Wednesday, March 31, 2021

April News, Events and Resources
in Nutrition, Food, and Health
for Journalists, Writers,
Educators and Bloggers


Current News, Resources and Events in Nutrition, Food, Health, Environment, Safety, and Disability Rights. Encourages awareness and inspires ideas for Journalists, Educators, Consumers and Health Professionals.




April Highlights


National Autism Awareness Month
April 2nd World Autism Day

Keep America Beautiful (3/1 - 5/31)

Global Child Nutrition Month

National Volunteer Month


Alcohol Awareness Month
Cancer Control Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Defeat Diabetes Month

Stress Awareness Month
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month
National Donate Life Month
National Parkinson's Awareness Month 
World Habitat Awareness Month
Fresh Florida Tomatoes Month
National Garden Month
National Pecan Month
National Soft Pretzel Month
Soyfoods Month 

National Youth Sports Safety Month

Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month 
Jazz Appreciation Month
April 22 Earth Day
 

National Nutrition Month 2021: Personalize Your Plate

National Nutrition Month® is celebrated each year during March with the focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. 

The theme for National Nutrition Month® 2021 is Personalize Your Plate. The theme is designed to show no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looks forward to celebrating National Nutrition Month® with you! 




Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is also celebrated during National Nutrition Month®, on the second Wednesday in March. This occasion increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services while recognizing both RDNs and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.







Tuesday, March 30, 2021

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.

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®

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



Monday, March 29, 2021

Make Half your Plate Fruits and Vegetable


Keep your healthy eating simple by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at mealtime. Eat fruits and vegetables when you want to have a snack. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

Remember that all forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or 100% juice. The next time you go shopping, choose veggies that may be new to you (try sweet potatoes, beets, or collard greens) and fruits too (try papaya, cantaloupe, or kiwi) to make your plate even more fun and exciting!

It’s easy to add fruits and vegetables to the meals that you’re already making:


  1. Breakfast is the perfect time for fruit. Try topping your cereal or oatmeal with bananas or peaches. Add blueberries to your pancakes. Or add fruit to your fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Blend frozen fruit, 100% juice, and/or yogurt to make a healthy smoothie.
  2. Lunchtime is a great time for a colorful salad. Add a variety of veggies, like corn, carrots, and spinach. A salad makes a healthy lunch if you don’t use too much dressing. Add a tangerine, banana, or grapes to your bagged lunch.
  3. At dinner, try meat dishes that include fruits and veggies, like a chicken with apricots or kebobs with peppers and pineapple. Or make a meal featuring vegetables, such as veggie pizza or vegetarian chili with lots of vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables make great snacks and desserts:
  1. For a handy snack, keep cut-up fruits and vegetables like carrots, peppers, and cucumber or orange slices in the refrigerator.
  2. Dried fruits are tasty and easy to carry.
  3. Keep a bowl of fruit in the refrigerator or on a table or countertop. Your family can grab and go!
  4. An apple is a perfect quick snack—and there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples to try!
  5. Fruit smoothies, fruit salad, and frozen 100% juice bars are better for you than high-fat, sugary desserts.




Sunday, March 28, 2021

Try Healthy Red and Pink Foods

Red and Pink Foods


Food Sources
Apples, Beets, Cayenne, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Kidney Beans, Papaya, Pink Beans, Pink/Red Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbages, Red Chili Peppers, Red Corn, Red Currants, Red Grapes, Red Onions, Red Pears, Red Peppers, Red Plums, Red Potatoes, Red Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Watermelons

Do you know other foods that are Red or Pink?


About Red Fruits and Vegetables.

Red fruits and vegetables get their color from natural plant pigments called lycopene or anthocyanins. Both are phytonutrients, which have health-promoting benefits, such as:
·         Reduces the risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer
·         Reduces the risk of heart disease
·         Protects our bodies’ cells from environmental damage (harmful free-radicals)
·         Lowers blood pressure
·         Lowers LDL cholesterol
·         Aids in memory
·         Maintains the health of the urinary tract system

Lycopene is a carotenoid and antioxidant. Examples of food sources include tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and papaya.  

Anthocyanins, an antioxidant found in cranberries, raspberries, red grapes, strawberries, and other red to purplish fruits and vegetables may help protect cells from damage.

In addition, red fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber. Fiber helps maintain the digestive system.


Kidney Bean, Red Onion and Tomato Salad
New York Times, by Nigella Lawson 



Ways to increase Red Food Intake:
Add strawberries or raspberries to cereal or low-fat yogurt.
Freeze seedless red grapes for a sweet snack.
Add thin slices of red tomatoes or red apples to a sandwich.
Add red kidney beans to soup, salads or rice dishes.
Dice tomatoes and red apples and add to a salad.


Definitions:
Phytonutrients (or phytochemicals) are found in plants. They are part of what gives fruits and vegetables their colors. Phytonutrients help protect plants from diseases found in the environment and protect us in a similar way. Studies have linked an increase of fruit and vegetable intake with lowering the risk of specific cancers and heart disease. The following list describes how phytonutrients may also help protect human health.
1. Act as an antioxidant.
2. Improves immune response.
3. Improves cell-to-cell communication.
4. Destroys cancer cells.
5. Repairs DNA damage caused by toxins in the environment.


Antioxidants. As the body uses oxygen, there are by-products (known as “free radicals”) that can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants can prevent or slow down the damage caused by these free radicals and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants may also improve the immune defense and lower the risk of infection. Some examples of antioxidants include vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, lycopene, and flavonoids.

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 are 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





Tuesday, March 23, 2021

National Puppy Day
Health Benefits







Studies have found that:
• Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
• People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
• Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
• Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than those without pets.
• Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
• Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Caring for a pet can help with those healthy lifestyle changes by:
• Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule.
• Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
• Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
• Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
• Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
• Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

Pets and older adults
The key to aging well is to effectively handle life’s major changes, such as retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. Pets can play an important role in healthy aging by:
• Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale and optimism. Taking care of an animal can also provide a sense of self-worth.
• Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and moves can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs especially are a great way for seniors to spark up conversations and meet new people.
• Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Pets encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Resources and References

5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health





















Nutrition.gov News

Dietitian Blog List