Estimated amounts of calories needed

February 11th, 2010

This guideline from the USDA website explains how to estimate the number of calories that we need.

Estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using the Institute of Medicine equation.

Activity Level b,c,d


Age (years)


Moderately Activec




















a These levels are based on Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) from the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002, calculated by gender, age, and activity level for reference-sized individuals. “Reference size,” as determined by IOM, is based on median height and weight for ages up to age 18 years of age and median height and weight for that height to give a BMI of 21.5 for adult females and 22.5 for adult males.

b Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.

National Kidney Foundation: A to Z Health Guide Item

February 10th, 2010

National Kidney Foundation: A to Z Health Guide Item

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Weight Management

January 19th, 2010

A USDA  Overview of Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Obesity in the United States has doubled in the past two decades. Nearly one-third of adults are obese, that is, they have a body mass index (BMI ) of 30 or greater.

Over the last two decades, the  prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents has increased substantially. It  is estimated that as many as 16 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, representing a doubling of the rate among children and tripling of the rate among adolescents.

Overweight and obesity is a  great public health concern because excess body fat leads to a higher risk for:

  • premature death
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • hypertension, dyslipidemia which is an abnormal amount of lipids & lipoproteins in  the blood
  • cardiovascular disease,  stroke,  gall bladder disease
  • respiratory dysfunction,  gout
  • osteoarthritis,  and certain kinds of cancers

Ideally, the goal for adults is to achieve and maintain a body weight that avoids the risk of major health problems.  For obese adults, even modest weight loss (e.g., 10 pounds) has health benefits, and the prevention of further weight gain is very important.

For overweight children and adolescents, the goal is to slow the rate of weight gain while achieving normal growth and development. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout childhood may reduce the risk of becoming an overweight or obese adult.

While overweight and obesity are currently significant public health issues, not all Americans need to lose weight. People at a healthy weight should strive to maintain their weight, and underweight individuals may need to increase their weight.

Eating fewer calories while increasing physical activity are the keys to controlling body weight.


  • To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
  • To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
  • Find friends or family members who  share the same concerns and are willing to support each other in the weight loss plan.  It helps to be accountable to others and get hints,  tips and encouragement.

Consult a health care provider about weight loss strategies prior to starting a weight-reduction program to ensure appropriate management of other health conditions.

A huge benefit when to physical activities is that research has shown that there is overall improvement in psychological health and reduced symptoms of  depression.


When choosing a weight loss plan, go with the recommended calories that you should consume for a day. If it is 2000 calories then choose foods that will give you bulk and provide proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats.
If you simply cannot do without that delicious dessert, then do not deprive yourself completely. Make sure you can accommodate it in your allotted calorie amount for the day.

Portion Size

Here again you should be sensible about how much you really need to eat.  So do try and curb the size of your portions.  The smaller portion you eat the less calories you consume.


I have used some of the information for this blog from

Watch out for more blogs on Calorie Intakes and Fats.

How To Prevent The Spreading of ‘Flu

December 24th, 2009

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Washing Hands

December 24th, 2009

A Useful Video highlighting the importance of simply washing hands to prevent passing germs.

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Budget for Fruit and Vegetables

December 12th, 2009

Stretching Tips for your Fruit & Vegetable Budget -

CDC Health Alerts

December 2nd, 2009

CDC Text Messages

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Pregnant Women and Food Safety

December 1st, 2009

Festive Times

The holiday season is a very exciting time of year filled with parties, family gatherings and lots of food. From turkey and dressing to every type of dessert imaginable, there is never a time of year when food is more of a focus. While it is important that everyone keep food safety in mind during this season, it is especially important for pregnant women to do so.

Pregnant women should keep the following food safety tips in mind as they celebrate the holidays:

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially when

  • Touching raw meat, raw eggs or unwashed vegetables
  • Preparing food
  • Before eating or drinking
  • Try not to share forks, cups, or food with young children.
  • Wash your hands often when around children. Their saliva and urine might contain a virus that could be harmful for you and your unborn baby.
  • Cook your meat until it’s well done. The best way to tell that food has been cooked is to use a food thermometer.
  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot. These undercooked meats and processed meats might contain harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from it. Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized.
  • Unpasteurized products can contain harmful bacteria and can cause infections such as Listeriosis which can be very harmful for both you  the mother and your unborn baby.
  • Be aware of holiday beverages. Watch out for alcohol-containing holiday punches and eggnogs. Avoid eggnog entirely unless you know it was made with pasteurized eggs and contains no alcohol.
  • To learn more about food safety and/or infections during pregnancy contact CDC-INFO at or 1-800-CDC-INFO 24/7. Or, you may visit CDC’s Pregnancy Information gateway or

Storage Times for Food in the Refrigerator and Freezer

November 20th, 2009

Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer



(40 °F or below)

(0 °F or below)


Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads

3 to 5 days Does not freeze well

Hot dogs

opened package

1 week 1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks 1 to 2 months

Luncheon meat

opened package or deli sliced

3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks 1 to 2 months

Bacon & Sausage


7 days 1 month

Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef

1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months

Hamburger & Other Ground Meats

Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them

1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork


3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months


3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months


3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months

Fresh Poultry

Chicken or turkey, whole

1 to 2 days 1 year

Chicken or turkey, pieces

1 to 2 days 9 months

Soups & Stews

Vegetable or meat added

3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months


Cooked meat or poultry

3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months

Chicken nuggets or patties

3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months


3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months

Read the rest of this entry »

Homemade Ice Cream & Risk of Salmonella Infection

November 20th, 2009

Risk of Salmonella Infection

The information here is intended to make one aware of the risk of using raw eggs in products that we consume. This includes making ice cream at home with eggs as an ingredient. Other products include salad dressings and mayonnaise.
There are also resources that suggest ways to be safe, eat sensibly and enjoy quality living.
Do read on:

Every year homemade ice cream causes several outbreaks of Salmonella infection with up to several hundred victims at church picnics, family reunions, and other large gatherings. From 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which surveillance was completed), 17 outbreaks resulting in more than 500 illnesses in the United States were traced to Salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ingredient responsible for the outbreaks is raw or undercooked eggs.

A person infected with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), the strain of Salmonella found most frequently in raw eggs, usually has fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps beginning 12 to 72 hours after eating or drinking a contaminated food or beverage. The infection generally lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without any treatment.

However, for those at high risk–infants, older people, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system–it can be life-threatening.

Egg Substitutes

You can still enjoy homemade ice cream without the risk of Salmonella infection by substituting a pasteurized egg product, egg substitute, or pasteurized shell eggs for the raw eggs in your favorite recipe. Egg products are eggs that have been removed from their shells and pasteurized. They may be liquid, frozen, or dried whole eggs, whites, yolks, or blends of egg and other ingredients. Egg products are not widely available at retail; they are predominantly used in institutional food service.

Egg substitutes, which may be liquid or frozen, contain only the white of the egg, the part that doesn’t have fat and cholesterol, and are readily available at most supermarkets. Pasteurized shell eggs are also available from a growing number of retailers; you’ll find them located next to the regular shell eggs. These eggs look and taste just like regular shell eggs, though the white may be slightly cloudy, and they are nutritionally equivalent to their unpasteurized counterparts.

Safety Options

Other options for safe homemade ice cream are to use a cooked egg base or prepare it without eggs. The American Egg Board has a recipe for homemade ice cream made with eggs that are heated to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and then cooled. This temperature will kill Salmonella, if present. The recipe is available on AEB’s website, There you will also find recipes for other foods traditionally made with raw or undercooked eggs, such as mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, and eggnog. There are also many recipes for homemade ice cream available in cookbooks and from a variety of other sources that do not contain egg ingredients.

One such recipe is available from the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension using the following link:

Even when using pasteurized products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advise consumers to start with a cooked base for optimal safety, especially if serving people at high risk. Additionally, you should ensure that the dairy ingredients you use in homemade ice cream, such as milk and cream, are pasteurized.

Other products containing egg

Commercially manufactured ice cream, mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, and eggnog are typically made with pasteurized eggs or egg products or the final product is pasteurized.
FDA continues to work with federal and state agencies, the egg industry, and the scientific community to eliminate egg-associated SE illnesses.


FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
(888) SAFEFOOD (723-3366)

USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline
(888) MPHotline (674-6854)