In a recent survey of 12 major airlines, Dr. Charles Platkin, PhD, aka The Diet Detective, uncovered that, on average, airline food contains about 380 calories per serving, ranging from 50 calories for a petite bag of pretzels on Southwest and a 186 calorie fruit tray on Air Canada to a hefty 840 calorie Chicken Caesar Wrap on Delta airlines. Platkin’s annual airline food investigation uncovered that some airlines are more health conscious than others. “This year Virgin America wins the top spot with the "healthiest" food choices in the sky, with Air Canada a close second and Alaska Air not too far behind,” claims Platkin.
|Photo: Flickr, Marc Samsom|
According to the USDA’s SuperTracker, shopping, which includes both walking and standing in line (and unfortunately, could be lengthy this time of year), can cause you to burn about 200 calories an hour depending upon your weight. While shopping is considered only a light-intensity activity, surprisingly, a three-hour shopping adventure can have you burning about 600 calories. If you forgo the escalator and take the stairs to the second level of the mall, you will burn another 12 calories for every minute of climbing.
To find out how many calories you can burn while holiday shopping, go to the SuperTracker. Set up your personal profile by entering your age, gender, and weight. Then, click on “Physical Activity Tracker.” Search for “shopping” and enter the amount of time, in minutes, that you were out and about. Choose the day of the week and then click, “Add.” The estimated calories that you burned for your shopping outing will appear.
Word of Caution: Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Appeasing a ravenous appetite at the mall food court could have you eating as much or even more calories than you burned shopping. Eat a sensible meal before you leave the house.
|Photo Source: Flickr: roberthuffstutter|
With the Hostess website shutdown, I scoured the Internet to find any crumb of trivia I could to help you ease the pain of this iconic passing.
Take this quiz to test your Twinkies Trivia:
A serving of Twinkies provides:
a) 50 calories
b) 75 calories
c) 150 calories
d) 300 calories
c) One Twinkie will serve up 150 calories. However, if you thought the entire package was a serving and chose d) 300 calories, your answer is correct…but your portion size isn’t.
Which United States president called the Twinkie an “object of enduring American symbolism” and deposited it in the National Millennium Time Capsule:
a) George W. Bush
b) Ronald Reagan
c) Bill Clinton
d) None of the above
Answer: b. President Clinton decided that the beloved Twinkie was a must, along with other objects, in the time capsule a “gift to our heirs one hundred years from now.” The million dollar question is: what will these Twinkies look like in 2100.
The shelf life of Twinkies is:
a) 25 minutes
b) 25 days
c) 25 weeks
d) 25 years
Answer: b. According to the Twinkies Cookbook (yes…you can buy it on Amazon), contrary to urban legend, this sponge cake gem will last only about 25 days.
The original flavor of the filling was:
Answer: d. Banana was the original flavor of the filling before it was switched over to creamy vanilla.
What are your favorite memories of Twinkies? Please share below.
Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake
Americans have a love affair with their coffee with the average java drinker consuming 2.5 cups daily. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, there are over 27,700 coffee cafes, kiosks, carts, or roasters across the United States able to brew up a multitude of java delights in a multitude of sizes. Specialty coffees are coffees made from beans grown in geographic specific areas that are flavorful, well prepared, freshly roasted, and carefully brewed.
But, do you remember when the only way to get a cup of coffee was to brew it in your kitchen and that the coffee came in a tin can that you actually had to open with a key? Immediately after breaking the seal of the can, the initial whiff of the ground coffee beans smelled absolutely delicious. What? You don't remember this? Was this before your time? Watch this fun video for a little Coffee 101 that will also bring you back to a time when coffee was, well, just coffee:
Times have changed and so has the size of a "cup" of coffee. While a 4-ounce cup of coffee was the standard decades ago, this classic size has gone by the wayside along with the tin coffee can and key opener:
|Photo: Lucia Littlefield, Boston University, Sargent College|
|Source: Nutrition and You|
Depending upon your age, you may recall that in the 1970’s and up until 2000, those little pink sugar substitute packets, which were found in restaurants and coffee shops had to carry a warning on the label stating that….“This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” At the time, studies showed that when rats were given high doses of saccharin, the critters had an increased risk of bladder cancer. In 2000, the warnings on the labels stopped when, after an extensive review of the research, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences determined that the mechanism that caused bladder tumors was unique to rats and not relevant to humans. The lesson learned was: though you can safely consume saccharin in moderation, you should not feed it to your pet rat.
So what’s the relationship between other commercially available sugar substitutes and your health? Read on for the latest from NCI and AND:
Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®)
|Source: Nutrition and You|
Those with the genetic disorder, phenylketonuria, cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine so must moderate the amount that they consume of this amino acid from all food sources. Phenylalanine is found in protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, milk, and nuts.
Approved as a sweetener in 1998 by the FDA, the majority of sucralose you consume is not absorbed by the body but rather excreted unchanged in your stool. The small amount that is absorbed is excreted in your urine. Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sugar so a little goes a long way. According to NCI and AND, there isn’t any research evidence that sucralose is associated with increased risk of cancer or any other adverse effects in the general public.
Acesulfame Potassium (Sweet One®, Sunett®)
After completing more than 100 safety studies, the FDA approved acesulfame potassium as a sweetener in 1998. Also known as acesulfame K (the K stands for potassium), this no-calorie sweetener is a combination of an organic acid and potassium and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Since your body does not metabolize acesulfame K, it doesn’t contain any calories.
Stevia (Truvia®, Sweetleaf®)
The newest addition to the world of sugar substitutes is stevia, which contains an extract from the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. This zero-calorie sweetener is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. It doesn’t affect blood glucose levels so can be used by those with diabetes.
The Take-Home Message: All of these sugar substitutes have been approved by the FDA for use by the public.
Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake