The Ban On Soda In Containers:16 oz – Do you know you just guzzled 1.5 bagels??

In response to Laura’s appearance on Fox and Friends, Sunday morning hosted by Dave Briggs. Laura debated Mr. Wilson from Consumer Freedom. Some people are asking if Laura is in favor of  a nanny state. She is not in favor of this and shares her views here:

Everyone must make changes, both parents and policy makers need to reverse the obesity and diabetes epidemics. In general, people need to eat less and less of highly processed foods, including soda and chips.  America needs to become physically active again. I am not in favor of a nanny state, but the poor health of Americans, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on medical care and the rise in both diabetes type I and II, scream for change.

Individuals must recognize, regardless of the source, added sugar in large doses is similar to drugs, and alcohol. These sugars affect the brain immediately. When someone has high blood sugar they cannot see or think clearly. Our nerves are damaged to the point of losing feeling in our limbs. In addition, our bodies respond to added sugar and sugar by releasing hormones such as insulin that lead to weight gain in the stomach and eventually diabetes.

The American environment is toxic to our health.
Yes, genetics are partly responsible for America’s health crisis, but the environment plays a huge role. Supersized portions, no gym for children in schools and encouraging eating while watching movies sets people up to fail at self care.
Perhaps a better proposal than the ban on soda is to have movie theaters change concessions stands to restaurants. Encouraging mindful eating before or after a movie rather than guzzling a soda during a film could aid in eating less.
Research shows mindless eating while watching movies and tv causes obesity. Do people realize that their 24 oz of soda is equal to a small meal? This small meal is equal to 1.5 bagels.

We are in an obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Again, I do not want a nanny state but the government is partly responsible for these epidemics since they subsidize food such as corn, issue food stamps to buy drinks with added sugars and other processed foods. Did you know Diabetes cost America 218 billion dollars in 2007? Imagine what the cost is now. The soda ban is not a costly proposal for America. Rather, it makes people aware that it is not normal, nor healthy to drink non-nutritional beverages in quantities greater than 16oz. We are in a crisis; Everyone must make changes, both parents and policy makers to get America eating well and moving more.

Bottom-Line
America must focus on eating foods for fuel – not mindless eating for boredom or stress. The goals should be to eat food that is high in nutrition like beans and berries– not empty calories. Focus on fresh, local food, not processed boxed food for at least 75 percent of your intake if not more. Finally, drink water or Perrier for hydration not soda. And please do not drink sport drinks or sell sport drinks in schools especially if the school doesn’t even offer gym class. Parents need to set boundaries with children, but so does the Food and Drug Administration and the food companies.

The Truth Behind Coffee

The Truth Behind Coffee

For many, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee to start the day. As one of the most widely consumed
beverages in the world, it has long been debated that consuming coffee can lead to health problems.
These misconceptions can often lead to confusion about whether one can enjoy coffee as part of
a healthy diet. As an avid coffee drinker myself, with all the misconceptions about coffee, it is
necessary to dispel the misconceptions, and discover the truth behind coffee.

What are 3 of the most common misconceptions about coffee and health?

There is a misconception that coffee causes heart disease, should be omitted during pregnancy
and may influence the development of breast cancer. However, recent research reveals that
despite coffee consumption being associated with increased blood pressure and plasma
homocysteine levels, it is not directly related to heart disease. As for omitting coffee during
pregnancy, although women are often advised to follow this by their obstetrician or gynecologist,
studies show that coffee intake equal to 3 cups or 300 mg coffee daily does not increase risk for
impaired fetal growth. Moreover, according to the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and
Health Study, there is no correlation between coffee intake and increased breast cancer risk. In
fact, coffee may even help to prevent breast cancer. While there may be minimal associations and
even benefits to drinking coffee, it is not recommended to start drinking coffee, if you don’t
already.

Can drinking too much coffee cause heart problems?

Recent research reports coffee drinkers are not at a greater risk for heart disease. While a mild
stimulant in coffee, caffeine, has been shown to increase heart rate, blood pressure, homocysteine
levels, and cholesterol levels, most people do not experience heart problems from drinking coffee—
even if they consume up to 6 cups daily. If you have heart disease or heart problems, it is best to
consult your doctor about drinking coffee.

In addition, it is important to pay attention to what is being added to the coffee; whether it is
whole milk, sugar or even whip cream. Remember, in this day and age specialty coffee drinks are
extremely popular and research studies black coffee, not Frappuccino’s.

What are the top 5 benefits of drinking coffee?

An increase in coffee consumption is typically associated with a lowered risk of Diabetes Type II,
but does not prevent Diabetes Type II. Research also suggests coffee consumption may help prevent
Parkinson’s disease, liver disease (cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma), reduce the risk of
Alzheimer’s disease, and improve endurance performance in physical activities such as cycling and
running.

Is there such a thing as drinking too much coffee?

Typically, I educate my clients to keep their intake at 2 or less cups a day. More than 2 cups of coffee
can be counter-productive during a fitness workout. Recent studies indicate that there have been
no harmful effects with intakes at 4 cups equivalent. For adults consuming moderate amounts
of coffee (3-4 cups/d providing 300-400 mg/d of caffeine), there is little evidence of health risks
and some evidence of health benefits. In addition, currently available evidence suggests that it
may be prudent for pregnant women to limit coffee to 3 cups/day ( prevent any increased probability of spontaneous abortion or impaired fetal growth. People with
hypertension, children, adolescents, and the elderly, may be more vulnerable to the adverse effects
of caffeine.

Do the benefits differ between decaf and regular coffee?

In terms of Diabetes, other than the difference of 2-4 mg caffeine between regular and decaf,
there are no beneficial differences between the two. Surprisingly however, decaf coffee has been
associated with acid reflux and gastric ulcers.

The Vogue Milk: Which milk is for you?

The Vogue Milk

Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services, NYC

Almond, Cashew, Cow, Goat, Hemp, Oat, Rice…

Almond Milk

Gone are the days of whole, low fat, no fat milk. Now one can choose milk from other animals such as a goat or from other plants like hemp! Whether you have food allergies or practice a vegan lifestyle, milk options are as plentiful nowadays as fast-food. But which option is best suited for you? Moms, these milks are not equivalent to breast milk and or formula and should therefore never be substituted for a child less than one year old.

Milk’s Muscle: Most Important To Consider –  First and foremost consider the percent of calcium, Vit D, and Vit. B12; next consider how many grams of protein, calories, and for some people even the level of carbohydrate.

For Vegan or Even Vegetarian Diets: Almond, Cashew, Oat, Hemp or Rice – look for a milk high in calcium with at least 30-50% calcium. The milk should have B12 since B12 is otherwise deficient in a vegan diet.

For Food Allergies (spec. food allergies like dairy and soy): the right choice is rice milk but make sure it is enriched in calcium, and Vit D. Be sure to get protein through food, since rice milk is not a significant source of protein.

For Food Intolerances: If you have lactose intolerance you may want to try soy, oat or cashew milk. Goats’ milk does have lactose however each individual must experiment with each type of milk to see what is most easily digested.

For Diabetes: Consider unsweetened soy milk for only 4 grams of carb/serving (Silk Brand specifically).  Be wary of flavored milks and milks lower in protein (< 6-8 grams pro/serving).

For One Stop Shopping: Consider skim milk or 1% for great taste, a good source of  calcium, Vit. D and protein. It is equal to one carbohydrate exchange being that one serving of milk equals 12 grams of carbohydrate.

For Children ages 1-2: Whole milk is recommended between ages 1 and 2 unless a child has a food allergy or has been advised otherwise by their medical doctor.

Mom's Universal Snack List For School

Snack Ditty from Eco-Ditty

 

So it seems many schools have a suggested snack list. Moms keep asking what is appropriate for snack and how do you make a balanced snack choice. In honor of National Nutrition Month (Get Your Plate In Shape), here is my recommended snack list. You can modify if your school follows Kosher or Allergy Free guidelines. Happy Snacking!!

Suggested foods that are ideal for health and growth:

Organic and or local foods especially dairy and fruits; No added sugars are highly encouraged. Please try to buy products with sugar as the third ingredient or more, no preservatives and no artificial colors.

 

The children often enjoy participating in the shopping for their snack week. Let them help you choose snacks for the week. Try to purchase seedless varieties when possible especially for the 2’s and 3”s. Older children may be open to varied textures and more robust flavors.

 

Refer to Web MD’s To Buy or Not Buy, Organic: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic

Chemicals in our food: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

 

Please remember to bring enough snack for ___ children for the entire week.

 

Snacks: We recommend serving a healthy protein and or healthy fat (real cheese, hummus, edamame), and 1-2 carbohydrates, 1 whole grain (spelt pretzels, multi grain cheerios), and 1 fruit or vegetable equivalent (organic apples, clementines, carrots). There must always be a fruit or a veggie option on a daily basis.

 

Beverage: Water only.

Protein/Fats: Choose 1/day to serve

Real Cheese:  Mozzarella, Cheddar (the sticks tend to be very popular)

Hard boiled eggs,

Hummus, Guacamole

Edamame

Greek yogurts (Oikos), Yogurt Squeeze (Stonyfield or Horizon, no Danimals)

Olives

Soy Butter, Sunflower Butter (class specific)

 

Carbohydrates: Whole Grains: Choose 0 -1/day to serve

Ak-Mak crackers, Wholegrain crackers (Kashi), Kalvi Rye Crackers

Baked Tortilia Chips, Kale Chips

Multigrain Goldfish

Multigrain cheerios or cereal

Whole Grain Rice Cakes

Whole Wheat Matzos

Natural Air Popped Popcorn (Bearitos and Naked Popcorn)

Spelt, whole wheat or whole grain pretzels (Snyder’s, Annies Organic)

 

Carbohydrates: Fruits and Vegetables: Choose 1/day to serve

Organic Apples

Unswtned organic applesauce

Bananas

Organic Blueberries

Carrots

Clementines

Cucumbers – peeled and sliced, seedless

Dried fruit with no added sugars and or oils

Organic Grapes

Melons – seedless

Organic Pepper Slices

Organic Strawberries

Salsa

String-beans

Organic raisins

Or any fruit/veggie your child loves!

Are Super Foods So Super?

 

Are super foods so super?

By: Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

www.eatingandlivingmoderately.com

Tropical berries such as gogi berries, acai berries, and more have been bombarding the food industry and the media. These products claim almost magical health benefits including a more youthful feeling, lowered cholesterol, and weight loss. But are these products really all their manufacturers claim?

For centuries, the Asian population has included Gogi Berries as part of their diets in hopes of longer lives and to reduce aliments. This is due in large part to their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants may slow the aging process by minimizing damage from free radicals that injure cells and damage. By doing so, antioxidants help reduce the risk of disease and possibly aging. A research article from The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, found that subjects who drank gogi juice daily for a 15 day period reported significantly higher energy levels, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health, contentment, and happiness compared to the control group.

More popular than the gogi berry are the acai berries. These berries are also packed with antioxidants and are also good sources of fiber and monounsaturated fats (the good fats!). A pilot study published in a 2011 edition of The Nutrition Journal, found that in patients suffering for metabolic syndrome, supplementation of acai berry led to improved cholesterol as well as better fasting glucose and insulin levels. Other students have found that use of acai berries can reduce inflammation.

So, are you all set to run out and buy a bottle of juice or a box of supplements?

Not so fast.

While it is true that added these foods into your diet may have some health benefits, there is little research to indicate that these benefits are above and beyond those one would find from “non-exotic” products.

All berries are wonderful sources of antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. There is little evidence to show that gogi and other berries are better sources—only that they are significantly more expensive. There is no reason to spend $40 when you could simply add local blueberries or raspberries to your diet. Also, eating whole foods rather than swallowing supplements is the recommended way to get your macro and micronutrients.

So, these “super berries”  are just as super as your raspberries and blueberries. To have a lifestyle of health and longevity, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables daily. They don’t have to be from an exotic location, rather it is preferred if they were from your backyard or a local farm!!

 

 

Photo provided by Ambro: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499″>Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18447631

http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2010.0150

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/45

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-23/health/acai.berries.scam_1_advanced-wellness-research-acai-weight-loss-claims?_s=PM:HEALTH

 

Laura shares with Fox Business on how to save money by buying healthy.

Save Money With These 5 New Year’s Resolutions

By Dana Dratch

Some New Year’s resolutions can help you save cash. Put the savings in the bank and use it for practical things, such as retirement, groceries or the power bill. Or reward yourself with a night on the town, a much-needed getaway or a new toy.

While you’re ruminating on how you’ll spend your well-gotten gains, here’s a look at just how much keeping five popular resolutions could save you, along with the items that money could buy.

Read more to get the Laura’s latest scoop on food and savings: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/04/save-money-with-these-5-new-years-resolutions/#ixzz1j4mCBe5S.

Is Vitamin Water the New Soda?

Is Vitamin Water the New Soda?

By Katherine Kaczor, Nutrition Assistant

We all know that sodas and other sugar beverages are not ideal for our health and should be consumed in moderation. As an alternative to these drinks, many Americans are now turning to vitamin-fortified waters as their beverage of choice.

These beverages, at first glance, appear to be wonder drinks. Water is key for survival and we need vitamins to help our bodies run efficiently; coming the two seems to be an ingenious way to get both needs at once.

But are these beverages really as good as they appear?

Most vitamin-fortified beverages such as Vitamin Water, Propel, and LifeWater as well as the new vitamin gums and lip balm are largely fortified with water-soluble vitamins. These include the B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C. While these vitamins are vital for several metabolic processes needed for growth, development, and immunity, most Americans are not deficient in these vitamins. Water soluble vitamins taken in excess are typically excreted through the urine. The human body is not capable of storing any excess amounts of these vitamins so supplementing the diet with one of these fortified beverages is not beneficial for most healthy individuals.

Fat soluble vitamins, Vitamins A, D, E, and K, on the other hand, can be stored for longer periods of time in the body. However, most Americans are not deficient in these vitamins either. Recent research has shown that only Vitamin E has been of concern in the average American. Very few vitamin-fortified waters supplement with Vitamin E, however. Additionally, fat soluble vitamins, as their name suggests, need a fat source to be absorbed and utilized in the body. This means that merely drinking them in a fat-free beverage such as a vitamin-fortified water, will be of little use in the body because the fat needed to use the vitamins is missing. One could potentially drink their vitamin-fortified beverage with a meal and the fat soluble vitamins could then be absorbed, but it would be likely that the meal would have a better supply of the nutrients than the vitamin beverage.

Additionally, the vitamin content of vitamin-fortified beverages, gums, and lip balm is typically not high enough to be a replacement for a standard vitamin supplement such as Centrum or One a Day. For the majority of these products, the vitamin content is around 10% of the RDA. If you have been placed on a vitamin-regimen by your physician, switching to vitamin-fortified water will not be an adequate replacement.

You also need to look at the other ingredients and nutritional content of these products. Many supply over 150 calories per bottle and are packed with sugar. You could easily just have a well-balanced snack for similar calories and have a better absorbance of nutrients and feel more satisfied. Lower-calorie or calorie-free products are now available as well they are filled with artificial ingredients and the vitamins in the product are not used well without an energy source.

That being said, most people would not benefit from using these products. Most Americans do not experience significant vitamin deficiencies if they are consuming a well-rounded diet. If some deficiencies exist many of the vitamins from these fortified products are not well-absorbed nor are they a good substitute for a traditional vitamin supplement. If you really enjoy the taste of vitamin-fortified beverages, there is little harm in having them on occasion (except for their outrageous price!) and they are a better alternative to sodas and will help hydrate you, but don’t expect to reap any health benefits from starting a vitamin-water regimen.

So, get your vitamins from food. Consume a balanced intake of whole grains, lean meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables and drink your water plain. If you dislike the taste of water, try adding a lemon or lime to bring out a new flavor.

References:

http://scienceline.org/2007/12/ask-intagliata-vitaminwater/

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126087&page=1