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Ask Nancy a Question

Foster Farms promotes happy and healthy lifestyles. That's why we feel it's important to provide you with information you want to know about. Nancy Bennett, who is our very own nutrition consultant, will answer those questions for you. To ask a question please scroll down and click on Ask A Question. Our nutrition specialist will get back to you within 5-7 days with an answer to your nutrition question.

We've also provided some answers to your FAQs that helps you receive timely, useful information regarding you and your family's well being.

Burning Calories

How many calories would you have to burn to equal a pound? Or how many calories equal 1 pound? ASAP! Thank you very much for your time.

There are 3,500 calories stored in one pound of body fat. In order to lose one pound of body fat in a week, one would want to eat 500 fewer calories a day (500 times seven days a week) than one needs.

A rough estimate of your daily calorie requirement (without exercise) to maintain your weight is your weight in pounds times fifteen. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need 15 calories per pound a day to maintain that weight or 2100 calories a day. If you wanted to lose weight, you subtract 500 calories per day, or keep your calories around 1600 a day.

I hope this information is helpful to you and thank you again for your question.

The best,
Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE

Diabetic Diet

What food is the best for a Diabetic to eat at night, or drink, before I go to bed? I have been eating alot of tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Is Tomato, vegtable juice good before going to bed?

Yes, a hard boiled egg with tomato juice is a wonderful bedtime snack. It is best for diabetics to include some lean protein, with a source of carbohydrate at bedtime. You can also try sliced grilled chicken with mango slices or rolled in a whole wheat tortilla as a snack. Check out our recipes at the website. The "Calypso Carribean Chicken" is delicious! And, a small amount of the leftovers would make a terrific snack!

Thank you again for visiting our website and best of health to you!
Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE

Serving Suggestions

There are suggested daily serving sizes of fruit and veggies (I don't recall the number now) but I always wonder ... just how do you get all the suggested servings of everything in one day and stay at a healthy weight?

The USDA 2005 dietary guidelines suggest we increase our consumption of fruit to two cups and vegetables to 2 1/2 cups.

A cup of fruit is approximately the size of your fist. It's calorie content ranges from 40 to 100 calories, depending upon the type of fruit. Stawberries and melons are wonderful choices because they are lower in calories, but rich in Vitamins C & A, and loaded with antioxidants.

A cup of vegetables ranges from 20 to 100 calories. Some lower calorie vegetables are tomatoes, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus and green beans. If one is concerned about their weight, I would avoid the starchier varieties, like garbanzo beans, potatoes, peas and corn.

Adding two, one cup servings of fruit to one's diet would add about two hundred calories a day. This is equivalent to a "thumb worth" of fat (your thumb is about two tablespoons!). One could keep their calorie intake the same if they would add the fruits and subtract the fats. Little substitutions like mustard for mayonnaise or balsamic vinegar for olive oil can help reduce one's fat and calorie intake.

Another tactic to neutralize additional calories would be to increase one's activity. Walking twenty minutes burns about 100 calories and teaches one's muscles to burn fat. This is why the 2005 Dietary guidelines suggest people increase their activity to help them control their weight.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Thank you again for your question & best of health to you & your family.

The best,
Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE

Sodium Inquiries

With all the news on too much salt in my diet, I'm looking for ways to cut back the sodium I eat. I'm confused about labels I see on chicken. Does all chicken have sodium in it? And do you have any tips on how to reduce the salt in my diet?

Few people realize that many foods assumed to be healthy may actually contain added salt. Fresh chicken is a great example. Many health-conscious consumers choose fresh chicken breasts over other meat because poultry is naturally low in saturated fat. But even boneless, skinless fresh chicken breasts can be misleading - unlike frozen chicken, prepared poultry products or pre-marinated poultry products which are expected to have added sodium for taste and preservative benefits, fresh chicken found in the fresh meat case is assumed to be preservative-free with no added sodium. But in many cases, some labels reveal that added sodium is lurking in the form of a preservative, enhancement or flavored broth. You may not taste the added sodium, but it's there and is contributing to your overall health.

The American Medical Association recently called for a 50 percent reduction of sodium in processed foods and restaurant meals, citing reducing increased national rates of hypertension and, ultimately, cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 killer of men and women.

The good news is that there are options out there for consumers looking to reduce their sodium intake at home, they just need to know what to choose: Truly fresh, natural chicken contributes just 73 mg per 4 ounces equaling roughly 115 mg of sodium for a 6-8 ounce portion size - which is about 7 times less sodium than sodium-enhanced fresh chicken.

Nancy Bennett's guidelines on cooking chicken for a reduced-sodium lifestyle:

At the grocery store:
1) Read the label. Even with traditionally healthier foods, like chicken, sodium-based ingredients may have been added. Always read the label to assure that the brand you choose is natural and fresh, with no added sodium or preservatives.

2) Fresh is best. Foods that are frozen at any point in their packaging or delivery will most likely contain added sodium as a preservative. When you are purchasing fresh chicken products in the fresh meat case, make sure that the chicken is always delivered fresh and stored fresh (never frozen) to assure its integrity.

At home:
3) Rely on herbs and spices, not salt, for flavor. I encourage everyone to use homemade spice rubs instead of prepared sauces for added flavor, especially when grilling. Your chicken will be flavorful without the added salt, and your friends and family will appreciate the variety in flavors.

4) When in doubt, do not "take out". For the healthiest family meals, the safest bet is to prepare them yourself at home, and there are many convenient ways to do so. You will have better control of the ingredients in your own home, and can monitor each step of the process. One way that I make this more convenient is to prepare more than one night's worth of food at a time, so that I have quick access to healthy ingredients throughout the week. When I prepare grilled chicken, I make extra and store it so I can quickly toss it into a salad or pasta for my lunch or dinner the next day.

Foster Farms-branded fresh chicken (sold in the fresh meat case) is always fresh, never frozen, and is all natural, with no preservatives or added sodium.

The best,
Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE

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