Saturday, February 26, 2011

World Pistachio Day
February 26th

February 26th is World Pistachio Day. Pistachios were introduced in the United States in the 1930s. Today, California produces more than 400 million pounds of pistachios each year making it a leading producer of pistachios worldwide. Each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of seeds, or around 50,000, every two years.

             Pistachios Offer Multiple Health Benefits
Pistachio nuts, eaten as part of a healthy diet, can increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood of adults with high cholesterol, according to Penny Kris-Etherton, Penn State professor of nutrition, along with an international team of nutritional scientists. Previous research has shown that pistachios also lower lipids and lipoproteins, which benefits heart health.

                             Pistachio's Public Image
Lucy does it with a kick. See how Lucy and Charlie Brown of the Peanuts gang get snackin' with Wonderful Pistachios.

To learn more about the Pistachio, visit the following links:
Website. The Green Nut
Website. Pistachio Health
Event.  World Pistachio Day
Twitter. Wonderful Pistachios @getcrackin
Facebook. Wonderful Pistachios

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eat Right with Color
Celebrate National Nutrition Month (March 2011)

Designed for National Nutrition Month® (NNM), a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The March 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month® is "Eat Right with Color."

The theme explores the health benefits associated with eating foods of many colors. "Eating a rainbow” refers to including color diversity in your meals and food choices, so as to enhance your intake of a wide range of nutrients.

During the month of March, we will explore the colors of foods and their benefits.

Prepared by Dietitians-Online, Weighing-Success, Wellness News, Wheelchair-Connection, Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN, Jake Frank, Lance Li and Jonathan Cruz

Music: "I Can Sing a Rainbow" written by Arthur Hamilton. Featured in the 1955 film, "Pete Kelly's Blues" and sung by Peggy Lee.

The graphic designs come from over 600 photographs of colorful foods collected by my staff. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February is Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month

To highlight this beautiful and delicious fruit, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association has created a series of educational videos, starring Jammer, the Strawberry.

Jammer the Strawberry and Nutrition

In 1982, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) was officially formed. This organization became a voice for Florida strawberry growers. The mission for the handful of farmers was to become "partners in research, promotion and member/community service”.

FSGA is a non-profit organization located in the city of Dover, which is a part of Hillsborough County, Florida. It is the parent company of the Florida Strawberry Patent Service and the Florida Strawberry Research and Education Foundation.

Over the years, the growers have formed a voluntary organization representing over 8,000 acres of berries. Hillsborough County, Florida produces about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter. The 18 million flats produced each year, if placed end to end, would extend from Plant City, Florida to Seattle, Washington and back again.

Hillsborough County, Florida is recognized as the "Winter Strawberry Capital of the World and the home of some of the sweetest, reddest and juiciest strawberries around."

Strawberry Sue is the home of the FSGA blog. Sue Harrell, known affectionately as Strawberry Sue, is FSGA’s director of marketing, seasoned strawberry grower and the voice of the blog.  Sue will keep you informed and inspired. You’ll find helpful strawberry-related links, year-round news from the fields, special events and easy to prepare strawberry recipes.

Strawberry Sue demonstrates how to make an
Edible Strawberry Bouquet
(not just for Valentine's Day)

Visit the FSGA website for additional information, including research, educational resources, recipes, events and contact information.

Healthy Strawberry Recipes and Tips. EatingWell has a selection of fresh and delicious strawberry recipes, such as
Arugula and Strawberry Salad. Per serving: 204 calories; 16 g fat; 7 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 251 mg sodium.
Green Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese. Per serving: 215 calories; 17 g fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 209 mg sodium.
Grilled Chicken Salad with a Fresh Strawberry Dressing. Per serving: 321 calories; 17 g fat; 49 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 5 g fiber; 356 mg sodium.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Almond Day
February 16, 2011

Health Benefits of

Almond Safety
Almond pasteurization became mandatory for the California almond industry on September 1, 2007, and was implemented on a voluntary basis over the previous two years. All almonds must be pasteurized before being sold to consumers in North America.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with a technical review panel comprised of almond scientific experts, are responsible for evaluating and approving the treatment processes that demonstrate effectiveness in achieving a reduction of possible contamination in almonds while not impacting their quality and sensory attributes. To date, FDA has approved oil roasting, dry roasting, blanching, steam processing and propylene oxide (PPO) processes as acceptable forms of pasteurization for almonds. Organic almonds will be pasteurized using treatments, such as steam pasteurization, that meet the USDA Organic Program’s national standards. Other forms of pasteurization continue to be researched, evaluated and tested. ABC worked over several years with leading experts and weighed all perspectives and issues in developing this industry-wide pasteurization plan.

Almonds, From Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI) Turns 40

I first learned about CSPI in the mid 1970’s. I was working on my undergraduate degree in Dietetics and Nutrition when I heard about a conference on regulating food advertising aimed at children.  A topic, I am deeply concerned about, then and now. Michael Jacobson, PhD, Executive Director and one of the original founders of CSPI was the keynote speaker. His enthusiasm and determination was contagious.

Founded in 1971, CSPI has worked vigorously to educate the public, advocate government policies consistent with scientific evidence on health and environmental issues, and question industry’s influence on public opinion and public policies. Over the years, CSPI has earned the respect of consumers, politicians, health professionals, media, government agencies, and scientific communities as an influential and independent science-based organization and consumer advocate.

 Mission Statement. 
“CSPI is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.”
Nutrition Action
Major Changes in the Food Environment
May 7, 2008

CSPI publishes the “Nutrition Action Healthletter”, known for its current and objective information on nutrition and health concerns. The content represents CSPI’s three main goals:
1. To provide useful, objective information to the public and policymakers and to conduct research on food, alcohol, health, the environment, and other issues related to science and technology
2. To represent the citizen's interests before regulatory, judicial and legislative bodies on food, alcohol, health, the environment, and other issues; and
3. To ensure that science and technology are used for the public good and to encourage scientists to engage in public-interest activities

Topics are easy to understand and are written by experts in the field, such as CSPI nutrition director Bonnie Liebman, MS. One of my favorite sections is the “Right Stuff vs. Food Porn”.

CSPI is an organization made up of dedicated individuals. The work they have accomplished in the last 40 years is remarkable. As an educator and journalist, my responsibility is to continue to inform the public of reliable resources.

To the new generation of concerned citizens, politicians, health and science professionals, media, and government agencies, CSPI is an organization to follow. You can also become involved by joining CSPI Action Network.

To learn more about CSPI visit
Website.  CSPI
Facebook. CSPI
YouTube. CSPI TV

Subscribe to Nutrition Action
Join CSPI Action Network
Make a Donation

I was too shy back in the 1970s to say thank you; I hope it’s not too late.

Happy Birthday CSPI and Thank You for Keeping us Safe and Informed.

with warm regards,
Sandra Frank, Ed.D., RD, LDN

CSPI in the News

Kellogg's Agrees to Reduce Junk Food Marketing to Kids
 May 9, 2008

 Heart Attack Entrees and Side Orders of Stroke
June 3, 2009 

Unsafe levels of sodium chloride, or salt, in chain restaurant meals increase one's chance of developing hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The nonprofit food safety and nutrition watchdog group today is exposing chain restaurant meals with dangerously high levels of sodium and is renewing its call on industry and government to lower sodium levels in foods. Here is some news coverage of CSPI's report. 

CSPI is currently working on the following issues:
  1. Get junk foods out of schools nationwide.
  2. Rid the food supply of partially hydrogenated oil, the source of artificial trans fat that promotes heart disease.
  3. Reduce sodium in processed and restaurant foods.
  4. Improve food safety laws and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.
  5. Advocate for healthier, plant-based, environmentally friendly diets.
  6. Ensure accurate and honest labeling on food packages.
  7. Require basic nutrition labeling on chain-restaurants’ menus and menu boards.
  8. Provide responsible information about the benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology.
  9. Obtain greater federal funding for alcohol-abuse prevention policies; and
  10. Expose industry influence over the scientific process and in government policy-making.

A Heart Healthy Valentine

Collection of heart shaped and heart healthy foods with special valentine messages for a heart healthy life.

Wishing you love, laughter, health and friendship.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
February 7 - 14, 2011

The Congenital Heart Information Network, a 501(c)3 organization created by the mother of a child with complex heart defects, provides reliable information, support services and resources to families of children with congenital defects and acquired heart disease, adults with congenital heart defects, and the professionals who work with them. Additional services include financial assistance to families in crisis, funding for local affiliated support groups, and sponsorship of an international CHD Awareness Campaign. With the guidance of a medical Advisory Panel, they maintain a commitment to providing resources that are accurate and reliable.

CHD Awareness Week 2011
A mother and daughter's journey and their mission
to learn and create awareness of CHD.

Camp Oki is Canada's first and only Summer Camp for children with congenital heart disease, including those with pacemakers, internal defibrillators and transplants. Created by SickKids cardiologist Dr Joel Kirsh, the free camp launched in 2004 with 30 kids over a long weekend and now hosts 60 campers over one week. Camp Oki's volunteer counselors are SickKids staff and former campers and they are able to provide a fun, safe and enjoyable recreational opportunity for children who are often excluded from mainstream summer camping programs.

The Congenital Heart Information Network story reflects the courage, compassion, and commitment of one international community of The "online" families and dedicated medical professionals, who have maximized the interactive capabilities of the Internet to educate, inform, and connect people with one another in a very positive way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

America Goes Red for Women Across the Country

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement utilizes the energy, commitment and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

Go Red and Beat It!
Texas Health Fort Worth employees are joining together to beat heart disease. A creative and innovative video depicting the employees passion to raise awareness of heart disease, Texas Health Fort Worth wants to know what you are doing to beat this disease?

Red Heart Dance - MetroSouth Medical Center
MetroSouth Medical Center employees produced a video to raise awareness
about heart health. They urge all who are risk to Know Their Numbers By Heart

Go Red - Tell 5 and Save Lives
Life's Simple Seven

Life's Simple Seven:‎ 1. Get Active; 2. Control Cholesterol; 3. Eat Better; 4. Manage Blood Pressure; 5. Lose Weight; 6. Reduce Blood Sugar; and 7. Stop Smoking.

Tell five family members and friends how they can get heart healthy. Visit the
American Heart Association. A warm thanks to the Broward County Dietetic Association for their assistance in helping spread this Heart Healthy message.
Outrunning My Shadow
GoRed Day in Las Vegas
GoRed day is the fight against Heart Disease in Women. Video shot at Macy's
and The Freemont Street Experience in Las Vegas

Greystone Healthcare Management (Florida, Indiana and Ohio) .
Prepared this video to create awareness of Heart Disease,
the leading cause of death in the United States.

Anadarko: Go Red For Women Day

Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Go Red for Heart Disease Awareness

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

National Jell-O Week
February 6 - 12, 2011

February is National Snack Month
February 6 to 12, 2011

Jelly or jello comes from gelatin. The Gelatin found in Jell-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hooves and connective tissues. Gelatin is not recommended for vegetarians. In 1923 D-Zerta became the first sugar-free gelatin dessert.

Agar or agar-agar is a gelatinous substance derived from agarophyte (red algae). Agar is used as an ingredient in desserts, a vegetarian gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in jellies, ice cream and other desserts. Agar-agar is approximately 80% fiber and serves to regulate bowel movements.

Agar-agar is sold in packages as washed and dried strips or in powdered form. For making jelly, it is boiled in water until the solids dissolve. Sweetener, flavouring, colouring, fruit or vegetables are then added and the liquid is poured into molds to be served as desserts and vegetable aspics, or incorporated with other desserts.
Reference: Wikipedia

as an Art Medium

Liz Hickok is a San Francisco-based artist known for her work in Jell-O. Her artwork is exhibited across the country and internationally. Hickok’s San Francisco in Jell-O has been covered by The New York Times, Harper’s, Gastronomica, and  appeared on the cover of Artweek. Hickok also appeared on the Food Network Awards Show, where she won an award for “Best Use of Food as Art Medium.”

Click the link to view Liz Hickok portfolio.
Commercials Through the Years
1950's to 1960's



As a dietitian gelatin became known as a stable for clear liquid and full-liquid diets. It is often recommended for vomiting as a means to replace fluid loss and provide calories. The sugar-free gelatin became a favorite for individuals as a "Free Food" on weight-loss programs and diabetic diets. Gelatin is considered a fluid and therefore must be calculated when a patient is placed on a fluid restriction.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

Sable as Cosell
Snoopy for the Green Bay Packers.
Jessie for the Pittsburgh Steelers



Friday, February 4, 2011

Go Red for Women
Life's Simple 7

The Broward County Dietetic Association wants you to Tell 5 and Save Lives. Keep your "Heart- Healthy". A message from the American Heart Association.

Go Red For Women
 In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an “older man’s disease.” To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement utilizes the energy, commitment and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

In 2010, the American Heart Association set a strategic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20% while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% by the year 2020.

Go Red For Women targets women because only 55 percent of women realize heart disease is their No. 1 killer and less than half know what are considered healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. The Go Red For Women movement works to make sure women know they are at risk so they can take action to protect their health.
Tell 5 and Save Lives
Tell five family members and friends how they can get heart healthy. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3 women each year. This means women just like you - mothers, sisters, friends - are dying at the rate of one per minute because they don't know what you know: heart disease kills.

Just think: By simply bringing your network to our network, you could save lives. And if your five tell five, your mission can eventually impact hundreds and thousands of women.

Life's Simplified Seven

Get Active
Finding time in our busy lives for exercise is a challenge for all Americans. But the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices it takes to create time. The facts are clear: By exercising for as little as 30 minutes each day you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength and ability to function well. Physical activity = living a longer, healthier life.

Regular Physical Activity helps: Lower blood pressure, increase HDL “good” cholesterol in your blood, control blood sugar by improving how your body uses insulin, reduce feelings of stress, control body weight and make you feel good about yourself.

Control Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's normal to have cholesterol. Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it's used for producing cell membranes and some hormones, and serves other needed bodily functions. But too much cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and for stroke.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75% of blood cholesterol. The other 25% comes from the foods you eat.
LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol. When too much of it circulates in the blood, it can clog arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. LDL cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes that cause them to make too much. Eating saturated fat, trans fats and dietary cholesterol also increases how much you have.

American Heart Association Recommendations:  Total blood cholesterol is the most common measurement of blood cholesterol. It's the number you receive as test results. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher puts you in a high-risk category and is cause to take action.

Eat Better
A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, but are lower in calories. To get the nutrients you need, choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily from each of the basic food groups.

Recommended Food Choice Guidelines: Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber; and lower in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure. Unrefined whole-grain foods contain fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full. Eat fish at least twice a week. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease. Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat. Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 1500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Manage Blood Pressure

Hypertension (also know as High Blood Pressure) is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can injure or kill you. It's sometimes called "the silent killer" because it has no symptoms. One in three adults has high blood pressure, yet, about 21% don’t even know they have it. Of those with high blood pressure, 69% are receiving treatment, yet, only 45% have their blood pressure controlled.

By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you are:
* Reducing your risk of your vascular walls becoming overstretched and injured,
* Reducing your risk of your heart having to pump harder to compensate for blockages,
* Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs.

American Heart Association Guidelines: High blood pressure is manageable. These changes may reduce your blood pressure without the use of prescription medications: eating a heart-healthy diet, which may include reducing salt; enjoying regular physical activity; maintaining a healthy weight; managing stress; limiting alcohol; avoiding tobacco smoke.

Lose Weight
Among Americans age 20 and older, 145 million are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher). That’s 76.9 million men and 68.1 million women. Obesity is now recognized as a major, independent risk factor for heart disease. If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is at your waist - you are at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.

If you're overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off. When coming up with a fitness and nutrition plan to lose weight, it’s crucial to understand your recommended calorie intake. And then the amount of food calories you’re consuming verses the energy calories you’re burning off with different levels of physical activity. It’s balancing healthy eating (caloric energy) with the (molecular) energy that leaves your body through a healthy level of exercise.

Reduce Blood Sugar
The American Heart Association considers diabetes one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Most people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.
Pre-diabetes and subsequent type 2 diabetes usually results from insulin resistance. When insulin resistance or diabetes occur with other CVD risk factors (such as obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides), the risk of heart disease and stroke rises even more. Controlling glucose can slow the progression of long-term complications. Often, many small changes add up to surprising improvements in diabetes control, including less need for medication.

American Heart Association Guidelines:  When diabetes is detected, a doctor may prescribe changes in eating habits, weight control, exercise programs and medication to keep it in check. It's critical for people with diabetes to have regular check-ups. Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes and control any other risk factors. For example, blood pressure for people with diabetes should be lower than 130/80 mm Hg.

Stop Smoking
Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis - the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries - which can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke. Smoking by itself increases the risk of coronary heart disease. When it acts with the other factors, it greatly increases your risk from those factors, too. Smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot. It decreases HDL (good) cholesterol. Your risks increase greatly if you smoke and have a family history of heart disease. Smoking also creates a higher risk for peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysm. It increases the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease after bypass surgery, too.