Key Lime Greek Yogurt: Dannon Oikos VS Yoplait

Oikos VS Yoplait

Brands Oikos Greek Yogurt Key Lime Yoplait Greek 100 Key Lime
Calories 160 100
Fat 4.5g 0
Sugars 17g 7g
Protein 11g 13g
Sodium 85mg 55mg
Calcium 15% 15%
Vitamin D Not listed 20%
Taste Due to the high sugar content and full-fat flavor, Oikos beats Yoplait hands-down in the taste department. A lighter flavor than Oikos, but a decent sacrifice for 100 calories. Plus, fewer calories means less guilt for adding crushed up graham crackers!
Verdict Winner

As you can see from my table above, Yoplait clearly takes the cake in the health department. Not only does it have 7 grams of sugar less than Oikos and less sodium, but it also beats out its competitor in the protein department. The ingredients were virtually identical, making me feel much better about the winning product. The thing that baffles me is that Oikos has an entire line of fat-free yogurts, but for some reason, Key Lime doesn’t make an appearance. Perhaps this is their opportunity to follow Yoplait’s lead and lighten up this amazing dessert-like flavor. Don’t just take my word for it. Head to the store and compare some of your favorite flavors to other brands. You might be surprised!

Guest Post: Looking Beyond the Well-known Nutrients to Protect Our Hearts

This guest post is by Jennifer Morris. She has worked as a writer for a number of health care businesses for over three years, and is well versed in health, nutrition and fitness writing. Her work includes the promotion of a healthy lifestyle mixing diet, exercise and improved knowledge of the body. This also involves the promotion of fitness regimes and natural dietary alternatives ahead of early adoption of drug treatment programs which is an important message for all ethical healthcare businesses to embrace.

Ask anyone what steps you can take with your diet to reduce your risk of heart disease and you can guess what their reply will be – reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat and salt, whilst eating more fruit, vegetables and oily fish for antioxidant vitamins and omega-3. While these will certainly help you on the way to achieving a healthy heart and circulation, it’s important to keep in mind that a healthy diet as a whole will provide the greatest benefit. Over recent years new research has indicated that more nutrients are important for heart health than was appreciated a number of decades ago. Here we take a look at five such vitamins and minerals and which foods are the richest sources.

Potassium

This mineral has a number of roles in the body, but in relation to the heart is important in two ways. Firstly, it helps to maintain the electrical activity of the heart so that it beats as it should; you might be unaware of this unless tested, but a deficiency or excess of potassium can lead to problems with this and result in a heart attack. Then its other function is to help to regulate blood pressure; while sodium pushes up blood pressure, potassium helps to bring it down. As high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, this is welcome. Fruit and vegetables – in particular fruit juice, dried fruit, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes –nuts and milk are amongst the richest sources of potassium. While most of us can eat these freely, as the excess is expelled by our kidneys, anyone with kidney disease needs to proceed more cautiously; check with your doctor if you think that applies to yourself.

Magnesium

As with potassium, magnesium is thought to help lower blood pressure. Indeed the large scale DASH found that those who consumed a diet rich in magnesium had a significantly lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.  Magnesium also plays a role in promoting a normal heart rhythm. The foods that provide most magnesium in the diet tend to be those derived from plants, which we should be aiming to base our diet on anyway. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, pulses, dried fruit and wholegrains all make a good contribution to our magnesium intake. We can include more pulses by using them to substitute meat in a range of dishes, while nuts and dried fruit can be added to our morning cereal and used in baking. Vegetables such as cabbage and kale might not be the most popular, but they work well in stir fries, side dishes and salads where they aren’t overcooked, as it is this that usually makes them off-putting.

Selenium

This mineral forms part of the enzymes that work as antioxidants; these mop up the free radicals that are generated in the body, which would otherwise cause damage to the cells of the blood vessels and make them more likely to narrow, reducing blood flow to the heart. While our soils used to be rich in selenium and as a consequence anything that grew in them was too, thanks to intensive farming this is no longer the case; cereals and animals that graze on them will still provide some selenium, but nowhere near as much as they used to. However, the good news is that there are still some foods that are a good bet for selenium. Seafood and Brazil nuts are the richest sources; interestingly just one Brazil nut will provide you with the recommended daily intake of selenium, so are a very easy way to ensure you obtain enough.

Folate

Everyone associates this B vitamin with pregnancy and while that’s very true, we all need to ensure we consume sufficient folate to keep our hearts in good shape. There is mounting evidence that a diet rich in foods containing folate can help to lower levels of a chemical known as homocysteine – produced during normal processes within the body – which if elevated increases the risk of heart disease. The best foods for folate are breakfast cereals that have been fortified with the vitamin, pulses, green vegetables, citrus fruits and berries. Be aware that heat reduces their content of folate, particularly if cooked in water, so don’t overcook peas, beans, lentils or your greens.

Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin is well-known for its protective role in bone health, but making sure we all receive enough will also benefit our heart. Research published last year showed that people with a lower vitamin D level in their body had a considerably higher risk of developing heart disease. This is of particular relevance, as vitamin D deficiency is now much more common; possibly because we spend less time outdoors and are more cautious when we do expose our skin to the sun by applying sunscreen, which means we produce less of the vitamin. While there aren’t many foods that provide vitamin D in the diet – oily fish and egg yolks are the main natural sources – breakfast cereals, milk and margarine are commonly fortified, so opt for these when you can. You may still struggle to meet your needs for the vitamin and if you are worried about deficiency – signs can be vague but include tiredness and general aches and pains – speak with your doctor, as they can arrange a blood test and a supplement if needed.

From this you can see that a range of nutrients can provide protection against heart disease and that many of them come from plant-based foods. Our best bet is to include foods from all the groups in the diet and continue to emphasize our intake of fruits, vegetables, pulses and whole grains, which should ideally comprise around two-thirds of what we eat.

Guest Post: Nutrition and the Fight Against Cancer

About a week and a half ago, I received a request from Jillian McKee, a Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, about sharing some information about how beneficial eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is for someone going through the battle of cancer. Thrilled with the prospect of sharing such helpful information, I quickly agreed. Before I jump into my very first guest post, I’d like to share some information about the author.

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/bio.htm#ixzz23QcNJZQY

So without further ado…

The Effects of Nutrition When Battling Cancer

Good nutrition is essential for all cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma and breast cancer. Cancer and its treatments can adversely affect the way one eats and the way the body uses nutrients. The nutrient needs of cancer patients vary from person to person, and nutritionists, doctors and nurses can help identify the best nutritional plan. Getting the proper nutrition for cancer management includes eating a variety of foods with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Whether newly diagnosed, undergoing therapies, in remission, eating well can help patients:

-Heal and recover faster
-Maintain weight and body’s storage of nutrients
-Keep up with energy and strength
-Lower risk of infection
-Feel better
-Better tolerate treatment-related side effects

Proteins are the amino acids responsible for repairing cells, cell growth and a healthy immune system. Without the proper proteins, muscle is lost for energy the body needs. A diet without protein can cause further illnesses or a longer recovery. People with cancer require more protein. After therapies, extra protein will help tissues heal quicker and resist infection. Excellent sources of protein include fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans, soy foods and lentils.

Fats play an important role in nutrition and are a rich source of fuel for the body. The body breaks down fats and uses them to transport vitamins through the blood, insulate body tissues and store energy. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthier than trans-fats and saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be found in peanut, corn, sunflower, safflower and flaxseed oils. Trans-fats and saturated fats can increase cholesterol and should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy and give needed fuel for proper organ function and physical activity. Carbs supply fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins for the body’s cells. The best food sources for carbs are whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Good whole grains are found in barley, brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains contain fiber and help keep stools soft to eliminate waste quickly.

Water is vital; all body cells need water to function properly. Many times, cancer therapies cause vomiting or diarrhea, then leading to dehydration. When this occurs, the body’s normal function become out of balance. Typically, it is recommended to have eight glasses of water a day; however, cancer patients may require more to maintain homeostasis. Keep in mind that soups and milk count toward fluid goals.

Vitamins and minerals help the body function properly and most are found in natural foods. Vitamins and minerals can be purchased in liquid or pill form. People who eat balanced diets typically get the needed vitamins and minerals. However, it can be difficult for cancer patients undergoing treatment to eat a balanced diet due to side effects of treatment. Many doctors recommend mineral supplements or daily multivitamins in these cases.

When considering supplements, discuss your options with a doctor. Some patients take large amounts of dietary supplements to try to destroy cancer cells or boost their immune systems. These substances can be harmful in large dosages. In fact, large dosages of these substances can cause radiation treatment and chemotherapy to be less effective. If the oncologist says it is okay to take vitamins or minerals during therapy, choosing a supplement with no more than 100 percent of the daily-recommended allowance is best.

Antioxidants include vitamins E, C, A, selenium and zinc. These agents attack free radicals and prevent the free radicals from attaching to healthy cells. Good sources of antioxidants include vegetables and fruits. Cancer patients seeking to take vitamins with antioxidants are recommended to speak with their doctors because large dosages can interfere with treatment.

To stay connected to Jillian McKee:

Thank you Jillian for contacting me and for all of the hard work you do. You are an absolute inspiration.