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Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
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separator Is Weight Watchers® "Good?"
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) describes the best way to lose weight:

  • Make small changes over time
  • Eat a variety of foods
  • Balance what you eat over several days
  • Enjoy all types of foods, but don't overdo it
  • Be active

Weight Watchers® has a reputation for being one of the more reliable, successful weight loss programs because it promotes the same moderate approach as the ADA. Foods receive a point value, and participants are "allowed" to eat all kinds of foods as long as their point total stays within a certain range. Group meetings and peer support are another important aspect of Weight Watchers®. Those weekly "weigh-ins" provide strong incentive to keep weight down. Weight Watchers® also emphasizes the importance of exercise.

One thing to watch out for is that the point system makes it easier to have an unbalanced diet. It's possible to eat nothing but dairy products every day, for example, as long as you stay within the point range.

Source: American Dietetic Association: Weight Watchers, 2001

Healthy Comfort Foods
Is there a way to get the comforting taste of comfort foods without the fat and calories? Yes, if you're willing to compromise a little. The key is to try to minimize the fat content and keep your portions reasonable. Some tips:

Use skim or low-fat milk instead of whole.

Use vegetable oil cooking spray when greasing a pan.

Separate the fat from soup stocks and pan juices by using a fat-separating measuring cup.

Remove visible fat from meats.

A quick example: instead of frying chicken, try soaking the chicken (after removing the skin) in skim milk, dip in dry breadcrumbs and herbs and bake in the oven.

Source: J. Brody. Jane Brody's Good Food Book., 2001

Sick from Cookie Dough?
True or False:

Eating commercially prepared cookie dough puts you at risk of getting salmonella poisoning from egg.

Answer: False.

Commercially prepared cookie dough is made from pasteurized eggs. Pasteurization kills the salmonella bacteria.

On the other hand, eating cookie dough you've made yourself can give you salmonella poisoning from the raw egg, unless you've used pasteurized eggs. Eggnog made with raw eggs also poses a risk.

Source: Food and Drug Administration, 2001

Safe Leftovers
The great thing about a big holiday dinner is that it goes a long way. To make sure your leftovers don't make you sick:

  • Don't keep the stuffing inside the turkey after it's cooked. Harmful bacteria can grow and cause food poisoning.
  • Put your leftovers away after two hours.

And don't forget about keeping raw poultry juices away from other foods. That means the cutting board and any utensils you used on the turkey should be thoroughly washed right away.

Source: American Dietetic Association, 2001

Healthy Eating at Parties
Keep these ideas in mind as you make your rounds at holiday gatherings:

  • Don't arrive hungry. You'll be more likely to eat everything in sight.
  • Take your favorite healthy dish along as your contribution to the party.
  • Avoid eggnog. An 8-ounce glass, with rum, has 450 calories.
  • Think twice before popping an appetizer in your mouth. These little bites are gone in an instant, but they're often high in fat and calories.
  • If baking cookies is something you don't want to give up, bake them and then get them out of the house-take them to a party.
  • Find someone else at the party who's also trying to avoid eating too much. Peer support can be a helpful motivator.

  • Source:
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