Health Canada came up with what nutritionists and dietitians regards as a "better indication of the nutrient values of foods".
The new proposed nutrition facts panels are consumer friendly- educating consumer what to be expected of the daily nutrient value. 5% DV is regarded as little and 15% DV or more is a lot. As a consumer, it is a lot simpler for me to compare nutrient value when I know less than 5% is considered less and more than 15% is consider more.
One of the "interesting" topic now is the added sugar. The difference between added sugar and natural sugar is that added sugar is added during processing. Food processors uses different sources of sugar to cater to their marketing needs. While many uses processed sugars, some food processors who market food as natural do uses alternative sugars from fruits such as date paste, honey etc. From a consumer point of view, to be able to know what contribute to the sugar level meant being able to choose natural source of sugars.
If this proposal were to be approved, it meant food processors do not only spend money to comply for the new label regulations but it opens up formulation transparency to all the consumers. Some food processors might even need to come up with consumer's friendly formulation to cater for the rising demand for less added sugars.
Food such as milk chocolate, yogurt, juices and drinks would be the obvious products when it comes to added sugar. Would this boost up the use of sweeteners or sugar substitute to lower a formulation's added sugar?
Nutrients are not distributed equally across every foods. There is no foods that are made equal; that is what I called as genetic diversity.
Three common nutrient deficiencies that of concern are probably calcium, vitamin A and iron.
Our body internal bank. Calcium are important minerals that our body needs to strengthen bones and teeth. Calcium is also known as important signalling agents for nerve and muscle action. Calcium are absorbed into our body and deposited into the calcium bank. Most people do not realized that calcium is also need to regulate the body pH. For example, eating high acid food such as proteins and fatty acids would leach calcium out of bones, causing brittle bones.
Tip 1: High protein diet can cause calcium leach. Consume more calcium with high protein diet.
Calcium can be found mostly in dairy products such as cheese and milks. Calcium can also be found as fortified food to enhance calcium intake and storage.
Tip 2: Exercise help compact calcium into the bones.
Tip 3: Take calcium supplement suitable for you if you can not get them from food.
Common vitamin A sources are beef, liver, egg, shrimp, carrot, pumpkin, squash, spinach and mangoes.
There are distinct evidence that plant source vitamin A in the form of beta carotene are less effective compared to retinoid form of vitamin A found in animals product. Vitamin A deficiencies can bring night blindness and poor light adaptation. Vitamin A are also known to protect against cancer.
Vitamin A deficiencies can occur to vegetarian and vegan that are solely dependent on plant source to obtain their vitamin A.
Tip: Supplementation can help increase vitamin A. However, often supplementation leads to vitamin A overdose. Your skin can turn yellow if you have too much vitamin A. The condition is reversible by reducing your vitamin A intake.
Iron helps build our red blood cells and help them carry the oxygen throughout the body. Iron often are found in red meat, poultry and green vegetables such as spinach.
Similar to vitamin A, plant source iron are not readily usable by our bodies compared to animal source.
Tip 1: Our body can only use what it absorb. Vegetarian or vegan may opt to consume twice as much of the iron they need. Using iron based cooking pots can help increase the amount of iron consumption.
Tip 2: Women requires more iron (18mg) compared to men (10mg) because of the menstruation.
Tip 3: Excess iron intake (especially from supplementation) can be stored in our bodies cells and can be toxic.
My everyday life is filled with food and nutrition. The month of March is not the only month that nutrition matters to me but I know for several others that need reminders of how nutrition affects health do.
Our food world are not perfect and often. is confusing. More isn't better especially when our food consumers are traumatized with the exposure of food fraud, not understanding the purpose of food ingredients and rising concern for GMO foods.
Discovery that nutrients aids healthy body happened since ancient. There is ancient history, further scientific development to tell us what food is good for us. Every now and then, new food products appear in the market, seeking for consumer trust and acknowledgement while some food products slowly go out from the grocery shelves.
This nutrition month, I ask you to reflect on how nutrition originated and how well it is practiced by our community.
Food origins and what is in our food are actively being discussed. However, at the same time, we failed to focus on something more distinct such as eating disorder.
Eating disorder ranges from compulsive eating to intense starvation and are non-related to food availability or food processing issues that we used to see. It is a complex physiological and emotional state that causes one to starve or compulsively eat. Eating disorders include
These are few of the new terms towards eating disorder:
Many of us are not alert about the presence of eating disorder and moreover, to point it out for our friends and families. It is consider a lifestyle choices for a person on the amount of food they like to eat. It is rather an eating disorder that only works if the person themselves aware and seek for help. That is why I urge everyone to share this articles to everyone so that at the very least, our friends and families are aware of this.
I never really understand how habits are repeated that it became an eating disorder until I decided to read and write on eating disorder. There were strong desire for gain attention from others - through extreme starvation and extreme eating, that turns into a habit, that is extremely hard to change. The story of how starvation turns into extreme eating (aneroxia nervosa into bulimia nervosa). Patients take years to recover and some can't completely recover. It takes time, efforts and determination to walk out of eating disorder and they need our support.
Eating Disorder. Alive.com. Retrieved from http://www.alive.com/articles/view/23751/eating_disorders
Love are commercial trade items. And so does, Valentine's Day. It is a day where the sales of flowers and chocolate spike under disguise of appreciating your other half.
In the mall, you see special Valentine's packages. In the cafe and restaurant, you see Valentine's set. You see the bulkiest flowers that is not visible any other times during Valentine's. And the love shaped items came out into the shelves from no where.
And, what is the best for me? It is the love/heart shaped food items. Cucumbers are grown to meet the love shaped requirement. Fruits are cut using mold to mimic the love shape and more products are sold in heart shape.
Is this a way for the global market to shape their love to us -by providing products that help couples celebrate this day? Or is it a meaningful DIY ideas for Valentine's?