If you read Nutrition Facts labels, you may have noticed they now list the potassium content of foods. So why is potassium a mineral we need to pay attention to?
For starters, potassium controls your heartbeat, builds muscle, and helps your body make proteins. Potassium can protect you from heart disease, stroke, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. If you get enough of it, you can lower your blood pressure and cut your risk of dying from all causes by 20%!
Potassium is in many common foods, such as bananas, citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli, milk, yogurt, beans, and leafy greens. However, fewer than 2% of adults meet their daily recommended potassium requirement. Adults should aim for 4,700 mg of potassium a day.
For example, this is one potassium-rich meal that would fulfill 40% of that requirement:
|1/2 cup Swiss chard||480 mg|
|1 baked potato||610 mg|
|3 ounces turkey breast||249 mg|
|1 cup low-fat milk||366 mg|
|1 cup fruit cocktail||225 mg|
Please do not rush out to buy potassium pills. High-dose potassium supplements can disrupt heart rhythm. They are also dangerous for those who have undetected kidney disease. Enjoy your potassium by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables!
To find out more about potassium-rich foods, visit MedlinePlus (medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002413.htm)
Today’s Dietitian (www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/121112p50.shtml)
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2018 Food and Health Survey reported consumer confusion about food and nutrition. Eighty percent of survey respondents stated they have come across conflicting information about food and nutrition, and 59% state the conflicting information makes them doubt their food choices.
It is no wonder consumers are confused. There is an explosion of nutrition and food safety information readily available, making it difficult to sort fact from fiction. One reliable source is the IFIC Foundation. The IFIC Foundation’s mission is to effectively communicate science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good. The public nonprofit organization partners with credible professional organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions to advance the public understanding of key issues.
Topics recently explored on the IFIC Foundation’s website and blog include the following:
- What’s the Carnivore Diet?
- Google Can’t Diagnose Your Food Allergy
- Everything You Need to Know About Aspartame
- Snacking Series: Do Snacks Lead to Weight Gain?
Food Advocates Communicating Through Science (FACTS) is a global network of the IFIC Foundation that can help consumers understand the science behind the myths and truth related to food, nutrition, and food safety.
Learn more about the IFIC Foundation or about FACTS.
Source: IFIC Foundation
You may have heard or read of the movement in the food industry to create a clean food label. There is no legal definition to “clean” labeling, which increases confusion among consumers. Follow these tips when thinking about clean labeling.
Consider the source of the information. Be wary of advocacy groups using social media to push an agenda that may not be in the public’s best interest.
Food manufacturers quickly respond to changes in consumer preference. Before buying into the latest fad, think about whether it is market-driven or science-based.
Do not assume food label buzzwords such as “clean” or “all natural” are synonymous with nutritious or healthful.
For more information visit this website.
Giving gifts of homemade cookies, cakes, and candies is a happy holiday tradition. But for many people, the gift of a plate of high-sugar, high-calorie goodies may not be as welcomed as it used to be. Two-thirds of adult Iowans are overweight, and many of them are struggling to keep a healthy weight. For them, the holidays can provide too many temptations to overeat.
So how can you give a delicious food gift from your kitchen that will also support the health of your loved ones? Think outside the cookie box. You can make these healthier treats packed with good flavor and loving care:
- Individual snack packs of healthy trail mix or granola, attractively packaged.
- Individual bags of homemade and high-calcium cocoa mix, with a cinnamon-stick stirrer.
- A fresh loaf of homemade whole grain bread, wrapped in foil and ribbons.
- A healthy soup basket with a bow! In a basket or other gift container, place all the ingredients for a healthy winter soup. For example, for a winter black bean soup kit, assemble a jar or can of black beans, a small bottle of canola or olive oil, an onion, a packet of premeasured chili powder and cumin, a can of tomatoes, a lime, and a copy of the recipe.
- If you like, you can accompany these gifts with items from the ISU Extension Store:
June is Dairy Month — a good time to consider the benefits of drinking milk and eating other dairy foods for calcium and Vitamin D. Drinking milk increases bone health, reduces risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and blood pressure. Despite these benefits, some milk myths prevent some people from drinking milk. Our ISU Extension and Outreach myth busters have “busted” a few of these myths below.
Milk Myth 1: Milk causes mucus
Myth Buster: For some, drinking milk may make mucus thicker than it is normally. However drinking milk for most people does not make your body produce more phlegm and will not worsen a cold.
Milk Myth 2: Organic milk is much healthier than conventional milk
Myth Buster: Cup for cup, organic and conventionally-produced milk contain the same nine essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. Both conventionally-produced and organic milk are routinely tested for antibiotics and pesticides and must comply with very stringent safety standards, ensuring that both organic milk and conventional milk are pure, safe, and nutritious.
Milk Myth 3: Fat-free milk has almost no nutritional value.
Myth Buster: Fat-free milk has the same amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein as whole, 2%, and 1% milk. The only nutritional difference among the varieties of milk is the amount of fat and calories per serving. Another difference is that fat-free milk is often cheaper than the other varieties. A family of four changing from whole milk to fat-free milk could save $8 to $11 per week and shave off 5,040 calories and 518
grams of fat!
Every March the American Dietetic Association observes National Nutrition Month®. This year the theme is ‘Eat Right with Color.’ Research suggests people who eat generous amounts of different colored fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to reduce their risks of chronic diseases including strokes, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that a person needing 2,000 calories a day eat 21⁄2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. To meet that goal, most people need to eat more fruits and vegetables. All forms of fruits and vegetables count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% fruit juice. Whole fruit, however, contains more fiber then juice so it’s best to limit juice to 1 cup or less per day. To get the variety that different colored vegetables provide, the following amounts from the vegetable subgroups (based on 2,000 calories) is recommended:
- Dark green vegetables (3 cups per week)
- Orange vegetables (2 cups per week)
- Dried beans and peas (3 cups per week)
- Starchy vegetables (3 cups per week)
- Other vegetables (6 1/2 cups per week)
To find out how many cups of fruits and vegetables you should be eating, visit www.mypyramid.gov.