Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Latest Nutrition News

Hi everyone! How is your weekend so far? It's still raining here, but it's finally supposed to stop tomorrow. Oh, and it will be 85 degrees. What?! This weather is crazy. You should see my hair from all of this humidity.....

I received this question on my blog yesterday;
I find it interesting that you like Splenda. I've heard bad things about it, how its made, and I am unsure of the effects of it on my body. I'd be curious to hear your take on splenda in general...personally I feel that its no less harmful than Equal, Sweet n Low, etc. I try not to use it, but I'm no scientist or nutritionist, and I don't even know if any of this is really true. Thoughts?

My thoughts: I actually met the (brilliant) man who helped invent Splenda. He was one of my preceptors during my dietetic internships! He was one of the smartest and men I've ever met, and he was very careful about what he put in his body. I asked him about Splenda and whether it was bad for us, and obviously he said, "NO WAY!". I don't just take his word for it, obviously, but with Splenda and all sweeteners, I use my motto of "Everything in moderation". Splenda is ok as long as you don't use a ton of it everyday (I say 4-5 packets max). ANYTHING can be bad for you in high doses, even calcium, beans, fruit, etc.! This is why I use multiple different kinds of sweeteners, so I won't allow one to do harm to my body. I don't know much about the science behind Splenda, but I trust it for me, and for others.

Today's post is filled some of the latest nutrition and health information presented by The American Dietetic Association's ADA Times Magazine!

- A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects who drank coffee with their lunch (regular or decaf, with or without sugar) were 1/3 less likely to develop diabetes than those who did not drink coffee.

- Remember my rant about America's Toxic Food environment? I talked a bit about how "healthier" fast foods always cost more. One study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that weight and diabetes risk decreased in the communities where fast food prices were increased. This same study also showed that the reverse was true; when fast food prices decreased, residents' weights and diabetes risk were greater! It's pretty obvious that the reason why the unhealthy foods are sold for cheaper prices is because they cost less for the company, right? But maybe if fast food restaurants increased the price of their "not so healthy" options, rather than decreasing the price of their healthier options (which would cause them to lose money) more people would buy the healthier options. Wishful thinking? Probably.

- Do you have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in your family? One study showed that pregnant women who drank a lot of milk, or other foods with high vitamin D, during their pregnancy reduced their child's chances of developing MS as an adult. Let's face it, vitamin D is the miracle vitamin!

- Have colon cancer in your family? I do. This interested me. The Journal of Nutrition published a study done on Japanese men and women and found those who consumed at least 327 mg of magnesium per day were 52 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who consumed less than 238 mg per day. It wasn't disclosed whether this was in food or supplement form, but I think it was in the form of food (always the best idea anyway). In a previous post I said not to take more than 350 mg of magnesium via supplements, so be careful when purchasing magnesium supplements.

Source of magnesium:
Nuts, seeds, soybeans, quinoa, walnuts, tomatoes, beans, oats, fortified foods, tomatoes, seaweed, tempeh

Another great way to reduce your risk of colon cancer is to eat your broccoli!

Coming Up
On Monday I will post some of the latest food trends and industry news, once again found in the ADA Times Magazine. Are you are RD, or planning on becoming one soon? Joining the American Dietetic Association is worth the price :)

Next week I plan on posting some videos, just as a test-run of sorts. I need to know if they take forever to load on your computers, and whether or not you can see them. They are fun, and very easy to create, but take forever to load!

Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great weekend!


  1. I'm so jealous you met the man that helped invent Splenda Gina. That's impressive. I catch a lot of flack about using the stuff, but I'm like you...everything in moderation. Now a year ago, I used 15 packs a day! Ridiculous. I'm down to 2-4. Hope you're having a beautiful Saturday!

  2. the food trends post is going to be SO INTERESTING! im really excited to see it, looking forward to it!!

    i know exactly what ur saying about splenda and those are my thoughts exactly. i have it maybe once or twice a week in moderation. .and its never affected me in any negative ways. thanks for sharing with us, and thanks too for making me feel more secure about my choice to use it in small quantities! <3

  3. Once again, a very informative post!
    I only use splenda (unless im baking then I usually use the real stuff..)and i totally agree with you about moderation. There's no reason to dump 6 packets of Splenda into your coffee anyway, cause then your not even drinking coffee! You might as well just go get a glass of juice lol.
    Can't wait for your next post!!

  4. Another great post full of important information! Thanks so much!

    personally, if I'm making it, I don't use any sweeteners, or if I do, it's on a very rare occassion or when I'm making granola.

    On fast food - I always think it's annoying to see commercials for fast food joints who put their biggest burgers on special. I wonder how often their execs eat their food!

  5. Gina, I quite agree with you ..that everything in moderation is the way to go. Although I don't use sweeteners at all..but I guess as long as its not a ton of it everyday..should be fine.

  6. oooooh splenda <3 hahaha you KNOW i can't deny my love for it!

    fast food though? never ever for me. just because it's not worth the 2 hours i'll spend on the john afterwards ;)

  7. Just got my new ADA membership card in the mail. I also just did my new 5 years portfolio plan. I LOVED that I could import my old plan, and edit as needed. It saved so much time not having to type out all my goals and search for all the codes again.

    Thanks for all the updates. I have always found the vit D and MS link to be so interesting. The further form the equator, the higher the MS risk, and technically the higher the rates.

  8. Interesting coffee study. I don't drink coffee everyday because I don't want to get addicted to the caffeine. However, I have heard a lot about its health benefits, and really do enjoy the taste! As for Splenda, I've heard a lot of negative research and try to stick with the more natural sweeteners. That's cool that you got to meet one of the inventors!

  9. Splenda? I use it often, but I plan on finishing the Splenda that I already have, and then I'll switch over to stevia. I can't tell the difference, but I think stevia sounds healthier.

  10. I work with a woman who is hell bent NOT to eat splenda and tells me how bad it is every time she sees me put a packet in my coffee - love your explanation!

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  11. Wow, that's cool that you met one of the founders of Splenda. I personally use it too...and I also use Equal, Nutrasweet, sweet and Low...but I don't eat much sweet stuff. I only use them for my coffee, so I figure it's okay.

  12. Great info! Do you think the one about drinking coffee at lunch had an impact while eating, or why was the lunch part mentioned with it?

  13. I just came across your blog and it's so insightful I absolutely love it!

    Enjoy your Sunday!


  14. I really love the way you answer reader's questions. Your answers are intelligent and thought out.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  15. I have a followup question on splenda/sugar. I completely agree that foods should be consumed in moderation so if you (not YOU per se but people) make a point to limit intake, is using a sugar substitute really better than real sugar? I like to add some sweetness to my coffee and I go back and forth between using real sugar or the other substitute that is offered (not sure what it is, it's not splenda though). I don't use a lot so sometimes I think why not just use real sugar because it doesn't have the chemical processing that other alternatives might. I don't know, just interested in your opinion on that.

  16. You met the person who invented splenda? Please give him a huge hug for me know how much I HEART it lol

  17. That is so cool that you know the splenda inventor! I would be happy to bring my consumption down to 4-5 packs a day. I think I am going to cut sweeteners out completely so that I am satisfied with a more normal amount than I have right now (more than 5 packs per cup of tea/coffee/yogurt- it adds up!)

  18. I use less than one packet a day, but when I bake, which is not often anyways, I use just plain white sugar and eat in moderation...
    I love ADA times!
    Will be waiting for your videos. Im thinking of doing some since I'll be serving as my state's (Virginia) media/PR chairperson

  19. I really like your attitude towards sweeteners - in moderation and not too much of any one. I don't add Splenda to anything, but I know that it's in a few things I eat. As I don't eat many processed foods (that's how I consume some), I don't worry too much.

    I think one of the big problems when it comes to food is that we have such a tendency to label things as "good" or "bad." As you point out, too much of pretty much anything can be bad. I think as long as we eat mainly unprocessed foods and a wide variety of foods, we'll be okay.

    Have a great week, Gina!

  20. That's so cool you met one of the splenda inventors! And I think 'everything in moderation' is a good general rule for all foods, like you said :)

  21. Man, vitamin D gets more impressive every day! I'm glad it's the season of Vitamin D- I have been making sure my kindergarten kids and I get a lot of it every day!

  22. I agree with your opinion on Splenda. Consumed recklessly, it probably isn't such a great idea. In moderation, I think it's ok. I don't use it for baking or anything though...I don't really like the taste!

    ADA sent me a notice that I've exceeded the number of allowed years for student membership...meaning I have to buy the super expensive one now!

  23. I feel the same way about Splenda. I don't pile it on everything, but I do use it periodically in moderation.