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Guilt Free Snacks and Treats
I started to write about "what not to eat" this week and was thinking about snacks. This is a pretty easy target on the one hand, but on the other there's just so much on the shelves now that presents challenges that it's hard to know where to begin. It's not that cookies are bad, for example - it's that there are so many bad cookies on the market. 

10 Quick Tips for Eating Healthy
I have a list of quick tips that I use with patients when they ask about eating healthy. Often this is simply for people who are otherwise healthy and want to avoid the creeping weight gain that many people experience. It is also an easy place to start for those who want to lose weight.

Dairy products, calcium, and fat intake
The National Dairy Council would have you believe that three servings of dairy products per day will help you lose weight. That's not quite true, as the original research followed people who had not previously been getting enough calcium going on a reduced-calorie diet that included the recommended three servings of low-fat dairy products in their diet plan.


Health & Nutrition Bites

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Calcium and Melons

Canteloupe melon slices wrapped with prosciutto

Is your calcium intake low? Eating more foods high in calcium is important to a lot of people. Try using your melon!

That's right. Melons, like the honeydew and cantaloupe varieties, contain more calcium than you'd think. In fact, through the use of a new preserving process that's recently been developed, a 1 cup serving of melon could provide up to 10% of your daily calcium needs. And that's good news since melon consumption ranks second only to bananas as the top fresh fruit favorites in the U.S. today.

Two fellows from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Michael Grusak and Gene Lester, developed a technique of submerging ripe melons in a calcium solution to make its rind more durable for transportation. In doing so, they later found that the calcium made its way into the fruit itself.

Not only can this process double the fruit's shelf life (up to 24 days), but it can add a much needed mineral enhancement. While their experiment was done on greenhouse melons, further experimentation will be done on the field-grown varieties. The outlook is good that by using this new processing procedure, we may reap even more benefits from eating these tasty fruits.

What this means for you:

This news is good for everybody: the farmers, the marketers and the consumers. This process could produce better products and tastier fruits with more calcium!

First posted: October 13, 2006