By: Theresa Carmichael
“You have a cold? Drink orange juice… you will get better!”
Most of you have heard this before from your parents, grandparents, friends, and coworkers. Unfortunately, after thousands of dollars on research dedicated to this myth, no research has been found that Vitamin C effectively treats the common cold. Does this mean stop consuming Vitamin C? Of course not! Believe it or not, Vitamin C is actually synthesized by most mammals without having to consume it in the diet. The exception? Humans. Humans lack this ability, so we are required to consume about 60-75mg of vitamin C daily to support important functions in the body. These functions include serving as an antioxidant, an aid in collagen synthesis, fat metabolism, and an important player for some neurotransmitters. These functions are important because they have physiological effects on the body such as wound healing and enhancing non-heme iron (found in plants) absorption. But, most of all, Vitamin C is mainly known for its effect on PREVENTION. Vitamin C has been shown in multiple studies to help with preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and yes… colds! Although Vitamin C has not shown to be a good treatment for someone who already has the common cold, it is a great way to PREVENT it from happening in the first place. Maintaining a healthy diet with an adequate amount of Vitamin C from papaya, oranges, broccoli, green peppers, kale, lemons, and strawberries is the best way to ensure the development of a healthy immune system.
By: Theresa Carmichael
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems to be noticing our want and need to live healthier lives; but are they doing it the right way? The FDA has proposed to update the nutrition facts label that we are all used to seeing since 1990. These changes have ultimately been developed to enhance the understanding of nutrition for all consumers. The potential changes to the label include required information about added sugar, updating the daily values, listing potassium and vitamin D, making calories and serving sizes more prominent, and adding dual column labels for “servings per container”. These are all really great right? Well, there is one huge change that seems to be worrying nutrition professionals. The updated nutrition facts label will also include changes to some of the serving size requirements in order to reflect how much people are really eating and drinking today (compared to 20 years ago). As you may know, people are eating a crazy amount of food compared to what they did due to almost a triple in portion sizes served by fast-food companies, restaurants, and almost every product in your conventional grocery store. Many RD’s are worried that doing this would further increase acceptance that people are simply eating too much. For example, one pint of ice cream is currently deemed as 4 servings (so, 1 serving=1/4 pint). The new nutrition facts label would consider that SAME pint of ice cream as 2 servings (so, 1 serving=1/2 pint). The problem? Although the serving sizes would increase to reflect the amount some people really eat, they would not be modeling how much someone SHOULD eat. I think it all comes down to this: Do we really want to expect and accept the fact that some of us eat half the pint of ice cream instead of eating only ¼ the pint for moderation in a healthy diet? Or, couldn’t we obtain the same goal by educating the public on healthy portions and how to use the nutrition fact label to their benefit? Well, as far-fetched as this may sound, YOU can help decide. Although there are pros and cons to each option, the FDA is accepting public comments on this proposed change at the website below for 90 days. I challenge all the foodies out there to click on the link and give the FDA your opinion. Use your voice!
CLICK for link
By: Theresa Carmichael
I feel compelled to comment on the coconut oil fad that is circulating through out social media, news, and advertising. Within the past month, I have had about a dozen people asking me about the mysterious benefits of consuming a good amount of coconut oil in the diet. Although more research is currently being done, the fact that coconut oil is considerably high in saturated fat still remains. As a matter of fact, one small teaspoon of coconut oil has almost 5g of saturated fat and is about 20% of your daily limit (compared to canola oil with 0g sat. fat). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that no more than 10% of your total calories be from saturated fat. Most dietitians also urge individuals to stay away from saturated fat as much as possible for a healthful diet. You may be asking, “What is so bad about saturated fat?” Well, it has to do with the way it is absorbed in the body as well as the type of fatty acids involved. Long chain fatty acids are known to increase cholesterol levels and plaque formation in arteries while medium chain and short chain do not. Coconut oil consists of many different types of FA’s, but is dominated mostly by lauric acid (a 12 carbon fatty acid). The controversy is whether or not lauric acid is a medium chain or long chain fatty acid. Depending on the source, you will find conflicting information on the number of carbons that characterize both types of fatty acids. This makes it difficult to analyze the effects of coconut oil as a whole. So how about this… forget about it all! Either way, ALL oils should be used in MODERATION. Of course it is important to note that a little coconut oil every once in a while will not do any harm. As Michael J. Buono, a systemic human physiologist with a Ph.D. in physiology, explains, “Dosage makes the Poison”. Only in small amounts is oil truly tolerated in the body and can be found naturally in foods that most of us already eat. So, choose your non-oil cooking alternatives and recipes and continue on.
ABOUT THE BLOG
Our goal is to present nutrition facts and advice in a fun and interesting way! We want to get our members involved in a healthy lifestyle as well as share articles that shine a light on nutrition and health.