Food and Nutrition Notes ood and Nutrition Notes Healthy by t3293888


									                                  College of Agricultural Sciences • Cooperative Extension

       Food and Nutrition Notes
                           Spring 2002
Healthy Eating at Home
by Kathi Wenzel, RD                                               prepare it, eat it, and clean
                                                                  up in the same amount of

        eating healthier was one of your New Year’s               time it took for you to drive
        resolutions, you’re not alone. We’re in the second        to the restaurant and wait
        month of the new year – how are you doing so far?         for a table, order, wait for
Have you kept your promises to yourself to eat healthier          your food, eat, wait for your
and exercise more? If you’re having trouble getting started       check, pay your bill, and
or have not made much progress, one significant step you          drive home.
can make toward healthier eating is to make an effort to
                                                                  Here are some suggestions to help you get ready for more
prepare more meals at home.
                                                                  “at home” meal preparation:
Did you know that, on the average, Americans eat out one             A Spend 30 minutes a week to plan your meals for the
of every five meals – or 4.2 meals – each week? In 1999,             entire week.
American households spent an average of $2,116, or $846              A Plan what you will have for your meals — plan at
per person, on food away from home, according to the                 least six lunches (brown bag if necessary) and six din-
National Restaurant Association. Today, half of all U.S.             ners. This gives you a free night for leftovers or to eat
food dollars are spent in restaurants.                               out. Don’t forget to have some quick breakfast foods on
                                                                     hand. Having a plan will take away the last minute
Could it be that this steady rise in restaurant eating and           “What’s for dinner?!” dilemma.
commercially prepared meals could be related to the                  A Make a shopping list from your list of planned meals.
continual rise in the incidence of heart disease, diabetes,          This will help you save time as a result of extra trips to
and high blood pressure in our country? When people eat              the store for forgotten, but necessary, ingredients.
out frequently, as the statistics show, they are likely              A Experiment with new recipes by purchasing or
consuming more fat, sodium, and calories than they would             borrowing, from a library or friend, quick meal cook-
be if they chose to eat more meals at home. An April 1999            books.
study reported by the American Dietetic Association                  A Cook once, eat twice. As long as the oven is on,
showed that women eat out more often, resulting in signifi-          make double your recipe and freeze for future use. All
cantly higher total calorie, fat, and sodium intake, but not         you will have to do on another night is heat up the
more fiber or calcium.                                               leftovers.
                                                                     A Clean and organize your pantry and freezer. It will
While there are many healthy menu items from which to                help you know what you have on hand.
choose when you go out to eat, it becomes difficult to                                                                     (continued on Page 3)
select these with so many deep fried, artery-clogging
temptations on most menus. In addition, the oversized                 A Look Inside . . .
portions that many food establishments serve don’t help
our waistlines. Even the best-laid plans to eat healthy may          Listeria Alert ................................................................ 2
go by the wayside when the menu is placed before you.                Chocolate: A Health Food.......................................... 3
The solution? Make an effort to eat more meals at home
this year.                                                           Seven Skinniest Cuts of Beef ....................................... 4

Two of the reasons I hear from people as to why they don’t           Functional Ingredients in Fat Substitutes ................ 5
cook much at home is time and flavor. They say they don’t            Dining With Your Family .......................................... 5
have time to prepare a meal, and they don’t like the taste or
quality of the food they prepare. Let’s address the time             Wheat Grass: Cures All That Ails You? ................. 5
issue. If you plan ahead to cook a meal, you will be able to         Salt-Free Herb Blends ................................................ 6
An Equal Opportunity University                                 Penn State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Pennsylvania Counties Cooperating
Listeria Alert
by Mary Alice Gettings, MS,RD,CDE          may be tainted if animal manure is         The FDA and FSIS advise all consum-
                                           used as a fertilizer. In addition,         ers to pay attention to all expiration
Listeria – what is it? An estimated        listeria can be found in water and         dates for perishable items that are
2,500 people become ill and 500            contamination can occur during food        precooked and ready-to-eat. Throw
people die in the US because of this       processing.                                away all foods that have passed their
harmful bacterium. While the inci-                                                    expiration. They also suggest eating
dence of this infection is much less       It is frequently difficult to determine    perishable foods as soon as possible.
than many other foodborne bacteria,        what food has caused the illness since     When it comes to your refrigerator,
the results are more commonly fatal.       symptoms sometimes don’t show up           clean it regularly (at least four times
The typical groups — young children,       for three weeks after consuming the        per year) and place a thermometer in it
older adults, and those who have           bacteria-laden food. Outbreaks of          to make sure it stays below 40 degrees
depressed immune systems — are             listeriosis have been associated with      Fahrenheit, which reduces listeria
highly susceptible to becoming ill         ready-to-eat foods, like hot dogs,         growth.
after eating foods with high levels of     luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented
this bacterium. We need to add a few       or dry sausage, and other deli-style       In addition, washing raw vegetables
more groups at increased risk —            meat and poultry. In addition, it can      before eating and keeping vegetables
pregnant women, their unborn fetuses,      be found in patés and meat spreads,        away from cooked and ready-to-eat
and newborns. In fact, pregnant            along with soft cheeses like feta, Brie,   foods will help to reduce your risk of
women are twenty times more likely         and Camembert.                             developing the illness. Don’t forget to
to contract listeriosis, the illness                                                  always wash your hands, knives, and
caused by the bacterium Listeria           For those in the high-risk groups, the     cutting boards after handling un-
monocytogenes, and one-third of            Food and Drug Administration (FDA)         cooked foods.
listeriosis cases occur during preg-       and the Food Safety and Inspection
nancy.                                     Service (FSIS) have provided several       The government’s work does not stop
                                           guidelines. They suggest it is best to     at this advice. Several government
If consumed in high enough quanti-         avoid hot dogs and luncheon meats,         agencies are working together to
ties, it can cause meningitis and result   unless they are reheated until steaming    provide guidance and training to food
in pregnant women experiencing a           hot. Soft cheeses such as feta, Brie,      processors, enforce regulations
miscarriage or stillbirth. In addition,    Camembert, and Mexican-style               established, and conduct additional
the bacteria can be transmitted to the     cheeses can harbor listeria. Try semi-     research to help reduce the incidence
fetus through the placenta, causing the    soft cheeses like mozzarella, pro-         of listeriosis.
baby to be born with the illness.          cessed and pasteurized cheese slices
Typical symptoms of listeriosis are        and spreads, cream cheese, and             For more information on listeria, call
fever, muscle aches, and sometimes         cottage cheese instead. Refrigerated       your local Penn State Cooperative
nausea and diarrhea. If the infection      patés and meat spreads can be danger-      Extension office or visit one of the
spreads to the nervous system, one         ous along with refrigerated smoked         following websites:
may experience a headache, stiff neck,     seafood (salmon, trout, whitefish, cod,
confusion, loss of balance, and            tuna, or mackerel), unless it is con-      w Food Safety Inspection Service at
possible convulsions. If caught            tained in a cooked dish or casserole.
quickly enough, antibiotics can be         These hazardous seafood items are            topics/lm.htm
used to treat the illness.                 often labeled “nova-style,” “lox,”
                                           “kippered,” “smoked,” and “jerky.”         w Center for Disease Control at http://
Listeria can be spread in a variety of     Instead of the refrigerated items, try
ways. It can contaminate animal            canned or shelf-stable patés, meat           diseaseinfo/listeriosis_g.htm
products, like meat and dairy prod-        spreads, and smoked seafood. Last,
ucts, since the bacteria can be in         but not least, avoid unpasteurized
animal feces. Vegetables, another          (raw) milk and foods containing this
possible food source of the bacteria,      milk.

2 Food and Nutrition Notes        Spring 2002
Chocolate: A Health F
by Cindy Javor, RD
                     ood                                           Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables and
                                                                   including whole grains, skim milk, reduced-fat dairy
In the past, we have addressed issues about chocolate
                                                                   products, fatty fish and lean meats/fish/poultry every day
cravings and haven given recommendations about eating
                                                                   will still provide the best healthy eating plan. It will also
heart healthy. However, we did not think we would be
                                                                   provide you with the thousands of antioxidants believed to
telling consumers that chocolate is actually a healthy food.
                                                                   be beneficial to your health.
Penn State University researcher Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton
has proven this to be true. She found that a diet high in          If you love chocolate, try incorporating cocoa powder and
cocoa powder and dark chocolate had favorable effects              dark chocolate into milk, pudding, or baked into cookies or
on LDL (“bad” cholesterol carriers). Scientific evidence           brownies. Eating small amounts of these chocolate foods,
has already been established that high amounts of low-             especially if they are used in forms that don’t include large
density lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood are undesirable (or        amounts of fats and sugars, will help to provide the heart-
“Lousy”) because they carry the cholesterol to arteries in         healthy benefits.
your heart, therefore leading to atherosclerosis or harden-
ing of the arteries. The current study was the first to            If you don’t feel you eat foods high in antioxidants, you
evaluate and compare LDL weakness to oxidation in a                may want to consider taking a supplement of antioxidants.
small group of test subjects. LDL oxidation occurs when            Ask a registered dietitian (RD) or your doctor whether you
oxygen attaches itself to the LDL’s in your bloodstream            need a supplement. A registered dietitian can evaluate
causing them “stick” to the heart arteries more and result-        your eating pattern to determine whether a supplement is
ing in additional cholesterol being deposited.                     right for you.

Flavonoids, which are a key component of chocolate, can            ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
actually reduce LDL oxidation. Therefore they fall into the
category of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect                 Healthy Eating at Home
                                                                                                           (continued from Page 1)
healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals –
compounds in your body, like LDL’s, – that cause prob-              Let’ s address the other factor – flavor – that affects
lems when they combine with oxygen. Flavonoids appear               people’s preference for dining out. The secret to enhance
                                                                    your home-prepared meals is the use of herbs and spices.
to help cells that line artery walls by making them more
                                                                    You can prepare delicious meals at home with much less
elastic and thus lowering LDL’s ability to stick to the
                                                                    fat and sodium than what is found in restaurant meals.
arteries, therefore reducing the amount of cholesterol              Prepare and try the Salt-Free Herb Blends on Page 6 that
                       deposited and possibly the risk of heart     you can simply make yourself.
                             attacks and strokes.
                                                                    Experiment with new herbs and try fresh herbs, too.
                                 However, cocoa powder and          Fresh herbs are usually less potent, so you generally use
                                 dark chocolate should not be       more of the fresh herb than the dried. The general rule of
                      considered the only source of the             thumb is 1 Tbsp. fresh = 1 tsp. dry. Dried herbs lose their
                    protective flavonoids and not be used in        potency after prolonged storage, so buy them in small
                   place of other high-flavonoid foods. Other       amounts and replace them at least once a year.
                  sources of this antioxidant are tea, coffee,
                      wine, onions, apples, beans, soybeans,        If you haven’t made much progress with your New Year’s
                      and orange and grape juices. Including        resolution to eat healthier, don’t fret. Start preparing
                     the fruits, vegetables, and beans, not just    more meals at home. Your waistline, and your wallet,
             the tea, coffee, wine, and chocolate, in your diet     will thank you.
          is more beneficial to your health. In addition to         For more information, contact your local Penn State
the other disease-fighting antioxidants, they also contain          Cooperative Extension office for herb and spice fact
many important vitamins and minerals.                               sheets. For those who would like to grow fresh herbs,
On the surface it sounds like a chocolate free-for-all, but         Herbs for the Home Gardener, a Penn State Cooperative
we are still recommending that the best way to build a              Extension publication, is available at the cost of $8.
healthful eating plan is to eat well-balanced meals and                 Source: 2001 Food & Health Communications-Using Herbs
snacks each day and to enjoy a wide variety of foods.                                        and Spices.
                                                                                     Spring 2002        Food and Nutrition Notes 3
by Dori L. Donough, RD
                             Skinniest Cuts of Beef              So why are the meats (beef, pork, etc.) always targeted? If
                                                                 Americans stopped at five to nine ounces of meat per day,
There are many nutrition and health-based messages that          there would be no problems. While meat is a great source
may seem difficult to understand and even contradictory.         of nutrients, many types contain fat and cholesterol. And
One of these confusing messages is the recommendation            although fat and cholesterol are essential nutrients, eating
for eating beef and other meats. Like most things, the           large amounts is detrimental to health. Staying within the
bottom line is moderation. To explain, let’s take a look at      eating guidelines designed to promote healthy eating may
the Food Guide Pyramid.                                          require restraint from the meat-eating consumer. Like all
                                                                 things, you must use moderation by limiting your portion
The Food Guide Pyramid is a tool the United States               size, choosing from the “seven skinniest cuts of beef,” and
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created to help you         selecting healthier preparation techniques.
choose a healthful diet. The Pyramid calls for eating a
variety of foods to obtain all the nutrients you need. It also   The “seven skinniest cuts of beef” are the eye of round, top
provides ranges for the recommended number of servings           round, round tip, sirloin steak or tip, bottom round, top
for each food group to help individuals consume the correct      loin, and flank steak. A rule of thumb is to look for a cut of
amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight. For             beef with the words “round” or “loin” in the name. The
example, the recommendation for meat, poultry, fish, dry         cooking method you choose can affect the fat content. The
beans, eggs, and nut group is two to three servings per day.     lowest fat methods include broiling, pan-broiling, grilling,
With each serving of meat, poultry, and fish equaling 2-1/2      roasting on a rack (to allow excess fat
to 3 ounces, a person can eat five to nine ounces of meat,       to drip away), and
poultry, or fish per day. Those following a 1600 calorie         sautéing or stir-frying
diet can eat up to five ounces per day, while those follow-      with a small amount of
ing a 2800 calorie diet can eat up to nine ounces per day.       oil. Cooking methods to
People often ask, “What is three ounces of meat?” It is          avoid include deep-fat
simply the same size as a deck of cards.                         frying, pan frying, basting
                                                                 with fat, and cooking in a
Several other foods can replace meat as a source of good         fatty sauce or gravy.
nutrition. You can substitute one ounce of meat with one
of the following:                                                Lean cuts that are less tender
     • 1/2 cup cooked beans                                      can be tenderized by cooking them slowly in liquid (brais-
     • 1 egg                                                     ing) or marinating them in an acidic mixture before cook-
     • 2 tablespoons peanut butter                               ing. Pounding, grinding, and slicing against the grain can
                                                                 also help to tenderize. Trimming the external fat from the
     • 1/3 cup nuts                                              meat before eating can significantly reduce calories, fat,
The various foods in this part of the pyramid contain zinc,      and cholesterol. While it will affect tenderness, trimming
iron, protein, and B-vitamins, all of which are necessary for    visible fat in the meat before cooking reduces fat even
life.                                                            more.

✺ Zinc aids in growth and development, maintenance of            As usual, our message to you is that there are no “good” or
  the body’s immune system, wound healing, and appetite          “bad” foods. All foods, including meat, can be part of a
  control.                                                       healthy diet. Just watch the portions sizes and the number
✺ Iron helps carry oxygen to body cells and tissues, assists     of servings you consume each week.
  in making new red blood cells, aids in brain develop-
  ment, and supports the immune system.
✺ Protein supports the growth and maintenance of tissues
  and replaces the proteins that are broken down by the
✺ B-vitamins work to promote growth and maintain

4 Food and Nutrition Notes       Spring 2002
Functional Ingredients in Fat Substitutes
by Dori L. Donough, RD                      Another fat replacer, olestra or Olean®,      stream. The reduction in cholesterol
                                            is used in snacks such as potato chips,       levels can occur if the plant sterols are
Are you worried about your waistline,       tortilla chips, cheese puffs, crackers, and   consumed at meals that contain choles-
fat intake, or cholesterol levels? A        popcorn. Olestra is made from table           terol. These products do contain
quick trip to the supermarket will          sugar and fatty acids, and it passes          calories, and the effect on cholesterol
provide you with a variety of foods that    through the digestive tract without being     stops when you discontinue using the
may help to alleviate your worries.         absorbed. Therefore, it provides the          product.
Foods with “functional ingredients”         body with no calories. Replacing
are the latest supermarket and food         regular calorie snacks with snacks            Fact sheets on Olestra (ID# UK058),
manufacturing trend. A functional           prepared with olestra may help indi-          Plant Sterols (ID# UK059), and
ingredient refers to an ingredient in a     viduals control their weight and reduce       Salatrim (ID # UK060) are available
food that can help to improve health in     their fat intake. (You must still pay         free of charge from your local Penn
some way. For example, there are a          attention to the portion sizes you eat.)      State Cooperative Extension office.
variety of fat substitutes on the market    Possible side effects are loose stools,       These handouts include short question-
that contain functional ingredients.        some intestinal distress, and reduced         naires to help determine if these prod-
                                            absorption of the fat-soluble Vitamins        ucts are right for you. The publications
Salatrim, sometimes referred to as                                                        can also be accessed via the web at:
Benefat®, is a fat replacer designed for    A, D, E, K, and carotenoids, which are
use in candy. Chocolate chips made          antioxidants found in some foods like
from salatrim only have five calories per   squash, pumpkin, and carrots.                 publications/freepubs/nutrition.html
gram versus the nine calories per gram
                                            Products such as Benecol® and Take            (Where trade names are used, no discrimina-
in other natural fats. Individuals who                                                    tion is intended, and no endorsement by Penn
                                            Control® use plant sterols in their
consume salatrim chips in place of                                                        State Cooperative Extension is implied.)
                                            margarines, vegetable oil spreads, and
regular chocolate chips have the
                                            salad dressings to reduce the absorption
potential to reduce their calorie and fat
                                            of dietary cholesterol into the blood-

 Dining With Your Family                                            Wheat Grass Juice:
 by Mary Alice Gettings, MS,RD,CDE
                                                                    Cures All That Ails You?
 It’s probably not a surprise that children who eat with their      by Mary Alice Gettings, MS, RD, CDE
 families regularly are more likely to eat the five or more
 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables and are less         You may have heard that wheat grass juice can cure
 likely to eat fried foods away from home and drink soft            anything that ails you. Remember, if it sounds too good
 drinks. This is what a study of 16,000 children ages 9 to 14       to be true, it probably is. The manufacturers of this
 years revealed. These children also have a better intake of        “green water” tout that it provides thousands of nutrients
 several vitamins and minerals, and less intake of saturated        and contains many undiscovered vitamins and minerals.
 fat and trans fats, both of which increase the risk of heart       First, we don’t need thousands of nutrients for a healthy
 disease.                                                           life. Second, how do they know there are undiscovered
                                                                    nutrients that we need if they have not been discovered
 Researchers found the following in regards to the percent-         yet?
 age of these children that eat dinner with their families:
 17% never or on some days, 40% on most days, and                   The nutrients in the highest amount in wheat grass juice
 43% every day. With the increase in childhood obesity              are Vitamins A and K, and you would receive less than
 and incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children on the rise,          30 percent of either if you drink what they recommend
 17 percent (almost 3,000 of the children studied) are              every day. Try green leafy vegetables and legumes, to
 consuming diets that are detrimental to their health. This is      name just a few foods, for these two nutrients. They are
 just another good reason to sit down with your family as           a great deal less expensive than the juice.
 often as possible to dine together in the evening.

                                                                                     Spring 2002          Food and Nutrition Notes 5
                                         Salt-free Herb Blends
For each mixture, stir ingredients together well and store in airtight containers at room temperature.
                 Stir Fry Mix                                                          Italian Seasoning
      Add to taste for all stir-fry dishes              Great for pasta dishes, tossed salads, soups, and garlic toast
           1 Tbsp. ground ginger                                            3 Tbsp. dried oregano
      generous pinch of ground cloves                                         3 Tbsp. dried basil
           2 Tbsp. garlic powder                                           2 Tbsp. dried marjoram
          1 tsp. red pepper flakes                                            1 tsp. dried thyme
                                                                            1 Tbsp. garlic powder
                                                   Season pasta dishes to taste with this mix 10 minutes before they are
                 Sweet Spice                          done. Use about 1 tsp. of mix for every four servings of pasta.
   Use on fruit salads, cereal, and yogurt
         2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
          1 Tbsp. Ground ginger
         1/2 Tbsp. ground nutmeg                                                          Salad Shake
                1 tsp. allspice                                          Great for using on salads
               pinch of cloves                     2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning (use recipe above or buy commercial mix)
                                                                         2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
    A shaker container is very convenient                                   1 tsp. dried parsley
          to use with this spice mix.                                       1 tsp. black pepper
                                                                           1 tsp. garlic powder
                                                               Shake on salads. Use about 1 tsp. for four servings.
     Food and Nutrition Notes
     . . . Bringing you the latest research
     on nutrition and food safety.                                                          Chili Mix
                                                            Great for dips, salads, baked potatoes, chili, and pasta
               ~ Editor ~                                           3 Tbsp. ground pure red chili powder
    Mary Alice Gettings, MS, RD, CDE                                         1 Tbsp. garlic powder
       Nutrition and Health Agent                                                1 Tbsp. cumin
                                                                             1 Tbsp. dried oregano
          ~ Desktop Publisher ~
                 Susan Funk                          Use this seasoning mix as you would chili powder. Amount used
      Penn State Cooperative Extension              depends on your preference. Try one tsp. per six servings to start,
                                                                        then adjust to your taste.
           Articles contributed to
          Food and Nutrition Notes
       are written by extension agents
        who are experts on nutrition.           This publication is available in alternative media on request.
           ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
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 Mary Alice Gettings, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.        to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Willard Building,
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6 Food and Nutrition Notes        Spring 2002

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