In the News: Super-Bred Veggies, Teen Weight-Loss Getaways, Trans-Fat Label Confusion & More

Dole is producing new super veggies, top chefs share their healthy secrets and not many Americans are walking or biking to work these days (are you?).

From this week’s headlines: Dole is producing new super veggies, top chefs share their healthy secrets and not many Americans are walking or biking to work these days (are you?).

A New Breed of Veggies
Farming and food manufacturing giants, Monsanto Company and Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. have joined forces to start breeding enhanced versions of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. Note that they don't plan to genetically engineer these plants (learn more about GMO foods here). Instead, researchers will target plants that have desirable characteristics -- good taste or texture -- and keep breeding them until the “perfect” veggie is produced. Some food-safety experts are skeptical and claim that Mother Nature's fresh fruits and veggies are already (or should already be) highly nutritious, so why do we need to tweak them more? What’s your take on these super veggies?
Your Favorite Chef's Healthy Secrets, Revealed

In this fun article, some big name chefs reveal their favorite healthy eating tips, including Robin Miller, the host of "Quick Fix Meals" on Food Network. There are even some ideas on getting a quick, healthy meal on the table for the entire family. Mollie Katzen, a best-selling author and chef, also had an interesting theory: Follow an "80-20 Rule." Eat wholesome, healthy, well-balanced meals 80% of the time and allow yourself to enjoy less-healthier favorites the other 20%.

Weight-Loss Camps for Teens

Over the past few years, I’ve come across job postings from teen weight-loss camps looking for registered dietitians. These getaways are definitely a growing trend across the U.S. -- especially now that our children get more and more caught up in the obesity epidemic. Camps like the ones from Wellspring promote themselves as the “new” summer vacation for kids. They're not looking to be a quick-fix either; most places follow a scientific approach to dieting and exercise and bring in educated pros, who can help teach campers good habits to adopt for a long-term, healthier lifestyles. (P.S.: That's some Wellspring campers on a shopping excursion above.)

Less Americans Walk or Bike To Work
When I was a little girl, my grandparents both walked to their jobs. A new study looking at health and commuting habits found that only 17% of Americans walk or bike to work regularly. Not surprisingly, those who do walk to work are considered to be more physically fit. Of course, in this day of sprawling suburbs, it's not always easy to walk to a job that's 15 miles away or you may find it unsafe to bike the distance (no set bike paths, narrow streets or harrowing highways). I must admit that I’m one of these 83% who drive to work. What category are you in? Would you ever consider switching?
Michelles Obama’s Garden Sparks New Food Trend

The First Lady is making growing and eating healthy food the cool thing to do (not that the idea is new to us here, right?!). Even on a recent trip to Moscow, the Russians were more interested in hearing about the White House garden than Michelle's wardrobe! The initiative's focus has been to bring children to the garden to participate in farm-to-plate events. Although the garden's only a small step for food reform, talk is that it’ll lead to healthier school lunch programs and a greater availability of fresh fruits and veggies for all.

Sneaky "Trans Fat-Free" Labels

I’ve explained this concept to many confused clients, just because a food label claims 0 grams of trans fat, that doesn’t necessarily mean the food is entirely free of it. Sounds nutty, but this is the time to remember your elementary school rounding rules. Food labeling laws state that if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the label can say “trans-fat free.” Your best bet is to read the ingredient list for the words “partially hydrogenated” (a.k.a. trans fat).

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Next Up

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Reading List: Weight Loss Wagers, Calorie Confusion & Tiger’s Labeling Mishap

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Trans Fats: What the News Means

Everyone is talking about the FDA’s call for the removal of artificial trans fats from the food supply. What does this mean for the future of your diet?

In the News: The Fatty Food Tax, Unilever Ditches Trans Fat & Steroids in Diet Supplements

From this week’s headlines: Denny’s sued for high sodium, higher costs for high fat foods, and optional toppings not part of nutrition info

Nutrition News: Healthy Food Choices, Fructose and Trans Fat Under Fire, Top Produce Picks in June

Researchers urge focus on healthy food benefits, fructose study has startling results, the FDA may ban trans fats, and get the top produce pick for June.

Reading List: New Coke Calorie Labels, Candy Linked to Violence & More

Coke moves to make their calorie info more clear, a healthy eating kids book hits the market and you can make money by changing your lifestyle.

Nutrition News: Time to Freeze Fish, Fruit and Veggie Fail, Calorie-Count Label Delay

NYC rules for raw-fish freeze, Americans fail to eat their fruits and vegetables, FDA extends calorie-label deadline.

In the News: Eat Your Weeds, Beef Recall, No Grilled Veggie Love & More

In this week’s round up: Weeds for dinner, Obama’s new food safety website, the most popular (and unpopular) grilled foods, beef recalls and McDonald’s egg-cellent decision.

In the News: Go Veg in Paris, Obesity Arrest, Misdiagnosing Food Allergies & More

From this week’s headlines: Snack ads might cause your kids to eat more (surprised?), get the right carbs for a slimmer figure, Paris goes veg and more.

The Nutrition Label's New Look

The food label on packaged food has been there since the early 1990’s. With all the label confusion, the FDA finally decided it was time the nutrition label got a makeover (we couldn’t agree more!). Although the proposed changes were released a few months ago, a new black and white food label photo was released this morning.

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