Mighty protein

eggsWatched a Coursera on-line class on childhood nutrition. It was taught by a physician (don’t know what specialty area); the graphics were rather fun.

Enjoyed it until the doctor made a very basic mistake with regard to protein. So glaring and “out there”, that I questioned my own knowledge. I used my current nutrition textbook and also googled the question. My text confirmed that I remembered correctly, the best protein (which means most usable and helpful to the human body) are eggs and milk. The rest of the animal world follows.

TODAY’S LESSON: trust but verify. If something doesn’t sound quite right, search out a reliable nutrition source. WebMD has a fairly good site; the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic also seem to have reliable information from my limited experience with them. The CDC provides legitimate stats but not much analysis which is also fine. (Or ask me!)

The second example (and I hate to be naive about internet searches) but my googled results to the protein question began with two full pages of protein supplements that were for sale.

Advertisements are just that! Supplements of all stripes, time and again, have been shown to be inferior to whole food.

I have no idea how those cookies got in the shot!

I have no idea how those cookies got in the shot!

As Hippocrates (and others have said): let food be thy medicine! And while I’m certainly aware of the value of medication, medical technology and advances in treatment and surgery…food first.

For a nation obsessed with protein, be mindful of all the protein sources in your diet in addition to animal sources: beans, legumes, some whole grains, nuts and seeds! And certainly, we know a plant focused diet is good for our overall health. Protein in the US diet is abundant.

Be skeptical of what you read. Skip the supplements. Eat a variety of FOOD to be well,


PS The products advertised as sports nutrition, energy bars and sports drinks are expected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2020.

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Feeding your toddler

outdoorweddingSo, we’re at this (FABULOUS) wedding last weekend seated by a (DARLING) couple who have a (BEAUTIFUL) one year old. We’re chatting about nothing in particular when the husband asks what I do for a living. I was drinking red wine and eating some (DELICIOUS) caramel corn at the time – he couldn’t tell? A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who teaches nutrition at a local U!

At any rate, the (SWEET) wife immediately asked about her son’s allergic reaction to a food. She wondered if she introduced this food too early.

Food allergies are so often discussed, you’d think 100% of kids are allergic to everything! So, a few facts:

  1. About 8% of kids have food allergies, 92% do not.
  2. Allergies and intolerances are not the same thing; food allergies always involve the immune system while intolerances generally do not.
  3. The most common food allergies in children are peanut, milk and shellfish
  4. There is a rise in food allergies, or perhaps an increase in reporting; yet, allergies are still thought to be UNDER-reported
  5. Timing of the introduction of foods to an infant is critical; no food other than breast milk or formula is recommended up until about 6 months of age. Then single food challenges are begun. Before 6 months, it’s theorized the infant’s gut is too porous and lets big proteins in, setting up the allergic reaction.
  6. In the case of potentially life-threatening peanut allergies, we in the US, delay introduction of nuts/products. However, scientific evidence suggests EARLIER introduction of nuts/products safeguards your child from a nut allergy!

What to do? Take the advice of your pediatrician or pediatric RDN. Do not read well-intentioned but uninformed blogs on nutrition. Remember no single food is mandatory for good health. If your toddler seems intolerant or allergic to a food, stop serving it. Try it in a different form in another month and if you see a similar reaction, discontinue it. See an allergist who specializes in pediatrics if what you perceive as a reaction becomes more frequent or seems to happen with more foods.

If your child is growing well and energetic, eliminating a single food should not prevent him from being well.


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