
could survive without food for about 2 weeks but could only last no more than a
week without water. It is responsible for many of our body functions so no
wonder it is so important. Water is also good for keeping a healthy weight: its
calorie free, sugar free, and has no caffeine.
Sometimes drinking water can seem a little bland since it is tasteless.
We must remember that we need water to keep moving. Here are some tips to
including more water into your diet during these hot months ahead:
  • Add fruit to your water: You can do this
    by either just putting the fruit into your glass of water like a lemon or a
    lime or you could use an ice cube tray and put a slice of fruit in each spot
    then fill with water. It will keep your water flavorful throughout the day.
  • Get a bottle that shows measurements on
    the side: You will be more likely to drink the right amount of water if you
    know how much you are actually drinking. The recommended amount of water for
    men is about 3 Liters and for women about 2.2 Liters.
  • Eat foods that have high water content:
    Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins/minerals as well as water. Try
    some watermelon, cantaloupe, or grapes on a sunny day to get some water intake.
  • Keep your water close: For many people,
    having water in front of them is a sure way to remind them to drink more water
    throughout the day. If you work at a desk then make sure you keep you water out
    in the open as a friendly reminder. You can always make sure you carry a bottle
    of water around with you if you are on the move all day.
  • If water is too blah for you, trying
    sparkling water that has a little bit of flavor in it. Any water is better than
    no water!
  • Set a reminder on your phone: If you are
    one of those people that is too busy to even thinking about having a drink of
    water throughout the day then set an alarm or reminder on your phone to keep
    you hydrated.
  • Hydrate before, during, and after
    exercise: Keep hydrated throughout your workout and don’t forget the water.
    Even if you are not feeling thirsty, it is a good idea to take a few sips of it
    to keep you going.

Just keep hydrating and enjoy the nice weather that is ahead!

post by Krista Post.

What’s Really In Your Easter Basket?

Happy Spring! Easter is right around the corner and for many of us that
means candy and lots of it. The bunny is known for bringing candy that is
festive, fun, colorful, and sometimes downright irresistible! One of the main
issues with Easter candy is the amount of sugar used in them. Another problem
is the amount of calories that can be found in just one piece of those candies.
Here are a few examples:
*Keep in mind that the daily allowance of sugar intake for men is 37
grams and for women 25 grams*
  • Peeps: 130 calories for 4 Peeps and 34 g
    of sugar
  • Cadbury Crème Egg: 150 calories and 20 g
    of sugar
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg: 180 calories
    and 16 g of sugar
  • Jelly beans: 35 for 140 calories and 32
    grams of sugar

All these servings may cost you calories that you don’t want or need.
If you do want to indulge in some Easter candy make sure it is in moderation.
That means you probably don’t want to eat a whole pack of 24 peeps as tempting
as it sounds! Another idea is to change up what you are eating for Easter
snacks and fill Easter baskets with some healthier options available. Here are
some ideas:
  • Bunny Graham crackers
  • Chocolate covered fruit
  • Fruit snacks (organic) : Opt for the
    ones with less sugar and no food coloring or artificial preservatives
  • Yogurt covered raisins or cranberries
  • Dark chocolate (in moderation of course)
  • Trail mix
  • Homemade goodies: These are great
    because you can choose the ingredients that are going inside your baked goods.
    Try making some oatmeal cookies or even healthy rice krispy treats shaped as
    bunnies. You can easily swap out certain ingredients when baking to make your
    Easter treats healthier.

Just keep in mind if you are eating any sweets then it should be in moderation. Don’t overindulge just because it’s a
holiday! Enjoy and Happy Easter!

post by Krista Post.

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned: What is best for your Fruits and Vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are good for you no matter what. This is
something that we have known for quite a while. What is the actual difference
between fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and veggies? Is there a difference? 

course fresh fruits and veggies are going to be the best for you but we all
know that they can be more expensive and they don’t last as long as canned or
frozen items.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of what you buy no
matter what form it comes in.
Canned fruits/veggies:

    Cut out the salt – look for cans that are
labeled “low salt”. Salt is added to these types of foods to try to preserve
the item. Many times companies will reduce the salt in the can which makes it a
much healthier choice.
    Avoid added sugars – many cups of fruit or
veggies will come in little cans that will say “with fresh fruit juice” or
“with added syrup”. Try to stay clear of the syrup since it has more sugar. The
fresh fruit juice would be the way to go. Also look for “no sugar added” or
“unsweetened” cans. The less sugar the better!
    Nutritional value of canned fruits and veggies
tends to stay fresh up until you open the can. Make sure
you eat your canned fruits or veggies right after you open it to get the
maximum nutrition value and taste.
    If you have dented or bulging cans throw them
out or return them if they were just purchased. This could decrease the
nutritional value and quality of the food.
Frozen fruits/veggies:

    Check the label to make sure there is no added
sugar in the packaging. Also make sure you opt for the “sugar free” or “no
sugar added” packages.
    Frozen fruits and veggies should be eating
within 8 months of purchase.
    Try to avoid the veggies and fruits that have
the added dressing or sauces in them.
Bottom line: Fresh is always better but any fruits and vegetables is
better than none!

post by Krista Post.