Tuesday, March 31, 2020

National Walking Day


The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. The American Heart Association sponsors this day to remind us of the health benefits of taking a walk. 





The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to get out and walk. Visit National Walking Day located at the American Heart Association. Learn the health benefits, get motivated, join a walking group - make walking a Daily Habit.





Here is a catchy song to start your walking.

National Nutrition Month and Beyond



National Nutrition Month®  is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as a valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.

National Nutrition Month® Campaign

During National Nutrition Month® and Beyond, help the Academy achieve its vision of a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition.


Key Messages:
1.      Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
2.      Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
3.      Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways
    to use leftovers later in the week.
4.      Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as
    MyPlate encourages us to do.
5.      Continue to use good food safety practices.
6.      Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
7.      Realize the benefits of healthy eating by consulting with a registered dietitian
    nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice
    to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.


Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. The goal is to increase awareness of the registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.



Be sure to visit the Academy's National Nutrition Month® website during the upcoming months for new and updated resources to help make National Nutrition Month® celebration an infinite success!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
Reference
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month®

Sunday, March 29, 2020

National Caffeine Awareness Month - Pros and Cons of the Caffeine Craze


So what's the harm, ask caffeine lovers, who point to studies showing the benefits of caffeine, such as boosting memory and improving concentration and perhaps lowering risks of diseases such as Alzheimer's and liver cancer.
But others are alarmed by what they say is an increasingly overcaffeinated nation; they are concerned about studies finding too much caffeine can set you up for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and decreased bone density -- not to mention jangled nerves.
Caffeine abuse by young people alarms some experts. It was the cause of many calls to an Illinois Poison Center over a three-year tracking period, a team of doctors reported at the American College of Emergency Physicians annual meeting in New Orleans.

FDA investigating caffeine-infused food





Though today we look at the caffeine in Carbonated Beverages, this is also an opportunity to view the caffeine in energy drinks that have been cited as the cause of some deaths and is currently being investigated by the US FDA. Some energy drinks contain 2 to 3 times the amount of caffeine found in soda.

Links between energy drinks and death

Hidden Dangers of Caffeinated Energy Drinks



Caffeine (mg) based on 12-ounces Soda

Caffeine   Soda
  (mg)
 71.2         Jolt       
 69.0         Diet Pepsi Max 
 55.0         Pepsi One
 55.0         Mountain Dew
 55.0         Mountain Dew Code Red
 55.0         Diet Mountain Dew
 46.5         Tab
 45.6         Diet Coke
 44.4         Shasta Diet Cola
 43.0         Diet RC Cola
 43.0         Diet Dr. Pepper
 40.0         Diet Sunkist Orange
 37.5         Pepsi-Cola
 36.0         Diet Pepsi
 34.0         Coca-Cola Classic
 34.0         Diet Cherry Coke
 29.0         AW Creme Soda
 22.0         AW Diet Creme Soda
 0              7-Up
 0              Sprite, regular or diet
 0              AW Root Beer

Resources

1. WebMD: Pros and Cons of the Caffeine Craze





National Nutrition Month - Enhance Flavors with Spices and Herbs



Instead of salt, use spices, herbs, lemon juice, and/or vinegar to enhance the taste of your food. The health benefits are life-long.


Wikipedia has provided an extensive list of culinary herbs and spices. The list does not contain salt (which is a mineral) or plants used primarily as herbal teas or medicinal herbs. Explore the different flavors and cultures.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Food on a Stick Day


Food on a stick is thought to be among the earliest examples of human utensils. The “Kebab” is a dish consisting of small pieces of meat and vegetables threaded onto skewers and grilled. The kebab originated in Persia and later spread to the Middle East and Turkey. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on location and traditions, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork, fish or seafood. Today the kebab is found worldwide. There are numerous variations of foods you can add to a stick and it's not just limited to meats.

Fun and Nutritious
Food on a stick can be fun and nutritious. Barbara Beery is a kids' cooking instructor. In the following video, Barbara shows how to make healthy foods on a skewer.


State Fairs and Food on a Stick
Putting food on a stick is popular at many state fairs because you can eat and walk at the same time. The food choices go from simple to bizarre and many items are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The video below shows all of the 59 foods on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair from 2006.


Resources

50+ Brilliant Recipes for Food on a Stick, Taste of Home 




March 28, 2020 Earth Hour at 8:30 PM local time



Earth Hour in an uncertain time. Given the unprecedented circumstances, WWF advises participants to join Earth Hour at home or online following CDC guidelines.

People can participate in Earth Hour by turning off their lights for one hour to show solidarity and support for protecting our natural environments.

In the past, millions of people and places have participated. During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that we take a collective pause and use this time to reflect, evolve and strengthen our relationship with ourselves, with each other and with nature.

Here are some ideas you might enjoy while reflecting on your personal commitments to fighting climate change and protecting our forests, rivers, oceans, and wildlife. WWF designed these with current social distancing policies in mind.

  • Go ‘green’ in your living space with some indoor gardening projects.
  • Host a virtual in-the-dark dinner party for you and your friends.
  • Play some games.
  • Work up a sweat. Exercise the body and mind by candlelight.
  • Pamper yourself. Self-care is key.
  • Take a collective pause and reflect.
Our connection to Earth and nature is undeniable: Our planet's gain is everyone’s gain.
Biodiversity – the rich variety of life on Earth – continues to decline year on year. We must urgently prioritize our planet’s biodiversity and nature. Earth Hour was created to organize efforts, allowing us to shed light on topics impacting our planet’s well-being.


Get involved by starting conversations, sharing your thoughts, and spreading the word about our connection to this place we call home. 
Around the globe, food production, distribution, management, and waste threaten wildlife, wild places and the planet itself.
Today, over 8 billion people consume 1.6 times what the earth’s natural resources can supply. By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion and the demand for food will double.
Food production is sufficient to provide for all, but it doesn’t reach everyone who needs it. About 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year—four times the amount needed to feed the more than 800+ million people who are malnourished.
By improving efficiency and productivity while reducing waste and shifting consumption patterns, we can produce enough food for everyone by 2050 on roughly the same amount of land we use now. Feeding all sustainably and protecting our natural resources.
WWF works to secure a living planet that will sustain a more affluent population. From refining production and distribution to combating waste and environmental impacts, we want to improve how the world grows, transports and consumes this precious fuel.

Official Earth Hour 2020 Video



Within hours, people in a record 134 countries and territories across the globe will switch off their lights for an hour in a unified show of support for action towards a sustainable future for our planet.




Healthy Diet for a Healthy Planet


About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Individuals, businesses, governments, and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2010, Earth Hour created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action.

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

The event will cross the globe over 24 hours, from the first lights being dimmed in Fiji and New Zealand to lights being turned on again in Samoa. The transition will last longest in Russia, where 11 time zones are covered.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pledged his support for Earth Hour saying: “Let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure
human well-being. Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light.”


Resources.
How You Can Help


To learn more about how you can be involved
visit 
Earth Hour


National Triglycerides Day

Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat. They are the most common type of fat in your body. They come from foods, especially butter, oils, and other fats you eat. Triglycerides also come from extra calories. Your body changes these extra calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. When your body needs energy, it releases the triglycerides. Your VLDL cholesterol particles carry the triglycerides to your tissues.
Having a high level of triglycerides can raise your risk of heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease.

What causes high triglycerides?

Factors that can raise your triglyceride level include
  • Regularly eating more calories than you burn off, especially if you eat a lot of sugar
  • Being overweight or having obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Certain medicines
  • Some genetic disorders
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Liver or kidney diseases

How Triglycerides is Diagnosed



What are the treatments for high triglycerides?
You may be able to lower your triglyceride levels with lifestyle changes:
  • Controlling your weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting sugar and refined foods
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Switching from saturated fats to healthier fats

Some people will also need to take cholesterol medicines to lower their triglycerides.
Resources.
2. What Are High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides? American Heart Association

3. Triglycerides, MedlinePlus



Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 26, National Spinach Day

Nutrition Information
Spinach is fat-free; saturated fat-free; cholesterol free; low calorie; high in dietary fiber; high in vitamin A; high in vitamin C; high in iron, high in folate; and a good source of magnesium.






Selecting and Storing Spinach 
1. Choose fresh, crisp, green bunches with no evidence of insect damage.
2. Store spinach loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel.
3. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use within 3 to 5 days.



Oxalic acid and Spinach

The oxalic acid in spinach binds with iron, which inhibits iron absorption. You can improve the absorption of iron from spinach by eating it with foods that enhance iron absorption; such as foods rich in vitamin C.


Serving Suggestions
1. Add spinach to a pasta or rice recipe.
2. Enjoy a spinach salad with a variety of ingredients.




References

1. Spinach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Top 10 ways to enjoy Spinach, Fruits and Veggies more matters 
3. Spinach: Nutrition. Selection. Storage
Fruits and Veggies more matters 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

MyPlate - Make at least Half of your Grains Whole Grains


What foods are in the Grains Group?


Important Nutrients from the Grain Group


Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. This savory one-dish whole-grain meal is crowned with a soft-boiled egg. #CookingLight




Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains, and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Make simple switches
To make half your grains whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread or bagels instead of white bread or bagels, or brown rice instead of white rice.

Whole grains can be healthy snacks
Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try 100% whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Save some time
Cook extra brown rice or whole-wheat pasta when you have time. Refrigerate half to heat and serve later in the week as a quick side dish.

Mix it up with whole grains
Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

Try whole-wheat versions
For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

Bake up some whole-grain goodness
Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in your favorite pancake or waffle recipes. To limit saturated fat and added sugars, top with fruit instead of butter and syrup.

Be a good role model for children
Set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains every day with meals or as snacks.

Check the label for fiber
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the Daily Value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

Know what to look for on the ingredients list
Read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain ingredient first on the list. Look for “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “whole-grain cornmeal,” “whole oats,” or “whole rye.”

Be a smart shopper
The color of food is not an indication that it is a whole-grain food. Foods labeled as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100% whole-grain products, and may not contain any whole grain.


Whole Grain Sampling Day

Whole Grain Sampling Day The Whole Grains Council is holding a Whole Grain Sampling Day. The goal is to have people trying new foods with whole grains. Stop by the Whole Grains Council to learn more and meet some of the companies participating. 

Identifying Whole Grains
Whole Grain Stamps


There are three different varieties of the Whole Grain Stamp: the 100% Stamp, the 50%+ Stamp, and the Basic Stamp.

  • If a product bears the 100% Stamp (left image above), then all its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 16g (16 grams) – a full serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 100% Stamp.
  • If a product bears the 50%+ Stamp (middle image), then at least half of its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 50%+ Stamp. The 50%+ Stamp was added to the Whole Grain Stamps in January of 2017 and will begin appearing on products in the spring and summer of 2017.
  • If a product bears the Basic Stamp (right image), it contains at least 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain.

Examples of Whole Grains
Read the label and look for the following
whole grains as the first ingredient:

Amaranth 
Barley 
Brown Rice 
Buckwheat
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Corn (Polenta, Tortillas, Whole Grain Corn/Corn Meal) 
Farro 
Kamut® 
Millet 
Oats, Whole Oats, Oatmeal 
Quinoa 
Rye, Whole Rye 
Sorghum 
Spelt 
Teff 
Triticale Wild Rice
Whole Wheat Flour



Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash





Pecan Day

Pecans are a good source of fiber and protein. They  
are sodium-free and cholesterol-free.
A healthy snack, but watch the portion size.



Pecan Day is a commemoration of the plating on a pecan tree by George Washington at the Mount Vernon estate March 25th 1775. The pecan tree sapling was given to him by Thomas Jefferson, who had planted a few pecan trees from the southern US at Monticello, VA.

The pecan is native to southern North America. First cultivated by Native Americans, 

There are many ways people can enjoy pecans – like grabbing a handful to munch on, adding them to salads, making a pecan pie, eating pecan crusted fish or having pecan ice cream.



           Butternut Squash with Pecans



Nutrient Analysis Services
Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional 
analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information. Contact: Dietitians-Online.comSandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LD, FAND at recipenews@gmail.com

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
The Challenges of Feeding


Written by Tracy S. Williams, BS, Nutrition Educator. 
Learn more about Tracy at Tracy's Plate


World Cerebral Palsy Day


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies”- disorders that impair movement due to damage of the developing brain. CP usually develops by age 2 or 3 and is a non-progressive brain disorder, meaning the brain damage does not continue to worsen throughout life. However, the symptoms damage often changes over time- sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. CP is one of the most common causes of childhood disability.

About 10,000 infants are diagnosed with CP and up to 1,500 preschoolers in the U.S. are recognized as having CP each year. The United Cerebral Palsy Association estimates that more than 764,000 Americans have CP. Congenital cerebral palsy caused by a brain injury during a baby’s development in the womb is responsible in about 70% of the children who have the condition. It is present at birth, although it may not be detected for months. An additional 20% have congenital cerebral palsy due to a brain injury during the birthing process. In most cases, the cause of congenital cerebral palsy is unknown, however, some possible causes are:

An infection during pregnancy may damage a fetus’s developing nervous system. They include rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (a herpes-type virus), and toxoplasmosis (an infection caused by a parasite that can be carried in cat feces or inadequately cooked meat). Other undetected infections in pregnant women are being recognized as an important cause of developmental brain damage in the fetus.

· Severe jaundice in the infant. Jaundice is caused by excessive bilirubin in the blood. Normally, bilirubin is filtered out by the liver. Often, newborns’ livers need a few days to start doing this effectively, so it’s not uncommon for infants to have jaundice for a few days after birth. In most cases, light therapy clears up jaundice and there are no lasting health effects. In rare cases, severe cases of jaundice can damage brain cells.

· Rh incompatibility between mother and infant can be a cause of cerebral palsy. In this blood condition, the mother’s body produces antibodies that destroy the fetus’s blood cells. This leads to jaundice may cause brain damage in the newborn.

· The physical or metabolic trauma of birth can be a cause of cerebral palsy. This can produce brain damage in a fetus whose health has been threatened during development. Severe oxygen deprivation to the brain or significant trauma to the head during labor and delivery can be the cause of cerebral palsy.


Feeding Skills

Feeding skills have been cited as a contributing factor that can affect the life expectancy of those with CP. Managing these can positively affect the life span of an individual with cerebral palsy. When people with cerebral palsy have feeding and digestive challenges, a nutrition care program can be beneficial. Skilled registered dietitian nutritionists work with physicians to adjust diet, food intake and nutrition supplements to enhance overall health. Effective dietary therapy can be devised to meet the individual’s unique needs taking into account digestive challenges and the ability to properly chew, swallow and self-feed.

Nutrition practitioners can adjust textures and consistency of food by pureeing, chopping, and grinding foods for a smoother eating experience. Foods can be softened with broth, gravy, milk, or juices. Liquids can be thickened to improve swallowing. Self-feeding is a skill that significantly enhances the quality of life for someone with a disability, although caregivers, family or friends may still be needed. Speech therapists can teach patients, their friends, or caregivers about adaptive feeding tools that can accommodate different levels of ability. Appropriate techniques can include space between feedings, to allow for natural swallowing, or feeding smaller portions throughout the day. In the most severe cases, some people with cerebral palsy rely on a feeding tube for partial or total nutrition intake. It is important to adjust to allow sufficient time between bites and drinks for natural swallowing. Some meals should be scheduled around medication times to avoid stomach upset, curb appetites and address feelings of being tired.

If a person with cerebral palsy has trouble with asphyxiation, reflux, or pneumonia, he or she should avoid foods, such as nuts, seeds, and hard or stringy foods. Diets can be changed to provide more calories, better balance, compensate for deficiencies and enhance digestion. Vitamin, minerals, and food supplements may help with malabsorption or who tire when eating. High fiber choices can curb constipation while prune and apricot juices may provide natural laxative qualities. Some people with cerebral palsy need to control drooling and aspiration, in addition, use long-term anti-seizure medications can contribute to an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and bacterial infections. Dietitians may advise substituting added sugars and carbonated drinks with fresh fruits and vegetables. Dentists will encourage proper dental hygiene like regular brushing, drinking fluorinated water and regular checkups

Many people fight stereotypes and those with disabilities are no exception. Barriers individuals with disabilities face begin with people’s attitudes that are often rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings of what it’s like to live with a disability. One misconception is that all people living with disabilities are brave and courageous, but people with disabilities just need to adapt to a currently different lifestyle. Sometimes wheelchairs are used as typical mobility devices rather than for people who are only ill or sickly. In past decades, segregating people with disabilities in separate schools and institutions reinforced the perception that people with disabilities could only interact with others who have disabilities. Any person who does not have a disability can offer assistance, but most people with disabilities prefer to take responsibility for their own care when physically possible both in the community, within all parts of society. It is okay for curious children to ask questions about disability. Discouraging curious children from asking questions teaches children that having a difference or disability is wrong or bad. Many people with a disability will not mind answering a child’s question. People with disabilities go to school, get married, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, plan and dream about their future like everyone else. It is important to encourage participation from people with disabilities by providing accessible meeting and event sites. It is important for advocates to speak up when negative words or phrases are used for people with a variety of disabilities.

Cerebral palsy can affect someone who has it in a variety of ways. Some people with cerebral palsy can be impacted by having the limited verbal ability, limited cognitive ability, all four limbs affected or just their legs impacted. Some people use one cane or crutch; some people use a walker or two crutches. Some people use a manual wheelchair or motorized wheelchair. Some people may have some nutritional issues due to some difficulty feeding themselves or having digestive issues. You may have met one classmate, colleague or friend with cerebral palsy, but that does not mean even everyone is impacted in the same way by the same diagnosis. All people with disabilities deserve the same level of respect and it is important to help those with disabilities advocate against social misconceptions.


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