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.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene! By Alyssa Mitola, RD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
What is Lycopene? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Although chemically related to vitamin A, lycopene does not function in our bodies like the vitamin. Rather lycopene serves as the most powerful antioxidant of the >600 carotenoids, riding our body of harmful free radicals and oxidizing species. Lycopene is a red pigment found in fruits and vegetables. You may already know that tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, but lycopene is also found in guava, papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, and apricots.
Lycopene is constantly being researched for its potential health benefits, most notably in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The strongest research comes from lycopene’s role in preventing prostate cancer. Many studies have found that people with higher intakes of lycopene have reduced rates of prostate cancer (Giovannuci et. al 1995; Zu et. al 2011). In addition, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Medicine showed people consuming higher amounts of lycopene had less incidences of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are also currently investigating lycopene’s role in sunburn, gingivitis, osteoporosis, asthma, and mental disorders.
The health benefits of lycopene are numerous and we should try to include sources of lycopene daily. However, this does not mean lycopene should be taken as a supplement. Rather lycopene should come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is actually more bioavailable (available to our bodies) when it is heated. Therefore foods like tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice are even richer sources of lycopene. When purchasing tomato-based products, be sure to look out for no sodium or low sodium products. Eating lycopene with a healthy, fat like olive oil, will also increase your body’s ability to absorb the lycopene. With tomatoes in season get your fill of lycopene. Serve your tomatoes with some olive oil or make some homemade salsa, a tomato salad, or a fresh pot of tomato sauce!
1) Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(23):1767-1776.
2) Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, et al.: Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 14 (2): 131-6, 20.
3) Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, Feldthusen J, Clements J, Hutmacher W. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(7): 14620-14646.
4) Zu K, Rosner BA, Clinton SK, Loda M, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci E. Dietary Lycopene, Angiogenesis, and Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Study in the Prostate-Specific Antigen Era. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (2).
5) Jacques P, Lyass A, Massaro JM, D’Agastino B. Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD. British Journal of Nutrition (2013), 110, 545-551.
6) Story E, Kopec RE, Schwartz SJ, Harris GK. An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene. National Institute of Health Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010; 1: 1-24.
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.
Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to Gluten-Free Shopping By Lindsay Marr and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
The gluten-free world can be daunting, especially for a newly diagnosed celiac or gluten-intolerant. Navigating the aisles of the grocery store can seem even scarier. Thankfully, there are more gluten-free options in stores and the labeling laws are becoming stricter, making gluten-free shopping less of a matter of chance. We took to the grocery stores to try and help ease the confusion and offer you a list of some healthful gluten-free tips.
You may remember we wrote about the new gluten-free labels this past summer and touched on the different aspects of the gluten-free diet in the fall. To touch base, the FDA has decided to consider foods with no more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten as gluten-free. But, what does 20ppm mean, you ask? 20ppm is the least amount of gluten that can be found in foods via reliable scientific analysis testing. It is also the level that meets many other countries’ standards for safety.
Can you trust a gluten-free label?
With the new FDA rulings, you can expect food companies to be more cautious in their labeling. In fact, we may even see a few gluten-free products come off the shelves, as some manufacturers may not want to go through the trouble of abiding by the FDA’s gluten-free rulings. If you feel uneasy before the August 2014 deadline, you can look for two seals on packages to assure the products you’re buying are gluten-free.
This image was used with the permission of The Gluten Intolerance Group.
Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO): The GFCO is currently the leading gluten-free certification program in the world. It is an independent organization that verifies the “quality, integrity, and purity of products” and certifies gluten-free products to no more than 10 PPM.
CSA (Celiac Sprue Association): The CSA seal is given to products that have undergone a review and testing of ingredients to ensure the product is free of wheat, rye, barley and oats.
Which gluten-free products should I choose?
Gluten free food companies are making efforts to make their food products more healthy by adding fiber, using brown rice flour instead of white rice flour and some are even using gluten free grains like buckwheat for this first ingredient. EALM was quite impressed to see these changes. However, some food labels noted the addition of added fibers like inulin, which is a non-digestible form of fiber that can cause gas.
Let’s Go Shopping!
When searching for the gluten-free foods with the most nutrition, we recommend using the following tips:
Always double check!
Be sure to read the ingredients list for potential gluten, even if the product boasts a GF label or seal of approval from the organizations mentioned above. Food products and manufacturing practices change often and some companies even use the GF seals fraudulently. So, be aware and read those ingredients!
Read the ingredients to educate yourself on which product is more nutrient dense!
When searching for healthier GF packaged goods look for nutrient-dense flours like quinoa, garbanzo bean, and brown rice. Also watch where these items are listed within the ingredient lists – ideally they are listed in ingredients one through five.
Look for natural fiber!
As mentioned before, many high-fiber GF foods contain added carbohydrates like inulin or psyllium husk. While these carbs add fiber without affecting the texture or taste of the food, they can result in gas production (not so comfy for sensitive stomachs). Look for products that are naturally gluten-free, like corn meal or certified gluten-free oats. When in doubt, you can increase your fruit and vegetable intake for a boost of fiber, too.
When in doubt…
Tap into some resources! There are a number of apps, subscription services, and organizations that keep consumers updated on all news relating to gluten-free. Take a look at our list below that will help you be a GF detective.
The CDF offers numerous resources for those affected by Celiac Disease, including a list of GF medications and supplements, tips for managing the holidays, as well as the latest research and gluten-free news.
The CSA’s website offers a host of resources for those with Celiac and gluten intolerance. With lists of restaurants, recipes, and information on GF labeling, you are sure to find great information on all things gluten-free.
We covered a number of topics this past year, from hangover remedies, hydration, gluten, and positive body image. 2013 was a great year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for EALM and our readers. To take a trip down memory lane, we compiled a Table Of Contents of our 2013 blog posts. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past and we wish you all a healthy and happy 2014!
Just last week someone asked EALM about ORAC. So here is the update:
Out with ORAC By: Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
We’ve all heard it before: antioxidants are good for you. And the best way to get plenty of antioxidants is to eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. You may remember seeing fruits in the produce section of your grocery store toting signs stating their ORAC scores and wondered what it all meant. ORAC Value, or the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the “degree of inhibition of peroxy-radical-induced oxidation by the compounds,”1 or in simpler terms, the “free radical scavenging activity against one type of free radical”2. The antioxidant capacity of foods varies due to a “variety of factors, such as cultivation, growing conditions, harvesting, food procession and preparation, sampling, and analytical procedures.”1
The Stanford Cancer Institute lists the following foods to be good sources of antioxidants vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E3:
In 2007, a database was released by the USDA, consisting of 277 foods and their respective antioxidant activities.1 The goal of the database was for consumers to assess the sourcing of antioxidants in certain foods via the ORAC measurement. However, in 2010, the USDA removed the ORAC database from their Nutrient Database Laboratory, after finding that “the values indicating antioxidant capacity did not necessarily translate from test tube to human.”4 The USDA released a statement saying; “there is no evidence that the beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich foods can be attributed to the antioxidant properties of these foods. The data for antioxidant capacity of foods generated by in vitro (test-tube) methods cannot be extrapolated to in vivo (human) effects and the clinical trials to test benefits of dietary antioxidants have produced mixed results. We know now that antioxidant molecules in food have a wide range of functions, many of which are unrelated to the ability to absorb free radicals.”4
So the message is the USDA does not support using ORAC to choose your foods and or supplements. As with everything, we like to say eat and live moderately.
From cereal boxes to juice cartons, it seems like every food and beverage products is boasting its vitamin content. But what roles do vitamins play and why are they so important? Read on as we help decode some of the most common terms used in the vitamin world.
Essential Vitamins VS Non-Essential Vitamins
“Vitamin” which stems from the Latin word, “vita”—means life. They actually do not provide energy…but are crucial to life in the sense that they are needed to turn food into energy. Every vitamin is absorbed differently in the body. They fall into two categories 1) essential vitamins and 2) non-essential vitamins. They key differences between the two are found in the name. “Essential” refers to the fact that the body cannot make this vitamin (or rather, not an adequate amount that is needed for our bodies to carryout bodily functions) and “non-essential” refers to the body being able to synthesize it.
Fat Soluble Vitamins VS Water Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are only absorbed by foods with fat and thus adequate intake of dietary fat is very important to ensure proper absorption. Once the vitamin is absorbed, it is stored in adipose tissue, otherwise known as body fat, and the liver. Since we are able to maintain stores, we are less likely to be deficient deficient in these vitamins. On the contrary, we should be more cautious of our levels of these vitamins since it is possible to build up toxic levels. Note that consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables rarely leads to the build up of toxic levels. In most cases, people should be more cautious when taking supplements, powders or consuming fortified beverages.
Water soluble vitamins are directly absorbed by cells and if we consume them in exces, they will be flushed out of our system. Because we do not build up stores of these vitamins in our fat cells, water-soluble vitamins need to be restored more often.
Stepping into a juice bar or health foods store and you may see signs of “add a shot of wheatgrass” to any drink on the menu. With it’s dark green color, this superfood typically conjures a variety of expressions–from skeptical, grossed out, or intrigued! Read on to learn more about wheatgrass and if it’s as nutritionally beneficially as they say?
At first glance, wheatgrass may look like the same lawn grass that grow in the parks and your backyard, but there is quite a difference between the two. Wheatgrass is grown through a sprouting process. During this process, wheatgrass develops the live enzymes and becomes a rich source of nutrients, which when consumed, enter the bloodstream quickly. Wheatgrass provides a natural, concentrated amount of vitamins, and nutrients, including iron, calcium. It is high in antioxidants, iron and chlorophyll. However, to date, it is important to know that there are very few studies that support a wheatgrass diet to be beneficial in curing or preventing diseases.
It is grown in soil or water and typically consumed raw. Because of these conditions, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consuming wheatgrass juice is similar to eating other dark green veggies but as with many foods, depending on your health and dietary habits, wheatgrass could cause increased bowel movements, nausea or headaches.
A shot of wheatgrass is a quick way to gulp down your nutrients but it can also be added to juices or smoothies. Fresh-pressed wheatgrass oxidizes quickly, so gulp it down quickly to reap the most benefits. It is available in most health food stores and juice bars as a supplement, planted trays, capsules, liquid extracts, frozen tablets, and even kits to grow-it-yourself.
New to Wheatgrass? Here are some tips for incorporating it into your meals:
Boost your smoothie/fresh-pressed juice with a shot of wheatgrass
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:
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.