'nutrition' on Serious Eats

Vegan Eating and Nutrition

Nutrition is a complicated and politically-charged field that I prefer to steer clear of in my writing, focusing on what's delicious instead. I'm of the philosophy that in general, as long as you eat everything in moderation and focus mainly on vegetables, you'll probably be pretty healthy, regardless of whether you abstain 100% from white foods or animal fats or cookies (and I think most nutritionists would agree). That said, since starting my veganism, I've been asked by several people about a few nutritional aspects of the diet and how I deal with them. I'd like to clear those all up now. More

What's the Most Nutritious Nut?

As a promoter of all things peanut, I am constantly frustrated by people who think they can't possibly be good for you. Many assume that other nuts, especially almonds, are "better for you," which just isn't true. Find out how they compare in fat and protein. You might be surprised. More

FDA Introduces Rules for National Menu Labeling

One of the less-discussed sections of last February's health reform bill was the introduction of national menu labeling. The practice of posting calorie counts beside menu items at chain restaurants has already taken effect in several cities, notably in my hometown of New York City. But making this information available on a national scale is a big step for nutrition and food education activists. The bill's requirement to post calorie counts went into effect last March, but the FDA is not required to institute binding regulations until March 23, 2011. More

Congress May Update School Lunch Nutritional Standards

President Barack Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for the Child Nutrition Act, which lawmakers will consider this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to update decades-old standards for vending machines, as well as the typical pizza and French fries sold in cafeterias.... More

Clearing Up Food Myths

Is juice all that good for you? Does grass-fed beef taste better than conventionally raised beef? Is arugula all that special? The short answers: "No, no, and no." For further explanations to these questions and more head to New York Times blog Room for Debate where six people from different parts of the food community clear up common food myths. [via Kottke]... More

How to Stock a Healthful Pantry

Need advice on stocking a healthful pantry? The Chicago Tribune found plenty of guidance on realistic menus, recipes, and tips for the health-conscious eater from Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, and Mark Bittman, author of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. Blatner, a professional dietitian, recommends filling your cart with 25 percent whole-grain, 25 percent lean protein, and 50 percent fruits and vegetables.... More

Pondering Baby's First Meal

©iStockPhoto.com/tcort Anthony Silverbrow on the Guardian's Word of Mouth blog contemplates what his daughter's first solid meal should be: There is surprisingly little independent guidance (i.e., not written by those trying to flog a series of books) on what babies should be fed. There's a mini-industry around last meals, there's a lot of gnashing of teeth about what to give early meals, but first solid meals seem to be overlooked.Is any meal more significant than our first? For the food obsessed, does it get any more existential than pondering what to pass between our lips for the very first time? I have a gut feeling that the first meal will determine how that child approaches food for the rest... More

Cooking With Kids: Food Pyramid for Preschoolers

What should your 2- to 5-year-old eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture? Beats me, because its website seems to have been put together by 2- to 5-year-olds, and when I tried to generate a custom pyramid for my 4-year-old daughter, all I got was “Could not download Redirect.aspx.” Maybe it will work better for you: Food Pyramid for Preschoolers I’m having a hard time understanding who this material is geared toward, other than fans of Comic Sans. According to the Chicago Tribune, “The new MyPyramid for Preschoolers is intended to help parents make better food choices for preschool children, aged 2 to 5 years—a critical time when food habits and taste preferences are established.” Really?... More

Alice Waters on Honest Family Food Values: Is It Up to All of Us?

In advance of her appearance at the New York Wine & Food Festival October 12 (tickets are still available) on a panel called Beyond Chicken Nuggets: How to Raise a Healthy Eater, Alice Waters did a Q&A with the New York Times' Tara Parker-Pope. Waters broke no new ground in the interview, but if you've never heard Alice on the subject, it's worth checking out. She championed her Edible Schoolyard initiative in her beloved Berkeley, California, and stressed the value of families cooking and eating together. Waters and her fellow panelists are going to talk about how parents can improve the quality of food their children eat. Here are Waters' suggestions: "Bring kids into a whole relationship with food that’s... More

Genius Junk Foods: Six Foods and Drinks that Deserve an Immediate Pardon

Photograph from Fuzzy Gerdes on Flickr A Men's Health article that was republished on the Huffington Post makes all us weight-watchers feel less deprived by listing six junk foods that are actually OK to eat and drink. The list is amusing and even in some cases informative. I mean, pork rinds? Really? If pork rinds are on the list, shouldn't bacon, country ham, and prosciutto make the list?... More

Eating for Two: Iodized Salt

©iStockphoto.com/Cardston I thought I was past the part of my pregnancy where I worry about what to eat and onto the part where I worry about what we’re going to do with the kid when she’s out and about. But I just managed to find another source of concern, one I could have allayed easily enough at the beginning: most pregnant women should use iodized salt for cooking and seasoning, and I don’t. The vast majority Americans are using iodized salt without even thinking about it. We began adding iodine to much of our salt in the 1920s, after the draft during World War I revealed the extent to which hypothyroidism, a result of iodine deficiency, plagued the population. Thanks... More

In Videos: Josh Ozersky on ABC's 'Nightline' on Restaurant Calorie Labeling

Josh "Mr. Cutlets" Ozersky, editor of The Grub Street, was a guest on last Friday night's Nightline, in which he goes to Hill Country Barbecue to discuss whether calorie labeling in restaurants would affect people's ordering: I'm a purist. I love it when it's incredibly complex and layered—when all the arts of gastronomy have gone into a dish. But it should all be based on the beauty and simplicity of animal fat.I don't think calorie counts are going to stop people from ordering something that's really good. Ozersky compares the calorie contents of a grande mocha Starbucks coffee with whipped cream and pound cake (800-plus calories), a Big Mac (540 calories), Au Bon Pain's Southwest Tuna Wrap (860 calories),... More

Eating for Two: Recipe for a Boy or Girl

Eat more breakfast and you could have a boy! Last week news outlets from here to Islamabad announced the release of a study purporting to show that women with higher caloric intake and better nutrition at the time of conception are more likely to have boys than girls. Although it’s the father’s sperm that determines the sex of an embryo, the mother’s body can be more or less well suited to that embryo’s thriving. Goodness knows I’m no scientist, but I’m fairly skeptical about these conclusions. The amount of extra calories that encouraged male embryos seemed rather small, maybe just a few hundred. Perhaps because my own daily caloric intake can swing a few hundred up or down based on... More

Michael Ruhlman: 'Fear Not Salt and Fat'

America's fat problem: "I say unto you: Fat is good! Fat is necessary. Ask any chef. Fat does not make you fat, eating too much makes you fat! We aren’t filling our bodies with sodium because of the box of kosher salt we use to season our food, we’re doing it with all the processed food that’s loaded with hidden salt. And American cooks and American diners need to understand the differences."... More

Eating for Two: What to Eat While Pregnant

Last year I got a late Christmas present—on December 26, I found out I was a few weeks pregnant. The very first thing I did was eat a celebratory piece of cheesecake (it’s silly, but I felt as if I was giving the embryo a treat—thank you for implanting!). My second priority was to start reading about what I was actually supposed to be eating, which I suspected was not the cheese enchiladas, endless milkshakes, and french fries I dreamed of as the ideal indulgent pregnancy diet. To prepare for pregnancy, I had already cut out alcohol and started taking folic acid supplements, but how else would I have to change my ways in the months ahead?... More

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