Do Cheez-its have real cheese?

My mom recently sent me a care package in the mail. Was it full of homemade cookies and chocolate hearts and love notes? Nah.

Cheez-its. Yep, bags and bags of individual servings of Cheez-its. I don’t even remember the last time I had one of the crispy yellow cheese-crackers. But hey, I took it as a nutritional learning opportunity. So here’s the question…Do Cheez-its actually include real cheese??

Do Cheez-its really have REAL cheese??
Do Cheez-its really have REAL cheese??

Continue reading “Do Cheez-its have real cheese?”

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It’s time for Red Wine!

Red Wine, like all other alcoholic beverages, does not include a nutrition label.

This is because alcoholic beverages are regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), rather than the FDA. The TTB does not require nutrition labeling.

So how does one figure out the nutrition in a drink such as Red Wine?

Do you know the nutrition in Red Wine?

A simple internet search of course!

On average, a 5-6 oz (one serving size) glass of red wine will have about 150 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates (roughly 2% RDA), 6% RDA Potassium, 5% Iron, and about 1% Calcium! Neat!

It is also helpful to know that the basic ingredients in red wine are grapes, sugar, and yeast. The potassium in wine may come from the soil where the grapes are harvested from.

Do some research on the web to find out about the nutritional info of your favorite alcoholic beverage. Are you surprised by anything? Do you think drinks should include a nutritional label to help us make the best health decisions? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Milk is “Dairy”, but Cream is not?

If you look at the USDA “Dairy” Food Group, you will see that not all milk products are listed as “Dairy”.

Huh?? Why?? Why is Cream not dairy?

And wait–Why is Ice Cream considered “Dairy”?

Butter is not?? Cream cheese is not?

Don’t they all come from the same thing??

dairycow

Continue reading “Milk is “Dairy”, but Cream is not?”

Mac and Cheese, Please!

Mmmmmmm Mac and Cheese. Who doesn’t love it?

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

The beauty of this dish is that it is such a cinch to put together, and such a crowd-pleaser.

Examine this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese nutrition label to get an idea of the nutrients in this delicious concoction.

But even if you don’t look at a nutrition label, knowing the main ingredients of any recipe can help you estimate nutritional content.

Mac and Cheese is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. Macaroni and, Cheese! However, usually some Milk and Butter are added as well to get just that right consistency.

So let’s look at these four ingredients: Macaroni, Cheese, Milk, and Butter. What nutrients do they offer?

Well…..

1) Macaroni (aka an elbow shaped pasta) is usually made of enriched flour. This means it is made from fortified wheat flour that contains many B vitamins and iron. And since it is made from flour, this means it is a carb! Our body loves and NEEDS carbohydrates.

2) Cheese is a processed dairy product, meaning it contains protein, calcium, fat, and sodium. Oh and since it is an animal food product, it contains the essential vitamin B-12!! Remember, B-12 is mostly only found in animal food products.

3) Milk is ..milk. Usually, the kind we consume comes from cows. And even though milk is used to make cheese, there are some key nutritional differences.

4) Butter. butter butter butter. So yummy, and so nutritious! Check out why it is great to include some butter in our diets. (Hint: Butter is a Fat. And we NEED fats!)

Phew! What a wonderful list of nutrition from our friend, Mac and Cheese. Remember to learn about the proper nutrition for YOUR body, and to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in your diet. Undernourishment, overnourishment, and malnourishment are no bueno.

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

Mac and Cheese can absolutely be part of a healthy diet once we understand the nutrients it offers! Look at the nutrition labels on mac and cheese ingredients to see what you’re consuming. And remember, recipes can be tweaked to fit your diet! That is why learning how to cook is essential in life. Happy Mac’ing!

Milk and Cheese, Similar..Yet So Different

Check out the nutrition labels below taken from 1% milk and white cheddar cheese cubes.

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Milk
IMG_4870
Cheese

When you look at the ingredients list, you can see that both are made from milk. (The milk carton also has vitamin D added because most milk in the USA is fortified with vitamin D.)

So let’s ignore the vitamin D since we know that is an added fortificant.

If both are milk products, the nutritional info must be the same right?? HMmmm.

Well for one thing, both have similar amounts of calcium.

But let’s look at and discuss the three MACROnutrients: Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates.

– The cheese has more fat because this particular kind  was not made from skim milk. Ok makes sense.
Protein levels are similar as well. Cool. Still makes sense.

But let’s look at the carbohydrates. This is the most shocking difference! Why does regular milk have a a whopping 12 g of carbohydrates per serving and cheese have practically NONE??

??????????????Why does milk have SUGAR and cheese NOT????????????????????

Well, my friends, this is due to the sugar, Lactose, which is present in milk but not most cheeses. Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk, kind of like fructose is the naturally occurring sugar in fruits.

When making cheese, the lactose is converted into something entirely different. The fermentation process in cheesemaking practically gets rid of all the lactose. And the longer the cheese ages, the less lactose it has! So for all those lactose intolerant people.. cheese may be A-OK!

So what does this all mean? This means that milk has carbohydrates, while most cheeses do not! Carbohydrates are our bodies primary source of energy, but some people may need to monitor their carbohydrate intake more than others. For example: endurance athletes, diabetics, etc.

Make sure to keep this nutritional fact in mind! And help share the education! Please comment below if you know any other foods that are made from similar ingredients yet have different nutritional properties!! 😀 Happy Learning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waffle House of Nutrition

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All Star Breakfast at Waffle House
All Star Breakfast at Waffle House

 

 

 

Let’s face it. You will probably end up at a Waffle House this weekend. And you will probably order the All-Star breakfast. Because you’re an All Star. Because it’s the first menu item and written all patriotic-like in a red, white, and blue banner. Because it consists of a waffle AND hashbrowns AND bacon AND eggs AND coffee. Because you’re American, and it is almost your duty to order it.

Most importantly, it will be delicious. And nutritious? YES. It will be very nutritious because like we always say here at Positive Eats, ALL FOODS HAVE NUTRITION!
….. 

Well, What kind of nutrition? Tell me more…

OK I will! (did I just have a conversation with myself?)

Whatever it’s a blog.

Anyway..  let’s look at each separate component of this feast:

THE WAFFLE (+ Syrup)

Food201
Fluffy with just the right amount of crispness around each indented groove, the infamous Waffle from Waffle house is perfect. It is also a great vehicle for B-vitamins and iron! This is because waffles are made from enriched flour. Flour fortification with nutrients is mandatory in the US.

And who can eat waffles without syrup? Maple syrup is full of antioxidants, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium!

Together, waffles + syrup are a sweet carbohydrate powerhouse–meaning you will have ENERGY!!!! for hours!!!

EGGS and BACON
Eggs and Bacon–The perfect salty/savory compliment to the waffle. Both are FULL of the macro-nutrient, PROTEIN! We need protein for virtually everything in life, including growth and repair and metabolic functions. And since both eggs and bacon are animal products, they contain the essential vitamin B-12, which is ONLY found in animal products, along with a slew of other nutrients. COol!

HASHBROWNSandrea waffle house
mmm potatoes!!! Vitamin C!!! Potassium! Find out more about potatoes in this earlier post on French Fries. Like your hashbrowns “covered”? aka topped with melted cheese? You are adding calcium and protein! Read more about cheese here.

COFFEE
We all know that coffee has a lot of caffeine. But with regards to nutrients, did you know coffee contains essential B vitamins and manganese and potassium?

And there you have it. A full breakfast at Waffle House. A full dose of NUTRITION! 🙂

Remember, remain positive about what you eat!! We cannot fuel our bodies with regret, guilt, or shame! Happy eating everyone!! And enjoy the weekend.

And now for the irrelevant but relevant question: How do you like your Waffle House hashbrowns? Smothered? Covered? Capped?