We’re just hours away from the weekend! So that means it’s time for a dose of healthy news from DIR and our friends. This week’s headlines include a story about major organic companies funding against GMO labeling, a lunch lady told to stop making healthier food, and caramel apple-inspired recipes for fall.
If you can’t get enough of Sarah Palin then you’ll want to pick up her diet and fitness book when (and if) it is for sale, which she announced is in the works. It will be interesting to read and hear about the things in her book because the former Alaskan governor once bashed the idea of serving healthy snacks in schools. Do you think people will take the book seriously? Tell us what you think!
Thursday’s presidential debate probably left some questions relating to America’s future answered and others unanswered. So we were questioning who would win the election depending on who has the best physical fitness and personal diet? Take a look at Congressman Paul Ryan’s and Vice President Joe Biden’s fitness routine and diet habits and tell us what you think!
The vote for California’s Prop 37 is next month and if it is passed it will radically change the processed food industry. Many Californians and organic brands like Clif Bar, Annie’s and Uncle Matt’s are in favor of Prop 37. However, other organic brands like Kashi, Naked, and Silk are donating thousands-to-millions of dollars to fund anti-GMO labeling campaigns. Do you think the organic companies shouldn’t be donating against GMO labeling and practice what they preach? (more…)
By Jonathan Bailor
Have you ever wondered what the vitamin and mineral percentages on nutrition labels actually mean?
These are wonderful questions to ask, because otherwise we may assume double-digit percentages mean the food is nutritious, and sadly, that’s frequently false. For example, let’s say you want to mix it up a bit during your next trip to the grocery store, and are looking to boost your calcium intake. You spot some goat’s milk, and consider giving it a whirl. You grab the carton, flip it around and see this label: 30 percent calcium. Traditionally you may consider this a “good source” of calcium. But is it? Should you give the good old goat a go? Maybe.
Here are the three key questions to ask to help with your decision: (more…)
It’s in ranch dressing, Doritos, canned soups, and french fries. You’re eating it if you go to KFC, have green bean casserole, or take a swig of Diet Coke. Really, any processed food likely includes some form of it. What is this ubiquitous food product? Monosodium glutamate, most commonly known as MSG.
For years, MSG has been the subject of debate. The Food and Drug Administration calls it safe, MSG-sensitive persons think it causes headaches and asthma, and scientists show conflicting research on the effects of MSG. What’s the truth? Should everyone stop eating it? Are the food companies and government in conspiracy against the public? Or is this product a safe and healthy flavor enhancer?
First, it is helpful to go over what monosodium glutamate is. MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor without giving a flavor of its own, according to the FDA. It was first discovered in Japan in 1908 by a scientist named Ikeda, who isolated the compound after wanting to know the secret of his wife’s delicious soup. Along with branding his product and making millions, he also came up with the idea of umami, a fifth taste translated as savory or deliciousness that is distinct from the senses of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. (more…)
Be honest, do you read nutrition labels? I have to admit I read them more and more in a quest for better health. I try to pay attention to sodium, sugar, fat and calories and I’m especially focused on the ingredient list. These labels hold the key to the ingredients within the foods we eat and are often more telling of the quality of food than the often confusing nutrition facts.
As Americans we don’t follow the metric system, so understanding the number of grams of various elements in our food can prove difficult; for some it can make the information downright useless. To make that label even more relevant, there is a petition circulating at Change.org requesting that the FDA add the number of teaspoons of sugar to the “per serving” section on nutrition labels. They currently have 117 of 18,000 desired signatures.
Implementing this idea can help greatly with understanding just how much sugar is in the foods you are considering. Added sugar is one of many catalysts in the current levels of obesity we see throughout the country.
To see how helpful this change might be, I asked our resident registered dietician Mary Hartley if reflecting sugar measurements in teaspoons would be beneficial. “Yes it would be helpful if added sugar were separated from naturally occurring sugars in fruit, milk and some vegetables,” Mary said. When asked if seeing the sugar content in grams can make a difference in curbing obesity, Mary stated, “Obesity is a multifaceted, complex problem. I would not expect any single intervention to make a big difference, although many small actions do add up. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.” (more…)