This is the post you will find at Food and Nutrition Magazine blog "Stone Soup" from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:Stevia: What is it?
People usually think of stevia as the increasingly popular non-nutritive sweetener that is relatively new in the food industry. But actually, stevia is a genus of about 240 species, and only one of them is naturally sweet: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni
, also known as sweetleaf.
The stevia leaf contains two kinds of compounds: steviosids (200-300 times sweeter than sugar) and rebaudiosides (300-400 times sweeter than sugar). The compound that is being used as a tabletop sweetener or general-purpose sweetener in foods is called rebaudioside A. In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration approved rebaudioside A — purified from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni
— as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substance due to the fact that there has been no evidence of any health risk associated with its consumption. However, the FDA has not approved the use of whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extracts as a food additive. In the U.S., whole stevia leaves are sold as dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994. Where it comes from and its history?
The stevia plant is native to South America, especially Paraguay, but also the northeast region of my country, Argentina.
As I said, stevia is now commonly used in the food industry, but its use dates back to Pre-Columbian times. Theguaranies
— indigenous people from this region of South America — used the plant as a sweetener for mate
tea and other drinks for hundreds of years, but it didn't attract the attention of Spanish colonizers at that time. It wasn't until later, in 1884, that the guaranies
presented stevia to Swedish scientist Moises Bertoni. With the collaboration of his friend, Ovidio Rebaudi, Bertoni performed the first studies on stevia and described and named its active compounds, rebaudiosides and steviosids. Since then, the stevia plant has been introduced in other countries like Japan, France, Spain, the U.S., Canada and China, one of the main producers of stevia today.What are stevia's benefits and risks?
Stevia has the same benefits other non-nutritive sweeteners have, which are that it contains no calories and has no effect on blood sugar, making it ideal for people losing weight or with diabetes. It's also used as an herbal supplement — supported by low-quality studies that suggest health benefits such as management of hypertension and high blood sugar. (See conclusion from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library
On the risk side, after years of research, there is no conclusive evidence about the potential dangers of stevia for human health. In animal trials, however, stevia was associated with an increase in infertility.Bottom line
Remember that all sugar substitutes have some good and bad features, and that natural is not the same as safe (poisons are natural and can kill you!). Even natural sweeteners can be unhealthy, especially if used in excess. Rebaudioside A is safe when used, in moderation, as a non-nutritive sweetener.
At the base of Aconcagua (day 3)
I was about to write this post about our trip to beautiful Mendoza, when I heard on the news that Mendoza is a finalist city on the New7Wonders Cities campaign.
I´m not surprised! With the snowed Andes in the background, the architecture of its squares and design of its parks, as well as the wine and gastronomy “routes” make this city one of top ones in Argentina and in the world!
For food lovers like me, Mendoza is a destination not to miss. The Mendoza region is well known for its excellent wine industry (it is one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World) and also for its earthy and world-class cuisine. Mediterranean crops like olives, grapevine and many other fruit trees, meats like goat (chivito
), lamb and veal as well as salmonidae like trout, salmon and pejerrey
are some of the local specialties. The Eat Well Argentina
app is a must to get to know Mendoza and guide you on where to eat fresh.
The breath-taking landscapes represent an ideal context to enjoy a glass of wine with a picnic made of local products. Besides ruta del vino
(wine route) you can also visit farms and travel around rutas gastronómicas
(gastronomy route). Mendoza City is an ideal base for exploring these fascinating sites and towns.
I was in Mendoza city for just 3 days. But I get to know it pretty well. My husband and I rented a car and travel around with our 18 months baby girl. She did awesome from her car seat! If you have only few days to spend in Mendoza I recommend you some must see places and the following itinerary: DAY 1: ·
After breakfast (most hotels include continental breakfast) visit wineries near Mendoza city, especially in Maipú or Luján de Cuyo (land of malbec). I recommend doing a guided tour to Catena Zapata
or La Rural winery. Make sure to book ahead. We had lunch at Casa de Campo
, a tribute to homemade food! Delish! ·
In the afternoon visit Parque San Martin
, with its enourmous gates! Here you can go up Cerro de la Gloria
and take a picture at the big monument of San Martin, go to the zoo, botanical garden or do sport activities. ·
For dinner, have some great homemade pasta at La Marchigiana
. DAY 2: ·
Continuing with the wine route, you don´t want to miss the highest wineries in the world. Right in the Andes in the Valle de Uco, we went to Salentein
. The landscape is spectacular..as well as the winery architecture and art center. After the tour and wine tasting (AR$ 60) have lunch at their restaurant Killka. ·
After lunch, we went back to the city. Remember that here people take religious naps between 2 and 5 p.m. all shops are closed. Perfect for you to take a nap too and replenish energy! ·
Before dinner, take a walk around downtown Mendoza where you can do some shopping (I recommend you to stop and try homemade chocolates La Cabaña
, where you can also buy gifts, olive oil and other local food products). Relax and have a coffee at Sarmiento
street (pedestrian) ·
Have dinner at Don Mario
, one of the best parrillas
(steakhouses). Meat portions are huge! DAY 3: ·
Start early and have a quick breakfast to be on the road at 9 am and do an all day trip to Puente del Inca
and Aconcagua (highest mountain in the Americas). Traveling along route 7, visit the villages of Potrerillos and Uspallata, and enjoy gorgeous views of the Andes. See stunning natural sights like the Puente del Inca, a rock bridge over the Vacas River and marvel at the peak of Aconcagua. I recommend you to deviate a little and have lunch or afternoon tea at a mountain restaurant called Mosqueta
You will be back in the city by 5 or 6 pm. Relax and prepare to have dinner downtown. I suggest Azafran
, which I found on the guide Eat Well Argentina.
Afternoon tea at Mosqueta
My hubby and baby girl at bodega Salentein
“Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition” will be the focus of World Food Day in 2013.
The official World Food Day theme – announced at the start of every year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – gives focus to World Food Day observances and helps increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger.
Today almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. Unsustainable models of development are degrading the natural environment, threatening ecosystems and biodiversity that will be needed for our future food supply.
A food system is made up of the environment, people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers.
Every aspect of the food system has an effect on the final availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods – and therefore on consumers’ ability to choose healthy diets. What is more, policies and interventions on food systems are rarely designed with nutrition as their primary objective.
Addressing malnutrition requires integrated action and complementary interventions in agriculture and the food system, in natural resource management, in public health and education, and in broader policy domains.
What would a sustainable food system look like? Is it possible to get from here to there? What would need to change to move us in that direction? World Food Day 2013 is an opportunity to explore these and other questions, and help bring about the future we want.
Maybe yoga is not the first kind of physical activity one may think for weight loss. However, there might be some reasons to recommend your clients to practice yoga along with a healthy diet. Many yoga sessions burn less calories than typical exercise (like biking, brisk-walking, etc.), however it’s amazing how yoga can increase mindfulness and the way we relate with our body. Mindfulness- the ability to observe what is happening internally in a non-reactive fashion
- is the key word here. I believe this is the most powerful effect that yoga has in helping people to make healthier food choices and ultimately make them lose weight.
A recent article published online before print of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
identified peer-reviewed studies on yoga, meditation, mindfulness, obesity, and overweight. Unfortunately, most of the studies included were small in size, have a short duration or are challenged for lack of control groups. The study says that there are four mechanisms for which yoga may aid in weight loss:
1. Energy expenditure during yoga sessions
. Some postures burn more calories than others. Depending on the intensity, one can burn between 200 and 500 calories per yoga session. Powerful yoga classes with more active type of exercises are now very trendy.
2. Allowing for additional exercise outside yoga sessions.
By reducing back and joint pain people can engage in other sports or exercises. 3. Reinforcing mindfulness.
Improving mood and reducing stress may help reduce food intake or make helpful choices.
4. Allowing individuals to feel more connected to their bodies,
leading to enhanced awareness of satiety and the discomfort of overeating.
Yoga is also a good activity for beginners. It’s a discipline for everyone and perfect to introduce people to exercise. My mom (the one in the photo), who is a yoga instructor (in my home country Argentina), would add a few more benefits but specially being happier! Yoga can complement nutritional counseling of any kind, not also for weight loss. It is a great tool for eating disorders, binge eating or any kind of condition as yoga helps to polish one’s self-awareness, confidence and body image.
I realized that there are many food and nutrition professionals that are integrating yoga teaching into their practice. If you do a google search of dietitian and yoga teacher
is amazing how many RDs that are certified yoga teachers come up. Many dietitians combine their work in nutrition with different styles of yoga like Hatha, Anusara or Iyengar yoga (see the box to get to know different kinds of yoga). Some integrate yoga directly in their interventions while others do it separately teaching yoga classes at health clubs, studios or even in the client house. Once again there is an opportunity for food and nutrition professionals to broaden their scope of practice. The chance to reinvent yourself is out there! Styles of yogaHatha
This is the most traditional and basic yoga. It is gentle and focuses on relaxation and breathing techniques. Good for beginners. Vinyasa
A variety of Hatha it focuses on the Sun Salutation, a series of 12 poses where movements are matched with breathing. Great to improve flexibility and to increase muscle tone. It is good for beginners and for advanced yogi as well. Ashtanga
Metaphorically focuses on eight limbs.
It is fast-paced and is a kind of power yoga. It relieves stress while helping maintain stamina and strength. Good for weight loss and to improve one’s spiritual side.Iyengar
It focuses on bring the body into alignment helping to improve balance and strength. Different elements like straps and blocks are used during sessions. Great for beginners and those recovering for injuries or with conditions like arthritis. Bikram
Practiced in a room with 95-100ºF is also known as hot yoga. Its purpose is to flush out toxins and deeply stretch muscles. Good for beginners who wants to push themselves a little more as well as for advanced yogi.
There are many other kinds of yoga out there. Jus find which one is the best for you or your clients!
Exactly 136 years ago, Argentinean physician Dr. Pedro Escudero was born (1877-1963). He is the founder of the nutrition profession in Latin America and in order to evocate his contribution, every August 11th (the day he was born) the Nutritionist’s Day
is celebrated in most Latin-American countries.
He made the first move in nutrition and dietetics in the region!
Escudero visited diverse institutions in the United States of America and in Europe (especially those dedicated to the study and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases) and selected from them what suited the needs of the Argentineans. After fighting arduously to surmount the indifference and opposition, he founded the National Institute of Nutrition in 1928 and the School of Dietetics in Buenos Aires in 1933, the first in Latin America. Then, in 1938 it was upgraded to the National School of Dietetics and gave scholarships for each country of the region, in such a way that the first dietitians of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, had graduated in the Argentinean school. Afterward, each country created its own school according with their individual needs.
In Argentina, the term dietitian (“dietista”). The health professional expert in food and nutrition comparable to the RD is the Licentiate in Nutrition (“Licenciado en Nutrición”). In Latin America, “nutritionist” is considered a broader term that accurately covers the wide scope of practice: clinical nutrition, food service management, community nutrition, education and research.
So, today is a special day to remember Dr. Escudero and to reflect about our past, present and future to make the most of the upcoming opportunities. Very proud of being Licenciada en Nutrición, ¡Feliz día del Nutricionista!
Source: BARRITTA DE DEFRANCHI, Romina L y NELSON, Jennifer K. Evolución y tendencias del profesional nutricionista en los Estados Unidos de America y en Argentina: Norte y Sur unidos por desafíos similares. ALAN, jun. 2009, vol.59, no.2, p.113-119. ISSN 0004-0622.
This year the theme of the World Breastfeeding Week is Breasfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, which highlights breastfedding peer counselling. As a breastfedding mom (I nurse my baby girl 'til 9 months) I felt that lack of support from the health care system. Who should you talk to about breasfeeding medical problems? the pediatrician? the OB/GYN doctor? a nurse? I believe there is a lack of doctors specialized in breastfeeding.
So, this year WBW has five goals:1. To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
2. To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes.
3. To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of thei r educat ional background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
4. To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
5. To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
To learn more visit the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action at http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
This month I wrote an article about mate tea in the Food and Nutrition magazine Stone Soup- check it out:
"Do you know mate? No, it's not some new Australian dish! Mate (pronounced MAH-tay) is a traditional tea-like beverage, popular and traditional in South American countries including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Chile, eastern Bolivia and southern Brazil. But now, mate is gaining worldwide popularity and rapidly penetrating global markets including the United States. As an Argentinean, seeing mate products at the FNCE 2012 expo was a nice surprise! But what exactly is it? Mate is an infusion drink made by brewing the dried leaves of the yerba mate tree (Ilex Paraguarensis). In South America, mate is typically drunk out of a dried gourd using a metal straw with a strainer called a bombilla. To make the drink, about two ounces of dry leaves are packed into the bombilla, hot water is poured in to steep, and the drink is enjoyed. More water is added multiple times until as much as half to one full liter of water has passed over the leaves....
see the full post hhttp://foodandnutritionmagazine.com/all-about-mate-tea
Again I was invited to blog in Stone Soup, the blog of Food and Nutrition Magazine
from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This time the subject was meat, so Argentina couldn't be out.
Here is the post:
"If you think the Americans are the world's biggest beef eaters, think again. Argentineans and Uruguayans lead the way, consuming around 132 pounds of beef per person per year. Meanwhile, Americans eat about 95 pounds of beef a year; Australians, 86 pounds; and Brazilians, 79 pounds. Most Argentinean beef is produced for internal markets, whereas Uruguay exports most of what it produces.
In Argentina, where I live, beef is a point of national pride. It's a key component of the traditional cuisine that began in the 19th century, when there were thousands of cattle in the Pampas region, and beef became a staple in the diets of our version of cowboys, called gauchos
You may have heard about superior quality of Argentinean beef. I'm trying to be impartial, but it really is
the best. But why? The most important differentiating feature between beef from South America and the rest of the world is our soil and mild weather. Together, they make great conditions for animals to pasture freely on the prairie—grass-fed beef is still the norm here.
Grass-fed beef not only has quality advantages over feed-lot systems; it seems to be better for your health too. Beef from pastures is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and contains higher proportion of healthy omega 3 fatty acids when compared to that from feed lots. Beef from pastures also is the richest natural dietary source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is believed to have anti-cancer properties.
When it comes time to cook, Argentineans like to keep things simple. Asado,
beef grilled on an open fire pit, is Argentina's signature dish and it's a must whenever we gather with friends and family. Parrillada
is a mixed-grill platter that usually includes sausages and organ meats—also called "offal" in English—like kidneys, sweetbreads, intestines and blood sausage.
We typically don't add much seasoning to grilled beef besides a little chimichurri
(an Argentinean herb-dressing) drizzled after cooking. Beef is also served in many other ways like milanesas
(deep-fried breaded beef) andempanadas
It is said that Argentineans make use of every body part of the cow—and that's pretty close to the truth! Besides the organ meats of parrilladas,
other traditional dishes use beef tongue (lengua a la vinagreta
, meaning: "tongue in vinaigrette"), stomach lining (guiso de mondongo
: "stomach lining stew"), liver (higado con cebolla
: "liver and onions") and brain (ravioles de seso
: "brain-stuffed ravioli"). This commitment to using as much of a cow as possible is also why Argentinean leather goods are recognized around the world for their quality.
Not all people like organ meats (like me, for instance). Because these dishes usually require more time for preparation (especially to ensure food safety) and slow cooking, modern Argentineans—just like modern Americans—tend to choose more simple options. But, we must not forget that organ meats are a low-cost source of protein and other nutrients like iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper and B vitamins. The Argentinean Food Guidelines (Guias Alimentarias para la Población Argentina
) recommend choosing between kidney, liver, tongue and stomach lining. The other organs are higher in fat and cholesterol.
To get a taste in America for how South Americans eat, look for a good "parrilla
"—an Argentinean restaurant. Or, cook some U.S. grass-fed beef the Argentinean way. Here is an easy recipe I created for the Eat Well Argentina app (Eat Well Argentina is part of Eat Well Global
, a collection of nutritionist-led guides to eating well around the globe.)"
See the rest of the post here
I was invited to blog at Food and Nutrition Magazine guest blog "Stone Soup". I pick a subject that is traditional food of the north region of Argentina and a potential "food of the future". Don't miss it!
"If there is one trendy food that you have to take seriously it is quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah"). You may already know about this crop and its outstanding nutritional properties—it is considered a "super grain" not only because all of its nutritional benefits, but also because it's easy to cultivate (it grows almost everywhere!). What's more, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has declared 2013 the "International Year of the Quinoa." This FAO says this designation is designed to "focus world attention on the role that quinoa´s biodiversity and nutritional value plays in providing food security and nutrition [and] the eradication of poverty....." Read more here: http://foodandnutritionmagazine.com/quinoa-food-future