Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: Q&A + Cheesecake Light

Welcome back to Trim Down Tuesdays with Karen Moreno, Feed Your Sister's own nutritionist!  Every week she answers questions from you, the readers, and posts a yummy and healthy recipe for you to try! Here's this week's question...

How much salt do we really need? What are some hidden salty foods that we should be aware of? What is the best way to de-bloat and flush out the excess salt after eating a salty meal like sushi or Chinese?  What are the best foods to eat to help with the de-bloating??

The latest salt recommendations according to the American Heart Association that came out in 2011 are “that everyone--adults as well as children--limit their daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg daily.”  That’s less than 1 tsp of table salt.

“Sodium is added to most processed foods, often in huge amounts, to enhance flavor. What many people don't know is that most of us get enough sodium from the fresh foods we eat and don't require additional sources.”

Hidden salty foods include: tomato soups, any canned soups, condiments such as soy sauce, chicken broth, condiments, canned or frozen foods, and prepared mixes such as seasoned rice mixes.

So, what are the best foods to eat to help with the de-bloating?
WATER WATER WATER!!! To help flush out your system. Potassium rich foods are also great because they help counteract some of sodium’s harmful effects on blood pressure. Potassium is found in fruit and veggies. Some high potassium foods include sweet potatoes, yogurt, and bananas.

Here are some tips to lower your salt and sodium intake:
  • Don’t buy foods with more than 300 mg sodium per serving
  • Look for foods that are labeled “low-sodium,” “sodium-free,” “no salt added,” or “unsalted.” Check the total sodium content on food labels. Be especially careful of canned, packaged, and frozen foods
  • Remove the salt shaker from the table.
  • Don’t cook with salt or add salt to what you are eating. Try other spices or herbs for added flavor such as pepper, garlic, lemon, basil, or parsley. Be careful of packaged spice blends as these often contain salt or salt products (like monosodium glutamate, MSG).
  • Avoid foods that are naturally high in sodium, like anchovies, meats (particularly cured meats, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, bologna, ham, and salami), nuts, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, soy and Worcestershire sauces, tomato and other vegetable juices, and cheese.
  • Take care when eating out. Stick to steamed, grilled, baked, boiled, and broiled foods with no added salt, sauce, or cheese.
  • Use oil and vinegar, rather than bottled dressings, on salads.
Source: American Heart Association

Here's Karen's recipe for this week! 
You know cheesecake is no diet food, but consider this: Just one slice at some of the more popular restaurants can be 1200 calories. That’s insane! Plus, I always find typical American cheesecake tastes too heavy, so I came up with my own recipe. The base of it is an Israeli cream cheese that gives the cake a light and fluffy texture. It’s called Tnuva Creamy Soft Cheese 5%. You can find it in specialty stores (sometimes it’s sold under the name Normans) or online at Avi Glatt. If you are in NYC, most kosher markets as well as Fairway carry this cheese product. As for the rest of the recipe, feel free to individualize it. You can add cookie dough to the base, light Hershey’s syrup on top, light Reddi-wip, or even just plain strawberries for added decoration and flavor. Whatever way you like, have your cake and eat it, too! 
Cheesecake Light
(Makes 16 servings)
6 eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 (9.7 ounce) containers Tnuva Creamy Soft Cheese Spread, 95% Fat Free
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding (powder) 

Preheat oven to 325ºF degrees. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. In a bowl, beat egg whites with 1 cup of the sugar until stiff.  In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks, the other 1/2 cup of sugar, cheese, flour, pudding powder, lemon zest, and the juice from that lemon until well blended. Add egg white mixture to the other mixture by fold it in with a spoon or spatula, until evenly incorporated. Pour batter into a round aluminum springform baking pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake rises high and the top turns brown. Turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in it with the oven door open for 20 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight to set. Serve cold.

Nutrition content:
Per serving (1 slice, 1/16 of cake): 165 calories, 3 g fat, .6 g sat fat, 22 g carbohydrate,
0g fiber, 4 g protein, 93 mg sodium
-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN


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