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Food Insight Blog

Shedding light on the science behind nutrition and food safety.

By: Kerry Robinson, RD   Date: 11/25/09

We all cringe getting on the scale the day after Thanksgiving—but the good news is there are several strategies to avoid that post-holiday feeling of defeat.  Taking a break for the holiday to spend time with friends and family doesn’t mean you have to take a break from your healthful lifestyle. Here are some quick tips to keep those calories in check, while allowing some room for your favorite holiday treats:

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD   Date: 11/24/09

With just a few days away from Thanksgiving, what better time to look at some of the benefits that are served up in some of the traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving foods that may be served at a house near you.

Growing up, my mom and dad always put the utmost care in preparing our family’s traditional Thanksgiving meal. We always had sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, turkey and gravy, ambrosia, and green bean casserole. While my home is in Washington, DC, I have been spending the past few Thanksgivings in Long Island, New York with my husband and his Persian family. The turkey and sweet potatoes still make an appearance at their Thanksgiving table, but the side dishes, which are prepared and served with love and care, are something of another world.

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 11/23/09

Have you ever wondered how and how long to thaw your frozen turkey?  Or perhaps you’re more concerned what the proper temperature is for the turkey?  Or maybe you just want to know how long you can hold on to those leftovers?  Luckily there are several online resources available to help you with those important food safety questions.

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By: Brian Wansink, PhD   Date: 11/20/09
John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and Nutritional Science and Director, Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University

Today, I participated in a Webinar provided by the International Food Information Council Foundation that focused on “Reversing Mindless Eating over the Holidays.”  The Webinar, video, and related resources associated with this blog have a number of useful, easy, “mindless” ideas on how to eat less and eat better over the holidays.  Most of them are from studies we've done in the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and can be found in my book, Mindless Eating.  Yet, something makes me a bit uncomfortable when people ask me for tips on how to eat less on Thanksgiving Day, in particular.

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As the holidays approach so do the celebrations, cookies and cocktails that make seasonal indulgence almost irresistable.  So how do you avoid gaining weight?  Check out some tips from Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of the best selling book, Mindless Eating:

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Note: This is our second post in conjunction with National Diabetes MonthClick here for our post on the benefits of Low Calorie Sweeteners for diabetics.

By: Michelle Ronholm   Date: 11/18/09

I was sitting at my desk, 28 weeks pregnant, when the nurse-midwife at my doctor’s office called. “Michelle, you have gestational diabetes.”
I stopped eating the sesame bagel with lots of cream cheese that I had so energetically unwrapped just moments before. Now what was I supposed to do?

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By: Jennifer Schleman   Date: 11/16/09

As temperatures fall as quickly as the leaves from the trees, you might be wondering how you can heat things up in the morning. A hot breakfast does not always have to be bacon and eggs or pancakes. Breakfast can also be a good time to get a jump start on eating right by adding in to the mix some of the MyPyramid food groups to encourage, including whole grains, fruits and veggies and low-fat or fat-free dairy.
Whether creating a morning meal for one or for a family, here are some hot breakfast ideas:

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By: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RD   Date: 11/13/2009

Despite getting an extra hour of sleep, most of us do not look forward to the time of year when the clocks turn back and it starts getting darker earlier.  Without us even realizing it, the time change can also lead to a gradual change in our routine.  And if you have been exercising even somewhat consistently during the spring and summer, you may find it challenging to keep up your workouts during the fall and winter with the cooler weather and fleeting sunlight in the evenings. 

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 11/12/09

Vitamin D is a hot topic in the news these days. I have been intrigued by all its potential health benefits receiving coverage in the media, concerned by the reports of deficiencies and potential health risks, and confused by the variance of intake recommendations.  It led me to wonder, what’s the deal with vitamin D? 
Before we dive into the recommendations and health benefits, first let’s explain the "ABC"s of Vitamin D:

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By: Lindsey Loving  Date: 11/11/09

November is American Diabetes Month, and since nutrition plays an important role for people with diabetes, we thought this would be a great opportunity to blog about nutrition insights and tips for people with diabetes.
Consuming high amounts of carbohydrates can cause unhealthy blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes, and, while this doesn’t mean they should avoid carbohydrates (or carbs), altogether, it is important that they carefully control their carb intake.
Many foods high in sugar are also high in carbs, which may lead people with diabetes to cut out sweets and desserts from their diets. However, experts agree that people with diabetes need not avoid their favorite sweet treats. Rather, they should enjoy them in moderation. And, for those seeking to satisfy a sweet tooth without taxing their total carb allotment, low-calorie sweeteners are a sweet solution.  

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By: Michelle Ronholm   Date: 11/9/09

I put my son on a diet today. He's a healthy weight five year-old who’s very physically active. (And I mean very physically active.) So why is he on a diet? Because today he has an upset stomach. And when that happens, I immediately put him on the BRAT diet.

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By: Ann Bouchoux   Date: 11/6/09

The last two days have been big ones in the nutrition world, as the committee responsible for determining the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans met to discuss their progress evaluating the research and graded the evidence that will go into new Guidelines.

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By: Tony Flood   Date: 11/5/09

Last week, my good friend Dr. Regina Benjamin was confirmed as the next Surgeon General of the U.S.  It means a lot to me to share my perspective on an individual that is close and dear to me – just like a family member or even a sister.   What an unbelievable honor to be bestowed on an individual who for so many reasons is perhaps the most ideal person for that position.

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By: Ann Bouchoux   Date: 11/4/09

Over the next couple of days nutrition experts around the country are meeting to discuss the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansFor those of us in the nutrition world, the Dietary Guidelines is a big deal document.  The Guidelines not only provides recommendations based on current scientific knowledge about how a healthful diet may improve nutritional status,  it also serves as the basis for policy changes pertaining to school food, WIC programs, and countless other national, state, and local legislative decisions.  Dietitians look to the Dietary Guidelines for scientifically sound ways to help patients and clients build more healthful diets on an individual basis.

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By: Tony Flood   Date: 11/3/09

Yes we can. In fact, Bisphenol A or BPA is found in a number of household items such as cell phones, computers, household appliances, and flooring. BPA is also used in the manufacture of plastic water bottles, infant bottles, tableware, and reusable containers for food and beverage and as a component of epoxy-resins found in the inner lining of canned goods. BPA-containing plastics are used because they are heat resistant and durable. 

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By: Kerry Robinson, RD   Date: 11/2/09
While many people associate food ingredients such as sweeteners, food colors, and caffeine with foods consumed on a special occasion, such as candy on Halloween or cupcakes at a friend’s birthday party, they are in fact a part of most people’s everyday diets. Yet, despite their use in foods and beverages for many years, myths persist regarding their safety and effects on specific aspects of health. 
So what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to these ingredients? Leading food science and nutrition experts provided insights on the science and whether there is any truth behind common myths at a recent briefing:

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By: Sarah Alligood, MPH, RD   Date: 10/30/09

Note: This is the final post in our series looking at some key takeaways from last week's American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo by International Food Information Council Foundation staff members who attended. For more see our previous posts on sustainability and nutrition vs. exercise for weight loss

I had the pleasure of attending last week’s American Dietetic Association (ADA) Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Denver, CO. Not only was the weather AMAZING, but I really got a lot out of the educational sessions I attended too.

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By: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RD   Date: 10/30/09

As the holidays are approaching so does the array of delicious sweets that make seasonal indulgence acceptable. However, along with that includes the dreaded 5lbs we always seem to accumulate. 

Make this holiday not about the candy but the enjoyable time you can spend making memories and having fun together.

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD  Date: 10/29/09

Note: Over the next few days we'll look back at some key takeaways from last week's American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo by International Food Information Council Foundation staff members who attended. Check out a previous post on sustainability, another key takeaway from this conference.

I love to run and a year ago I bought a t-shirt that says, “1 tasty cupcake = 3.1 miles.” This shirt spoke to me because I love food, and as a registered dietitian I know the importance of energy balance. The need to modify the amount of tasty treats I eat  throughout the day if I’m not going to hit the pavement, the gym, or participate in any other activity that gets me up, moving and sweating.



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By: Kerry Robinson, RD  Date: 10/27/09

Note: Over the next few days we'll look back at some key takeaways from last week's American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo by International Food Information Council Foundation staff members who attended.

If you follow any type of food and health news, you’ll see numerous headlines dedicated to sustainability, but are people really engaged in this issue?  IFIC’s own consumer research suggests that while the overall awareness of sustainable food production has not climbed significantly in the past few years, when provided with a brief definition of what sustainable food production entails, the majority of Americans find the concept to be important.

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