CAT | Diet and Nutrition
Pizza and all its cheesy, gooey goodness is a crowd pleaser in most American homes—not to mention a mainstay of school lunch menus nationwide. The problem? According to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, too much pizza may have a significant impact on the health of our children. Here’s what they found:
- One in five kids eats pizza every day as a meal or snack.
- On days when they eat pizza, children and teens consume an average of 157 more calories; 309 mg more sodium; and 4 g more saturated fat than on non-pizza days.
- When kids eat pizza, they typically eat a lot of it—accounting for more than 20% of their daily intake of calories. And, when it comes to the top source of calories in the diets of U.S. kids and teens, pizza is second only to grain- and carb-heavy desserts such as cake and cookies.
In addition, kids aren’t balancing out their diet with more healthful foods on non-pizza days, and the overall effect may be contributing to problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to study author Lisa Powell, “Given that pizza remains a highly prevalent part of children’s diet, we need to make healthy pizza the norm.”
Try these 5 simple tips for taking pizza night to a whole(some) new level!
- Prepare it at home. You may not be able to control what restaurants and food manufacturers put in their pizza, but preparing your own pie at home can go a long way toward improving the nutrient value.
- Swap out dough for flat bread. You can’t have pizza without something to put all those toppings on, but try a healthier flat bread base made with whole grains instead of carb-heavy dough.
- Add more fruits and veggies. Ease up on meats and cheeses, which may be high in sodium and unhealthy fats. Instead, add more low-sugar fruits and non-starchy veggies.
- Ditch the jar sauce. Jar sauces are typically high in sugar—often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup—and sodium. Try using a can of natural tomato purée instead.
Pair it with a salad. Pairing pizza night with a healthy salad can help reduce the amount of calories, sodium and unhealthy fats consumed. Plus, the fiber in the veggies can help kids feel satisfied so they don’t reach for another slice.
You’ve almost made it through January, but it feels like spring is light years away. The holidays are over, reality has set in, and suddenly you want to trade in all those New Year’s resolutions for a weekend of pizza and couch surfing. Here’s a better idea: reboot your health with a full body cleanse.‡
Every day we face an onslaught of harmful toxins from our air, food, water, household cleaners—you name it. Over time, those toxins can build up in the body and cause our health to decline. Natural body cleansing can help reduce our toxic burden by helping the body more efficiently eliminate toxins and waste.‡ Here are three good reasons to cleanse:
- Jumpstart Weight Loss: Do your 2015 health resolutions include shedding those extra pounds you gained over the holidays? One of the best ways to jumpstart a weight loss program is with cleansing.‡ Studies show toxins are commonly stored in fat cells in the body, so the more fat cells you have, the more toxins your body may retain. As you lose weight, toxins are drawn out and released into the bloodstream where they can slow metabolism and make it harder to burn fat, which is why regular internal cleansing is often recommended.‡
- Better Digestion: A buildup of toxins in the body can overwhelm our natural cleansing organs, especially when the bowel (colon) is sluggish. Cleansing the colon promotes regularity and helps purge unwanted toxins and waste, clearing the way for other organs to function properly.‡ Look for a full body cleanse with an added colon cleanse to support bowel health and promote at least one healthy bowel movement daily.‡
- Support for Your Natural Detox Channels: The channels of elimination that help filter and remove harmful toxins and waste from the body include: the blood, bowel, kidneys, lymphatic system, lungs, liver and skin. If any one of these channels is not functioning properly, overall health may suffer, which is why many natural health practitioners recommend a total body cleanse at the start of each new season to help the body cope with its constant task of eliminating toxins and waste.‡