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Children’s sugar and fat easier to reduce than salt

Study details

Bouhlal and co workers reported that salt had an impact on intake but fat did not. They found that in general food intake increased with salt level, noting that compared with the 'normal' salt levels, a suppression of salt induced a 25 per cent decrease in green bean intake, whereas an addition of salt induced a 15 per cent increase in pasta intake. Contrarily to initial beliefs, the researchers observed no increase in food intake with increasing added sugar level. They said the findings indicate that two to three year old children's food intake may not be affected by its added sugar content.

The study data also showed that preschool children with a higher BMI score consumed more pasta when fat level was higher. The authors said this finding may confirm previous results which highlight fatter children prefer high-fat foods. The researcher said their results imply that fat and sugar addition could be avoided in foods for children without having an impact on palatability, allowing the energy density of children's diet to be limited.

“Furthermore, these findings suggest that there is no need to add salt to pasta which is consumed anyway. On the contrary, salt suppression in vegetables, whose intake is to be promoted, should be considered cautiously,” they said.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003752
“The impact of salt, fat and sugar levels on toddler food intake”
Authors: S. Bouhlal, S. Issanchou, S. Nicklaus

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Healthy eating in no time

Although most people think that healthy eating takes a long time, this isn’t actually the case.
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Try these timesaving tactics for healthy eating – feed your family well–and with great taste, too:

Healthy Eating Tip #1. Make simple switches at the supermarket

It doesn’t take extra time to buy products such as whole grain cereal, fat-free milk, lean ground beef, baked chips, whole wheat bread or reduced-fat cheese. Ditto for high-nutrition snacks such as yogurt, raisins, frozen fruit juice bars, hummus (chickpea dip) and whole-wheat pita bread.

Healthy Eating Tip #2.  Poke the produce

There’s a washed, cut and ready-to-eat fruit and veggie ready for every taste bud. Think about bagged lettuce and spinach, baby carrots, cut-up broccoli and cauliflower, cubed cantaloupe and pineapple. Of course, favorites such as apples, pears, oranges, bananas and grapes are fast fruit, too. For a switch, try new varieties–you often can try a sample right in the produce department.

Healthy Eating Tip #3. Swing by the salad bar

Sure you can use it to quickly assemble a salad. But think outside the bar! Save prep steps by picking up ready-to-go ingredients for tonight’s recipe. Try sliced onions, celery and carrots to start a soup or stew, or chopped lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese for taco-toppers. While you’re at it, pick up some fruit salad for dessert.

Healthy Eating Tip #4. Pad your pantry

Don’t get caught short. Stock up on often-used quick meal fixings such as canned beans and tuna, various pasta shapes, jars of spaghetti sauce and quick-cooking brown rice. Stash away some canned or frozen fruits and veggies, too. They’re always there when you need them and just as nutritious as fresh ones because they’re packed at the peak of freshness.

Healthy Eating Tip #5. Make it big on the weekend

Block out a few hours to make a daal, a hearty soup, a pasta dish or a casserole. When schedules heat up during the week, you and your family can just zap-and-eat.

Healthy Eating Tip #6. Use time-saving cooking techniques

Bake chicken instead of frying, or let a pot of bean soup bubble away on the back burner. Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest of the meal, get caught up on some household chores or just kick back and relax for a few minutes.

Healthy Eating Tip #7. Slip good nutrition into fast favorites

Make instant oatmeal with milk instead of water. Load sandwiches up with lettuce and tomato. Toss frozen mixed vegetables into canned soup. Top your favorite frozen cheese pizza with a rainbow of veggies like broccoli florets, chopped red peppers or sliced zucchini. (Tip: Toss veggies in a little vegetable oil first so they don’t dry out.)

Healthy Eating Tip #8. Demand double duty from big restaurant portions

Bring some home to make a quick start on tomorrow’s meal. For instance, slice up steak from your doggie bag to star in tonight’s beef and broccoli stir-fry.

Source: International Food Information Council

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