Nutrition Articles

Research Highlight

The United States Department of Agriculture conducted the largest, most comprehensive analysis to-date of the antioxidant content of 100 commonly consumed foods. Not surprisingly, the top of the list was dominated by fruits and vegetables. The most antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are as follows (starting with the highest): wild blueberries, cultivated blueberries, cranberries, artichoke hearts, blackberries, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, Red Delicious apple, Granny Smith apple, cherries, black plum, russet potato, plum and Gala apple.

Quote of the Day

“The cancer-protective antioxidant power of herbs and spices is at least as great as that of fruits & vegetables.”
American Institute of Cancer Research

Question of the Day

“When is the best time to take a multivitamin?” To get the most out of your multi, take it with meals to maximize absorption and minimize stomach upset. If you take it at the same time each day, you’ll be more likely to remember to take it consistently.

Good Advice

Eat almonds with the skin on. The brown skin on almonds is an important source of flavonoids – plant compounds with potent antioxidant activity. In research from Tufts University, they found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E in almonds to protect artery walls from damage and reduce the risk of heart disease.

True or False?

The amount of cholesterol in the food you eat is the major factor causing the cholesterol in your blood to rise. False: For most people, it is the saturated and trans fats that are most harmful to blood cholesterol levels.

Research Highlight

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who regularly included beans in their diets (about four times per week) weighed almost seven pounds less, on average, and were 22% less likely to be obese than people who didn’t eat beans. The bean eaters’ diets were also more nutrient-rich, providing more protein, fiber, potassium, niacin, folate, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium, as well as less fat and added sugar.

Label Reading Tip

To determine how many teaspoons of sugar a product contains, divide the grams of “sugars” listed on the food label by four. For example, if a granola bar contains 12 grams of sugars, that translates to 3 teaspoons of sugar per bar.

Research Highlight

In the Harvard Nurses Health Study involving almost 70,000 women, every 2 hours of TV watched daily was associated with a 23% increase in obesity and a 14% increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes. Moral of the story: turn off the tube!

Label Reading Tip

Always check the “serving size” on the nutrition label. Do you normally eat or drink more than the serving size listed? For example, a 16 oz (500 mL) bottle of pop may list the serving size as 8 oz (250 mL), which is half the bottle, but if you always drink the whole bottle, you need to multiply all of the nutrition information by two.

Good Advice

Buy 100% fruit juice rather than fruit drinks, fruit punch or sports drinks. Remember to limit fruit juice to no more than 1 cup daily (we should consume most of our fruits and vegetables whole).

Quote of The Day

“Parents and health officials need to recognize soft drinks for what they are – liquid candy – and do everything they can to return those beverages to their former role as an occasional treat.”
Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Research Highlight

Fat in our diet helps us absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K) as well as valuable plant compounds such as the carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables, like beta-carotene and lycopene. In a study from Iowa State University, people who ate a salad with fat-free dressing did not absorb any carotenoids, whereas a reduced-fat or full-fat dressing resulted in a substantially greater absorption of these important compounds.

Question of the Day

I don’t like fish. Can I get my omega-3 fats from foods like canola oil, flaxseed and walnuts instead? No. Both plant and marine source omega-3 fats protect our health, however, marine source omega-3 fats provide significantly greater protection as they are incorporated directly into cell membranes throughout the body, including tissues in the heart, brain and eyes. Both types of omega-3 fats should be included in the diet.