5 New Nutrition Tips: Based on 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report

Source:  Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, May 2015, based on a report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which can be viewed at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report

Okay, so eggs, coffee and plants are good. Sugar is bad, and a “healthy” diet is more important than any single food.  There’s nothing really new here.  Try to remember that when it comes to mainstream nutritional advice, our government lags rather than leads, and it will never advance information that’s edgy.

GoodNutrition1. Cholesterol in foods is not the main culprit in unhealthy blood cholesterol.  This is because the cholesterol in food (like in eggs and shrimp) is different than the LDL (the lousy cholesterol) that accumulates in your blood.  It only took 60 years of bad science to get this right! One news headline said “Scientists get egg on their faces.”  Haha.  The former advice to limit cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day was 55 years old.  This has been replaced by new advice, which is to focus on saturated fat.  The recommendation is to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, such as liquid vegetable oils.   (Editor’s note:  polyunsaturated fats have their own subset of health problems, but this is another story.)  Bottom line: “Cholesterol in food is just not a major factor.”

2.  Drinking coffee is safe and may even be good for you.  Experts are now reporting that coffee intake is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  “We saw that coffee has a lot of possible health benefits,” says Tufts’ Miriam Nelson, PhD.  “Specifically, when you’re drinking more than a couple of cups a day.”

3.  Cut down on added sugars.  “The data on the adverse health effects of added sugars has been accumulating.”  Note that the term sugar is used here generically to really mean caloric sweeteners.   For the first time, the committee recommended limiting added sugars to 10% of daily calories, which is still way too high and unhealthy, but at least it’s a start.  Sugared soft drinks are an obvious place to start cutting back.  Next is candy and sugared baked products.

4.  Eating more plants is good for you, and it’s good for the sustainability of the planet.  “A diet that emphasizes more plant foods and less meat is “more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact.”

5. A healthy dietary pattern is more important than specific foods.  “We need to help people put together a healthy dietary pattern…It shouldn’t be thought of as a punitive diet.  A healthy dietary pattern can ad should taste good.”  A healthy dietary pattern includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, legumes and nuts, lower red and processed meats, low sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, and moderate alcohol.

April 30, 2015 in Nutrition, Scientific News by

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Sugar in Drinks

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Lookie, lookie at the differences in sugar in common drinks.  Keep in mind that just one can of soda per day equates to consuming 50 pounds of sugar per year.  Thank you, George Sickel, for sending this picture to me.

April 29, 2015 in Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.)

A food binge is an event that involves extreme pigging out on food, where the person engaged in the binge feels like he or she can't stop eating. The "official" definition of a binge is characterized by volume, frequency and out-of-control eating. … Read More

April 29, 2015 in Food Addiction by

The Secrets of Sugar (A documentary by Science Channel National Geographic)

The Secrets of Sugar documentary video examines sugar addiction and its perilous impact on the well-being of our society. Extensive research has pinpointed sugar's culpability in a number of our most common and life-threatening ailments, including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even Alzheimer's disease.… Read More

April 28, 2015 in Scientific News, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

The Sugar Film: a documentary by Damon Gameau

"Who would have thought that you can get 20 teaspoons of sugar just from eating a so-called "healthy" breakfast consisting of muesli and apple juice."… Read More

April 28, 2015 in Health, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

This is what sugar does to your brain (from Huffington Post)

CandyManCarolyn Gregoire
The Huffington Post

We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there’s mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health — from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing.

While sugar is nothing to be too concerned about in small quantities, most of us are simply eating too much of ... Read More

April 7, 2015 in Health, Scientific News by

Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts

Servings: 4 (4-ounce portions)
2 large boneless chicken breasts
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian spice

Lightly pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness, about ½ thick. Brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian spices. Grill on a medium hot grill 7-8 minutes per side, turning once. Can be cooked on an inside, stove top ... Read More

March 27, 2015 in Everything Else by

Dietary Cholesterol Isn’t Bad Anymore!

CholesterolThe U.S. government Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is now saying dietary cholesterol (the kind you eat) “is no longer a nutrient of concern.” Jeez, it only took about 60 years to undo the bad science and give out the correct advice.  Dietary cholesterol DOES NOT CAUSE HEART DISEASE.  The primary cause of heart disease is inflammation, which is directly linked to excess insulin production, which is directly linked to excess consumption of ... Read More

February 13, 2015 in General, Health, Nutrition, Scientific News by

Sugar-free Mom book review: One thumb up and one thumb down

The book is smartly organized, beautifully photographed and has 194 yummy-looking recipes. Many are familiar comfort food recipes that a whole family can enjoy. Some are completely sugar-free and some have the processed substances listed above. She's very keen on erythritol and stevia as the preferred sweetening agent. Other fave ingredients include potatoes, gluten-free flour, legumes and all things coconut (the new darling ingredient of Paleo people). If Bennett had titled her book as a low-sugar option for families, I would have felt less mislead. Purists who are looking for recipes without any caloric sweeteners, powdery flours and/or foods that have a naturally high sugar content should pass on this book.… Read More

February 13, 2015 in Product Recommendations, Thumbs Down, Thumbs Up by

For Valentine’s Day: Sugar-free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffles

Recipe created by Mellissa Sevigny

This is an easy sugar-free, egg-free, gluten free and low-carb peanut butter truffle recipe that requires no cooking or chilling time!
Serves: 18 truffles

For the truffles

  • 1 cup natural (sugar free) chunky peanut butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup zero carb vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ granulated sugar substitute (such as Splenda)

For the coating

“Fake” Fiber Added By Food Manufacturers

High fiber counts are sometimes jokingly referred to as high fibber rather than as high fiber. That's because it's accomplished by "magically" adding a variety of powder-like or gelatinous substances into packaged food recipes. The substances might be any combination of chemically-treated, synthetically created, and/or pulverized natural sources of fiber. All of them conform, 100%, to the FDA definition of fiber, which is a plant-based substance that's not digestible or that's resistant to digestion… Read More

October 29, 2014 in Nutrition by

Sugary Sodas Shorten Life by 4.6 Years!

SodasHere’s yet another nail in the sugar coffin.  In addition to making you fat, sick and tired, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that sugary soda drinks speed up the aging process.  Aging shrinks telomeres, the caps on the end of your chromosomes.  The shorter the telomere, the harder it is for a cell to regenerate, and the quicker it ages. Sugary soda consumption can shorten your ... Read More

October 21, 2014 in Scientific News, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

The Gluten Sensitivity – Sugar Connection

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October 17, 2014 in Scientific News, Wheat/Gluten by

Sugar-free Halloween Treats

HalloweenHere are 10 practical, affordable ideas for sugar-free treats to give to the costumed tricksters who come to your door later this month:

Food Choices
1. Boxes of raisins
2. Small packages of popcorn
3. Small packages of pretzels
4. Sugar-free gum
5. Individually-wrapped packages of string cheese
Small packages of seeds or nuts are too risky because many kids having allergies

Non-food Choices
6. Temporary tattoos
7. Stickers
8. Toys
9. Glow-in-the-dark items
10. Glitter

And, of ... Read More

October 6, 2014 in General by

Jessica Simpson Eats Sugar-Free!

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Simpson gives Weight Watchers credit for weight loss after her first pregnancy and ... Read More

September 30, 2014 in General, Obesity/Weight Loss by