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June 17, 2009 > Learn How to Satisfy Food Cravings at Upcoming Women's Center Class

Learn How to Satisfy Food Cravings at Upcoming Women's Center Class

If you're like most Americans, you try to eat healthy and shop for foods that keep nutrition up and weight down. So, when you turn into the cookie or pastry aisle or select a carton of double chocolate fudge ice cream, you probably feel at least a twinge of guilt.

"People don't always have to deny themselves the enjoyment of special foods and snacks," says registered dietitian Kim Alvari, clinical nutrition manager at Washington Hospital. "Nowadays, about 60 percent of shoppers are making an effort to buy healthier foods and the market is responding. This includes some products we think of as sinful, but which actually have a healthy aspect."

Alvari will be the featured speaker at a free Lunch and Learn Lecture called "Indulge Your Cravings" on Thursday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Part of a series of brown-bag lunches on women's health presented by Washington Women's Center, the presentation will teach attendees how to satisfy their food cravings without sabotaging their health. The lecture will be held in the conference room of Washington Women's Center in the Washington West building at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

"Indulgent snacks," as food manufacturers call them, make up about two-thirds of all snack foods on the market. But, if you look closely and shop wisely, you can indulge yourself without threatening your commitment to healthy eating - literally having your cake (or other goodie) and eating it too.

When it comes to nutrition, it is possible to have your 'cake' and eat healthy, too

"One example of a 'to-die-for' treat is dark chocolate," continues Alvari. "Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which are anti-oxidants that have been shown to help lower blood pressure, fight heart disease and prevent some types of cancer.
However, the key is you should have only 1 oz. of dark chocolate or one teaspoon of dark cocoa per day. So, you can indulge, but you also need to exhibit some self-control."

During the class, Alvari will talk about the variety of good tasting foods that can also be healthy for you.

"We'll discuss a number of different foods that are available because people have different ideas about what is delicious or special," she explains. "And, we'll talk about some items you can prepare yourself, such as brownies that contain cocoa and healthy oils."

Attendees will also have an opportunity to sample some of these indulgent foods, and Alvari will share recipes and show products examples.

"The class will be very 'hands-on' and I'll bring some foods to taste that most people will agree are delicious and indulgent," she adds.

To support their interest in healthy eating, Californians live in a place with easy access to many fresh, delicious and healthy foods often thought of as indulgent, such as berries, pomegranate, and star fruit, Alvari points out.

"As a dietitian, I believe the foods people eat should be healthy but they should also taste good," she states. "It's part of my job to help people discover items that fit this description."

To register to attend "Indulge Your Cravings" or for more information, call Washington Hospital's Health Connection hotline at (800) 963-7070.

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