Reading List: Top 5 Overrated Food Trends, McDonald's Food Safety & A Dating Site Scandal

by in Food News, January 8, 2010

In this week’s nutrition news: New health goals for Americans, McDonald’s excellent food-safety standards and how small changes can keep diabetes at bay.

Did Americans Meet Their Healthy Goals for 2010?
Every 10 years the government sets standard health goals for Americans. Most goals tend to be ambitious — for example, lowering our collective salt and fat intake. Americans didn’t fare well on either of these (both have gone up in the past 10 years!). For the 2020 goals, the government plans to set forth more attainable, simpler objectives and hope that creates a more positive mindset and result. The idea is that baby steps are a smarter way to reach better healthy. What do you think?

McDonald’s Outstanding Food Safety Guidelines
I’m not a big fan of Mickey D’s, but according to this USA Today article, McDonald’s has top-of-the-line food safety practices (even I was impressed!). At the plant, a 32-person cleaning crew works from 2 to 6 a.m. Hamburger meat is kept cold in special bins the size of hot tubs, and trucks delivering the food are sealed shut with a steel bolt — only the purchaser can unlock them with a bolt cutter (or the meat gets sent back). School lunch programs, please, take notes!

Gain A Little Weight? You’re Not Dating Material
A highly selective dating site,, just kicked off about 5,000 members after they posted holiday pictures that showed they’d gained weight. Seems other members complained that some folks had let themselves go; in response the site locked them out until they lost the pounds. Would you really want to meet friends or potential lovers here?

Preventing Diabetes
A large national study set out to examine ways to help prevent and delay onset of diabetes. The study divided its 3,000-plus volunteers into three groups: one group received medication, the second received motivational nutrition counseling and the third got a “fake” pill. Of the three groups, those who had the nutrition counseling and were highly motivated did twice as well as those who just took their medication. As it turns out, it took only a few small changes in exercise and eating habits to help control blood sugar more effectively.

Overrated Food Trends
This Chicago Tribune article, written by a registered dietitian and colleague Janet Helm, talks about the top five overrated food trends of the year. On the list: super juices, coconut oil, infused water, chia seeds and agave nectar. Have you tried any of these foods?

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Comments (16)

  1. Julie says:

    RE: Overrated food trends
    I've tried the agave nectar, but only because it was on sale and is a sweetener with a low glycemic index. I didn't know it had been highly touted.

  2. Sarah says:

    I like agave nectar. I use it as a substitute to honey. You know… for the sake of the bees. Haha.

  3. Healthy Food says:

    I'm actually surprised at the food safety process of McDonald's because we all know that some take away restaurants has some of the filthiest kitchens. Big up for MC D.

  4. Kristin says:

    I've tried acai juice, but I don't drink it regularly. It's good, but I'm not deluding myself to think it can cure all my ills.

  5. jessica says:

    Re: Overrated Foods: Coconut Oil / previous article you've written

    i think that article is looking at some very surface numbers and i think is too general to really mean anything good or bad. coconut oil does have high saturated fat but does not have any cholesterol. the lauric acid found in coconut oil actually stimulates your thyroid to help you burn body fat & boost your metabolism. it is also very high in antioxidants and vitamin e – which helps keep your skin clear. And actually because you can cook coconut oil at such hight temperatures it wont break down like olive oil and wont become a trans fatty acid. In addition, you do have to look at the kind and quality of the oil. i am sure restaurants are not using virgin pressed oil – it would be way too expensive. and there is a big difference in the quality. so overall i think there is a lot to consider here, more than the writer said and ultimately ANY oil consumed in a large quantity isnt healthy. vegetables should always be the base of your diet. but if you are making a cooked meal in coconut oil or adding it to your desserts i think it is ultimately much better for you than what you might have eaten instead.

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