Spooky, Scary Nutrition Facts

By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Outsmart those spooks with simple, healthy eating tips…
and Click here for the homemade Pumpkin Hummus recipe! 

Happy Halloween!  In honor of this spooky holiday we are going to share some scary nutrition facts you’ll want to know.  But don’t be afraid… we’ll arm you with the info you need to steer clear of these frightful foods and boost the nutritional quality of your everyday diet instead.

Frightful Facts:

1.    BPA
The lining of most canned tomatoes contain BPA (bisphenol-A), a man-made chemical toxin that has hormonal properties.  The acidity of the tomato causes BPA to leech from the lining into the food more easily.  High blood levels of BPA are linked to increased risk for reproductive problems, certain cancers, metabolic conditions, ADHD, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.

Outsmart those spooks!
Make sauce from tomatoes in your garden over the summer then freeze to enjoy all year long.  If you don’t have homemade, you can find crushed tomatoes or sauce in a glass jar or box at the store, often in the imported section.  Look for products with only one ingredient, tomatoes!  Add your own spices, garlic, fresh or dried herbs.

2.    GMO
Genetically modified foods are rampant in our current food supply with approximately 70% of corn farms, 93% of soy farms and 90% of sugar beets, thought to be affected in the United States.  Research is mounting about the damaging effects of a diet high in GMO foods, such as sterility and serious allergies.

Outsmart those spooks!
Look for non-GMO labels or organic foods.  Hopefully prop 37 will pass in California, leading the nation in requiring labeling foods with GMO.

3.    Farm Raised Fish
Farm raised fish are lower in nutrients including protein and contain more harmful contaminants, pro inflammatory fats, antibiotics and pesticides.

Outsmart those spooks!
Look for wild fish.  You can even find canned, wild salmon in a BPA free can for a quick, healthy lunch that’s also very affordable.  For an extra health boost mix wild, canned salmon with avocado instead of mayo.

4.  Corn-Fed Beef
The natural diet for cattle includes grazing on vegetation like grasses and legumes.  When they are fed corn and other grain-based processed feeds they receive higher levels of pro-inflammatory nutrients that are stored in the muscle mass that we consume.

Outsmart those spooks!
Look for lean, grass-fed beef that’s local if possible.  Grass fed beef is rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin E and the antioxidant enzymes glutathione and superoxide dismutase, and healthy fats missing from corn-fed beef including more omega-3 fats and less pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats and saturated fats that are bad for the heart.

5.  Additives and Preservatives
The list of possible additives is too long to type out!  Many children and adults are sensitive to these chemicals used to prolong shelf life or for packaged product stability.

Outsmart those spooks!
Make your own.  Here’s a tasty recipe for homemade Pumpkin Hummus.  Hummus is a healthy food rich in protein, good fats and lots of flavor.  But many packaged varieties include preservatives.  Making your own hummus can be easy and quick!

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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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