A University of Miami researcher says bad economic news that leads people to think resources are scarce can trigger a survival instinct and cause them to choose high-calorie foods over more healthy choices. The study suggested this effect could mean that people will look at calorie counts on restaurant menus and choose less healthy items, but a health expert said that data show calorie counts have little effect on people one way or another.
Nutrient-rich lunches and snacks served at regular intervals help brain development and concentration and give children the energy they need for the school day, nutrition experts say. Registered dietitian Kari Kooi at The Methodist Hospital in Houston says children also need to drink plenty of liquids and avoid candy and snacks that drain energy.
People who do not like the taste of vegetables or other healthy foods should focus on tastes they do like and find nutritious foods that fit the bill, according to Mayo Clinic registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky. She says many people like a sweet taste, which brings vegetables such as sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, browned squash and corn into play, while those who like a dash of spice can choose from a variety of peppers.
Omega-3s are linked to heart health, relieving depression and arthritis, and possibly a lower risk of some cancers, but while two of the fatty acids -- DHA and EPA found in oily fish -- have been well studied, ALA, found in plants and nuts, has not had as much research. Dietitians say omega-3s are important but still can be high in calories and that foods that naturally contain fatty acids are better choices than fortified products.
Registered dietitian Stacey Jackson, who works at a ShopRite in White Plains, N.Y., said in-store dietitians can influence community health by helping consumers as they shop and by partnering with groups to use the store as an educational tool for children and adults. Top issues for consumers include weight loss, diabetes, heart health and food allergies, according to RD Natalie Menza of Wakefern Food.