Williams Icare Blog

10 Healthy Halloween Treats and Recipes for Festive Snacking

Halloween is right around the corner, and along with it comes the temptation to indulge in sweet, sugary treats. But, there are ways to celebrate without hindering your health and wellness goals. We've gathered 10 healthy Halloween treats - along with their recipes - and included them below. There's a little something for everyone, from kids to adults.

Use these tested and approved healthy Halloween recipes for festive snacking and spooky entertaining. And, you can do it without the next-day sugar crash. If you have any favorite healthy diet recipes for Halloween treats – share them with us by commenting at the end of this blog.

Bulletproof Coffee: Is it Good For You?

Is coffee healthy and what is the rage with Bulletproof coffee, MCT oils, and good fats? How can good fats make me lose more weight? I will answer your questions here in this blog.

Grilling & the Risk of Carcinogens

Health can be a double-edged sword. You might feel like you are doing the right thing, yet that practice has negative consequences. Take grilling, for example. Grilling is a healthy way to prepare your food – devoid of breading or frying. There is speculation grilling can increase your risk of developing cancer. That is a double-edged sword, if there is truth to it. But is there? We dug into it for you.

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5 Healthy Holiday Treats & Recipes

We love the Holiday season, who doesn’t? It’s full of festive cheer, friends and family gathers, and of course – delicious treats and sweets. Unfortunately, many of those goodies cause us to ditch our diets and healthy eating habits. While it is ok (and often encouraged) to “splurge” now and then (you’ve got to enjoy yourself), there are still plenty of ways you can stay healthy and guilt-free while you indulge in some holiday goodies. We’ve chosen five different healthy holiday treats and recipes that are fun to make, and delicious to eat. Enjoy!

 

1. Fruity Fun Grinch Heads:

What is the Paleo Diet?

If you are looking for healthier ways to eat, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Paleo Diet at some point or another. While the name can be intimidating, it’s really quite a simple diet. The idea of the diet is to promote healthy eating by only eating food that existed in the Paleolithic period, when cavemen roamed the earth. If you have been wondering whether your family could benefit from this type of diet, there are a few things you should know before you dive in head first. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the diet - take a few minutes to read a little bit about this lifestyle change to decide whether it fits with your family or not.

Coconut Oil: Fact vs. Myth

The continual research on the health benefits of coconut oil has confirmed and helped explain the claims of traditional and alternative health experts that the coconut, as well as its derivative products, contain astonishing properties that many consider it worthy of the title "superfood." Below are a few interesting and informative aspects of coconut oil, check it out!

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What is Omega 3 and Why Should It Be in Your Diet?

Omega fatty acids have recently become a popular subject of study by scientists and nutritionists. Since 1989, when cholesterol was linked to heart disease, science has put much energy into understanding the subtleties of various kinds of fat and their functions within the body. Of the various types of fat, the omegas are the only group considered essential for bodily function.

The Dangers that Exist with Arsenic and Rice Products

Rice has been a staple in diets for centuries. According to Lundberg Family Farms, rice feeds more than half of our world’s population. We use it in stir fries, soups and burritos, on salads and baked into puddings, cakes and more. Its uses are many and we get energy and satisfaction from eating it. So the question is, are we at risk of arsenic poisoning because we consume rice and rice products?

Arsenic is a semi-metallic element that is colorless and tasteless. It is more commonly known to exist in our drinking water. The FDA actually has a safety limit set for water, and they are now considering whether or not to set one for rice as well.

Arsenic is carcinogenic. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, arsenic in any form has been linked to bladder, kidney, liver, skin and lung cancer. It may also contribute to prostate cancer. Outside of the various cancers, exposure to arsenic is believed to affect proper and healthy development, plus it has also been linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and negative effects on the male reproductive system.

THE PROBLEM WITH RICE

The way rice absorbs and stores its nutrients lends poorly to its consumption and health benefits. In a New York Times article titled, The Trouble with Rice,

“The issue with the rice plant is that it tends to store the arsenic in the grain, rather than in the leaves or elsewhere,” said Jody Banks, a plant biologist at Purdue University, who studies arsenic uptake in plants. “It moves there quite easily.”


This is also why brown rice is believed to be worse for you, in terms of arsenic levels. Consumer Reports found that brown rice from some brands has more arsenic than white rice. Brown rice, considered very healthy, includes the outer layer of the grain and this is where some of the chemical is stored. For this reason, polished white rice was found to have less arsenic in comparison to brown rice.

The levels of arsenic in rice vary based on where it is grown. It is no longer permitted to be used as in fertilizers or as a pesticide, but it still lives in the soil due to its uses in the past. Plus, it exists naturally in our environment. Consumer reports state that, “White rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, which account for 76 percent of domestic rice, generally had higher levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic in our tests than rice samples from elsewhere.” If you buy a rice that is imported, or from another area of the US, your rice is more likely to have lower arsenic levels.


CONSUMPTION RECOMMENDATIONS

The grain that we cook in water until soft is not the only rice product holding arsenic that we consume. Rice cereal, often the first solid food fed to infants, as well as rice cakes, rice drinks, rice pasta, rice crackers and ready-to-eat cereal can contain levels of arsenic.

It is advised to diversify and eat other grains such as oats, wheat cereals, corn grits or polenta, barley, and quinoa. Rice and rice products don’t need to be cut out completely, but they should be limited. Consumer Reports recommends that parents feed babies only one serving of rice cereal per day. Oatmeal, wheat and other infant cereals contain lower or no concentrations of arsenic, according to the magazine's study, and are therefore a good alternative.


MONITORING THE CROP

Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are monitoring the crop in different states to determine the levels of arsenic in rice. The Rice Federation supplies samples for the labs to check. In addition, many growers are conducting their own analysis of their crops.

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Healthy Snacks and Treats for any Easter Celebration

Give your guests, children and Easter bunny healthy options, in addition to the never-ending sweet and savory treats that are available around every corner. If you can fill up on healthy snacks, breakfasts and desserts you are less likely to indulge in the sweets. Here are some ideas to get you started when creating your holiday platters, desserts and meals.

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Healthy Snack Recipes for Valentine's Day

Everyone loves holidays – festive cheer and savory treats! But the delectable meals and tasty treats tempt us to stray from our healthy eating habits. If you are like most, holidays are considered a great time to splurge, because each only happens once a year. But, we believe there is plenty of room for healthy options at any celebration - Valentine’s Day is no exception!