Are School Lunches Healthy?

While at first glance school lunches seem to be a healthy option that provides children with a hot lunch for a low cost, in reality they may not be as ideal as you may think.  The use of poor ingredients, cheap alternatives, and schools cutting their budgets has led to lunches that may be doing more harm than good.

Schools are mandated to provide certain types of foods in their lunch programs, such as fruits, and vegetables.  In many cases, starches such as corn and potatoes are used to fill these requirements.  To make matters worse nearly forty two percent of schools investigated did not provide any type of fresh fruit or vegetables.  Of the schools that did offer some type of option that was not a starch, the quality of the food was so low, it would not pass inspection by large food corporations.

On top of poor quality foods, school lunches average thirty eight percent of their calories from fat, with fifteen percent coming in the form of saturated fat.  While some schools are taking steps to reduce fat contents, most still contain levels that are considered to be far too high to be healthy.

Finally, school lunch programs tend to be very high in sodium, with the average lunch coming in at nearly sixteen hundred milligrams.  U.S. dietary guidelines recommend no more than twenty three hundred milligrams of sodium daily, so this amount is more than half of that recommendation with just one serving.  The USDA is seeking to mandate that school lunches contain no more than six hundred and forty milligrams for elementary schools, seven hundred and ten for middle schools, and seven hundred and forty for high schools.

 

The Advantages of Powdered Protein in Your Diet

Today, it seems as though more and more people are taking part in low carb, high protein diets.   Many of these people choose to add powdered protein to their diets, but what is the point?  What benefits does powdered protein offer?

The first thing powdered protein does is help muscle to develop.  Protein is a great source of amino acids that help your body to produce much needed hormones and enzymes for healthy muscles.

Protein also directly affects how hungry we feel, and it is recommended that we consume ten to thirty five percent of our daily calories as protein.  Women need less protein than men, but still need a fair amount of protein.  Adding extra protein to your diet can keep you from feeling hungry, which can help you to lose weight by not being tempted to snack.

Extra amounts of protein can help you build muscle mass as well.  When your muscle mass is higher, you metabolic rate increases.  The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories your body is able to burn, without having to increase your need to exercise more.

Finally, adding powdered protein to your diet ensures you are getting a good source of protein, as opposed to less desirable sources.  Protein from animal sources, such as meats, dairy, and eggs are good, but they also contain high amounts of saturated fats.  Other types of protein such as from oily fish and poultry are considered to be better, as is that which comes from vegetables.  That being said, powdered protein makes use of the best types of lean protein so you get only the good results, without the unwanted fat.

 

Where to Take a Healthy Vacation

 

 

 

 

 

With more and more people out of work, the economy being a bit uncertain, and bank accounts being tighter than ever before, the idea of a vacation may seem out of reach.  Many people can no longer book a two week vacation to a far off place, to lounge on the beach and enjoy decadent foods.

This has lead to a new trend that many are finding very worthwhile, both financially and physically:  the healthy vacation.  These vacations allow people to get away, have some fun, take part in great activities, and go home fit and trim.

One popular option for a healthy vacation is the spa vacation.  Many larger hotels and resorts now offer spa packages that are reasonably priced, and offer workouts on the beach, access to fitness rooms and saunas, and even pool side treatments.

If you would like to save a bit more money, a hiking or camping vacation is another healthy option.  Pack up your gear and your family, and hit the trail.  You can easily find many great camp grounds all across the country, many of which offer unique adventures and plenty of family fun.  If you would like even more adventure, and have a bit more money to spend, consider taking a camping and hiking vacation outside of the United States.  No matter the location, you can have great fun exploring different regions, while getting a ton of fresh air and exercise, without spending a ton of money.

As you can see, healthy vacations are possible, and can be done quickly and inexpensively.  Even if you just have a long weekend, that is a perfect time to head out and pamper your body with a fit getaway.

Beating the Heat: Keeping Healthy In High Temperatures

Believe it or not, heat is the number one weather concern that causes the most deaths; even when compared to tornadoes, cold snaps, lightening, hurricanes, and floods.

A condition known as hyperthermia occurs when a person is not able to fully dissipate the heat that is affecting their body.  Symptoms of hyperthermia include:  swelling of the ankles or feet, dizziness, thirstiness, weakness, nausea, headache, a lack of coordination, and cramps of the torso and limbs.

Any time any of these symptoms occur, you should move to a cool place, rest, and consume plenty of liquids.  If you do not feel better in a short time, medical attention should be sought.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of hyperthermia is the condition known as heat stroke.  This condition can cause death, and causes the body’s temperature to rise to more than 104 degrees.  The skin becomes flushed, the pulse rate is altered, and sweating may even cease.

In order to beat the heat, and stay healthy in high temperatures, you should consider these tips:

Always drink plenty of liquids such as water and fruit juice.  Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, and those that contain alcohol.

Make sure your home is well ventilated, and has air movement from open windows and fans, or is able to be cooled with air conditioning.

Keep windows that are in direct sunlight covered, especially during the heating of the day.

Always monitor weather forecasts, so that you are aware of dangerous heat approaching.

Make sure you dress appropriately.  Light colors, and light materials are the best choices for keeping your body cool.