Healthy Nutrition News: Nutrition offers key to healthy weight loss

2013-01-09 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Nutrition offers key to healthy weight loss

Over the years, Craig’s weight had become so high he stopped weighing himself because he couldn’t bear to look at the number. A friend of his, concerned about his laboured breath and evident fatigue, had convinced Craig to buy a treadmill for his home.

Tired of being the fat guy, Craig began the very difficult task of working up a sweat on the treadmill almost every day. Several months into his new exercise regime and having lost virtually no weight, he wondered why the scale refused to budge.

If you are overweight or obese and have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, adding more exercise can improve your overall health and cardiovascular fitness, but it may do little to drop the number on the scale.

A 2011 article published in the American Journal of Medicine reviewed 14 trials and 1,847 patients, and found that moderately intense exercise programs of six months only resulted in a 1.6-kg weight loss and 2.12-cm decrease in waist circumference. Similar programs of a year didn’t offer much difference (1.7-kg and 1.95-cm decrease).

If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, these small losses may feel like plenty of hard work without getting a paycheque. This may be one of the reasons fitness facilities are so busy in the New Year and then see a large drop-off in the months to come. No results, no motivation to continue.

Research over the years consistently shows that while you can lose small amounts of weight by initiating an exercise program, much bigger weight loss results come from nutrition changes. Even better, using a combination of reducing your calorie intake and adding exercise can offer a slightly better weight loss than just nutrition alone.

So if exercise alone isn’t the best strategy to lose weight, you might wonder how someone you know has lost plenty of weight simply by exercising more. One theory is that this has more to do with the influence exercise has on reducing your intake (calories in) than the calories burned during exercise (calories out).

A 2011 article in the Journal of Obesity suggested that metabolic, hormonal and psychological changes are involved. Exercise can help improve your overall mood and stress response, which can help you tackle emotional eating and regulate how much you eat. Physical activity also helps combat depression and sleep issues, which in recent years have been linked to higher risk of obesity.

Also important to note is while exercise alone may do little to help you lose extra pounds, research shows that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent weight gain and also to maintain weight loss over the long run.


Where to start

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, you could begin a new eating plan as well as a new fitness regime at the same time — but I would encourage you to start with one or the other.

It’s very challenging to successfully start and maintain both areas of change, especially when you are living a real life with big family and work commitments. Go easy on yourself and commit to one major lifestyle change at a time.

Start with your nutrition first, since the above research shows you can begin seeing faster changes on the scale, which can be more motivating to continue on your journey to better health.

Once you see the changes in your body from improved nutrition, it can be psychologically as well as physically easier to get going on a healthy exercise plan for life.

Chick-fil-A Debuts One of America’s Most Nutritious Kid’s Meals

According to the Let’s Move initiative, one in three American children is considered overweight or obese. Children also consume 31 percent more calories and 56 percent more fat than their peers did 40 years ago. Starting today, Chick-fil-A® is taking another step in continuing to address the issue of childhood obesity by debuting one of the nation’s most nutritious kid’s meals.

In recent months, many fast food chains have updated their side options in an attempt to offer healthier children’s menu items. Chick-fil-A instead is concentrating on making the entree healthier by adding Grilled Chicken Nuggets as an alternative for children. The move marks the first time a national fast food chain has offered a grilled entree as part of a children’s menu.

The chain also is enhancing its side choices, adding Buddy Fruits® Pure Blended Fruit To Go applesauce as a complement to the Fruit Cup option Chick-fil-A added to its menu in 2004. And, the chain is changing its children’s beverage line to only feature one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice, its signature freshly squeezed lemonade, and water as drink choices.

Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Nuggets, paired with the Fruit Cup and one-percent milk, is one of the most nutritious children’s meal combinations offered among any major fast food chain. The meal has only 210 calories and 3 grams of fat – reflecting an 86 percent cut in fat grams and a 56 percent calorie reduction compared with its previous offerings.

“According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Americans frequently choose convenience over nutrition. This has created a greater likelihood of our children becoming overweight or obese. The reality is that we live in an on-the-go world where parents have limited healthy meal options for their kids on the way to and from recreational activities, school or other events,” said Woody Faulk, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of brand strategy and design, who oversees Chick-fil-A’s menu. “Our new Kid’s Meal reflects our commitment to helping parents strike a balance between nutrition, convenience and price. We want parents to know that they do have a choice at Chick-fil-A.”

Following is more information on Chick-fil-A’s new Kid’s Meal offerings:

Introduction of Grilled Nuggets: These gluten-free Grilled Nuggets are made from a boneless, skinless breast of chicken tumbled in a salt and pepper spice blend and then grilled to perfection. The four count is only 80 calories and 1 gram of fat, while the six count contains 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
Addition of Buddy Fruits ® Pure Blended Fruit To Go: Apple Cinnamon: Each squeezable fruit pouch is gluten-free, all natural and contains 100 percent pure fruit. It is 60 calories, 0 grams of fat and equals one serving of fruit.
Improved beverage options: Kid’s Meal beverage offerings will be changed to only feature one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice, Chick-fil-A’s freshly squeezed lemonade (30 percent DV vitamin C), and water as drink options.

According to Chick-fil-A’s full-time dietitian Jodie Worrell, these new menu additions come as part of Chick-fil-A’s broader initiative to offer healthier menu options to customers. Initiative highlights include the addition of the Fruit Cup in 2004 and moving to a complete menu (including all condiments) with zero trans fats in 2008. Chick-fil-A also is actively working to reduce sodium across its menu, including a 40 percent sodium reduction in its Chargrilled Chicken filet, 25 percent less sodium in breads and removing 10 percent of sodium in dressings and sauces.

“While we are excited about the moves we have made on the Kid’s Meal menu, we also are extremely proud of the progress we have made with our overall menu,” Worrell added. “Removing trans fats, adding more nutritious salads and reducing sodium are examples of some of the steps we have taken in recent years to further our commitment to customers of offering a well-balanced menu of choices. Our work is not complete though. We are constantly looking for a better way to offer our customers healthier choices.”

Kid’s Meal Commitment Extends Beyond the FoodChick-fil-A’s commitment to families extends beyond offing more nutritious menu options. The chain also uses its “Growing Kid’s Inside and Out®” Kid’s Meal program as an opportunity to nourish young minds through the premiums included as part of the meal. Rather than offering a toy promoting the latest movie or television series, Chick-fil-A complements its quality children’s menu offerings with meaningful and fun tools that encourage interaction between children and their families. Examples include Little Gold Books, VeggieTales CDs, Discovery Kid’s activities and books adapted from the Martha Speaks PBS series.

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Healthy Nutrition News: Restaurant Calorie Counts Often Inaccurate

2011-07-23 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Health Buzz: Restaurant Calorie Counts Often Inaccurate

Study: 1 in 5 Restaurant Calorie Counts Is False

Calorie counts posted in chain restaurants are often inaccurate, and one in every five meals packs at least 100 more calories than advertised on the menu, new research suggests. Boston scientists measured the calories in 269 items from nearly 50 fast-food and sit-down eateries, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Olive Garden, and Outback Steakhouse. They found that only 7 percent of the foods were within 10 calories of what the restaurants claimed, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Seventeen foods had at least 273 more calories than stated on the menu. Restaurants were most likely to underestimate low-calorie fare like soups and salads, and overestimate the calories in less-healthy choices like pizza and chips and salsa. “The calories on your plate may be quite different from what you think you are getting, and the trouble is you can’t tell,” study author Susan Roberts, a senior scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, told USA Today. “I have a Ph.D. in nutrition, and I can’t tell if my dinner is 500 or 800 calories just by looking at the plate, and our study shows you can’t rely on the restaurants’ numbers for an individual meal.”
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10 Things That Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss

So you’ve got your plot to drop the extra pounds. It certainly seems sensible: You’re going to eat right, eat less, and exercise. After weeks of declining dessert and diligently hitting the treadmill, you step on the scale and…only 2 pounds gone? You conclude that something or someone must be sabotaging you.
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You might be right. While experts say weight loss can always be reduced to the simple “calories in, calories out” mantra—meaning if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight—a host of oft-hidden saboteurs may be meddling with the balance. Here’s a smattering of them:

1. Treating healthy foods as low-calorie foods. “A lot of times they’re not consistent,” says Scott Kahan, codirector of the George Washington University Weight Management Program in Washington, D.C. So while whole grains, avocados, and nuts might be kind to your heart or cholesterol levels, dieters who binge on such foods can, before they know it, add hundreds of calories to the day’s total. Enjoy calorie-rich healthy foods, dietitians urge, but ration them out: a quarter of an avocado on a salad or a small handful of almonds for a snack.

2. Shunning shuteye. Some research has linked shorter sleep duration to a higher body mass index (a measure of body fat) and increased hunger and appetite. Additionally, if you’re tired, you might be prone to grab a sugar-laden treat for a midday boost, skip the gym, and have takeout for dinner to avoid cooking. It’s a vicious cycle. Aim for seven or eight hours a night. [Read more: 10 Things That Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss.]
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How to Stay on a Diet to Lose or Maintain Weight

A diet is only as good as your ability to stick to it. Research has found that most plans will help you lose weight, regardless of type—low-fat or low-carb, for example. What counts is whether you can stay on it long-term. And with restaurant meals, dinners with friends, and hot fudge sundaes to tempt you, adherence is an understandable challenge. Here are five tricks for making your diet stick:

1. Gather the troops. You need support, be it from a friend, a group like Overeaters Anonymous, or even an online community. Research suggests those who go it alone are most likely to fall off the wagon. That’s why some diet plans have a formal support component—Weight Watchers connects dieters via weekly meetings, while Jenny Craig members are assigned counselors for advice and encouragement. If you’re not comfortable talking about your weight face-to-face, log online. By signing up for the free program PeerTrainer, for example, dieters can interact and track each others’ weight-loss progress, pose questions, and swap diet and exercise tips. “It’s important to have people who will pick you up when times are tough and cheer you on when you have successes,” says registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Plus, she adds: “Healthy habits are contagious.”

How to eat your way to lower blood pressure

If you need to lower your blood pressure, consider swapping bread, crackers and cookies for foods like milk, yogurt, tofu and soy beverages.

According to a U.S. study published this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, partly replacing refined carbohydrate with foods high in soy or milk protein may help prevent and treat high blood pressure.
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In the study, 352 adults with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension were assigned to take 40 grams of either soy protein, milk protein, or a refined carbohydrate supplement, every day for eight weeks.

The supplements had a similar sodium, potassium and calcium content and were taken twice daily in water or juice.

Compared with the carbohydrate supplement, using soy protein and milk protein significantly lowered systolic blood pressure. (Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading and measures the pressure when the heart contracts.) Refined carbohydrate supplements did not change blood pressure.

The reduction in blood pressure was small on an individual level, but was considered important on a population level. It’s a decrease that could lead to 6 per cent fewer stroke-related deaths and a 4 per cent lower rate of heart-disease deaths.

Earlier studies have found that daily soy protein helps lower blood pressure. Soy protein’s blood pressure-lowering effect may be due to its phytochemical (isoflavone) and phosphorus content.

The well known DASH diet, rich in low-fat dairy products, has also been shown to guard against hypertension, presumably because of its calcium and potassium content – two minerals linked with healthy blood pressure. (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.)

The results of this week’s study demonstrated that milk protein also has a blood pressure-lowering effect. Milk protein contains enzymes and amino acids that have been shown to lower blood pressure.

One in five Canadians has high blood pressure, a condition that can cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney damage. High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mm Hg or higher. If you have diabetes, 130/80 mm Hg is considered high.

An equal number of Canadians have pre-hypertension, a blood pressure reading between 130-139/85-89 mmHg. Unless lifestyle changes are made to bring blood pressure down, 60 per cent of people with pre-hypertension will develop high blood pressure in four years.

The following diet modifications can help you prevent hypertension, or lower your blood pressure if you already have it.

Limit refined carbs

A steady intake of white starches and sugary foods can cause salt retention and elevate blood pressure. Switch to 100-per-cent whole-grain foods such as whole-grain whole wheat bread and crackers, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, large flake or steel-cut oats, quinoa and unhulled barley.

Avoid sugary drinks; limit dessert to once or twice per week. Get used to adding less sugar or honey to coffee and tea and breakfast cereal.

Add milk or soy protein.

The DASH diet includes two to three low-fat dairy servings per day. One serving includes 1 cup skim or 1 per cent milk, 1 cup of 0.1 to 1 per cent milk-fat (MF) yogurt and 1.5 ounces of 7 per cent MF cheese.

To increase your intake of soy protein, use unflavoured or unsweetened soy beverages in place of, or in addition to, milk. Add firm tofu to stir-fries, toss soy beans into salads and snack on roasted soy nuts or edamame.

Increase fruit and vegetables

The DASH diet is also plentiful in fruit and vegetables: seven to 12 servings each day. These foods are excellent sources of potassium, a mineral that helps blood vessels relax and causes the kidneys to excrete more sodium. In fact, studies show that people with a low daily intake of the mineral are more likely to develop high blood pressure and suffer a stroke.

Adults need 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Excellent sources include bananas (1 medium = 422 milligrams), apricots (4 = 362 mg), prune juice (½ cup = 373 mg), cantaloupe (1 cup = 440 mg), spinach (½ cup cooked = 443 mg), Swiss chard (½ cup cooked = 508 mg) and sweet potato (1 small = 285 mg).

Eat legumes and nuts

Include beans and/or nuts in your diet four times per week. These foods are a good source of vegetable protein and they’re rich in magnesium, a mineral that promotes normal blood pressure.

Add chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans and lentils to salads, soups, pasta sauces, tacos and chilies. Snack on a small handful of unsalted, raw or dry roasted nuts.

Watch sodium

Excess sodium has been linked with elevated blood pressure in many studies. Canadians, aged nine to 50, require 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. With age, our body becomes more sensitive to the blood pressure-rising effect of sodium and daily requirements drop to 1,300 milligrams for adults aged 50 to 70 and 1,200 milligrams for people over 70.

For most adults, the daily upper sodium limit is 2,300 milligrams. If you’re over 50 or have high blood pressure you should consume less.

Limit or avoid alcohol

If you drink, limit yourself to one to two drinks per day or a weekly maximum of 7 for women and 9 for men. Drinking more than two drinks per day increases blood pressure and escalates the long-term risk of developing hypertension.

Lose excess weight.

If you’re overweight and have hypertension, losing five kilograms will lower your blood pressure. In some cases, weight loss can reduce or eliminate the need for blood pressure medication. If you need to cut calories, replace refined grains and sweets with more fruit and vegetables.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based dietitian at the Medcan Clinic, is on CTV’s Canada AM every Wednesday.

More Supermarkets in Poor Neighborhoods Not Enough to Change Eating Habits

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people on a tight budget don’t necessarily spend their money on healthier foods, even when they have easier access to them. The survey, which studied the eating habits of several thousand people in a number of cities in the U.S. for more than a decade, showed that making more fruits and vegetables available to poor families was not incentive enough to make them change their diets. Cheap snacks and fast food still remain the preferred choices.

Nutrition experts and policy makers have long argued that the scarcity of grocery outlets in low-income neighborhoods, a.k.a. “food deserts,” is one of the reasons why obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases are so widespread among the poor. That is why many, this writer included, have called on supermarket chains to set up shop in these deprived areas.

While the omnipresence of fast food places can explain a preference for burgers and fries, it comes as a surprise that easier access has done little to increase consumption of healthier food items.

“This raises the serious issue of how we get people to eat healthy,” said Barry Popkin, director of the Nutrition Transition Program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and lead author of the study.

Limiting the number of fast food joints and opening more grocery stores in these neighborhoods is obviously not enough. In 2008, the Los Angeles city council tried just that. It ordered a moratorium on new fast food restaurants and gave supermarkets incentives to expand their presence. “We had great success in building grocery stores, but selecting healthful foods from a store is up to the individual, said Jan Perry, Los Angeles councilwoman and one of the sponsors of the legislation.

The issue of money, of course, comes first to mind. The healthiest foods are routinely the most expensive ones. Especially the costs for fresh fruits and vegetables have dramatically gone up in recent times. Obviously, it makes no sense to stock a lot of items people can’t afford. Perishable foods will always be pricier because of their shorter shelf life and extra expenses for refrigeration and labor.

“The cheapest calories come from fried foods, chips and sodas,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who wrote a commentary for the study. What matters most for people with limited funds is to get the biggest bang for their buck. In terms of calories per dollar, fast food wins out every time.

Still, nutrition experts insist that improving the food environment is an important step to change people’s eating habits. “It can’t happen in a vacuum,” said Gwen Flynn, director of community health and education at the Community Health Council in Los Angeles. “What is needed is a comprehensive plan to change what people are eating, including community education and government and private subsidies for healthful foods.”

Programs like these actually exist already, although they are few and far in between. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors what it calls the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-ED), which provides free health- and nutrition education for food stamps recipients.

Educating the public is never an easy task, no matter what the subject is. Getting people to change their ingrained eating habits is probably one of the hardest things anyone can try. Predictably, there are plenty of voices decrying the involvement of government in such personal matters and their arguments are not always unjustified. However, most would agree that only informed choices are truly free choices. If people don’t know they have alternatives available to them, they will just keep doing what they’ve been doing before, whether it’s in their best interest or not.

Knock knock! You’ve got meal

Dubai: Thousands of well-heeled residents used to eating or ordering from fast-food outlets and restaurants are now turning to healthier nutrition services where dieticians and chefs work together to customise meals for them.

As buzzwords like calorie count and healthy eating at such ‘clinical and catering’ services catch on, refuelling on the run is no longer about making do with takeaways from fast-food outlets or quick-fix meals ordered from neighbourhood restaurants.

Right Bite, Lively, Health Factory – and now Balance Café – there are at least four such nutrition services that operate in Dubai alone, supplying up to five nutrition-packed meals a day that cover everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to AM and PM snacks.

At monthly charges that could go up to Dh3,000 per head, the meal plans don’t come cheap. But there are many takers as they are deemed healthy and hassle-free.

Sandra Gojkovic, Business Development Executive of Health Factory & Epicure Catering, said the 12,000 square foot kitchen in Al Quoz has served more than 4,000 customers over the past three years, with a current enrolment of “several hundred” individual and corporate clients.

The customer base is diverse and covers different nationalities, said Natalie Haddad, Founder of Right Bite, another large kitchen which works 24/7 in the same area. Without divulging the number of clients, she said they are catered to by over 100 staff, including 45 chefs, besides a fleet of 17 refrigerated vans that deliver meals to their doorstep from 5am to 10pm every day.

“Over 50 per cent of our clients are business executives who want to eat healthy or find it convenient to order from us. We also have entire families, students, pregnant women and people with health conditions like diabetes, blood pressure or heart problems,” said Haddad.

While catering establishments bring to mind assembly-line processes churning out food in quick succession to a large, undifferentiated pool of clients, these nutrition services claim their meals are highly personal with special care taken to keep them healthy.

“There can be no conveyor-belt style, one-solution-fits-all way to meaningful health,” said Sumit Kumar, Chef, Balance Café, whose meal plans are set to roll out.

Open boxes ready to be filled at a counter at Right Bite reveal the attention to detail. Every box of every dish carries a label that not only has information about the client, his/her age and location, but also specific remarks about his health condition and the ingredients that have to be added or omitted from the dish.

For example, many customers had opted for baked zatar fish, one of the dishes on the menu of the day when XPRESS visited the kitchen. But as the labels let on, each had a different specification: ‘allergic to garlic’, ‘no artichoke’, ‘not spicy’, ‘no bellpepper’, ‘no couscous, ‘add vegetable’, ‘add rice’ etc.

The menu, which changes every day, has a host of options that customers can choose from. Haddad pointed to a Saturday menu for lunch which includes at least five main dishes: chicken and whole wheat spaghetti with alfredo style sauce, riz bil lahem (rice with meat), baked tandoori fish with garlicky eggplant and potato, yakhnit bazilla (green peas and carrot stew with vermicelli rice) and chicken mortadella salad wrap (wholewheat tortilla stuffed with chicken mortadella, cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, carrot and cream cheese).

This comes with a side-dish like Spanish flat beans or vegetarian ratatouille salad, followed by a skinny dessert as an afternoon snack like apple tart, chocolate walnut bites or bagel chips with tomato salsa dip.

Sumptuous as the meals may sound, the calorie count is carefully factored. For example, at Health Factory, a package designed for a low metabolism client who needs to lose weight and stay in shape allows him 1,300 to 1,100Kcal per day. At Dh2,950 a month, it consists of three meals and two snacks throughout the day, all of which remain within the prescribed limit and help burn the excess fat in the body.

Chefs customise meals based on recommendations of dieticians with whom clients consult before choosing a meal plan. Regular follow-ups are also conducted to make necessary changes. (See Box: How It Works).

Dr Archana Ainapure, dietician at Health Factory, said, “Proper meal planning involves many considerations, such as meeting nutritional requirements, individual or family needs, economic factors, time and energy levels and availability of foods.”

At Balance Café, an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant makes recommendations with the same aim of achieving the right balance between different foods required by the body. “A healthy individual who is moderately to highly active, needs to consume a meal that is based on 55 to 60 per cent carbohydrates, 20 to 25 per cent protein and the remaining 15-20 per cent fats,” said Kumar.

Healthy meal plans are also about regulating the right intake of salt, sugar or other micronutrients, said clinical dietician Hala Barghout at Lively. “Healthier meals contain less salt, less sugar and less saturated fats, besides other ingredients. That’s why they are called healthy. They deliver higher energy levels and boost the body’s immunity.”

Besides the food preparation, special care is also taken to ensure that they are delivered in refrigerated vans and insulated cooler bags to ensure that the food remains healthy. All hot items are put into microwave safe boxes which can be instantly heated and consumed. Fresh and full cooler bags are delivered on a daily basis, with empty cooler bags from the previous day being returned.

Customers vouch for the punctuality and benefits of the meal plans. “The food is delicious and since I have a hectic schedule with lots of meetings around town, logistics like timing of delivery and packaging are important to me,” noted Serge L., a customer of Health Factory, adding that the coordination with the dietician and the resulting calorie consumption plan had resulted in a weight loss of 19kg in five months.

A young couple based in Dubai said the whole-day meal plans from Right Bite made life simpler for them. “We don’t have to shop for our kitchen, cook or clean up. We love the variety of ready-to-eat foods we get at our doorstep, and we know they are healthy for us.”

Jessica, a 30-year-old sales executive who lives as a paying guest in Bur Dubai, said she switched to a healthy nutrition service last year after surviving on oily meals procured from a small-time restaurant for two years. “But I can afford only a lunch package. I wish they would bring down the costs,” she said, without naming the nutrition service.

How It Works

Customers must first have a consultation with a dietician to plan a perfect diet as per their need. They then get to choose from dishes on a menu that changes every day of every week. The information is then passed on to the chefs who customise meals accordingly. While the initial consultation in most services is free, there is a fee for the follow-ups which may result in changes needed along the way.

Take your pick

There are four major such services operating from Dubai with different monthly packages varying from around Dh1,000 to Dh3,780 per head:
Right Bite: Meal plans include full package (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner); AM package (breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack); PM package (lunch, afternoon snack and dinner); Executive lunch package (lunch main entrée with a side-dish and afternoon snack) and One meal package (lunch or dinner main entrée with a side-dish) etc.
Lively: Full meal package (breakfast and morning drink, AM snack, lunch (appetiser and main meal), PM snack, and dinner (salad and main meal); Executive meal package or lunch package (appetiser, main dish, PM snack, fruit and bottle of water); Afternoon package (lunch, PM snack and dinner); Daylight package (breakfast, AM snack, appetiser with main dish (lunch) and PM snack etc.
Health Factory: Miracle (three meals and two snacks for those with low metabolism); Detox (28-day programme that helps rid you of toxins); Serenity (for busy folks, covers lunch and snacks); Titan (Meals rich in proteins and carbs for high metabolism, sports people); Baby Love (specially designed for pregnant women) etc.
Balance Café: Meal plans to be unveiled shortly.

Extension Office Introduces New Nutrition Specialist

This week Scotland County’s Missouri Extension Office welcomed Jennifer Mayfield as the new Regional Health and Nutrition Specialist. Mayfield will assist with dietary and health issues in Scotland and eight surrounding counties.

Mayfield has an impressive background in nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Arts in Family Systems from Southeast Missouri State University. She is also a Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist in the state of Nebraska and plans on receiving a similar title in Missouri. For the past seven years, Mayfield worked in Nebraska, serving as a North American Missionary to the Santee Sioux Reservation and working as the tribe’s nutritionist, specializing in diabetic health. She also assisted with the Northern Ponca tribe’s dietary program.

During her time in Nebraska, Mayfield wrote and received grants for the tribes that focused on using traditional tribal foods and methods of gardening to reduce obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns in the groups.

Mayfield’s objective for Scotland and the surrounding counties is to provide opportunities for nutritional education and training while working to meet the needs of community members.

“The main goal right now is to find out what the community wants and needs and to be as helpful as I can,” stated Mayfield.

She noted that community health issues could be anything from diabetes and heart disease risk to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables or walking areas. Mayfield’s plan is to tackle those issues and also work with other area specialists to utilize resources that are already available to Scotland County residents such as the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative.

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Healthy Nutrition: Menu labels don’t influence student food choices

2011-07-04 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Menu labels don’t influence student food choices

Who chooses high-vegetable food options over hamburgers? Not college students, if a study is any guide.

Menu labels on college cafeteria food that highlight the nutritional good and the bad of various meal options make no difference in students’ choices, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The results add to evidence that despite laws in some cities mandating calorie counts on fast-food menus, nutritional information makes little difference to people when they are eating out.

“Although it is important to inform consumers about the nutritional characteristics of the food offered, providing nutrition information in less healthy food environments such as fast-food restaurants is unlikely to alter consumers’ food choices,” wrote Christine Hoefkens and Wim Verbeke, two of the study’s authors, in an email to Reuters health.

The research team, based at Ghent University in Belgium, asked 224 people who regularly ate at two of the university’s cafeterias to log their diets for several days.

Then the researchers put up posters in the cafeterias that rated meals on how healthy they were — zero stars for the least healthy to three stars for the most healthy. Study participants and other diners didn’t know the posters were part of a study.

Labels next to menu items also highlighted whether a meal was high in salt, calories, saturated fats or vegetables.

Six months later, the participants, who were mostly female undergraduates, again logged what they ate for a few days.

Though the researchers predicted the diners would have responded to the posters and made healthier food choices, they found no difference in the number of meals eaten from each star category.

The results were not surprising, said Lisa Harnack, a professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who was not involved in the study.

“In studies, when you ask people how important nutrition is to them when they’re ordering food from a restaurant menu, it’s far less important than a food price or taste. It’s just not a consideration,” she told Reuters Health.

U.S. cities such as New York and Philadelphia require fast-food chain restaurants to include calorie information on menus, while the health care reform bill passed in 2010 will also require that fast-food restaurants and vending machines include nutritional information.

What was concerning about the college student population was that the cafeteria meals were often their main source of food, Hoefkens and Verbeke said.

But others, such as Gail Kaye, the nutrition program director at Ohio State University, said that menu labels might still work to encourage healthier eating if they were paired with a healthier-leaning menu.

In the Ghent study, for instance, 70 percent of the meals earned zero or one stars, both before and after the labels, with the students’ meal choices mirroring the proportion of offerings in each star category.

McCain Foods Backs Healthy Eating Programme for Children

McCain Foods has announced that it will be working with PhunkyFoods, the award-winning schools healthy lifestyles programme, which helps teachers to give curriculum linked lessons in healthy eating and physical activity to primary age schoolchildren.

The company, which employs around 2,000 people in Britain, joins a consortium of Nestlé and Northern Foods in supporting the Harrogate-based programme which was created seven years ago by nutritional consultancy Purely Nutrition.

Bill Bartlett, Corporate Affairs Director for McCain Foods, said: “We are delighted to provide unbranded support for PhunkyFoods’ mission to help children across the country gain a greater understanding of the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles.

“Many children have very little understanding of where their food even comes from, let alone its nutritional content and, as a responsible food company, we strongly believe we have an important role to play in changing that.”

Mr Bartlett added: “McCain Foods is fully committed to promoting good nutrition, learning and skills and physical activity. We already support a number of initiatives at a local and national level and we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our support in this area still further.”

There are now more than 1,000 schools in England, including seventy-five near McCain’s main UK sites, using the PhunkyFoods programme which subscribes to the National Curriculum.

The programme teaches children up to 11, which is seen as the critical age, healthy lifestyle messages through art, drama, music, play and hands-on food experience.

PhunkyFoods managing director Sorrell Fearnall said she was delighted that PhunkyFoods now had the support of a company as influential as McCain which clearly believed in the values of the programme.

“PhunkyFoods is now supported by a powerful food industry consortium and this will enable the programme to be developed and delivered cost effectively,” she said. “This innovative partnership approach to our work and to delivering public health messages is closely aligned with the Prime Minister’s Big Society values. It is also in tune with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s Responsibility Deal between government and industry to make food sold to the public healthier.”

Ms Fearnall added: “Given the severity of the obesity epidemic the PhunkyFoods programme offers an effective solution and could be rolled out to all primary schools in England. Our vision is for all 16,970 primary schools to be running the programme by 2013.”

EU researchers revolted as EFSA clears health claims vault

The European Food Safety Authority last week delivered the fifth batch of article 13, general function health claims bringing the total assessed to 2723. There are just 35 to go – to be published next month in a final mini-batch that will conclude the task begun in August 2008.

The Parma-based agency is no doubt slapping itself on the back for completing an exhaustive and gargantuan task but industry and academia would prefer slapping the face of EFSA’s health claim panelists that have for the best part of three years relentlessly rejected so much nutrition science.

As the negative opinions piled up, along with the more specific claims in article 13.5 (emerging and proprietary science) and article 14 (children’s development and disease risk factor reduction) these same academics, NGOs and industry stakeholders politely disagreed with EFSA’s conclusions among each other, at conferences, in the press and via official channels established by the nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

When these gained no traction with EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA), the tone became more antagonistic, letters were fired off to MEPs and European Commission figures, the annoyance and frustration palpable when the NDA hosted rare public meetings.

Academics formed groups like the gut health scientists that have banded together ( ) to protest the treatment of pre- and probiotic submissions, and are learning that lobbying is not something scientists can afford to ignore in the European nutrition science environment.

A first class organisation (not)

But in the face of a scientific agency that has made it made blatantly clear that its pharma-style approach to nutrition science is not going to change one iota, battered academics and business folk are throwing their hands in the air and the gallows-humour is emerging.

Take this highly ironic missive from prominent probiotic researcher, Glenn Gibson, PhD, from Reading University in the UK.

“I am sure that EFSA are a first class organisation who know exactly what they are doing by putting the science first. I have to admire their stance in protecting consumers by trying to ensure that all valid pro and prebiotic products will disappear from Europe within a few years.”

Or this from Gregor Reid, PhD, the Canada-based researcher who has spent more than 20 years researching the ability of probiotics to benefit vaginal health, who was stunned last week when EFSA concluded vaginal health was not a nutrition matter.

“I have sent the EFSA committee a picture of the female anatomy. It seems they are unaware of the vagina’s location. Next, they will receive a large sack of mail, actually close to one billion letters. They will believe it’s fan mail and get excited for the first time in five years, but it will be from women who suffer from vaginal and bladder infections, letting them appreciate the failings of drugs, diagnostics and management practices approved by EFSA’s drug colleagues.”


Professor Reid, like a lot of researchers in the area has reached his tether, and no amount of consoling from the NDA about how the experts on the panel are bound by the regulation, and that research is one thing, but panel opinions are another is going to change that.

In the meantime, as the conspiracy theories grow about hidden agendas especially in the absence of a single minority opinion among all those 1000s of opinions, the NHCR’s effect among European healthy foods, ingredients and supplements purveyors comes into view.

“We’re off to Asia,” the owner of a promising French fruit extract firm told NutraIngredients at a recent conference, as he left the hall where an NDA panellist was telling attendees about the NDA’s approach to guarantee only strong claims made it to market.

“We give up on Europe.”

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Healthy Nutrition News

2011-05-11 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Lavaca School Honored In National Health Challenge

Lavaca Elementary School is the only Arkansas school to receive an award in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS Challenge, the Lavaca School District learned last week.

According to an email from Wanda Shockey, Arkansas Department of Education child nutrition director, to Lavaca school officials, the school is the first in the state to be so honored. The elementary received the USDA program’s Bronze Award.

Only 958 of the nation’s 93,000 schools have received a Bronze, Silver or Gold award, Shockey wrote. In this round, 252 schools from 17 states received awards. Lavaca will receive $500, a plaque and a large banner from the USDA.

The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary national certification program that recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity, according to the USDA. A key component of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to raise healthier children, the HealthierUS program is designed to bring schools closer to compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for school meals and foods.

“It’s kind of cool. … We work hard here, we really do,” Lavaca Superintendent Jared Cleveland said Friday.

The USDA award and certification though May 2015 is not the first recognition the district has received in recent months for its healthy practices.

In December, the Lavaca School Board was among six chosen statewide to receive the annual Arkansas Healthy School Board Award from the Arkansas Coordinated School Health Initiative.

Anne Sneed, Lavaca’s special projects coordinator, said the board was recognized for implementing wellness policies, health services, physical education programs, health education curriculum, nutrition/food services, staff/faculty wellness, tobacco prevention/cessation and staff training. Lavaca School Board advocacy led to:

◗ Restructuring the food-service program to include use of whole grains, low-fat milk and additional fresh vegetables. It resulted in an 8.64 percent increase in the district’s meal participation rate.

◗ Implementing the kindergarten through 12th-grade SPARK physical education curriculum, which engages students in structured activities during their PE classes. The school is designated as a SPARKPE Showcase School for the southeast region of the country.

◗ Implementing a water-only vending policy.

◗ Working to host a school-based wellness center at Lavaca Middle School. The wellness center addresses physical and mental well-being of students and also serves as a clinic for community and staff.

The Lavaca Wellness Center opened Jan. 3. Funded through a $175,000 Coordinated School Health and Wellness Center Initiative grant, its health services include eye and ear exams.

“We need to try to change learning conditions,” Cleveland said, noting that learning conditions differ at school and at home.

“My thing is you can truly interweave parental and school involvement. To encourage that, we try to instill healthy habits in students, … and kids in turn teach their parents,” he said.

The district’s Wellness Center provides the school a means to monitor and maintain students’ health. Healthy folks are happier folks, and healthy children learn better, Cleveland said.

Parents become involved because they care about their children’s health, he said.

“If we’re going to be the heart of the community, we want to be a healthy heart,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland credited Lavaca Child Nutrition Director Glynieta Price and her for the concept and development of the district’s healthy nutrition program.

Shockey said ADE’s Child Nutrition Unit worked with Price and her staff to modify menus to meet the HealthierUS requirements.

Cleveland said although only the elementary received the award, the healthy nutrition changes are district-wide. The entire district is being considered for an award at the Silver or Gold level, he said.

“We want the highest-quality food. Food that looks and smells and tastes good and that kids enjoy,” the superintendent said.

Changes include simple acts like moving to whole wheat bread, and more complicated changes like cooking from scratch, he said.

The changes also included changing the cafeteria’s environment to encourage socialization. Music plays in there now, and the students are encouraged to talk to one another.

The changes cost the district “just a hair more,” but it’s not trying to make money from its food program. Being budget-neutral is the goal, Cleveland said.

“We’re just trying, and it’s so nice to be recognized for our efforts, but we’d do it anyway because it’s for the kids,” Cleveland said.

Three Oklahoma schools were recognized in June 2009 with Gold HealthierUS awards – all of them from the Shawnee School District in Pottawatomie County just east of Oklahoma City. Their certification expires this month, according to the USDA.

The Indian food & beverage ingredients sector has been witnessing steady change. Rising awareness has shifted the focus of the industry to health from taste

Life of an average consumer today is changing constantly. Lifestyles are becoming fast paced and oriented towards convenience and solutions on- the- go. People are more aware of the interplay between the food they eat and the role it plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Armed with this self- knowledge, consumers are increasingly seeking food and beverages that enhance their health.

Further rapid improvement in f&b safety & quality norms is also pushing the food processors to think about healthy ingredients for their produce. On other hand industry is tackling to meet these demands with new product innovations, technologies and healthier food ingredients.

Mohan Gantra, managing director for Cloud 9, Goldwin Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, said, “In 2007-08, the health beverage segment in India had registered 50% growth rate with a market size of over Rs 500 crore. With this significant growth rate the Indian health segment would touch Rs 1,100 crore by 2012. The national market is gradually learning the world class trends of healthy eating. Little more time is required for the market to understand.”

“To make our Cloud 9 drink healthier we use natural energy boosters like Guarana, Ginseng Taurine, Pomegranate and “B” group vitamins which help keep your health in check. Gaurana is a rich natural source of caffeine which acts as a stimulant and increases mental alertness, stamina and physical endurance besides fighting fatigue. Ginseng builds mental and physical vitality and strengthens immunity, whereas Taurine work as a metabolic transmitter and also has a detoxifying effect and strengthens cardiac contractility. Pomegranate is a rich antioxidant which prevents free radicals from doing their damage and regulates oxidative stress. Pomegranate juice tends to act as an inhibitor on enzymes responsible for damaging cartilage.” Gantra said.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the global market for food ingredients was estimated to be worth roughly $25bn in 2007, and was expected to touch $30bn by 2010, demonstrating a growth rate for the market of 5-6% year on year. The Indian market has a low base when compared with the global market and was valued at $470m-475m for the year 2007, which is a meager 1.6% of the global market.

Says, Aditi Basu, senior consulting analyst for the chemicals, materials and foods practice, South Asia and Middle East for Frost & Sullivan, “Despite a low base, the scope of growth in the Indian food ingredients market is huge, given the current market size for processed foods in India, which stood at $72bn-75bn for the full year 2007-2008 and has been growing consistently at the rate of 9% year on year. The Indian food processing market is the fifth-largest market in the country and is a “sunrise sector” in India after IT. Further, growing urbanisation, changing lifestyles and the need for convenient healthy foods have ushered in a new category of functional and health foods that claim to be fortified with certain new-age health ingredients offering functional health benefits over and above the basic nutritional value of the foodstuff.”

“Today, India has become homeland for many fatal diseases like diabetes and asthma. Soya protein has been found to have a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis, alleviating menopause problems and managing diabetes. Using soyabean as a key food ingredient will improve the nutritional status of children with a positive impact on anthropometrics and cognitive characteristics. The current health awareness will help persuade the masses to accept soyabean and its product in their daily diet,” Ricky Thaper, former consultant at the American Soyabean Association – International Marketing (ASA – IM) told F&B News.

Leading Players
Frost & Sullivan research says that there are over 50 significant market players in the Indian food ingredients market, including globally prominent ingredient companies, such as Danish group Danisco, Dutch group DSM, US group The Solae Company and Germany’s BASF, which have an entire portfolio of ingredient types. Big players have already established their presence in India. These companies operate out of their subsidiary offices in India. For most of the ingredient types, the market is fairly concentrated, with the leading players occupying nearly 60-70% of the market.

In India, food and beverage giants such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola, and Kellogg’s are drastically shifting their product portfolio to more nutritious and healthy products. Even Nestle India, a subsidiary of Nestle, is set to compete with other giants in the health foods category.

Currently, the key ingredients in the Indian market are food colours, flavours, sweeteners, antioxidants and antimicrobials, emulsifier and stabilizers. Their use in the processed food and beverage sector is indispensable. There are also a huge range of special ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics and bio-enzymes.

In addition, there are bulk ingredients like dairy, oils, fats, sugars, basic proteins, emulsifiers, acidulants, phytochemicals, sweeteners, flavours, colours, enzymes, meat seasonings, bakery mixes, fruit preps, vitamin/mineral pre mixes, etc. Other leading companies in the space are Grifith Labs, Pristine Organics, Cargill Flavours, AB Mauri, Sonarome ITC Colors and Phytotec Extracts to name a few.

Future Outlook
According to Frost & Sullivan and Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI), food wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the market is brimming with innovative products and is set to drive growth. There are scores of opportunities for novel product development and the growing demand for convenience foods is giving the segment a further fillip.

According to a report, consumers are expected to increase their spending on packaged foods by 56.5% per capita to $18billion by 2012. The market holds enormous growth potential for snack food, which is estimated to be worth $ 3 billion and growing at a rate of 8-20% annually. Juices and carbonated drinks are also high growth segment at 25% per year. The dairy industry, already the biggest in the world, is forecast to cross $108 billion in revenues by 2011. This will only see significant opportunities for the food ingredients market.

In addition to the growing middle class in India, urbanization, changing lifestyles and the need for convenient healthy foods is pushing the growth of the food ingredients market. As consumers evolve from a subsistence living, they invariably spend a large portion of their new income on food and as a result, they demand healthier food and beverage options. There is a catch though. Generating more income does not mean they are willing to sacrifice convenience. Consumers want healthier products but are unwilling to go out of their way to get it. This means that food and beverage manufacturers need to get creative. To offer nutrition at a convenience is one of the major reasons foods and beverage fortification is so important right now.

“Globally, food ingredients is a multibillion dollar industry and is fast expanding. Innovation in the food and beverage market, especially in the processed food domain, has created innumerable opportunities for new product development in the ingredients market as well,” Aditi Basu added.

The food ingredients sector is indicating ample prospects for growth. The segment is an obligatory factor for the growth of the food and beverage sector which is registering an annual growth rate of 14-16 %. Further the importance of healthy ingredients like soya isolate, whey protein concentrate, dietary fibres and Omega 3 fatty acids among others cannot be ignored. These ingredients are also driving the development of the wellness/ health foods industry to clock 20% growth annually.

5 healthy foods on the cheap

Grocery prices are going up, and the biggest increases sometimes seem to be for the healthier items. But you don’t have to sacrifice health for your budget. Here are five items that will feed your family inexpensively:

† Eggs: For 13 to 18 cents per egg, they pack a lot of nutrition, vitamin D and lean protein.

† Kale: At less than $1 a pound, kale is considered a super green nutritionally.

† Whole-grain pasta: For 10 cents to 40 cents per serving, this is a great source of fiber, which will fill you up.

† Apples: If you buy them bagged, each apple will cost roughly 40 cents.

† String cheese: The individual stick runs 18 to 35 cents per serving, is portable and contains calcium.

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Healthy Nutrition Today

2011-04-19 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Surprisingly Healthy Easter and Passover Foods

Holiday meals are all about tradition, and some of the most customary foods served during Easter and Passover slyly pack a pretty significant health punch. Here are five reasons to feel a little virtuous this season:

Eggs get a bad wrap they truly don’t deserve. Yes the yolk is where all the cholesterol is, but dozens of studies confirm that saturated and trans fats are the true heart disease triggers, not cholesterol — eggs are low in saturated fat and are trans fat free. In addition to high quality protein the yolk is also where the vitamin D (linked to a number of health benefits including weight control) and choline are found. Adequate choline is tied to brain health, muscle control, memory and reduced inflammation — a known trigger of aging and disease — and heart health.

Spuds have earned a reputation as nothing more than a fattening waste of calories, but they’re actually one of the healthiest foods on the planet. In addition to providing fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and B vitamins, when cooked then cooled, taters are also loaded with resistant starch, a unique kind of carb that’s been shown to naturally up your body’s fat-burning furnace. Like fiber, you can’t digest or absorb resistant starch and when it reaches your large intestine, it gets fermented, which triggers your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrate.

This condiment with kick opens up the sinuses to support breathing. It’s also been shown to boost immunity, and rev up metabolism. Pretty big benefits for a whole lot of flavor and a zero calorie price tag.

Many people dismiss parsley as nothing more than a decorative garnish, but it’s actually a nutritional powerhouse. This Mediterranean herb is rich in immune supporting vitamins A and C and loaded with potent anti-aging, cancer fighting substances. In animal research one of parsley’s volatile oils halted the growth of lung tumors and was shown to neutralize cancer-causing substances like those found in cigarette smoke.

Red wine has come to be thought of as a health food these days, but don’t discount white. A recent Spanish study looked at the effects of each type (6.8 ounces a day) over a 4 week period in a small group of nonsmoking women and both varieties upped “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lowered inflammation, two keys to keeping your heart strong and healthy.

Understanding nutritional labels on food

Reading a nutrition label is a no-brainer. But figuring out what it means can feel like it requires a math degree. Ever since nutrition labelling became mandatory for all prepackaged foods in December of 2007, Canadian consumers have struggled to understand what food companies are trying to say on their products’ Nutrition Facts labels.

A Health Canada survey reported last summer that consumers were especially confused by the right-hand column which displays what percentage of a day’s worth of nutrients the serving provides. Serving sizes, too, were criticized for being inconsistent and not realistic.

The result of that survey is what is driving the current nutrition-facts education initiative, a TV, print and website campaign developed by Health Canada and Food & Consumer Products of Canada. Front and centre is the issue of percentage Daily Value (% DV) – a component which has been previously ignored or misunderstood by many of us. (Take calcium, for instance: Is the % DV based on 1,000 mg a day or 1,500 mg per day? For other nutrients is the % DV the same for men and women, the elderly and the young?)

Perhaps it doesn’t matter, because Health Canada is now advising consumers to think more simply: Instead of trying to make a whole lot of sense of the % DV, use it to see if the amount of food shown on the label has a little or a lot of a nutrient. Say you’re looking for low-fat yogurt and you compare two brands – one has 4% of fat per one cup and one has 8% of fat per one cup. The right choice, then, would be the 4%. Little or a lot: Simple.

If there is a right choice, that is.

“When reading a label, I tell my patients to look for what they need to know,” says Fran Berkoff, the Toronto Sun nutrition columnist and a registered dietitian in private practice. “For example, if you want more calcium or iron in your diet, then look to see if a product is giving you a lot or too little – say, 20% of a recommended daily allowance or 1%.

“If I am looking for calcium for my diet and I have a glass of milk, the % DV can show me that the glass of milk provides a third of the calcium I need for a day. That makes it a really good choice because I’m well on my way. If the label indicates it’s giving me 1%, then I can see that’s not very much and not as good a choice if it’s calcium that I’m looking for.”

Berkoff says that nutrition labels can educate but “you still need some extra knowledge on the side to know where, say, to look for the calcium.” (In the dairy section, to start with.) “And not everybody has to look for everything on a label,” says Berkoff, who says the % DV can be helpful to consumers trying to increase or decrease their intake of a specific nutrient. “If you were trying to increase your iron, for example, you would compare two or three cereals for their % DV of iron to see which one has the most.”

Likewise, if you were trying to lose weight you might compare calories and choose the product with fewer calories. But here is where labels can be easily misunderstood, says Berkoff. “Someone trying to lose weight might compare low-fat and not low-fat labels and find that the calories are exactly the same or even higher in the low-fat product. You could be looking for a snack and think a certain food is good because it’s low in fat, but in fact it is higher in calories because it has more sugar.”

Use the labels to compare each for each: Yogurt against yogurt, cracker against cracker: “Know what’s important to you so you don’t get overwhelmed with the information,” Berkoff advises. “You need to have a basic starting point – say, knowing what foods contain iron if you’re looking for iron. But you don’t have to read everything on the label because some of the things won’t matter to your particular circumstance and might confuse you.”

Do the math

Cracker A’s serving is nine crackers and weighs 23 grams. Cracker B’s serving is four crackers and weighs 20 grams. Cracker A has 13% DV for fats, 12% DV for sodium and 4% DV for fibre. Cracker B has 2% DV for fats, 4% DV for sodium, and 12% DV for fibre. The healthier choice? Cracker B – lower fats and sodium, higher fibre.

Look, read, choose

Nutrition Facts are based on a specific amount of food. Compare this to the amount you actually eat.

Read the % DV. 5% DV or less is a little of the nutrient listed; 15% DV or more is a lot.

Choose the healthier product. For example, one with less fats and sodium, and more fibre, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron.

What’s in it?

“The ingredient list is helpful because the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight,” says registered dietitian Fran Berkoff. In chicken soup, for instance, choose the product that lists chicken broth rather than water as its first ingredient. “The list of ingredients can also provide vital information if you have food allergies.”

Do I really need to know?

Making healthy food choices can help reduce your risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Labels needed

These foods are not required by to have a Nutrition Facts label: Fresh fruits and vegetables, raw meat and poultry (unless ground), raw fish and seafood, foods prepared or processed at the store; foods containing very few nutrients such as coffee or herbs, alcoholic beverages.

A Good Diet Includes Many Cancer-Fighting Foods: Expert

Losing weight can help reduce your risk of cancer if you’re overweight or obese, but not all diet plans are effective in lowering that risk, an expert says.

Diets that help protect against cancer are those that encourage long-term changes in eating habits and also provide a variety of options from all food groups, explained Daxaben Amin, a senior clinical dietitian in the clinical nutrition department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The Mediterranean-style diet promotes a life-long commitment to good nutrition and also meets many of the dietary guidelines for preventing cancer and heart disease, including:
Plenty of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods.
Using herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.
Limiting consumption of red meat and alcohol.
Using healthy fats such as olive and canola oils instead of butter.
Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

Another good diet is the whole-body type of diet, which involves eating six to seven small meals a day instead of the usual three large meals. It offers the following cancer prevention benefits:
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains in at least half your daily meals.
Limiting foods high in fats.
Eating lean protein.
Daily physical activity.

“Diet plans that encourage short-term change usually don’t provide the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis. These diets make our ‘bad’ list,” Amin said in a cancer center news release.

Gluten-free diets are becoming popular but people shouldn’t go gluten-free unless they have celiac disease, Amin advised. Going gluten-free means avoiding foods with whole grains, which are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals — all of which protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

Carbohydrate-free diets are another bad choice. Completely eliminating carbohydrates deprives the body of its primary source of energy and of some important cancer-fighting foods — vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.

“Instead of going carb-free, choose your carbohydrates wisely. Pick whole grains rather than cakes, cookies and other foods made with processed or refined grains and sugars,” Amin suggested.

Become your own personal nutrition assistant – Roll up your sleeves: taking control of your eating habits is easier than you might think

Wouldn’t it be great to have a personal nutrition assistant? An expert who stocked the fridge regularly with appetizing plates of fruit for snacks and vegetables ready to be tossed into meals? She’d keep the kitchen tidy and have at hand the best tools for making quick work of meal preparation.

With this kind of help, it would be so much simpler to focus on healthy eating.

But let’s re-enter the real world. Since the vast majority of us don’t have access to kitchen staff, if we’re seriously committed to weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight we have to be our own kitchen assistant.

For permanent success, it’s an absolute requirement to get the area in order. So roll up your sleeves and refresh your own kitchen.

Put particular emphasis on five areas:

1. The fridge. This is vitally important. To ensure fresh vegetables and fruit comprise half the plate in most meals and snacks, they have to be easily accessible. Clean your fridge. Get rid of items you won’t eat. Then start shopping for fresh produce at least twice each week. Put it away in an organized fashion. Keep a crisper of washed and cut up carrots and celery. Stock at least three additional vegetables and three kinds of fruit for use each week. Keep a shopping list handy to add items as you start to run low.

2. Canned goods. There are several canned goods worth having on hand for use in healthy recipes. Particularly good choices are salmon, tuna and sardines, canned tomatoes, chickpeas, black beans, lentils and other legumes, and canned fruit packed in its own juice. There are also poor choices: clear out anything that’s of low quality and unworthy of your improved eating habits, including salty canned pastas and soups.

3. Grain products. Take time to sort through your pasta, rice, bread, cereals and crackers. Ensure most are whole grain and supply at least two grams of fibre per serving. For cereal, check that the sugar is below eight grams per serving and fat is less than two grams. If crackers, cookies and chips are too easily relied on for snacks, stop buying them. These foods often supply excess sodium, and the more salt you eat, the more you want.

Replace these snacks with more nutritious ones like novel tropical fruits, fresh vegetables with a tasty low-fat dip, toasted almonds or pecans.

4. The freezer. Whether it’s massive or just the one in your fridge, the freezer is a vital tool in a healthy eating plan. Keep frozen blueberries, peaches and other fruit for adding to smoothies and healthy desserts, a variety of whole grain bread products such as sliced bread, English muffins or tortillas, lean meats like chicken and fish, and a selection of frozen vegetables with no added sauces. If you haven’t discovered Brussels sprouts, they’re one of the best frozen veggie options.

5. The tools. It’s tough to eat the requisite quantity of vegetables and fruit if your preparation equipment is lousy. Invest in a new, rustproof vegetable peeler, a clean cutting board and a sharp paring knife or two. A decent non-stick pan, a couple of saucepans and roasting pans are also required tools for healthy eating. Parchment paper is worth using for simple clean up after roasting.

Storage supplies are other key tools. Items like plastic containers with lids and plastic or foil wrap make it easy to store leftovers or pack along to fuel a busy day.

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Healthy Nutrition Today

2011-03-23 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Eat Right Challenge on tap for March

The Webster County Health Unit encourages county residents to make healthy food choices during National Nutrition Month by issuing an Eat Right Challenge for the month of March.

“Science shows us that a healthy daily diet means eating a variety of colors of foods, choosing fruits and vegetables, and controlling portion sizes,” said administrator Jaci McReynolds.

The Eat Right Challenge offers daily suggestions throughout the month of March to help people take action to improve their eating habits. To compete in the challenge, county residents should visit the Health Unit’s website at to print out the calendar, or visit the Health Unit to pick up a copy; initial each day that they follow the suggested tip; and then turn the calendar in to the Health Unit by April 1 to be entered into a drawing for prizes.

“It’s our hope that by entering the challenge and following the daily tips for one month, our community members will develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime,” McReynolds said.

The prize drawing will be held April 1. Winners will be notified by phone. For more information on National Nutrition Month or Webster County’s Eat Right Challenge, call 417-859-2532.

7 Healthy Foods To Avoids…

Yep, you heard us. Now, of course, we don’t mean all healthy foods (as if we’d let you off the hook that easily). Instead, recent studies by food industry experts have targeted a few foods that, while they certainly have healthier reputations, are potentially hazardous because of the ways they are raised, grown and sold.

Below we’ve listed seven of the potentially worst offenders, as well as some healthier alternatives. (Feel free to begin the guillotine drum roll):

1. Canned Tomatoes

Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri, explained that the linings of the tin cans used for canned tomatoes contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity – some of the very top health conditions plaguing black Americans.

“Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food,” says Vom Saal. “Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. You can get 50 mcg of BPA

per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young. I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

Easy alternative: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings). You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes at stores such as Trader Joe’s and Pomi. If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients – adjust the recipe as needed.

2. Corn-Fed Beef

According to Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and farming author, cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The study also found that grass-fed beef is lower in inflammatory omega-6s and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

Easy alternative: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets and Whole Foods. Also, cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. If you have any questions, just ask the butcher or store manager.

3. Microwave Popcorn

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of any given microwave popcorn bag, have been connected to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA.

“In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer,” said Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group Studies. “The microwaving process causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. They stay in your body for years and accumulate there.”

Researchers are currently worried that the PFOA levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

Easy alternative: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned, fun, dirt-cheap way: in a skillet or a pot on the stove. For flavorings, add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or even soup mix.

4. Nonorganic Potatoes

Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board Moyer and farm director of the Rodale Institute. “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They actually have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

Unfortunately, root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes—the nation’s most popular vegetable—they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

Easy alternative: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh. And don’t worry – organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, pretty comparable to conventional spuds.

5. Farmed Salmon

When nature made salmon, she didn’t intend for them to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. Thanks to these unnatural conditions, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, and pesticides, such as dioxin and DDT.

“The most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus,” explains David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish. “Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks.”

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the very same drugs and chemicals.

Easy alternative: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon. Also, canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

Nearly 95 percent of African Americans are lactose intolerant, so technically there aren’t too many of us consuming much milk or milk products anyway. But for that lingering five percent, as well as those that do still try to eat some dairy products despite the intolerance, there’s reason to be concerned. Most milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

“When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society. “As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. While there’s not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”

Easy alternative: Check labels for rBGH-free and/or rBST-free products that are produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. Also try Wal-Mart’s Great Value label, which does not use rBGH.

7. Conventional Apples

Sad but true: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually descended (or grafted) from a single tree so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. Because of this, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful, but many health experts disagree.

“It’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples,” said Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers, and increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.”

Easy alternative: Buy organic apples. But if your wallet just can’t quite manage it, just be sure to not only wash them carefully, but peel them as well.

The Diabetes Diet: Take Back Your Health!

The sad truth about diabetes: According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, which is over 8% of the population. What about those who are prediabetic? A whopping 79 million people, and the numbers are on the rise, especially for the younger population. Complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease, and even amputation.

The good news? You can virtually rid yourself of Type II Diabetes through diet and exercise – not a bunch of costly pills. Our bodies were not made for this sickness. We have done it to ourselves, via poor food choices and inactivity. According to the Diabetes Prevention Program, even a small amount of weight loss – 5% to 7% of your body weight coupled with only 150 minutes a week of physical activity can help slow the progression of developing diabetes or even prevent it entirely.

So, first things first. Ask yourself these questions.

1. Am I willing to make a permanent lifestyle change?
2. Am I willing to exercise and make an honest effort with my diet?
3. Am I willing to not fall prey to the diet mentality and eat fresh, whole foods – and give my body the actual nutrients it needs?
4. Do I have a support group?
5. Am I able to take it a single day at a time and not get discouraged?
6. Will I make small changes, instead of overwhelming myself with trying to change my whole life?

If you are ready to tackle your eating, you can talk to a dietitian about your own personal goals. However, eating healthy is really just common sense, and by taking a sensible approach, you can achieve success without shelling out a lot of money or time.

Make sure to get the following:

Healthy carbs: Carbs are not “bad.” Just look for the healthiest sources, found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and lower fat dairy products.
Fiber-rich foods: Dietary fiber includes plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Foods high in fiber include veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, and wheat brain.
Heart-healthy fats: Look for oils, such as hemp, flax, olive or canola, as well as seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc.) and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc). These healthy fats can help lower your cholesterol level. Heart-healthy fish, like salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel and herring, can be incorporated a couple times per week as well.

Foods to Avoid:

Saturated fats: High fat dairy products and animal proteins, such as beef, hot dogs, sausage, bacon and cheese contain saturated fats.
Trans fats: Trans fats can be found in processed foods, baked goods, shortening, margarine and certain oils.
Cholesterol: High-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins contain cholesterol.
Sodium: Aim for less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day.

Rules to Live By:

Aim for a healthy mix of whole foods daily. If you get the majority of your calories from healthy grains, nuts, seeds, beans and produce, you don’t have to count calories, and you can eat healthy amounts that will keep you satisfied all day long. Make sure you are eating at stable intervals throughout the day. (Don’t skip breakfast and lunch and then gorge on dinner, which wreaks havoc on your body. Instead, have 5 healthy meals per day.)

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Nutrition News

2011-03-05 / Nutrition & Diets / 1 Comments

Health department notes March – National Nutrition Month

Press release submitted by RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that March is National Nutrition Month. The Health Department in accordance with the American Dietetic Association (ADA) notes that diet fads come and go, and some may help you lose weight – in the short term. However, the most effective long-term way to achieve a healthful lifestyle is to be 100% Fad Free.

The fact is that you can lose weight on virtually any diet. If you eat less, you will lose weight. The question is, can you maintain a healthy lifestyle over the long term – your life? The real key to reaching long-term goals is to focus on your overall health.

Through National Nutrition Month, the Health Department and the ADA promote healthful eating by providing practical nutrition guidance and focusing attention on making informed food choices and developing sound physical activity habits.

In addition, keep in mind these National Nutrition Month key messages to enjoy a 100% Fad Free lifestyle:

* DEVELOP AN EATING PLAN FOR LIFELONG HEALTH. Too often, people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to basics and use the new Food Guide Pyramid as your guide to healthy eating.

* CHOOSE FOODS SENSIBLY BY LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE. A single food or meal won’t make or break a healthful diet. When consumed in moderation in appropriate portions, all foods can fit into a healthful diet.

* LEARN HOW TO SPOT A FOOD FAD. Unreasonable or exaggerated claims that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease or offer quick weight loss are key features of fad diets.

* FIND YOUR BALANCE BETWEEN FOOD AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

* FOOD AND NUTRITION MISINFORMATION CAN HAVE HARMFUL EFFECTS ON YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, as well as your wallet. Look to qualified and science-based nutrition information when developing a diet plan that meets your individual needs.

For more information on good nutrition, or to request a Health Department Nutrition presentation for your group, organization or school class, contact the Department at 852-0197 or visit our website at

HEALTHY SNACK: Program rates nutrition of vending machine items

Vending machines offer convenience but are often limited when it comes to healthy options. Now a new program through the Iowa Department of Public Health is working to change that.

The effort not only adds healthier options, it also clarifies which snacks are the best.

“Unfortunately when you’re at a vending machine, you cannot read a nutrition label. So you’re going with the information that’s on the front of the pack, and many times it will lead you astray,” said Carol Voss, the Nutrition Coordinator with the Iowans Fit for Life program.

To lead people in the right direction, Voss has started placing colored dots inside vending machines. A green dot means the item has a full serving of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, or dairy and also meets certain guidelines for fat, sodium, and sugar. The rating system goes down from there with a yellow dot or a red dot.

Voss is working with vendors to try to get thirty-percent of their items meet the yellow or green criteria in a machine.

For now, you’ll find the color-coded vending machines in buildings around the state capitol, but the goal is to expand the program to other local and state facilities.

March is Nutrition Month – Tips for Eating Healthy

March is Nutrition Month across Canada and while it’s always important to eat right, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) wants to remind residents of the following tips and resources available to make eating right a little easier to do.
Decode the Nutrition Label
One of the first steps toward healthier food choices is to read nutrition labels. That’s why OPH is offering a series of workshops between March 15 and March 31 to help participants decode nutrition labels. To check out the dates or to register visit, email or call 613-580-6744, ext. 23403 (TTY: 613-580-9656).
Reduce sodium
By reading labels, making your own meals and snacks at home and eating out less often, you can reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. A diet high in sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The average Canadian consumes over 3,000 mg of sodium each day – double the recommended amount.
EatRight Ontario
No matter what your age, healthy eating reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. EatRight Ontario is a service that allows you to ask nutrition-related questions and receive feedback by phone or email from a Registered Dietitian. Call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-5102 or visit to get answers on your nutrition questions from a registered dietitian.
Healthy Recipes for family meals – Propecia no prescription online
Preparing your own meals can be much healthier and is less expensive than buying convenience and takeout foods. A nutritious meal contains foods from at least three of the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide. Eat together as a family to encourage healthier habits. OPH has many quick and easy recipes available online at
OPH can also connect organizations and groups with a Community Food Advisor who gives presentations and demonstrations on important topics such as healthy eating on a budget and cooking with kids.

Anti-aging: Healthy Foods Help Maintain a Healthy Body and Mind

Whether you’re nearing menopause or well past it, you may still feel in many ways like you did at twenty. Your body, however, may hold a different opinion. And it always pays to listen to your body.
This Article
Improved My Health
Changed My Life
Saved My Life

Time and aging can usher in some unwelcome changes. Fortunately, a willingness to tweak your lifestyle, including the foods you eat, can ease, delay and even prevent some of those changes.

Not sure you want to mess with your diet? Pretty attached to your favorite foods? If your body has been talking to you about these things, you’ll know it. It has ways of making you reconsider.

You might find that grains now give you indigestion. Maybe you’re gaining weight and don’t know why. Perhaps your energy level isn’t what it used to be. Maybe you’ve been becoming more forgetful, and you’re concerned about the possibilities of Alzheimer’s.

It makes sense to take a fresh look and examine what we’re putting in our mouths. We might just decide to put that old favorite back on the plate and pick up something else.

Consider omega-3 oil. According to research from the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore, MD omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health and are found in fish and nut oils. Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work efficiently, and assist in healthy growth and development. They reduce inflammation, decreasing the risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, help prevent breast cancer. UMMC’s research pointed to a compound called isothiocyanate which is an anticarcinogen. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which when heated, may help prevent some cancers.

Green and white teas strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol and sharpen the mind. Blueberries contain antioxidants which fight free radicals, reducing chronic inflammation.

A study in the October 2010 Journal of Nutrition gives high points to luteolin. Luteolin is a plant compound that stops the release of inflammatory molecules into the brain, decreasing inflammation that causes memory loss.

Carrots, celery, chamomile, peppers, peppermint, rosemary and olive oil are some of the foods that contain luteolin.
This Article
Improved My Health
Changed My Life
Saved My Life

A paper published online by the journal Archives of Neurology on April 12, 2010, said that risk of Alzheimer’s was lower for people eating cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry. While the study does not prove that eating these foods lowers Alzheimer’s risk, they are associated with health improvement and maintenance.

Sorry, eating better won’t make you like you were at twenty. Your body just isn’t going to cooperate that far. But feeding it healthy foods will help you to be a mature woman brimming with vitality.

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Nutrition News

2011-01-28 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Mead Johnson 4Q profit jumps 56 percent

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said Thursday its profit climbed 56 percent in the fourth quarter as sales in Asia and Latin America continued to improve. But its forecast for 2011 was short of Wall Street estimates.

The maker of Enfamil said its net income increased to $99.6 million, or 48 cents per share, in the last three months of 2010 from $64 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time costs related to its initial public offering, severance expenses, legal costs, and other items, the company said it earned 57 cents per share.

Its revenue rose 13 percent to $803.7 million from $714.4 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $806.3 million, according to estimates compiled by FactSet.

Mead Johnson said revenue in Latin America and Asia rose a combined 20 percent to $509.7 million. It said business was especially strong throughout Latin America and in China and Hong Kong. Sales in North America and Europe rose 2 percent to $294 million. It added that changes in foreign currency exchange rates boosted its sales by about 2 percent.

Mead Johnson was a wholly owned unit of drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. until it completed its IPO in February 2009. The company was fully separated from Bristol-Myers in December 2009.

Its annual profit grew 13 percent to $452.7 million, or $2.20 per share, from $399.6 million, or $1.99 per share, in 2009. Revenue increased 11 percent to $3.14 billion from $2.83 billion.

Mead Johnson said it expects an adjusted profit of $2.55 to $2.65 per share in 2011. Net sales are expected to grow 7 to 8 percent, which suggests a total of $3.36 billion to $3.39 billion. On average, analysts are forecasting a profit of $2.73 per share and $3.44 billion in revenue.

Shares of Mead Johnson Nutrition fell 28 cents to $59.74 in afternoon trading.

‘Nutrition Keys’ Coming to the Front of Food Packages

MORGANTOWN — The Grocery Manufacturers Association along with the Food Marketing Institute has started putting some labels on the front of their products called “Nutrition Keys”.
“With it being on the front of the package it’s hoped that its going to be noticeable and more informative to consumers.”

Certified dietician Cindy Fitch with the West Virginia University Extension Service says the more visible the information the better.

The labels list calories, saturated fat, sugar, sodium and other nutrients.

“The more that we draw attention to the food that we eat and what’s in the food that we eat the better off we are,” says Fitch.

“I don’t think that people realize how much fat or sodium is in the foods that they buy,” she said.

Some critics say the nutrition keys are a way to get out of using labels that are already being developed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Fitch says she noticed the keys are lacking a very important feature; the serving size.

“We have a big misconception about serving sizes in this country. We tend to eat a pretty large serving sizes and not pay attention to what the nutrition facts label says the serving size is and that’s not on the front of the package and I think it should be,” says Fitch.

The government had the Institute of Medicine conduct a study about the labels to be reviewed by the FDA.

Michelle Obama in SC, sees Army fitness, food

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is visiting the Army’s largest training post to see how the military turns couch potato recruits into strong and nutrition-minded soldiers.

The first lady arrived Thursday to address the latest crop of new soldiers at their graduation ceremony at Fort Jackson in central South Carolina. She also was to hear about Army efforts to turn unfit teens into warriors.

Obama’s focus on making children healthier intersects with the nation’s need to field tough troops for the Army.

Fort Jackson trains more than 60,000 soldiers annually, including more than half of the Army’s female soldiers.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling is briefing the first lady on how new soldiers are given exercises for core body strength and stamina. Mess halls now feature more dark greens, whole grains and fat-free milk.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is visiting the Army’s largest training post to see how the military turns couch potato recruits into strong and nutrition-minded soldiers.

The first lady, who has taken on the cause of battling childhood obesity, was to speak Thursday to the latest crop of new soldiers at their graduation ceremony at Fort Jackson in central South Carolina.

Her battle against children’s lack of fitness intersects with the nation’s need to field fit troops for the Army.

Fort Jackson, which trains more than 60,000 soldiers annually and more than half the Army’s female soldiers, is one of the service’s five major posts for basic and advanced individual training.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who recently overhauled the way the Army feeds its troops during training, also revamped the Army’s physical training regimen.

Hertling was slated to brief the first lady on how new soldiers are given exercises for core body strength and stamina. Bayonet drills have been dropped in favor of zigzag sprints, pugil stick workouts and stepped up calisthenics to increase power, strength and agility for soldiers facing rigorous campaigns in places like Afghanistan.

Mess halls now feature dark greens, whole grains and no-fat milk instead of calorie-laden fried foods, sugary desserts and sodas.

Red, yellow and green markings above each food item tell soldiers which foods are good for their energy level, which ones will keep them full, and which should be eaten in moderation.

Drill sergeants now call out recruits who don’t put enough fruits and veggies on their plates, and hold hour-long sessions on performance nutrition to help them understand the Army wants “soldier athletes.”

Army officials worry the nation’s security is at risk because fewer than one in four 17 to 24 year-olds are fully qualified to enter the military because of health, weight, or legal reasons.

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Nutrition and Diets News

2010-11-10 / Nutrition & Diets / 0 Comments

Health Buzz: Junk Food Diet Helped Nutrition Professor Shed Pounds

Nutrition Professor Sheds 27 Pounds on Junk Food Diet

Twinkies, Oreos, and Doritos—the new weight-loss diet? Well, a steady stream of junk food worked for Mark Haub, a Kansas State University nutrition professor who, after two months, shed a hefty 27 pounds, CNN reports. But he’s not only slimmer. He reduced his body mass index from the overweight category to normal, his bad cholesterol decreased while the good increased, and his blood pressure is just fine. But Haub didn’t embark on this eating plan to live out a childhood dream. He wanted to prove a simple point to his students: Any diet can produce weight loss—it’s just a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn, Haub told U.S. News’s Hanna Dubansky in September. Haub went from ingesting 2,600 calories a day to 1,800. “If weight loss is the ultimate goal,” he asked his students, “does it matter how I achieve it?” More than 80 percent of what he ate was prepackaged and coated in chocolate, supplemented only minimally by a daily multivitamin, a little whole milk, and a small serving of vegetables. (Whole grains, fruit, and dietary fiber were largely off limits.) “I’m losing weight and my cholesterol is improving by eating those foods,” Haub told Dubansky. “Is it really soda and chips that are making people obese, or how much of them they eat?” Ultimately, Haub said he hopes his experiment will push his students to think about their diets and glean that “moderation and variety are key to nutrition.”

In September, Haub also provided U.S. News with one of his daily junk food menus.

From: A Day in the Life of a Junk Food Dieter


1 double espresso, black

2 cups Kellogg’s Corn Pops

1 cup whole milk

1 Centrum Advanced Formula multivitamin

Total calories: 376


1 Hostess Twinkie

1 Little Debbie Star Crunch

1 Muscle Milk Protein Shake

Total calories: 540


1 Hostess Twinkie

Total calories: 150


1 Little Debbie Zebra Cake

1 brownie (Duncan Hines mix)

3-4 baby carrots

1 Muscle Milk Protein Shake

Total calories: 688


6 chips, Cool Ranch Doritos

Total calories: 75

Total Calories: 1,829

On nutrition: What we don’t know

In baseball and elections, we don’t always know what we don’t know. I did not know, for example, that it would be so much fun to watch the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. And I don’t know if elections will ever be as respectfully joyful as baseball games.

In matters of diabetes and nutrition, we often do not know what we do not know. Here are some comments I frequently hear:

“I did not know that …

… blood sugar (glucose) levels change throughout the day.” Glucose is the energy our body derives from the food we eat. It naturally rises in the blood after a meal and falls a few hours after we eat. When blood sugar levels rise too high after meals or stay too high during the day (a condition called diabetes) nerves and body organs are damaged.

… I should be counting the “total carbohydrates” in my food instead of just looking at “sugar” on the food label.” Sugar is just one type of carbohydrate that makes blood sugars go up rapidly. Counting the “total carbohydrates” gives a better clue to how a food will affect your blood glucose levels.

… fiber is a carbohydrate, too.” And — by definition — it is a carbohydrate that the body does not absorb. That’s one reason why a high carbohydrate food that is also high in fiber (such as dried beans) is a good choice.

… it’s a good idea to check my blood sugar levels before and after meals if I have diabetes.” Both tests give valuable clues to how well your diet, exercise, and medication plans are working.

… the amount and type of fat in my diet is as important as the sugar.” Diets high in saturated or trans fats can damage arteries and organs and aggravate the body’s ability to regulate blood sugars.

… taking care of my feet is as important as taking care of my diet.” Diabetes can affect the nerves and circulation in the feet. Even a small cut or blister left untreated can lead to big time problems. Regular foot exams are a routine part of diabetes care.

Telemedicine may help individuals with type 2 diabetes improve their diet

Type 2 diabetes requires significant amounts of dietary planning and continued consumption of healthy foods. However, due to the struggling economy, low wages and high unemployment, many individuals with the condition are finding it difficult to maintain a healthy diet and to stay in touch with their physicians.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has found that telemedicine, which allows patients to communicate with their doctors electronically, may help solve some of these problems.

Researchers from the State University of New York in Syracuse said that as many as 10 percent of adults with diabetes consider money to be a problem when it comes to sticking to a nutritious diet. However, after a round of counseling via telemedicine that covered less expensive ways they can stick to dietary recommendations, researchers found that a majority of participants improved their diets.

“This study demonstrated that among participants classified as both food secure and mildly insecure, individuals were usually able to follow the dietitian’s advice,” said Ruth Weinstock, who led the investigation. “This finding suggests that telemedical nutrition support services have the potential to be an important adjunct for primary care providers whose patients have poor access to the services of dietitians.”

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