food facts from Texas FNCE 2016

its the time of year again for all things food and nutrition in my world.  I mean, it usually works out to be about 65% of my day between work and home when I feed my family- but when the Texas Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo rolls around I’ll fully submerged in it.  just what my nutrition slash foodie heart + mind and soul live for.  this year the theme was all about health and lifestyle and what food has to do with it.  I always walk out of those three days with a notebook full of scribbles and so much to reflect on.. and with full desire to change the universe one french fry at a time.  this year was close to home (driving distance), so I got to come home to my babes every night – which I appreciated.  I caught up with old RD friends that I see about once a year at this conference, made some new ones and learned a thing or two about whats new in the nutrition world. 
FOOD: A Prescription for Health and Wellness
rumor has it that GMOs cause cancer, autism, allergies, gluten intolerance, or other illnesses and conditions in humans and animals (remember MAD COW?).  all of these ‘rumors’ are absolutely false. biotechnology in plant agriculture has come to mean the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism and using it in another plant. the result is a GMO (genetically modified organism).  the truth is that every fruit, vegetable, and grain that is commercially available- including organic – has been altered by human hands.  as of 2014 ,GMO’s are grown/imported/used in 70 countries. there are currently nine GMO seeds in the US: alfalfa, canola, corn (field and sweet), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash, and sugar beets… apples have recently been approved and are coming to the market soon! (learn more about GMO’s here)
cancer + obesity. American Institute of Cancer Research
(AICR) estimates that
130,300 U.S. cancer cases every year are related to excess body fat- most commonly endometrial, cervical, ovarian, stomach, lung, and kidney cancers.  if you have diabetes you are at a 23% increased risk in developing breast cancer.
food photography.  a food blogger typically spends up to 6 hours on prepping, styling, shooting, and blogging one single recipe.  toothpicks, cotton swabs, towels, straws, tape, scissors, spray bottle, and tweezers are all good items to have on hand for styling food.  tiny bowls and plates so less food can fill up the space.. and odd numbers are preferred (such as three lemons or 5 meatballs).
dietary fiber + health.  the recommendation for fiber intake is 38 grams/day for men and 25 grams/day for women.  most people only get about 10 grams/day.  in 1985 ‘wood pulp‘ was listed in the ingredients list in the first ‘high fiber bread’. today you would find the word cellulose.
wood pulp IS cellulose.
fiber is fiber, eh?
school lunch program.  there are over 30 million children that utilize the school lunch and school breakfast programs.  colorful salad bars, with fruit and vegetable items offered from A to Z (apples to zucchini) have been successful in elementary schools.  not every school district utilizes these resources in creating healthy balanced meals for their students.
2015 dietary guidelines. the dietary guiltiness play a HUGE role in shaping the structure of many different government food programs (school lunch, WIC) not just providing recommendations on how we should eat and be active. 
five key messages:
follow a healthy + consistent eating pattern across your lifespan // all food and beverage choices matter.  choosing a healthy balanced diet most of the time will help to manage weight and prevent chronic disease.
focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount // to meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient dense foods across the foods groups and within recommended amounts.
Limit calories from added sugars, saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake // 13-17% of our calories come from added sugars. 39% of those calories comes from sugar sweetened beverages- in children ages 1-18 years. nearly 100% of children, ages 1-8, exceed the recommended amount for solid fat and added sugar.
shift to healthier food and beverage choices // drink whole milk?  try 2% or 1%.  always eating out of a can?  opt for fresh (vegetables).  very small changes make the most impact.
support a healthy eating pattern for all // everyone has a role in creating healthy eating patterns in various settings nationwide; including home, school, work, and your community.
NEW food label proposal includes: bold and enlarged serving size + calories per serving, updated daily values , and differentiates between natural sugar and added sugar. 
culinary intervention for certain chronic disease and illness can be significantly improved and/or prevented through food alone.  studies have been shown and conducted in the use of an anti-inflammatory diet against such disease as breast cancer and has shown real benefits.

May 2, 2016

  1. Thank you for this, especially the bit about GMOs. We raise cattle, and I feel like I'm constantly fighting against the waves of misinformation and fear-mongering about hot-button topics like beef, and GMOs! It bugs me so much that I've decided to start a blog about raising cattle (and children) in this environment, so I'm glad to know that once I get going, there's at least one other mom with kids who doesn't believe that GMOs are going to turn us all into aliens 🙂

  2. Hi! I emailed you a while back regarding a Pcos/fertility nutrition plan. My email is I'd really really would love to hear from you! Thanks!

  3. I'm curious to know more about healthy milk choices… I've read many places that drinking whole milk is best, given it's more pure state. As long as you're aware of the serving size, is whole milk an overall healthier choice?

  4. Dani Lewis says:

    Where did you get those sunglasses? Love them

  5. as an RD myself, I just LOVE every bit of this! thanks for your summary 🙂 all such great info. through media, nutrition can be portrayed as being so complicated (like GMOs for example)!

  6. amber says:

    Dani! They are from GroopDealz! I got them a couple weeks ago.. $12:)

  7. I would love a post about balancing work and being a mom, i work part time, 3 days a week, but its still hard finding time to do everything!

  8. Biancadoes says:

    I am new to blogging and I love everything about your blog! #GOALS

  9. Beth says:

    Also an RD – love your factual – not fad – nutrition info! Thank you!!