Reading List, Extreme Edition: Crazy Carrot Ads and Super-Caloric Restaurant Dishes

In this week’s nutrition news: Childhood food trauma, drinking milk can help you lose weight and check out the coolest baby carrots ad

In this week’s nutrition news: Childhood food trauma, the perfect portion size, drinking milk can help you lose weight and check out the new baby carrots ad.

Extreme Baby Carrots Ad

Popeye made eating spinach cool, and now a "bunch of carrot farmers" are taking their veggie campaign to the extreme— literally. This $25 million ad campaign shows carrots as being hip and extreme, with the tag line “eat 'em like junk food.” You’ll soon be able to find these “original orange doodles” packaged in Doritos-like bags, and they’ll even be available in school vending machines.

TELL US: Will this new campaign help make carrots "cool"?

Extreme Restaurant Entrees: One Meal, A Day's Worth of Calories

While lots of restaurants are releasing shock-value entrees that seem more suited to the pages of  extreme food blogs (hello, KFC Double-Down) than menus, benign-sounding entrees at many restaurants make the 540-calorie Double Down sound downright reasonable. Every year, CSPI serves up its Xtreme Eating awards to  10 restaurant meals with the biggest calorie, fat and sodium tolls. This year's top spot went to The Cheesecake Factory for its 2,500 calorie pasta carbonara. Get the whole list, plus the regular-food calorie equivalents. Makes you think twice about ordering without checking nutrition facts first.  It’s sad to see that restaurants are trying to make money and don’t care about the health of our nation as a whole.

Drinking Milk Benefits Your Weight

There’s lots of milk controversy floating around, but here’s a new reason to include milk in your diet: A recent study found that adults who drank more milk (close to 2 glasses a day) had the highest vitamin D levels after 6 months and lost more weight over 2 years (nearly 12 pounds) when compared to those who drank little or no milk. The study was conducted with over 300 overweight men and women between the ages of 40 to 65 years who followed a low-fat, low-carb or Mediterranean diet for two years. Milk skeptics out there may want to give it another try.

The Perfect Portion

We’re always telling you to mind your portions. It’s a tough thing to do, but if you want to watch your weight or even lose weight, portion control is the key. Folks have a tough time figuring out portions, plus  many hate measuring. In response, several companies have developed portion plates.  Dietitian Nancy Clark just created nifty plate and bowl sets to measure out the size of snacks and meals. The plate is divided into sections for veggies, carbs and protein so you can measure out a perfectly balanced, perfectly-sized meal. Check out some of these other cool portion-perfect plates and bowls.

Avoiding Childhood Food Trauma

Do you have a food that you just can’t stomach? Negative food experiences between the ages of 6 months and 6 years, like being forced or tricked into eating foods you dislike, can result in a lifetime aversion. When I was 6, I threw up bologna, and to this day I can’t even look at it.  This is why it's essential for parents to make sure they don’t nag or force-feed children. Instead, make mealtimes and the introduction of new foods a positive and relaxing experience.

TELL US: Do you have a bad childhood food memory?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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