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August 27th, 2015

How to Read a Label
Lesson 4

The next part of the label reveals the vitamin and mineral content of the food item you are considering. The FDA requires listings on calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C, but not others. Manufacturers often add other listings of percentages, like folic acid, potassium or magnesium if the product contains significant amounts of the nutrients in question, knowing they are important to consumers.

Often, these essential...

August 22nd, 2015

How to Read a Label
Lesson 3

Let’s talk ingredients. We see the lists on packages and sometimes they read like Russian novels. How could all those substances be in one food and be good for us? Of course you know I am going to say the fewer ingredients the better, but what about the ingredients themselves? How do we know what’s what?

When you see food ingredients you can identify, you might think all is well. Not so fast. Packaged foods are notorious for using the least expensive...

August 20th, 2015

It’s that time of year. Your seeds have sprung...

August 17th, 2015

How to Read a Label
Lesson 2

The next part of the label includes information concerning fat content and type, amount and type of carbohydrates, protein, sodium, fiber, and sugar. It’s important to note that the FDA now requires the amount of trans fats in products be listed, which is great news. They will be listed with fats and cholesterol amounts.

Each nutrient will be shown in grams or milligrams and you’ll also see the percentage of the recommended daily amount that you’re getting....

August 13th, 2015

The summer is hot. We all want ice cream. It’s a treat synonymous with the season. But is it healthy for us? It can be high in fat, sugar and calories—and stuff you may not want to eat.

Just reading an ice cream nutrition label can require a post-grad degree. Many commercial ice creams can be loaded with undesirable ingredients presented in luscious packaging designed to sell a product that is not fit for human consumption. From hydrogenated oils, high fructose...

August 13th, 2015
As I traveled in Italy for the month of July, it occurred to me just how easy and delicious it was to eat well and stay healthy…even when you’re on holiday. Vacations aren’t an excuse to abandon all commitment to health while you lose your mind (or wellness) eating and drinking to excess. But don’t worry, it certainly doesn’t have to be deprived either.
See, living a healthy life is not a fad. You choose it. And once you have made the choice and have reaped the benefits, it becomes the way you live. It’s not a diet or a ‘thing’ you’re into at the moment. So the...
August 12th, 2015

How to Read a Label
Lesson One

At the top of the label you will see the serving size or the number of servings that the nutrition information is based on. This is one of the most important parts of the label because all the other information in the nutrition panel is based on the serving size, which is often unrealistic. When manufacturers have their nutritional information calculated, they often tweak the serving size to imply certain things about the product. It’s vitally important to pay attention to this piece of the label...

August 7th, 2015

I know--duh, right? Don’t you just pick up the package, turn it over, and read? Yes, but you may not know what exactly you’re seeing.

It’s complicated. We are bombarded by conflicting information, buzzwords, health halos and claims being made on packages, so we just chug along, not making changes we know we need to make because we’re not quite sure exactly what we’re being sold…or what to trust.

One of the reasons we’ve seen such dramatic imbalances in human health is because we have radically changed our patterns of eating over a...

July 30th, 2015

I was traveling through Sicily when I heard the news. What has been dubbed as The DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know) or HR 1599 (Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015) passed with a majority of votes, backed largely by House Republicans. The vote is discouraging: 250-150, not exactly what might be called close.

For those of you unaware of this legislation, the bill seeks to codify a voluntary labeling system, blocking the USDA from ever implementing mandatory GMO food labeling which will...

July 25th, 2015

I thought, since I am in Sicily where the summers simmer, I would do some investigating into natural ways to beat the heat. As many of you know, Italians are not really into air conditioning; at least not like Americans. It’s an expensive proposition and uses tremendous precious resources. And yet, they are cheerful and sunny all summer long.

What’s the secret?

I can tell you that in most of the cities I have visited in Italy, you will find lots of shaded parks and fountains. The air in the shade is so much cooler and oxygen more...