Smoothies for Kids: Just Another Sugary Drink

They are colorful, squeezable and have the term fruit all over, but kid-friendly smoothies are often just another sugary drink, as a study published last month highlighted. That study found that these drinks in the United Kingdom often come with as much added sugars as soda, giving a young child half of the highest amount of added sugar recommended per day.

That can lead to unhealthy weight gain in children. And that weight gain can mean higher cancer risk when children become adults, because many cancers are now linked to obesity, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

In the US, the story on smoothies is much the same. Many of the baby and child-focused drinks are called smoothies but the first two ingredients are milk and sugar. After that, comes fruit purees or juices, which means there is more sugar added than fruit. And some smoothies are simply milk, sugar and flavors, with no fruit at all. In two familiar brands, added sugar alone contributes 40-50% of the calories.Sugar in kids drinks[1]

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Aspirin and Cancer Prevention: An Update

There are several recognized ways that you can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, but is taking aspirin one of them? This week the US Preventive Services Task Force released their recommendations on aspirin, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer – a final take on their draft recommendations released last year.

After a review of the research, the task force recommends that 50 to 59 year olds who have a 10 percent or greater 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease and have no risk for bleeding take a low-dose of aspirin. For these individuals, they conclude, taking aspirin  five to ten years can reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. Here, they graded the evidence a B, meaning that there is high to moderate certainty of a net benefit.

If you are between ages 60 to 69, taking aspirin should be an individual decision depending on  preferences and discussion with a health care professional, they write.

Last year we wrote about their draft recommendations, noting that AICR’s focus is on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight links to cancer risk, so we have no position on aspirin use and risk.Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.01.09 AMWhatever your decision on aspirin, you should also know there is clear evidence that several healthy habits and a healthy weight link to lower risk. Many of these steps also reduce risk for heart disease.

Eating plenty of foods with fiber, limiting red meat and avoiding processed meats, exercising and staying a healthy weight all link to lower risk. AICR estimate that these lifestyle factors could prevent one of every two colorectal cancer cases every year.

Here are AICR’s key findings and the report on colorectal cancer.

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How to transform two eggs into a perfect French Omelet

Having eggs year round is so familiar that we forget how seasonal they once were. Colorful eggs at Easter are more than a spiritual symbol of renewal. Until electricity was used to add hours of light, hens stopped laying through the short days of dark winter months and began laying abundantly again as spring brought longer days. So spring’s arrival was a reason to celebrate and enjoy eggs.

Whipping up a golden, buttery French omelet is an elementally simple way to enjoy eggs. I do not mean the familiar coffee shop staple, lightly browned and folded over an over-abundance of filling. A true – as in French –omelet is cooked just until the eggs are tenderly set, without time to brown, and are quickly rolled into thirds around only a filling that is just enough to add complimentary flavor.

set outside, moist inside_omeletteTo the French, making an omelet is a true test of a cook’s ability. Its ingredients are simply eggs, butter, and a splash of water. (A filling is optional.) What transforms them into bliss is using the perfect pan and precise technique. Getting the timing and tilting of the pan just so, the result is lightly set eggs rolled neatly into a cloud-light pillow and slipped onto your plate at just the perfect instant. Eating it can be close to a religious experience. Continue reading