Natural Food Restaurants
Healthy Restaurant Options
Local, Organic, and Farm-To-Table Cuisine
Hudson River Valley
Restaurants serving Local, Organic, and Natural Ingredients
If you are lucky enough to live in the Hudson Valley, you will find many restaurants offering foods that are prepared with fresh ingredients, grass-fed meats, organic vegetables, and healthy oils. The ingredients often come from the farms down the road. You can't get more local than that!
Restaurants serving Natural Food
Find healthy, natural, restaurants in the Hudson Valley. Many restaurants in the Hudson Valley offer foods prepared with local ingredients supplied by nearby farms. Taste the difference. A meal prepared with natural and local ingredients tastes fresh and delicious. Natural foods taste good and are good for you.
Many restaurants in the Hudson Valley of New York offer food prepared with local ingredients supplied by local farms in Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia County. Taste the difference. A meal prepared with natural and local ingredients tastes fresh and delicious. Natural foods taste good and are good for you. Restaurants serving natural and healthy food options include:
Trans-Fats and Hydrogenated Oils
"How do those cookies stay so fresh and moist after sitting on the supermarket shelves for weeks?" Part of the answer is trans-fat, a partially hydrogenated fat that is used, among other things, to make crackers and cookies stay fresh tasting longer. The Federal Food and Drug Administration require that information on trans-fat content be included on all food labels. The reason is that it can raise “bad” cholesterol levels while lowering “good” cholesterol levels.
FDA Labeling Requirements
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now require food manufacturers to list Trans-Fats on Nutrition Facts and some Supplement Facts panels. Scientific evidence shows that consumption of saturated fat, Trans Fat, and dietary cholesterol raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels that increase the risk of coronary heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, over 12.5 million Americans suffer from coronary heart disease, and more than 500,000 die each year. This makes coronary heart disease one of the leading causes of death in the United States today.
FDA has required that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol be listed on the food label since 1993. By adding Trans Fat on the Nutrition Facts panel (required by January 1, 2006), consumers now know for the first time how much of all three: saturated fat, Trans Fat, and cholesterol, are in the foods they choose. Identifying saturated fat, Trans Fat, and cholesterol on the food label gives consumers information to make heart-healthy food choices that help them reduce their risk of coronary heart disease. This revised label, which includes information on Trans Fat as well as saturated fat and cholesterol, will be of particular interest to people concerned about high blood cholesterol and heart disease. However, all Americans should be aware of the risk posed by consuming too much saturated fat, Trans Fat, and cholesterol.
What is Trans Fat?
Trans Fat is an artery-clogging fat found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils.
Why are Trans-Fats bad for you?
Trans Fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil, a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats.
Trans-Fats clog our body as bacon grease clogs the kitchen sink.
The stiffer and harder fats are, the more they clog up your arteries. Over time, they can "clog the pipes" that feed the heart and brain, which can lead to heart attack or stroke risk. Trans-Fats increase your risk of heart disease.
Trans-Fats cause significant and serious lowering of HDL (good) cholesterol and a significant and serious increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol; make the arteries more rigid; cause major clogging of arteries; cause insulin resistance; cause or contribute to type 2 diabetes; and cause or contribute to other serious health problems.
Why are Trans Fatty Acids put into so many food products?
Food manufacturers started putting them in products because they allow for a longer shelf life. Crackers, for example, can stay on the shelf and stay crispy for years in part because of the hydrogenated fats in them.
Are Trans-Fats bad for kids?
Trans-Fats increase the risk for heart disease. Children who start at age 3 or 4 eating a steady diet of fast food, pop tarts, commercially prepared fish sticks, stick margarine, cake, candy, cookies and microwave popcorn can be expected to get heart disease earlier than kids who are eating foods without Trans-Fats. While a person may not get heart disease until they are in their 40s, by starting healthy eating habits early, parents can help their children avoid heart attacks and stroke.
How can I keep my family healthy?
Learn about foods that support your family's health and learn how "junk food" harms your children. Most parents know that chips, soda, and other junk food, are bad for their kids. So why would a parent buy chips and soda for their family? As an alternative to soda, try real juice mixed with carbonated water. Or, for a wonderful summer drink, try lemon in a glass of water with ice. As an alternative to chips, try celery and carrot sticks or natural bread toasted and thinly sliced.
Junk foods are typically ready-to-eat convenience foods that contain high levels of saturated fats, salt, and/or sugar. Junk food has little or no fruit, vegetables, or dietary fiber. Junk food has little or no health benefits but does have the ability to damage your health. Junk foods include salted snack foods, soda, candy, most sweet desserts, fried fast food, high sugar content foods, and the list goes on.
If you do not bring junk food into your kitchen, your children will not eat it! Don't buy products that will harm your family's health. Although you cannot control what older kids eat outside, you can create a "healthy" kitchen in your own home as a basis for good "healthful" eating in and out of the home.
Healthy Foods to Eat
The closer a food is to its natural state, the better it is for you. Fresh fruit and berries are and excellent source of nutrition and can satisfy a craving for sweets. Whole vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals, so eat more green, orange and yellow vegetables. Pasta or baked goods can be made from whole grains. And, be sure to avoid sugary snacks and pastries.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in ocean fish are often deficient in our diets. A general recommendation is that we eat fish two or three times a week. Baked fish and baked chicken is healthier than fried food; and lean meats like grass-fed bison or venison may be healthier than higher fat beef. Try to avoid all processed lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausages known to have a lot of saturated fat and nitrates in them that you don't want in your body.
Vegetables - dark green leafy, cabbage, broccoli, kale . . .
Fresh Fruit - apples, berries, melon . . .
Whole and cracked grains
Pasta made from wheat
Beans and Legumes
Extra virgin olive oil
Fish, Seafood, Poultry
Flaxseeds (sprinkle over oatmeal, yogurt, or a healthy cereal)
Wild Alaskan Salmon canned (great on a sandwich)
Wild Alaskan Salmon (whole)
Lean Turkey (organic)
Lean Chicken (organic)
Ice pops (Kids love ice pops made from "real" juice.)
Basic Food Pyramids
A pyramid is an easy way to show how the pieces of a healthy diet fit together. The base of the pyramid is comprised of foods that should be the foundation — or the bulk — of your healthy diet. In contrast, foods you should eat in smaller amounts or less frequently are shown in the smaller sections of the pyramid.
Although many variations of the food pyramid exist, most emphasize the following advice:
Eat more plant foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Reduce intake of animal foods, which are also the natural source for cholesterol.
Substitute healthy plant fats in place of saturated and Trans-Fats.
Limit sweets and salt.
Include physical activity in your daily routine.
Mayoclinic, Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Article on Trans-Fats and Hydrogenated Oils by Andy Spano, Westchester County Executive, 2008