Just the facts. From the experts.
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Why has there been an increase in food allergies?

6/29/2015

According to Dr. Stephen Taylor, no one knows the exact answer to why the prevalence of food allergies is increasing. He doubts any experts would hypothesize that chemicals used in food production play a role in the prevalence of food allergies. He explains other theories that seem much more plausible, but have not been proven, like cleanliness, c-section births and avoidance of specific foods.

Trans Fats: FDA Sets Deadline

6/19/2015

The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized its determination that artificial trans fats are not “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, for use in human food. Best Food Facts Registered Dietitian Sarah Downs breaks down this ruling and what it means for the food system.

Wait...What's In A Hot Dog?

4/7/2015

Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs! Baseball season brings with it home runs, stolen bases, and...hot dogs! These wonderful meaty links remain fans’ favorite ballpark treat, and fans are expected to douse more than 20 million of them with ketchup, mustard, relish and other fixings this season!

As you’re enjoying that juicy ballpark frank, do you wonder how it's made? To learn more about the process, we reached out to Janeal Yancey, PhD, Meat Science, Animal Science Department, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, and blogger at Mom at the Meat Counter. Not only is Dr. Yancey an expert in meat science, but she also used to work at a hot dog plant and has first-hand experience of how they’re made!

What You Should Know about Titanium Dioxide

4/2/2015

Dunkin' Donuts announced it is removing titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar donuts, but is titanium dioxide actually harmful?

Bulletproof Coffee Explained

3/2/2015

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you've probably heard of Bulletproof coffee. What is it? A coffee drink made up of coffee, butter, and medium-chain triglyceride oil, Bulletproof coffee is meant to replace breakfast. Created by Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof coffee cult has grown fast and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Are Our Kids Overdosing on Salt?

2/23/2015

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates roughly seven in 10 toddler meals contain excess levels of sodium, and most snacks, breakfast pastries and cereal bars for infants and toddlers have extra sugars. What's a parent to do?

Splashing into a Milk Mystery

2/6/2015

Curious about the levels of estrogen in different types of milk? Is it safe for you? We recently received a question concerning the levels of estrogen in dairy milk and dairy milk products, so we reached out to Judy Barbe, MS, RDN, a food and nutrition consultant and founder of LiveBest.

What is BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene)?

2/6/2015

Late last year the Environmental Working Group released its Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives. The guide aims to highlight some of what it claims are the worst failures of the regulatory system by covering ingredients associated with serious health concerns, additives banned or restricted in other countries and other substances that it feels shouldn’t be in food. Two of the additives on the list are butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and its chemical cousin butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). To learn more about BHT and BHA, we reached out to expert Sean O’Keefe, PhD, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Try This Substitution for Healthier Brownies

2/5/2015

Got a sweet tooth? Try this tip for healthier brownies from Hy-Vee's Allison Yoder, MS, RD, LD. You'll get all of the deliciousness without sacrificing taste!

Treat Yourself: The Health Benefits of Chocolate

2/2/2015

With Valentine's Day approaching, there's one thing we just can't get off our minds: chocolate! This decadent treat makes an appearance at most major (and even minor) holidays, but it's on February 14 when it truly shines. In honor of this sweet day, we wanted to treat you with some facts that just might have you reaching for another piece of chocolate (everything in moderation, right?).

What Is the Best Way to Cook Rice?

1/13/2015

We recently received a question from a reader asking about the best way to cook rice. In order to better understand what the best method might be, we reached out to experts Guy Crosby, PhD, and Ruth MacDonald, PhD, RD, for more information about this versatile grain and the different varieties.

Is Propylene Glycol Safe?

12/15/2014

Recently, the ingredient propylene glycol has been in the news. We learned about this ingredient from Dr. Sean O'Keefe in a previous Best Food Facts post. Dr. O'Keefe said proplyene glycol is a colorless liquid that posesses a slight sweet taste. It's not antifreeze. Propylene glycol is classified by the FDA as GRAS, generally regarded as safe. Since propylene glycol is a GRAS compound, it is safe to use in foods.   

We had some more questions about propylene glycol, so we reached out to Dr. O'Keefe for more information.

Healthy Food Trends

Are you stuck in a food rut, resorting to the same foods and recipes over and over again? Here are some new ideas using some of the latest food trends from Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD and Best Food Facts nutrition advisor!

Are Organic Foods Worth the Extra Cost?

12/9/2014

The choice between organic and conventional foods has always been a hot topic for individuals striving to live a healthy lifestyle. One limiting factor for some is the cost of organic food, and Best Food Facts recently received a question on whether organic food is worth the extra cost. We let our experts weigh in. Many of us choose organic foods because they are nutritious and delicious, but whether they're healthier than conventionally-grown foods is a matter of debate. Certainly there's much to explore, so we sought out the professional opinions of several experts to get the whole story.  

Taking a Closer Look: Food Daily Values

12/4/2014

How do you depict the difference between too much and not enough? We recently received a question asking what contents on a food label are considered unhealthy and in what amounts. Alice Henneman, MS, RDN and Extension Educator, provided some insight.

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