FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The Teaching Kitchen

A new approach to promote nutrition and help curb the obesity/diabetes epidemic. Patients listen to their doctors – we need more involvement of increased nutrition education in medical schools and in the doctor/patient relationship. This also serves as a great opportunity for the  registered dietitian/nutritionist to work with the physician.

Interestingly, the first diet book was written by a female physician, Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters called “Diet and Health: With Key to the Calories.”

CLICK HERE.

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Kids Eat Right Month

August is ‘Kids Eat Right’ Month

From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure kids eat right and get plenty of exercise is vital.

Parents and caregivers can play a big role in children’s nutrition and health, teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day.

August, which is Kids Eat Right Month, is a great time for families to focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families to take the following steps:

Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.

Eat Right. Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.

Healthy Habits. You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.

Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.

Getting kids to eat right can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. But experts say that a conversation can help.

“Talk to your children. Learn the foods they like. Teach them about the foods they need for their growing bodies. Find ways together to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and tasty foods at every meal,” says Angela Lemond, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

It may help to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area to ensure your family is getting the nutrients it needs with a meal plan tailored to your lifestyle and busy schedule.

For more healthful eating tips, recipes, videos and to learn more about Kids Eat Right Month, visit www.KidsEatRight.org.

This August, reevaluate your family’s eating and exercise habits, and take steps to make positive, healthful changes.


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MyPlate: A Makeover?

A few years ago the USDA brought out MyPlate that supposedly helped consumers use the Dietary Guidelines; however, critics felt it was influenced by politics and the food industry. Harvard has improved on this concept with The Healthy Eating Plate.

This makeover gives us so much better evidence-based diet advice at a glance. Give it a try.

 

 


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Vegans vs. Meat? Some myths exposed.

Interesting discussion about vegan versus meat diets. Some good points were made and references support most of them as far as I can tell. Try to find some common sense on both sides of the debate. When the “facts” are known it becomes easier to decide your own personal diet choices and what is best for you. There is no one diet that fits all.

CLICK HERE.


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The Hazards of Diet Supplements

We are a country obsessed with dietary supplements. Try taking them away and see how people resist the idea.  But do we need all those vitamins and minerals- sometimes, especially during key growth periods (pregnancy and childhood)?

So you think that just to be sure, you should take them as insurance against certain diseases. Maybe not. Sometimes excess is not the answer and may become harmful.  A famous example was a study that gave beta carotene  supplements(vitamin A) to smokers. The reason was that beta carotene was thought to be protective against lung cancer since it functions as an antioxidant. The result showed that there were more cases of lung cancer in the vitamin group than in those smokers given a placebo. Subsequent studies supported this finding.

What does the research say? You may be surprised.

Read the article HERE.

 

 

 


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The Complexities of Food Sensitivities

Most people when confronted with a negative reaction to certain foods simply say “I’m allergic to” (fill in the blank). Self-diagnoses and treatments are common and result in the development of unnecessary restrictive diets and disordered eating.

The following article aptly attempts to wade through  the confusion and complexities of food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities in order to increase some understanding of what to do about these poorly defined and understood afflictions. Even many physicians fail to differentiate the confusion surrounding the problems.  We now have food labels that support a long list of “NO’s) – gluten, wheat, lactose, soy, nuts, high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, etc. etc.  No wonder people are challenged even when going to the supermarket.

Food allergies can be life-threatening, so it is important to identify which food(s) are the culprits. Keeping a food and symptom diary or beginning an elimination diet with oral challenges should not be attempted without professional help like your physician, physician assistant, or registered dietitan/nutritionist (RDN) who specializes in food intolerances.

The article is a long read, but if you think you may have any food sensitivity, it may be worth the time spent before any self diagnosis or treatment is undertaken. Search this blogsite for information on food alleriges, intolerances, FODMAPs and gluten or wheat intolerance disorders.

CLICK HERE.