While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!
The EALM Blog Shelf
Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.
Eating a plant-based diet provides a plethora of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A to fight free radicals caused by exercise (where free radicals are produced at a greater rate).
You are forced to focus on your dark leafy greens like spinach and collard greens and high Vitamin C foods like peppers and oranges to absorb the non – heme iron found in plant foods.
Pre training foods like bagels, yogurt and peanut butter are already a part of your daily intake.
You’re at an even greater advantage to prevent heart disease by exercising and eating the healthy fats such as almonds, avocados and lean proteins like beans and fish.
Your physical activity and plant based lifestyle are dually protective against diabetes. Vegan diets have been shown to lower one’s average 3 month blood glucose.
You must make extra effort to get your 8 essential amino acids needed for muscle and hormone synthesis by eating a variety of protein sources like beans, peanut butter, tofu and quinoa.
You may need to take an omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement if you are not consuming deep sea fish. There are vegetarian marine algae forms of DHA available.
Caution – place extra emphasis on eating complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta, barely, and millet. Avoid grabbing easy and available processed stand – bys like chips, packaged cookies, and boxed macaroni and cheese.
Don’t fall prey to quick soy proteins sources like veggie burgers, “unchicken” fingers and fake meat. These products are highly processed, high in sodium and artificial fillers. In addition, limit soy intake to whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame. Choose one soy food /day.
Bring on the Vit. B12. Vit. B12 is generally not found in plant sources. Milk, Fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast are vegetarian friendly form of this water-soluble vitamin needed for red blood cell synthesis.
Fat Is the New FAD—Product Review: “Be Bright” Non-GMO Superfood Oil Blend By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
While all foods are super foods in their own right, Coromega has created a unique blend of this past year’s favorite fats. Chia, coconut, avocado, hemp, and black cumin fatty acids are now available in an all-in-one delicious oil.
Pros: Easy way to get your kids’ and your bodies the fatty acids we need; Formulated to be taken straight on a spoon or added to a smoothie; GMO free; Great for tropical and Asian flavoring.
Pros/Cons: Must be refrigerated and not a cooking oil; however, can be added as a salad dressing or grain topper; Has sugar but for a legit reason—a hint of non-GMO cane sugar is added to bring out the product’s delightful coconut-cream-meets-piña-colada flavor!
In addition, Coromega’s use of sugar promotes the microbiology stability of the product: It is used to bind free water in the formulation to prevent pathogen growth (which requires water). They chose not to use sweeteners, like xylitol, because they wanted Be Bright to be formulated with natural ingredients and believe pure cane sugar is the best option. The sugar is used at a very low absolute level, only 3 grams per serving. When compared with an energy bar at 14–25g or a can of Coke at 38g, that’s a really small amount!1
Put the oil to your taste test with this Asian Soba Noodle recipe!
Make this for dinner or take for lunch the next day. To make this dish a complete meal, add chicken or tofu for protein.
Be Bright Soba Noodles
½ cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1t ginger, minced
2t be bright oil blend
2T coconut oil
2 zucchinis, diced
8oz soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped basil
1 cup chopped cilantro
1. Prepare dressing and set aside: in a small saucepan, warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn off the heat source, and let cool about 5 mins. Add the Be Bright oil blend, lime juice, and zest. Stir and set aside until the noodles and vegetables are ready to be dressed.
2. Cook the soba noodles as directed on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan on medium to high heat and sauté the zucchini until tender.
4. In a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the dressing, zucchini, herbs, and onions. Option: Add tofu or chicken and mix. Chill for one hour and enjoy.
1. As told by the PR company of Coromega Be Bright Oil.
Don’t “Defriend” Fat By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
In the 70’s, we banned fat. In the 90’s we banned carbs – and neither really worked to improve our lifestyles and relationships with food. As new research comes out regarding the best ways to eat for a healthy body, heart health, brain health – you name it – our food industry adjusts accordingly to provide these foods for us to eat. But what if we simply had a neutral relationship with food and a positive relationship with eating? It seems we would be more likely to eat exactly what our bodies need and avoid the foods our bodies can do without.
Recently, an article was published in TIME Magazine with the title “EAT BUTTER.” There’s something that will catch the reader’s eye, but what is behind the cover? For over 40 years, Americans have been on a low-fat craze because it was believed to be the best way to preserve our hearts from heart disease. Turns out, the research was misleading and the way we interpreted the research was not any better for our bodies. According to Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, ideally we thought “that if people reduced saturated fat, they would replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables.” What really happened was people replaced those calories with processed foods and snacks like low-fat cookies, cakes, crackers and more.
We started regaling fats as “good” fats and “bad” fats, and we did the same with cholesterol. Giving these positive and negative titles to foods can lead to overeating and or food avoidance. It is important to understand that fats, like all foods, are neutral. They are essential in our diet for brain health, blood sugar regulation and for keeping us feeling full. Carbs (sugar, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy) are also essential in our diet for energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoiding one or the other can lead to undernourishment and side effects like fatigue and mood swings.
In 1996, Dr. Walter Willet published research concluding that removing fat from our diets and replacing that void with carbohydrates does not reduce our risk for heart disease. It just so happens that around the time this study was published, the Mediterranean diet started gaining popularity. All fats are important. All carbs are important. All proteins are important. There is actually research supporting Mediterranean diets with 40% fat. But the fat source is mainly monounsaturated fats. Remember, when you eat fats like dairy, oils, nuts, and so on, you are typically getting a bit of saturated and unsaturated fat. So while the jury is still out, stick with moderation and try to eat more wholesome nutrition the majority of the time.
Ultimately, the TIME article is not saying Americans should drop everything and start eating butter or loading up on saturated fat. The message seems to be implying that we should no longer be afraid of fat, and we can start incorporating all types of fat in moderation. It’s time we changed our thinking from exile to acceptance. Allowing ourselves to have access to all foods will decrease the desire to resist any particular nutrient or food group. We will all be healthier for it.
Mommies Nutrition Made Easy For Mother’s Day By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Pregnancy is both an exciting and life-changing experience. Your body undergoes many changes and with pregnancy lasting approximately 38 to 40 weeks, EALM thought it would be helpful to give pregnant moms three easy to follow daily nutrition samples.
Just So Know:
An additional 25 grams or more of daily protein is needed while pregnant. The extra protein is essential in helping your baby grow while in utero.
Eating for Smart Minds
Among the nutrients needed during pregnancy, DHA and EPA – essential fatty acids are of utmost importance. DHA and EPA are associated with brain development and better vision in children. The body cannot make these nutrients so eat up! (Just be sure to not exceed an intake of 3 grams per day while pregnant1.
Building Strong Bones
Calcium is a vital nutrient to consume during pregnancy. It is currently recommended that pregnant mothers ingest 1,000 mg of calcium daily to maintain optimal stores for both her and baby1.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. It is recommended that pregnant mothers consume 600 IUs of Vitamin D per day. Vitamin D is found naturally in few foods such as, fatty fish and eggs but is often fortified in foods such as milk, yogurt and even orange juice.
Importance of Folic Acid3
Folic acid is an essential B vitamin in pregnancy. It helps prevent premature delivery and birth defects such as spina bifida. It is recommended pregnant moms get 600 mcg Folic acid per day.
What About Coffee?
Drinking 1-2 cups of coffee per day is safe during pregnancy. Phew!!
Here are 3 days of meals adequate in calories, calcium, protein, and necessary nutrients, broken into the three trimesters. (Please click on each plan for a larger viewing size)
1. Brown, Judith E., and Janet S. Isaacs. Nutrition through the Life Cycle. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, CENGAGE Learning, 2011. Print.
2. “Vitamin D.” — Health Professional Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health, 24 June 2011. Web. 10 May 2014.
3. “Folate.” — QuickFacts. National Institutes of Health, 23 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 May 2014.
Should Your Oil be Cold-Pressed? By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
If you read our previous post on canola oil, you most likely know that picking an oil for your family meals isn’t the easiest task. There are many factors when choosing an oil: the heat index, the content of unsaturated vs. saturated fat, and even the question of genetic engineering. Not to mention the fact that there are over a dozen of choices in most grocery stores!
Let’s start with smoke points. Every oil has a smoke point, or temperature, where the oil begins to break down. When the oil breaks down, it can lose some of its benefits and gain an unpleasant odor. The trick is to avoid allowing the oil to smoke and if it does, you want to restart your dish with a new serving of oil.
In our blog on canola oil, we mentioned fats quite a bit: saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. All oils have some combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats, MUFAs are recognized as the heart healthy oil based on research. We’ve outlined oils that are highest in these particular types of fats:
*For a more detailed chart on fat content in oil click here1.
When walking down the aisles at the grocery store, not only do you have to pick from a number of different oil options, but you also have to consider the processing that oils undergo.
For a quick guide on the best ways to use cooking oils, see Cleveland Clinic’s Top Heart-Healthy Oils Guide – it’s a great go-to resource to have in your kitchen.
1. Duyff, Roberta Larson. The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. New York: J. Wiley, 1998. Print.
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.
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:
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.
The Latest Diet Recommendations for Breast Cancer By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women today. It is estimated that 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, equaling a quarter of a million women being diagnosed each year. As many of you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In effort to raise the awareness of our EALM readers, we wanted to highlight the importance of diet and lifestyle, on not only your overall health, but also in relation to breast cancer.
The Role of Diet and Lifestyle:
In a recent article featuring Mary Flynn, registered dietitian and co-author of the book “The Pink Ribbon Diet,” she states, “because the majority of breast cancer cases don’t have a genetic link, you have to conclude that lifestyle factors, including diet, play a large role.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics takes a similar stance, stating that “while there is no certain way to prevent breast cancer, it has been found that leading a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk and boost your odds if you do get breast cancer.”
Highlighted below are the risk factors. However, we want to stress that if you find you fall under a few, or more than a few, of these categories it is important not to panic. If you are concerned, please talk with your doctor and follow the recommendations for when and how often to get mammograms. Here are risk factors provided by the Center for Disease Control:
Beginning your menstrual cycle before the age of 12
Starting menopause at a later than average age
Never giving birth
Not breastfeeding post-birth
Long-term use of hormone-replacement therapy
Family history of breast cancer
Previous radiation therapy to the breast/chest area, especially at a young age
Being overweight, especially in women of the postmenopausal age
What About Insulin?
An article written by Franco Berrino, et al., states that elevated serum insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients1. The authors also found each of the following to be associated with breast cancer incidence: high plasma levels of glucose (>110 mg/100 mL), high levels of triglycerides (>150 mg/100 mL), low levels of HDL cholesterol (<50 mg/100 mL), large waist circumference (>88 cm), and hypertension (SBP > 130 mmHg or DBP >85 mmHg). The article also states that those with both metabolic syndrome and breast cancer have the worst prognosis.1 In addition, recent research has shown significant positive associations between obesity and higher death rates for a number of cancers, including breast cancer2.
In other research, omega 3 fats (alpha-linolenic acid, EPA, DHA) have been shown in animal studies to protect from cancer, while omega 6 fats (linoleic acid, arachidonic acid) have been found to be cancer-promoting fatty acids. Flax seed oil and DHA (most beneficial from an algae source) can both be used to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA originating from a marine source was found to be the most efficient source. To learn more about fatty acids in your daily diet check out our blog post on Fatty Acids.2
Get a minimum of 4 hours of exercise per week – aim for a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week for optimal health. Some experts recommend yoga to breast cancer patients, as the practice of yoga can ease anxiety, depression, and stress.
Limit alcoholic beverages to 1 per day, or none at all
Try to maintain a healthy weight (a mid range), especially following menopause
Eat plenty of:
Dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale
Legumes: dried beans and peas, lentils, and soybeans
Researchers and medical professionals suggest that cancer survivors eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods each day (since cancer survivors can be at an increased risk of developing new cancers).
Diet and Yoga and Decreasing Stress:
Regardless of whether you are an individual with breast cancer, in remission from breast cancer, or woman trying to reduce your risk, the message is to maintain an active life while consuming a largely plant based diet with a focus on consuming omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, trout and sardines. Find ways to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables such as joining a community agriculture share. Be sure to try the many different forms of yoga for a form of movement and as way to decrease stress. To help manage insulin levels, focus on eating carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal and two of the three at snacks. This will slow the absorption of the carbohydrates thereby preventing a high blood sugar and insulin surge. Start with small goals and build upon them each week.
What’s your favorite recipe high in antioxidants? What is your favorite way to decreases stress? Do you have a favorite app that helps you achieve optimal wellness?
1. Berrino, F., A. Villarini, M. De Petris, M. Raimondi, and P. Pasanisi. Adjuvant Diet to Improve Hormonal and Metabolic Factors Affecting Breast Cancer Prognosis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1089.1 (2006): 110-18.
2. Donaldson M.S.. Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet. Nutr. J. 2004; 3:19–25.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of certain cancers and have anti-inflammatory properties but the ACS reports that such studies are still inconclusive. But with so much talk about the Mediterranean diet and omega-3 fatty acids lowering the risk of heart disease, chances are that you or someone you know is probably consuming more fish oil supplements or eating more fatty fish like salmon, herring, or mackerel. Despite the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a recent study found that fish oil may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
The latest study on the association between prostate cancer and omega-3 fatty acids, “Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial,” was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and was funded by National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study analyzed levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of 834 men who had been diagnosed with cancer, and 156 of them were diagnosed with high-grade cancer. (In the study, researchers defined omega-3 fatty acids as EPA, DPA and DHA.) They then compared the results with blood samples from 1,393 cancer-free men. Men with the highest level of omega-3 had a 43% increase in risk for prostate cancer and a 71% increased in risk for high-grade cancer (the most fatal) (Brasky, JNCI 2013).
It’s important to note that the study shows that there is an association between increased omega-3 fatty acid plasma levels and prostate cancer but does not demonstrate that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids causes prostate cancer. The study measured blood levels in the participants but did not include information on their eating habits. Thus, the effect between fatty acids from a fish source or supplements is not differentiated. As of now, the cause and effect relationship of the two is still unknown and much more research is needed. The study concludes that men with a history of prostate cancer should discuss with a health professional if fish oil supplements are safe for them. Since fish oil supplements are a concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids, it can add up to a lot.
While the study sends a conflicting message to many who follow the Mediterranean diet or taking supplements, it’s simply important to remember that consuming any food in excess is not healthy. Men would benefit from consulting their doctor while continuing to read relevant research on this topic before taking fish oil supplements.
February isn’t just the month of flowers, chocolates or spending time with the ones you love..but as heart health month, it’s also about loving your heart! Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death for both men and women1. Lifestyle choices play a major role in preventing heart disease as well as controlling it. With this in mind, it’s never too early to start focusing on overall heart health. Show your heart how much you appreciate it by incorporating these heart healthy foods!
Berries – Please your heart with antioxidant rich berries like strawberries, goji berries and blackberries, which are an antioxidant powerhouse! Blueberries for example, house high amounts of phytonutrients like anthocyanidins, which aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells. Consuming 1-2 portions of berries daily may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk2.
Brussel Sprouts – Tender, crunchy and just a little bit nutty, brussel sprouts have more to offer than just flavor. This cruciferous veggie contains vitamin C and vitamin A which help fight against heart disease, and vitamin Its high fiber content aids in digestion, helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk for developing heart disease, stroke and hypertension3.
Chia Seeds– Chia seeds contain a high level of soluble fiber, which helps slow down digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Just three tablespoons of these seeds can provide 37-44% of the American Heart Association’s recommended amount of fiber per day. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3:1 ratio of omega-3:omega-6 FA. With 3x more omega-3 than omega-6, adding chia seeds to a diet can help an individual reach optimal health by balancing out the ratio of fatty-acid intake in one’s daily nutrition. To learn more about chia seeds, click here.
Collard Greens – This cruciferous veggie is high in vitamins A,C, K and folate. It contains antioxidants and provides us with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Greek Yogurt – Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Greek yogurt makes for a heart-healthy snack. It’s high in protein and calcium, which can help you stay fuller longer, while strengthening your bones.
Olives – Monounsaturated fats in moderation are heart-healthy fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels4. A rich source of monounsaturated fats is olives, which have been shown to lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and increase or maintain HDL (“good cholesterol”).
Salmon – High in omega-3 fatty acid, DHA and protein, salmon helps lower blood pressure and reduces inflammation5.
Wheat germ – Packed with B vitamins, the nutrients found in the grain play a vital role in maintaining heart-healthy bodily functions. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, B vitamins like folate are especially for women of childbearing age as well as any woman eating too little veggies or fruits. As an excellent source of fiber, wheat germ helps control cholesterol.