by Amy Reiter in Food News, April 8, 2016
by Sally Wadyka in Food News, February 8, 2016
Arsenic in rice cereal
One of the first foods many parents feed their babies is about to get safer and healthier. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a cap on the amount of inorganic arsenic (a potentially toxic and carcinogenic substance in some pesticides and insecticides) in infant rice cereals to 100 parts per billion, similar to Europe’s recommended limit. Rice cereal is the chief source of arsenic exposure for babies, the FDA said, noting that its testing determined that many U.S. retail brands are in already compliance with the new recommended guidelines, according to the Associated Press. Although the FDA has not recommended that parents avoid feeding their babies rice cereal altogether, the agency advised not relying on it exclusively and offering infants other iron-fortified baby cereals — such as oatmeal, barley or multigrain ones — as well. “The proposed limit is a prudent and achievable step,” the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Susan Mayne told the AP.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, March 13, 2015
There’s a debate raging around dairy, with some people advocating its consumption for a variety of health reasons, and others shunning it based on their own digestive or ethical concerns. But the newly released dietary guidelines are clear: They continue to recommend three servings per day of dairy as the best way to meet the requirements for calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin A and magnesium. “The guidelines say that dairy is crucial, because for most Americans it is the primary source of those nutrients that many come up short on,” says Isabel Maples, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.
But many Americans experience symptoms of lactose intolerance that make consuming dairy products particularly unpleasant. The gas, bloating and diarrhea are caused by an inability to digest lactose — the sugar that naturally occurs in cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. Recently, however, science has started to tease out another possible explanation for many people’s post-dairy discomfort. “Researchers looked into why people who thought they were lactose-intolerant could drink goat’s milk without issue, even though it has as much lactose as cow’s milk,” says Bonnie Johnson, M.S., R.D., nutrition director, a2 Milk Company.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, Have You Tried, February 8, 2015
Got (Antibiotics in Your) Milk?
What’s in your milk? Possibly antibiotics that are not supposed to be there. The FDA spot-checked milk from about 2,000 dairy farms and, according to a new report, found six unauthorized drugs, including florfenicol, ciproflaxacin and sulfamethazine, in a small but alarming number of samples. The antibiotics found are not among those the agency usually tests for, NPR reports, because none of them have been approved for use on lactating cows; the regulations are aimed at preventing drug residues from entering the milk supply. But farmers may be using these unauthorized drugs to reduce illness in the herds while skirting detection. The FDA may have difficulty tracking the farms responsible for the antibiotics-tainted milk, but it has now launched an effort to prevent use of the unauthorized drugs on dairy cattle. Read more
by Toby Amidor in Uncategorized, July 24, 2014
Is eating healthier on your list of New Year’s resolutions? These six foods are on this year’s must-try list because they pack a nutritional punch. Dig into these better-for-you foods and make your 2015 resolution a reality. Read more
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, November 2, 2013
The yogurt section in the dairy aisle has been expanding rapidly, with more spins on the creamy delight than you can shake a spoon at. The next time you’re adding yogurt to your shopping cart, here are some things to keep in mind as you scan the label.
All yogurts contain sugar. Yogurt is made from milk, which contains lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. It’s the added sugar — what the yogurt manufacturer brings to the mix — that buyers need to watch out for. Fruit-flavored yogurt and honey-flavored yogurt have more sugar than plain because of added sugars. If you read the ingredient list, you will see words like fructose and evaporated cane sugar, both of which are simply different names for sugar. A good rule of thumb: If a yogurt contains more than 20 grams of sugar per serving, it’s more of a dessert than a healthful snack.
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, October 17, 2013
With loads of calories and artery-clogging saturated fat, can cream ever really be part of a healthy diet?
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, September 29, 2013
Does this dairy delight have a place in your healthy eating plan? Although cheeses have gotten bad press for being high in artery-clogging fat, the right ones can provide important nutrients to your diet.
by Toby Amidor in Food Safety, May 13, 2010
These days, you can’t miss the yogurt aisle. Markets now have two, three or more cases designated to this creamy delight. But with so many choices, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused on which is healthiest.
Added vs. Natural Sugar
Before eyeballing any label, understand that you’ll find sugar in each any yogurt you pick up. Yogurt has natural sugar (called lactose) and unless it’s a plain variety it will also have sugar added for sweetness. The nutrition facts combine both the natural and added sugar under “sugars.” The only way to know if any sugar was added is to look at the ingredients list.
To keep in line with the recommendations from The American Heart Association, women should limit their sugar to no more than 6 teaspoons per day (or 100 calories’ worth) while men should eat a max of 9 teaspoons of sugar per day (or 150 calories). This means capping sugar to no more than 20 grams per serving, which would be about 2 teaspoons of added sugar.
Some brands use sugar substitutes instead of added sugar. This will help lower the total sugar amount–remember, you will still be getting natural sugar from the yogurt. I tend to shy away from those varieties and rather purchase a plain yogurt and flavor it myself with a touch of natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
These good bacteria are found in most yogurts help keep your digestive tract in working order. You can find the actual bacteria names under the ingredient list—look for words like L. acidophilus, L. casei, B. bifidum and B. Longum.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, Taste Test, May 12, 2010
Ever wondered why milk is “homogenized” and “pasteurized” and why the heck vitamin D is added? We’ll iron out these terms and explain why they’re on your milk container.
Learn more about milk »
Quick, easy, portable and healthy — yogurt is an all-around favorite snack. But with supermarket shelves stacked with the stuff, shopping for yogurt can get confusing. After some tasting and label reading, check out what we found.
See the yogurt taste-test results »