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    Unfair Targets

    TargetNutrition is an evolving science.  Although the basic tenants are unlikely to change (i.e.: fruits and vegetables undoubtedly contain healthful components, omega-3 is a fatty acid we must get from food, etc.), new research helps shed light on previously misunderstood concepts.

    Unfortunately, much of the mainstream media (as well as a good number of nutrition professionals in the public eye!) continues to regurgitate outdated information that is inaccurate and does the general public no favors.

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    Who Said It?

    QuestionMark“Just drinking three liters of water a day… burns 75–100 calories. If you add a little lemon juice to it, which is ascorbic acid, that can speed up your metabolism by 33 percent.”

    Come back on Friday for the identity of this “expert” — and the truth behind this claim.

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    Numbers Game: Hog Hell

    CAFO_hogs-thumb-250x187North Carolina’s hog operation facilities release approximately _______ tons of ammonia into the atmosphere on a daily basis.

    a) 50 million
    b) 300 million
    c) 180 million
    d) 225 million

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Thursday for the answer!

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    Giveaway: Raw Vegan Bounty!

    duck_logoNew  York City’s Pure Food and Wine is the Lamborghini of raw vegan restaurants.  Elegant, one-of-a-kind, and consistently delivering unrivaled quality.

    The driver behind the wheel is Sarma Melngailis, CEO, co-founder, and general “rawckstar”.  Her quirky and laid-back coolness mixed with a keen business sense (she’s a Wharton graduate, folks) is very “Martha Stewart meets Gwen Stefani”.

    I have eaten at Pure multiple times, sometimes with people who love raw vegan foods; other times with individuals whose idea of a “dream meal” is a big, juicy steak.  Regardless of who my dinner companions have been, the first or second bite of each course was followed by anything from a simple “wow” to “Oh my God, you need to try this RIGHT NOW!”.

    Pure’s “sister” store is One Lucky Duck Takeaway, a combination juice/smoothie bar and takeout shop chock-full of raw vegan deliciousness (from the must-have Mallomar to rosemary crackers to salads, macaroons, chocolate bars, and more) that is entirely soy-free and almost entirely gluten-free (no wheat is used, but a small number of products contain oats, which are stored in facilities that also process wheat products).

    All the packaged snack at One Lucky Duck are available on OneLuckyDuck.com, along with clothing, accessories, and indispensable ingredients (maca, lucuma, coconut oil, etc.) for raw vegan foodies

    I am super excited to announce that three Small Bites readers will now have the chance to taste the amazing creations of One Lucky Duck’s talented chefs.

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    The Longest Ingredient Lists In The World?

    kfc-logoBehold the ingredient list for Kentucky Fried Chicken’s chicken pot pie.  And consider your eyeballs scarred.

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    Burger King’s New Breakfast…. Is More Of The Same

    bk-new-breakfast-menu-items-590Hyperbolic press releases, pricey media campaigns, and plenty of advertising fanfare accompanied the recent unveiling of Burger King’s new breakfast menu.  Higher-ups were quick to point out that the addition of these items to the Burger King breakfast lineup  were the company’s “largest menu expansion ever”.  Like, OMG!

    According to Mike Kapitt, the chain’s chief marketing officer for North America, this menu was designed to “compete to be America’s wake-up call”, and he had no doubt the “quality, variety, and value” on the menu would make Burger King the “breakfast destination”.

    If these new items are America’s wake-up call, then the U.S. of A should smash its alarm clock against the wall and keep snoozing.  Let’s dissect the nutritional bombs unveiled by Burger King, from least to most explosive:

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    You Ask, I Answer: Gluten, Soy Sauce, and “Wheat-Free” Labeling

    sanj_gluten_free_tamari__45649_stdLast Thursday, I got the results of my gluten panel.  Verdict: I have celiac disease.

    Today I had lunch with a coworker at a “health food” restaurant.  We specifically chose it because their menu lets you know which entrees contain soy, gluten, and nuts.

    The dish I wanted (which had baked tofu) had a “gluten” sign next to it.  I asked the waitress where the gluten in the dish was coming from.  Her response was: “We marinade our tofu in soy sauce.”

    I’m still very new to this gluten thing, but I don’t understand how soy sauce can contain gluten.  Isn’t it just soybeans?

    I know I have seen some wheat-free soy sauce, but everything I’ve read so far says that “wheat free” and “gluten-free” are not the same thing.  So, is soy sauce a condiment I can never have again?

    I would REALLY appreciate any help you can give me.

    — Estelle Nardelli
    (City Withheld), NJ

    I can’t say I envy you.  As if managing food labels without allergies wasn’t its own Rubik cube, tacking on gluten insensitivity heightens the challenge.

    As many people living with celiacs soon learn, there is a long list of preservatives, additives, and wheat byproducts that sound absolutely harmless, but can cause severe problems when consumed.  Soy sauce is one area where I find many individuals with celiac get confused, and sometimes go overboard with restrictions.  Allow me to provide some clarification.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Weeding Out Wheat Ingredients

    ucm161772Can you explain the different types of whole wheat?

    I know you are supposed to look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient in a bread, but what if you have choices like stone ground whole wheat or whole white wheat?

    Which is better?

    — Jill Twist
    (Location Unknown)

    You are absolutely right that the main thing to look for when purchasing breads is “whole wheat” (or a whole non-wheat flour) as the first ingredient.

    As you point out, though, other factors come into play that can confuse you and millions of other consumers.  Let’s run through some common wheat-based ingredients and what they mean from a nutrition standpoint.  Although your question specifically refers to whole wheat varieties, I am going to throw in a little bit of information about “healthy-sounding” non-whole wheat ingredients.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Hummus

    canned-pumpkin_300This hummus’ vibrant orange color not only matches the beautiful fall foliage, it also provides some unique flavor combinations for the tastebuds. And, despite the endless varieties of commercial hummus, I have yet to find it at any store!

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    Who Said It?: Reveal

    fat-flush“Cranberry juice works on cellulite because … the flavonoids in the fruit improve the strength and integrity of connective tissue and help keep your lymphatic system working smoothly.”

    This apparent miracle cure comes courtesy of Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Fat Flush Plan.

    Touting cranberry juice as a cure for cellulite falls into two categories — 1) promoting unrealistic expectations, and 2) misunderstanding the physiology behind the development of cellulite.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Pumpkins Full of Pesticides?

    3 pumpkinsI have heard that supermarket pumpkins are treated with a lot of insecticides and other chemicals that keep them aesthetically intact, and lengthen their shelf life.

    Is this true or BS?

    — Thomas Johnson
    Via Facebook

    As I often like to say, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    Conventional pumpkins are certainly treated with pesticides and insecticides, but they do not make the “dirty dozen” list of produce that contains the highest amounts of these substances.

    By the way, the wonderful folks at Local Harvest have provided this nifty search tool to help you locate farms in your area that offer organic pumpkins!

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    In The News: Nutrition Professor Eats Twinkies, Loses Weight.

    1283457996610Earlier this month, the media feasted on the following news bit:

    “Mark Haub, 40, associate professor in Kansas State University”s Department of Human Nutrition, began a 30-day junk food marathon on Aug. 25. He is living on a diet of high-calorie, high-fat foods, such as snack cakes, powdered doughnuts and sticky buns, to show that foods commonly regarded as junk can actually help people lose weight.”

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    sad-little-heart-wahh-wahhA gain of twenty pounds (of fat, not muscle) over one’s ideal body weight results, on average, in a 30 percent increase of triglycerides and an average decrease of HDL cholesterol of 8 percent.

    I always find statistics like these to be quite powerful since they illustrate the health consequences of carrying excess weight, regardless of the type of foods that led to said weight gain.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Protein Powder Terminology

    ion_exchange_protein_wpi_3kg_powder_shop_new_zealand_co_nz_smI was looking at different protein powders the other day, and saw a lot of terms that went over my head.  Can you help me out and at least tell me if I should even bother paying attention to some of these?

    Here are ones I wrote down:  “ion-exchanged”, “microfiltered”, “hydrolized”.

    Thank you.  Not only for answering this question, but for your blog.  I have learned a lot just by visiting your site!

    — Richard (last name withheld)
    San Jose, CA

    As if the cereal and bread aisles weren’t bad enough, protein powder shopping also involves sorting through a variety of fancy-sounding claims.  Let’s break them down:

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    Who Said It?

    QuestionMark-300x2991“Cranberry juice works on cellulite because … the flavonoids in the fruit improve the strength and integrity of connective tissue and help keep your lymphatic system working smoothly.”

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Friday for the answer — and my particular issues with this statement!

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