“Eggs-citing” News, Recipes

EggsBy Gina O’Toole, RD, MPH, CLEC, CHOC Children’s Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services

Eggs take the spotlight this month as Easter approaches, but the question remains: Should we consume them at all?

The answer is a resounding yes! Though previously shunned, eggs now have the green light for eating. Though the cholesterol content of eggs was previously thought to increase the risk of heart disease, we now know that eating a diet high in saturated fats and trans-fats (hydrogenated oils) increases the risk of heart disease more so than eating cholesterol itself.

The most recent recommendation in 2010 from the American Heart Association allows 300mg per day of cholesterol. One large egg contains 213mg, about 2/3 of the recommended daily value.

The facts about eggs:

  • Eggs are an excellent source of protein, providing 7 grams of high quality protein.
  • Eggs contain just 75 calories each.
  • Eggs have 5 grams of fat (1.6 grams saturated fat).
  • They are a great source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both important carotenoids that reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Choline is a key nutrient in eggs that is important for brain development and memory.

So-called “designer eggs” may contain omega-3 fats. To make these eggs, chickens are fed omega-3 fatty acids which the chickens then further covert into DHA. DHA is a fatty acid important for brain and eye development in babies and children. Moms who eat DHA transfer that DHA to the baby through their breast milk. DHA also plays an important role to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

So go ahead and enjoy eggs this Easter and beyond. Try using your hard-boiled eggs with these delicious recipes:

Herbed Deviled Eggs

8 large hard-boiled eggs

½ non-fat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped of each: fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh thyme, fresh chives

Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Reserve four of the egg-white halves for another use. Pass yolks through sieve using the back of a spoon. Stir in yogurt, mustard and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Sir in herbs.

Either spoon or put yolk mixture in pastry bag to pipe into egg white halves. Garnish with additional herbs

Curried Egg Salad Sandwich (Serves 4)

6 hard-boiled eggs, using four of the six yolks and dice

¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt

1 medium celery stalk, diced

1 teaspoon Dijion mustard

¼ teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix previous seven ingredients. Spread on whole-grain bread. Top with radicchio and arugula

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Pop Your Way to a Healthier Day

By Colleen E. Trupkin, RD, CNSC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

Jan. 19 is Popcorn Day!

Corn, also called maize, is a member of the grass family. There are six types of corn: pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint, and popcorn. Popcorn is the only one that pops. It comes in two shapes: snowfpopcornlake and mushroom. Popcorn can be a low-calorie food and a good source of fiber with air-popped corn providing 31 calories, 0.34 fat grams and 1.2 grams of fiber. Oil-popped corn provides 55 calories, 3 fat grams of fat and 1.2 grams of fiber per each 1 cup serving (Source: USDA). Butter adds additional calories and fat.

The start of the 2014 means a renewed focus on healthy eating for many of us. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “A healthy eating pattern…emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and beverages- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.” It is recommended that half your grains come from whole grains. Popcorn is a fun and healthy food to help you on your way!  It is a whole grain, low in calories, and a good source of fiber.

Whole grains are made up of the entire grain kernel which includes the bran, endosperm and germ. Whole grains are a good source of magnesium, selenium and fiber. Magnesium is important for bone health and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium is important for immune health and protects cells from oxidation. Fiber intake may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other health complications.

To help you celebrate the New Year and Popcorn Day, try one of these recipes!

Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients:
8 oz. raisins
6 oz. diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.)
4 cups air-popped popcorn

Directions:

  1. Set freshly popped popcorn in large bowl.
  2. Add diced fruit and raisins.
  3. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly.

Super Spicy Popcorn Snack
Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients:
8 cups air-popped popcorn
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine mustard, Italian seasoning, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; mix well.
  2. Spray popcorn lightly with butter-flavored cooking spray; immediately sprinkle with seasonings and toss to coat and mix.

 Check out this link for additional recipes and popcorn related fun: http://www.popcorn.org/

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Add Pumpkin to Your Family’s Diet this Season

By Leah Blalock, MS, RD, CSP, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s 

Although they are power-packed with nutrients, pumpkins are best known as Halloween decorations.  As a New World native and Thanksgiving staple, they are more American than apple pie. If your goal is a healthy nutritious diet, add pumpkin to meals regularly.  It’s the season afterall! Check out their many nutritious benefits below:

• Pumpkin’s culinary flexibility makes it a tasteful addition to everything from breads and desserts to beer and soup. Substitute pumpkin for other moist ingredients in your recipes, or choose recipes specifically listing pumpkin as an ingredient.
• Pumpkin keeps eyesight sharp.  A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
• Pumpkin aids in weight loss. One cup provides 49 calories and 3 grams of fiber. It can keep you fuller longer on lesser calories, thereby shedding pounds!
• Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, can help your heart.  Try some on a salad! They are rich in plant based chemicals called phytosterols that studies show help reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol. One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. They are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which can help boost your mood.
• Pumpkin may reduce cancer risk. It boasts the antioxidant beta carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. The plant sterols in pumpkin seeds have also been linked to fighting off certain cancers.
• Pumpkin protects the skin. The same free radical neutralizing powers of beta carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay may also help keep the skin wrinkle free.
• Pumpkin can help after a hard workout. One cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium, with 565mg to a banana’s 422mg. A little extra potassium can help restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keep muscles functioning at their best.
• Pumpkin can boost your immune system. It’s a solid source of vitamin C and zinc. One cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than 11mg of vitamin C and 0.37 mg of zinc.

Try this fun and healthy recipe:

Pumpkin Pie  Smoothie
• 1 cup pumpkin purée
• 1 large ripe banana
• 1 cup unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk beverage
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 5 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve. (Source: www.wholefoodsmarket.com)

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FDA Defines Gluten-Free for Food Labeling

By: Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, registered dietitian at CHOC Children’s

Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods
On August 2, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a long awaited final rule defining “gluten-free” (GF) for food labeling.  This  GF ruling  will now mandate food manufacturers to follow practices to ensure food labeled  either “gluten-free”, “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten”  must meet a threshold standard of <20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten.   This threshold is the amount that can consistently be detected in foods using valid scientific analytical tools, as well as the level shown through research to be tolerated with the majority of people with celiac disease.  Now individuals requiring a GF diet will feel more confident when selecting food products labeled GF.

What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
Following a GF diet involves removing gluten from the diet and avoiding cross-contamination when preparing food.  Gluten is a storage protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, which is found in most breads, pastas, breakfast cereals, baked goods and crackers.  In addition, hidden sources of gluten are found in foods such as soups, sauces, and gravies.  Proper food preparation at home and when dining out is essential to avoid cross-contamination from products with gluten coming into contact with GF products.

Celiac disease is one particular disease where treatment requires following a strict GF diet.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder affecting approximately 3 million Americans, with at least 83% of people remaining undiagnosed.  When a person with celiac disease eats gluten an immune-mediated response causes damage to the small intestines and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. A host of other symptoms may also occur.

In recent times the GF diet has become somewhat of a fad diet.  One should think twice before following this diet, however, due to possible nutritional deficiencies and weight gain that may occur because many gluten-free products are made with highly processed, unenriched flours and added fat and sugar.  It’s strongly recommended that a person who requires a GF diet seek nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian.  Eating well on a GF diet is possible — aim for eating GF whole grains, choose enriched or fortified GF grains, cook with less fat, eat more fiber rich foods, and calcium rich foods.

Try out this delicious recipe along with other GF recipes at www.livingwithout.com

GF Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs
1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
7 ounces slim green beans, trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
– Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup small basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons cilantro sprigs
1 tablespoon snipped chives

1. Cook quinoa in plenty of gently boiling water for about 12 to 15 minutes or until it softens (organic quinoa may take a few minutes longer). Tip quinoa into a fine sieve, making several steam holes through it with a skewer, and let it drain.

2. Plunge green beans into a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and rinse with plenty of cold water to stop the cooking. Dry off on paper towels.

3. In a large bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic and mustard together with ½ teaspoon salt and plenty of black pepper. Add quinoa and toss to coat with dressing.

4. Just before serving, stir in green beans, tomatoes and herbs. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains 184 calories, 9g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g protein.

To learn more, check out these helpful links:
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm363069.htm
http://celiacdiseasefoundation.org/
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

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It’s National Nutrition Month – “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”

By Kelsey Vaughn, RD, CHOC Children’s clinical dietitian

This March is the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages you to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month asks you to take a look at how your meals compare to current MyPlate standards and emphasizes that it is possible for all people to make foods choices that promote optimal health. This month is the perfect time to reflect on how you can “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”.

The MyPlate logo (pictured here) was launched in June 2011 by the United States Department of Agriculture , replacing  the MyPyramid logo previously seen on  food labels. MyPlate is a more visual way of demonstrating what eating healthy can look like and encourages us to choose foods from a variety of food groups to promote a balanced diet.

Eating the MyPlate way ensures we will better meet our vitamin and mineral needs with our daily food choices and promotes caloric balance by emphasizing portion control. The following food groups make up MyPlate: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.

Fruits and Vegetables:
One quarter of MyPlate is portioned for fruits, and vegetables fill another quarter of the plate. Together, fruits and vegetables make up half the plate. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and are low in calories. By filling half our plate with these foods, we are able to get adequate amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals that help keep our skin, nails and hair healthy and our immune system strong while not going overboard on calories.

Grains:
Grains take up the third quarter of MyPlate. Pasta, cereals, bread, tortillas and other grain products help us to further meet our nutrient and fiber needs. Fiber is important to digestive health, and MyPlate emphasizes choosing whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread that are rich in fiber for maximum health benefits.

Protein:
The final quarter of the plate is reserved for protein.  Most Americans consume more than enough protein to meet their needs, so MyPlate emphasizes portion control by recommending only ¼ of our plate be filled with protein and allowing the remaining ¾ of our plate to be filled with other food groups. MyPlate encourages both lean animal proteins and plant sources of protein. Poultry, pork, fish, lean red meats, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are a few excellent protein sources.

Dairy:
The glass on the side of MyPlate represents a serving of dairy. Low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium, which is important for bone health.  Incorporate dairy into each meal of the day for adequate calcium intake.

We all have individual food preferences that are shaped by our family, culture, traditions and lifestyle. Despite our personal food preferences, we can all eat healthy, balanced meals each day by using the MyPlate guidelines. We don’t have to give up our favorite foods to eat healthy; ALL foods can fit into a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and in appropriate portion sizes.  Salad

Below are a few examples that highlight how a variety of foods can fit with MyPlate guidelines:

• Beans with rice and mixed vegetables (protein, grain, vegetable) , topped with cheese (dairy) and served with a side of mango (fruit)

• Small chicken breast (protein) served with large green salad topped with berries (vegetable, fruit) and served with a whole wheat roll (grain) and a glass of low-fat milk (dairy)

• Whole grain pasta with marinara sauce (with added vegetables such as mushrooms and onions) and lean ground beef (grain, vegetable, protein) served with green beans (vegetable) and low-fat cottage cheese topped with pineapple (dairy, fruit)

Take a look at how your plate compares with MyPlate recommendations this National Nutrition Month. Incorporate your preferred fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low fat dairy products at meal times so each meal can be a step toward better health!

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