Sep 08 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN : Nutrition Bars

Nutrition bars go by many names including "protein bars," "energy bars," and "meal-replacement bars." Nutrition bars are generally much larger by weight than snack bars (such as granola bars) or candy bars (such as chocolate bars) and have a much higher protein content --generally 10 grams to 30 grams of protein in a nutrition bar versus little or no protein in a snack bar or candy bar. Many bars have now added a fiber category and add that on as a benefit to the bar. Those with 2.5 mg of fiber are claiming to be good sources of fiber, while others containing 5mg. or more can claim to be an excellent source. The recommendation for fiber is at least 20grams per day. Many of the fats in some bars are saturated, and some bars also contain hydrogenated oils as well as high fructose corn syrup. Another concern in the area of nutrition bars is the protein it contains. Most use soy, whey, or casein isolates. These protein isolates are usually obtained by a high temperature process that over denatures the protein therefore making it almost useless. This process also can create nitrates and other carcinogens. Soy protein isolates also are high in mineral blocking phytates and potent enzyme inhibitors that can lead to abnormal cell growth. Sugar Alcohols are used in some bars to reduce the calorie content of the bar. Sugar alcohols are ...

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Sep 08 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN: Preventing Dehydration-DON’T FORGET TO DRINK, DRINK, DRINK!!!

By Meryl Brandwein, RD, LDN, Nutritionist It’s back to school for most children. Summer is over and that means the start of school sports programs, as well as afterschool programs. The weather is still warm so that usually means playing outdoors in the heat!  Staying well hydrated is a problem for many children during these warm months.  Dehydration is a real concern for children because they tend to forget to drink enough to properly re-hydrate themselves before, during or after a long day of outdoor activities. Children loose vital minerals and electrolytes not only through sweat, but through breathing as well. In hot weather the water loss goes up dramatically. Many sports programs have long practice sessions. Contrary to popular belief it is also possible to become dehydrated while swimming or participating in outdoor water activities. If children do not consistently drink throughout the day to replenish lost water, electrolytes and minerals they can suffer serious injury in the form of heat exhaustion or more severe heat stroke.  These are potentially dangerous conditions, and if untreated, can be life threatening. Staying well hydrated is easy to do, and you don’t need those fancy sugar drinks to do it.   Remembering to drink is the key.  Keeping a water bottle handy at all times is advised, when participating in outdoor sports.  Parent tip: If it’s a group activity, as in a school or afterschool sports ...

Posted in: What's In the Food

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Sep 08 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN: Nutrients in Our Food-Do You Know What You’re Eating, and Why?

Walk into any bookstore and you will find hundreds of diet books lining the shelves. Surf the web and your likely to find thousands of diet tips, various questionable nutritional recommendations, as well as a myriad of individuals, some professionals some not so professional, all of whom profess that their plan offers the solution to your nutritional prayers. It is no wonder that we are confused. It seems as though we have nothing left to eat anymore. Our goal at The Nerdel Company is to set the record straight and declare that all of the macronutrients: Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats play a vital role in our diets. The focus here is to learn how to strike that balance between all three. Let's start with the basics. Proteins are known as the building blocks of life. A protein is formed from many smaller amino acids. These amino acids are what make up our muscle tissue, organs, immune system and hormones to name a few. There are a total of 20 amino acids. Eight of them are essential. This means that we must obtain them from our diets. The rest of the amino acids can be made from, or synthesized by the body from those eight essential amino acids. All animal proteins contain the necessary amino acids our bodies need to produce all of the other amino acids. These are known as complete proteins. ...

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Sep 08 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN: Childhood Obesity and How To Plan The Easy Home Cooked Healthy Meal.

Let's face the facts: Life is busy. Not exactly news to most of us who follow a hectic if not somewhat frazzled schedule. Busy parents working busy schedules to provide the best for their families, often pay the price for society's demanding pace. Unfortunately, we are now witnessing the results of that busy lifestyle as reflected in the number of overweight and obese adults, and more alarmingly overweight and obese children. Too often, many well intentioned parents succumb to the pressure of their schedules and find themselves in a dinner-time dilemma! I am referring to those of us who have the best intentions of providing their families with a wholesome evening meal, yet for one reason or another, wind up at the nearest fast food drive thru or the closest microwave to reheat a frozen meal. The never ending question of “What do I feed my kids? How do I do it quickly, and healthfully?” are words uttered on the tongue of every well intentioned parent. The bottom line is that there is no substitution for good planning. This isn't to say that we need to work out a weekly menu plan weeks in advance. It means coming up with a plan that works for your family and your particular situation. It means making changes slowly and gradually. It means taking one or two nights out of the week to sit ...

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Mar 04 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN: The Back To School Diet Plan

All About Breakfast: Breakfast is an important meal for everyone to eat. It is especially important for children and teenagers. A good breakfast plays an important role in physical health and supports emotional stability and mental alertness. Breakfast should have lots of fiber, good fats and protein; and should contain as little added sugar as possible. Nutritious Lunch Tips: Lunch needs to be balanced so that there's enough energy both for the brain and the body to finish the day productively. Lunch should have a protein, a good grain and good fats. It should be similar to breakfast but contain a slightly larger portion to get you through the brunt of your work day as well as at least one serving of veggies. Veggies are important because they provide the mind and body with much needed energy as well as many vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. These all help you reach your maximum potential throughout the day. Easy munchies such as finger fruits like grapes, Clementine's (they peel easily) bananas, apples, pears and nectarines offer a great natural pick me up. Veggies like carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers and broccoli are easy to dip in salsas, guacamole or hummus. Lunch doesn't have to be a sandwich. Salads are great ways to get in your veggies and protein. Add some nuts and dried fruit for that extra brain boost! Stuffing veggies such as the Stuffed ...

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