Nutrition Hot Topics
Enjoy these articles to help clarify some common nutrition myths. Check back frequently for new articles!
General Nutrition Topics
A new study is offering promising results to men over the age of 50. Those who took a multivitamin on a consistent basis had an 8% reduction in total cancers. It is unclear if this is applicable of men younger than age 50 or other populations; however, if you are planning on taking a multivitamin, choose one that has no more than 100% Daily Value of most vitamins and take it on a consistent basis.
A great article featuring a fellow dietitian, Cheryl Harris. This article highlights the pros, cons and everything in between in regards to this superfood.
An interesting article focusing on how much food is thrown away. Some tips to help stay green include 1) buy less produce more frequently; 2) consider freezing fruit to extend the shelf life; 3) clean your produce as soon as you get home from the grocery store to encourage consumption; 4) cook only as much as you need or place leftover in sight in the refrigerator to remind you to eat them; and finally understand the difference between "sell by" and "use by" dates. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA), "sell by" tells the store how long to display the product for sale. Buy products before the date expires. "Best if used by (or before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality, not a purchase or safety date. "Use by" dates indicate the last date recommended for use of the product while at peak quality. This date has been determined by the manufacturer. For more information check out: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Food_Product_dating/index.asp.
Probiotics are live bacteria that can be consumed and are present in our bodies currently. Keep in mind, all humans have bacteria in our bodies and not all of it is bad. Probiotics are good bacteria that help us digest our food and help our immune system function well. This article provides further ideas of how probiotics can be beneficial and how to take them. A great informative article on good bacteria!
An interesting article reminding us to check our expiration dates!. This article focuses on the short shelf life of many healthy foods including whole grain flours and polyunsaturated fats (think corn or safflower oil). This article reminds us to avoid buying these items in bulk from warehouse stores because they tend to go rancid prior to using all of the product. The concern, per University of Massachusetts professor Eric Decker, is when a product goes rancid, it loses vitamins and can develop potentially toxic compounds. As a reminder, avoid buying vegetable oil in clear plastic bottles and store it in a cool, dark place to prevent rapid oxidation.
Some good reminders about food safety that can affect all of us, not just at risk populations such as children, elderly and pregnant. This article mentions the importance of checking temperatures of pork, not relying on smell to tell if a product is bad and the importance of washing your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. I remain slightly skeptical about the part on avoiding washing produce and meat; I firmly believe it is a good idea to wash your produce, even if it is bagged, to reduce your risk of pathogens and bacteria.
Answering the common question of "Are beans vegetables or protein?," this article encourages you to increase your bean consumption for the new year. Written by a fellow dietitian, Patti Geil; this article lists tips for soaking dry beans, compares different varieties of beans and includes tips on how to use them.
A great article written by a fellow dietitian- Katherine Tallmadge, focusing on 5 foods that aren't all they are cracked up to be. The list includes reduced fat peanut butter, multigrain foods and
Weight Loss Topics
An interesting article on why we get food cravings. Blame this on your memory. The good news is there is help out there through dietitians, food psychologists or your doctor.
A new weight loss drug, Qnexa, is up for review with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This is a combination of phentermine (think Fen-Phen), which is an appetite suppressant, and topiramate, an anti-convulsant. This article gives an overview of the drug and possible side effects. In my opinion, this may help as a short term solution, but if you are looking for long term weight loss with sustainable health improvements- diet, exercise and the help of a dietitian is the best way to go.
A wonderful article written by fellow dietitian, Molly Kimball, listing 10 great new products to aid in weight loss.
Pregnancy and Child Topics
This article outlines the numerous benefits of family meal time. With more than 40% of meals eaten outside the home, we need to get back to basics and eat together as a family.
An interesting new study that looks at school performance and consumption of breakfast. Girls were more likely to not have breakfast (self-reported). Those who did not have breakfast showed slower power of attention, along with many other problems. Although the study certainly has some limitations, concern needs to be raised as to why these children are not eating anything in the morning.
This article highlight some important differences that should be added to a pregnant women's diet. Several nutrient needs increase including folic acid and iron. If you are pregnant, consider scheduling an individual consult or attending a pregnancy class to make sure your diet includes the recommended levels of nutrients to help produce the healthiest pregnancy.
An interesting perspective on new mothers trying to prevent allergies in their babies. This article proposes that mothers who cut out common foods that cause allergies such as milk, nuts and other risky foods may actually be doing more harm than good. This article sites two research studies that were performed that showed similar findings. In one study, among babies that did develop at least one food allergy, 90% of mothers had practiced an avoidance strategy during pregnancy, compared with 73% of mothers in the control group. Per the research that has been performed, dietary modifications in mothers did not significantly reduce the the development of food allergies in babies. Please note the research sited in this article has not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal.
This article is written by two pharmacists who provide background information on breastfeeding, preparing to breastfeed and the benefits to both mom and baby during breastfeeding. A must read if you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding your newborn!
An interesting article emphasizing the importance of good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and avoiding smoking and drinking while pregnant. New research believes health risk is partially determined during pregnancy. Scientists are looking at links in maternal habits and their effects on disease risk of children later in life. More research needs to be completed before we can draw definitive conclusions.
The first year of your baby's life is where their palate is trained. This article helps stress the importance of introducing a wide variety of flavors and textures to help increase acceptance of foods later on in life. This article features a fellow dietitian, Tina Ruggiero, with suggestions on eight foods to add into your baby's diet and when to add them.
A new study finds the risk of death in maternal obesity is 4.6 times higher than normal or underweight pregnant women. This new finding encourages women considering getting pregnant reach out for help to become healthier prior to conception and gain an appropriate weight throughout their pregnancy. Consider Twin Cities Nutrition Consultant's New Baby Package if you fall in this category to help you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Disease Specific Topics
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health tracked nearly 43,000 participants to provide the above conclusion. They found that men who drink one sugar-sweetened beverage have a 20% higher risk of heart disease than men who drink none. This article also addresses the risk of switching to diet drinks that may cause you to crave sweets. Of note, however, this study does not pinpoint directly that consumption of sugary drinks leads to heart disease. It may be a correlation of effects that men who drink sugar-sweetened beverages lead more unhealthy lives and this in turn causes heart disease.