Posts

Wanna Know What We Think About The New Regulations On Nutrition Labels?

As registered dietitian nutritionists, we’ve been witnessing our clients use the food labels over the years to guide them to make healthy decisions.  While for the most part, the labels have been extremely helpful in steering them to make the best decisions, there have been several shortcomings that have caused confusion.  So we’re excited about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) proposed changes for the new nutrition label as it seems that they will likely be addressing a number of these shortcomings!

Nutrition_Facts_Label

One of our favorites of the proposed changes is listing added sugars. We’ve continually witnessed consumer confusion as they have used the sugar information on a label to guide their decisions. Unlike naturally occurring sugars found in milk and fruit, added sugars are added during processing. Calories from added sugars contribute calories without adding any nutrients or fiber but consumers seemed confused by seeing “sugar” on the label and assuming it’s all the same for their health.  We’ve witnessed scores of consumers misuse this information to make an erroneous decision for their health.  For instance, we’ve seen people decide to stay away from a yogurt that is packed with protein and calcium and that has no added sugar simply because they read the food label and see that the yogurt’s sugar content seems high—although it’s simply from naturally occurring lactose (milk sugar).   We’re hopeful consumers will start being able to make smart choices as they clearly will be able see when a sugar is added to a food by a manufacturer.

Admittedly, as helpful as we do hope this change is, we do spot a potential downside–  loopholes when it comes to added sugars. For example, rice malt/ syrups (trisaccharides) aren’t considered “sugars” (they have a different particle size than sugar) and can get off the hook from being called out as an added sugar on the label, while table sugar (disaccharide) is considered an added sugar, even though the body breaks table sugar down the same way it breaks down rice malt and syrups.  So it’s really important for a meaningful definition to be established, otherwise the consumer will continue to be deceived.

Getting rid of “calories from fat” is also a change we’re all for.  Just like simply seeing “Sugar” on the label, it’s confusing, and doesn’t distinguish between healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and artery-clogging ones such as saturated and trans fats.

More realistic serving sizes?  Yes, please! We’re fans of this proposed change.  We’re hopeful that gone will be the days of eating a muffin and believing you consumed the amount of calories indicated on the label only to later learn, the calories listed were for one-quarter of the muffin.  Too many people have been there and “muffed” that up.  Our only fear with this change is that it will give people a license to eat more; perhaps they would have only eaten half the muffin before, but now that they see a serving is the entire muffin, they may eat it all. This is why education regarding this label is as important as ever.  People need to be educated that the serving is not a suggested serving size, rather a common serving size.

We’re fans of seeing new labels with calorie counts in bold letters.  The bigger, the bolder,–the more in your face, the less likely you’ll be to overlook it.  Even if you’re not seeking out this information, and you see it, it may guide someone to make a healthier decision.

As RDNs, we’re happy that the nutrients that Americans need more of— for example, potassium and vitamin D—are proposed to be included on the label, but for the most part, we believe that this information will be irrelevant to many consumers as they likely won’t know any difference from seeing this information compared to Vitamins A and C.  So although this is a nice change for those that understand this information, for most people, this will be meaningless. Also, we would prefer for vitamin A and C to still be listed.  Showing vitamin A and vitamin C content may help to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Additional downsides?  As we mentioned in situations such as the change to a more realistic serving size on the new label, it will still be very important that the food label is explained to prevent confusion.  Although it will be packed with information—all of which has the potential to be very helpful and empowering, if people don’t understand the information they are given, it won’t do them any good.  Also, we’re going to have to be patient as many of these changes may take up to another two years.

So, until then, continue to eat plenty of fruits and veggies—since you know what you are getting and they don’t need to have a label to tell you that they are GOOD STUFF! 🙂

 

For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and more delicious healthy recipes like this, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

Creamy Corn Muffins

241uibs

If you love muffins but hate the calories, then you’re in luck!  You’ll love these creamy, indulgent corn muffins that are just 91 calories a scrumptious serving!

Creamy Corn Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 c self-rising yellow cornmeal mix
  • 1-8.5 oz can cream style corn
  • 1-1/2 tbsp nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1- 8oz carton low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 c egg whites (we use Eggland’s Best eggs)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • In a medium size bowl, add all ingredients.
  • Stir together until completely mixed and smooth.
  • Spray a muffin page with oil.
  • Spoon corn mixture into muffin pan, filling about 2/3 of each muffin.
  • Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes!  Enjoy!

Makes 12 Scrumptious Servings:  Per serving : 91 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of protein

If you like this recipe you may also like:

Creamy Warm Cinnamon Banana Milk

Vanilla Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Banana Kiwi Smoothie

 

For more delicious, healthy comfort foods, check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients.

 

 

Creamy Corn Muffins
 
Makes 12 Scrumptious Servings: Per serving : 91 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of protein
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • :
  • 1 c self-rising yellow cornmeal mix
  • 1-8.5 oz can cream style corn
  • 1-1/2 tbsp nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1- 8oz carton low fat sour cream
  • ¼ c egg whites
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. :
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. In a medium size bowl, add all ingredients.
  4. Stir together until completely mixed and smooth.
  5. Spray a muffin page with oil.
  6. Spoon corn mixture into muffin pan, filling about ⅔ of each muffin.
  7. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes!  Enjoy!

GoodBelly Giveaway

Have you heard all of the buzz about probiotics and how they can help your health and your digestive system and ease the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, bloating and other digestive issues? Well, here’s your chance to get in on the action!  You can be a lucky winner to receive 16 vouchers (two months’ worth) of GoodBelly products!  Woot! Woot!

CarrotGinger-withglass_MR

GoodBelly is a line of delicious probiotic juice drinks formulated for daily digestive health.* Made with a well-studied probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), GoodBelly can help establish intestinal balance.

We love that GoodBelly drinks are certified organic, non-GMO, and they’re great for our friends and clients who keep a dairy-free, soy-free, vegan or kosher diet.

And if you follow a gluten-free diet, you’re in luck!  GoodBelly launched the new line of gluten-free flavors, including Carrot Ginger, Probiotic Coconut Water and Tropical Orange!  Umm, yum!

Check out some of their other delicious products and flavors:

  • Organic GoodBelly Quarts –Blueberry Acai, Cranberry Watermelon, Mango, Tropical Green and Pomegranate Blackberry flavors.
  • GoodBelly Carrot Ginger – Carrot Ginger blends sweet carrots and spicy ginger with 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures.
  • GoodBelly Gluten-Free Quarts – Tropical Orange and Fermented Probiotic Coconut Water
  • Organic GoodBelly+ –Blueberry Acai, Strawberry, Mango, and Pomegranate Blackberry flavors.
  • Organic GoodBelly BigShot 50 – Sold in packs of four convenient 2.7 oz shot servings with no sugar added, and available in Lemon Ginger and Vanilla Chamomile flavors.
  • GoodBelly StraightShot –GoodBelly StraightShot has no added sugar and only 30 calories per serving. Sold in packs of four convenient 2.7 oz shot servings.

 
Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us if you’ve tried probiotics before or not and you’ll be entered to win 2 months of free GoodBelly products!

Thank you to Goodbelly for sponsoring this giveaway!

Skinny Zucchini Fries

We’re the first to admit that any time we tell our clients they can eat fries, they get a big smile on their faces.  And although we let them know it’s OK to occasionally indulge in the deep-fried French fries that most people think of, we also get such a kick out of showing them other delicious but waist-line friendly fries that they can easily make at home–and that they actually love and end up (many times!) loving more than the actual traditional French fries!

While writing our latest book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure we got a bit more obsessed (oy! 😉 ) with finding ways to make sure everyone loves veggies and we started to make a lot of veggie fries. Remember these 45 Calorie Fries, our 94 Calorie Traditional Fries and our Sweet Potato FriesWell, these here are another skinny veggie fry that we’re a bit in love with and think you’ll be too!  Can’t wait for you to give these little lovelies a taste! Say hello to our Skinny Zucchini Fries and please let us know what you think in the comments below!

zucchini_fries-250x250

Image reprinted with permission from www.thenutritionalepiphany.com and www.healthyaperture.com

 

Here they are, one of our client’s favorite of our homemade fries (although they have assured us that they love them all 🙂 )…

 

Skinny Zucchini Fries:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole zucchinis, cut into 3-1/2 inch sticks
  • 1 egg white (we use Eggland’s Best eggs)
  • ¼ cup of skim milk
  • ½ cup of non fat, shredded, Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of low sodium, seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions:

  • Whisk egg white and milk together in a bowl.
  • Combine cheese and breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  • Dip each zucchini stick into the milk mixture bowl and then into the cheese mixture bowl.
  • Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and cook at 425° until golden brown (about 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven). Makes about 35- 40  fries, yum!

Nutrition Facts : Per Serving (approximately 10 fries) : 132 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g carbs,  2 g fiber, 10 grams protein

Enjoy!!

For more than 100 delicious recipes like this and a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a Get Healthy plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients.

 

 

Skinny Zucchini Fries
 
Nutrition Facts : Per Serving (approximately 10 fries) : 132 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 10 grams protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 whole zucchinis, cut into 3-1/2 inch sticks
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup of skim milk
  • ½ cup of non fat, shredded, Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of low sodium, seasoned breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Whisk egg white and milk together in a bowl.
  2. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  3. Dip each zucchini stick into the milk mixture bowl and then into the cheese mixture bowl.
  4. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and cook at 425° until golden brown (about 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven). Makes about 35- 40  fries, yum!

Dental Hygiene Month

It’s Dental Hygiene Month!  And guess what?  It’s not only about sugar and cavities!

Dental hygiene is very important. Tooth decay A.K.A cavities are a common problem for people of all ages.   Untreated cavities can cause pain (especially while eating) doesn’t necessarily look so good. Plus, if someone’s got a cavity, chances are they have bad breath too–after all, something is decaying in their mouth!


In honor of Dental Hygiene Month and keeping those pearly whites looking and feeling oh-so-good, here are some pointers :

-Floss regularly

-Use toothpaste with fluoride

Go for drinking water that is fluoridated. So switch the bottled water every now and then with good ol ‘ tap from the sink as some bottled waters contain fluoride and some do not.  Curious if your favorite brand is? Contact the bottled water’s manufacturer to ask about the fluoride content.

– Eat,- regular nutritious meals! Try to avoid frequent between meal snacking especially snacks loaded with sugar.

And enjoy these 5 foods and beverages for healthy teeth!

1)    Eat a diet rich in high-fiber fruits and vegetables – they stimulate saliva which is the mouth’s first line of defense against cavities because it neutralizes tooth-damaging acids.

2)    Water – Swish after you eat!  It will rinse dirt and acid off teeth.  Plus, fluoridated water will help prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel.

3)    Dairy products (without added sugar) – Dairy products without added sugar help teeth by providing calcium and phosphates; fortified low-fat milk also provides Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.  Cheese helps stimulate saliva, while its calcium helps replace minerals leached from the teeth.

4)   Tea–drink up! – Green and black teas contain compounds called polyphenols that fight plaque. These polyphenols have anti-cavity properties and kill or suppress bacteria.