What a Difference a Year Makes: Bringing More Milk to Families

Posted by Beth Meyer @ 7:43 AM


There’s a place where my personal and professional lives collide and that’s in the heartfelt belief that above all else, we have a moral obligation to feed our communities. That’s why I’m so passionate about the work dairy farmers are doing with Feeding America and The Great American Milk Drive. To think we can all make a difference, one gallon at a time, is powerful.

We’re making that difference through a partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. It began in June of 2014, when the nonprofit received a $10,000 grant from National Dairy Council. These funds helped purchase a refrigerated truck for their Retail Store Food Donation program. This truck allows the Food Bank to service more stores, which are an excellent source for a variety and large quantity of dairy donations on a regular basis.


During that same time period, the entire staff of American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC) celebrated June Dairy Month by spending an afternoon at the Regional Food Bank, sorting and packing 14 pallets of food. Here, the Food Bank’s Joanne Dwyer gives staff a tour before putting us to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Food: Don’t Waste It

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 8:34 AM


Food waste is becoming more and more a topic of discussion. It is a conversation that has piqued the interest of many internationally, especially by those who attended The Chicago Council’s recent Global Food Security Symposium 2015 held in Washington, D.C. Presenters talked about the important need to reduce the amount of food wasted worldwide. Even though food waste is a global challenge, we, as individuals, can have a huge impact on helping address it.

You or your patients may be asking, “How? Where do I start?” Change starts with the power of one: the individual. In the case of food waste, it starts at home. Look at what you buy and how you cook.

Read these six practical tips I shared on The Chicago Council’s website, and be sure to share them with your clientele so they can help make a difference in reducing food waste.

5 Ways You Can Help Promote Nutrition Security Now

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:12 AM


One of the greatest challenges of this century is to find a way to sustainably feed a population that is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) and National Dairy Council understand the importance of working with other organizations, like the Chicago Council for Global Affairs, to promote sustainable agriculture and improve health outcomes in people around the world.

As my colleague Greg Miller, explains in his recent blog post, the task is huge and the issues are complex, but working together we can make a difference. In order to make wise decisions about how our food is made, dietary guidance and population health, we need to continue to build a scientific research base and collaborate with people from many disciplines, including agriculture, public health, food safety, sociology, economics and nutrition.

Last December the Academy and its Foundation hosted a conference that I attended to learn more about the RDN’s role in agriculture, nutrition and health. The conference was eye opening. We all realized the remarkable potential RDNs have to broaden the conversation on food security to include nutrition security – as we work together to ensure that people have access to a variety of nutrient-dense foods that promote health. Read the rest of this entry »

Nutritious Food Choices Can Help Overweight People Stay Healthy

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:55 AM


Based on the body of science, many health and wellness experts consider that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as other obesity-related disorders like joint disease and cancer. However, not all obese people have elevated blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Other than genetics, did you ever wonder why some overweight/obese people are metabolically healthy while others are not?

Although the jury is still out and this is not a clinical trial, a new study indicates that eating a higher quality diet, one consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, may be a critical factor determining whether an overweight individual will develop risk factors for cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Farmers Market Experience: Make the Most of Your Next Visit

Posted by Christine Cliff, MPH, RDN, LDN @ 8:19 AM


Locally grown, just-picked produce. Fresh from the farm preserves. Artisan and specialty cheeses. Old world breads. Farmers markets are filled with treasures galore.

Did you realize that farmers markets can be traced back thousands of years to Egypt? Traditional farmers markets of today, however, only started in America around the 19th century. Since that time, the number of farmers markets has steadily grown over the past twenty years.

For me, visiting a farmers market is like unleashing a kid in a candy store only the “candy” is Mother Nature’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and locally made foods. Brilliant broccoli, tantalizing tomatoes, magnificent mangoes and plump peaches (to only name a few) excite me beyond words. Where else can you find such a wide array of foods and even be able to meet the people who harvest and/or make them?

Honor the harvest by visiting your local farmers market. To help you and your clients make the most of your local market, keep these points in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Saturated Fat by the Company it Keeps

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 12:37 PM


As health and wellness professionals, you help guide people toward healthy lifestyles by teaching them how to eat nutritionally balanced meals that are tailored to meet their specific health and wellness needs. For saturated fat and added sugar, the advice from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to consume fewer and smaller portions (i.e., for saturated fat, less than 10 percent of total calories), use less in cooking/food preparation and to select the most nutrient-dense foods from all food groups. From this advice, health professionals help the public navigate this advice to use the calories from these food sources to increase the palatability of nutrient-dense foods, rather than consume foods or beverages that are primarily added sugars, saturated fat or both… in other words, judge them by the company they keep.

With all the emerging research being published on fat (trans fat, saturated fat, total fat) lately, you are likely getting questions from people about what they should eat when it comes to fat. An emerging body of scientific evidence indicates that eating certain foods with saturated fat may not be associated with cardiovascular disease outcomes and could be part of a balanced eating plan.


Just last week another study on saturated and trans fat was published in the British Medical Journal, funded by the World Health Organization (WHO), that supported previous findings suggesting there is no clear association between high saturated fat consumption and all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD), CHD mortality, ischemic stroke or Type 2 diabetes. However, the study did find that higher consumption of total trans fats were associated with a 20-30 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality, CHD mortality and CHD – likely driven mainly by higher artificial trans fat, such as those found in hydrogenated vegetable oils used in some processed foods. Read the rest of this entry »

Have a Heart for the Health of America’s Children

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 8:30 AM


Each August, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy Foundation celebrate Kids Eat Right Month, a campaign that highlights the importance of nutrition and active lifestyles for children and families. It also features expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN), which includes many of you.

To help us focus on child health this month and throughout the year, the Academy developed this infographic, which is available on its website for you to use. It illustrates the current state of child health and the goals set forth in an Academy position paper published last year, Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11. Read the rest of this entry »

Blueberries + Dairy = Very, Merry Nutrition Pairing!

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 7:00 AM


July was National Blueberry Month, the month when the nation’s high-bush blueberry crops are at their peak and ready to pick in 38 states from New Jersey to California. In early August, for the last 25+ years, our family has headed to the Blueberry Festival in South Haven, Mich., to enjoy a long weekend celebrating everything blueberry.

This year, as usual, fresh blueberries were available everywhere — at the large farmer’s market downtown, in front of stores on sidewalk displays, at roadside stands and people could pick their own at a nearby blueberry farm. In addition, visitors could sample blueberries incorporated into every food and drink you can imagine including muffins, pies, scones, pancakes, cookies, smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, lemonade, popsicles, sandwiches and salads. Even yogurt-covered blueberries and blueberry chewing gum!


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Emerging Research: Dairy Foods and Brain Health in Older Americans

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:51 AM


The connection between food and the brain is an area of emerging research that fascinates me. Maybe that’s because as I get older I’m more aware of the effects of aging on the body in general, and I want to do all I can to help prevent my brain from “getting rusty.” Most people know that milk is good for their bones and muscles – benefits that are increasingly important with age. But recently, scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center found a link between drinking milk and the levels of a naturally occurring antioxidant called glutathione in the brain of older, healthy adults.

Glutathione might help stave off oxidative stress in the brain and its resulting damage, which is important because the brain is an organ particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress during aging. Oxidative stress is associated with a number of diseases and conditions – and is one of many factors thought to be involved in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. According to one of the study authors Debra Sullivan, as quoted in an article about the study, “You can basically think of this [oxidative stress] damage like the buildup of rust on your car. If left alone for a long time, the buildup increases and it can cause damaging effects.”


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Food Banks Gear Up to Accept Milk

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:53 AM


Over a year ago, when I first learned that milk was in short supply among America’s food banks, but in high demand and seldom donated, it broke my heart. Just think, the 37 million food bank clients Feeding America served in 2014, received an average of only one gallon of milk per person for the whole year!

One of the reasons for this shortfall is that many food banks lacked the infrastructure, including refrigeration space, to accept more milk. So last year National Dairy Council provided $10,000 grants to 20 Feeding America food banks across the country, which they used to purchase refrigerators, refrigerated trucks or other cooling equipment to power their systems to distribute more milk to clients fighting hunger. It worked! Food banks reported they were able to increase client access to milk by 46 percent.


Read the rest of this entry »