Canola Oil: Is It Healthy?

Canola Oil: Is It Healthy?
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is the oil extracted from canola seeds, the genetic variant of the rapeseed plant. Canola oil has the lowest amount of saturated fat among cooking oils in the US and is high in unsaturated fats, especially the beneficial monounsaturated fats. Canola oil has high amounts of both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

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Canola oil has a smoke point of 396-414˚F, making it ideal for sautéing, grilling, and frying. Canola oil doesn’t alter the taste of a dish, which explains its popularity in baking dishes and vinaigrettes. Canola oil is also relatively easy to store: it is best to keep in a cool dark place, ideally a cabinet or pantry, and can last up to one year. A great tip is to smell the oil if you’re unsure of its expiration date. If the oil has an unpleasant or rancid smell, it has most likely spoiled, and may be best to buy a new one.

Is Canola Oil Healthy?

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to play a very important role in protecting the heart, improving blood pressure, reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol.

Diets high in canola oil, over other oils higher in saturated fat, were found to reduce total cholesterol levels by an average of 12.2%1. A similar study, comparing dietary canola oil with higher saturated fat-containing dairy products, found that substituting canola oil for dairy fat decreased participants’ total cholesterol levels.

Canola oil was also found to be effective in decreasing the growth of cancer cells and increasing the rate of the death of cancer cells1. Canola oil has been linked to aiding in the prevention of breast cancer. A population-based study found that women who regularly cooked with olive or canola oil had a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer when compared to women who regularly cooked with hydrogenated, vegetable and corn oils2.

Despite its health benefits, canola oil has sparked some controversy as it is said to be one of the most genetically engineered foods sold in America. According to Spectrum Organics, a company that sells non-GMO canola oil, canola oil was originally made by hybridization. A process dating back to the 1920s, hybridization is the natural breeding of plants to yield the strongest and most bountiful crops. Like many modern day crops, however, canola oil is now one of the many that are genetically engineered. It is estimated that 93% of the canola oil currently sold in the US has been genetically engineered3.

While walking past one of our favorite places to eat in NYC, Hu Kitchen, we noticed they advertise that they don’t use canola oil. Whether genetically-modified canola oil or genetically engineered food is safe is still up for debate. For more information you can see our previous blog. It doesn’t mean you need to avoid canola oil altogether, rather, an easy solution to avoid genetically engineered canola oil, is buying an organic or non-GMO certified brand. In Laura’s kitchen you can find the following brands:

Do you use canola oil in your home? If not which oil/s do you use instead?
 

Interested in learning more about oils? Check out Laura’s blog What’s GMO and What’s Not GMO on the Bitsy’s Brainfood Blog. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post on the difference between cold-pressed oils and traditional oils. 

 

References:
1. Cho, Kyongshin, Lawrence Mabasa, Andrea W. Fowler, Dana M. Walsh, and Chung S. Park. “Canola Oil Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Growth in Cultures and In Vivo and Acts Synergistically with Chemotherapeutic Drugs.” Lipids 45.9 (2010): 777-84.
2. Wang, Jun, Esther John, Pamela Horn-Ross, and Sue Ann Ingles. “Dietary Fat, Cooking Fat, and Breast Cancer Risk in a Multiethnic Population.” Nutrition and Cancer 60.4 (2008): 492-504.
3. Brumfiel, Geoffrey. “Genetically Modified Canola ‘Escapes’ Farm Fields.” NPR. NPR, 06 Aug. 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2013.

What’s the Story with GMOs?

By: Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Genetically modified organisms, or more commonly referred to as GMO’s, have been quite the topic these past few years. With Dr. Oz expressing his belief that GMO labeling should be mandatory and Whole Foods announcing their plan to label all GMO-containing products sold in their stores by 2018, it is no surprise that people are asking what the deal is with GMO’s?

What are GMOs?

According to WHO (the World Health Organization), GMOs are organisms that have had their DNA unnaturally altered. Genetic engineering is the act in which selected genes are transferred from one organism to another, occasionally between unrelated speciesi.

gmo-tomato

Why are they used?

Genetic engineering is used when growing crops. The benefits of growing GM foods have been found to be:

  • Greater durability
  • Higher nutritional content
  • Faster, more abundant growth, which leads to lower prices
  • Overall protection of the cropi

Are they safe?

This is a loaded question. You could get either a yes or no answer from many different people. However, there is a potential risk for both the environment and humans.

The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association reports that GMOs are present in 75-80% of processed foods in the United States. GMOs are primarily found in industrialized crops, like soybeans, corn, canola oil, cotton, and sugar beets, which are typically found in processed foodsii.

The USDA, EPA, and the FDA regulate GMO crops, however the FDA’s policy does not require any additional testing to prove safety when compared to non-GMO foods. In fact, many believe that long-term GMO consumption is associated with increased cancer risk, chronic illnesses, digestive disorders, and even food allergiesii. Although, the WHO states “GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved”i.

The EWG (Environmental Working Group), recently calculated that the average American eats a strikingly high amount, 193 pounds, of genetically engineered foods annually. “We calculated that the average American annually consumes 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil and 29 pounds of corn-based products, for a total of 193 pounds” of genetically engineered foods. These numbers were calculated based on the USDA’s findings that 95% of sugar beets, 93% of soybeans, and 88% of the corn grown in the United States are genetically modifiediii.

GMO Addoption US

“What’s shocking is that Americans are eating so much genetically engineered food, yet there have been zero long-term studies done by the federal government or industry to determine if its consumption could pose a risk health,” said Renee Sharp, lead author of the report and the director of EWG’s California office. “If you were planning on eating your body weight of anything in a year or feeding that much food to your family, wouldn’t you first want to know if long-term government studies and monitoring have shown it is safe?”iii

Food for thought: what’s the difference between genetically modifying our plants versus naturally cross-pollenating them? We wonder if all of our food, whether it is a fruit, vegetable, grain, or meat product, is bred to be superior? If you think our food should be labeled as genetically modified, should we also label if it is naturally cross-pollenated or bred for optimal results? We would love your thoughts and feedback.

 

For additional reading:

World Health Organization’s 20 Questions on GMOs

GMO Crops vs. Traditional Plant Breeding

 


[i] “20 Questions on Genetically Modified Foods.” WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. <http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/>.

[ii] Ruhs, Barbara. “Update: GMOs in foods: GMOs–ingredients that have been genetically altered–are everywhere, from fast food to frozen yogurt, but are they safe? EN answers your top questions.”Environmental Nutrition 2013: 1. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.

[iii] “Americans Eat Their Weight in Genetically Engineered Food.” Environmental Working Group. Environmental Working Group, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. <http://www.ewg.org/release/americans-eat-their-weight-genetically-engineered-food>.

10 Foods to Help You Fuel Your Day

Has your stomach ever rumbled in anticipation of the next meal, even though it may seem like you’ve just eaten a meal or snack? Despite the timing of your meals and snacks, a growling stomach is your body’s way of telling you to grab a bite! Wondering how to stave off hunger and keep those hunger pangs away? A major key to maintaining energy throughout the day and obtaining adequate nutrition to fuel your body and brain is to eat foods that digest slowly. Read on to learn more about the physiological process behind why your stomach growls, and a few key foods that will help keep you feeling fuller, longer!

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Why Does Your Stomach Growl?

So, what’s the cause of the growling sensation? During the digestion process, the food you eat enters your stomach, and is later pushed through your intestinal tract. But before it enters the intestines, the stomach first churns and mashes the food. This process is aided by the walls of the stomach, which are muscular and constantly contract to help circulate the digestive juices. When your stomach is empty, these juices slosh around your stomach; the combination of the gases in your stomach and walls of your stomach contracting..generates the familiar growling sound we hear when we feel hungry.

10 Foods to Help You Feel Fuller, Longer

If you focus on eating less, you may find yourself feeling hungry. Rather than eating less, shift your focus on choosing foods that are naturally high in fiber, are a lean source of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates. Incorporate foods that keep blood sugar levels stable and give consistent energy throughout the day. This can help prevent fatigue, headaches, or midday crashes. Note that simple carbohydrates (like cookies, or white pasta) digest quickly and cause blood sugar levels to spike higher than a complex carbohydrate (like legumes or whole wheat pasta) and then drop quickly. Remember, thhough there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods, be mindful of what foods may be a better option to eat during meal times so that you don’t find yourself feeling hungry soon after. Yes..there are certain foods that promote satiety more than others! This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy the foods you like and stave off hunger!

2 Egg White and One Egg Yolk – Adding the one yolk will help to satiate you in the morning. The combination of fat and protein takes longer for the body to break down, therefore helping you feel fuller longer.

Oats – This soluble fiber will expand in your body and help you feel more full.

Lentils – This low glycemic carb is high in fiber and protein. This combination doesn’t raise your blood sugar.

Whole Wheat Pasta – Many people think you need a low-carb diet but the average adult needs at least 135g carbohydrates a day. This is a great way to stave off hunger as long as you pair it with a protein and a fat.

Kale Salad With its fibrous leaves and crunchy stems, kale takes longer to chew, which slows down your eating and gives your body time to gauge how full you are. To create a salad that will help keep you fuller longer, be sure to pair this fibrous green with a fat like sliced almonds for crunch.

Salmon – Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and provides ample amounts of lean protein, which as a fat and protein combination takes longer to digest. The fat is very palatable on the tongue so its great for people who are looking for a food to pair with greens and whole grains.

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt – Creamy and tangy, Greek yogurt is a rich source of calcium, low in sugar and high in protein. It helps slow the digestion of other carbs during your meal. It does not negatively affect blood sugar or zap your energy like a regular yogurt might. Enjoy it on its own, mix with wheat berries and a dash of cinnamon, or simply top with fresh fruit.

Olive Oil- Not only does this healthy fat help us to feel full, but also research shows that those who follow the Mediterranean diet are associated with having a smaller waistline.

Hydrate with H20 – Increase your water intake by consuming a glass before, during or after your meal. Often, people can mistake hunger for thirst, which leads to people eating when they are actually not hungry. Drinking water throughout the day and during meals can fill up your stomach and help you feel satiated.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber (~10g in 2 tablespoons) and expand in the body to help you feel more sated. With a neutral flavor, these seeds can be added to almost any dish. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Sprinkle over steel cut oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurts, or mix into nut butters or blend into smoothies.

For more foods that may help keep you fuller, longer, check out Laura Cipullo’s tips here.

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

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So over the past two weeks, I have been asked to comment the positive effects of eating peanut butter at breakfast and the positive effects of eating a large breakfast. I think most people know the saying of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, I know most people skip breakfast or just eat a very skimpy one.

Here at EALM (Eating and Living Moderately), we are all about eating especially the fats known as monounsaturated fats (think olive oil and peanut butter) and definitely not skipping meals– so this new research was music to our ears! Read on to get a quick and easy take away from the research I discussed with Jenna Lee on Happening Now.

My personal take away from the study, High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women, is as follows:

What you eat in terms of carbs, fat, protein, plus calorie content of that meal and time of day may help weight loss and waist circumference in women needing to lose weight as determined by their physician and dietitian. This may also be a great preventative concept for preventing insulin resistance and diabetes. To note, overall both groups in this study had favorable results such as lowered blood sugar, decreased insulin resistance and decreased production of the hormone that stimulates appetite, but the group that ate the higher calorie breakfast/low calorie dinner (vs. the low calorie breakfast/high calorie dinner) had the better results of both groups.

Most important is breakfast needs to be higher calories. The study’s participants had 50% of their calories at breakfast equaling 700 calories. Secondly, breakfast must contain protein but most fascinating is that breakfast can contain carbs like bread. Lesson: If you have metabolic syndrome, diabetes or possibly just need to lose weight, having a bigger breakfast of carbs, protein and fat, like toast and peanut butter with Greek yogurt, may be the way to go. Great news for my clients since they eat like this already!! And don’t fear carbohydrates. The participants in the study had 45% of their breakfast as carbs. (Check out the power of peanuts, as Laura Cipullo explains it on FOX 5 )

Just so you know, the women’s breakfast was 700 cals, lunch 500 cals and dinner quite small at 200 kcals. I am not recommending a 200 calorie dinner; however, consider eating more earlier in the day and then assessing how you feel come dinner time. You may be less hungry than normal. In addition we already know that eating more in the am and throughout the day decreases the likelihood of binging.

Eating in this order proves to be more helpful than eating in the reverse order which most Americans seem to do. The larger breakfast helps to keep your insulin, blood sugar, TG, bad cholesterol and appetite hormone ghrelin lower throughout the day thereby making you less hungry, less likely to crave and less likely to deposit fat around the belly.

Numbers To Chew On:
Large meal (700 kcals) = 30% protein 25% fat 45% carb

Middle meal (500 kcals) = 50% protein 30% fat 20% carb

Small Meal (200 kcals) = 65% protein 25% fat 10% carb

Breakfast 6 am to 9 am

Lunch 12 to 3 pm

Night meal 6 to 9 pm

Overall total average: 1400 kcal 41% protein 30% fat 30% carb

*Note: Keep in mind such a low calorie diet was for women with metabolic syndrome, not necessarily you, the reader.

I would expect the carb:protein:fat ratios at each meal time also greatly affected the results of this study. And, we can’t forget that this study is suggesting that eating early in the day, consistent with our circadian paths helps to increase rate of thermogenesis (energy we use to metabolize food). Perhaps you may want to start your day with a more nutritionally dense breakfast = 30% protein, 25% fat, and 45% carbs.

If you’re trying to follow this pattern, let us know if you feel less hungry at night.

References
1. High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women
 BY Daniela Jakubowicz,1 Maayan Barnea,2 Julio Wainstein,1 Oren Froy2 was Published online via www.obesityjournal.com 20 March 2013

Nuts

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 3.08.52 PMMost people are confused about whether nuts are good for you. In the past, nuts have gotten a bad rep for being a “bad fat.” However, nuts are high in vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and fat, and a handful of nuts go a long way. These bite sized powerhouses are in fact highly nutritious and beneficial to the body. All nuts have different nutrition profiles and offer different benefits. Read on to find out which nuts are rich in calcium or boast the most protein per serving.

Almonds
Brazil Nuts
Cashews
Hazelnuts
Macadamia Nuts
Peanuts
Pecans
Pine Nuts
Pistachios
Walnuts

Nuts for Seeds
If you’re allergic to nuts, seeds are similar in flavor. They offer a nutty taste and crunchy texture without the health risk.

Sunflower Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Watermelon Seeds

Too Much of a Good Thing

Although nuts are a healthy choice themselves, like all foods, too much of a good thing isn’t always healthy. Nuts are small but are more nutritionally dense in both fat and calories. So, keep in mind that while a handful of nuts can be a healthy snack choice between meals, too many handfuls may ruin your appetite altogether.

A Day at the Beach: So What’s for Lunch?

With school out and warm weather, it can only mean one thing… it’s time to hit the beach!

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As bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, cameras, shovels, and pails are being carefully packed up, lunch is usually thrown together at the last minute and sometimes leading to unhealthy food choices. Along with trying to make the healthiest choices, you also have to consider which foods are the safest to bring to the beach and which ones should probably be left at home. But don’t worry, we are here to make packing lunch for the beach a little easier!

In order to make a quick lunch that still tastes good, some planning must be involved. What kinds of foods do your friends and family enjoy? What foods should you leave at home so that you can avoid food contamination at the beach? What foods are the most nutritious and will help keep everyone satisfied and fueled for the day?

Food Safety at the Beach
When considering food safety, many things come to mind but with the addition of the sand and the sun of the beach, food safety takes on a whole new meaning. The biggest thing to consider when it comes to beach safety is the steaming hot temperature. When you combine foods that need to be chilled with the blazing hot sun, things do not end well. According to the FDA’s Qualitative Risk Assessment, once intact fruits and vegetables, such as melons and tomatoes, are cut and protective barriers are open, microorganisms can grow more easily. Once heat and humidity are introduced, the rate at which bacteria grow increases significantly. Therefore, it is best to bring whole fruits and vegetables to the beach. Some ideas for whole fruits and vegetables are oranges, grapes, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, and raw broccoli. If you decide to bring fruits or vegetables that need to be cut or sliced, it is safer if you do so while you are at the beach. Bringing proper utensils to cut/slice these foods will make it a lot easier. For example, bringing an apple core to slice an apple or a pear is easy. Also, using a knife to slice veggies such as cucumbers or peppers is also quick and simple! Make sure you are storing these foods in appropriate containers and at cool temperatures to keep them fresh before you cut them! Prevent sand from touching the food and fruit juices from leaking; use a lockable container like Sistema or Black+Blum.

Another food that should be avoided at the beach is undercooked chicken, fish, or meat as well as different kinds of “salads”. Not only do these kinds of foods allow for a large number of food borne illnesses, but they also can cause cross contamination with other foods. A research study that appeared in Letters in Applied Microbiology, has recently suggested that Salmonella (one of the most common food borne pathogens) contaminates raw/undercooked chicken and meat products at the highest rates over the summer. Also, different chicken salads, egg salads, and tuna salads can cause cross contamination due to the mayonnaise, if they are not chilled to the correct temperature. These different kinds of “salads” containing mayonnaise can still be enjoyed if they are transported and kept at the appropriate temperature. Foods containing mayonnaise must be stored at 45 deg F or lower. To be sure of this, use freezer gel packs to keep food and beverages cold and at a safe temperature.
These types of foods should be stored in containers that can be kept cold such as Kangovou, which is made from food grade stainless steel.

When keeping food safety in mind at the beach, it is also important to consider how you are going to transport and eat your lunch. It is important to pack your food in a cooler with ice (or ice packs) so that the food stays cold and fresh. Also, finger foods tend to be the easiest for the beach and help to avoid “sandy” lunches, so think whole fruits and sandwiches! Don’t forget to wash any fresh produce you pack with you!

So, what are 5 safe and healthy lunches to bring to the beach?

1. Whole-wheat bread with natural peanut butter and banana – The bread won’t get soggy and the peanut butter and banana will give you fuel for hours!

2. Whole-wheat pita with grilled chicken and veggies with hummus –Pack celery and raw broccoli florets to dip in hummus. Single-serve hummus packs are a great way to eat more healthfully and to enjoy finger foods!

3. Whole wheat crackers with low-fat cheese and a handful of grapes or cherries, and carrots or celery sticks – Having a variety of food can make lunch at the beach fun and make it feel like a picnic!

4. Whole-wheat wrap with lean turkey or lean ham with veggies and homemade trail mix (dried fruit, cereal, and nuts) – Homemade trail mix is a fun and healthy way to eat some of your favorite foods!

5. Grilled chicken sandwich on a whole-wheat bun with dark lettuce – pile more veggies on your sandwich for more flavor!

Don’t forget about snacks! To keep everyone satisfied and happy, think about quick and healthy snacks such as whole fruits, veggie sticks with low fat dip/hummus, homemade trail mix, whole grain granola bars, and popcorn. And don’t forget to pack plenty of water!

References
Scott J (2012). DRAFT Qualitative Risk Assessment Risk of Activity/Food Combinations for Activities
(Outside the Farm Defintion) Conducted in a Facility Co-Located on a Farm. Center for Food Safety
and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Adminstration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ,
1-95.
Zdragas, A K Mazaraki, G Vafeas, V Giantzi, & T Papadopoulos (2012). Prevalence, seasonal
occurrence and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in poultry retail products in Greece.. Letters in
Applied Microbiology, 55(4). retrieved May 31, 2013, from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22943611

Super Foods Super Expensive

Are “Super foods” worth the money? This answer depends on which food one is referring to. The Willis Report recently asked me if consumers who are being bombarded with trendy super foods like quinoa, goji berries, acai berries, and spirulina getting the most for their money? Well these foods are indeed packed with nutrition especially vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals but they are not necessarily better than other more main stream supper foods like blueberries or salmon. See our post “Are Super Foods So Super?
”

While “super foods” like raw pumpkin super chips or oats with goigi berries are extremely nutritious, they don’t always live up to their cost. They could possibly be even less super than a local or frozen food as they may be less fresh if they are exotic, processed, or have added ingredients. Keep in mind there is no formal qualification defining super foods. Rather this term is used loosely implying this specific food has as much or a greater amount of nutrition than another food.  

When comparing prices of foods marketed as ‘super foods’ and sold in specialty health boutiques, I found that pumpkin chips were five times the costs of just purchasing pure pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Oat based cereal sold, as a super food was twice as expensive as purchasing stone ground oats with fresh blueberries and a chocolate bar from Africa that was only 44% cocoa was sixty-six percent more expensive then a USA dark chocolate bar like Sweet Riot with 70% coca.

The message here is when opting for value, go with the foods that are most wholesome and unaltered like nuts, wild salmon and organic blueberries. See here for more natural super foods:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2.

To find foods that have positive affects on your health without paying top price go with non-packaged fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. Stroll the bulk section of your health food store and buy foods sold by the pound rather than by the package.

  • “If it is in a package, it is probably processed!
  • If it is has been processed, it’s probably not super.
  • If it is has sugar as the first ingredient, and
  • If it is marketed as super it’s probably not so super.
  • Real whole foods are the super foods that are a super deal.”

Keep in mind, if you are buying juices or super chips with agave, these products have added sugar since agave is sugar. Local fresh and or frozen are usually the best foods to buy for greater nutrition, sustainable efforts and economical value.

 

Genetically Modified Foods


By Laura Iu, Nutrition Student and Assistant to Laura Cipullo

Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe?

The debate over whether genetically modified foods are harmless or harmful to both our health and our food system has been ongoing. With so many vital technological advances in this field, why haven’t we been able to find a definitive answer? To date, there are very few human studies detailing the impact of genetically modified foods on human health. Although there have been some limited animal studies showing the consequences of consuming genetically modified foods, the results are still inconclusive.

What are GMOs?

Genetically modified organisms (crops) are plants whose DNA has been altered. Often, the DNA has been transformed so that it is more resistant to herbicides and bugs. These altered plants can destroy weeds and defend themselves from insects by producing their own poisons. When genetically modified foods were first produced, they had been created with the intention of withstanding weather fluctuations and lessening crop failure, thus increasing yield while reducing costs.

According to the World Health Organization, developing a crop resistant to insects is achieved by inserting a gene that produces toxins in an insect’s gut if it ingests that specific crop. This toxin is known as Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT). Cultivating a crop resistant to viruses is accomplished through the insertion of a gene that causes a disease in plants.

One of the main concerns about the consumption of genetically engineered foods is that they may generate allergic responses. For example, if a person is not typically allergic to corn, transferring different genes to the corn could potentially cause the crop to become an allergen. Thus, foods that commonly cause allergies are normally not genetically modified. 

Are Genetically Modified Foods Harmless?

The answer to this question depends largely on whom you ask. Many big corporations and investors may argue that they offer a safe and efficient way to feed a huge population. On the other hand, critics may argue that we do not know enough about GM foods to label them as safe.

Genetically engineered foods are overseen by three federal agencies—the

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agencies review GM foods for allergens, toxicity and nutrient levels. The problem here? The data must be voluntarily submitted by companies. Yes, this means that no additional testing for GM foods is required. The government then employs a policy they call “substantial equivalence”—if a GM food is not “substantially equivalent” to the original/conventional food item, the GM food must be further tested. 

The bottom line is that more extensive research should (must) be done to determine whether GM foods are actually safe. In the meantime, it is up to you, the consumer, to decide whether you wish to include such foods in your diet.

How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods?

If you live in the United States, it’s very difficult to distinguish the difference between GM foods and non-GM foods. On the surface, GM foods don’t look different than non-GM foods. Even more troubling, there is no United States law requiring foods containing GMOs to be labeled as such. Thus, it’s a challenging process to find foods that don’t contain at least some ingredient that has been genetically modified.

If you are concerned about the impact of GM foods on your health, here’s what you can do on an immediate basis:

  1. Buy organic food only; look for the label clearly stating “100% Organic.” In the United States, only foods with 100% organic ingredients may carry this label. If a food is simply labeled “organic,” the product is allowed to contain up to 30% of GMOs.
  2. Be savvy about which foods are likely to have been genetically modified.
  3. Buy 100% grass-fed meat.
  4. Shop at your local farmers’ markets.
  5. Look for labels that say “Non-GMO” or “GMO-Free.”

 

Camelback Giveaway

We all know how important adequate water intake is and CamelBak has just made things a lot easier!  Their new Groove water bottle provides great-tasting filtered water that follows you wherever you go!  The plant-based filter lasts three months, which means that it replaces 375 disposable plastic water bottles.  The bottle is BPA free and contains a spill-proof bite valve so it helps you take on the day regardless of what comes your way! GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Two lucky winners will receive a CamelBak! Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a @CamelBak #Giveaway We’d love to hear what you like about CamelBak. Giveaway ends on Sunday, April 14th at 6:00 PM EST.

Enter to Win KIND Bars

A few weeks ago, we shared with you some of our favorite energy bars for hiking and on-the-go. KIND bars are generally made with about 10 rather simple ingredients, many which include nuts, honey, puffed rice and dried fruits. The use of whole, not ground nuts, contribute to the texture and “homemade” feel. They recently released a new line of flavors, Nuts & Spices, which contain spices like cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Made with ingredients you can pronounce, they make a pretty good option before a run, or as a midday snack. Whether you’re already a KIND bar fan or have yet to try one, here’s your chance to enter our KIND bar giveaway! 

DARK CHOCOLATE CINNAMON PECAN

Ingredients : Mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews), chicory root fiber, honey, palm kernel oil, sugar, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, cocoa powder, cinnamon, soy lecithin, milk powder, salt, vanilla extract.

 CASHEW & GINGER SPICE

Ingredients : Cashews, almonds, peanuts, chicory root fiber, honey, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, ginger, sugar, spices, soy lecithin.

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One lucky winner will receive a Kind Nuts & Spices Mixed Case!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a @KINDSnacks #Giveaway.
    We’d love to hear what you like about KIND bars! Giveaway ends on Friday, April 5th at 12:00 PM EST.