by Amy Reiter in Food News, May 8, 2015
by Amy Reiter in Food News, March 27, 2015
It’s only “natural.”
What is “natural”? Food writer and thinker Michael Pollan, in a New York Times Magazine essay, mulls the specious use of the word on labels for everything from cheese puffs to chicken nuggets — and the Food and Drug Administration’s reluctance to clearly define the word and therefore open the way for the legal system to adjudicate claims of its misuse. Pollan argues that the FDA may be right to demur, because the word “natural” itself has come to mean nothing, at least if we define it as something that hasn’t been altered by humanity. Still, Pollan says, we can rely on our common sense. “It’s not hard to say which of two things is ‘more natural’ than the other: cane sugar or high-fructose corn syrup? Chicken or chicken nuggets? G.M.O.s or heirloom seeds?” he writes. “The most natural foods in the supermarket seldom bother with the word; any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.” Naturally.
by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, July 19, 2014
Cocktail calorie count
Ever wonder how many calories are in your cocktail or your pint of beer? Soon that will be easier for diet-watching drinkers to discern. Alcoholic-beverage behemoth Diageo PLC — the global giant behind Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey, Smirnoff vodka, Guinness and countless other products — says that, starting in a few months, it will begin including information about nutrition, including calories and fat content, and alcohol content per serving on its U.S. product labels and online. This is an industry first, according to the company. After the labels’ U.S. rollout, they will be introduced in Europe. Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes told the Wall Street Journal the company wants “to provide alcohol and nutrition information that consumers can quickly understand, instead of expecting them to do the math.”
by Jason Machowsky in Healthy Tips, July 30, 2012
In this week’s news: The organic set has a told-you-so moment; the calories-in-calories-out theory loses cachet; and the veggie burger seizes the gourmet spotlight.
Whole-Paycheck Prices? (Maybe) Just Worth It.
Here’s a reason to feel good about that massively bank-breaking expensive pint of organic fruit you just bought: A new comprehensive review of previous studies found that organic produce and grains had slightly higher levels of antioxidants (17 percent more) and lower levels of pesticides than their conventionally-farmed counterparts. Previous reviews had played down the differences (pesticide levels in conventional produce, for example, are often still well below what’s considered harmful), and hadn’t used quite as broad a sample base (one possible reason for the difference).
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, February 27, 2012
Ever wonder how some people can just eat all day and never gain weight? While some are just born with a naturally high metabolism (thank your parents), the vast majority of us frequent eaters must choose foods that give us the nutrients and energy we need to function throughout the day for less calories.
Notice it’s not about less food, but less calories. “Nutrient density” represents a food’s nutrient bang for its calorie buck. Understanding nutrient density and learning how to choose nutrient dense foods is the key to eating better . . . and more.
An example: Let’s say you want a snack. Consider one of these three options:
- A candy bar
- A low-fat yogurt, medium peach and a few almonds
- 15 baby carrots, a whole 10 oz. package of cherry tomatoes, a full bunch of celery and a couple tablespoons of hummus or low-fat dressing
You could eat the first option very easily and possibly still be hungry (or crash) an hour later. You’d probably be satisfied with the second. How about the third option, sound like a bit much? Sound like it’s impossible to eat at one sitting? That’s the point.
by Toby Amidor in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, May 18, 2011
- Are the calories in milk the same as the calories in soda?
What’s more important, what you eat or how much you eat? Dietitians are often asked this question: Are all calories created equal?
Yes, calories are calories whether they come from carrots or cookies but that’s not the end of the story. Foods are diverse and offer more than just calories so to truly evaluate the quality of calories, consider their nutrient density.
“Good” calories are nutrient-dense, which means you get the most bang for your calorie buck. For example, compare 100 calories of soda to 100 calories of milk. Calories from soda provide sugar and that’s just about all. That same number of calories from milk provide protein, calcium and vitamins A and D – therefore, the milk is a more nutrient-dense food.
But even the most nutrient-dense foods can get us into trouble. Peanut butter, olive oil and avocados are high in heart-healthy fats but the calories can stack up quickly – here’s where portion control is key.
by Toby Amidor in Ask the Experts, Grocery Shopping, Healthy Tips, March 7, 2011
- Even healthy foods need portion control; an ideal serving of protein is 3 ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.
A new study found that a only a measly 9 percent of Americans can accurately track daily calories. That’s a shame, since statistics show people who track calories lose twice as much weight as those who don’t.
That’s because if you don’t track calories, you’re likely eating more than you think. My clients are always saying, “I don’t eat very much, so why am I gaining weight?” After some digging and investigating, they often find the calories are actually stacking up. Here are some reasons why, and how to kick these nasty habits.
5 ways to cut calories »
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, January 22, 2011
Want the inside scoop on label reading? We spoke to registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of the new label-decoding book Read It Before You Eat It. Check out her responses to Healthy Eats’ reader questions, and find out the biggest mistakes shoppers make.
Read more »
by Toby Amidor in Food News, May 21, 2010
Not in the habit of label reading? Don’t know where to start? The New Year is a good time to work on it — here are some first steps.
Label-reading how-to »
by Toby Amidor in Food News, December 25, 2009
- Steak lovers, rejoice: Red meat may not deserve a bad wrap.
In this week’s nutrition news: Trendy dark-colored foods are taking over menus, added fiber in General Mills products and don’t be afraid to eat that juicy steak or burger.
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In this week’s nutrition news: An Illinois prison is sued for serving soy, calorie listings on menu can help folks make better choices and the top 10 college meals.
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