Dr. Tim Says....
Are there healthy alternatives to all that candy on Halloween?
When I was a kid there was a family down the street that always gave apples. Interestingly, it was a popular stop. The mother who came out had a terrific act, having dressed up in a dramatic witch costume and handing out the "magical" apples. Sometimes getting us to eat better is just in how the message is delivered!
About five years ago I lived next door to a woman who gave money. She saved up her spare change through the year and doled out about 30 - 35 cents to each kid (about the cost of candy). The kids were always delighted at this - even more so than getting candy. I do this now and love the squeals of "Mooomm, I got money!" almost every time.
Along healthy lines, trail mix is a great way to go. Choose those with a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruits and avoid the mixes that contain candies like M&Ms. Halloween Candy
This is such an old fashioned recipe. It was a menu favorite in Italian restaurants when I was growing up and I almost think of it as comfort food. It makes a quick and easy dish for small dinner parties but it's simple for weeknight meals as well.
You might not think it worth going out and purchasing a bottle of Marsala for. The wine doesn't have to be terribly expensive and it will keep fairly well. Then as long as you have chicken breasts you have an easy and elegant meal.
This recipe is safe for Coumadin® (warfarin) users and is low in sodium, lactose-free and safe for those with GERD / Acid Reflux. Those who are gluten-sensitive should avoid it.
Chocolate is Good For You!
Aside from being delicious, chocolate is generally thought of as being bad for you. While it does contain fat, its fats are the less harmful ones, stearic and oleic fats, and they don't cause a rise in blood cholesterol levels. Because it is made from a plant, it contains some beneficial substances associated with other foods of plant origin. There are small amounts of copper, zinc, iron and magnesium, along with polyphenols (chemicals that have been implicated in research studies as providing potential health benefits).
Both cocoa powder and chocolate are derived from a bean that's high in flavonoids (known antioxidants). As with other antioxidants, flavonoids have been associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.
It seems that unsweetened powdered cocoa contains the highest quantity of these antioxidants, followed by dark chocolate and then milk chocolate. The more diluted the finished cocoa, the less flavonoids in each serving. According to one research study, a 40 gram serving (about the size of a standard chocolate candy bar) of milk chocolate contains about 400 milligrams of antioxidants. This is equal to a typical serving of red wine, which has also been recommended for its flavonoid content.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.
eatTHISdiet for Coumadin Users: