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Shereen Jegtvig, MS

Nutrition

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Washing Away the Salt

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Canned vegetables can be high in sodium and I knew you could rinse some of the salt away, but I wasn't really sure how much. So, I looked into the subject, and sadly I'm still not completely sure how much sodium is removed by rinsing.

Anyway, I wrote up what I learned and I answered the question How Much Sodium Can Be Removed by Rinsing Canned Vegetables?

If you need to watch your sodium and you have to used canned vegetables, it's worth rinsing them, but you just can't be sure how much sodium will go down the drain.

Speaking of vegetables, another reader asked me which single fruit or vegetable is the best. Here's my answer: Which Fruit or Vegetable is the Best One for Your Health?

This Week's Q&A

Monday April 14, 2014
Joseph asks, "What suggested is the amount of vitamin D daily value percentages on food labels refer to, since there are so many (400, 800 and 1200 IUs)? This is important for people with osteopenia. Thanks."

Here's my answer:

What is the Daily Value for Vitamin D on a Food Label?

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Can You Take Too Much Iron?

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Iron is a dietary mineral that you need for the cells of your body to get enough oxygen. You may need iron supplements, but you must be careful with the amount you take because too much iron can become toxic. Read more: Is It Possible To Take Too Much Iron?

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Soft Drinks

Friday April 4, 2014
I was just thinking about soft drinks today. I think we usually think of carbonated sodas, but soft drinks include other non-alcoholic beverages like lemonade, canned or bottled sweetened ice tea, and cranberry cocktail.

Soft drinks taste good, but so many of them add nothing to your diet except for calories from the sugar. Guess how many teaspoons of sugar are in a can of cola.

Diet soft drinks don't have many (or any) calories, but they don't add anything beneficial either. Most of the time anyway. But there are some soft drinks that contain vitamins and minerals, or you can make your own with 100-precent fruit juice and sparkling water.

Another option is to drink plain water, or jazz it up with fruits and herbs, or drink herbal tea. I explain how to do that here: Boring Water Be Gone!

Do you indulge in soft drinks? If so what kind?

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Ten Things That Aren't in My Shopping Cart (and Shouldn't Be in Yours)

Monday March 24, 2014
I might be sort of weird because I actually like to go grocery shopping. I usually start out with a list and I may stick to it, or I may veer off of it a little bit if something good is on sale, or if there's any interesting seasonal stuff available. It isn't all nutritional perfection; chocolate or other treats might find their way into my cart. Plus, I like to buy some convenience items, like frozen fruits and vegetables or canned chickpeas and black beans, and jars of artichokes. But, there are some foods I just can't handle. Here are ten things you won't find in my shopping cart:

Fake Cheese

Yeah... I lived in Wisconsin for a good number of years and I'll indulge in the real deal, but no fake squirt-it-from-a-can cheese for me. Not only is it mostly unhealthy, it tastes nasty and looks creepy. Give me a bit of 10-year-aged chedder instead.

Pork Rinds

I mean, this is animal fat that's been deep-fried. It's deep-fried fat, with lots of sodium and probably some weird preservatives on it. I know it was technically acceptable for the original low-carb diets, but... um, yuck. No thanks. It makes bacon almost look like health food.

Read More...

Do Calcium Supplements Interfere with Medications?

Sunday March 23, 2014
Renee asks a question about calcium supplements and if they interfere with some medications. Find out which medications interact with calcium.

Previous Nutrition Questions

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How To Spot Food Poisoning

Saturday March 15, 2014
Food poisoning is fairly common and it occurs when foods are not processed, prepared or stored properly. We've had a lot of different foods recalled in the past couple of years - like spinach, peanut butter, eggs, ground beef and ground turkey. When a food is recalled, the grocery stores remove it from their shelves and if you have any recalled foods in your kitchen, you should throw them away or return them. You don't want to eat the recalled products, because that can lead to food poisoning. Learn more about the symptoms of food poisoning.

Of course, you need to follow good food safety practices at home, too. You don't want to let your perishables spoil, cook foods improperly, or keep leftovers after they're no longer safe to eat.

More About Food Safety

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Can't Find the Answer to Your Nutrition Question?

Monday March 10, 2014
Ask me! I can't promise to answer every question I receive, but I'll answer as many as I can. Submit your question here, then look for the answer on my Q and A Page.

This week I've answered ZZ's question about what happens when you eat trans fats and Mik's question about meal replacements for people who don't cook.

Spring Forward: Foods Can Help You Adapt

Friday March 7, 2014
It's coming. The change from to Standard to Daylight Savings Time gives us less sunlight in the morning, but it gets dark later at night. It always takes me a few days to get used to a new sleeping pattern. Do you have this problem too? Your body will adjust, but it helps to pay closer attention to your diet. There are foods you eat can help you sleep.

Go easy on the caffeine. A cup of coffee or two in the morning is fine, but consuming too much caffeine later in the day may disrupt your sleep.

Don't skip breakfast. Even if you're groggy in the morning, you need to get some fuel in your body before going to work or school.

Avoid heavy foods or spicy foods, especially at night. Or any foods you know that may cause heartburn, making it difficult for you to sleep.

Don't drink too much alcohol. Over-consumption of your favorite adult beverages may cause a very restless uncomfortable night.

Eat cherries. Not only are they rich in vitamins, cherries contain melatonin, a substance also found in the human body that helps regulate sleep. Eating fresh or dried cherries before you go to bed at night may help you sleep better.

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Bad Sugars: WHO Thinks You Need Less

Thursday March 6, 2014
The World Health Organization currently suggests that sugars should make up less than 10 percent of your total energy intake per day. But a new WHO guideline is in the works that says that reducing your sugar to less than 5 percent of total energy intake per day would be even better. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).

The suggested limits in the draft guideline apply to all simple sugars, which are the monosaccharides (glucose, fructose), and disaccharides (sucrose or table sugar) that are added to foods when they're manufactured, cooked at home or eaten. It also includes sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. It doesn't include whole fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugars.

Not all of the sugars you eat are obvious -- or sweet. Many are hidden in processed foods. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of sugar. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of sugar.

Your Sugar Headquarters

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