Food Is Not Your Enemy

Nut Butters: Safe or Scary?

If your kid is like most, chances are she eats a lot of peanut butter. And that’s generally a good thing: PB is rich in monounsaturated fats, which helps keep cholesterol down, and studies have shown that people who regularly eat peanut butter or nuts are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes or heart disease. And, while somewhat counterintuitive since they’re pretty calorie-dense, eating nuts can help with weight control.

But are all peanut butters created equal? And what about almond butter, or those chocolate hazelnut spreads — are they a good choice for your family? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Jarred Spaghetti Sauce: Safe or Scary?

Talk about an easy, quick dinner. Boil noodles. Heat jarred sauce in a pot. Pour sauce over pasta and serve.

But when it comes to food, convenience, unfortunately, so often means you’re getting additives and undesirable “extras” in whatever it is you’re eating. And jarred spaghetti sauce is no exception. Are there any good jarred sauces out there? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Beef: Safe or Scary?

It feels like every other week we’re hearing about a beef recall due to E. coli or salmonella contamination. Either that or we’re reading how eating beef will cause everything from heart disease to cancer to global warming. What to do? Can beef be a healthy part of your family’s diet, or should you shun those Styrofoam trays of rib steaks and ground sirloin in the meat case? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Chocolate: Safe or Scary?

Chocolate season is upon us. Whether you’re nibbling on the assorteds from a red satin box or your kids are popping mini hearts bequeathed by adoring schoolmates, chances are there’s chocolate in your house somewhere. So should you worry about this Valentine’s Day staple, given chocolate is sweet and oh-so-fatty? Or is chocolate now kind of a healthy choice, thanks to those studies showing how this food of the gods can actually lower blood pressure? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Rice: Safe or Scary?
January 27, 2010, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Grains | Tags: , ,

Rice is a staple food for many cultures around the world–cultures that don’t have the kind of obesity problem that we do here in the U.S. But many Americans have a bit of a rice fear, thinking that, as a carb, rice will make you fat. So should we be wary of rice? Or is it a perfectly good food to spoon onto your family’s plates come dinnertime? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Deli Meats: Safe or Scary?

Deli meats are not only a staple in most kids’ lunchboxes, they’re also now thought of as “diet food” by many, thanks to the Subway ads touting the weight Jared Fogle lost while eating the chain’s sandwiches. Is there something magical about cold cuts that will lead to weight loss?

Absolutely not — Jared simply reduced his caloric intake to drop the weight, and chose to do it by eating no breakfast, and then a sandwich for lunch and dinner. But are deli meats like bologna, salami, roast beef, and turkey good for you and your kids? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Food Dyes: Safe or Scary?
December 31, 2009, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Sweets | Tags: , , ,

Yoplait Trix Wildberry Blue Yogurt is colored with Blue 1 and Red 40. Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese contains Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Pepsi and Coke use caramel color. If you and your kids are consuming prepackaged and processed food, chances are you’re eating and drinking food coloring, be it natural (pigments derived from plants or animals) or artificial (synthesized in a lab). Any food dye that is used in the U.S. has had to pass muster with the FDA, but some of our approved dyes have been outright banned in Europe. So are these added colorings truly safe? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.