What 8 Best Picture Noms Have to Do with Your Plate

Oscar buzz has us talking in the office. When we heard the nominees for “Best Picture” our nutritional hearing may have defaulted. It looks like we misheard some of the potential winning titles. Did you say…


American Snapper

Okay, okay, so American Sniper might not be about a fish, but we like to talk seafood at every opportunity. Why should we eat seafood? And how often?

Seafood is a good source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. You didn’t misread that; you can still eat fat and look great on the red carpet! Omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD) and even lower blood pressure. We know what we’re ordering at the after party. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week. Make your servings about 3.5 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards.



 “Curds” are from the coagulation of milk. They come from the initial step in producing cheese. Curd is part of dairy and has many benefits, despite its association with a certain Miss Muffet. Dairy products are chock-full of important vitamins and minerals. Calcium is the star in this production with bone health benefits and reduced osteoporosis risk. The supporting actors in dairy products are potassium and vitamin D.  Along with calcium, these stars help maintain low blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Remember, incorporating three cups of dairy daily doesn’t have to mean milk with every meal. Jazz up your afternoon snack with yogurt and fresh fruit or experiment with different cheeses on your sandwich.


The Imitation Grain

Critics say grains are producing the most Oscar-worthy buzz, and I would agree. Grains have definitely stolen the show this past year including the popular “ancient” grains. Ancient grains are grown from cereal grass. The most common grain nominees include wheat, corn, and oats. But this year, ancient grains like spelt, kamut, and triticale might take home the gold. “Pseudo grains” such as amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are making a cameo appearance.

The paparazzi has been chasing ancient grains due to their nutritional content and health benefits. Their gorgeous appearance is just a bonus (no photoshop necessary!). Ancient grains look unique and have unique nutrients, often with high fiber and protein.


Selma-nella (Salmonella)

Salmonella is the lead antagonist in food poisoning. This villain comes from a bacterium transmitted through the food we eat.  If contracted, salmonella can stay in your system for up to seven days. It brings diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps and no one wants to show up to the Oscars non-camera ready. In addition to your hair, makeup, and spray tan appointments, make sure you cook everything you eat thoroughly. Practicing good hand hygiene is always important, especially when dealing with raw meat or poultry. When you accept your winning trophy, you’ll be symptom-free.

*Cue classical music to speed up speeches*



Soy is hot on the radar this year as a plant-based complete protein. That means it contains all essential amino acids necessary to support normal growth. Foods derived from soybeans include tofu, tempeh, soy sauce, soymilk, and soy protein powders. Research shows that soy protein lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintains HDL “good” cholesterol. It also potentially decreases your risk of certain cancers. Did we mention soy protein might play a role in weight management? That same Oscar dress can be worn year after year!


The Theory of Eggplant

Didn’t you hear? Color is so “in”. The red carpet is full of colorful dresses this season. When asked what stars were wearing, they responded with eggplant, raspberry, and mango. Alright, so those may not have been their exact words. But if we could convince Guiliana Rancic to ask, I’m sure it would be along those lines.

Adding colorful foods to your diet not only makes your body or plate look good, but you’ll feel good too! Incorporating colorful, phytochemical-filled foods ensures that you get a balanced diet. Anthocyanins give plants there vibrant deep red and purple color and have benefits beyond looking pretty. Anthocyanins act as antioxidants, lowering risk of disease and cancer. They also may help support healthy blood pressure. A variety of color comes with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Trying adding a new colorful fruit or vegetable each week and see how many colors you can add to one meal.


The Canned Budapest Hotel

Before entering the award ceremony, the red carpet seems like the best part – lights, cameras, and no long speeches. But once inside you realize it can be just as glamorous. When shopping for healthful foods at a grocery store, many folks stick to the perimeter for produce and fear the aisles where packaged foods congregate. Deep breath. Much like the limo ride over, it’s not as scary as it seems to go inside. Canned and packaged foods can be less expensive, more convenient, and just as healthful. The American Society for Nutritionstatement “Processed Foods: Contribution to Nutrition” highlighted that processed foods help Americans meet nutrient needs. Processed foods also contribute nutrients like fat, sodium and sugar that Americans need to limit (according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans). The key is that processed foods such as canned foods can contain healthful nutrients.



Move over chia seeds, you’ve got a new competitor reaching for the trophy. Flaxseed is rich in fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed assists in improving digestive health, lowering LDL cholesterol, and may help to reduce your risk of heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids, found in flax, can prevent chronic disease by blocking inflammation. The best way to add flax to your diet is in its ground form added to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or mixed into baked goods.

Voting is now open, who will the winner be?



  1. USDA MyPlate 
  2. CDC