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If you look at the bottoms of many bell peppers, you may notice that some of them have three lobes on their bottoms and others have four. Less common varieties of bell pepper may have one, two, or five lobes, but the ones available in North American grocery stores typically have three or four. Some culinary writers claim that this difference affects the pepper’s taste and the amount of seeds it has. However, these claims appear to be largely unfounded. The main difference is the number of lobes on the peppers’ bottoms, no more and no less.

According to the culinary blog GetYvonne.com, by Yvonne Deatherage, three bottomed bell peppers are “sweeter and better for eating,” while four bottomed bell peppers are “firmer and better for cooking.” A few other blogs and question/answer sites give the same information. However, many others disagree. Several commentors say they have never noticed any difference in taste or texture between three bottomed bell peppers and four bottomed bell peppers.

Bell peppers do have different flavors if they are different varieties. However, whether they have three or four lobes on the bottom is not a determining factor in what variety they are. Certain varieties may tend more heavily toward four lobes or three, but both shapes of bell pepper may grow on the same plant. All three and four bottomed bell peppers belong to varieties that produce three or four lobes, or that produce two to five.

page on eHow gives a detailed description of another putative difference. Three bottomed bell peppers, it claims, are male, while four bottomed bell peppers are female. Female bell peppers have more seeds than males. For this reason, eHow advises always buying “male” bell peppers at the grocery store... since females have more seeds, they weigh more, and weigh more because of something you will only throw away, making them a "waste" of money. Unless you are one of the rare few who take the time to preserve these seeds! 

If there is any such thing as male and female bell peppers, the designation is culinary, not biological, and if it is a culinary designation, it does not appear to be a widespread one. Fruits (bell peppers are biologically fruits, being the seed bearing part of the plant) have no gender. They are not the plant’s sexual parts, but the vehicles for its offspring, formed only after the plant has been pollinated and fertilized. On most flowering plants, including bell peppers, the flowers that become the fruit have both male and female parts, making them androgynous. All bell peppers, then, are hermaphrodites.

No Internet sources available at the time of this writing support or refute eHow’s claim that four bottomed bell peppers have more seeds. In my own experience, having cut up many a bell pepper, larger ones usually have more seeds. Since four bottomed bell peppers tend to be slightly bigger than three bottomed ones of the same variety, that claim may have some merit. However, if it does, it is due to the pepper’s size, not its number of bottom lobes, and the difference would be negligible when it comes to paying for the pepper by weight.

The difference between three bottomed bell peppers and four bottomed bell peppers cannot be found in taste or texture. There may be slight differences in size and in the amount of seeds they produce, but these differences are negligible. The only real difference, which is so slight that many bell pepper eaters are unaware of it, is appearance.

 
 
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A veggie wrap for lunch. A night out for sushi. And you're working out . . . but you're still not losing weight. What gives?

Some "diet" foods may be your worst enemy. That's because they're tricking you into eating too many calories. So what are some of the worst offenders?

  1. Sushi: Fish wrapped in rice and seaweed. Not a diet food? Yep, that's right. It's not always as "light" as it seems. Some sushi has calorie levels so high it might just shock you. 

    Diet Shocker: One eight-piece serving of Philadelphia sushi roll is the caloric equivalent of 1 medium bagel with plain cream cheese—close to 500 calories. It's the cream cheese that gets you. And what about spicy tuna and other mayo-based rolls? They can contain as many as 450 calories and 11 grams of artery-clogging fat per serving. Eat too many of the "wrong" rolls and you're in Big Mac® calorie territory.
  2. Wraps: You order the whole wheat veggie wrap thinking it'll put you on the skinny track. But is it actually the fat track? For some reason, wraps have been viewed as a healthy upgrade from a sandwich, but this isn't always the case. 

    Diet Shocker: The tortilla holding your wrap together can easily contain the same number of calories as four slices of bread, not to mention more carbs and twice as much fat. Many kinds of wraps you get at a deli have at least 300 calories. And that's just the tortilla, not the contents. You also have to factor in the fillings—and keep in mind that a wrap has more surface space to spread these calorie-boosting culprits:
    • Dressing
    • Cheese
    • Mayo
    All told, one healthy-seeming wrap can easily trick you into eating hundreds more calories than you planned.
  3. Granola: When you're having granola, you might think, "It's healthy. The fiber and all those little pieces of dried fruit are so good for me." Truth is, although it's got good stuff in it, it also packs in the calories. 

    Diet Shocker: A half-cup serving is what's often listed on the nutrition label of prepared granola. But who eats just half a cup? For most brands, there are more than 400 calories in a one-cup serving of granola. And when's the last time you actually measured? If you keep filling your cereal bowl with this stuff, it's no wonder you're not losing!
  4. Bran Muffins: The kinds sold at many bakeries today aren't the little 3-inch muffins Grandma used to bake. They're much, much bigger. And just because they're made with "healthy" bran doesn't mean they're a diet food, either. 

    Diet Shocker: The average bakery muffin can contain as many as 630 calories. You might be slightly better off with a bran muffin than, say, a banana or blueberry one because of bran's extra fiber, but most of them are still packed with sugar and butter. Eat one bran muffin from Dunkin' Donuts® and you'll be consuming 480 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 46 grams of sugar. OMG.
  5. Dried Fruit: The more fruit you eat the better, right? Not when it comes to the dried stuff. 

    Diet Shocker: You could boost your calorie count as much as four times (!) by choosing to eat the dried version of a fruit rather than its fresh counterpart. Check out these calorie comparisons based on a 100-gram (about 1 cup) serving:

 


  1. Pumpkin-Flavored Baked Goods: Pumpkin is nutritious, but these baked goods can be a dieting disaster. Like bran, pumpkin has lots of stuff that's good for you. So if you see pumpkin on a baked-goods label, it's easy to think you're eating something that's lower in calories. Not the case, though: Pumpkin doesn't mean diet food. 

    Diet Shocker: Dunkin' Donuts strikes again. Their pumpkin muffin has 630 calories and 28 grams of fat. OMG again! Want to switch bakeries? It won't help much. A pumpkin muffin from Panera Bread® has 530 calories and 20 grams of fat, and the pumpkin scone at Starbucks® has 470 calories and lots of fat too—22 grams' worth. You might as well be eating pie with whipped cream!
  2. Olive Oil: It's a good fat and helps you burn fat. However, you don't need a lot of it to get the benefits. Two tablespoons a day can do the trick. And overdoing it can backfire. 

    Diet Shocker: Olive oil served with bread at a restaurant is heart-healthy, but high in calories. You can easily sop up a quarter of a cup. That's 478 calories, not including the bread. Or the rest of the meal you've ordered.
  3. "Healthy" Salads: That's what some restaurants want you to believe in their "lite" section of the menu. It must be diet-friendly, right? Not always. 

    Diet Shocker: Listed under "Healthy Options" on the T.G.I. Friday's® menu, their pecan-crusted chicken salad, which contains mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, and celery, has 1,360 calories. Meanwhile, their cheeseburger and fries combo weighs in at 1,290 calories. Say it ain't so.
So what's a dieter to do in a world filled with "diet" traps?

Ask about nutrition and read food labels. After a while, you'll be a pro at it and enjoy the weight loss that comes with it. You won't even have to give up the foods you like. That's because you'll know how to work them into your food plan the right way.



By Justine Holberg
 
 
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love Girl Scout Cookies, I was a Girl Scout myself growing up for a bit of time! I will be honest I LOVED it! 

Girl Scout cookies are as American as apple pie, right?

 This year however I wont be buying any.  Every single variety has GMO soy in it, most have hydrogenated oils, and a few have HFCS.  Of course they all have white flour in them, but so do almost all cookies on the shelf of the store.  These are cookies, after all, not nutrition dense snacks.  (Personally I don’t think an occasional treat with white flour or white sugar will kill you ,although not healthy for you either. Moderation is key.  It’s the other ingredients that I think are more harmful.)
 
When I started looking at the Girl Scout cookie ingredients this year of the different varieties, here are some red-flag ingredients you might want to be aware of.  The website lists a couple of different versions of favorites (i.e., Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs®) and depending on what bakery or name they are marketed under, they contain different ingredients.

Artificial food dyes: Dulce de Leche (yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #2), Caramel deLites ® (Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #2), Peanut Butter Patties (Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1, Blue #2) note, a few cookies contained caramel color, often derived from GMO corn sources.

Hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats: Do-Si-Dos®, Samoas®, Tagalongs®, Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites®, Peanut Butter Patties®, Thanks a Lot, Lemonades.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS):
Dulce de Leche, Thin Mints (ABC), Peanut Butter Patties®, Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds, Thanks a Lot.

GMO Soy products:
 All varieties (usually in the form of soybean oil and/or soy lecithin)

GMO corn products:
 Lemon Chalet Cremes, Do-Si-Dos®, Samoas®, Dulce de Leche, Thank U Berry Much, Tagalongs®, Thin Mints, Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Thanks a Lot, Lemonades.

Artificial flavors:
 Lemon Chalet Cremes (artificial ginger flavor), Trefoils, Samoas®, Dulce de Leche, Tagalongs®, Thin Mints, Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds, Thanks a Lot, Lemonades

Other notes: Shortbread is traditionally made with butter, flour, and sugar.  The Girl Scout variety contains no butter but does have 11 ingredients, including palm oil and artificial flavors.

The cookie closest to ‘real food’ is possibly the Thank U Berry Munch, which has actual dried cranberries and no hydrogenated oils, but it still contains corn syrup solids and artificial flavors.

The cookie farthest from ‘real food’ are Peanut Butter PattiesCaramel deLitesand Dulce de Leche. Peanut Butter Patties have sugar as the first ingredient, hydrogenated oils, food colors, HFCS, artificial flavoring, and GMO ingredients.  Caramel deLites have sugar as the first ingredient, GMO corn and soy, hydrogenated palm oils, HFCS, Red #40, Yellow #5, and artificial flavors.  Dulce de Leche cookies contain GMO ingredients, HFCS, and yellow #5.

The products produced by  Girl Scout cookie supplier ABC Bakeries are particularly filled with “fake” food, especially HFCS and fake colors.

Are you buying Girl Scout cookies? My favorites were Samoas but I will sadly pass on them this year. Instead if the cravings hit I will be making my own healthier version! ( of course once I hit our new place and have a stove again which wont be for a month or two sadly.)  

I am NOT saying don't support your local Girl Scouts! Please donate as its an amazing organization! All I am saying is beware what you are putting in your mouth ! If your on my page its mostly due to the fact you want a healthy fit body! Always read the ingredients and if you are not sure what you are eating start researching into it! A lot of ingredients that look harmless are just a cover name for things you should never eat! 

Daisy Go Rounds,Thanks a Lot, and Lemonades are registered trademarks of GSUSA.