Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lowest Calorie Nut

Pistachios can help keep your heart healthy and can help fight cell damage caused by free radicals in your body. Pistachios contain phenolic compounds, which are believed to account for the antioxidant capability of certain foods. The pistachio nut is placed in the highest group for antioxidants. That’s one hearty nut. Pistachios can provide you with nutrients that you may not receive at meal times while being an easily portable and enjoyable snack. Removing the shell makes consumption slower, reducing the urge to over-eat. Pistachios are naturally cholesterol-free and contain monounsaturated fat, similar to that found in olive oil, shown to lower both total and LDL "bad" cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk. Up to 15% of daily calories should come from monounsaturated fat. Pistachios are especially rich in phytosterols, which are directly associated with lowering cholesterol levels, and may offer protection from certain types of cancer. A one-ounce serving contains 49-shelled nuts and more than 10% of the Daily Value for dietary fiber. You can get more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios than a 1/2 cup of broccoli or spinach. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana, and provides 6 grams of protein, and 170 calories.
Including delicious pistachios into any eating plan may be one of the best things you can do to protect your health.
  • Add chopped pistachios to yogurt or cream cheese
  • Pistachios can be added to muffins, pancakes, or oatmeal
  • Unsalted pistachios are an excellent addition to vegan or vegetarian diets

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dietary Fiber and Arthritis Link

One of the ways fiber can help with arthritis pain is by reducing inflammation, as measured by an indicator called C-reactive protein (CRP), for the same reason fiber is a benefit to your heart. Studies found that people who eat a diet high in fiber (about 28 grams a day) reduce their CRP levels. Surprisingly, the effect is most pronounce in people within their desired body weight (by about 40%). Those who are overweight experience about a 10% reduction in inflammation. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet is key, as they are the best source of fiber. Foods rich in carotenoids (carrots, peppers, and other red & orange produce) were most strongly associated with CRP reduction. Strawberries specifically, were linked to lower CRP levels in an other study at the Harvard School of Public Health. Women who ate 16 strawberries per week were 14% less likely to have elevated levels of the inflammation indicator.
~ Medical University of South Carolina, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flunkie Supplements

A report from the CDC will close the book on whether the popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin actually help arthritis sufferers. Research of 10 placebo-controlled trials over a two year period conclude that the supplements used alone or in combination do not result in a relevant reduction of joint pain, nor do they affect joint-space narrowing. It is also believed that future trials will not likely show a clinincally relevant benefit of any of the evaluated supplements. Arthritis sufferers may want to consider the alternative treatment that science has not yet been able to debunk - such as dietary changes and exercise.
~ University of Bern, Switzerland, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coffee Drinkers and Gout

Gout is an inherited metabolic disorder that results in excessive uric acid in the blood and urine. Though linked to a rich diet, the diet is not the cause of the disease but an antagonist of the disorder. Deposits of uric acid crystals form in and around the joints which causes acute arthritis and joint inflammation. Limiting the foods high in purine is helpful in reducing uric acid in the system and the discomforts of the inflammation. Coffee has been linked to reducing uric acid and the risk of gout in 57% of the participants in a 26 year study. The average intake of the 89,000 persons in the study was 4 cups per day, decaf and regular. Tea was not linked to reducing risk, though other studies are still underway. Coffee drinkers also have a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes and Parkinson's disease. However, too much caffeine may cause insomnia and the jitters! Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should minimize caffeine.
~ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Native to North America, cranberries are a perfect fit in almost any healthy diet. Naturally low in fat and calories, just one cup offers 5 grams of fiber, 51 calories, and 24% of the daily value of vit. C. Cranberries are also rich in the phytochemicals that are being investigated for their effect on various chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and improved oral health. The best known claim in the media is the link to urinary tract infections. In lab tests, the cranberry has been shown to prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract wall, preventing and helping to treat infections. The increased hydration is also a benefit to UT health, so it has been difficult to give credit to the cranberry alone. Though the research is still preliminary, it is hard to dispute that cranberries are a delicious addition to a healthful eating plan. The American Dietetic Association and the American Heart Association recommend eating the whole fruits and 100% juice. Most cranberry juices are actually blends of other fruit juices in order to sweeten the extremely tart fruit, or they are loaded with sugars or corn syrup. Consumers need to beware of labels using "Cocktail" or "Juice blends." A cup of sweetened dried cranberries can contain a whopping 78 grams of added sugar and 370 calories. As always, it is best to seek out cranberries in their whole food form. When purchased fresh, they last for weeks. They can be ground into a relish and frozen to be used in baked goods or home made compotes and desserts. Dried cranberries can be added to pancakes or muffins, or tossed into salads. They add wonderful color as well as nutrition and flavor. The tart taste is a perfect topping for grilled fish; try a cranberry-lemon sauce on salmon, or a cranberry-mango relish on cod or mahi mahi.
With a little imagination, this New England wonder can become an addition to your table for which you will be thankful for all year 'round.
~Tufts University

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bad To The Bones

By the age of 40, the body starts to lose bone mass. By losing just 10% of your bone mass, your odds of a hip or spine fracture doubles. And it's not just weak bones, but weak muscles, that lead to debilitation fractures. As balance decreases, our risk of falls increases, creating more opportunity for fractures.
The acid-base balance of the diet has the greatest impact on bone and muscle tissue. The acid-load of many diets is not handled well by older adults due to declining kidney function. As we become gradually, mildly, but progressively acidotic, muscle and bone wasting progresses as well. Foods producing the high acid load are proteins and grains; not the acidic foods such as tomatoes or citrus fruits. When grains and proteins are metabolized, they release sulfuric and other acids into the bloodstream. In contrast, fruits and vegetables get broken down into bicarbonate when metabolized, so they add alkali to the system. And that's what helps neutralize acid. When the diet is poor in fruits and veggies relative to grains and proteins, that's a "net acid-producing" diet.
To complicate things further, not all proteins are alike. The acid producing quality depends on the amount of sulfur-containing amino acids within the protein. Plant protein generally comes in foods like beans, which have an accompanying alkaline source which is less acid-producing than the same amount of beef protein.
How to Drop Acid
Cutting protein to lower acid-load would be counter productive. Instead, it is recommended to cut back on the grain foods, which in many cases are calorie laden besides acid producing. This includes donuts, cookies, crackers, pasta, etc. Be more selective - make the grains count by choosing nutrient dense items. Include 9 to 11 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to the diet. Also, make sure to get enough vitamin D, as there are vit. D receptors in muscle tissue as well.
The low acid diet is extremely beneficial for people prone to gout and osteo arthritis.
Here is a sample of foods with high negative PRALs (potential renal acid load). The high-negative PRALs neutralize the high-positive PRALs.
  • Raisins (1/4 cup) -8.4
  • Apricots (4) -6.7
  • Kiwi (2) -6.1
  • Watermelon (2 C) -5.3
  • Orange (1) -4.2
  • Pineapple & Strawberries -3.1
  • Spinach (1/2 C uncooked) -12.6
  • Zucchini " -4.1
  • Carrot " -3.8
  • Tomato (1) -2.6
  • Lettuce (3 C) -2.1
  • Milk chocolate (1.5 oz) 1.0
  • Oatmeal (1 C cooked) 8.7
  • White bread (1 slice) 1.6
  • Whole wheat " 0.8
  • Whole milk (8 oz) 1.7
  • Fruit yogurt 2.0
  • Cottage cheese (1/2 C) 9.6
  • Haddock (5 oz raw) 9.7
  • Beef & Pork " 11.2
  • Turkey 14.1
  • Red wine (5 oz) -3.5
  • Draft beer (16 oz) -1.0
  • Coca-Cola (12 oz) 1.5
~ List provided by the Journal of the American Dietetic Assoc., 1995
~ Tufts University, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nutrition During Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer has become a familiar diagnosis for women in America. It' s likely you know someone who has been diagnosed or you have received a diagnosis yourself. Thanks to early detection and improved treatment options, it is also a very survivable disease. Dietitians play an important role in a comprehensive survival plan, and nutrition should be a vital component of cancer treatment. It is critical that a nutritional program for breast cancer should focus on maintaining a healthy weight during cancer treatments. Many patients find themselves gaining weight during treatment, even though the opposite occurs with other types of cancer. Research indicates that weight gain during breast cancer treatment is associated with increased risk of recurrence and death.
Physical activity is a must, regardless of difficulty and lack of energy. Exercise helps maintain muscle mass which provides energy and reduces fatigue.
The diet should include 4 to 5 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables daily, plenty of fiber, fluids, and healthy fats such as cold water fish and walnuts. For post-operative healing, high quality protein such as eggs, fat free and low fat dairy, and lean meats are recommended. Preoperative patients should refrain from taking supplements that could alter clotting in relation to post-operative bleeding.
The right nutrition program is not only helpful and healing to the body, but also the mind. It is one of the few things we can have some control over during chemo and radiation treatments.
Ask your health care provider for a referral for an oncology RD. They have the knowledge base to sort through the questions and bring relevant research to the discussion regarding how various foods, diets, and herbal and vitamin supplements can impact the cancer process.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ladies, Know the Facts About Alcohol!

Who doesn't love a great glass of wine on occasion? And red wine provides healthy antioxidants, right? Don't kid yourselves. Yes, there are antioxidant properties in red wine, the same ones found in grapes. So eat the grapes instead! Alcohol still raises the risk of some breast cancers. A new study looked at 3000 women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during a five year study. Those who consumed 1 to 7 alcoholic drinks per week were 50% more likely to develop the disease. It was also found that drinkers are more likely to have breast tumors sensitive to estrogen than tumors that are not.
An ounce of prevention still goes a long way....Consider limiting your alcohol consumption to curb your risk of breast cancer.

~ Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vitamin C Misconceptions

The cold and flu season is here again, along with the newest marketing tools promoting the latest potions and remedies. Most of which are the same old stuff with new packages. Everything from sodas to candy have been fortified with vitamin C, so it would be rare to find a deficiency in the U.S. Vitamin C has been in the headlines for years, though research has yet to find any significant evidence linking it to the prevention or duration of a cold. Vitamin C does however, come to the rescue to deactivate histamine, which is the immune response that causes nasal congestion. Therefore, vitamin C can be considered an anti-histamine, creating the illusion of a cure. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant only in combination with other vitamins; it "recharges" vitamin E and other true antioxidants, and acts as a co-factor with certain B-vitamins to boost the immune system. By itself, it has no antioxidant properties.
The history of vitamin C: 250 years ago, the crew of any sea-going ship had only a 50% chance of returning alive; not because of storms or pirates at sea, but because of the dreaded disease scurvy. No one knew the reason, until James Lind, a British physician discovered the link between the ships food supply and the disease. In long journeys, the fresh produce was used up quickly, and the men were forced to live on meat and cereal until returning to port. Those afflicted sailors receiving citrus fruits recovered completely. The unfortunate souls who did not eat the fruits did not survive. As a result, the British Navy later required all vessels to provide every sailor with lime juice daily, which lead to the nickname "limeys."
Vitamin C helps to form collagen, a fibrous structural protein of connective tissues, artery walls, and the matrix on which bones and teeth are formed. This process is also used in healing wounds and broken bones.
Vitamin C also acts as a "carrier" for transporting iron and calcium from the gut to the blood.
Vitamin C participates in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and norepinephrine. It also assists in the making of hormones that regulate the metabolism.
How much does one really need? Few instances warrant consuming more than 200mg. per day. Vitamin C can act as an "oxidant" when doses exceed actual need. Large doses can show "false positive" or "false negative" results in various urine tests to detect diseases such as diabetes. Those with kidney disorders and gout run the risk of kidney stones from excessive doses of vitamin C. Supplementation is usually prescribed to treat illnesses resulting from deficiencies or serious injuries and stress such as severe burns and infections, radiation therapy, multiple injuries, and skin breakdown.
Fruits and vegetables provide an abundance of vitamin C. A single serving of broccoli, bell pepper, or strawberries provides more than 50 mg. Vitamin C is not limited to citrus fruits; Kiwi and spinach also provide an abundance of vitamin C, as well as many other foods. And food sources are the best way to obtain vitamin C, since they contain the complimentary nutrients and enzymes needed to metabolize vitamins.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall For Sweet Potatoes

Domesticated over 5000 years ago in it's native South America, the many varieties are now cultivated world wide. It's no wonder since the sweet potato covers a lot of bases nutritionally, is affordable, easy-to-prepare, and add so much color and diversity to the diet. Is it a Yam, or a sweet potato? Most of what is labeled yams are botanically sweet potatoes. The true Yam commonly eaten in South Africa is seldom sold in the U.S.
At only 180 calories per cup of cooked sweet potato, and on average about $1 per raw pound, sweet potatoes won't break the scales or the budget. One cup also yeilds a huge 7 grams of fiber (white potatoes offer only 2 gm.) Dietary fiber is a key to decreasing LDL cholesterol, adds bulk to help ward off cravings and hunger, and can also help help regulate blood sugar levels. With a glycemic load of only 17, sweet potatoes make a great stand-in for white potatoes or pasta, which cause more dramatic swings in blood sugar. The 950 milligrams of potassium in that same cup plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. The orange color provides an abundance of carotenoids which are used to form vit. A; a staggering 769% of the daily value! 65% DV of vit. C (used to form collagen; a protein that keeps skin, hair, and nails strong), and 33% DV of vit. B6; important for amino acid and lipid metabolism, and is used to form many neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Lutien and iron are also high on the list.
Sweet potatoes are naturally fat free, so keep them on your diet plan without the butter and sugar. Use olive oil, spices, or nuts. Sorry - marshmallows aren't a healthy topping.
~ Tufts University

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What We Know About Plant Sterols

Nutraceutical foods containing plant sterols and stanols, promising to lower cholesterol, are appearing on supermarket shelves in astounding numbers. Consumers can now find yogurts, salad dressings, breads, margarine, and even cookies with plant sterols. While plant sterols and stanols are found naturally in plants, they are concentrated to unnatural levels in common nutraceutical foods.
Though they have been found to reduce LDL cholesterol, the current major concern is that plant sterols may inhibit the absorption of beta-carotene, vit E, D, K, and other fat soluble nutrients. Also, the effectiveness seems to depend dramatically upon the type of food carrier. While certain products perform very well, including dairy, salad dressings, and margarine, other products such as orange juice, breads and chocolates do not. Individual response varies also, which are mainly genetic factors. They do not appear to interact with other cholesterol lowering medications, and have a synergistic effect when used in combination with statins. Studies have shown a 35% reduction in LDL and a 32% reduction in triglyceride levels when used in combination with medications. However, a few studies have raised concerns that excess levels of plant sterols may increase plaque formation and actually raise the risk of atherosclerosis (vascular disease) and a cardiac event. Long term use studies have not yet been conducted.
Until more conclusive research is done, stick to the current recommended amount of 2 - 3 grams per day, and no more!
~Nutrition Review, 2009

Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Yeast Rice Extract

Red yeast rice extract is yeast grown on fermented rice. It is found naturally in certain Asian foods, including Peking Duck, and is commonly used in powdered form as a food coloring. It is also known as "nature's statin" and is used as a home remedy for reducing LDL cholesterol. Red yeast rice contains monacolin K - the same ingredient in the statin Mevacorl, which acts to block a key enzyme necessary to make cholesterol in the body. It may also contain isoflavinoids, monosaturated fats, and sterols that contribute to cholesterol lowering effects.
Several studies have shown positive support for the lowering of LDL's, and it appears to be safe even when used in combination with prescribed statin medications. However, a physician should supervise it's use, since it is equivalent of a dose of statin.
Red yeast rice does not come without side effects, however. Since it is a statin, the potential for muscle damage and liver toxicity is a major concern. It is usually recommended to take CoEnzyme Q-10 with statin medications to avoid muscle break-down. Mild adverse effects include dizziness, low appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach aches. Also, the quality of over-the-counter medications can be inconsistent, and many of the products available in the U.S. have not been found to contain significant amounts of the active ingredient.
Bottom Line: When it comes to OTC supplements and nutraceuticals, most are a waste of money because they fall through the cracks of FDA regulations. Always check with a physician, pharmacist, or nutrition professional before sampling health food store potions.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Color of Safety

Synthetic food colorings are made from petroleum. Food companies like them because they are cheaper, more stable, and brighter than natural food colorings like paprika, beet or blueberry juice. The use of synthetic dyes has increased five-fold over the past 50 years. Today, there are still lingering questions about the safety of the nine synthetic dyes that are used in candies, breakfast cereals and other processed concoctions. The dyes in question are: Blue 1, Blue 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6.
Twenty years ago, the FDA banned Red 3 from cosmetics and topically applied drug because the dye caused cancer of the thyroid gland in animal studies. But, the FDA never got around to prohibiting the use in food and drugs that are swallowed. Then, in 1984, the FDA (the then-acting commissioner) reported that Red 3 "was of greatest public health concern,... and has clearly been shown to induce cancer." Since then, the food industry has poured 5 million pounds of Red 3 into the food supply.
The second most popular dye is tartrazine, (Yellow 5) which has been found to cause hives. Recent studies show damaged DNA in test animals, which is often a sign of carcinogens. Yellow 5 & 6 can also be contaminated with the human carcinogen benzidine.
Thought the FDA has dismissed claims of ADHD resulting from synthetic food dyes over the years, two current studies commissioned by the British government revealed that the dyes do affect children who haven't been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder. As a result, the European Parliament passed a law requiring warning notices on foods that contain at least one of the six dyes used in the studies.
True, all food colors must pass FDA testing, not all impurities are detected in the routine testing. The FDA says it doesn't have the resources to do more thorough testing. Both the FDA and Canadian govt. scientists discovered that the benzidine is bound to the molecules in the dyes (the less-detectable version), and are sometimes contaminated with up to 1000 times more bound than free benzidine.
The bottom line: READ the labels of products you purchase and avoid the synthetic dyes.
To read more about hyperactivity in food dyes, the new report by CSPI is available at

~Center for Science in the Public Interest

Friday, September 3, 2010

Alternative Avenues

Supplements and nutraceuticals are intended to compliment traditional medical treatment. Though the medications for treating heart disease for example, may work, they also have undesirable side effects. Because many consumers assume that dietary supplements have no side effects since they are created from "natural" ingredients, they gravitate toward these products in addition to, or in place of other medications. But some claims for these products fall through the cracks. Not everything found in nature is harmless!
Manufacturers are required by law to notify the FDA when a new product is introduced and to provide assurance that the product is safe. The quality of the products can be inconsistent. And once the product is on the market, the FDA must prove that it is unsafe before it can be removed from the shelves. The FDA also keeps watch on the label's health claims, but plays a rather passive role in monitoring whether the ingredients are safe or effective. The resulting label-claim word game tends to mislead rather than enlighten. Consumers should use herbal remedies and vitamin supplements with caution and with the knowledge or consultation of their physician.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fun and Frugal Home Canning

With the growing popularity of farmer's markets and a struggling economy, home canning is making a robust come-back. Well planned backyard gardens can yield an abundance of food all at once, and canning is one way to make the fruits and vegetables last beyond the growing season. But, without proper handling and know how, some food preserving projects can turn into a hotbed for bacteria and foodborne illness. The biggest concern is C. botulinim (botulism); a bacterium so lethal that even a single taste of contaminated food can be deadly. While botulism poisoning is fairly rare, (the CDC has documented 400 cases in the last 50 years) 92% of these cases were caused by home canned foods. Here are some tips to preserve the harvest safely.

* Start with the freshest possible produce. By harvesting at the peak of ripeness, you can also maximize the nutritional value.
* Don't improvise. It is crucial to follow food selection, preparation, filling and processing instructions to the letter, and use recipes that have been tested and properly developed.
* Prepare your equipment as carefully as you prepare your foods. Jars and lids should be properly sterilized; running them through the dishwasher is not sufficient!
* Use kettles designed for canning.
* Know your altitude. Proper procedures depend on it - check with your local extension service or weather station.
* Don't reuse canning lids.
* Store canned foods properly. They retain their quality and nutritional value best when stored between 50 & 70 degrees F. Consume with-in two years, and give extras away as gifts.
* Inspect for signs of spoilage. Look for leaks; lids should be concave and firmly sealed. Check for mold, changes in color or odor. If in doubt, throw it out. Be extra vigilant about safety with low-acid foods.
* Before starting your canning project, consult the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning or an other reliable source on safe home canning procedures.

For those trying canning for the first time, start with less risky acid foods such as pickles, jams, and preserves. These can all be prepared with a simple boiling water canner, and are a great way to practice proper canning procedures.
Canning Jargon Explained:
Acid foods: Foods with a pH of 4.6 or lower. Includes fruits, tomatoes, pickles, salsas, relishes, jams, jellies, marmalades.
Boiling Water Canner: Large lidded kettle with a wire rack to hold the canning jars. Designed for processing canned foods at 212 degrees F.
Cold Pack/Raw Pack: Method of canning in which raw, unheated foods are added to jars and then heat processed.
Fermentation: Introduction of selected bacteria, yeasts or molds that block growth of undesirable bacteria and preserve foods.
Headspace: Unfilled space at top of jars that allows for food to expand during the heat processing and ensures formation of a vacuum as the food cools, which is important for preservation.
Hot Pack: Method of canning where foods are heated and added to canning jars while hot.
Low Acid Foods: Foods with a pH above 4.6; vegetables, figs, some tomatoes, meat, seafood, and dairy. Low acid foods can be acidified by adding vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid prior to canning. Low acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner to destroy the organism that causes botulism.
Pickling: Adding vinegar or lemon juice to low-acid foods in order to bring the pH to 4.6 or lower.
Pressure Canner: A Large kettle with a locking lid and pressure gauge that allows heat processing at temperatures above 212 degrees F. A pressure cooker is not the same thing!

The USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning is available for free at

Or visit Ball canning supply at

~ ADA Times

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Whole Grain Truth

Americans eat some 20 pounds of pasta per year. Until recently, it was made from wheat with most of the nutritional value stripped away. Whole grain pastas have begun to share the shelf with noodles made with processed grains. Be aware that they are not always "100%" whole grain, even though the words "whole grain, whole wheat," or "multi-grain" are on the label. Organic wheat has nothing to do with whether a product contains whole grain. Though some may imply or use the term " whole grain," after close inspection prove to contain as little as 20%. Here's how to be sure you're buying the real thing: Look for the 100% Whole Grain stamp from the Whole Grains Council, which certifies that all the grain is whole and that the product contains at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving. Also, look for the term 100% Whole Grains; if it doesn't SAY 100%, it probably isn't. Semolina or durum wheat flour on the ingredients list without the word "whole" attached indicates refined grains. To get the most out of your 20 pounds this year, do your homework!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Controversial Egg

Over the years, the restrictions on eggs have loosened, to the point where the 2006 American Heart Association report does not even mention them in it's guidelines. A 2006 University of Connecticut study showed that eating three eggs a day for 30 days did not raise heart disease risk in healthy older adult men and women. The main reason; if there was a slight increase in LDL cholesterol, it was accompanied by a similar rise in HDL.
Eggs, as with any other food, are okay in moderation. What we eat with them is also important. Many times, eggs are accompanied by high fat meats and cheeses. The American Heart Assoc. guidelines emphasis is really on reducing saturated fats and trans-fat in the diet.
Eggs are well-known for their high quality protein, which is highly digestible, concentrated and perfectly balanced with the right amount of amino acids for human development. The protein in eggs is easy on the kidneys since it produces the least amount of nitrogen (waste), which is why they are recommended for dialysis patients and people with chronic kidney disease. Consuming high-protein foods such as eggs is particularly important for older adults because it can help stave-off muscle loss and reduce the rate of muscle breakdown. The fact that eggs are inexpensive and low in calories is another bonus, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers and families with children. Body builders need not the expensive powders and shakes! Nutrients found in the yolk include lutien and zeaxanthin (antioxidants essential to eye health), and choline, essential for development and shown to improve memory and mental performance. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain high concentrations of the nutrient. And, folate, known for reducing neural tube defects. Others include iron, Vit. B-12, riboflavin, A, D, and K.
One large egg contains 6 gm. protein, 4.5 gm. sat. fat ( 7% of the daily value), 70 calories.
~American Egg Board

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Buzz On Blueberries

Summer is reminiscent of vacations, fireworks, picnics and pies. And what picnic is complete without a colorful splash of blueberries? Summer is winding down, so don't miss out! These tangy, sweet fruits are packed with vitamins A, C, K; fiber, manganese, iron, and antioxidants. Blueberries are at the top of the list in antioxidant activity, according to the USDA Human Nutrition Center.
Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America, and in earlier days were known as Huckleberries. Their health benefits are due to the unique assortment of phytochemicals, including various anthocyanins and resveratrol.
Results from the Women's Health Study suggests the women who consume a diet high in anthocyanins have a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease. Decreased inflammation and platelet aggregation, and increased flexibility on the blood vessels have been confirmed as the protective role of anthocyanins in heart disease and cholesterol management. Mainstream research has produce evidence supporting the effectiveness of these antioxidants as a potential for cancer, dementia and Alzheimer's prevention, and are linked to urinary tract, heart, and vision health.
Fresh blueberries are the first choice, though frozen berries are just as nutritious and are more practical in pies and baked goods, and are available year 'round. The jury is still out when it comes to organic foods in general, but do go for the organics when purchasing berries of any variety. These particular fruits tend to hold onto and concentrate toxins when exposed to them. This is particularly important for small children.
~ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009

Friday, July 23, 2010

Safe Food Handling Tips

Safe food handling begins at the supermarket. Buy cold foods last, before you check out. Place meats in a plastic bag to prevent contact with other groceries, and head straight home for the refrigerator. Avoid produce that's bruised or damaged, and thoroughly wash all produce - including organics. When purchasing fresh cut produce, pick only items that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice. Juices and milk that have not been pasteurized should be refrigerated at all times, and can be dangerous for children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Perishables and leftovers should not be kept above 40 degrees for more than one hour. The meats you do not intend to cook in one or two days should be frozen. Thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Contrary to popular practices, it's not necessary to rinse raw poultry before cooking. Only cooking can kill bacteria, and rinsing can spread bacteria to nearby surfaces. When using a cooler, keep perishables separate from beverages to reduce the warming effects of the frequent lid-opening, and keep the cooler out of the sun. Pack moist towelettes for washing up if there is no source of clean, running water at your picnic site.
Don't ruin your summer vacation - play it safe!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Common Food Born Pathogens

Food borne illness is an ever-present threat that can be prevented with proper care and handling of food products. Chemicals, heavy metals, parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria can cause food borne illness. Bacteria related food poisoning is the most common, but fewer than 20 of the many thousands of different bacteria actually are the culprits. Understand the difference between actual "food poisoning" and enteritis, and know the symptoms. Too many cases are mistaken for the flu, and the culprits go undetected. If a restaurant or deli is responsible for an illness, it should be reported to local health authorities.
Food poisoning is caused by ingesting food contaminated with “preformed” toxins. Although cooking destroys the bacteria, the toxin produced is heat stable and may not be destroyed. Staphylococcal food poisoning occurs most often in foods that require hand preparation, such as potato salad, ham salad and sandwich spreads. Sometimes these types of foods are left at room temperature for long periods of time, allowing the bacteria to grow and produce toxin. In food poisoning caused by microbial toxins, organisms that can continue to produce toxin may also be ingested with the toxins. Intestinal tissue damage, kidney and/or liver damage is due to the action of the toxin, so most cases of microbial food poisoning are intoxications rather than infections. Because the toxin is preformed, the onset of symptoms in intoxication is more rapid than in infection. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but usually not a fever. They appear 1 to 6 hours after ingestion and last up to 8 hours. Bacteria responsible for causing food poisoning include Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, Clostridium botulinium (botulism), and Bacillus cereus.
Bacterial enteritis is an intestinal “infection,” not an intoxication, as is with food poisoning. The causative bacteria actually invade and damage the intestinal mucosa or deeper tissues. Enteritis that affects mainly the small intestine usually causes diarrhea. Because it is an infection, a fever is present. When the large intestine is affected, the result is often called “Dysentery”, a severe diarrhea and dehydration, and can cause systemic infections. Common enteritis’ include Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Entero-pathogenic Escherichia coli.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is found on sea foods, and requires the salt environment of sea water for growth and is very sensitive to cold and heat. Proper storage of perishable sea foods below 40 degrees F, and subsequent cooking and holding above 140 degrees F, will destroy the organisms. Food poisoning caused by this bacterium is a result of insufficient cooking and/or contamination of the cooked product by a raw product, followed by improper storage temperature. It is a major problem in Japan where many sea foods are consumed raw, such as Sushi. But it can be controlled with proper cooking and refrigeration. Symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain appear about 12 hrs. after ingestion and last 2-5 days. Sushi, anyone?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Health experts estimate the true prevalence of cases of Salmonella to exceed 2 million. Signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, and diarrhea. They appear 8 - 48 hrs. after ingestion and lasts 1-4 days. It won't kill you, even though you wish it would. Many cases are mistaken for intestinal flu.
High protein foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs are most commonly associated with Salmonella. However, any food that becomes contaminated and is then held at improper temperatures can cause salmonellosis. Salmonella are destroyed at cooking temperatures above 150 degrees F. The major causes of salmonellosis are contamination of cooked foods and insufficient cooking. Contamination of cooked foods or raw produce occurs from contact with surfaces or utensils that were not properly washed after use with raw products. Always use a bleach solution on cutting boards and utensils. If Salmonella is present on raw or cooked foods, its growth can be controlled by refrigeration below 40 degrees F.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Listeria Is On The Move

Before the 1980's most problems associated with disease caused by Listeria were related to cattle or sheep. This changed with food related outbreaks in Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, California and Texas. As a result of its widespread distribution in the environment, its ability to survive long periods of time under adverse conditions, and its ability to grow at refrigeration temperatures, Listeria, a form of meningitis, is now recognized as an important food-borne pathogen. There have been cases where health inspectors inadvertently carried the pathogen from one meat packing plant to another on their shoes. Listeria bacteria can also be transmitted through soil and water. A person can also ingest listeria by eating certain foods, such as deli meats and cold cuts, soft-ripened cheese, milk, undercooked chicken, uncooked hot dogs, shellfish, and coleslaw made from contaminated cabbage. Many cases of infection, however, have no identifiable source.
Immunocompromised humans such as pregnant women or the elderly are highly susceptible to virulent Listeria. It has become a leading cause of infection in kidney transplant patients. The bacillus can also cross the placenta of pregnant women and cause abortion, still birth, neonatal death, and birth defects. In humans, ingestion of the bacteria may be marked by a flu-like illness or symptoms may be so mild that they go unnoticed. Symptoms include fever and chills, headache, upset stomach and vomiting. A carrier state can develop. Death is rare in healthy adults; however, the mortality rate may approximate 30 percent in those with weak immune systems, new born or very young.
As mentioned earlier Listeria monocytogenes is a special problem since it can survive adverse conditions. It can be in a variety of raw foods as well as in processed foods and foods made from unpasteurized milk. It can grow in a pH range of 5.0-9.5 in good growth medium. The organism has survived the pH 5 environment of cottage cheese and ripening cheddar. It is salt tolerant surviving concentrations as high as 30.5 percent for 100 days at 39.2 degrees F, but only 5 days if held at 98.6 degrees F.
The key point is that refrigeration temperatures do not stop growth of Listeria. It is capable of doubling in numbers every 1.5 days at 39.5 degrees F. Since high heat, greater than 170 degrees F, will inactivate the Listeria organisms, post-process contamination from environmental sources then becomes a critical control point for many foods. To reduce your risk:
  • Use precooked and ready-to-eat foods as soon as you can
  • Avoid raw milk and raw milk products
  • Heat ready-to-eat foods and leftovers until they are steaming hot
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid rare meat and seafood
~ CDC, 2009

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hamburger Health

About 76 million people will get sick from food borne illnesses this year, according to the CDC, and 5000 will die. The annual cost in the U.S. is about $152 billion.
Burgers and other ground meats are particular havens for pathogens because salmonella, E. coli, campylobactor, listeria and other bacteria lurking on the surface of the meat get ground into the interior, where it's more difficult to make sure they are being killed by cooking. Store ground beef at 40 degrees or below and use or freeze within 2 days.
E. coli colonizes in the intestines of animals and can contaminate meat at slaughter. These dangerous bacteria can survive and multiply in cold conditions; as low as 44 degrees. E. coli grows rapidly in the warm setting of a picnic or outdoor party and can cause serious illness and death. E. coli can live on a dry, stainless steel surface for 6 months - imagine what it can do in a campground! Rare burgers are a major risk. To completely destroy harmful bacteria, cook burgers to an internal temp. of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to make sure. When reheating previously cooked meats, internal temp. should be 165 degrees. Remember to wash hands when handling food; it's easy to forget when you're out doors or camping.
~ Center for Disease Control

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Excess B Vitamins Can Harm Kidneys

The misconception that water soluble vitamins such as the B vitamins are harmless at high doses is far from the truth. Though they may not reach toxic levels in the body since they are flushed out by the kidneys, the added work load that they produce is what could be causing the harm to the kidneys themselves.
Canadian researchers studied 238 people with chronic kidney disease caused by type I or II diabetes. High doses of folic acid, B-6 and B-12 were given to see if the vitamins could protect the kidneys by lowering blood levels of homocysteine. After 3 years, the patients receiving the vitamins showed a greater decrease in kidney function than those who received the placebo. Also, more patients taking the vitamins had a cardiovascular event (such as a heart attack or stroke) than the placebo takers.
When it comes to vitamins, play it safe. More is not better! Stick to the recommended amounts. A typical multivitamin contains 400 mcg. of folic acid, 2 mg. of B-6, and 6 mg. of B-12.
~ Journal of the American Medical Assoc., 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quinoa; The New Super-Grain

Quinoa technically is not a grain, but rather a seed from a large plant related to the spinach or chard family. What makes it such a standout is the fact that it is one of the few plant proteins that provide all the essential amino acids, including lysine, necessary for a complete protein; ideal for the vegetarian diet. It is also gluten free, making Quinoa a nutritious option for sufferers of Celiac disease, and is not a commonly allergenic food.
Quinoa ranks highest among all grains in potassium, which is associated with reducing blood pressure. It's high in iron and most B vitamins, and is a good source of copper, zinc, magnesium and manganese.
Quinoa's tiny grains are ready to eat in just 15 minutes, and can be used in a variety of dishes, much like rice. To prepare, rinse well, bring one part quinoa and two parts water to a boil, cover and simmer until the grains turn translucent and their little white "tails" (the crunchy germ) pop out. Fluff with a fork and serve. Uncooked quinoa stored in the refrigerator will last much longer than in the pantry (about 6 months).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

H2Oh, Yuck!

Out breaks of disease from drinking water that lead to serious or sometimes fatal illness still occurs in the U.S. Sometimes bacteria are the culprit, sometimes it's viruses, parasites, and there are also thousands of drugs, household and industrial chemicals that end up in rivers, streams, reservoirs and even in underground springs. However, the quality of drinking water in the U.S. is among the best in the world, according to the University of Arizona water safety experts.
It is estimated that 19.5 million illnesses occur each year from microorganisms in our drinking water. How do they get there? Sewage and storm water are carried in the same pipes in many regions, which contaminates surface water. Groundwater is now becoming contaminated by septic tank leaks, landfill leaks, and inadequate disposal of animal waste and wastewater. Stagnate water sitting in home faucets harbor bacteria. (Running water for 30 seconds to flush the lines in the morning will reduce bacteria from within faucets by 80%). It gets there by pets who lick the dripping faucets, children with dirty hands playing with the faucets, or handling faucets in the kitchen after handing meats, etc. Bacteria can enter the pipes and grow, creating a biofilm on the inside of the pipes.
Is bottled water the answer? Not really. Bottled water came from a faucet somewhere and contains bacteria also, which is why they display expiration dates. Even refrigerated, the bacteria multiply inside the bottles. Bottled water does not contain flouride, a necessary nutrient added to harden and help protect teeth from decay. Plastic bottles use natural resources to produce and ship, and end up in landfills - not very "green." Point-of-use water filters remove contaminates and can protect from lead and other pollutants, and some are certified for microbial purification. Check the Web site of the California Dept. of Public Health ( if you are looking to purchase an effective water filter. Basic information can also be found in the booklet supplied by the EPA, "Water on Tap" ( Keep in mind, that most water filters remove healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, etc.
Have your tap water tested to target known contaminates, or get a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report that most water utilities are required to publish and mail by July of each year. Some post them on their Web site. The EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) is also available for questions about your drinking water.
Boiling tap water is an excellent way to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites in drinking water. It can be refrigerated and stored for days at a time. The Chinese immigrants survived the Cholera plague during the California Gold Rush because they boiled water to make tea - a staple beverage, before anyone realized that the source of the disease was the contaminated drinking water.
~Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Avocados; the "Alligator Pear"

There are nearly 500 varieties of avocados, but the most common is the Hass, and it's available year 'round. Once shunned for it's high fat and calorie content, the avocado is proving it's nutritional value. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, benefit weight loss, and when used as a partial replacement for carbohydrates, can help maintain glycemic control for those with type II diabetes.
Along with folate, potassium, vit. C, E, K, and fiber, avocados also contain phytonutrients. Several carotenoids are found in avocados, including carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Lutein may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness among Americans aged 60 and older.
Avocados can be used as a substitue for butter or mayonnaise; two tablespoons contain5 grams of fat compared to the 23 grams in butter and 9 grams in mayo. (50 calories vs. 204 calories in butter and 109 calories in mayo).
Pick avocados that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises or soft spots. The skin turns nearly black when ripe. Store ripe, uncut avocados in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Cut fruit need to be wrapped or covered tightly and sprinkled with lemon juice to avoid oxidation (browning). To freeze, puree or mash the flesh with lemon juice (one Tbsp. for 2 avocados) and place in a sealable, air-tight freezer bag. Freeze for up to 5 months. Once thawed, they last up to 3 days.
To peel, cut a ripe, washed avocado around the seed. Twist to separate the halves and scoop out the seed with a spoon, and then scoop out the flesh.
If you have only used avocados for guacamole, try it diced in salads, wrap sandwiches, and salsas or sliced in omelets. Spread it mashed on sandwiches or burgers. In Brazil, it is added to ice cream!

Spicy Avocado Spread
1 ripe, medium avocado
2/3 cup canned, white or cannellini beans
2 generous sprigs of cilantro
1& 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 chopped jalapeno, seeds removed
1/2 tsp. green Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp. salt

Rinse and drain beans. In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Use as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables or crackers.
Serves 6. Serving size: 3-4 Tbsp. Calories: 80. Total fat: 5 g. Sat. fat: .5 g. Cholesterol: 0 mg. Sodium: 105 mg. Carb: 8 g. Fiber: 4 g. Sugar: 0 g. Protein: 2 g.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yogurt and Probiotics; Overrated?

Yogurt is made by adding two probiotic bacteria to milk. The bacteria break down the milk's sugar (lactose) into lactic acid, which makes the yogurt more digestible for people with lactose intolerance. Many believe that the bugs also replenish your gut with healthy bacteria after you take antibiotics, but the evidence is scant. To establish a good crop of probiotics in the gut, the bacteria have to first survive the strong acids of the stomach and the bile salts of the small intestine. Pre-biotics are non-digestible food ingredients (found in insoluble fiber) that act as "food" for the probiotics.
The effects of probiotics are "strain specific;" there are dozens of strains and they can differ in what they do even within the same species. Only a small number have any proven benefits. Unfortunately, companies do not have to disclose which strains they put into their products.
As of yet, there is no evidence that yogurt, teas, or any "clinically proven" probiotic product will relieve irregularity or irritable bowel syndrome, cure autism, prevent a yeast infection or a cold, stop gas or bloating, prevent a UTI, or help you feel slimmer and more energetic.
Yogurt IS an excellent source of calcium and a great low fat snack, however. Just don't expect it to change your life.
~ CSPI, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Diverticular Disease

Diverticular disease is believed to be caused by increased pressure in the colon. The colon weakens with age and pressure creates small pouches called diverticula. This condition is called diverticulosis. Diverticulitis occurs when undigested food becomes trapped in the pouches, causing them to become inflamed or infected.
The causes of this pressure that creates the diverticula are constipation from inadequate fiber in the diet, lack of exercise, not getting enough fluids, stress, or pregnancy.
About half of all Americans over the age of 60 have diverticular disease.
People with diverticulosis require no medications, but are advised to eat fiber-rich foods to reduce pressure in the colon and avoid a possible flare-up of the diverticulitis. Traditionally, it was advised to avoid seeds such as okra or strawberries because seeds were believed to get trapped in the pockets and cause irritation. However, evidence to support this theory is lacking.
During periods of active diverticulitis, antibiotics serve to treat the infection. A soft, low residue (low fiber) diet is prescribed until the irritation subsides.
Fiber comes in two different types, soluble, and insoluble. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in water which helps maintain regularity. Good sources include oats, beans, peas, and many types of fruit. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and moves through the digestive tract like small "scouring pads" that bind particles and create "bulk." Good sources include wheat bran, whole grains, and many types of vegetables.
Be sure to increase fiber intake gradually, giving your body time to adjust. Bloating or cramping can occur with too much fiber all at once. Also be sure to get plenty of fluids, as fiber absorbs fluids.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Watermelon; Simply Underrated

On a hot summer's day, who doesn't love the sweet, cool, crisp taste of watermelon? And, contrary to popular belief, watermelon is no lightweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has 38% of a day's vitamin C, 32% of a day's vitamin A, and 7% of a day's potassium for only 85 fat free, salt free calories. You won't find 2 cups of many foods that are that easy on the waistline.
As an added bonus, watermelon is one of the "Clean 15," the fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group. That's because the thick rind keeps out bugs and pesticides. So, the next time you pass by watermelon to get to those petite plastic containers of expensive raspberries or blueberries, don't forget the filling, economical fruit that comes in it's own container.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lower Cholesterol Protects the Prostate

Your heart isn't the only thing at risk from high LDL. A recent study took 5500 healthy men aged 55 or older for a 7 year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. The men with total cholesterol under 200 were found to be 60% less likely to be diagnosed with the most damaging kinds of prostate tumors than those with higher cholesterol. It's still too early to know if statin drugs can protect the prostate, but it's worth it to eat a diet that lowers LDL cholesterol. At the very least, your heart will still be protected!
~ Cancer Epidemiology, 2009

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a hereditary intestinal disorder that affects about 1 in 250 people. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and gliadin is the fraction of gluten that causes sensitivity and act as a toxin, triggering immune system responses that damage the intestinal cells which leads to the malabsorption of nutrients. Lactose intolerance is also common in those with celiac disease.
Celiac disease is now known to be a multi-system, multi-symptom autoimmune disorder. The reaction can not only trigger the gut tissue; it can also affect the neurological tissue, causing migranes, epilepsy, thyroid disease, and seizure disorders. Osteoporosis and dermatitis also result from the disease. Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or irritable bowel symptoms can often lead to misdiagnosis. Infertility has recently been found as a result of the undiagnosed disease, due to the hormone imbalance caused by nutritional deficiencies. Onset can occur at any age, and 90% of the people who have the disease, don't know they have it.
Aside from having to scrutinize every food label, those who eliminate gluten from their diet also eliminate certain essential nutrients which must be obtained from other sources. Iron, calcium, B-vitamins, and fiber are usually lacking in the gluten-free diet. The damaged microvilli of the intestinal tract requires time to heal in order to process nutrients.
Managing a gluten free diet can be quite overwhelming at times, yet it is essential. The diet is the treatment. Even small amounts of gluten can cause harm. Be aware also that many items one would never suspect contain gluten, such as potato chips, licorice, salad dressings, soy sauce, some soups and chocolates.
The tests that are most often used to check for celiac disease is a blood test that looks for certain antibodies, and followed by an intestinal biopsy to confirm a positive blood test. There is also a genetic marker test available as either a blood or saliva test. If the genetic markers are not present, it is highly unlikely the disease will occur.
In the U.S., the FDA's Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act mandates that companies list the top eight allergens on any product label; wheat is one of them.
For more information about a gluten free diet, visit the Canadian Celiac Association website at
~ National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Monday, April 26, 2010

Greens, By All Means!

So, we know that leafy greens are nutritional superstars, but most people are only familiar with lettuce and spinach. Expand your repertoire and try some powerhouse greens such as kale, collards, or Swiss chard. Kale is one of the milder varieties and contains 1,100% more vit. C than cooked spinach and as much calcium as 3/4 cup milk. And unlike spinach, kale's oxalate content is very low, making the iron and calcium more absorbable in the digestive tract. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps improve bone density by regulating calcitonin - a hormone that locks the calcium into the bone matrix.
The simplest way to cook freshly washed greens is to saute them with some garlic olive oil until soft. Squeese on some lemon juice or add a dash of wine vinegar. For variety, try adding chick peas, diced tomato or red pepper flakes. They also make great additions to your favorite soups; toss them into lentil or bean soups. Simmer them in chicken stock with sausage or smoked turkey. Stir into a pan with sliced shiitake mushroom caps sauteed in sesame seed oil and season with soy sauce, vinegar, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Either way, you've got a delicious new side dish that's cheap, even if you buy them in pre-cut bags.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vegetarian Diets Can Support Optimal Health For Infants and Children

Vegetarian children are well nourished when parents know what to feed them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths that seem to have taken hold in the public due to a hand-full of tragic cases of child abuse or neglect where the children were fed a very poor diet. The diet was labeled by the media or the criminal defense as "vegan." But, the diets weren't poor because they were vegan; they were poor because they were completely inappropriate. Just as inappropriate as the limited diet of cereal, chicken nuggets, pizza, and macaroni & cheese. Though it is also a very poor diet, it seems to be the standard of many American youths. With today's focus on the impact of obesity, the vegetarian lifestyle is taking on a new meaning as a lifelong approach to better health.
Probably the biggest concern with vegetarianism in early childhood is nutritional adequacy. The American Dietetic Association's position on the subject notes that well planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals of all stages throughout the life cycle. Vegan children can be healthy, grow normally, and be extremely active. It takes time and thought to feed vegetarian and vegan children, but all parents should invest energy in nutrition no matter what diet their children follow. This is a critical period of life when eating habits form and growth rates are high. A child's diet must meet nutritional needs, get the right amount of calories, and support expected growth patterns. A Registered Dietitian is the most qualified professional to help educate and guide people who are interested in following a vegetarian lifestyle. Another excellent source of information is the nonprofit educational organization Vegetarian Resource Group. (
There is no question that a balanced vegetarian diet throughout the life span offers significant health benefits over the standard American diet. However, one does not need to go 100% vegan to reap the benefits. Just by moving more toward a plant-based diet is key. Including multiple daily servings of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds in age appropriate forms is what protects us from illness and disease.
~D. Aronson, MS, RD

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sea Vegetables

The average omega-3 intake in Japan is better than 7 times the amount of Americans, and it's not entirely from fish consumption. Japanese sea vegetables are a low calorie source of EPA and DHA, most B vitamins, calcium, copper, iodine, magneseium, manganese, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, and K. Most varieties also provide compounds found in flax seed that are linked to decreased cancer risk and lower LDL levels. These underwater vegetables contain their own unique phytonutrients and antioxidants that help lower the risk of heart disease and many different cancers. Some varieties are used in Sushi rolls, but most can be used in a variety of other ways. Here are some examples:
Nori is a thin, crunchy variety that be sliced into strips and added to salads or used to wrap vegetables or avocado for a quick snack.
Kombu is a type of seaweed mainly used for stocks to add a fish flavor in vegan items that aim to mimic seafood.
Arame is used in savory dishes such as stews, or steamed and served with rice, chick peas, or stir-fried tofu.
Dulse is available dried and provides a cheesy flavor that can be used as a salad topper or eaten straight from the bag as a snack.
Beware of seaweed salads served in some Japanese restaurants - they have been found to be very high in added fats and sugars.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nutrition During Pregnancy

The nine months of pregnancy represent the most intense period of growth and development humans ever experience. How well these processes go depends on many factors. Of the factors affecting fetal growth and development that are within our control to change, nutritional status stands out. At no other time in life are the benefits of optimal nutritional status more obvious than during pregnancy. Moms-to-be need a variety of foods from all the MyPyramid groups. Safe food practices are important, too, since pregnant women are at higher risk of foodborne illnesses.
Weight gain during pregnancy is an important consideration because newborn weight and health status tend to increase as weight gain increases. Rates of low birth weight babies are higher in women who gained too little weight during pregnancy. Weight gain provides an indicator of dietary adequacy. The average weight gain of 30 lbs. usually predicts the average 8 lb. full term baby. When weight gain was restricted to 15 - 20 lbs. earlier in the last century, it was more a matter of what was socially acceptable than what was healthier. Minus the weight of the baby, the rest of the weight gain includes increased blood volume, fluids, and maternal tissues. It is not uncommon to lose 15 lbs. during the delivery.
The calorie need increases during pregnancy due to the increased work load of the heart and lungs of the mother, the increase in breast tissue, uterine muscles, and the placenta. The baby accounts for about 1/3 of the total calorie needs. The second trimester requires approximately 340 additional calories, and the third about 452 extra calories per day. Protein recommendations are an additional 25 grams per day. The average non-pregnant female in the U.S. should be receiving about 71 grams per day (depending on height, weight and frame). Prenatal vitamins are routinely advised, thought iron is probably the most important of the nutrients, since most women of child-bearing age in the U.S. are iron deficient. An additional 300 mg. of Calcium is recommended. Folate is also extremely important for multiple issues. Both fetal development abnormalities and clinical complications during pregnancy can arise from folate deficiencies. Many cereals are now fortified with folate to reduce these incidences. Most vitamins are supplied by a healthy, balanced diet, and extra supplements are recommended for specific deficiencies. Consult with your health care provider or a Registered Dietitian for a nutrition screening and customized health plan before taking any supplements! Excessive amounts of certain nutrients or herbal remedies can be toxic. Vegan moms need to make sure they are getting enough B-12, D, calcium, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and riboflavin, as these nutrients are more abundant in animal products. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may not be apparent until after delivery. Due to the presence of mercury and other contaminates found in fish, it is recommended that women who are pregnant or breast feeding to consume no more than 12 oz. of fish per week. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) actually "detox" our bodies of heavy metals found in our environments. Make sure to include them in your diet also.
Exercise for pregnant women is similar to that of other healthy women; moderate exercise for 30 minutes 3 - 5 times per week. Regular moderate exercise can also help reduce the occurrence of gestational diabetes, and help regulate blood sugars of those with gestational diabetes.
As all health care providers will recommend, eliminate alcoholic beverages and all tobacco products.
All healthy women expect that their pregnancies will proceed normally, and the vast majority of them do. Nutritional interventions during pregnancy should be based on scientific evidence that supports their safety and effectiveness. A healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy will be rewarded with a healthy newborn.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Feminine Art of Breast Feeding

Every mother has the potential to succeed and make breast feeding a wonderful experience. Support from husbands, sisters, mothers, health care providers and employers is critical to the success of the new mom. Once you have started to breastfeed, keep trying! There are many people and organizations who can support you in your effort to give your baby the best start.
The benefits of breast feeding to mothers and infants are well established. Human milk is an elegantly designed natural resource. The composition of the milk is designed not only to nurture, but to protect infants from infectious diseases and certain chronic diseases. It is considered the "most effective preventative means of reducing the death rate of children under five." Breast milk contains more fat and calories than cows milk. This fat provides the essential fatty acid DHA, critical for brain and kidney development. Several reports have linked increases in cognitive development and increased IQ levels to breast milk. Nursing babies experience less GI upsets, asthma and respiratory infections, and food allergies. Breast feeding is also linked to fewer occurrences of SIDS, leukemia, diabetes, and obesity. Moms who breast feed reduce their chances of ovarian and breast cancer, type II diabetes, and postpartum depression.
A breastfeeding woman needs 200 more calories per day than she did during pregnancy, and it is important that the calories come from nutritious foods. Breastfeeding women usually lose 1 to 4 pounds per month without restricting their calorie intake. Avoid strong flavors (onions, garlic) and spicy or "gassy" foods since they have been known to cause episodes of colic in newborns. Some foods such as fresh strawberries can produce mild allergic reactions in newborns. Fluid intake has no bearing on milk production, though fluid demands increase during lactation. Drink fluids to thirst. The amount varies with climate, body size, physical activity, etc.
The suggested daily intake of calcium is 1,300 milligrams per day. Reading nutrition labels can help ensure that you are getting enough calcium. For example, one cup of milk or yogurt contains 300 milligrams of calcium. Iron is also important; about 9-10 mg a day is sufficient, and 120 mg of Vit C a day. Vitamin D is extremely important; 63% of infants born in the U.S. are deficient. 400 IU is recommended, in addition to the 2000 IU recommendation for non-pregnant women. Ask your health care provider to recommend the right supplement for you and your new baby. Discuss all medications with your doctor, as alcohol, drugs, and herbal remedies are passed through breast milk.
As with most things, breastfeeding becomes easier with practice. A lack of confidence cannot undo what nature has equipped humans to do since the dawn of time. Nurture this healthy relationship with your baby and enjoy this wonderful time of life.
~ Nature Reviews Immunology, 2004

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Asparagus; The Quintessential Vegetable of Spring

It won't cure cancer, but it may relieve a hangover. The minerals and amino acids have been shown to help detox the body of alcohol related toxins. It is an unusually nutritious vegetable. One cup of of cooked asparagus provides 2/3 the Daily Value of folate, 114% of the DV for vit. K, 400 mg potassium, vit. C, A, B-complex, several minerals, 4 grams of protein, and 3.6 grams of dietary fiber. Besides the familiar nutrients, asparagus is one of the best food sources of rutin, which strengthen capillary walls. A down-side however, asparagus is also high in purine; a compound that produces uric acid which is related to gout and kidney stones, though a 2004 study found no increased risk of gout associated with moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables.
White asparagus is the green plant grown without sunlight, so it lacks the anti-oxidant chlorophyll, and is also lower in nutrients. Purple asparagus contains 20% more sugars, so it has a sweeter taste. The color also contains the antioxidants of the anthocyanins.
Select asparagus with closed, compact, firm tips. Thick or thin spears is a matter of taste or how you plan to cook them. Trim off woody stems.
Store asparagus in a dark place in the refrigerator, wrapped in a moist paper towel to prevent wilting. Use as soon as possible.
Cook asparagus quickly and just to tender/crisp. Steaming and microwaving are better than boiling, which leaches the nutrients into the water. Try stir-frying, grilling or broiling. Slathering with butter or Hollandaise sauce only adds fat and calories to the otherwise healthy, 3 calorie per spear vegetable.
~ Tufts University, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Exercise For Body, Mind, and Soul

There are plenty of good reasons to exercise. In addition to managing weight and stress, and preventing the risk of several diseases, researchers now find increasing evidence that physical activity keeps the mind sharp and the brain healthy.
The idea that fitness can change the brain's physiology didn't catch on until recently, when technological advances in MRI allowed scientists to examine the brain on a molecular level. Exercise has been found to increase the development of new brain cells, which are accompanied by the growth and increase in the quality of the neurons. New growth of cells also produces a growth of new vascular capillaries, which provides more oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Aerobic activity has also produced a number of growth factors like insulin-growth factor-1 and and brain-derived neurotrophic factor that may grow and repair the brain. Physical fitness actually shifts where the blood flows in the brain specifically preserving brain cells associated with cognitive function.
Even though the way in which exercise affects the brain is still a mystery, it has been proven that staying physically fit keeps the brain strong and healthy. It's never too late; fitness in middle age and beyond reduces the biological effects of aging and any further declines in cognitive function. In some cases, function has shown improvement. Swimming, walking, dancing, bicycling, and aerobic classes are examples of "moderate" exercise. Getting some mild to moderate exercise daily is the best thing you can do for yourself, because life is worth it.
~National Review of Neuroscience, 2008

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moderate Exercise For Maximum Weight Loss

A study aimed to determine whether the exercise guidelines established by the U.S. Surgeon General were sufficient to promote weight loss. The eight week study revealed that the group to achieve significant loss of fat mass was the group that exercised four times per week. The average weight loss was 13.3 lbs, and there was no difference between those of different ages or between men and women. This study suggests that exercise does not need to be difficult or overly intense to be effective. Despite the claims of various "experts," there is no secret to weight loss beyond that which we already know to be true.
~ Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nostalgic Sodas

Soft drink companies are now turning to sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup to sweeten beverages "for a limited time only." Be it for improved taste or the result of the beating the HFCS has taken lately in the news; the "throwback" soft drinks are no better for you. Chemically, sugar and HFCS contain similar amounts of glucose and fructose, both contain about 50 calories per tablespoon, and neither are hardly a health food.
Carbonated beverages also contain phosphorous; a nutrient with a double-edged blade. Even flavored "fizzy" waters contain phosphorous. Phosphorous combines with calcium to harden bones and teeth. As we age, and our ability to absorb calcium decreases, the excess phosphorous tends to harden the soft tissue in the joints for people prone to osteoarthritis, and can aggravate the disease.
Osteoporosis and low bone density has also been linked to soda consumption. Again, excess phosphorous in the blood stimulates a hormonal reaction that signals the breakdown of bone (removing calcium from the bone and replenishing the blood with calcium), in order to balance the two minerals in the blood. Both minerals are then excreted by the kidneys.
Keep bones and joints healthy for life by limiting or even omitting carbonated beverages from your diet. Opt for iced teas, fruit juice, skim milk, or better yet, water!
~Tufts University

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Bogus Health Claims

The "healing miracle of coconut oil" is nothing more than fiction from the latest best seller rack. In reality, coconut oil is a saturated fat, which can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. There is no scientific basis to back the claims that are being passed along. According to the USDA Nutrient Data Lab, one tablespoon of coconut oil contains 11.7 grams of saturated fat and 117 calories. Save the coconut oil for sunbathing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Omega Craze = Mega Confusion

It's complicated; it's chemistry! A fatty acid is an organic compound composed of a carbon chain with hydrogens attached and an acid group at one end. A polyunsaturated fatty acid has two or more double bonds. Omega is used by chemists to refer to the position of the first double bond found in the chain, and are numbered accordingly. Thus, we refer to the Omega "oils" or fats that are essential to human physiology by numbers.
The Omega of focus is the Omega-3, or "alphabet soup." EPA (eicosapentanoic acid), DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). EPA and DHA come from fish, and ALA comes from plants (flax, nuts, soybeans, etc). Plant based ALA must be converted to EPA to become active, and is less potent. Women seem to be metabolically better at converting ALA to EPA than men.
Why are they so important? They decrease clotting and lower triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They have also been shown to curb the risk of an irregular heart beat, or arrythmia. The brain is also rich in DHA and studies have shown improved symptoms in people with major depression. Incidence of macular degeneration (blindness) is shown to be 25% less in people who eat fish. They are also an anti-inflammatory; helping to relieve symptoms of arthritis and allergies. Studies are currently underway to find if they lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Omega-3's are essential for fetal brain and kidney development, so it is vital for pregnant women to get enough.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fatty fish - salmon (NOT farm raised), herring, mackerel, tuna, trout, and sardines. The American Heart Association recommends two servings (4-6 oz. ea.) per week. That supplies about 400 to 500 mg. of EPA & DHA per day (fat based nutrients stay in our bodies longer). Fish oil-in-a-pill may only contain about 30% EPA & DHA, so read the label. Ignore the other omega's in the bottle of fish oil supplements - you don't need them. They're plentiful in the diet. Consumer Reports claim all major brands are mercury-free. As for the mercury in fish, usually the larger and "older" fish contain more, so avoid sea bass and shark. Cod liver oil is not recommended as a supplement since the liver is a filter; the mercury is concentrated in that organ. Nutrients in other foods we eat (especially broccoli) help to detox heavy metals found in our environment, so don't be afraid of sea food. Look for other foods now fortified with omega-3's such as margarines, eggs (Eggland's Best), soy milk, orange juice, peanut butter...
If you have risk factors for heart disease such as high triglycerides, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding, talk to your doctor or a dietitian about an appropriate supplement.
~National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March is National Nutrition Month

As the 2010 Winter Olympics have just come to a close, the American Dietetic Association's annual National Nutrition Month is finally here. This year's theme, From the Ground Up, celebrates the return of a growing trend across the U.S. where consumers are utilizing farmer's markets. For a variety of reasons, consumers are developing a loyalty to their local growers. People value the variety of the produce available, they want to support their local economy and farmers, and in the process, rejecting imported produce due to questionable food quality and safety. Even institutional food service systems such as schools, are purchasing from local growers. Farmer's markets and community gardens also have the potential to improve access to and utilization of fresh produce to low income communities, and be an avenue for optimizing the health of Americans.

Boost your nutritional fitness this month by trying one new food each day from the fruit and vegetable group.

Drink at least one or two cups of skim or 1% milk; have it by the glass, in cereal, in coffee, or in recipes.

Plan a treat that adds up to 100 calories (two small cookies, or 4 small pieces of chocolate for example).

Don't waste more than one bite on any food that doesn't taste good (or is not worth the calories).

Have breakfast within an hour or two of waking up; include 1 cup low fat/skim milk, 1/2 ounce nuts/seeds or 1 Tbsp nut butter or 1 egg, and at least one whole grain (oatmeal, whole wheat cereal, whole grain bread or English muffin or pita).

Instead of having your usual fruit-on-the-bottom or flavored yogurt, go for plain low- or non-fat yogurt (or Greek yogurt) and add 1/2 cup of berries, 1-2 tbsp of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit, or 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce.

Instead of a whole sandwich, have only half; balance the meal out with fresh fruit or some grilled or raw veggies.

Have 4-6 ounces of fish, healthfully prepared (unbreaded, unfried).

To boost fiber, replace your usual 100% fruit juice with 1 cup or a piece of fresh fruit (like a whole orange, apple, or cup of berries or pineapple).

Go meatless for the day; incorporate other protein-rich foods like beans, peanut butter, soy foods like tofu or tempeh, low fat dairy foods, and whole grains.

Instead of going out to eat, ordering in, or getting take out, cook or prepare all your food at home for the day.

Think about what you should eat more of, and not what you “shouldn't” eat.

Try one of these suggestions each day for the entire month, or at the very least infuse several of these into your life more often. If you do, you'll likely lose weight and feel energized and great, not to mention markedly improve the overall quality of your diet.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sodium Radar Screen

Excess salt in the diet raises blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. A recent study from Europe included 170,000 participants and revealed that by reducing sodium intake to 2000 mg a day could lead to 23% fewer strokes and 17% less cardiovascular disease. That translates to 1.25 million deaths due to stroke and nearly 3 million deaths each year from cardiovascular disease could be avoided.
The average American consumes around 4000 mg of sodium a day.
Sodium is an electrolyte and a necessary nutrient. The daily requirement for the healthy adult is approx 2000 - 3000 mg per day. Sodium sensitive adults with hypertension are usually advised to limiting their sodium intake to 1000 - 2000 mg per day. It's wise for everyone to be aware of their sodium intake and adjust accordingly.
To avoid excess salt, check the Nutrition Facts panels on packages to find lower-sodium foods. Many canned and processed foods are extremely high in sodium - especially soups. Beware of misleading labels; "Sea Salt" is sodium chloride - same as table salt. It is a coarser grain so you get less in a measured spoonful; it is not a magic "low sodium" form of salt. Sea salt adds only a flavor variation and does not contain iodine. Regular table salt is fortified with iodine as recommended by the USDA to reduce iodine insufficiency that leads to thyroid disorders and related diseases.
Another way to reduce sodium intake is to eat more fresh foods prepared from scratch. This way you can control the amount of salt added. Use herbs and seasonings to add flavor. Salt substitutes can interact with some medications, so check with your doctor or a dietitian if you are taking a prescription medication.
~ British Medical Journal, 2009

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are Your Kids Falling Short?

Three daily servings of whole grains are recommended for prevention of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and excess weight gain. Yet few adolescents or young adults follow these guidelines, according to national survey data. In a study published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota report that young people are consuming less than 1 serving of whole grains per day. This could be due to the ever growing consumption of fast food and the lack of whole grain products used in restaurants, as well as in the home.
The fast food generation has a tough habit to break, and many convenience foods do not provide adequate whole grains, regardless of the label claims. Many foods that now claim to provide fiber are adding psyllium, an ingredient used in laxatives.
How to look for whole grains: One key to whole grain bread is by the weight of the loaf itself - the heavier, the better. Watch the wording on the labels of cereals and breads; many companies aim to deceive. A claim of "whole grain" can be as little as 10% of the total flour used. To get more bang-for-your-buck, go for items that contain 100% whole grain. If the label doesn't say "100% Whole Grain," it probably isn't.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's In A Name?

Sugar, by any name, is - sugar. The simple carbohydrates are monosaccharides - glucose and fructose. Disaccharides are chemical pairs of the monosaccharides, such as sucrose. Sucrose, or common table sugar consists of half glucose and half fructose. Glucose is the basic energy form of carbohydrate that fuels every cell of the body, and is the fuel of choice in the brain. All carbohydrates break down into glucose (blood sugar); some take longer, depending on how complex. One gram of sugar or any carbohydrate, provides 4 calories. 50% of your daily calorie intake should be in the form of carbohydrates. Is one form of dietary sugar any better or "healthier" than an other? No. Here is the chemical breakdown on sugar:
Agave syrup 84% fructose, 8% glucose, 8% sucrose.
Apple juice concentrate 60% fructose, 27% glucose, 13% sucrose.
Brown sugar 97% sucrose, 1% fructose, 1% glucose.
Corn syrup 8% to 96% glucose, 0% fructose, 0% sucrose.
Fructose 100% fructose (comes from fruit).
Glucose or Dextrose 100% glucose (found mostly in fruits and starchy vegetables).
Grape juice concentrate 52% fructose, 48% glucose.
High fructose corn syrup 55% fructose, 45% glucose.
Honey 50% fructose, 44% glucose, 1% sucrose.
Maple syrup 95% sucrose, 4% glucose, 1% fructose.
Molasses 53% sucrose, 23% fructose, 21% glucose.
Orange juice concentrate 46% sucrose, 28% fructose, 26% glucose.
Raw sugar 100% sucrose.
Table sugar, confectioners sugar, powdered sugar, bakers sugar 100% sucrose.
~USDA Nutrient Database

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Think Outside The Grove

Tart and tangy grapefruits are available year round, but are at their best from winter through early spring. The juiciest grapefruits are shiny, heavy for their size with a thin, fine texture, and stored at room temperature. They will keep longer however, (2 weeks) in the refrigerator crisper.
This tropical fruit heralds some impressive health benefits. One half of a large grapefruit has only 50 calories but is packed with more than half a day's supply of vitamin C and some fiber, potassium, folate, and pantothenic acid. The pink and red varieties also contain vitamin A. The red colors of grapefruit are due to the carotenoid lycopene, which is just one of the more than 150 phytonutrients found in grapefruit. The soluble fiber-rich pectin in grapefruit may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The juice is also loaded with antioxidants, but lacks the fiber. Grapefruit's powerful antioxidant activity has been linked to protecting against colon and lung cancer, preventing cardiovascular disease, improving lung function in people with asthma, boosting liver enzymes that clear out carcinogens, and repairing damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells. Although the grapefruit diet has been debunked as a magical fat burner, the low glycemic index, fiber rich, low-calorie nature of grapefruit may reduce insulin levels and help dieters feel full and eat fewer calories. Beyond that, there is no evidence that grapefruit contains fat burning enzymes. Research has however, linked drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice to a possible increase in the risk of breast cancer. In addition, compounds in grapefruit can interfere with enzymes that metabolize certain drugs, increasing the potency of several prescription drugs including statins, antiarrhythmic agents, immunosuppressive agents, and calcium channel blockers.
Grapefruit's flavor works well with salad greens, avocado, fish, ginger, honey, walnuts, mint, basil, and cilantro. Add grapefruit segments to salads and salsas, or mix grapefruit juice with club soda and add mint leaves for a fruit spritzer. It's tangy juice also brightens sauces and dressings. For dessert, add grapefruit segments to your cheesecake mix or cobbler recipe. Substitute the liquid in muffin and cornbread mixes with grapefruit juice. Not only does it remind us of summer, but the flavor of fresh citrus when combined with other ingredients has tremendous appeal.

Grapefruit Teriyaki Glaze

1 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 & 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
Zest and juice of half an orange
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 cup canola oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat lightly oiled saucepan over high heat. Add onions and ginger and saute until soft. Add orange zest, juice, grapefruit juice, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and allow liquid to reduce. Add salt and pepper. Transfer glaze to a blender and drizzle in oil - blend until smooth. Use on chicken, salmon, and pork. Makes about 1 cup (8 servings).
*Calories: 70, Total fat: 3.5 G, Sat. fat: 0 G, Trans fat: 0 G, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 650mg, Carbohydrates: 9 G, Fiber: 0 G, Sugar: 5 G, Protein: 1 G.