Know Your Nutrition: 5 Foods to Keep Your Eye On


Q1: What is a super Food?

A1: Superfoods are foods that have more concentrated amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals than other comparable whole foods. Vitamins and minerals help with energy production and support normal biological processes, while antioxidants and phytochemicals help our bodies fight disease-causing free radicals. Superfoods include foods like: blueberries, spinach, barley, tea, and salmon. To learn more about superfoods, see here:


Q2: What foods contain trans-fats?

A2: Foods containing trans-fats include: stick margarines, pastries, refrigerated dough, microwave popcorn, peanut butter, sweet snacks, cake and muffin mixes, frosting, cookies, and more. What is a trans-fat? A trans-fat is chemically altered fat molecule that was invented to be added to products to make them more shelf-stable. For example, have you ever found a French fry on the floor of your car and you have to wonder how many months it’s been there, yet it still looks the same as the day it was made?!  That’s a trans-fat. Why are trans-fats so bad for you? Trans-fats are associated with increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lowering HDL (good) cholesterol, they are linked to increased infertility rates, and even decreased memory function. For more information on trans-fats, see here:


Q3: What are heart healthy cooking oils?      

A3: It’s dinner time! And your recipe calls for 2 Tbsp oil, what type of oil should you go for: Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Peanut oil, or avocado oil. Why? Because all are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids that are heart healthy and good for lessening inflammation.  And what about the infamous coconut oil? For all the details on whether or not coconut oil is hot right now, check out this article here:


Q4: What is the average American daily intake of added sugar?  

A4: The average American consumes an average daily intake of 79 grams or 20 teaspoons added sugar daily- that’s how much is in about 24 oz of Coca-Cola®. Added sugars are different than sugars found naturally in foods such a fruit. Added sugars can be identified on an ingredient list as things such as: able sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, syrups, honey, juice concentrates, agave, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Consuming excess amounts of added sugar may be linked to greater risk for obesity. Obesity is associated with chronic diseases such diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. For tips on how to reduce added sugar in your diet, see here:


Q5: True or False? Diet soda is a linked to higher body weight.          

A5: True. Studies have shown that even though diet soda contains no calories, there is a correlation between diet soda intake and higher body weights.  While the exact mechanism for this is unknown, the correlation is strong enough to support a recommendation to limit diet soda consumption. For other nutrition myths that you should avoid, see here: