Sunday, November 25, 2012
The word "natural" is quite trendy and usually means little, though most labels using the term DO contain fewer additives. Beware however, salt is 100% "natural." Sea Salt is only a coarser grain, so of course there is less of it in a measured teaspoon. Look for soups that contain 300mg. or less per serving. Your arteries will thank you.
High fiber would be great if it were all unprocessed, or if it didn't come from psyllium or soluble corn fiber. Look for soups containing whole grain pastas, beans and lentils for the real deal in lowering LDL cholesterol.
"Full serving of Vegetables" would be impressive if the vegetables didn't come from tomato paste. If you get tired of searching the labels for real vegetables, you can always add a handful of frozen vegetables to your favorite soup for a quick nutrition boost.
Very few canned soup brands are able to advertize that they do not use BPA (bisphenol A) to line their cans. The bottom of the can will be stamped "NB." Pregnant women and young children should avoid canned products and look for soups in cartons, pouches, or microwave bowls.
"A Good Source of Protein" would be a serving that provides at least 8 grams. High protein soups are generally a bean, split pea, or lentil soup, and not necessarily one containing meat.
"Low Calorie" are soups boasting 100 calories per serving. A great choice, especially if you eat more than a serving size. Just watch out for the sodium. Most have more than the regular soups.
American Heart Association Certified To earn the Heart Check, soups must provide no more than 480 mg. sodium per serving and stay below the AHA's limits for saturated fat and cholesterol, and a hefty check to the AHA. Keep in mind the 1 cup serving size!
For those low sodium soups that need some flavor:
Tomato soup: add some basil, or a light sprinkle of oregano, thyme, or tarragon.
Chicken: Ginger and a squeeze of lime, or a little cilantro with a dash of hot sauce.
Vegetable: Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, parsley or a dash of pesto.
Butternut Squash: a dash of dried sage, or some curry and a spoonful of plain yogurt.
Bean or Lentil: roasted red peppers and/or fresh ground black pepper. Baby spinach.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Second, there is no "dilution effect." Nitrogen fertilizers used in conventional farming drive up the yields and produce bigger plants, diluting the concentration of the plants levels of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Organic fertilizer also enriches the soil with nutrients that nitrogen alone does not, eventually leaving the topsoil deplete of minerals.
Imported produce presents a greater health risk than our own conventional farming, since the EPA's Food Quality & Protection Act was passed by Congress in 1996 reforming the use of pesticides in the U.S.
Such restrictions are not practiced outside of the U.S.Toxicity exposure is at the greatest risk from December through April, when imports are at their peak.
What does Organic mean on the label?
Fruits & Vegetables - no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, sewage sludge. Not irradiated or genetically engineered.
Meat & Poultry - raised on 100% organic feed, access to outdoors. Not irradiated or fed animal byproducts, and no hormones or antibiotics.
Eggs - hens are fed 100% organic feed, no growth hormones or antibiotics. Not necessarily cage free or free range.
Milk - all cow's feed is 100% organic for the past 12 months & at least 30% of diet is from pasture (cows have access to outdoors). No hormones or antibiotics.
Seafood - no current official U.S. standards, USDA is working on a standard for farm-raised seafood.
Packaged Foods - "100% Organic" = all ingredients are organic. "Organic" = at least 95% of ingredients are organic. "Made With Organic Ingredients" = at least 70% of ingredients are organic.
~ Environmental Health Perspective, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
According to studies at the University of Iowa, taking a walk everyday improves memory better than Omega 3 (DHA) supplements. Several studies have concluded that there is no evidence that PS has any effect on cognitive function. B6, B12, and Folic acid have proven to show little, if any improvement in several studies. However, large doses of the B vitamins may spur the growth of precancerous colorectal polyps. The National Library of Medicine has no known studies linking huperazine A and improved memory; no verifiable evidence can be found. Consumerlab.com (a consumer website that tests supplements) points out that huperzine A is very expensive, which is an incentive for manufacturers to use less than the actual amount the labels claim. One brand analyzed was consistently deficient by 15% of the amount listed. This practice is not uncommon in many OTC supplements and herbal remedies.
As for the claim for antioxidants preventing oxidative damage to brain cells, several large randomized trials at Brigham and Women's Hospital have come up with no evidence that they improve memory. Long term studies continue, as it may be possible however, that a lifetime of good eating habits are important for memory.
Bottom line: Don't expect a pill to fix a lifetime of poor eating habits, shed pounds, turn back the clock, or cure the common cold. By the time people realize they don't work, the manufacturers have already made their millions and are concocting their next marketing scheme.
~American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Kimchi (pronounced kimchee) is loaded with fiber and vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, and studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.
No need to go through the trouble of making it from scratch (the smell of fermenting cabbage will keep more than vampires at bay!) You can find many types of Kimchi in the grocery store. There are so many ways to serve kimchi, it's no wonder it can be served 3 times a day without repeating the dish. Try scrambling eggs , diced tomatoes, and mushrooms,with kimchi. Use it as a wrap filling or to top a baked potato. It is used in soups, as burger and pizza toppings, in sushi, salads. The uses are as vast as the imagination.
For recipe ideas, see All Recipes.com
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Second on the list is oily fish. Omega-3 supplements may not be the end-all solution, either. There may be other things such as vitamin D and selenium (or both) in fish that contribute to eye health. Other green vegetables such as peas and broccoli may contribute other valuable antioxidants.
Things that contribute to the risk of early cataracts and macular degeneration (besides the obvious excess sunlight and smoking): Refined sugars and starches. High blood glucose and increased blood pressure damage the tiny and fragile vascular system of the eyes. Poor diets usually consist of excess sugars and starches that tend to replace nutrient rich foods, so not only is one adding oxidative stress to vital organs, but missing out on protective nutrients at the same time. That's a double-whammy!
Look here for Lutein
(1/2 cup cooked) mg. lutein & zeaxanthin
~ U.S.D.A., 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Papayas are also nutritional powerhouses. Each cup of cubed papaya provides 2&1/2 grams of fiber, more than a days supply of vit. C, 28% MDR of vit A, folate, potassium, and for only 60 calories. So don't stop at just one cup!
Look for papayas that are partly yellow on the outside - if they are green, they won't ripen properly. Store at room temp. until mostly yellow. Slice open the fruit, scooping out the seeds with a large spoon, and cut away the skin. Sprinkle on some lime or lemon juice - enjoy!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
People in the studies did not gain weight when they added two servings a day to their usual calorie intake. It is safe to reason that if the potatoes replaced a typical serving of starch, that weight loss would occur.
Microwaving the purple spuds and eating them with their skins on is one of the best ways to get the most antioxidants and plant pigments from them. The variety Purple Majesty perform beautifully in the kitchen, mashing, baking, roasting and microwaving to perfection, and make spectacular chips and crisps. They'll make a great "goulish" Halloween party snack! Potatoes in general are a good source of vit. C and potassium, and the skins add more fiber to your diet.
~ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
~Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Saturday, March 10, 2012
- Top a toaster waffle with almond butter and a slice of fruit, or low fat yogurt.
- Add your favorite whole grain cereal to yogurt to add crunch.
- Make instant oatmeal with skim milk instead of water. Add berries, nuts, or raisins.
- Cook hard boiled eggs ahead and store them for a quick breakfast with your favorite bagel or English muffin. Or slice them and fill a pita - add shredded cheese.
- Top a bagel or English muffin with a slice of breakfast ham and low fat Swiss cheese. Ham is a very lean and nutritious cut of meat - a better option than bacon or sausage.
- Make your own low fat, no added sugar, smoothie with skim milk, strawberries, and bananas.
- Spread peanut butter on a flour tortilla and add a whole banana, roll it up!
You'll find you have so much more energy, and you won't be so tempted by the vending machine or doughnut drive-through.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
People and children with Autism have special dietary needs, and many have various food sensitivities. New studies show that gluten (wheat protein) and casein (milk protein) bind to opioid-receptors in the brain, and can have a potent effect on behavior (like heroin or morphine), causing problems including sleepiness, giddiness, inattention/”zoning out”, and aggressive and self-abusive behavior. Like opioids, they can be highly addictive, and a lack of them can cause severe behaviors. Tests are available to show food sensitivities. If you are considering a Gluten Free, Casein Free diet, talk with your health-care team, including a registered dietitian. There can be side effects and potential nutrient shortfalls when a GFCG diet is self-prescribed.
Several studies have demonstrated that children with autism have substantial oxidative stress, suggesting either a low level of key antioxidants or an increased need for them.
There are over 20 studies of vitamin B6 with Magnesium for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of most studied treatments for autism. Almost all of these studies found that 45-50% of children and adults with autism benefited from high-dose supplementation of vitamin B6 with magnesium. Vitamin B6 is required for over 100 enzymatic reactions, including the production of major neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and others) and glutathione (needed for detoxification). Magnesium is used to prevent the possibility of hyperactivity, which can occur if the vitamin B6 is taken by itself. Studies show that Vit. C also has positive effects, as it helps with protein metabolism, and sufficient levels of iron should be monitored as well. Low levels of essential fatty acids are associated with a wide range of psychological disorders, including depression, post-partum depression, bipolar (manic/depression) and Rett’s syndrome (similar to autism). Most importantly, two published studies have found that children with autism have lower levels of omega –3 fatty acids than the general population.
Supplementation may be necessary, as typical Autism behavior can affect eating habits and food choices. It is still best to encourage healthy, vitamin-rich foods to ensure the proper balance of nutrients. Only a customized diet plan with your health care provider should be considered. Medical Nutrition Therapy for the treatment of any illness or disorder is regulated by law and limited to professional nutrition practices. To find a Registered Dietitian in your area, go to Find a Dietitian
~Mayo Clinic, 2011
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Food allergies occur when your body's immune system over reacts to a substance in a food, usually a protein, your body sees as harmful. This sets off a chain reaction within your body. Symptoms can occur within minutes and are generally seen on the skin (hives, itchiness, swelling of the skin). Gastrointestinal symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea. Respiratory symptoms may accompany skin and gastrointestinal symptoms, but don't usually occur alone. They can be mild–such as a runny nose or itchy eyes to severe and even life-threatening. Most food allergies develop early in life, and many are outgrown.
Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious allergic reaction that happens very quickly. Without immediate treatment – an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) and expert care – anaphylaxis can be fatal. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include difficulty breathing, dizziness or loss of consciousness. If you have any of these symptoms, particularly after eating, seek medical care immediately (call 911). Don't wait to see if your symptoms go away or get better on their own.
A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. An intolerance occurs when your body is unable to digest a certain component of a food, such as lactose, a sugar found in milk; monosodium glutamate; or sulfites, a preservative. Though symptoms of intolerance may be unpleasant, including abdominal cramping or diarrhea, they are not life-threatening.
To help you avoid allergens, the Food and Drug Administration has mandated food companies specify on product labels if any of the eight major allergens is contained in the food. Manufacturers can change ingredients of products without notice, so double-check ingredient labels every time you buy a food, even a familiar one. Cosmetics and beauty products also may contain common allergens such as milk, egg, wheat and tree nuts.
A dietitian can help you understand which foods are safe to eat and how best to avoid items that may cause a reaction. When foods are cut from your diet, you may be short-changing yourself on important vitamins and minerals. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral.
~ Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It is a rare case that a person is born with such a deficiency and pretty limited to certain ethnic groups. More often, lactose intolerance is the result of damaged intestinal lining, either through radiation therapy, malnutrition, diarrhea, toxins (including food poisoning), antibiotics, or by the naturally diminishing lactase activity that comes with the aging process. In many cases, it is a temporary condition.
Many people believe they are lactose intolerant when they are not, thanks to vigorous advertising campaigns that promote products for lactose intolerance. Lactose is found in many foods besides dairy products, so if you are truly lactose intolerant, you would also have the same symptoms from eating certain breads, cereals, salad dressings, cake mixes, or anything containing whey protein and casein.
Yet, even some people with true lactose intolerance are able to consume dairy products. The bacteria in the large intestine can digest lactose in small, regular doses. The metabolic capacity for lactose can develop as the micro flora adapt to digesting it. A few simple tricks can alleviate the discomfort:
- Consume lactose (dairy) with other foods to slow down the transit of the sugar through the intestines, giving it more time to break down.
- Eat dairy foods regularly so that the intestinal micro flora remain adapted to digesting lactose.
- Limit lactose products to no more than 8 oz. at a time.
- Yogurt has about 10 G. of lactose per cup, but the bacteria help digest it. A serving of hard cheese has less than one gram, while cottage cheese and ice cream contains 4-5 G. Fermented cheeses are usually better tolerated.
- Lactase enzyme preparations can be added to dairy products, and fermented milk (contains acidophilus) are helpful, especially for temporary symptoms resulting from an illness. Acidophilus is a digestive bacteria that breaks down milk sugar, and is used in the fermenting process of dairy products, as in yogurt and cheese.
~Normal and Clinical Nutrition, 6th ed. Whitney, Cataldo, Rolfes
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Aspartame is one of the most studied of all food additives. It is a simple compound made of components common to many foods: the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid, with a methyl group. The combination creates a product with 200 times the sweetness of table sugar (sucrose & fructose). When digested, enzymes break apart the 3 components. The amino acids are used as proteins, just as any other food proteins. The methyl group converts to methanol, and oxidizes into carbon dioxide. Simple tomato juice yeilds 6 times the amount of methanol as a diet soda.
People with the inherited disease phenylketonuria, or PKU, are unable to metabolize and dispose of phenylalanine. The accumulation of phenylalanine and it's by-products is toxic, therefore a specialized low protein diet is the treatment, and aspartame must be avoided. For this reason, all newborns in the U.S. are screened for the disease.
Aside from the special case of PKU, aspartame is safe.
~American Dietetic Association
Sunday, January 1, 2012
As with all beans and lentils, they are excellent for the diabetic diet since they digest slowly, which provides a gentle rise in blood sugar. Diabetics who eat a substantial amount of legumes require less insulin to control their blood sugar.