News & Nutrition

Nutrition, Food News and More!

We at Do You Bake? not only believe in giving you YUMMY and delicious and exciting new ways to fill your pantries and create delicious meals and sweet treats for you and your family to enjoy, but we also believe in spreading interesting and au courant foodie news.

Along with our YUMMY passion for food and the news that goes along with it, we want to tell you a little bit about nutrition. We want to share facts, figures, nutrition trends, dietary news and MORE!

We hope you will continue to come back and spend time reading through and learning about whole foods, what chemicals can do to you, what’s trending in the world of **foodie** experiences, what regulatory changes are happening and so much MORE!

We can’t wait to share all the YUMMY! information with you!

Thanks for stopping by and keep checking back for more timely updates!

YUMMs UP!

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The Push to Change Food Labels

March 15 2014

Food labels can be confusing, right? There are so many numbers, you have to pay attention to serving sizes and you probably eat many more calories than you thought you did because the portion sizes suggested are at unrealistic amounts. Food manufacturers know this and they scale down the portion size intentionally in order to make the numbers look good to the average consumer. Even the most educated and conscientious food shoppers can be boggled by nutrition labels.

Did you know our food labels in the USA are about to change? yep, that’s right! They are! Read up!

Recently, the FDA announced that nutrition labels will receive their first facelift since 2006, allowing customers to choose their packaged foods more wisely. The new labels will emphasize calories, other nutrients, and added sugars. Since many foods have naturally occurring sugars (fruit, for example), it is more important to be aware of sugar that is added during the manufacturing process for sweetening (such as soda).

The new labels will also update serving sizes to what people “actually” eat, rather than what they “should” eat. For example, if a serving of ice cream was previously listed as ½-cup, that serving will be changed to one-cup. The calories per serving would therefore be doubled, giving consumers a better idea of how many calories they are actually eating.

What will disappear from the new labels? Calories from fat, data that experts now feel is less important in determining nutritional value.

But don’t expect the labels to be at a store near you soon: it will likely take 2-3 years to see the changes on the shelf.

In the meantime, you may just see some additional, non-regulatory changes coming through on a product package near you! There is currently a separate push by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to put existing nutrition labels on the front of packaging to make information easier to find and use during decision-making. Some major corporations—including Kellogg, Kraft, Campbell Soup, General Mills, Pepsi, and Post—have already volunteered to move their nutritional labels. Other manufacturers have elected to keep labels on the rear of the package.

In both cases, these changes are positive changes for consumers. They will have major impacts upon consumer awareness about the food they are purchasing.

For more information on the proposed changes, we encourage you to check it out here – Facts and Proposed Changes Aim to Better Inform Food Choices by the FDA.

History of National Nutrition Month

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March is National Nutrition Month!

This year we celebrate its 40th anniversary

March 15 2014

Members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) first launched the campaign in 1973 to deliver nutrition education to the public. Public service announcements and news releases delivered the message, and President Richard Nixon publically backed the movement. The theme in 1973? “Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition.” Over the next few years, the annual theme was widely reproduced and formed the core of nutritional education.

Within four years, local and state governments began planning their own activities, spurring the public’s growing interest in health and nutrition. During this time, National Nutrition Month gained a mascot: Nutribird, a green head of lettuce with a carrot beak. Nutribird’s fame skyrocketed in the late 1970s as it appears on t-shirts, stickers, and even sang promotional jingles. National Nutrition Month now had a visible reminder of its efforts, but Nutribird would not retain its popularity after 1980. Instead, the ADA advertised their themes on popular television shows like “Growing Pains” and “Head of the Class.”

According to polls, consumers of the early 1990s were more aware of the importance of nutrition, but were not sure how to implement a healthy lifestyle. In 1992, the “Eat Right America!” theme (which continued for three years) was successfully incorporated into the fast food industry. McDonald’s delivered the now-famous food guide pyramid image through 9000 of its franchises. By the late 1990s, the campaign hit the internet and media exposure grew. The 2000s brought heightened awareness of nutritional importance, especially in relation to preventable medical conditions.

This year’s theme is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.  Join the movement at www.eatright.org

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Water! Does a Body Good!

March 16 2014

When it comes to nutritional advice, practitioners and the press can provide conflicting opinions in a very short timeframe. Chocolate, wine, milk, and eggs have been the recent subjects of “healthy” or “not healthy” arguments. But water? Who can oppose the benefits of a liquid that composes over half of the human body? Almost no one, in fact.

Some of the benefits of drinking water:

  • Eliminates toxins in the body
  • Increases caloric burn
  • Cleans out internal waste
  • Is a zero-calorie beverage
  • Reduces hunger cravings

Most medical experts believe water can reduce hunger cravings. Some advocate drinking an eight-ounce glass of water when hungry to help you feel more satisfied. Drinking water before meals may also help you eat less during mealtime. Replacing your sugary drinks with water also reduces your overall caloric intake on a daily basis. You need water to stay hydrated, that is a fact.

The debate heats up even further when you talk about water and weight loss. Some folks in the fitness field say you can lose extra weight by drinking cold cold glasses of water because your body must use extra energy to warm itself up from the cold water. The theory is, the ‘work’ your body has to perform in warming itself burns extra calories. While you may burn some excess calories, it probably isn’t as much as you think. In fact, University of Alabama nutrition expert Dr. Beth Kitchin recently stated that water does not help you lose weight, contrary to the popular belief. She admits that water does increase calorie burn, but not at a noticeable rate. Dr. Kitchin reinforces water for hydration and health purposes, but disagrees with its perceived role in weight loss.

The bottom line? More experts still agree that drinking water when hungry or before a meal encourages weight loss, even if from only a psychological stand point. More importantly, drinking water should become an important part of our daily intake to stay properly hydrated.

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When is Organic Better?

 March 16 2014

If thoughts of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, or genetically modified crops make your stomach flip, you probably want to buy as many organic products as you can afford. The availability of organic products is now mainstream; consumers no longer need to make a trip to a specialty grocer to go organic.

Buying organic, however, does come at an added cost. Several financial studies have shown that buying organic products may increase your weekly food budget by as much as 100%. On average, consumers spend at least 50% more on organic products as compared to their non organic counterparts.

Hope is not lost! If you are like the millions of Americans who shop on a budget, you can minimally incorporate the ‘dirty dozen’ into your purchase habits. The Environmental Working group has identified the top twelve fruits and veggies or ‘dirty dozen’ that are the most susceptible to pesticide residue.

They are :

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The following produce products are least susceptible to pesticide residue :

  • Papayas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Pineapple
  • Avocados
  • Onions

Many consumers have begun to ask if it is important to also monitor every other product they purchase, even those not considered product. For example : Coffee, tea, oil, rice, spice, sugar and wine.  There are reports that canola oil may be at high risk for GM (genetic modification) and consumers are beginning to re-evaluate the types of products such as these that they purchase.

Information continues to become available and consumers are making more informed choices about the type and quality of food they purchase and serve. Buying organic is no longer simply a luxury, it is becoming a growing trend because consumers like yourself are beginning to realize that all the chemicals are doing more harm than good for our nutrition and overall health.

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How Much Sugar is Too Much Sugar?

 March 17 2014

Modern health experts have vilified sugar. The public is bombarded with information about sugar’s evil side: it contributes to obesity, lowers metabolism, and causes tooth decay. Doctors are adamant: Americans’ sugar intake is just too high. So how much sugar is too much sugar?

Like most other health advice, the answer is: it depends. Let’s look at the two types of sugars in foods: natural sugars and added sugars.

Sugars occur naturally in some foods like fruits and vegetables. Fruits even contain fructose, the “bad” sugar. However, fruits also have vitamins and antioxidants that reduce fructose’s hazardous effects. Naturally occurring sugars are generally accepted to cause little harm.

Added sugars, on the other hand, are included by manufacturers to sweeten foods. The two most common sugar additive used in today’s manufacturing process is high fructose corn syrup. Many common juice drinks are loaded with just that.  Drinking juice may not be any better than drinking high sugary sodas.

Sugar intake in of itself is not a problem if you are aware of the portion and the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis. The American Heart Association recommends that men eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day (150 calories), while women eat no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day (100 calories). That’s right—teaspoons! If you eat a Snicker’s bar, you’ll consume 120 calories from sugar. This might be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, so go right ahead.  The bottom line is this – Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Sugar can in fact be a part of your daily diet in appropriate measures and sizes.

Here are a few simple solutions on how to cut back the sugar you take in each day! Simply reduce or avoid some or all of the following -

  • High sugar soft drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Candies
  • Fruits canned in syrup
  • Low-fat or diet foods (often are high in sugar as a quick substitute for their high fat counterparts in order to counter balance taste)

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The Cow May Matter When it Comes to Milk

 March 18 2014

If you have dairy sensitivity, then you already know the alternatives: soy milk, almond milk, and Lactaid. Dairy-free dessert recipes or non-dairy alternatives are a staple in your kitchen. But emerging research suggests that alternative dairy products may not be necessary. Instead, you might need a different cow.

A New Zealand firm called A2 Corporation holds an exclusive genetic testing patent that determines what type of milk a cow produces. Some breeds predominantly produce milk with A1 protein, while others produce milk with A2 protein. As you can guess from the name of the New Zealand firm, A2 Corporation suggests that the A2 protein is more digestible. While data and study information is still limited, independent researchers are lending support to this theory.

In other parts of the world—Europe, Asia or Africa, for example—native cows are 50% more likely to produce A2 type milk, and the prevalence of dairy insensitivity there is lower. Americans are generally sold milk with A1 protein due to the large quantity of high-producing Holstein cows used by dairy farmers. A2 Corporation sold milk in the U.S. from 2003-2007 but stopped due to lack of interest. For now, the best way to try milk with A2 protein is to find a dairy farmer that uses Jersey, Guernsey, or Normande cows.

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Benefits of Coconut Oil

  March 19 2014

Coconut oil is everywhere right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s the latest fad. The oil has been touted for its nutritional and beauty benefits for many decades. Our sudden increased interest in coconut oil comes from an increased awareness about diet and nutrition, allergens and sensitivities. If you are a gluten free cook or baker, chances are you use coconut oil in one more applications.

Let’s look at some of the benefits -

Coconut oil has the right type of fat

Americans have been warned: watch your fat intake. However, it’s important to distinguish between types of fat. Tran-saturated fats are those found in items like frozen pizzas and manufactured cookies. This type of fat is used in the manufacturing process of many boxed and frozen aisle goodies because it helps to preserve the product and it gives our taste buds a bigger giddy YUMM kick.  With that said, too much trans fat can end up clogging arteries. Coconut oil while high in fat,  its fat comes in the form of essential fatty acids, which mesh with our bodies very nicely. In fact, our body needs essential fatty acids to function properly.

Coconut oil has the right type of cholesterol

Remember when your doctor tried to explain the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol? While it’s important to fully understand, also keep in mind that coconut oil can actually control your body’s bad cholesterol and increase the good.

Coconut oil produces ketones

Ketones are made when your body breaks down fat for energy. This is an especially useful substance for those on low-carb diets: since the brain relies on glucose, if you’re not eating any carbs your brain might feel sluggish. Instead, ingest 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily to give your brain and body a healthy and safe boost.

What does this mean for consumers? Coconut oil keeps the heart healthy, increases energy and brain function, speeds up metabolism, and its oil properties nourish hair, nail, and skin. Best of all? It’s vegan friendly and is an extremely healthy oil option when cooking and baking.