Saturday, October 25, 2014

  Coconut Chips As a Snack?

An interesting find earlier this week at the Food and Nutrition Expo in Atlanta was coconut chips. We sampled Bare “Show me the Honey” Crunchy Coconut Chips and couldn’t stop eating. (Sign of addictive quality of this product.  read further and see why.) The product is rather simple and looks like coconut meat shavings of various sizes. These “chips” are baked / roasted with almost no added ingredients and come in a relatively small package. Here is our analysis.
Let’s start with the short, understandable ingredient list:
 Coconut, Can Sugar, Honey, Sea Salt.
We like the fact that every ingredient here is in English. The product is also non-GMO verified and gluten-free.
Now on to the nutrition information:
A one ounce serving has 150 calories and has 14 grams of sugars – the equivalent of 3.5 teaspoons of sugar. Dried coconut is naturally sweet, with about half a teaspoon of sugar per ounce. This means that a serving of this product has half a teaspoon of naturally occurring sugars and 3 teaspoons of added sugars from the honey and the cane sugar. Compare to a similar product from Trader Joe’s, which has only 9 grams of sugars, 50% less.
Other nutrients look good – 3 grams of fiber – more than 10% of the daily recommendation, and 160 mg of sodium, which is more or less in line with our recommended sodium to calorie ratio.
On to the serving size. According to the nutrition label a serving is one ounce (28 grams). The package contains 1.4 servings, which means most people will eat it in one sitting. So the portion you are consuming is actually 210 calories, with 5 teaspoons worth of sugars. In cases like these, manufacturers should either make the package smaller or state the nutrition facts for the entire package.
Lastly, the most contentious issue with coconut products is always going to be the very high saturated fat content. A serving of this product contains 9 grams of saturated fat, or 45% of the daily maximum recommendation. While emerging scientific evidence is partially exonerating the specific fatty acids in coconuts, the current recommendation by doctors and dietitians is still to hedge your bets and limit consumption.
Bottom line: Coconut chips with short ingredient lists can be a fun snack, but only once in a while, due to their high saturated fat content. Try to choose those that have as little added sugars as possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Feel Great with Fun & Food

A Children's Book I Wrote in 1984.  My passion has always been eating healthy.  I am in the background and the kids are all neighborhood friends.   Notice the girl on the far left with oranges down her pink sweater, she was imitating a nursing mother.

Brain can be trained to change food addictions, 

New research has shown that the brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy food, reported BBC News. Read more: click here
“We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole-wheat pasta,” senior study author Susan B. Roberts, behavioral nutrition scientist at Tufts, said. “This conditioning happens over time in response to eating— repeatedly— what is out there in the toxic food environment.”  
My Best to You, Dr. Kathleen Fuller

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eating Disorders & Motherhood

Bulimia and Mothers: Taking Care of Others but Not Themselves

Article Contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Eating Disorder Hope
woman-431658_640Motherhood is the epitome of selflessness. From infancy though adulthood, mothers strive to meet the needs of their children, often sacrificing their own wants and desires for the betterment of their family. As beautiful, fulfilling, and joyful motherhood can be, the demands of being a mother can also be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally.
For a mother who is trying to raise a family while also dealing with an eating disorder, the struggles encountered are much more intense and forceful. The effects of a severe psychiatric illness, such as bulimia, are wearisome for any individual who may be suffering with this disorder.
However, mothers who fight this battle while attempting to care for their loved ones bear an overwhelming burden. What are the unique struggles that mothers may face?READ MORE:
My Best to You, Dr. Kathleen Fuller

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yin and Yang of Obesity in Your Gut- The Answer?

Meet Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes – the Yin and Yang of Obesity in Your Gut

gut microbiome
For years, frustrated dieters have wondered how two people could eat the same exact food, with one gaining weight and the other staying as skinny as a flagpole. The answer was usually a “faster metabolism”, but the underlying scientific mechanisms were not really known. Recent research into the human gut biome is shedding light on what’s going on.
We’re in Atlanta at the annual dietitian convention known as FNCE – the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The conference includes many interesting presentations by scientists at the forefront of nutrition research. One of the most important areas of study is obviously obesity. We had the opportunity to sit in on a presentation that showed an interesting correlation between gut micorflora and obesity.READ MORE:
My Best to You, Dr. Kathleen Fuller  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is This Ketchup What You Would Buy?

Hunts Ketchup Front
Spotted in the wild – Hunt’s “100% Natural” Tomato Ketchup. The Con-Agra owned brand boast No preservatives, and No high fructose corn syrup on the front of pack. This is the copy on the back:
“From the tomato experts: Hunt’s ketchup contains absolutely no high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients or preservatives, letting the natural flavor of the tomato shine through.”
Does all this make Hunt’s Ketchup a healthy product?
Not necessarily.
A serving of ketchup is 1 tablespoon and it has 20 calories, all from carbs. 16 of those calories are from sugars, the equivalent of 1 teaspoon. Now, this may seem like a trivial amount of sugar, but who stops at just one tbsp of ketchup? Finishing off a burger with fries requires at least 3 to 4 servings of ketchup.
On to the ingredient list:
tomato concentrate made from vine ripened tomatoes, sugar, distilled vinegar, salt, less than 2% of onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavors.
Comparing this ingredient list to that of market leader Heinz, the only difference is the use of sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. On the other hand, Heinz is slightly lower in calories and sodium compared to Hunt’s.
Both brands employ a high amount of salt -which is natural – but not healthy, at 190 mg per serving (8% of the recommended daily max in such a tiny serving).
Both brands use “natural flavors” as a means to make the ketchup tasty. In fact, that’s what gives the ketchup its ketchup flavor.  Companies add flavorings to make products taste better. They are created in a lab and the formulations are guarded as trade secrets.
Flavorings can compensate for flavor loss during processing, substitute for ingredients, lower production costs and increase shelf stability. Natural flavorings are more expensive to source than artificial flavors, but brands use them so they can make bold claims on their product package.
People sensitive to MSG, on plant-based diets and those with allergies should pay special attention to the phrase “natural flavorings” since glutamates, animal products or allergens may be hiding in “natural flavors.”
Bottom line: This ketchup is not a health food. “100% Natural” does not mean it is healthy, even if the manufacturer wants you to think so.
Want to know this product’s nutrition grade? Get the free Fooducate app for your Android or iOS device.
Hunts Ketchup Back
My Best to You, Dr. Kathleen Fuller

The Courage to Change:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Where Do Dietary Patterns and Nutrient Quality Fit Into Sustainability?

By Project Manager at Dairy Council of CaliforniaTop Contributor
The National Geographic series “EAT: The New Food Revolution” showcases the challenge of feeding 9 billion people around the global dinner table by 2050.

Sustainability often focuses on adequate calories and food production. However, in an interesting play on words, the series also reminds viewers that food sustains them. It is time to consider the many aspects of sustainable nutrition, from nutrient density of foods to the economic and social aspects of food choice that include cultural norms, preferences and consumer behavior (taste, cost and convenience).

Learn how Health Professionals can put sustainable nutrition in context in order to help consumers create and adopt food patterns that are nutritious, good for the planet and include all food groups. Read the newsletter at

Find out how to explain the aspects of sustainable nutrition to consumer from improving their carbon footprint to understanding biotechnology:

What will you do, or what do you already do, make it easier for your clients/consumers to understand the concept of sustainable diets?
This is interesting but I personally don't believe in drinking milk as an adult.  I do drink almond milk.  
My Best to You, Dr.Kathleen Fuller