Articles on raw meat

Red Meat vs. White Meat- What's Better for You?

Mrs. Divya Gandhi, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Red Meat Vs. White Meat - What’s Better For You?Meat forms an essential part of the daily diet of many people. But it often gets difficult to choose between white meat (chicken or fish) and red meat (beef or pork or mutton) due to the numerous health benefits offered by both. Moreover, both kinds of meat have some health risks as well, which should be kept in mind while consuming either of them. Read on to find how each type of meat may affect your health, and, which will be more beneficial for your body.Fat ContentPeople who are more conscious about their weight often tend to choose white meat over red meat because of its lower fat content. For example, fat content in chicken is only about 11%, whereas pork contains about 45% fat.  Moreover, the saturated fat content of red meat is about 2.64 times that of white meat.Protein Content100 gm of chicken breast has about 29.80 gm of protein, whereas the same amount of lamb and pork contain 22.51 gm and 27.55 gm protein respectively. In this case, consumption of white meat will prove to be beneficial as your body can absorb only 74% of the protein in red meat and 80% of the protein in white meat.Other Nutrient ContentRed meat is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, riboflavin and thiamine, iron and minerals like zinc and phosphorus. While vitamin B12 aids proper nerve health and ensures that the red blood cells function properly, zinc is responsible for strengthening your immune system. White meat contains fewer nutrients in comparison to red meat. However, fish contains high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which help in improving lipid profiles and prevent cardiovascular diseases.Health RisksConsumption of both types of meat has been long associated with increased risk of different diseases. The presence of myoglobin, a type of protein in red meat, is responsible for increasing the risk of certain types of cancer. Also, red meat has been often linked with increased chances of hypertension and heart diseases.These days, feeding antibiotics to chicken for enlarging their size has become a common practise. So, consumption of this type of meat increases the amount of drug-resistant bacteria in your body and reduces the effect of useful drugs too.White meat and red meat both have their own health benefits and risks, so including small amounts of both in your diet will prove to be beneficial for your body. Determine the amount of each type of meat you will consume depending on your body’s specific requirements.

The Truth About Pork Meat and Its Nutrition!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Pork is a red meat and is derived from pig. It is high in protein and essential vitamins, minerals and amino acid good for overall health. Lean pork, when trimmed of visible fat, is nutrient-dense, satisfying, and good for you. Some pork parts like that of tenderloin, loin chops and sirloin roast are made from the lean cuts and are more healthy than chicken. Whereas some preparations like bacon and fatty cuts promote cholesterol build up and is full of saturated fat which results in clogging of the artery- definitely not meant for everyday consumption and in uncontrolled portions. Nutrition of PorkThe fat in pork is tran-fat free and mostly mono-and poly-unsaturated, so trimmed pork is suitable for even cholesterol-lowering or healthy heart diets. Pork has a high mineral content of Phosphorus, Selenium, Sodium, Zinc, Potassium and Copper. The two minerals which are present in good quantities are Iron and Magnesium, while Calcium and Mangnese are found in traces only. Pork is highly enriched with Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin and Pantothenic Acid. Some quantities of Vitamin A and Vitamin E are found in very small amounts. Calorific value of Pork is 458.0 per 100 gm.See below the nutritional comparison of pork tender loin with chicken breasts:Top 9 Health Benefits of Pork-The vitamin B1in pork is in high quantity. Vitamin B1 is vital for growth and repair of muscles and nerve tissues, useful for carbohydrates metabolism as well. The presence of vitamin Riboflavin helps in maintaining skin and health problems. It repairs damaged tissues and extracts energy from food. Vitamin B6 present in pork meat helps in metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and keeps proper functioning of the nervous system. Pork meat helpsin producing red blood cells in the body. Iron in pork enhances production of energy and iron from meat is easily absorbed by the body. The meat helps keep bones in good shape and builds strong bones, teeth and keeps a check on the body energy levels. Zinc present in pork boosts the immune system and improves body resistance against numerous diseases. Pork is a good source of protein and amino acids as is vital for people interested in body building.It is good for skin, eyes, nervous system, bones and mental performance. Intake of Pork also ensures better immunity to body due to presence of essential antioxidant

Does Eating Meat Make You Gain Weight & Fat?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Its a common notion that eating meat- chicken, fish, etc.. can make you gain weight. But is it really true? We’ll tell you whether its really true or not.Meat NutritionMeat is primarily composed of two basic nutrients- protein and fat. The good news is that meat is high in protein. The even better news is that some meat sources are loaded with fats that are good for your heart. The not so good news is that some meats do contain artery clogging saturated fat.1. Protein in MeatWonder why protein is good for you? Protein is the basic ingredient used to maintain and grow muscle in your body. Compared to fat, muscle uses up more energy to maintain itself. That means, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn, even while you sleep! Lean meat like grilled chicken breast (skinless) is a great protein source. While all meat contains protein, not all meats are the same when its comes to their nutritional value.2. Fat Content in MeatOn to the fat in meat … the leanest meat source is skinless chicken breast, with almost negligible fat. Have it grilled in olive oil. Grilled tandoori kebabs with chicken are good sources of lean meat (skip the butter rub). Avoid curried and deep fried meat items as they’re potentially loaded with oil and fat.Heart Healthy Fat in MeatThe fat in fish like sardines, salmon, rohu are rich in omega-3 oils and are heart healthy. Numerous studies have shown that consuming these fish leads helps improve health & even leads to muscle gain and improved weight management. Countries with high consumption of these fish are known to have people with longer life spans. In fact, human brains are primarily composed of omega 3 based fats. And Omega 3 oil foods are good for healthy hair. If you’re a vegetarian, you could get your omega 3 from fish oil supplements.Learn and include these 7 cholesterol lowering foods.The Unhealthy FatMutton (lamb), beef & other red meat can have high amounts of saturated fat. If you’re going to have them, go for lean cuts. Lean cuts of beef are loaded with iron, muscle building protein and is one of the best sources of muscle building creatine!What else is there in meatMeat products like sausage, ham, salami, hot dogs and cured meats are not only loaded with saturated fat, but also with high levels sodium and preservatives. So besides clogging your articles, the high sodium content in these foods also causes water retention, bloating & heart conditions like high blood pressure. Get more information to reduce bloating and water retention.Note, that primarily eating meat in your diet can be unhealthy.So in conclusion, eating meat does not make you gain weight, but eating unhealthy meat loaded with saturated fat can. Eating lean meat can help you gain muscle! But remember, there is only so much protein your body needs, that range from 0.8 gm per kg to 1.5 gm per kg. So, control your meat consumption. And always remember to balance out your meat consumption with lots of fruits and vegetables.If you’re vegetarian, then you should know that protein from plant sources may not be enough to build muscle.Read and implement to gain muscle if vegetarian. If you’re vegetarian and would like to get toned or build muscle, you could supplement your diet with a whey protein supplement.

Effects of Processed Food on Our Health

Ms. Tripty Bansal, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most foods we eat are processed in some way. Apples are cut from trees, ground beef has been ground in a machine and butter is the cream that has been separated from the milk and churned.But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food.However… foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances are what is generally known as “processed food.”Processed Foods Are Usually High in Sugar and High Fructose Corn SyrupProcessed foods are usually loaded with added sugar… or its evil twin, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sugar is “empty” calories – it has no essential nutrients, but a large amount of energy. Sugar consumption is strongly associated with some of the world’s leading killers… including heart disease (because it leads to increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes (due to insulin resistance), obesity and cancer.Most people aren’t putting massive amounts of sugar in their coffee or on top of their cereal, they’re getting it from processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.Processed Foods Are Often High in Refined CarbohydratesThe carbohydrates found in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates. They act just like sugar and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. This can lead to carb cravings a few hours later when blood sugar levels go down again. This phenomenon is also called the “blood sugar roller coaster” – which many people who have been on a high-carb diet must have experienced.Labels like “whole grains” that are often written on processed food packages, including breakfast cereals usually contain whole grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour and are just as harmful as their refined counterparts.If you’re going to eat carbs, get them from whole, single ingredient foods, not processed junk foods. Processed foods are “hyper-rewarding” they hijack Your Brain and Makes You Addicted Unlike whole foods, which contain a mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber and water to help you feel satisfied, processed foods stimulate dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, making you feel good even though the food lacks nutrients and fiber. This artificial dopamine stimulation only lasts so long and eventually leads to intense food cravings and, ultimately, food addiction.If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar, you may have realized how incredibly difficult it is. In some cases, it may seem impossible.When we eat these foods often and in large amounts, the dopamine receptors start to down-regulate. Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine. This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine. The exact same brain centers are at play. There is no difference, except the substance of abuse is different and the consequences of relapse aren’t as severe. People who have a certain predisposition to addiction become addicted to these foods and lose control over their consumption.This is basically how sugar and other junk food “hijack” the brain chemistry to make us crave more and eat more.Processed Foods Contain All Sorts of Artificial IngredientsIf you look at the ingredients label for a processed, packaged food, chances are that you won’t have a clue what some of the ingredients are. That’s because many of the ingredients in there aren’t actual food… they are artificial chemicals that are added for various purposes.Example: The label of a canned food or a chocolate bar may look like that:Ingredients: Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethole, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl Nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerbate, heliotropin, hydroxphrenyl-2butanone(10% solution to alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbone and solvent3Looks delicious, doesn't it? And this is just a small sampling of the SIX THOUSAND chemicals used to process foods.Highly processed foods often contain:Preservatives: Chemicals that prevent the food from rotting.Colorants: Chemicals that are used to give the food a specific color.Flavor: Chemicals that give the food a particular flavor.Texturants: Chemicals that give a particular texture.Processed foods can contain dozens of additional chemicals that aren’t even listed on the label.For example, “artificial flavor” is a proprietary blend. Manufacturers don’t have to disclose exactly what it means and it is usually a combination of chemicals that are blended in to give a specific flavor.Most Processed Foods Are Low in NutrientsProcessed foods are extremely low in essential nutrients compared to the whole, unprocessed foods. In some cases, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the foods to compensate for what was lost during processing. However, synthetic nutrients are NOT a good replacement for the nutrients found in whole foods.Also, real foods contain much more than just the standard vitamins and minerals that we’re all familiar with. Real foods… like plants and animals, contain thousands of other trace nutrients that science is just beginning to grasp.The more you eat of processed foods, the less you will get of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various trace nutrients.Processed Foods tend to be Low in FiberSoluble, fermentable fiber has various important health benefits, but most processed foods are very low in fiber because it is lost or intentionally removed during processing.It Requires Less Energy and Time to Digest Processed FoodsFood manufacturers want their processed food products to have a long shelf life. They also want each batch of the product to have a similar consistency and they want their foods to be easily consumed. They are often very easy to chew and swallow. Most of the fiber has been taken out and the ingredients are refined thus we only burn half as many calories digesting and metabolizing processed foods compared to whole foods.The result is that we can eat more of them in a shorter amount of time (more calories in) and we also burn less energy (fewer calories out) digesting them than we would if they were unprocessed whole foods.Processed Foods Are Often High in Trans Fats or Processed Vegetable OilsProcessed foods are often high in unhealthy fats. They usually contain cheap fats, refined seed- and vegetable oils (like soybean oil) that are often hydrogenated… which turns them into Trans fats. Hydrogenated (trans) fats are among the nastiest, unhealthiest substances you can put into your body.Vegetable oils contain excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can drive oxidation and inflammation in the body. Several studies show that when people eat more of these oils, they have a significantly increased risk of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in many countries today.The best way to avoid trans fats is to avoid processed foods. Eat real fats like butter, coconut oil and olive oil instead.Here are just a few reasons you might want to think twice before opening a packet of namkeens or chips or buying other canned fruits or meats or going for a burger or cookie:CANCER - Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed foods industry are known to have carcinogenic properties. In fact, a seven-year study conducted by the University of Hawaii of almost 200,000 people found that those who ate the most processed meats (hot dogs, bologna) had a 67 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate little or no meat products.OBESITY - Heavily processed foods are usually higher in sugar, fat and salt, and lower in nutrients and fiber than the raw foods used to create them. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and chronic disease around the world.HEART DISEASE - Many processed foods have trans fatty acids (TFA), the dangerous type of fat you don't want in your diet. TFA's give a rise to LDL, the dangerous cholesterol, and squash HDL, the good one.So the bottom line is Just Eat Real Food!When we replace real, traditional foods like butter, meat and vegetables with crappy, processed junk foods, we get fat and sick.Real food is the key to good health, processed food is not. 

Foods That Keep Cancer at Bay

Dr. Priyam Sharma, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The dreaded 'C' word can attack in many ways, but did you know that your body too, has its ways to prevent and fight cancer? Follow these five simple dietary changes to build up immunity, resistance, and longevity.  Wholesome grains By choosing whole grain and bran over white flour, you'll be making a small change with a big benefit.The high fiber content will cleanse the system and keep your insides fighting fit.Fit and fruity A bowlful of fruits, like apples and pears with their skin on, add to your fiber intake. Most fruits contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that are cell-friendly.Blessed broccoli Broccoli is a particularly heroic one, full of protective enzymes. Not only does it detoxify against dangerous elements, it also fights bad bacteria. Just don't overcook and kill the nutrients!Beat the meat Regular intake of red meat is an absolute no-no. They're full of fat and very heavy to digest. White meats like chicken and turkey are the smarter choices. Better still, go fish! Oils to go with The lower the fat content the better, so go for olive or canola oil rather than normal vegetable or sunflower oil. Limit deep fried food or cut it out completely if you can.       An overall healthy diet will keep you a few steps ahead of cancer. Eating right will reduce the risk of many other diseases and ailments too. It's worth developing a taste for the right foods; they could save your life.  

Make Food Safe to Eat- Food Safety the Best Security for a Healthy Life

Dr. Rekha Gupta, Dietitian/Nutritionist
“From farm to plate make food safe”It is very necessary to create awareness regarding food safety to avoid foodborne diseases. We can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Handling food is as important as buying and storing them. It becomes my duty as a nutritionist to bring awareness regarding food safety to the common man.These are some common facts which should be kept in mind while handling food:Purchase refrigerated foods the last and don’t buy packets which are leaking or torn.Never thaw food on the counter. Harmful bacteria’s grow when foods are in the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F.  Thaw foods in the refrigerator, cold water or in the microwave.Don’t taste food to see if it bad because you can’t see, smell and taste bacteria with your eye. Furthermore, you are increasing the chances of contracting a disease. Don't leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or one hour if it is over 90°F outside. Instead, always refrigerate foods in a timely matter.Never eat any raw eggs because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Instead, cook eggs thoroughly, avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.Always marinate raw meat, seafood and poultry in the refrigerator. Otherwise of bacteria growing on meat becomes very high.Cooked food is safe only after it’s been heated to a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.Illness-causing bacteria can survive in on your hands. Washing your hands the right way can stop the spread of these bacteria.Sponges and kitchen cloths can hold on to harmful foodborne pathogens and cause a serious health risk. Always sanitise your sponges at least every other day and replace them every week.Five keys to safer foodFood safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to work all along the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers. Five keys to safer food offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers for handling and preparing food:Key 1: Keep cleanKey 2: Separate raw and cooked foodKey 3: Cook food thoroughlyKey 4: Keep food at safe temperaturesKey 5: Use safe water and raw materials.It is our responsibility to keep food safe and free from contamination of any kind to have a good health. 

Is Raw Food Diet Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
People are constantly experimenting with food to lose weight. Some eat maple syrup all day while some eat raw or uncooked foods to get that size zero. Most fad diets are unhealthy. But sometimes even the more healthy seeming diets like the raw food diet may not be totally healthy. Let us tell you why eating raw food can or cannot be all that good for you.Raw diet consists mainly of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods. Raw food is low in calorie and usually sourced naturally. Eating a raw diet full of fruits and vegetables has its advantages of getting plenty of vitamins and minerals but there are a lot of missing nutrients in this diet that can lead to severe deficiencies.Vitamin B12 is the most common deficiency found in people that eat this diet. This nutrient is naturally available in animal sources and is critical to nerve and red blood cell development. Deficiencies can lead to anemia and neurological impairment.This diet doesn't have enough protein. According to ICMR minimum of 20-25% of adults daily calories should come from protein. Protein is a major component of all cells, including muscle and bone. It is needed for growth, development and immunity to fight off infections and protect the body.This diet might help you lose weight because how much raw food can you actually eat. Besides unhealthy weight loss it also makes your immune system vulnerable putting you at higher risk of falling sick or catching infection. Raw food diet lacks lycopene, usually found in cooked tomatoes, which are responsible for plasma lycopene levels, which are thought to play a role in disease prevention.Overcooking and heating is known to destroy nutrition in food. But did you know that cooking vegetables and beans actually enhances digestibility and absorption of many beneficial and nutritious compounds in the body? Cooking also helps destroy some of the harmful enzymes that interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body.Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals - especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds is bound.Eating raw food is good for health and is an important feature of a healthy diet. But that does not mean that one’s entire diet has to be raw to be in excellent health or lose weight. There are healthier ways to lose weight like eating a balanced diet and exercising. Our body requires all nutrients for optimum health.

Raw vs Cooked Food - Which Is Healthier?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Ever wondered that why is it that we eat some foods raw and some that we cook before eating. The health myth around it is that cooking the food kills bacteria and it is not safe to eat it raw. Firstly not all foods can be eaten raw for eg. meats. Meats can't be eaten raw as it might contain the bacteria borne by the animal itself and need to be boiled and cooked to free it of the bacteria. Secondly its completely healthy to eat raw or slightly cooked vegetables as not only that they are healthiest in their natural form but each of these vegetables have distinct flavors that can only be tasted when eaten raw. Overcooking the vegetables kills the enzymes present in it making it not so nutritious and good for the health and digestion.Here are a few tips on why to eat this and not that:Taste: Taste of raw food is most natural than that of the food which is cooked. Their core idea is that enzymes are still active in raw food whereas they're denatured, hence inactive, in cooked food. Taste of cooked food can be made according to your choice and taste buds but not necessarily it is healthy and nutritious due to addition of oil and spices in it. Raw food give a more natural taste. Imagine eating cool cucumber, creamy avocado or a ripe tomato!Digestion: Raw foods are rich in enzymes. Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. Raw fruits and vegetables are rich source in enzymes and breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats. While cooked food has lower levels of enzymes and in overcooked food it is completely lost which can cause bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, heartburn and food allergies.Category: Food can be divided into nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, cereals, fruits, vegetable and meat products. Nuts, seeds, fruits, dairy products & vegetables can be eaten naturally and whereas as cereals, meats and pulses need to be slightly cooked to make it easier for digestion and process it. Cooked, processed and packaged food contains excess salt which is not natural for the arteries and blood pressure along with long term health benefits like water retention.Temperature: Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are made up of living organism which gives a life span to the food. Food can not bear too much temperature and start to break down when overcooked. Cooking to a certain extent to soften it and kill the bacteria. Cooking at the right temperature gives you the option of mixing more than one ingredients in one dish so that you can enjoy your meal fast. Also, when not consuming store vegetables and fruits and other food in the refrigerator so that its life doesn't deteriorate and keeps the bacteria away from developing.Weight Loss: If you look at weight loss and nutrition then raw food is better than cooked food as it will be easily digestible in your stomach and will provide you with all the essential enzymes required to break fats, carbs and protein into energy.Try eating as natural as you can from the food that you like. Cooking food is also a concern for students, working people and single persons and they usually complain of not eating healthy food due to not having time or resources to cook healthy food. This should simplify life for you. Its time you made some healthy choices.

Mutton – Tasty and Nutritious

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Mere mention of “mutton” conjures tummy rumbling images of succulent mutton pieces – some in red curry, others roasted in ghee. To cut the long story short, we love mutton. A lot.However, the joys of eating are usually cut short by discouraging quips from doctors and dieticians on the lines of “red meat is not good for health”, “it makes you fat”. What if we told you that mutton isn’t all that unhealthy and that it’s seriously okay to enjoy a gorgeous mutton preparation once in a while.So, the thing is that the goat meat is richer than the white meats. However, it is also the least rich amongst other red meats but with plenty of health benefits. Did you know that Mutton Rogan Josh, the popular Mughlai dish, contains good amount of essential vitamins and minerals but also has a high amount of unsaturated fat? You will be surprised to know that it even helps lower bad cholesterol.Let’s get to the raw nutrition of goat meatServing size: 110 gNutrientsQuantityFat2.6 g (out of which 0.79 g is saturated)Protein23 gCholesterol63.8 mgIron3.2 mgThe iron content in goat meat is higher than other meats:Types of MeatGoatPorkBeefLambChickenQuantity of Iron3.2 mg2.7 mg2.9 mg1.4 mg1. 5mgGoat meat’s potassium content is higher than the other meats.It also contains lower sodium levels than other meats.It possesses a bunch of essential amino acids, which help our body function more efficiently.It is a leaner protein source than other meats and has a high amount of unsaturated fat that increases good cholesterol.Goat meat also has high amount of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and cobalamin.It also contains iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and omega fatty acids.Other health benefits of goat meatGoat meat’s essential amino acids help in maintaining cardiovascular health.It is good for the immune system and the general health of the cell.Phosphorous present in goat meat maintains growth of bones and teeth.The anti-oxidants present in goat meat protect from free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.It helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels in the body.It contains unsaturated fat in good amount and lowers the bad cholesterol.It provides you with lots of protein and energy for good functioning of the body.Goat meat also prevents warts and helps in protection from infections.So, now that you know that mutton can actually help you build your health when consumed in the right proportions, don’t stop yourself the next time you go into a restaurant!

Some of the Worst Foods for Your Belly

Dr. Amar Deep, Homeopath
Ice CreamYou do get some calcium from ice cream. But you also get 230 calories per half-cup, and that's just for plain vanilla, no toppings.Better Bet: Look for the slow-churned kind. It's lower in fat, and many flavors have only 100 calories per half-cup.ChipsA serving of 15 chips has 160 calories. But who stops at 15? Add just 2 tablespoons of French onion dip and you've piled on 60 more calories and 5 grams of fat.Better Bet: Fat-free popcorn. Six cups have just 100 calories.BeerThe average 12-ounce can of beer has about 150 calories.Those calories add up, just like anything else you eat or drink.Better Bet: Light beer cuts your intake to about 100 calories a can.Fatty Red MeatIf you're the meat and potatoes type, you'd love a big, juicy steak that covers your plate. But a 16-ounce prime rib can have more than 1,000 calories and 37 grams of "bad" fat. That's without any sides or appetizers.Better Bet: Lean meat, such as sirloin, tenderloin, or flank steak. The piece should be the size of your fist, not your plate.Meat-Topped PizzaPizza can be healthy. But if you like toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, ham, and beef, you could get more than 300 calories in one slice.Better Bet: Instead, top pizza with veggies. You get extra fiber and nutrients, and up to 100 fewer calories per slice.Giant BurgersIf it looks big and loaded, it will bloat your calorie budget, too. Some have more than 1,000 calories and up to 75 grams of fat.Better Bet: Stick to a single grilled burger made with lean ground beef or lean turkey, or a veggie burger.Super-Size FriesWant some fries with that? Most of us do, not knowing that a large order of fries can have as many calories as a burger.Better Bet: Order a side salad or fruit cup.Too Much SodaDo you know how many calories are in a serving? Or how many servings are in a bottle? One 20-ounce bottle of regular soda packs 250 calories.Better Bet: Water. If you're seeking caffeine, try black coffee. A 20-ounce cup has almost no calories. Like milk? Make it nonfat to stay under 100 calories.Buffalo WingsAn order of chicken wings packs about 700 calories. If you choose the boneless buffalo-style, that's 1,160 calories, not counting dips! Blue cheese sauce adds another 240 calories and 26 grams of fat.Better Bet: Grilled chicken strips. Make wings a rare treat.Huge Frozen DinnersThere's nothing wrong with convenience, but watch the size. Some dishes are very high in calories, sodium, and trans fats.Better Bet: Read labels for lean frozen dinners made with whole grains.All-You-Can-Eat BuffetIf you can't resist piling your plate, try to make smart choices. Load up on steamed vegetables and salad. Skip the fatty dressings and sauces.Better Bet: Steer clear of buffets if you have trouble setting limits.Help Yourself to YogurtNot everything tasty pads your belly. In one study, yogurt (along with veggies, whole grains, fruits, and nuts) was among the foods not linked to weight gain. Another study linked eating dairy foods like yogurt to lower body fat and belly fat.Bonus: Low-fat or nonfat yogurt boosts calcium. Look for those fortified with vitamin D. Most adults don't get enough of either of these nutrients.Go for BlueberriesThere is no magic food that burns fat. But eating more of any fruit, in place of fattier or high-calorie fare, can help you lose weight. Blueberries, and other fruits, are rich in nutrients that are good for you and are naturally sweet.Fill Up on Fiber FoodsThey may be your best friend against belly fat. One study found that people who eat more soluble fiber gain less belly fat than others over 5 years. Just 10 grams a day of soluble fiber made the difference. That's the amount in two small apples, a cup of green peas, and 1/2 cup of pinto beans.Get Some ExerciseRegular exercise can help you lose weight. Though you can't do exercises to spot-reduce, being more active will help your whole body, including your belly. If you're already overweight, shedding just 10% of your weight will improve your odds of staying healthy.