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A Peeling News

21 Grams of sugar you’ll save by swapping a 20-ounce sports drink for a banana. (That’s a candy bar’s worth!)

Next time you’re refueling during a sweat session, go bananas literally. A new study from Appalachian State University found that when cyclists ate half of one in place of downing a bottled sports drink every 15 minutes during a simulated race, they got an identical performance boost, plus added nutritional benefits. Bananas offer an all-natural, fiber-packed source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6 without empty calories and artificial ingredients,” explains lead researcher David C. Nieman, Ph.D. So fill your water bottle, pack one of these travel-friendly fruits, and get ready to slip into high gear.

Description: 21 Grams of sugar you’ll save by swapping a 20-ounce sports drink for a banana.

21 Grams of sugar you’ll save by swapping a 20-ounce sports drink for a banana.

Price Check

Once you compare foods by cost per serving size not per calorie, as previous studies have you see that nutritious options don’t have to put a pinch on your wallet.

A bag of chips can look like a bargain next to those berries and peppers, but that perception is skewed, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Once you compare foods by cost per serving size not per calorie, as previous studies have you see that nutritious options don’t have to put a pinch on your wallet. “It comes down to how much you’re paying to create a meal,” says coauthor Andrea Canson, Ph.D. While boneless chicken, for example, may seem like a splurge, two bucks’ worth of the protein rich ingredient will feed you better than the same dollar amount spent on impulse snack buys. With a little planning and some quick calculations, says Carlson, eating healthfully can actually save you money.

Description: Once you compare foods by cost per serving size—not per calorie, as previous studies have—you see that nutritious options don’t have to put a pinch on your wallet.

Once you compare foods by cost per serving size not per calorie, as previous studies have you see that nutritious options don’t have to put a pinch on your wallet.

Diet Friend or Foe?

Agave Neclar

This popular syrup is gaining traction as the preferred sweetener for the all-natural crowd, showing up in tea, baked goods, even cocktails. Agave’s main claim to fame ¡s its relatively low glycemic index, meaning it may cause less of a spike ¡n blood sugar levels than table sugar, corn syrup, or even honey. But like all simple processed sugars, it has its downside, says Pittsburgh-based dietitian Heather Mangieri, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Agave’s glycemic index is lower because it has a higher concentration of fructose, rather than glucose,” says Mangieri. “But that doesn’t necessarily make ¡t healthier. Fructose can cause triglyceride levels to rise, upping your risk for heart disease.” On the plus side, agave is one and a half times as sweet as sugar, honey, or maple syrup, so you don’t have to use as much to get the flavor you desire. Bottom line: Limit yourself to no more than 6 teaspoons a day.

Description: Agave Neclar

Agave Neclar

Liquid Assets

Are you getting your recommended three to five servings of whole grains every day, or are you part of the more than 40 percent of Americans who don’t consume any? Now there’s a simple way to take in a serving or more: through a straw. These refreshing drinks all use fiber-rich oats to transform plain old juice into tasty, satisfying smoothies.

Sneaky Pete’s Naturally Outstanding mango mystique beverage ($2 for 12 oz) 40 calories, Og fat, 3g fiber per serving

Simply tropical fruits oat shake ($2 for 8.45 oz) 160 calories, 2g fat, 8g fiber per serving

Bolt house farms strawberry parfait breakfast smoothie ($3 for 15.2 oz) 190 calories, 2.5g fat, 3g fiber per 8-oz serving

Description: Are you getting your recommended three to five servings of whole grains every day, or are you part of the more than 40 percent of Americans who don’t consume any?

Are you getting your recommended three to five servings of whole grains every day, or are you part of the more than 40 percent of Americans who don’t consume any?

The Inside Dish

If you think you’re eating healthier when you choose a lighter option from the menu while dining at restaurants like Olive Garden or Outback Steakhouse, think again. A recent RAND corporation survey of nearly 30,000 menu items at 245 national chains found that a whopping 96 percent of entrées fall outside the range of the USDA’s recommendations for fat, saturated fat, and sodium. “Many menus list calorie counts, but there’s often more to those dishes than meets the eye,” warns Jessica Crandall, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “For instance, a chicken sandwich may be only 400 calories, but if it’s smothered in cheese and other toppings, the fat and saturated fat can really add up.” Still Jonesing for a TGIF or Chipotle nosh? Read up before you go: Many restaurants list nutritional information on their websites.

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