In the old cowboy Westerns, you could always tell the good guy from the bad guy by his white button-down shirt. Recently, a similar guideline has been applied to many of the foods that we once enjoyed. This time though, the new "bad guy" in town, an alleged less-nutritious option, now wears white: white bread, white pasta and white sugar. In reality, it takes more than a glance at a food’s color to determine whether something is inherently healthier.
Carolyn O'Neil is a registered dietitian, author, writer, television personality, speaker, nutrition communications consultant and award-winning journalist.
What color are your favorite fruits and vegetables? Take our latest poll?
Recently, Best Food Facts received a reader question asking, "Is tilapia safe to eat? I've heard that it's often farm raised in countries where there are no guidelines, and they are essentially raised in waste and pumped full of antibiotics."
To answer this question and learn more about tilapia, we reached out to Kevin Fitzsimmons, PhD, Professor, Extension Specialist & Research Scientist at the University of Arizona
Exercise is good for everyone! How much exercise should we be doing? What about nutrition before, during and after exercise?
Unless your shopping trip to the grocery store is limited to the far perimeter aisles, there is a good chance your diet contains some form of processed food. Processed foods are defined as, “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to washing, cleaning, milling, cutting, chopping, heating, pasteurizing, blanching, cooking, canning, freezing, drying, dehydrating, mixing, packing or other procedures that alter the food from its natural state,” according to the International Food Information Council. Whew, that’s a lot of qualifiers! Processed foods can also include added preservatives, flavors, nutrients or other food substances.
Best Food Facts wants you to get to know their experts! Dr. Barbra Klein is the Professor Emerita of Foods & Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
There’s little doubt that fresh fruit and vegetables from roadside stands and farmers markets during prime growing seasons can be a feel good purchase for many consumers, especially when you think about all of the fresh flavors and in-season goodness that you’re about to consume. While fresh foods are always a treat for the senses, be careful to avoid making the assumption that that in-season produce is more “fresh” and therefore nutritionally superior to fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen.
Having talked to many experts about food processing, we know that the use of chemicals keep food safe for consumers.
Two articles in the Washington Post have examined the use of chemicals, or processing aids as the industry calls them, in poultry processing plants. The first article explains that visibly contaminated chicken carcasses are being treated during regular processing instead of being removed from the line for treatment elsewhere in the plant. This, the article states, allows a plant’s line speed to move faster but plant employees and government inspectors are experiencing health problems from inhaling these processing aids.
The second article discusses the potential lack of effectiveness of those processing aids and how the test results obtained by both the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the industry may be artificially low and are not indicative of what is really on the birds.
To find out what's really going on, we enlisted Dr. John Marcy, professor and poultry processing specialist at the University of Arkansas, to find out more about this issue.
The USDA's new Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards attempt to balance science-based nutrition guidelines with practical and flexible solutions to promote healthier eating for students. The proposed standards were introduced earlier this summer and are scheduled to take effect for the 2014-2015 school year. Are the standards reasonable? How will students react to them? We went to Lauren Headrick of the University of Florida, a registered dietitian and statewide coordinator of the Florida Farm to School program, for some insight.
Summer is coming to an end - so get your ice cream fix now. And while you're at it, check out this video on how ice cream treats come into their deliciousness!
Have you ever heard that you can freeze olive oil to see if it's real? Recently, we received a reader question asking “Should all olive oil freeze (or harden) in the refrigerator? A comment was made on the Dr. Oz show stating that, if it does not freeze, it has been altered. My extra virgin oil stayed liquid in the refrigerator.”