Friday, November 15th, 2013
An Australian woman who is blogging about her lifestyle during pregnancy is stirring up major debate because of her “healthy” eating plan that many are calling extreme. More from The Huffington Post:
Loni Jane Anthony, a 25-year-old Australian woman who is 26 weeks pregnant, made headlines after giving an interview to News.com.au about her atypical diet, part of which includes a morning meal of 10 bananas.
The nutrition plan is called the 80:10:10 Diet, which is 80 percent carbs, 10 percent fat and 10 percent protein. It was founded by Dr. Douglas Graham, a raw foodist who doesn’t associate the plan with fruitarianism.
Anthony, who claimed to have had health problems in the past because of her poor diet, told News.com.au that transforming her eating habits about three years ago saved her life. Now, her average day starts with warm lemon water in the morning, followed by either half a watermelon, a banana smoothie or whole oranges, then five or six mangos for lunch and a large salad for dinner. She said she has an alcoholic drink once every five months….
But the young mom-to-be’s diet has some raising their eyebrows and wondering if the meal plan is healthy for her unborn child.
“I feel uncomfortable with Loni’s ‘transformation’ because it doesn’t sound safe for her baby,” blogger Ami Angelowicz of The Frisky wrote. “I’m not a doctor, of course, but common sense and the little knowledge I have about nutrition tells me that you have to consume more than bananas and mangoes each day when you’re eating for two. I really try not to concern myself with what other people eat (or how much CrossFit they do), but it seems irresponsible to glorify the extreme fruitarian lifestyle for pregnant women.”
A commenter questioned if her banana intake could lead to hyperkalemia, or high potassium in the blood. Information from the Mayo Clinic on the condition, however, does not suggest it would.
Others, like Mommyish blogger Eva Vawter, doesn’t think Anthony’s diet is anyone’s business. Vawter wrote that even if the 6-month-pregnant woman “ate 90 bags of Cheetos and had an IV of Mountain Dew hooked into her vein” it still wouldn’t be anyone’s business.
The Mayo Clinc advises pregnant women to maintain a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. It also says that nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein and iron are important during pregnancy. These can be obtained via foods like spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils and poultry.
Could you be pregnant? Take our quiz and find out! We’ve planned your week of pregnancy meals (and snacks).
Image: Mound of bananas, via Shutterstock
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Friday, September 20th, 2013
Government-subsidized food assistance programs aimed at families, specifically the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), started offering more whole grain options, including whole wheat bread and brown rice, in 2009. A new study by researchers at Yale University has concluded that the changes have positively impacted the eating habits of the families who use WIC services. More from Time.com:
Before the changes, breakfast cereals were the only grains offered to these women. But after 2009, WIC food packages included whole wheat bread, and 50% of WIC cereals contained whole grains. WIC-authorized stores were also required to carry whole wheat bread and cereal on their shelves.
Did the changes help consumers to include more whole grains in their diet? Researchers from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity studied bread and rice purchases made at a WIC participating supermarket chain in New England for two years, and reported their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. They found that prior to the WIC changes, most food assistance purchases included white bread and white rice. But after the revisions, the amount of 100% whole wheat bread purchases tripled and brown rice purchases rose by 30%.
By providing more whole grain options, the researchers say, WIC officials were able to meet their goal of increasing whole grain consumption among those relying on food assistance programs.
Image: Whole grain bread, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Chobani yogurts remain on the menus at schools in 4 states that are launching a healthy eating pilot program, even after discovery of possible mold contamination prompted a nationwide recall of some of the Greek yogurt company’s products. More from NBC News:
Some 230 New York school districts have ordered more than 3,300 cases of Chobani products, while Idaho schools have requested more than 3,400 cases, school officials said.
Those states, along with Arizona and Tennessee, are part of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot project to test the use of Greek-style yogurt as a healthy, high-protein addition to the National School Lunch Program.
The yogurt set for schools isn’t affected by the Sept. 5 Chobani recall, state and federal officials said. It won’t arrive for another couple of weeks and it’s being made in the firm’s New York plant, not the Twin Falls, Idaho, site where company officials detected mold after receiving consumer reports of bubbling, bulging cartons of yogurt. At least 223 complaints of illness tied to the recalled yogurt have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration, though they haven’t been confirmed.
“USDA is aware of the situation and will work with the company to ensure products delivered to schools are healthy and safe,” said agency spokeswoman Brooke Hardison.
Image: Elementary school cafeteria, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
As part of a campaign to combat childhood obesity in New York City, two area hospitals have begun a pilot program that involves sending kids home from exams with prescriptions for fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices. More from Time.com:
Pediatricians at Lincoln Medical Center and Harlem Hospital are sending young children who visit the hospital for obesity treatment home with prescriptions to eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables each day. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx), a four month pilot program, allows the patients with prescriptions to get coupons for fresh produce at farmers markets and the city’s green carts.
With more pediatricians treating kids for diseases formerly only seen in adults, some hospitals, feeling pressure to address one of the leading causes of health problems in their communities, are taking the lead in finding better ways to encourage children to eat better and exercise more.
Image: Tomatoes, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
A new study suggests that women who consume higher levels of healthy fats during pregnancy may reduce their child’s risk of having autism. Researchers are unsure of the reasoning behind the link; however, they do know that these particular fatty acids have been shown to be important for brain development of the fetus. More from Yahoo! News:
In the study, which was published online June 27 in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who consumed high levels of linoleic acid — a type of omega-6 fatty acid found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds — were 34 percent less likely to give birth to a child with autism compared with women who consumed low levels of the nutrient.
In addition, women who consumed very low levels of omega-3 fatty acids — which are found in fish — were 53 percent more likely to have a child with autism compared with women who consumed average amounts.
The March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women consume about 200 milligrams (0.007 ounces) of the omega-3 fatty acid Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day. (One 5-ounce serving of salmon provides about 2,100 mg of DHA, so one serving weekly means a person’s daily intake would average 300 milligrams.) Though mercury in fish is a concern during pregnancy, fish such as salmon, herring and sardines tend to be low in mercury, and pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces per week, the March of Dimes says. Nuts and vegetable oils (e.g., canola oil, soybean oil and olive oil) can also be good sources of healthy fatty acids.
Image: Pregnant woman feeling the baby via Shutterstock
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