August 2012
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ActiGraph News Header Image - AUGUST
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Fruits and VeggiesHow to Cut Back on Added Sugar
A diet containing too much added sugar is considered a major contributing factor to the global obesity epidemic and has been linked to a range of health problems including certain cancers, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high triglyceride levels and liver problems. Each day the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar, which includes non-naturally occurring sugars added to improve taste such as corn syrup, white, brown and confectioner sugars, fructose, dextrose and honey. This far surpasses the American Heart Association’s daily recommendation of five teaspoons for women, nine for men and three for children. Limiting consumption of added sugar is clearly important for optimal health and disease prevention, and following these simple guidelines will help make cutting back on the sweet stuff a breeze.

Read food labels: Processed foods are full of added sugars, and they often turn up in some very unexpected places. Many breads, cereals, salad dressings, flavored yogurts and tomato sauces are surprisingly high in sugar, so be sure to read labels carefully to identify and avoid the worst offenders. Of course, making homemade versions of these foods whenever possible is the best way to know exactly what you’re eating.

Watch what you drink: It’s estimated that Americans get about 10% of their daily caloric intake from sweetened drinks. According to a study by Harvard School of Public Health, a single 12 oz. can of cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar! However soda isn’t the only culprit, you should also watch out for sweetened coffee drinks, fruit flavored beverages and sugary alcoholic cocktails.

Try a substitute: If you add sugar to prepared food or drinks, consider using a sugar substitute. The FDA has approved six artificial sweeteners: acesulfame-K (Sunett®, Sweet One®), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet®), neotame, saccharin (SugarTwin®, Sweet’N Low®), stevia, and sucralose (SPLENDA®). Each varies in sweetness and flavor, so try experimenting until you find one you like.
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Cantaloupe ImageCantaloupe
Cantaloupe belongs to the curcurbitaceae melon family and is a relative of cucumbers, gourds and pumpkins. Native to Africa and parts of the Middle East, they were first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, eventually spreading throughout Europe and into North America during the 17th century. Today cantaloupes are the most popular melons in the United States.

Cantaloupe is low in calories and packed with a variety of nutrients. They are an excellent source of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber. Cantaloupe is one of only a handful of fruits with high levels of vitamin B complex. They are also rich in potent antioxidants that help protect the body from cancer and heart diseases. Cantaloupe may offer protection from a range of health problems, including cataracts, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and insomnia. The high vitamin C content in cantaloupe also helps maintain overall health by stimulating white blood cells to fight infection.

Cantaloupes are available year round, but they are best from June to September. Select a heavy melon that is firm but not hard with a fragrant musky smell.  Melons grow on the ground, so be sure to wash it well before cutting to remove any potentially harmful bacteria.  Firm melons can be left on the counter to ripen, at which point they should be stored in the refrigerator. 
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ActiTrainer ImageCircuit Training
It’s great to have a regular strength training routine, but occasionally we don’t have enough time to devote to a full workout.  Circuit training is an excellent way to save time while still getting the benefits of a full workout. 

Circuit training is performing multiple exercises consecutively with almost no rest time in between.  Because you are not resting between moves, you don’t want to use the same muscle groups on back-to-back exercises.  Start with a brief warm-up and then perform 6–10 different exercises in rapid succession.  Repeat this circuit 2–3 times, allowing two minutes of rest between each circuit.  An example of a circuit would be push-ups, squats, bent-over rows, crunches, shoulder press, lunges, pull-ups, planks, supermen.  You can choose to perform either a certain number of reps or as many reps as you can for a set time period for each move.  
ActiTrainer Tyler G. is a NSCA certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
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Melon Salsa ImageCantaloupe Salsa
3 cups diced cantaloupe
2 large cucumbers, diced
1 T. olive oil
½ Jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
Juice of one lime
1 tsp lime zest
1 small red onion, diced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 bunch cilantro coarsely chopped
1 pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors blend. Serve with tortilla chips or with grilled meat or seafood.

Makes 14 servings.  Per serving: Total Cal: 32, Total Fat: 1.1g,Sodium: 36mg Total Carbs: 5.6g Dietary Fiber: 0.9g Protein: 0.8g

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