Thursday, July 29, 2010

Myth: You only need to be physically active if you are trying to lose weight or tone your muscles.

Answer: Busted!

Physical activity has many health benefits beyond our outer appearance. Physical activity helps strengthen bones, improve heart-health, enhances our ability to perform normal daily activities, and helps control and prevent many chronic conditions. Those who perform physical activity regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure. Regular physical activity also helps prevent certain types of cancer and lessens our risk for osteoporosis. Self-esteem and self-confidence are enhanced in those who are physically active. Physical activity also helps with stress management. People of all shapes and sizes can enjoy physical activity for the many health and mental benefits.

For more information, read the following articles on some of the benefits of physical activity.

Contributor: Denise Schmitz M.A., R.D., Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extention,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Myth: You should plan to eat out for every meal when traveling.

Answer: Busted!

While it is tempting to indulge while on vacation, a little bit of planning can ensure quick and healthy meals. Before you travel, make a trip to the grocery store with a list of foods and drinks and stock up for your trip. You don’t have to keep foods such as nuts, bagels, pretzels, crackers, baked chips, or dried fruit cold. Keep a cooler with bottled water, lean sandwich meats, and raw fruits and vegetables for healthy meal ideas. Some supermarkets have pre-made deli sandwiches and salad bars available. Ask around to find out these options.

It’s ok to treat your family to the occasional restaurant meal, but planning healthy meals ahead of time can save money, keep your family healthy, and keep foods safe while traveling this summer.

Guest Contributor: Melissa Bess, M.S. Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All cows have equal risk for E.coli

Myth: If your hamburger meat comes from Black Anges cattle you won’t get E.coli, so it’s okay if it’s a little raw.

Answer: Busted!

All types of cattle are at risk for E.coli. It is found on the surface of the meat and gets into it during the meat processing, when it is turned into ground beef. To prevent illness from e-coli: always make sure you cook your ground beef to at least 160 degrees F- use a meat thermometer to be sure; keep food preparation areas clean and free from cross-contamination; and, wash your hands with hot, soapy water, and wash them often!

For more food safety information visit the Missouri Families Food Safety page.

Contributor: Denise Schmitz M.A., R.D., Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extention,