Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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FYI: Which Juice is For You?

Nutrients Tomato Juice V-8 Juice Orange Juice
Calories 70 50 110
Sodium 980 mg 640 mg 0 mg
Potassium 657 mg 460 mg 450 mg
Carbohydrate 14 g 10 g 26 g
Fiber 3 g 2 g 0 g
Sugars 9 g 6 g 22 g
Protein 3 g 2 g <2 g
Vitamin A 8% 40 % 0 %
Vitamin C 110 % 150 % 120 %
 Calcium 4% 4% 2%
Iron 8% 4% 0 %

What is your go to juice for breakfast? In my house, it is either tomato, V-8, or orange juice. Which is healthier? Here is what I found:

  • All three provide a very decent amount of nutrients but a few things stand out for consideration: sugar, salt, vitamin A and C, and potassium.
  • It all depends on taste preference in the long run, or possibly whether you want to avoid sugar or salt.
  • To be fair, orange juice provides additional nutrients in small to modest amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium, niacin, folate, riboflavin and thiamine.
  • BTW, I am not associated with the Campbell company in any way.

For more on V-8, CLICK HERE.

Bon appétit






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Pink Himalayan Salt? The Facts


Pink Himalayan salt has been claimed by its marketers as superior in health benefits compared to plain old table salt. For  example, some claims not supported by evidence include: reduces signs of aging and detoxifies the body of heavy metals. himalayan

Find out the facts HERE.

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fruitDietary patterns with high intakes of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are associated with lower blood pressure. The DASH diet provides an ample intake of these nutrients.  DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. Greatest reduction of blood pressure is brought about by a high dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, lower fat dairy, lean meats, fish and poultry. Consuming a DASH-like diet lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension even when sodium levels are not severely restricted.

People consuming plant-based diets (aka vegetarian) have lower blood pressure than non-vegetarians. Studies that only address the intake of only one of these nutrients have failed to consistently show any benefit on hypertension. This may be due to the cumulative effects  of consuming all of these nutrients in a dietary pattern, not just individually or by taking a supplement, that brings about lower blood pressure.


For the FDA News Release, CLICK HERE.

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What is a Processed Food?

All processed foods are not created equal.  You may be surprised that most foods in the supermarket meet the definition of “processed”.  But THIS ARTICLE gives some good info on how to avoid highly processed foods that generally are loaded with salt, fat, and sugar.

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Where’s the Sodium?

English: Sodium chloride

English: Sodium chloride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please take a look at this informative  info-graph.  Although the serving sizes seem to be larger than normal, it does quickly tell us where the sodium is found: namely processed and fast foods.



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Is All Meat Unhealthy?

Meat consumption has been often implicated in contributing to heart disease, hypertension and some forms of cancer.  Most studies do not separate the types of meat consumed, but group them all together.  So are all meats risky?

Most dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat and dietary recommendations from many other countries support this recommendation.  But what evidence supports these claims?  Most studies on this topic have mixed results.

One study from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at the different types of meat and how much of each type people actually ate.  The types of meat were then separated into processed and unprocessed meats.  Processed meats included bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and deli processed meats while unprocessed red meats included beef, lamb, and pork.  No poultry was included.

The researchers reviewed nearly 1,600 studies (a meta-analysis) from all over the world that searched for a link between eating processed and unprocessed red meat and heart disease and diabetes risks but did not assess hypertension or cancer risks.

The results showed that on average, each 1.8 oz  (50 grams) daily serving of processed meat per day which is equivalent to two slices of deli meats or one hot dog was associated with a 42% higher risk of heart disease and a 19% higher risk of developing diabetes.

They found no higher heart disease or diabetes risk in people who ate only unprocessed meats.  (Meat lovers, rejoice!!)

They found that both categories of meats contained about the same amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol.  However, the processed meats contained four times more sodium and 50% more nitrates as preservatives.

Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are controversial preservatives added to processed meats to 1) preserve the pink color and to inhibit botulism growth.   In animals, sodium nitrite produces nitrosamines in the stomach which can be carcinogenic when consumed in large quantities.

These chemicals are found in other foods, so it is difficult to separate out their effects from processed meats alone.

Bottom line: It looks like moderation is the way to go for processed meats based on the meta-analysis.   People  who ate one serving per week or less of processed meat had less of a heart disease or diabetes risk.