Note to self: Exercise TV is brutal, and you should not allow Jillian Michaels to have at you, even for 15 minutes, before you play hockey (even if you scored a goal 😉 ).
My husband and puppy went out for an evening stroll last night. And I am walking with a pimp limp. Ow!
Three questions for this week’s Q&A (they’re longish, sorry!)…
Lena of LMC in the World: Is MSG going to kill me? I’ve heard it can be used heavily in Singapore.
Prevention RD: Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly found in Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups, and processed meats. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a GRAS (“generally recognized as safe”) additive, its use remains controversial in the US. While MSG has taken center stage in recent years, it has been a food additive for decades. Adverse reactions to MSG have been reported to the FDA over the years. These MSG symptom complexes include: headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling, or burning in the face or neck, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, and weakness, yet no definitive researchers have found evidence to link MSG and these symptoms. If your diet contains MSG and you have any of the above symptoms, omit MSG for several weeks to assess for improvement. Bottom line is we don’t know enough about the effects of MSG. One of the easiest ways to reduce MSG in the diet is to reduce intake of canned vegetables and soups, as well as processed meats. On these particular items, look for MSG-free products. Great question!
Morgan of Healthy Happy Place: A friend of mine is basically vegan (with the exception of cheese). She has trouble finding foods that keep her full for longer periods of time.
Prevention RD: Humph. It’s hard for me to be pro-vegan unless it’s being followed for specific religious or humanitarian reasons. I realize this makes me biased from a nutrition perspective, but hear me out. I truly believe humans are engineered to be omnivores – consuming both plants and animals alike. In Paleolithic times, humans consumed a simple meat, plant, seed, and nut-based diet – no bread, grains, dairy, etc. I believe meat is an integral part of a healthy diet, especially for females in regards to anemia. Heme iron, found in animal sources, is the most bio-available source of iron in our food supply. Many vegetarians and vegans fail to understand that plant-derived iron requires vitamin C for absorption. For example, if spinach is consumed without being paired with a vitamin C source, its abundant iron is not absorbed. The transition from vegetarianism to veganism is a leap. The omission of eggs, milk, and dairy creates a more limited diet which is many times insufficient in protein; protein greatly improves the feeling of “fullness” in the diet. Vegan sources of protein are limited to legumes, nuts, seeds, and the negligible amounts found from other sources such as wheat. Calcium and vitamin D content also plummet in vegan diets, commonly requiring supplementation. Again, my personal bias plays into my opinion here as I am a firm believer in getting our nutrition from the diet whenever possible. The more you omit from the diet, the more difficult it is to get all the nutrients your body needs each day. Veganism is particularly concerning in menstruating females who require much more iron and calcium than any other population. In the end, the responsibility is the individual’s, and unless that individual makes a conscious, daily effort to meet the RDA’s, I fear under-nutrition and vitamin-mineral deficiency. Now that I have that off my chest, I believe your friend needs to increase vegan protein sources such as seitan, tempeh, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, soymilk, almond milk, rice milk, and hemp milk which should be paired with a vitamin C-containing food at every meal. Foods that contain vitamin C include: guava, papaya, red bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel’s sprouts, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, cauliflower, and kale. I wish her all the luck, and hope that she is pursuing veganism in a safe way!
Holly of The Balanced Broad: I really know nothing about meat, but I think grass-fed is good?
Prevention RD: Cattle are grass-eating animals, it’s as simple as that. Cattle are ruminant meaning that they house 4-compartment stomachs and are able to create protein from their vegetarian diets. I will use a lot of research included in the publication The Omnivore’s Dilemma in order to answer this question as clearly and completely as possible. Basically, 60% of the US corn supply goes towards feeding cattle in feed lots, where cattle are sent to fatten up before slaughter. The introduction of corn into cattle diet has enabled meat to be cheap and abundant. While American homes used to have meat for special occasions, it is now a part of most every meal in the American diet. Farmers and ranchers scattered across the US are still employed by raising cattle on pastures until they are sold off to feed lots, most likely operated by one of the top 4 meatpacking companies: Tyson, Cargill, Swift & Company, or National. Four out of every five beef cattle born in the US are slaughtered and marketed by one of these companies. Farmers and ranchers continue raising beef as opposed to the meatpacking companies due to the capital and risk involved. Due to the lack of grass-feeding and inclusion of grain-feed, beef now contains more saturated fat and less omega-3 fatty acids. Further, the USDA’s grading system is designed to reward fattened, marbled cuts of beef. Additionally, feedlot cattle are kept healthy in such unsanitary, crowded conditions by means of antibiotic use which has lead to antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Consuming grass-fed beef is therefore not only important for health and nutrition, but also for sustainability and food safety. Excellent question (and apologies if this sounded preachy – much of it was information taken directly from The Omnivore’s Dilemma)!!
So I hope you’re wondering how my chickpea cookies went over, riiiiiiiiiiiight? Goooood!
Our clinic has about 30 employees working on any given day and yesterday, being diabetes day, does keep employees rather busy. Less time to munch? Maybe! But the feedback and consumption are PROOF that chickpea cookies are delicious!
P.S. I did check the garbage for any discarded cookies. None to report 🙂
Question: Can you think of one food that contains a “healthy” ingredient that no one would ever know about unless you mentioned it?
Feel free to submit any nutrition questions for next week’s Q&A…I’ll continue answering so long as there’s incoming questions! Have a great day and thanks for reading!