Recent news reports have discussed how New York lawmakers are leaning into energy drink makers about the quality and safety of their products. Fan favorites like AMP, Monster and 5-Hour Energy are all under investigation. These energy-promising drinks continue to gain popularity with folks of all ages — but are they safe?
Energy Drinks 101
We’ve broken down the details on why energy drinks can be so dangerous in the recent post Energy Drinks: Good or Bad? (hint: they’re bad!). Lots of sugar, caffeine and other questionable ingredients are to blame.
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When I heard the results of this recent study, I wasn’t too surprised. For years, I’ve been privately counseling folks who fall both above and below the poverty line. I’ve seen the patterns and am glad there is now statistical data to prove it. Cost has always been blamed for poor eating habits, but it’s the middle class folks who are most obese. They’re spending their hard earned money on fast food and other convenience cuisine.
Findings for the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found:
- Thirty million (or 41%) of obese adults have an income at or above 250% of the poverty level and over 28 million (39%) of obese adults have incomes between 130%-350% of the poverty level while fifteen million adults (20%) of obese adults have an income below 130% of the poverty level.
- For men, there was no significant difference between education level and the prevalence of obesity. For women, however, the prevalence of obesity increased as education level decreased.
- Middle income folks eat at fast food joints most often while 80% of those with a low income cook at home at least 5 times a week.
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- McDonald's new Mcaloo Tikki will make its debut in India in 2013.
McDonald’s may best be known for its hamburgers, but the fast-food chain is changing out its trademark beef patties for the potato variety—well, in India at least. The fast-food chain is planning to open two new vegetarian-only restaurants in the predominately Hindu and Muslim country next year; menu items will include locally-inspired dishes like the Mcaloo Tikki, a burger made with a breaded potato and pea patty, special vegetable sauce, ketchup, red onion and two slices of tomato. The restaurant will also offer the McCurry Pan, a dish of curried broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms and red bell pepper that’s baked in a crust.
McDonald’s locations in India already don’t sell beef or pork, and the kitchens are separated into vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections. The new restaurants are set for locations in “northern Indian cities that are pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Sikhs,” according to Rajesh Kumar Maini, a spokesman for the company’s north and east Indian operations who was quoted in a recent article.
To learn more, read the full article.
What do you think about the chain’s vegetarian options? Is it a ploy to get customers in the door, or just a new localized offering?
By now you’ve probably heard about the study claiming eating egg yolks is as bad for your heart as smoking. We just had to weigh in on this!
We Heart Eggs
We’ve already discussed the benefits of eggs. Eating them (yolks and all) offers protein, heart healthy omega-3 fats, plus cell-protecting antioxidants like lutein. Read up on these previous posts:
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Calling all almond lovers! A new study found that almonds have fewer calories than originally thought. We’ve got the inside scoop on this news.
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds have 20% fewer calories than originally thought. The results found that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has 129 calories as opposed to 160 that’s currently listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
Interestingly, it has nothing to do with the composition of the almond—rather, the way we metabolize it. Although it sounds nutty (pun intended), I had the pleasure to speak with Jenny Heap, MS, RD Manager, Healthy Professional Marketing for Almond Board of California to help decipher these findings.
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The Environmental Working Group constantly scrutinizes the amounts of pesticide residues found on popular produce. We want to keep you updated on which fruits and veggies you should buy organic – here’s a review of the 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide Residues.
The Dirty Dozen PLUS
The top 12 most contaminated had remained relatively consistent other than a few items shifting positions. But in 2012 a “PLUS” category was added to the original dozen. Conventionally-grown green beans, kale and collard greens have been given special consideration because of an especially dangerous toxin they are treated with. Organophosphate insecticides are toxic to the neurological system and are found in even higher amounts on bell peppers and nectarines (numbers 3 and 6 on the Dirty Dozen list).
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A nutritionally-balanced pizza you can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner sounds too good to be true, right? A Glasgow University scientist, Mike Lean, claims otherwise. He says the pizza contains exactly 1/3 of the recommended amount of calories, protein and carbohydrates, plus vitamins and minerals an adult should consume daily.
Seaweed is used in the pizza’s crust to lower the dish’s sodium level. Also added are “magnesium, potassium, folates, vitamin A and extra red pepper in the tomato sauce for a boost of vitamin C,” according to a recent article.
In theory, because it contains 30 percent of your balanced nutritional value for the day, you could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner with no negative health effects. The key: in theory.
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Kids who lend a hand in the kitchen are more likely to make healthy food choices, according to a recent University of Alberta study.
The Canadian university surveyed fifth graders in 151 schools to learn about kids’ cooking experiences and food choices. “Kids who like fruits and vegetables more tend to eat them more frequently and have better diets,” said lead author Yen Li Chu, a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Public Health, in a recent interview. “These data show that encouraging kids to get involved in meal preparation could be an effective health promotion strategy for schools and parents.”
For the most part, children preferred fruits to vegetables, but those who helped with the cooking at home showed a greater preference for both, with a 10 percent higher interest in vegetables compared to their non-cooking counterparts. The research also showed those “who did meal prep and cooking were more confident about the importance of making healthier food choices,” according to the same article.
Kid-Friendly Recipes (to make with your kids!):
Tell us: Do you cook with your kids?
- Does eating well cost more money?
Does following a healthy diet mean dishing out more dough? Not necessarily. A new study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that healthy food isn’t any more expensive than junk food.
With more than one-third of U.S. adults being overweight and a push from the Obama administration to fight rising obesity levels, this new study sheds light on budgetary concerns when it comes to healthy eating.
Previous studies were highly criticized for comparing the cost of food per calorie. These studies found that pastries and chips and cheaper than fruit and veggies. The newest study conducted by the Agricultural Department compared cost of foods by weight or portion size which reveals that grains, veggies, fruit and dairy foods are less costly than most meats or foods high in added sugar, salt, or artery-clogging saturated fat. The study found that carrots, banana, lettuce and pinto beans were all cheaper per portion than soda, ice cream, ground beef or French fries.
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- Is eating well even tougher than doing taxes?
Navigating healthy eating doesn’t have to be tricky—yet knowing what to eat (and more importantly, what not to) stumps most Americans. In fact, according to a recent online survey, 52 percent of Americans think it’s easier to do their own taxes than it is to pick a healthy meal.
In particular, men, people lacking a college degree, overweight adults and those with high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol were most likely to say they find it harder to know what they should or shouldn’t eat.
Based on data from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2012 Food & Health Survey taken by more than 1,000 men and woman ages 18 to 80, nine out of 10 people polled described their health as good or better, yet eating healthy was consistently a challenge for most.
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