Spend or Save? And Other Hot Links

garlic.jpgSometimes Real Simple magazine runs features on whether consumers should spend more or save money on products like makeup or cleansers. They instruct you to shell out extra for almost everything on their lists, which either says something about the readership or the sources they choose to consult when making these lists. As for myself, I get scores of compliments on my long, shiny hair, even though it never sees salon-quality products outside of my irregular visits to SuperCuts.

I survive just as well with generic food products instead of fancy brands. But is it ever necessary to shop up from rock bottom?

Featured Link

Cheap Healthy Good - 10 Foods You Should Always Splurge On
A couple of things here I don't think of as splurges but as choosing quality over convenience: whole garlic instead of minced and lemons instead of bottled juice. I do use bottled juice, or preferably True Lemon powder, for flavoring water, but I always cook with the real stuff. I do splurge on vegetables, shunning most cheap canned varieties in favor of fresh or frozen. Right now, I have a can of cut green beans sitting in the kitchen that I dread cracking open. It will be wonderful to have a normal refrigerator again next week.

Hot Topics

New York Times - Health 'Facts' You Only Thought You Knew
It's true -- eight glasses of water a day is an old wives' tale.

Fast Food Maven - Grocery prices jump 8.5 percent compared to last year
Is it a recession yet? All the more reason to learn how to meal plan.

SF Gate - Marion Nestle: Global food crisis comes back to calories
Continuing with our current careless attitude toward food here in the rich world could have ever-worsening consequences elsewhere. (Via Diner's Journal.)

Time - Which Are Worse: Calories from Carbs or Fat?
In the end, calories are calories when it comes to weight gain and loss. Fat packs in more per gram than protein and carbs do, but you need at least some fat in your diet.
(Via Diner's Journal.)

CNN/Cooking Light - Fast facts on fats: What to eat, what to avoid
This article defines all the different types of fat, including telling how they affect your body, with studies cited as evidence.

CNN - CDC survey: South leads nation in obesity
Don't get excited, North and West. Turns out your pretty chubby, too.

Poked and Prodded - When We’re All Fat, What Does the Ranking Matter?
Southerner fights back!

CNN - Salmonella found on pepper; FDA strengthens warning
Tomatoes get exonerated, but fresh salsa remains verboten.

Slashfood - Fruit juice: An invitation to diabetes?
Perhaps it's not such a great idea to let your excitement about the water myth lead you to replace those eight glasses a day with apple juice. Water is still calorie free.

Caught in the Web

Reader's Digest - Eat Smart When Dining Out: 20 Tips
I doubt anyone's going to take to dressing up for every meal out, and asking for a box at the beginning of the meal just shouts to the table, "I'm on a diet!" Learn the other rules, though, and you'll be prepared to make smart choices. (Via Consumerist.)

Hungry Girl - HG's List of Tasty Travel Treats (Pack & Chew!)
Foods that won't melt or rot when packed along for your summer travels.

Mayo Clinic - Healthy diet: Do you know what to eat?
Simple and well-organized walkthrough of the average person's daily nutritional needs.

Health - Healthy Eating: Diet Guide
I kind of have a morbid fascination with reading about crazy fad diets. Not that all these are nutty: Weight Watchers and South Beach are reviewed here, too.

Health - Inside Crunch Taste-Test Results
Visit if you're looking for honest reviews of (mostly) junk foods trying to project healthier images.

Photo: Colleen Fischer

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