Question: How many wrong ways are there to eat a plain, raw apple? Answer: None.
According to an opinion piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times, the vegetables and fruits we eat today contain a fraction of the health promoting phytonutrients found in the wild varieties of these foods. These stripped down versions, says the author, Jo Robinson, are a driving force for many chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Her conclusion: The message to eat more of our current vegetables and fruits is not enough – we must also select the “right” varieties, including blue corn, arugula (pictured) and wild foods like dandelion greens, for best health.
I love seeing the heirloom purple carrots, blue potatoes and dark red apples in farmer’s markets and even in some grocery stores. And it’s a dietitian’s dream to see people eating a wide variety of deep and colorful fruits and vegetables. Continue reading →
Could you meet the New American Plate (NAP) challenge?
So far over 1,500 people from around the US (and the world) are ready to start. Beginning next week, these Challengers are stepping up to the New American Plate Challenge to lose weight healthfully and lower their cancer risk through healthier eating and increased physical activity.
Every Friday, you will receive a teaser email to prepare for the upcoming weekly challenge, describing what you need to buy at the grocery store or ways to prepare for moving more.
The Monday morning email will reveal that week’s challenge and you’ll find more specifics, including tips, tools and recipes on the NAP Challenge website to help you meet the week’s goals. Continue reading →
The 2010 US Dietary Guidelines say about half of all Americans, including African Americans and those over 50, should try to reduce sodium levels to 1500 milligrams per day. But a new IOM report now says evidence is not strong enough to recommend that we aim for a diet with sodium below 2300 mg per day.
And while other organizations such as the American Heart Association, do not agree with this report, one thing is clear: Americans are getting too much sodium.
On average, Americans consume about 3400 mg/sodium per day. AICR’s recommendation is to limit sodium to no more than 2400 mg/day because consuming high levels of salt and salty foods increase risk of stomach cancer
The bottom line is that a diet high in sodium means you’re eating foods with added salt – highly processed foods, fast foods and processed meats like sausage, hot dogs and bacon. And that means you may not be getting enough vegetables, fruit, legumes and other plant based foods known to lower risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.
Here are examples of how much salt is added to canned, boxed and some frozen foods:
Green Beans: 1/2 cup of fresh green beans contains 3 mg sodium compared to 1 serving of frozen green bean casserole loaded with over 600 mg.
Vegetable Soup: AICR’s Ten Vegetable Soup has 253 mg sodium per serving; 1 cup canned vegetable soup has 890 mg
Hamburger: A homemade 1/4 lb burger with cheese & ketchup = just below 600 mg sodium; A Burger King Whopper with Cheese serves up 1450 mg
The IOM committee does agree with other health organizations that Americans are eating too much salt. And they confirm that evidence shows our high salt diet does indeed increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke and CVD mortality. These important messages should not get lost in the headlines about how too little salt may be unhealthful.