Recently I vacationed in Morocco. Ah!!!
We’ve got friends living in a smallish town about an hour south of Casablanca. One of them is an engineer with a U.S. based company assisting the Moroccans to build another phosphate processing plant. Yes, phosphate used to make fertilizer and more, is a large natural resource in Morocco.
Gaining a bit of knowledge about how phosphate is mined, processed and shipped throughout the world as well as smelling, tasting and seeing the foods and dishes of this culture were just a few of the treats of travel in Morocco.
What I love about travel is the opportunity to see, observe, learn…oh yes, and eat. And eat our way through Morocco we did. From Marrakesh to Essaroura to El Jidata and beyond.
Here’s a few snapshots of the sites, tastes and aromas of Morocco:
On June 2, 2011 the food pyramid was put to rest and the simple, straightforward plate was introduced as the new icon for healthy eating. While I'm pleased with this new colorful, simplified food icon, I by no means think it will put a halt to nutrition debates, including these two questions:
- What percent of calories from carbohydrate, protein and/or fat should we eat?
- Is it healthier or better for managing blood glucose or fat levels to eat more or less: carbohydrate, protein or fat?
These questions, in my humble opinion, have and continue to receive too many research dollars and too much media (and thus, consumer) attention.
Please hear me out...
We seem fixated on the quantity questions regarding our, so-called macronutrients – our main sources of calories (that’s carbohydrate, protein and fat). Yet the research to date as well as the recommendations from respected bodies, such as Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee Report, proves out a few stark realities. I’ll delve into these here and detail why our focus should be squarely on the quality of carbohydrate, protein and fat we eat, not the quantity.
This guest blog was written on request for appforhealth.com in response to Julie's blog A Week to Beat Your Cravings for Sweets. I want to thank Julie for being open to dialoging about key nutrition topics:
Can people be “sugar addicted”? Not likely! But are we slurping, sipping and chewing too much sugar? Absolutely!
American Heart Association research shows that as of 2009 Americans down, on average, 22 teaspoons of sugar per day (Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health. (Not surprising when one 20 ounce soft drink contains 15 teaspoons!)
Do you eat enough fibers (yes fibers) each and every day? If you’re not eating those five (or more) servings of fruits and vegetables, making at least half your servings of grains whole (grain and wheat) and sneaking in servings of legumes, then it’s doubtful you’re getting your fill of fibers.
Want to know the carbohydrate count for vegetarian lasagna, the saturated fat grams for prime rib? Or trying to trim a few pounds and think recording your food intake and getting a daily nudges (reminders) will aid your efforts? Apps with these features and more have multiplied. And they're available for use online and for one and/or as apps for one or more smart phones (eg iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, etc.) Check out my picks from the litter. They’re listed alphabetically within two groups – Apps-For-Free and Apps-For-a-Fee. More free than for a fee!
Recently I put on the radio as I readied my lunch. It was tuned, as usual, to WAMU, the local NPR station. I heard Jessica Piscitelli introduced as a commentary writer from Northern Virginia. My ears perked up when I heard the title, Real Natural. Oh yes, Jessica's commentary was on target and real true. It's reprinted here with permission. Thank you Jessica!
Buyer beware. Real is the new natural.
Americans love to be healthy. Or, more accurately, we love our health products.
Enjoy viewing my top ten picks for nutrition blogs - all of which are written by registered dietitians.
Vitamin D deficiency is making headlines again with the recent publication of a study in the journal Pediatrics (online, not yet in print) which analyzed federal data of more than 6,000 children.
A few highlights:
Two stories in today's (5/7/09) Washington Post helped me greet the day positively and reinforce my sense that, step-by-step, we're making strides to improve the health of our children and the prevent childhood obesity.
The 2010 Dietary Guideline committee is at work revising the 2005 Dietary Guidelines which is mandated by Federal law to be done every five years under the direction of either Health and Human Services (HHS) or U.S. Dept of Agriculture (USDA). HHS took the lead in 2005 and this time around the USDA is taking the lead. The work of the committee and staff will conclude with the publication of the revised guidelines in fall of 2010.