Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Gluten Sensitivity?

Wheat is the third most produced cereal crop

Wheat is the third most produced cereal crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears that the gluten-free trend is continuing to grow as more products are generated by  the food companies.  Although celiac disease is real, is gluten sensitivity real?  This article attempts to explore this debate.  Many people just report they feel better when they give up wheat but is it just a placebo effect or a trendy fad?  Results of a recent study gives us some answers.  The study population was small, however and one study does not “prove” anything.  Wheat itself has some inherent problems such as wheat allergy and is a common source of fructans that cause digestive difficulties in some people.


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The Whole Truth About Whole Grains?

Grains, the largest food group in many nutriti...

Grains, the largest food group in many nutrition guides, includes oats, barley and bread. Cookies, however, are categorized as sugars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the Land of Nutrition Confusion!  There is a lot of hype about eating more whole grains.  Some of it is true based on research and some is the work of the food industry that use the term handily and often to claim their products are “healthy”.   What does whole grain really mean?  This article explains the differences in some whole grain products and states it often is impossible  to tell these differences.  For more information about this term on labels, CLICK HERE.

By the way, popcorn is an intact whole grain.     One cup of air-popped popcorn contains only about 30 calories. However, organic is recommended to avoid pesticide residues and GMOs.  Unfortunately there are 102 calories in 1 tablespoon of butter, so avoid if possible if weight watching.


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Soy Bean Oil?

If you are a frequent label reader, particularly the ingredient lists, you will soon realize how often soybean oil is used in processed foods.  This article presents an interesting study on the use of various oils in the diet and weight gain, at least in mice.


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School Food Facts

English: Healthy Food For Life logo

English: Healthy Food For Life logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears that there is a disconnect between the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a professional organization representing the 55,000 school food service employees and the desire of some school districts to serve healthy food to our children. The following articles exemplify this problem very clearly.


On the other hand, CLICK HERE


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Big Food Bias?

This article from Marion Nestle, a leading nutrition educator,  food advocate and writer presents a few specific examples of how the food industry uses conclusions of studies for their own benefit.  The results may be true, but it is difficult to trust them with so many conflicts of interest involved that often are not even declared.   I used to believe in the value of evidence-based food and nutrition information, but often bias of the authors is suspected through funding and sponsorship  Too bad we have no other way to get the proper information instead of being fed potential misinformation.

Thank you Dr. Nestle – we appreciate your fine work in food politics.  Check out her books and her website.


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Yogurt , Sugar and the Twinkie

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake w...

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake with cream filling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yogurt is a great food and snack except for one thing – the sugar content of some can be as much as a Twinkie and some others cut the sugar but add artificial sweeteners.

Check the Nutrition Facts before you buy.   Check the ingredient list for the kind of artificial sweetener used.


For a sample of those yogurts that equal the sugar content of Twinkies in 2014, CLICK HERE.

These figures may have changed since then, however,  I am checking the next trip to the supermarket and hope the amounts of sugar have changed for  the better.  I plan to check some Greek varieties as well.  Stay tuned.



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