Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Label Wars?

This is a bowl of white sugar.

This is a bowl of white sugar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The newest suggestion for the Nutrition Facts label is to add one more piece of information – ADDED SUGARS.  I see some strong arguments from both sides – e.g. the cranberry industry points out that cranberries are so naturally bitter that sugar must be added to make them palatable.  On the other hand, some products have added sugars that may not be necessary.  Would you like to see Added Sugars on the label?  Keep in mind that the latest recommendation suggests that we consume only about 12 teaspoons of sugar daily and the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association even  less, e.g. 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. When reading labels, keep in mind that 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon.

Americans consume about 22-30 teaspoons of sugar a day, most from sugary drinks. There are about 10 teaspoons in a 12 oz can of soda.   By estimates that adds up to at least 70 -100 pounds a year per person.



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Put Down That Soda?

taste bud (nerve missing)

taste bud (nerve missing) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is an excellent article on cutting down on soda consumption – something we all know is a healthy change in our diets.  The article stresses why and how you need to cut back.  The best suggestion (in my opinion) is to try to cut down for a couple of weeks or so.  When you do, you will retrain your taste buds and the next soda or sweet sugary food will be too sweet.  I cut back on salt this way and it worked very well.


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The Kraft, AND, and RD Dilemma


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a Registered Dietitian (RD).  I also have an advanced degree in Nutrition Science (Ph.D) as well as a M.S. in biology with an emphasis on microbiology along with a recent interest in epigenetics (i.e. how our genes interact with our environment (diet, for example).  For the record, I used to be but currently am not a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and haven’t been for quite some time.  But I do wholeheartedly support Dietitians for Professional Integrity.  For information on what is going on, CLICK HERE. AND HERE.  The recent decision of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to include its seal on Kraft Singles has raised the ire once again of many RDs and others who have followed this dilemma for a while now.  The discussion of this situation calls attention to who exactly is qualified to provide nutrition counseling to the public.

This debate has been going on for quite some time and will continue well into the future. For those who are further interested, please read this excellent comprehensive article that appears to consider all aspects and interests of others who may  also be qualified to earn the right to counsel the population in the complex field of diet and nutrition.

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Good News About School Lunches?

It is hard to sort through the topic of what is exactly occurring with the attempts to improve our children’s school lunches.  We hear that kids throw away the healthy choices leading to more food waste, that the kids don’t get enough calories for the day, etc, etc.  On top of that the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and big food companies are becoming critics of the healthier policies and behind the scenes try to undermine any attempts.   An actual study came up with some encouraging results – that some initiatives are working!  This blog has devoted a lot of attention to the diets of our children since that is where (in my opinion), our food culture needs to initially change – i.e., establish healthy eating habits early in life and  the earlier the better.




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