Monday, November 11, 2013

FDA Proposes Trans Fat Ban


Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed removing from the Generally Recognized as Safe list (GRAS), industrialized Trans fats or those that don’t exist naturally in foods. Yes, Trans fats exist in animal foods so we do consume them more than we probably think but most of the scientific evidence indicates that it is the industrialized Trans fats, those made in a food chemistry lab, that are connected to an increased risk of heart disease.

Most people know that there are good fats – plant fats – and bad fats – animal fats, and likely you’re aware of Trans fats as plant fats that are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, but you, like many others, may not think about all the foods that can contain Trans fats. The chemical process that converts plant oils into Trans fats acts to improve the stability of the plant fat making these fats good choices for foods that need a longer shelf-life like cookies, crackers, cakes, frozen baked good and pizza, coffee creamers, snack foods, and ready to use frostings.

Trans fats are listed on the label in the Nutrition Facts Panel but you can also see if they are present by looking in the ingredient list for the words “partially hydrogenated oil”. (PHOs) PHOs are vegetable or plant oils that have been chemically altered to change them from unsaturated fats to more saturated fats but the bigger concern is that the chemical process creates a more heart Unhealthy fat than naturally occurring saturated fats.

The FDA has issued a 60 day comment period for this proposal and if it is approved food companies will have time to make changes in their products. In the meantime, spend more time reading ingredient lists and looking at the Nutrition Facts panel. If a food has more Cholesterol, Trans or Saturated fat than another food, choose the one with less total of these three nutrients.

You can read more here:


Connie Diekman<

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hydration isn’t Just for the Summer


When outside temperatures are high you automatically feel the need to drink fluids so you might be surprised to know that fluid needs are just as high when the temperatures are low. It’s true, at extreme temperatures the body has to work harder to stay at an even, more ideal core temperature, requiring more fluids than when the outside temperature is closer to that core temperature.

As temperatures turn to winter you need to keep your sights on consuming enough fluids. Current guidelines recommend at least 91 ounces of fluids per day for women and at least 108 ounces per day for men. These amounts will increase with activity, time spent in dry heated rooms or offices and drops in temperature. These amounts do include liquid foods like soup and watery foods likes fruits and vegetables. Trying to quantify how much fluid is in a watery food is hard so make sure you are consuming beverages throughout the day.

Contrary to old beliefs you can count beverages that contain caffeine but if you’re working out or as it gets extremely cold, make sure you consume more decaffeinated beverages. If you struggle to get enough fluids consider the following:

  • Keep a mug or cup near your desk as a reminder
  • Schedule fluid breaks just as you schedule time for lunch or actual break times
  • Grab a beverage between meals before you grab a snack – hunger could really be thirst
  • Start each meal with a cup of water
  • Consume 3 cups of milk or soy milk for the nutrition and the 24 ounces

If you need to slowly increase your amounts that’s fine, just keep in mind the need for adequate hydration.