Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dangers of Packaged Foods Tips

Bundled sustenances are as often as possible utilized by huge numbers of us because of our tumultuous timetable. Despite the fact that these items are helpful, there are a couple wellbeing dangers connected with them.

Foods are packed using special packaging techniques to store and maintain the foodstuffs in good condition when they are stored. Packaging of food refers to the processing of food for preserving it from contamination from germs and dust. Another important aim of packaging food is to decrease the food wastage. In developed countries, where packaged foods are used quite often, the amount of food wasted is around 3%. Whereas in the developing countries, the rate of food wastage is around 30%.

Processed foods easily available in the market. These products contain artificial sugar, additives, chemicals, and preservatives. Nowadays, when one visits a grocery shop, he spends on an average more than half the budget on buying packaged foods. The human body needs vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are responsible for good physical and mental health. Processed foods do not contain these essential nutrients and contain unhealthy preservatives.

Dangers of Food Additives and Preservatives

Food preservatives or additives are the ingredients in packaged foods that are used to preserve the food for a long time and thus, increasing their shelf-life. These additives include artificial sugar, sodium nitrate, trans-fats, BHA and BHT, synthetic food colors, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). The foods labeled as no sugar added, actually contain artificial sugar, which are empty calories. These have a low nutrition to calorie ratio and leads to increase in weight. Usually, soft drinks contain these artificial sugar additives, which are a major reason for the growing rate of obesity in people.

Sodium nitrate is added to packaged meat and is said to carcinogenic. The sodium nitrate gets converted to nitrosamines (which are carcinogenic) when meat is cooked at high temperatures. Trans-fats are mostly found in the snacks, biscuits, cakes, and crisps. They are saturated fats, which increase the rate of getting a heart attack.

BTA and BHA are two antioxidants that are added to avoid unwanted fermentation of food. Research is still going on to prove that BTA and BHA are carcinogenic, so it is advisable to avoid food with these additives. Monosodium glutamate is a food enhancer, which is used to improve the taste of the food. Frozen foods are preserved using monosodium glutamate.

Artificial coloring added in cereals, candy, and ice-cream, are carcinogenic and do not have any nutritional value. From allergies to autism, colored foods can be a cause of many diseases.

The dangers of packaged foods can be listed as follows:

  • Body ache
  • Allergies and rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Next time when you buy packaged foods, make it a point to check the ingredients and additives of the packaged food.

Help Your Body Function Efficiently

There are five essential nutrition types, contingent on their structure. All gatherings must be incorporated into differing extents in day by day abstain from food and by adjusting the consideration, you can keep up the ordinary working of the body and lead a fit and sound life.

Nutrition is critical for the survival of all living organisms. It is required for the normal functioning of the body parts, repair of damaged tissues, and for healthy growth and sustenance of the body. Everyday, we eat a large variety of food items. All such edibles are classified under different groups according to their composition, nutrient group, and the proportion each item should ideally occupy in the daily food intake of an average person.
Each group of fruits and vegetables have a set of different nutritional values and each nutrient is essential for our health and well-being. Our body requires carbohydrates, proteins, fats, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals to remain strong and healthy. However, the human body cannot synthesize all these nutrients on its own and depends upon lot of external sources for the same. For instance, nutrients like Vitamin C and essential fatty acids can only be acquired by the human body through a diet rich in each of these nutrients. If we don’t get these nutrients in sufficient quantities, we may suffer from a number of health problems caused by nutritional deficiency. Also, the insufficient nutrition delays and interferes with healing of wounds and recovery from illnesses and infections.

►The Five Fundamental Food Groups
The food we eat is available either from plant or animal sources. The food we get from the plant source is known as a vegetarian food, while the food obtained from the animal sources is known as non-vegetarian food. The five basic food groups include vegetables and fruits, starchy foods, dairy products, foods containing fat and sugar, and the meat and poultry group.

Vegetables
Fresh vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide several vitamins, minerals, fibers, and enzymes and are known for offering a number of health benefits. Green, leafy vegetables are rich in iron, which is an important constituent of blood. As vegetables are low in sugar and fats, they are included in weight loss diets. Generally, vegetables contain high amounts of fibers. Therefore, they are good for improving the health of the digestive system.

Benefits of eating raw vegetables
Most vegetables consist of phytochemicals, which help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Consumption of vegetables in their raw form or in the form of juice is preferable over their cooked, canned, or pickled forms as cooking or processing robs vegetables of a lot of nutrients.

Fruits
Fruits are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and carbohydrates. They contain a high quantity of antioxidants, which protect the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapes, and oranges are high in vitamin C. Fruits like apricot, cantaloupe, nectarine, and peach are a rich source of vitamin A. you can consume fruits whole or in the form of fresh juices.

Fiber and Starch
Starchy food items such as cereals, corn, bread, pasta, and potatoes are an essential part of a healthy diet. They contain carbohydrates, which are an important source of energy. The complex carbs found in the whole grains are especially beneficial. Starchy foods are considered fuel for the body, providing calories which the body burns while you engage in physical activities. More fiber-rich foods in this category are whole-grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, grits, and oatmeal.

Dairy Products
Dairy products include milk, cheese, heavy and sour cream, butter, and yogurt. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and proteins. Dairy food items are also rich in vitamin A, B, and D. Calcium is important for the health of bones. Vitamin D is required for building and maintaining bone health and it also helps the body absorb calcium better. Most milk products are high in fats, which help in the smooth running of various functions of the body and provides energy.

Poultry, Meat, and Fish
They are the most important sources of proteins, zinc, iron, and Vitamins B and D. These nutrients are necessary for growth and repair of the body. Eggs are a rich source of iron, selenium, choline, phosphorus, potassium, folic acid, retinol, riboflavin, calcium, and complete proteins. Meat is a major source of vitamin B12. Fish is also a significant source of proteins. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel contain high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Fats and Sugars
They are powerful sources of instant energy required for our body when we engage in rigorous physical activities. Fats such as butter, cheese, salad dressings, and oils (usually extracted from edible nuts and seeds), are high in calories. Sweets containing simple carbohydrates, such as desserts, syrups, jellies, jams, candies, and soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar (usually, refined sugar).
Most food items in the category of fats and sugar don’t consist of vitamins and minerals. That’s why the calories they impart are known as ’empty calories’. They can be consumed in limited quantities as a part of healthy diet. Consumption of fats and simple carbohydrates in excess leads to obesity and related health issues, such as cardiovascular disease.

Unsaturated fats present in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, olive oil, oily fish, and avocados are beneficial for health, as they lower levels of harmful cholesterol.

Cereals and grains, coming under the section of starchy and fibrous food, should occupy the largest basic component of a balanced meal, and is mostly accompanied by some form of vegetable or meat/poultry/seafood preparation or both. Among the two, vegetables should occupy the larger portion of food that accompanies the grain-based preparation.

In balanced meal fruits, eggs, and dairy products should be an equally important part of a healthy diet, and can effectively be had as healthy morning, evening, and between-meals snacks. Fats and simple carbohydrates should be consumed in controlled and limited quantities as the body does not require copious amounts of either, under normal conditions.

Tips to Canned Food Safety

unduhan-43Security is a critical issue with regards to canned nourishment. Numerous individuals ponder, in the event that they are as solid as the new ones. This article gives data about a portion of the security contemplations of these sustenances and different tips about their right utilization.

What would we do if it were not for canned beans, canned fish, and other canned products? These foods have become a major part of the food eaten worldwide, and it is almost impossible to imagine your fridge without it. However, as we all know that the canning process involves the use of loads of preservatives, and the consumption of such food for a long time can be harmful.

Health and Safety Considerations

While considering the safety of these foods, storage and expiry date are the foremost concern. These aspects also affect their shelf life.

#1
A very logical and practical point is that, in case there is a reaction between the chemicals in the food and the metal of the can, the metal can erode. It is more common in case of acidic food items like tomatoes and juices.

#2
If it is not used in the proper manner, there is a chance that the shelf life may get reduced as result of rust. The lid for the most part is more prone to catching rust.

#3
In case the can does not show any sign of spoilage, to ensure safety, it is necessary to make sure that the ingredients inside have not deteriorated. Nutritive value of the food can get affected in such cases. To decide whether to use it or not, check the expiry date of the product. It is very important, not to eat these products after their expiry date has lapsed.

#4
Canned products, when stored at temperatures over 100º Fahrenheit, can get spoiled. In some cases, when it is stored above 75º Fahrenheit for a long time, there may be a considerable amount of nutritional loss.

Safety of Foods Canned at Home

The aforementioned factors were associated with commercially-canned foods. Canning at home is a very healthy habit. In fact 1 in every 5 US household can their own food. However, if not done correctly then the food may get contaminated and lead to food poisoning, and may prove fatal in some cases. There are some tried-and-tested methods that will not pose a health concern to people consuming these foods. Also, it is better to stay away from old canning methods like using wax to seal the jars, pressure saucepans, oven canning, and the use of mayonnaise jars.

Tips for Safety of Canned Foods

There are certain factors which limit how long and when these foods can be consumed. A few things should be kept in mind while using these foods at home.

  • Always use the can which was brought first.
  • Avoid cans which show bulging, leaking, and denting at the seam or rim.
  • If you hear a ‘hiss’ when you open the can, then to be on the safer side, dispose off the food.
    Store the cans in a clean, cool, and dry place at temperature below 85ºF to ensure safety.
  • Use canned meats and sea food within 12 months
  • A sign of a safe can is that when you press gently but firmly on the lid of the jar prior to opening it, the lid does not pop.
  • Also, never forget to check the expiry date before you buy them.

Be it homemade or commercial, the most important thing is the overall food packaging method used to ensure the safety of the food.

Tips to Prevent Freezer Burns

Cooler smolders are an extremely regular issue when edibles are put away in a cooler for a drawn out stretch of time. Basic tips can be taken after to stay away from this issue and keep sustenance things new and brimming with supplements.

Buying food items in bulk is a great way of saving money. Many people prefer to buy in bulk to keep their favorite food items available 24×7. However, bulk food requires special storage arrangements. Most foods require freezing to retain their goodness. Foods stored in a freezer for a long time, are many times seen to develop pale, grayish spots which impart a dull appearance to the food. The food item does not appear fresh and is often thrown away. These grayish spots are termed as “freezer burns”, which not only alter the visual appeal of the food item, but also spoil its natural taste. These either cover the entire surface area of the food or appear at some spots. If the burn has affected a small area, it can be simply cut off, but when it has covered a major chunk, the entire item has to be thrown away. That means, you buy in bulk to save money but end up having losses. So, how can you prevent freezer burns using simple and easy ways? Given below are a few tips to make your job easy.

Tips to Prevent Freezer Burns

  • The main reason behind such burns is air, and to avoid it, it is important to reduce the air content around the food. This can be done by packing food items tightly so that air does not enter the pack. Also, the air present in the pack must be removed to decrease the risk of these burns.
  • Having a vacuum sealer at home can definitely help in eliminating the chances of freezer burns as it is capable of completely sucking out air from the storage pack, which can be sealed and stored. Food items packed by this method keep the food intact for around three years, which is really a long time.
  • Organizing the items stored can help in burn prevention. Food must be stored in such a way that the top part of the freezer and its sides are empty. This space allows air to circulate properly within the freezer and render uniform cooling. Irregular cooling leaves some areas at a higher temperature than others causing thawing and refreezing, ultimately leaving burns on stored food.
  • Storing food in air-tight containers and plastic containers with zip locks can solve this problem. Aluminum foil can also be used to seal the entry of air though, it is not so effective for long-term storage. If an item has to be stored for a short time span, aluminum foil can be a good sealer.
  • Keeping food in large portions can speed up the process for burn formation. This is because frequent removal of small portions from the large pack results in thawing and refreezing which has to be avoided. It is therefore better to store food in required portions so that the entire content is not disturbed.
  • It is quite obvious that some foods are stored near the freezer vent and some distant from it. It is better to consume foods near the vent first and then the ones stored at a distance because they are at higher risk of developing burns due to close proximity to the cooling vent.
  • Food savers can be used to completely suck out air from the food packages and save food from developing burns. They must be used specially, if a lot of food has to be stored in the freezer.
    Double wrapping food is also a good way to store food in cold storage.
  • Overstocking food can lead to improper air circulation thereby, increasing the chances of freezer burns.
  • Food stored in a refrigerator’s freezer is more prone to burns due to frequent opening and closing of the fridge door, as it hampers the refrigerator’s ability of maintaining stable temperature within the freezer.
  • It is good to consume food items within 3-6 months. Anything stored beyond this time frame is likely to have this problem.
  • Storing food when warm is also a reason behind this problem, therefore, food must be kept in cold storage only after it acquires the room temperature.
  • Writing the date of storage on food packages can help in identifying the older ones which can be consumed earlier to protect them from spoilage.
  • Saving meats from burns can be achieved by storing them in special freezer containers, and fruits can be saved by the addition of citric acid, which prevents oxidation and freeze burning.
  • The freezer temperature must be set as low as possible to maintain a good storage condition.

Freezer burns are mainly caused due to dehydration and oxidation. Water is known to evaporate at all temperatures, and it sublimes from ice to water vapor at freezing temperatures. This loss of water renders the food unfit for consumption. Using these simple tips for storing food can help in preventing food burns to a large extent. A little effort can avoid food spoilage and save a lot of money from being wasted.