Tag Archives: food facts

Just when we were feeling better about school lunch …

150825125801_1_540x360There’s been plenty of controversy surrounding the new school lunch regulations. Overall, though, most people have felt that the changes were positive and that our children were being presented with healthier options. So FoodFacts.com was dismayed to find this new information that takes the wind out of the sails of the new program.

Less than a month before Congress votes on whether to reauthorize a controversial program mandating healthier school lunches, a new study confirms the suspicions of school officials — many students are putting the fruits and vegetables they’re now required to take straight into the trash, consuming fewer than they did before the law took effect.

The new study, published online in Public Health Reports on Aug. 25, is the first to use digital imaging to capture students’ lunch trays before and after they exited the lunch line.

It is also one of the first to compare fruit and vegetable consumption before and after the controversial legislation — the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 — was passed.

After passage of the legislation and the USDA mandates it put in place 2012, the study found that students put more fruits and vegetables on their trays, as required, but consumed fewer of them and increased waste by approximately 35 percent.

“The basic question we wanted to explore was: does requiring a child to select a fruit or vegetable actually correspond with consumption,” says Sarah Amin, Ph.D., a researcher in Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont and lead author on the study.

“The answer was clearly no,” she said. “It was heartbreaking to see so many students toss fruits like apples into the trash right after exiting the lunch line.”

Amin and her co-authors documented almost 500 tray observations over 10 visits to two elementary schools in the Northeast before implementation of the USDA guideline and almost twice as many observations afterwards.

Forty to 60 percent of the students at the schools qualified for free or reduced lunch, a marker for low socioeconomic status.

The research team used a digital imaging method that they validated three years ago in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to measure consumption.

The new methodology, which involved visual estimations and calculations based on digital photographs of trays as students reached the cashier and again after they passed the food disposal area, was faster and more accurate than conventional methodologies that simply weighed food waste.

“The beauty of this method is that you have the data to store and code to indicate what was selected, what was consumed, and what was wasted as opposed to weighed plate waste, where everything needs to be done on site,” said Amin, who hopes to develop an online training tutorial that could be used by schools across the country to measure consumption and waste.

In an earlier study published in the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management, Amin and colleagues looked at what types of fruits and vegetables children selected prior to the new guideline.

They found that children preferred processed fruits and vegetables such as the tomato paste on pizza or 100 percent fruit juice rather than whole varieties.

In addition to making sure those options are available, Amin and her colleagues offer these additional strategies in the paper for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in school lunch programs:

• Cutting up vegetables and serving them with dip or mixing them in with other parts of the meal;
• Slicing fruits like oranges or apples, rather than serving them whole;
• Adopting promising strategies targeting school settings such as Farm-to-School programs and school gardens, which can encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in addition to what the cafeteria is providing
• Putting public health programs in place that encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in the home, which could carry over to school.

Once schools have fully acclimated to the guidelines, Amin thinks consumption will increase, especially for students who entered as kindergarteners under the new guidelines in 2012 and know no other way.

“An important message is that guidelines need to be supplemented with other strategies to enrich fruit and vegetable consumption. We can’t give up hope yet.”

Amin’s co-authors at the University of Vermont include research associate Bethany Yon and Rachel Johnson, the Robert L. Bickford Jr. Green and Gold Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Jennifer Taylor, a graduate student at UC-Davis.

There’s an old saying … “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” FoodFacts.com thinks we should all remember the truth behind that statement. But we also think that other strategies should be employed in the crusade to entice kids with healthier eating. There have been studies done that suggest that whole fruit isn’t as attractive as fruit that’s been cut up, appearing more “ready-to-eat.” That’s just one example of how this might be approached.

While we’re saddened to learn that kids are rejecting some of these efforts, we look forward to seeing solutions and hope that as the school lunch program moves forward, improvements will be made that work for the kids the program serves.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150825125801.htm

The negative effects of eating on the run … you may be gaining weight

Eatting on the goIf any one word were used to describe the current times we live in, it would probably be “busy.” We’re always running somewhere. To the gym, to a meeting, to work, to an event, to a school … we’re overscheduled, rushed and constantly on the go. As a result, most people aren’t sitting down to proper meals and are eating on the run. We’re trying to make sure that those grab and go meals are healthy, but according to new research it doesn’t make a huge difference in regard to weight control.

In a new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, researchers from the University of Surrey have found dieters who eat ‘on the go’ may increase their food intake later in the day which could lead to weight gain and obesity. The findings from the study also showed that eating while walking around triggered more overeating compared to eating during other forms of distraction such as watching TV or having a conversation with a friend.

The team examined 60 females who were either dieters or non-dieters and gave them all a cereal bar to eat under three different conditions. The first group was asked to watch a five-minute clip of the sitcom ‘Friends’ while eating. The second group was asked to walk around the corridor while consuming the cereal bar, and the third group was simply asked to sit opposite a friend and have a conversation. After the experiment, participants completed a follow-up questionnaire and a taste test involving four different bowls of snacks, including chocolate, carrot sticks, grapes and crisps. How much they ate was measured after they left the room.

The results showed that dieters ate more snacks at the taste test if they had eaten the initial cereal bar whilst walking around and specifically they ate five times more chocolate.

“Eating on the go may make dieters overeat later on in the day,” said lead author Professor Jane Ogden from the University of Surrey.

“This may be because walking is a powerful form of distraction which disrupts our ability to process the impact eating has on our hunger. Or it may be because walking, even just around a corridor, can be regarded as a form of exercise which justifies overeating later on as a form of reward.”
“Even though walking had the most impact, any form of distraction, including eating at our desks can lead to weight gain. When we don’t fully concentrate on our meals and the process of taking in food, we fall into a trap of mindless eating where we don’t track or recognize the food that has just been consumed.”

FoodFacts.com misses the days when we weren’t always running somewhere. The world is, however, a more complicated place with greater demands assigned to us all. We can’t turn back the clock. But we can make a conscientious effort to make time for healthy, balanced meals. Let’s learn to put busy to bed when it’s mealtime and give up mindless eating for good.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150820212646.htm

Healthier mayonnaise? Just Mayo from Hampton Creek bets you’ll think so

4795230377_d9bfb79b31So what’s in the jar of mayonnaise sitting in your refrigerator? We know it’s mayonnaise, but have you explored any further than that?

If it’s a jar from Kraft, this is how the ingredient list reads:

INGREDIENTS: Soybean Oil, Water, Eggs, Egg Yolks, Vinegar, contains less than 2% of Sugar, Salt,Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA as a Preservative, Dried Garlic, Dried Onions, Spice, Natural Flavor.

In a serving size of one tablespoon, you’ll find 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 5 mg of cholesterol and 90 mg. of sodium.

This information is pretty typical for the mainstream brands of mayo. The ingredients could certainly be better. They’re only using two controversial items and we’re fairly certain those could be replaced. And the nutrition facts are something most have learned to live with. Mayonnaise is a fat. It’s made from fats. So the nutrition facts fall in line.

Hampton Creek thinks we should have better mayonnaise. You may have seen it on your grocery shelf sitting in between Kraft and Hellmann’s. Just Mayo tells us that we’ll consume less sodium and cholesterol with this new brand AND we’ll be consuming better ingredients.

So let’s take a look at the nutrition facts for one tablespoon of Just Mayo.

Calories:                   90
Fat:                            10 grams
Saturated fat:          1 gram
Cholesterol:             0 mg
Sodium:                    80 mg

The tablespoon of Just Mayo is a little better in terms of nutrition facts than a tablespoon of Kraft Mayo. With .5 grams less saturated fat, 5 mg less cholesterol and 10 mg less sodium, we could say it’s a bit ahead of the game than its mainstream counterparts.

Ingredients:
Non-GMO Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Filtered Water, White Vinegar, 2% or less of the following: Organic Sugar, Salt, Pea Protein, Spices, Modified Food Starch, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (Color), Calcium Disodium EDTA (to preserve freshness).

No natural flavors. That’s a great thing. FoodFacts.com would have to question the Non-GMO statement regarding canola oil, as canola oil begins as a genetically modified product (there’s no such thing as a canola plant). This product still contains Calcium Disodium EDTA and that kind of ruins it for us.

If we have the time, we can make our own mayonnaise. If we don’t have the time, there are organic products that we like better than this one. It isn’t bad. And we get that they’ve identified a niche somewhere between mainstream brand mayo and organic mayo – something that’s better for you but doesn’t cost what organic products cost. Maybe that niche exists. But if it does, we think the consumers that are sitting inside that gap between products aren’t looking to see Calcium Disodium EDTA on the ingredient list.

http://www.hamptoncreek.com/just-mayo

Taco Bell tries to heat things up again with Daredevil Loaded Grillers

pdp-DareDevil-Ghost-Pepper2Taco Bell’s newest introduction, Daredevil Loaded Grillers are certainly loaded. The website describes these “creations” as follows: “The Mild Chipotle Dare Devil Loaded Griller starts with a warm flour tortilla and is filled with seasoned beef, nacho cheese, crispy red strips and our mild chipotle sauce then wrapped up and grilled to perfection.”
FoodFacts.com sometimes feels like fast food chains use code words that can translate into bad ingredients and nutrition facts. The same way you can safely assume that the word “cozy” in a rental apartment ad means “way too small,” things like “crispy red strips” and “mild chipotle sauce” stand for any number of controversial ingredients. Let’s find out what’s really in this one.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                     420
Fat:                              22 grams
Saturated Fat:           5 grams
Sodium:                     940 mg

That’s pretty typical for fast food fare. The numbers aren’t good and the food isn’t good for you. Now let’s take a look at the ingredient list:

Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Seasoned Beef: Beef, water, seasoning [cellulose, chili pepper, onion powder, salt, oats (contains wheat), maltodextrin, soy lecithin, tomato powder, sugar, soybean oil, spices, garlic powder, citric acid, caramel color (C), disodium inosinate & guanylate, cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors (contains gluten), trehalose, modified corn starch, lactic acid, torula yeast], salt, phosphates. Contains: Soy, Wheat, Nacho Cheese Sauce: Nonfat milk, cheese whey, water, vegetable oil (canola and soybean oil), food starch, maltodextrin, natural flavors, sea salt, contains 1% or less of jalapeno puree, vinegar, lactic acid, potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, citric acid, cellulose gum, annatto (VC), yellow 6 (C). Contains: Milk,Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk, Red Strips: Ground corn masa, canola oil, carmine & yellow 6 (C).

There are at least a dozen items in this list that should have been left out altogether. We won’t be trying these, even on a dare.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/specialties/Dare-Devil-Loaded-Griller-Mild-Chipotle

Foods rich in Vitamin C can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and early death


vitamin-cFoodFacts.com
has always believed that a long, healthy life can be achieved through a healthy, balanced diet. As we all strive for optimal health and well-being we take into consideration the latest information available on those foods we shouldn’t – and should – be consuming. Let’s face it, those recommendations can change from year to year and decade to decade. Trends and fads aside though, certain things have staying power – like the importance of fruits and vegetables in our diets. New research is now linking fruit and vegetable consumption with a whole new health benefit.

New research from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital shows that high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the intake of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.

The study, which has just been published in the well known American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on the Copenhagen General Population Study.

As part of the study, the researchers had access to data about 100,000 Danes and their intake of fruit and vegetables as well as their DNA. “We can see that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have a 15% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables. At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables,” says Camilla Kobylecki, a medical doctor and PhD student at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

Among other things, vitamin C helps build connective tissue which supports and connects different types of tissues and organs in the body. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant which protects cells and biological molecules from the damage which causes many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. The human body is not able to produce vitamin C, which means that we must get the vitamin from our diet.

“We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so. Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is a natural way of increasing vitamin C blood levels, which in the long term may contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. You can get vitamin C supplements, but it is a good idea to get your vitamin C by eating a healthy diet, which will at the same time help you to develop a healthier lifestyle in the long term, for the general benefit of your health,” says Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

The researchers are now continuing their work to determine which other factors, combined with vitamin C, have an impact on cardiovascular disease and death.

Including foods rich in vitamin C in our diets isn’t a difficult proposition. There are so many options that are easy to incorporate each day. These significant findings are a great motivation for us all to expand our dietary universe and make sure we’re consuming our share of vitamin C foods. Let’s all live a longer, healthier life!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150707082350.htm

New hope in the fight against obesity

150819211106_1_540x360We’re constantly reading about new research discovering more information regarding the obesity epidemic. There are always new developments that seem to offer promising new insights into controlling and reversing obesity for the millions that suffer with this debilitating disease. It’s rare that we hear further news surrounding any of the research that’s being done. FoodFacts.com is hopeful that the news we’re showcasing today will be something that we continue to find reports on well into the future.

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially fatal disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

But there may now be a new approach to prevent and even cure obesity, thanks to a study led by researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School and published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. By analyzing the cellular circuitry underlying the strongest genetic association with obesity, the researchers have unveiled a new pathway that controls human metabolism by prompting our adipocytes, or fat cells, to store fat or burn it away.

“Obesity has traditionally been seen as the result of an imbalance between the amount of food we eat and how much we exercise, but this view ignores the contribution of genetics to each individual’s metabolism,” says senior author Manolis Kellis, a professor of computer science and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and of the Broad Institute.

The strongest association with obesity resides in a gene region known as “FTO,” which has been the focus of intense scrutiny since its discovery in 2007. However, previous studies have failed to find a mechanism to explain how genetic differences in the region lead to obesity.

“Many studies attempted to link the FTO region with brain circuits that control appetite or propensity to exercise,” says first author Melina Claussnitzer, a visiting professor at CSAIL and instructor in medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. “Our results indicate that the obesity-associated region acts primarily in adipocyte progenitor cells in a brain-independent way.”

To recognize the cell types where the obesity-associated region may act, the researchers used annotations of genomic control switches across more than 100 tissues and cell types. They found evidence of a major control switchboard in human adipocyte progenitor cells, suggesting that genetic differences may affect the functioning of human fat stores.

To study the effects of genetic differences in adipocytes, the researchers gathered adipose samples from healthy Europeans carrying either the risk or the non-risk version of the region. They found that the risk version activated a major control region in adipocyte progenitor cells, which turned on two distant genes, IRX3 and IRX5.

Follow-up experiments showed that IRX3 and IRX5 act as master controllers of a process known as thermogenesis, whereby adipocytes dissipate energy as heat, instead of storing it as fat. Thermogenesis can be triggered by exercise, diet, or exposure to cold, and occurs both in mitochondria-rich brown adipocytes that are developmentally related to muscle, and in beige adipocytes that are instead related to energy-storing white adipocytes.

“Early studies of thermogenesis focused primarily on brown fat, which plays a major role in mice, but is virtually nonexistent in human adults,” Claussnitzer says. “This new pathway controls thermogenesis in the more abundant white fat stores instead, and its genetic association with obesity indicates it affects global energy balance in humans.”

The researchers predicted that a genetic difference of only one nucleotide is responsible for the obesity association. In risk individuals, a thymine (T) is replaced by a cytosine (C) nucleobase, which disrupts repression of the control region and turns on IRX3 and IRX5. This then turns off thermogenesis, leading to lipid accumulation and ultimately obesity.

By editing a single nucleotide position using the CRISPR/Cas9 system — a technology that allows researchers to make precise changes to a DNA sequence — the researchers could switch between lean and obese signatures in human pre-adipocytes. Switching the C to a T in risk individuals turned off IRX3 and IRX5, restored thermogenesis to non-risk levels, and switched off lipid storage genes.

“Knowing the causal variant underlying the obesity association may allow somatic genome editing as a therapeutic avenue for individuals carrying the risk allele,” Kellis says. “But more importantly, the uncovered cellular circuits may allow us to dial a metabolic master switch for both risk and non-risk individuals, as a means to counter environmental, lifestyle, or genetic contributors to obesity.”

The researchers showed that they could indeed manipulate this new pathway to reverse the signatures of obesity in both human cells and mice.

In primary adipose cells from either risk or non-risk individuals, altering the expression of either IRX3 or IRX5 switched between energy-storing white adipocyte functions and energy-burning beige adipocyte functions.

Similarly, repression of IRX3 in mouse adipocytes led to dramatic changes in whole-body energy balance, resulting in a reduction of body weight and all major fat stores, and complete resistance to a high-fat diet.

“By manipulating this new pathway, we could switch between energy storage and energy dissipation programs at both the cellular and the organismal level, providing new hope for a cure against obesity,” Kellis says.

These findings are significant and impressive and point to the idea that science can achieve a cure for obesity – as well as a way to prevent it from ever happening. There are truly genetic differences between us all … and reasons why some of us become obese while others don’t. Science is finding answers at a cellular level that can help millions of people worldwide. This is something we think we’ll hear about a lot more in the future that can have far-reaching implications for health across the globe.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819211106.htm

Coffee may offer protection from repeat colon cancer

coffee-beans-691761_640-e1440249722933It seems that FoodFacts.com is continually reporting on yet another health benefit from coffee. These welcome pieces of news are embraced by those of us who are avid coffee lovers. Today’s news shows how coffee can protect colon cancer survivors from the return of the disease. Share

Daily consumption of caffeinated coffee may prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment, research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has shown. Additionally, it may also improve chances of successful treatment.

Patients in the study, all of whom were treated with surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, had the greatest benefit from consuming four or more cups of coffee a day (about 460 milligrams of caffeine). These patients were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.

A more modest benefit was seen from two to three cups of coffee daily, while little protection was associated with one cup or less, reported the researchers, led by Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber.

“We found that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure,” Fuchs said.

Most recurrences happen within five years of treatment and are uncommon after that, he noted.

In patients with stage III disease, the cancer has been found in the lymph nodes near the original tumor but there are no signs of further metastasis. Fuchs said these patients have about a 35 percent chance of recurrence.

The results sound encouraging, but Fuchs is hesitant to make recommendations to patients until the results are confirmed in other studies.

“If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don’t stop,” he said. “But if you’re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician.”

An analysis of the study results by Fuchs and his colleagues showed that the lowered risk of cancer recurrence and deaths was entirely due to caffeine and not other components of coffee. He said it’s not clear why caffeine has this effect and the question needs further study.
One hypothesis is that caffeine consumption increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so less of it is needed, which in turn may help reduce inflammation – a risk factor for diabetes and cancer, Fuchs said.

While there are many valid concerns about consuming excessive caffeine, the health benefits of coffee are numerous and significant. Moderation is, of course, key to a healthy, balanced diet and should always apply to all our food and beverage choices. It does appear, though, that our cup of morning joe is something we can feel good about consuming.

http://reliawire.com/2015/08/coffee-may-reduce-risk-for-colon-cancer-recurrence/

In the world of fast food, bigger is better and spicy is trendy … meet Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger

Jelapeno_product-V2Big and spicy seem to be the name of the game in fast food these days. FoodFacts.com has been filling you in on everything ghost pepper and jalapeno for months now as fast food continues to “kick things up a notch.”

Burger King’s latest introduction is designed to do just that. And while we may not understand the “build” of the sandwich (the new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger places two beef patties side by side on a hoagie roll – sort of a burger sub) or the nutrition facts, or some of the ingredients, we are at least encouraged by the idea that there’s no spicy “ghost pepper sauce,” or any other element that suggests a barrage of controversial items hidden inside.

So here are the facts –

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                                   590
Fat:                                            35 grams
Saturated Fat:                         13 grams
Sodium:                                   1190 mg

The nutrition facts are fairly typical for a fast food burger. They aren’t good. But you probably knew that before we took a look. Now let’s examine the ingredient list:

Ingredients:
SPECIALTY BUNS: Enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, sesame seeds, yeast, soybean oil, salt, wheat gluten, calcium sulfate, calcium propionate (preservative), flaxseeds, mono- and diglycerides, datem, citric acid, potassium iodate, soy lecithin. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY, HAMBURGER PATTIES: 100% USDA inspected Ground Beef (Fire-Grilled), AMERICAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PROCESS): Cultured Milk, Water, Cream, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Sodium Phosphate, Artificial Color, Enzymes, Acetic Acid, Soy Lecithin. CONTAINS: MILK and SOY LECITHIN, MAYONNAISE: Soybean Oil, Eggs, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion, Paprika or Paprika Oleoresin. CONTAINS: EGG, Jalapenos, Iceberg Lettuce, Onions

There are items in this list that we obviously do not like. Honestly, though, for fast food this is a fairly clean option. It’s certainly not great. We try to avoid natural flavors, artificial color and Calcium Disodium EDTA. But in comparison to other fast food burgers (especially the ones relying on specialty sauces to spice things up), this is “less bad.”

We know that’s not saying much. We do try to be fair, though. How about we leave it at this: Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger is a better effort than some of the other spicy fast food options.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/extra-long-jalape%C3%B1o-cheeseburger

Giving up soda after 50

sodacanWe’re a very different society today than we were 30 years ago. We’re more active and more active as we age. We live longer. And we don’t quite think about age the same we that we used to. FoodFacts.com embraces the idea that we are able and willing to make the kind of changes that extend our lives and keep us healthier as we age. Our friends over at Huffington Post agree, and recently shared some important information that we think our community will find significant.

A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society of 749 adults age 65 or older showed that those who consumed diet soda daily over a 10-year period had double the gains in waist circumference than those who did not.

Increased belly fat and an increased waistline can be linked to many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, to name a few.

We think that when we switch from regular soda to diet soda we are doing a good thing by cutting out all those calories. Think again. Just because it’s calorie-free doesn’t mean it’s a healthy alternative.

In diet sodas as well as regular sodas, there are ingredients such as phosphoric acid and caffeine. Doesn’t phosphoric acid sound appetizing?

You may already know that phosphoric acid is great at removing rust. But since we do not typically harbor rust inside our bodies, let’s talk about what phosphoric acid really does when we consume it.

It can be responsible for removing calcium from our bones. That is the last thing we need, right? Especially for women over a certain age.

We also know that consuming excess caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, so those two together can provide a double whammy for our bones.

Hopefully, everyone knows by now that we need to strength-train to make our bones stronger. But what if you eliminate sodas from your diet and strength train, too? We may certainly cut our risk for osteoporosis and unnecessary bone breaks as we age.

Many experts believe that if you are drinking a lot of soda, then you probably are not drinking milk or juices that may be fortified with calcium.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, there are seven super foods you can eat or drink that are rich in calcium: yogurt, milk, romano or Swiss cheese, tofu, spinach, broccoli, and orange juice fortified with calcium.

Try substituting some of the sodas you drink with milk or OJ.

Recommended calcium intake for women over 50 can differ, but should be around 1,200 milligrams per day. Other factors play into these numbers, such as estrogen loss.

For men over 50, recommended calcium intake is around 1,000 milligrams per day.

We’d like to remind everyone that the messages written in icing on millions of birthday cakes is really very true – 50 IS fabulous. Soda is not. We should all act accordingly.

http://www.annistonstar.com/life/if-you-re-over-put-down-that-soda/article_e65078f8-4292-11e5-8221-4fe9310d2250.html

False advertising lawsuit filed against Almond Breeze: shockingly few almonds in the almond milk

Almond-Breeze1People love their almond milk. It tastes great. It’s healthy for you. It’s dairy free. Depending on the brand you buy, it’s a natural product. Unfortunately there are more than a few brands that are riding the coattails of that “health halo” that has formed around the product itself. Just do things the FoodFacts.com way and check the labels of some of the popular brands and you might be surprised. Now a new difficulty has come to the forefront in the form of a false advertising law suit against Almond Breeze almond milk.

According to a class action lawsuit filed in New York this past May (and amended on July 14), these popular items are more full of lies than they are actual almonds.

A pair of brave citizens are squaring off against Blue Diamond Growers, the largest processor and marketer of almonds in the world (according to their company website) in civil court. The plaintiffs, Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis, are claiming that Blue Diamond’s almond milk brand, Almond Breeze, has been fraudulently advertising itself as primarily containing almonds, when in actuality, it only contains about two percent.

According to the amended complaint, available to the public, Albert and Malaxianis were avid almond milk lovers — Albert even residing in California, where Blue Diamond helps produce a significant amount of the almonds grown in the U.S. every year. However, they became shocked when they learned that their Almond Breeze, according to nutritional information displayed by its UK counterpart, only contained two percent real almond. No such disclosure exists on the U.S. side of the almond milk aisle.

“Defendant is using its website to lead distributors, grocery stores, restaurants, consumers and other buyers and resellers of almond milk in the United States to believe that their almond milk branded products are primarily made from almonds,” read their complaint. “Said information from Defendant’s website has created a false perception amongst the public that Defendant’s almond milk labeled products are premium products that are healthy for you because they are primarily made from almonds.”

Regardless of the outcome, the civil case, filed in New York because of Malaxianis’s residency there, is coming at a time when almond milk has become incredibly popular. An article referenced by the complaint notes that sales of almond milk cleared over $700 million last year, with Blue Diamond the top dog (the original suit also named Whitewave Foods, which produces Silk, a brand that now includes almond milk). According to research they conducted online, the average amount of almond that should be found in almond milk is around 25 to 35 percent.

The two, fighting on behalf of themselves and “all other persons in the United States” who have ever purchased Almond Breeze, are claiming the company has committed unfair and deceptive business practices, false advertising, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

So it appears that Almond Breeze almond milk contains only 2% actual almonds. Of course, they needed to leave room in the product for the carrageenan and evaporated cane juice that are used to make Almond Breeze the tasty alternative to dairy milk so many consumers enjoy. Like we said, make sure you read the labels.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/almond-breeze-faces-false-advertising-lawsuit-claiming-its-milk-only-has-2-real-344294