Monday, 24 September 2012

Team Players in the Foods We Eat

    Nature has done an amazing job of providing us with the tools to truly benefit from the foods that we eat. The argument for a whole food diet in favour of one based on supplementation is a strong one.

    The advantages of taking a vitamin C supplement, as opposed to eating some fruits and veggies, are not always equal. As an example, popping a 500 mg vitamin C tablet may not be as efficient as simply eating some sweet red pepper. In a 1/2 cup of chopped, raw red pepper, there's 142 mg of vitamin C as well as a ton of bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are a group of compounds found in plants. They are found in high concentrations in the pith (the spongy white stuff) under the rind of citrus fruits and in vegetables like peppers. As well as having a plethora of their own uses (such as serving as antioxidants), these bioflavonoids play a huge role in the absorption and utilization of vitamin C.

     Next time you're cutting up some peppers, consider tossing the pith in the salad too!

Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences
President of Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences Student Association
HHNS Symposium Coordinator 2012/2013

University of Guelph

Sunday, 16 September 2012

New York City made headlines the past few weeks with its official ban on supersized soft drinks at restaurants, movie theatres and the like. Locations (except for grocery and convenient stores) who violate the ban by continuing to sell these supersized drinks (>16 oz/448 mL) will face a $200 fine.

As a NANS student I applaud Mayor Michael Bloomberg in heading, and seeing through, on this ban. I firmly believe that no person needs to consume more than 2 cups (in one sitting) of ANY beverage, save for water. The fact that stores sell drinks this size to begin with has always boggled my mind. 7-11’s Big Gulp, at 28 oz/784 mL, seems insane enough, but the fact that there is a Super Gulp (38 oz) size available just rattles me. That’s almost 1.5 L! 

The negative health implications of consuming large amounts of soft drink and sugary juices are well known. In fact, many sources say that it’s these extra “liquid calories” that are truly to blame for the obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemic North America currently faces. I mean the amount of sugar in a 20 oz (590 mL) bottle of Coca-Cola is equal to 65 g or 15.5 teaspoons! 

Even Canada has our own offenders like Starbucks with their seemingly popular venti (20 oz) beverage size and Tim Horton’s with their “new and improved” extra large size (24 oz). With current statistics showing that over 60% of Canadian adults over age 18 are overweight, with 25% of total Canadian adults being obese, do you think the Canadian market could benefit from a similar ban? 

Side note: This ban does not affect diet soft drinks. What does that have to say about how the government views these “offending” drinks? Discuss with your friends and fellow NANSers!


Vice-President of Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences Student Association 
HHNS Undergraduate Symposium Executive Member