Reading List: San Fran’s Meatless Mondays, Apps for Allergies & Mealtime Photo Sharing

In this week’s nutrition news: A new iPhone app helps allergy-prone eaters, study links trans fat with sudden heart attacks and San Francisco jumps on the Meatless Mondays bandwagon.
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In this week’s nutrition news: A new iPhone app helps allergy-prone eaters, study links trans fat with sudden heart attacks and celebrity chefs join the battle against childhood obesity.

Celeb Chefs vs. Childhood Obesity

Celebrity chefs are joining ranks with longtime fresh food advocates like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan to promote food that's  tasty and healthy.  Jamie Oliver is overhauling  school lunches on his new show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and Rachael Ray is making over NYC school lunches and promoting healthy eating with her non-profit Yum-o!. (We're proud of our Food Network chefs!)

Meatless Mondays Spread to San Fran

Britain and Paris do it, and now San Francisco is jumping on the Meatless Monday bandwagon. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved legislation encouraging San Franciscans  to go vegetarian every Monday. Even more impressive: The measure urges restaurants, grocery stores and schools to offer more plant-based options in the name of health and the environment. A big thumbs up goes to San Francisco!

New Trend: Pre-Dinner Photography

I'll admit it: I love snapping pics of my food before I take a bite.  And it's not just me -- sharing food photos online is a growing trend. Diners document everything from morning cereal to late-night snacks, then share photos with fellow food lovers in groups like Flickr's "I Ate This," which has more than 300,000 photos from 19,000 members.   What are you cooking up this week?  Post photos on our Facebook page to show us what you're munching on.

Fighting Food Allergies? There's An App For That

Shopping for food when you have a food allergy can be frustrating. The label print is small, and the language can be confusing. An iPhone app in the testing phase aims to make finding new products simpler.  The app will scan barcodes on more than 1 million food products to detect allergens such as wheat, egg, peanut and shellfish.  No word on the free application's official release date.

Trans Fats May Be Deadly

We know that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. But a new study found that women who got 2.5 percent of their daily calories from trans fat were three times more likely to die of a sudden heart attack than women who took in fewer than one percent of  calories from trans fat. The take home message: be mindful of how much trans fat you take in — the less you eat, the better.

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

Next Up

Meatless Monday Mexican-Style

Food Network's Marcela Valladolid prepares a flavor-packed Mexican menu for Meatless Monday this week.

Frozen Veggie Burritos — Meatless Monday

Prep a batch of these cheesy beauties and keep them in the freezer for at-the-ready meals.

Vegetarian Pot Pie — Meatless Monday

Try Aida's Vegetarian Pot Pie from Food Network for an easy Meatless Monday meal. This pot pie boasts a veggie-packed center baked underneath a buttery crust.

Savory and Sweet Soufflés — Meatless Monday

Food Network Magazine’s Grits-and-Cheese Soufflés are unquestionably impressive but quickly prepared using everyday vegetarian ingredients.

Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles — Meatless Monday

For Meatless Monday dinner tonight, try Food Network Magazine's easy Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles for a refreshing pasta salad full of flavor and texture.

Appetizers for Christmas Entertaining — Meatless Monday

For easy holiday appetizers, look to Food Network's favorite meatless party-ready recipes, like crispy ravioli, tomato soup and walnut-red pepper spread.

Vegetarians: Myths vs. Facts

Vegetarians are often seriously misunderstood. It’s time for some of the most common vegetarian myths to be debunked!

The Chef's Take: Vegetarian Meatballs from Daniel Holzman

"Vegetarians want the vegetarian option not to be feel like an afterthought," says Danny Holzman. "And so the question was how can we celebrate vegetables and make something really delicious.

Spotlight Recipes: Vegetarian Pasta Dishes

Good old pasta dishes can easily be turned into a vegetarian dish. Problem is, pile in tons of cheese and large portions of pasta and watch the calories and heart-clogging saturated fat go through the roof (yes, even vegetarian recipes can be unhealthy!). There are ways to lighten up your lasagna and macaroni and cheese but here are a variety of vegetarian pasta dishes that are delicious and figure-friendly.

Food News: McDonald's Opening Vegetarian-Only Locations

McDonald's is opening two vegetarian-only locations in India. Would you eat vegetarian fast food from this chain?