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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

On Nutrition: Confusing concepts

By Barbara Quinn



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A woman said to me, "You say one thing about nutrition. Other people say something else. It makes me just want to pull a towel over my head and forget about it all."

I hear you. Not everything important to know about nutrition can be explained in a sound bite or simplistic statement. And here's a great case in point:

We know that a diet rich in vegetables can lower blood pressure and improve heart function. But did we know that some of these health effects may be due to their high nitrate content?

Stop the presses. Aren't nitrates the substances used to cure meat products that we are supposed to avoid? Yes and no. Here is how it works, according to an excellent review article by registered dietitian and fitness expert Ellen Coleman.

Nitrate is found in all vegetables and is especially abundant in beetroot (aka "beets") and leafy greens such as spinach. Several clinical studies have found that supplementing the diet with about 2 cups daily of beetroot juice — rich in nitrates — not only lowered blood pressure but enhanced athletic performance by reducing the body's need for oxygen during exercise.

It makes sense. Dietary nitrate is converted in the body to nitrite which is then converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a "good guy" that regulates blood pressure and muscle function among other benefits. Thus, says Coleman, nitrate-rich foods are a source of beneficial nitric oxide that can potentially improve blood flow and enhance exercise capabilities.

Nitrate and nitrite salts such as sodium nitrate and potassium nitrite are also used to preserve food. And these levels are strictly controlled. And that's where the confusion begins.

Inorganic nitrate (what we find naturally in beets, spinach, celery and nitrate salts) is nontoxic at higher doses but inorganic nitrite (such as what might be found in a dietary supplement consumed by an overzealous athlete) can cause serious harm at considerably lower levels. In fact, nitrite toxicity can be lethal.

And here's another note of caution. "Organic" in the context of nitrate and nitrite are not what we are talking about in these dietary studies. "Organic" nitrate is found in the potent heart drug nitroglycerine, for example. "Any confusion that could lead to a large unintentional intake of organic nitrates or nitrites is potentially life threatening," warns Coleman.

That said, the "dose" of dietary nitrate (the amount found naturally in food) that was found to improve exercise performance and lower blood pressure in research studies was between 300 to 500 milligrams. This amount can be easily — and safely — found in foods. Two cups of beetroot juice, for example, contains about 500 milligrams of dietary nitrate. One-half cup of raw spinach contains 450 milligrams of nitrates. And a half cup of cooked collard greens contains 200 milligrams.

One harmless but sometimes alarming side effect of beet-eating: Pigments that make beets red can make urine that color, too. This too will pass and is not dangerous.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.



Previously:


Nutrition nursery rhymes

Understanding sweeteners
Ups and downs of birthdays
Genetically modified foods
Fun with potatoes
Sugar questions
Yeast infection diet
Questions from readers
Beware of the hCG diet
Diets that work
Pregnancy advice from mom
Terminology review
Thoughts for the New Year
Reasons to have a cup of tea
What's new for 2012
Applications for healthy living
Clarifying organic terminology
Facts about type 1 diabetes
Myths and facts about diabetes
Food Still Better Than Supplements
Celiac questions


© 2011, The Monterey County Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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