Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday! Today’s Q&A day…enjoy!
Have a question you want answered? Send it my way for the next Q&A! [email protected]! Thanks for all the WONDERFUL questions, you guys are super! 😀
Kate: Do you know anything about the way meat is processed now? I don’t eat much red meat, and I think my diet lacks protein in general. I eat a very low-carb dinner which lately has been an organic chicken sausage and a green vegetable of some sort. I need better ideas for protein…my husband won’t eat red meat at all and is pretty picky in general.. I really like sushi salmon but fish seems pretty limited during pregnancy so that’s out. I really try and buy organic chicken like the sausage but how do you really know? What else is safe?
Prevention RD: Hey, darlin’! 🙂 If meat processing is your concern, organic is the way to go. The term organic refers to the production standards by which food items are produced – no synthetic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides. Organic livestock are not injected with antibiotics of growth hormones. There are a lot of organic meats available – chicken, pork, turkey, beef, fish, and so on. Most recipes calling for red meat can be substituted with chicken or turkey such as tacos, chili, casseroles, sauces, etc. Pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces (about 2 meals a week) of low-mercury fish and seafood such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. However, raw and local fish should be avoided. Other sources of protein include tofu, eggs, peanuts, cheese, beans, dairy, and peanut butter. Most Americans consume adequate protein, so I don’t think this is of too much concern. I would, however, add a whole grain starch to your meals and focus lots on fruits and vegetables, adding in meat you find appealing.
Jenn of Eat Move Love: Do you ever find yourself needing a “break” from nutrition given that it’s your job, you write about it, research, etc.?? Or if you weren’t an RD – what would you be?!
Prevention RD: Yes! There are some days that I feel like screaming if I have to listen to another diet recall, but it comes back to doing something I love. Because I am SO deeply invested in nutrition, I do find that I focus less on myself and what I need. I count carbs and calories all day…it gets tiresome! Thus, I find it hard to commit the time to doing it for myself! I will say that sometimes I slack on reading other’s blogs because I need a little “vacation” from nutrition and health…you know, to go enjoy a TV show or a walk with my husband once in awhile 🙂 If I wasn’t an RD, I would be a nurse or a research scientist. I still may go back to school for nursing if life ever opens up that door for me! My “ultimate” goal, however, is to be a published writer or journalist! I am beginning to compile some ideas and material for a book on diabetes and diabetic recipes. Thanks for asking about me, that was sweet 🙂
Ashley of Food Fotos and Fun: I’m curious as to how bad you think it is to consume the “top contaminated fruits/veggies” and not eat organic. I ask because I’m still eating at my college cafeteria which has very little organic produce. From the top list, I have about two apples a day, at least a few potatoes a week, and spinach fairly often too (all of which are not organic). Now obviously having such things every so often would be no problem at all, but do you think my higher consumption levels are of any concern?
Prevention RD: Firstly, rest assured that there are pesticide laws which are enforced by the FDA and EPA. These laws are designed to ensure that the produce making it into American homes is safe for consumption. However, this topic remains one of those gray areas for me. The aspartame in diet drinks is “safe” but does that mean we don’t need to limit our intake? Absolutely not. I think that investing in a produce wash and soak is the best bet if organic isn’t in the picture, and even then so! I posted a recipe for a produce wash here. Fully coat your produce in produce spray and manually rub the surface for 30 seconds or longer. As for leafy greens, soak them in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and rinse thoroughly before serving. This is an effective and low-cost means of removing unwanted dirt, bacteria, pesticides, etc. If you take these steps to reduce pesticide ingestion, the benefits of higher consumption of the “top contaminated fruits/veggies” far outweighs elimination of them all together. I hope that helps some! Wonderful question!
Faith of An Edible Mosaic: I have a question about spinach, Nicole…I’ve heard that its nutrients are better absorbed if the spinach is heated first…is that true?
Prevention RD: While cooking any food doesn’t make it more nutritious, per se, there are certain foods that have more “advantages” when cooked. Spinach is one of them. The carotenoids, a form of vitamin A, found in spinach (as well as other dark-green leafy vegetables, red, yellow, and orange vegetables) are better absorbed when cooked. Another example: lutein – a phytonutrient in corn is best absorbed when cooked. Great question!
Aria: On Oprah, what about the apple cider vinegar comment?
Prevention RD: I am so glad you asked about this! I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that claim was made regarding blood sugars and apple cider vinegar. A few small studies have shown drops in blood glucose when apple cider vinegar is ingested. Things like cinnamon, magnesium, chromium, and other antioxidants have also suggested promising glucose lower effects. WebMD recognizes apple cider vinegar as “unproven treatment” and this should be no surprise as it is boasted as a weight-loss aid, lipid-lowering agent, and wart-removing topical…all in one! 😉
And in Celiac news….
Peptides responsible for the immune response to gluten were isolated and a vaccine has been composed. Phase one of the vaccine trial began in April 2009 on 40 participants. Phase one intends to indentify the safety of the vaccine. Assuming the vaccine is deemed safe, the next phase will involve treating Celiac sufferers and testing their response to gluten when ingested. If trials are successful, the vaccine could be available within the next 5-10 years .
Random Question: On Valentine’s day would you rather receive roses or chocolate?