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
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month®

National Triglycerides Day

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.
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.

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
 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


1. WebMD: Pros and Cons of the Caffeine Craze

Friday, March 12, 2021

World Kidney Day - Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere

Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – from Prevention to Detection and Equitable Access to Care

One in ten adults has chronic kidney disease (CKD). The global burden of CKD is increasing and is projected to become the 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally by 2040. Chronic kidney disease is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure. The costs of dialysis and transplantation consume 2–3% of the annual healthcare budget in high-income countries; spent on less than 0.03% of the total population of these countries. In low-income and middle-income countries, most people with kidney failure have insufficient access to life-saving dialysis and kidney transplantation. 

Crucially, kidney disease can be prevented and progression to end-stage kidney disease can be delayed with appropriate access to basic diagnostics and early treatment. There is a need to increase the awareness of the importance of preventive measures throughout populations, professionals, and policymakers. 

This year, World Kidney Day continues to raise awareness of the increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and to strive for kidney health for everyone, everywhere. 

Acute kidney injury (AKI), an important driver of CKD, affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85% of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Around 1.7 people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.
Moreover, CKD and AKI are important contributors to increased morbidity and mortality from other diseases and risk factors including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, as well as infections such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. Furthermore, CKD and AKI in children, not only lead to substantial morbidity and mortality during childhood but also result in medical issues beyond childhood.

Challenges to kidney health: disparities & access
Despite the growing burden of kidney diseases worldwide, kidney health disparity and inequity are still widespread. CKD and AKI often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others.
Transplantation is considered the most cost-effective treatment of CKD. However, it has high set up costs with regards to infrastructure and requires highly specialized teams, availability of organ donors and cannot be done without dialysis backup. Physical and legal infrastructure requirements and cultural bias against organ donation often present barriers in many countries, making dialysis the default option.
However, while national policies and strategies for non- communicable diseases (NCDs) in general are present in many countries, specific policies directed toward screening, prevention, and treatment of kidney diseases are often lacking. More than half (53%) of countries that have an overarching NCD strategy in place have no management guidelines or strategy for improving the care of people with CKD (either specifically or within a broader NCD strategy).
What we call for
This year, World Kidney Day sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and the need for strategies for kidney disease prevention and management.
Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere calls for universal health coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment of kidney disease.
The ultimate goal of a UHC policy is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality, protecting people from health impoverishment and improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.
Specifically, WKD calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to improve kidney care:
  • Encourage and adopt healthy lifestyles (access to clean water, exercise, healthy diet, tobacco control. Many types of kidney diseases can be prevented, delayed and/or kept under control when appropriate prevention measures are in place.
  • Make screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention including access to identification tools (e.g. urine and blood tests). Screening of high-risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment is cost-effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases.
  • Ensure kidney patients receive basic health services they need (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol control, essential medications) to delay disease progression without suffering financial hardship.
  • Call for transparent policies governing equitable and sustainable access to advanced health care services (e.g. dialysis and transplantation) and better financial protection (e.g. subsidies) as more resources become available. Breaking down socioeconomic barriers and expanding access to comprehensive services in order to meet the needs of the population is essential to guarantee equitable kidney care and increase quality.

1. World Kidney Day
2. The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Kidney Community Kitchen
3. National Kidney Foundation
4. National Institutes of Health, Chronic kidney disease
5. WebMD, Chronic Kidney Disease
6. The Cooking DocBlake Shusterman, MD, doctor of nephrology with a passion for food. Shares recipes and tips to help you live a healthy, full life.

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