Mommies Nutrition Made Easy For Mother’s Day

Photo Credit: bies via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: bies via Compfight cc

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:

Protein

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.


Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 9.44.22 PM

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 9.43.48 PM

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 9.48.01 PM

 

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 9.43.35 PM

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

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)

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 10.18.12 PM Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 10.17.52 PM Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 10.12.24 PM

 

References

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.

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>.

Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 7.56.27 PM

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.

To learn more, check out the American Cancer Society for more information.