Sunday, May 7, 2017

Nutrition in the News

Some interesting research and articles in the news.  Do you like guacamole or adding some avocados to your salad?   Good for your overall health and especially good for your eyes.   Have small children around?  Cut up those grapes and cherry tomatoes.  Do you enjoy some KFC?  Healthier KFC is coming soon.

Avocados – in the June 2017 edition of Consumer Reports they noted the following question: “Someone told me avocados are good for your eyes.”  True or False?
So true.  Consumer Reports notes avocados are rich with two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.  Both are great for healthy eyes.  Dr. Lipman, Consumer Reports’ Chief Medical Advisor stated, “..they are thought to filter the blue UV rays from the sun – which can damage these eye parts – helping to prevent macular degeneration and possible cataracts.”  
Other vegetables that are also good for eye health are those that are dark green such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and zucchini.  But avocados are especially good for eyes because they also have a healthy fat that helps us absorb the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.  Moreover, the fat in avocados may also help protect against macular degeneration.  So enjoy some guacamole or add some avocado to a salad or include in a smoothie. 

KFC – enjoy fast food?  Coming in 2018, KFC will be serving chicken that has NOT been raised with antibiotics.  Anytime we buy chicken to cook at home, we look to find chicken that is hormone and antibiotic free.  Consumer Reports acknowledges that they have been asking restaurant chains to stop using meat or chicken that is from meat suppliers that use antibiotics.  I like the KFC grilled chicken so I am glad to know it will soon be without antibiotics.

Choking and young kids (5 and younger)  – parents should remember to cut up whole grapes and cherry tomatoes as these pose a choking risk for young children.  Most parents are aware that small toys can pose a choking risk but so can some foods. Grapes and tomatoes are healthy, just remember to cut up whole grapes and cherry tomatoes before serving to a small child. The Archives of Disease in Childhood noted a 5-year-old boy ate whole grapes at an after-school club and choked.  Cutting grapes in half or even in fourths can prevent choking.  Other foods like hot dogs and carrots shouldn’t be cut up into “coin” shapes but into smaller pieces.  KidsHealth offers good information on preventing choking in young children.  They advise that soft foods like cheese cubes, hot dogs, sausages, grapes and caramels can cause choking.  Harder foods such as sunflower seeds, raw carrots, popcorn and raw apples and pears can be a problem for kids younger than 4 years old. 

So enjoy some guacamole or add some avocados to your salad for good eye health.  Know that KFC will be offering antibiotic free chicken in 2018.  And for those who have smaller kids, remember to cut up foods into small pieces.


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