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About That High Fructose Corn Syrup...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 11:34 AM

It's no surprise that high fructose corn syrup sweetens most soft drinks and many other beverages these days. But have you ever wondered what this sweetener is doing in your salad dressing and a host of other popular products?

Learn the answers in today's Lean Plate Club column as well as the latest research on whether this widely used sweetener has any more effect than table sugar on blood sugar levels and appetite-controlling hormones, as some scientists have suggested.

How about you? Do you search labels for the presence of high fructose corn syrup? Have you changed your eating or buying habits as a result? Tell us your sweet thoughts in today's Lean Plate Club Web chat, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. Or leave your comments ahead of time and then check the transcript later. E-mail me at leanplateclub@washpost.com anytime.

Weight Loss Surgery for Kids

Yes, the same lap band and gastric bypass surgeries that are sometimes to used to help obese adults control their weight is now being used by teens, too. What do you think about this trend? Share your thoughts in today's Lean Plate Club Web chat, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET today. Or leave your comments ahead of time and then check the transcript later. E-mail me your thoughts at leanplateclub@washpost.com anytime.

And speaking of overweight kids: They're also more likely to have foot foot problems, an Ohio foot and ankle surgeon tells Reuters.

What's For Dinner Tonight?

Tuna Tomatoes is just one of the videos from Jacques Pepin's Fast Food My Way that will have you eating quickly. No need to shell out lots of cash for this recipe: You make it with canned tuna.

Chickpea Ragout is another quick dish from Pepin. And you can keep the ingredients on hand without worrying about spoiling because this is made from canned chickpeas.

Beef Stir-Fry is on the menu at Woman's Day magazine, which honors Heart Month with these Heart Smart Suppers that are easy to fix for you and your loved ones. Among the offerings: Walnut Crusted Halibut with Orange Salsa, Reuben Wraps and Meal in a Bowl Minestrone, a great way to get those recommended servings of veggies.

Gourmet magazine has an ongoing feature of recipes with just five ingredients. The latest offering: Escarole Double Crust Pizza. The reader who tried it used Trader Joe's pizza dough and said that he/she would half the cheese (10- ounces) the next time this recipe is made, which would reduce the calories and saturated fat. You could also try substituting some various nonfat or low-fat cheeses for part of the cheese. If you do, I hope you'll let us know how you like it.

Or try Steak and Boursin Sandwiches, made with lean flank steak and just five ounces of Boursin cheese -- a little more than one ounce per serving.

So what are you cooking this week? Share your recipes, healthy food finds and more in the Lean Plate Club Web chat. This week's prizes include The Juan-Carlos Cruz Calorie Countdown Cookbook, as well as The New Glucose Revolution Low-GI Vegetarian Cookbook, Eating Well Services Two and Mexican Light: Healthy Cuisine for Today's Cook.

Join us live from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. Leave your comments, questions and tips ahead of time, then check the transcript later. Or e-mail me anytime.

Move It!

The District of Columbia is preparing a master pedestrian plan to help encourage walking. In fact, they'd like your feedback about it. You can fill out the online questionnaire in either English or Spanish.

Finding ways to be more active is a growing priority for an increasing number of people who see it as a way to help re-engineer activity back into our lives. Among the efforts under way: the International Walk to School program, which has information on how to establish a safe route to school. You can also view photos of schools that have participated and, of course, submit your own. You can also see who's walking worldwide.

Parks and recreation trails can be another wonderful resource for more activity -- an example of your tax dollars at work. No matter where you live, learn where you can bike, ride horses, hike, fish water ski or swim in parks and recreation areas across the country.

Closer to home, the National Institute of Health has weight workouts for seniors.(Speaking of which, be sure to look in next week's Health section for more on healthy aging and physical activity.)

How are you adding activity to your life? Are you like Lean Plate Club member Lois Yurow, who has set up a healthy office?. Or do you just find more ways to be active throughout the day? Tell us your workout tips and more in today's Lean Plate Club Web chat from 1 to 2 p.m. ET today. Prizes today include the Firm's Fit Prime Flex Posture DVD.

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