I Spy Nutrients: Pop Tarts edition

I Spy Nutrients: Pop Tarts edition

Let’s take a moment to look at the nutrition (taken from poptarts.com) in a blueberry Pop-Tart. How much fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals do you see?

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If it’s orange, think Vitamin A

Here’s an easy rule of thumb that I use when thinking about nutrients in foods: If the food is naturally yellow or deep orange colored, it most likely contains abundous (yes I just used that word that’s not a word but seems like a word again) amounts of Vitamin A!!

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orange colored foods most likely are rich in vitamin A!

Examples:

– sweet potatoes
– carrots
– pumpkin
– butternut squash
– cantaloupe
– bell peppers
– mangos

And any food that contains these orange foods will be a rich source of vitamin A. Sweet potato pie? Carrot cake? Mango sorbet? Yes, yes, and yes. Full of it.

Carrot cake is made from lots of carrots. Carrots have lots of vitamin A. Winning!!
Carrot cake is made from lots of carrots. Carrots have lots of vitamin A. Winning!!

We need Vitamin A for healthy vision, as well as healthy immune, and reproductive systems. Other great sources of vitamin A (that are not the brilliant orange color) are liver (because vitamin A is stored in the liver of animals) and greens such as kale, collards, and romaine lettuce.

Most of the time, the natural colors of foods can be a good indicator of what nutrients are abundant. So the lesson for today is..if it’s orange, think Vitamin A! Oh and one more thing: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s best absorbed when eaten with some fat. So enjoy your vitamin A food-vehicles with some butter, nuts, oils, etc.

What’s your favorite source of Vitamin A?

Embrace the (Kraft) Single life!

I also wanted to call this post: Kraft Singles–American Legend. Anyways… Oh those delicious orange squares! That satisfying sound of tearing off the rigged seals of the thin plastic to reveal, according to today’s health experts, one of the most taboo foods on earth. You’ve all heard it before–“Don’t eat processed foods!” “That is not real cheese!” “It’s sooo bad for you!” In fact, find it here on this list along with other supposedly bad foods (white bread, pasta, soy sauce, peanuts..you know. all those bad foods)

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Kraft Singles: American Legend

But remember, THERE ARE NO BAD FOODS. Only bad relationships with foods, that stem from society’s need to guilt trip us. Let me tell you though–There is even nutrition in our beloved friend, the Kraft single!

This post was inspired by a reader submitted story, which I will now so eloquently re-tell:

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The Kraft singles cheese sandwich made and eaten by a reader. 20% calcium, 2% vitamin A, AND protein? Awesome!

She was volunteering at a school luncheon, had forgotten to eat breakfast and was starving by afternoon. In effort to get some fuel into her body she slapped together a quick cheese sandwich made from two pieces of white bread and two slices of Kraft singles. Normally she would have kicked herself for caving in to hunger and consuming such fake, horrible, plastic, chemically induced milk-by-product between nutritionally void bread..but this time she chose to think POSITIVELY about the nutrition of the sandwich she just consumed. And here is how:

1. White flour is fortified with many essential micronutrients. We’ve discussed it before in the OREO post.

2. Each Kraft single contains 20%!!! of your daily calcium needs, 2% vitamin A, and 3 g of protein!!! Check out the Kraft single nutritional info!

And she lived happily ever after, did not consume Kraft singles every day, but was not going to feel guilty about the occasional orange square either!

What’s your opinion on Kraft singles and other cheese products like Velveeta, or Easy Cheese?

Icing on the Cake

I have read many-a-health-blogs that suggested you scrape the icing off a piece of cake before eating it to save calories, save fat, save sugar. And to that I say, save it for what? Save it to ingest in some other form that is not the delicious frosting on top of my cake? Save it for after the party so I can pride myself for snacking on an apple and peanut butter instead?

The icing on top of the cake: Goodness on top of more goodness
The icing on top of the cake: Goodness on top of more goodness

The idiom “Icing on the Cake” came into existence because it is the perfect example of “something good that is added to another good thing”. But our over-obsessed health culture today is rendering this expression meaningless. Icing, or frosting, is becoming synonymous with “bad”, “unhealthy”, “fattening”. And that is true if you choose to look at it that way.

Or you can choose to look at frosting as what it is! A simple mixture of sugar, dairy and butter–all of which are FOODS with nutritional value!! I’ve discussed sugar and dairy in the “Ice cream is good for you” post, so let’s focus on the butter component of icing. Or frosting. Whichever you call it.

BUTTERcream frosting
BUTTERcream frosting

Alright. Let’s get some things straight. Butter facts:

1. Butter is a fat. It is not what makes you fat. It is a TYPE of fat. Fat is essential for survival.

2. Butter is rich rich RICH in Vitamins A, E, D, and K2.

3. Butter has iodine!!

4. Butyric acid. Wonder where it get its name from?;)

5. Linoleic acid. <—read about it. it’s cool stuff!!!

6. THE benefits of BUTTER list goes on and on and on..

So celebrate butter. Celebrate the icing on the cake. Make this buttercream fosting today. Life is too short to rob ourselves of nutritional happiness in times of celebration (isn’t this usually when we eat cake anyway?)

Have your cake, eat it, AND the icing too!!!!!

And now for today’s relevant, yet irrelevant question: What is your ideal cake:frosting ratio?