Lacto Ovo vegeterians


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Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

 

Lacto vegetarian (sometimes referred to as a lactarian; from the Latin root lact-, milk) diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs. Furthermore, this term is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products. Many Hindu vegetarians are lacto-vegetarians who avoid eggs for religious reasons while continuing to eat dairy. The prefix “lacto” comes from the Latin word for milk

Some vegetarians eat a wide variety of foods that may include fish, eggs and even meat-based broths. Others are stricter and eat no animal products whatsoever, including honey and gelatin. Lacto vegetarians fall in the middle of the spectrum. They eat milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products, but they do not eat eggs or fish

The term “lacto vegetarian” comes from the Latin word lactis, meaning milk. Historically, many lacto vegetarians have followed religions that are widespread in the Far East, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, which incorporate nonviolence and respect for animals into their belief systems. In addition to avoiding meat, most lacto vegetarians avoid eggs because they are undeveloped embryos. A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats both eggs and dairy products.

Eating dairy products is the main factor that distinguishes lacto vegetarians from vegans. Lacto vegetarians eat milk and milk products, yogurt, cheese, butter and cream. However, they do not eat dairy products made with gelatin, such as some puddings and custards, because most gelatin contains pulverized animal hooves, bones or marrow. Lacto vegetarians also avoid dairy products containing animal-based rennet, a collection of enzymes that cheese-makers normally get from calves.

Additional foods that do not contain animal products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and plant-based proteins, make up the rest of a lacto vegetarian diet. Examples include citrus fruits, berries, root vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, wheat products, oats, corn, beans, legumes and soy products. According to the USDA, a lacto vegetarian diet that is balanced among all of those foods plus dairy items can help reduce risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health problems.

Menu Plan

A lacto vegetarian menu plan can look a lot like a plan for a traditional vegetarian, but without the eggs. A sample breakfast might be oatmeal with milk and berries, a yogurt and granola parfait or a tofu vegetable scramble. Lacto vegetarian lunch options include a green salad with a side of tofu and fruit, meat-free chili or pasta with vegetables and olive oil. For dinner, lacto vegetarians might have a bean burrito, lentil soup with bread and salad or a vegetable curry with rice.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians may have higher blood cholesterol levels because of the eggs they eat, so choosing to follow a lacto vegetarian diet may improve heart health and encourage weight loss or healthy weight maintenance. According to a 2004 study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” self-identified lacto vegetarian women have a lower risk of overweight and obesity than women who eat meat. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic reports that all vegetarians tend to weigh less and consume fewer calories and fat grams than meat eaters.

Sources:http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/lacto-vegetarian-foods-5885.html

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/lactovegetarian.htm

Review: Cabot Cheese


By: Nikki NiesCabot_Logo 2
Milk, eggs and bread seem to be the storm staples whenever we’re told there is an impending hurricane, earthquake or snowstorm. While those three items can last a family of four enough time for a natural disaster to pass through, I’m an advocate for adding cheese to that list! While eggs are a great source of protein, adding cheese to any meal or snack elevates the flavors in a whole other level! Don’t you agree?
With more than 1,200 dairy farm families planted throughout New England and over 1,000 employees, Cabot Cheese would be ready and eager to handle such disasters.  Cabot has been partnered with Vermont’s Dakin Farm for ease and convenience, with consumers able to order online.  The decisions don’t end there! Cabot cheese products come in bar, slices and shredded form, ready to meet your cooking and snacking needs! Yet, Cabot cows are kept busy, also used to make cottage cheese, butter, yogurt, whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese and dips!
I expect no less from Cabot Farm, providing a variety of flavors and mixtures to its consumers. While I can’t get enough of Cabot’s Muenster cheese, I have put that aside for today to make some lasagna! I decided to shred some of my own Sharp Light Cheddar for today’s meal. I’m impressed with Cabot’s line of “Light cheeses” and with the help of Regan Jones, RD and Sara Wing, RD, Cabot’s present and future products are in good hands!
1517709_658815820834694_205711366_nAt only 70 calories per one ounce serving, the Sharp Light Cheddar cheese has only 170 mg of sodium and 4.5 g of fat. Yet, the light cheddar’s flavor, thankfully, hasn’t been compromised.  It still contains the expectant savory feel of the regular line of cheese, but without the unnecessary fat!  As someone who’s always experimenting with new recipes and ways of making foods healthier, I used sliced zucchini instead of traditional lasagna noodles to add in more vegetables. The mixture of Cabot cheese and tomato juices added the necessary punch!
While making lasagna can be time consuming, Cabot has thoroughly provided its consumers with more recipes than one could hope! If you’re in a bind, check out their solutions for 2-Day Suppers, which promotes the use of leftovers as a means get easy family friendly meals on  the table! I’ve been having a ball roasting cauliflower for meals, so I can’t wait to try out more of Cabot’s Roasting Veggie recipes!
To be frank, I don’t want to overwhelm you with all the resources Cabot has provided its consumers, but when you have the chance, check it all out! Cabot hasn’t missed a beat! Make sure to use their handy guide on how to use Greek yogurt in replacement of sour cream and/or cream cheese, 5 Day Planners, how to add Health Kitchen Helper(s), in the form of your kids and the Brown Bag Builder, providing a step by step guide on how to pack a healthy, delicious lunch! For the lactose intolerance, don’t worry! Cabot’s naturally aged cheese has 0 grams of lactose and shouldn’t cause any lactose intolerance symptoms and/or discomfort.
In addition, as a cooperative, Cabot is owned and operated by its members-the family dairy farmers who are the source of Cabot’s dairy products. Cabot reinforces their business philosophy with a Co-op to Co-op Program. Not only does Cabot providing samples of their “World’s Best” cheddar, gift boxes and coupons, but they’re always eager to share the love of cheese with you! Learn how to participate in their cooperative extension today!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy Cabot cheese? Have you had your cheese allotment for the day yet?
Disclosure Agreement: Cabot provided me with coupons for free cheese to try. We Dish Nutrition tested each product thoroughly and gives high marks to only the very best. Opinions expressed at We Dish Nutrition are our own.

Photo Credit:Cabot Cheese

Claims’ Dissection


ct-icons-enBy: Nikki Nies

We’re bombarded by food labels and health claims in grocery stores, food advertisements and in our own kitchens! Yet, can you confidently differentiate between “light” foods and “fat free?” Do you gravitate to “fat free” labeled foods because you can’t reists the word FREE?

  • “Light”: calorie content; a product that advertises “light”, must contain 1/3 fewer calories than comparison food. In regards to fat in food, “light” must refer to 50% or less of fat than in comparison food.
  • “Calorie Free”: fewer than 5 calories per serving
  • “Low Fat”: 3 grams or less of fat than regular
  • “Fat Free”: product contains less than 0.5 g fat; no added fat or oil
  • “Cholesterol Free”: only animal products contain cholesterol, with no more than 2 mg of cholesterol present per serving; 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving may be present
  • “Calorie Free”: fewer than 5 calories per serving

Have an other health terms you find on food products that you find confusing? What health claims have you come across that were skeptical?

Photo Credit: Pixgood

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm111447.htm

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Trends/Health-claims

http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm2006877.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm073992.htm

Safe Food Preservation


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Original Image by Jim Champion via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

Fun Fact: Food preservation permeates all cultures.  And they say we’re all different, huh?

How often do you find yourself throwing food out because you didn’t have a chance to use it before it goes bad? Or how many times do you head to the checkout line at the grocery store with the maximum amount of produce allowed due to the great sale? While these conundrums may be a common issue for you, by canning and/or preserving your food, you can have your veggies and can them too! Pun intended!

There are so many preservation methods, depending on the foods, equipment and intentions with the food.  I’m by no means an expert on canning, but I’ve had first hand experience in the food saving systems it can do!

The list below is not an exhaustive list of food preservation, but it’s a good overview of the most common techniques used and a few unique modes of preservation for those more adventurous with their canning abilities.

Preservation Method Commonly Used Foods Fun Facts
Canning Wine; milk; vegetables; fruits; meat With canning, it destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes; the vacuum seal prevents other microorganisms from recontaminating food within jar or can; includes pressure canning and water bath canning
Cellaring Vegetables; grains; nuts; dry cured meats Storing foods in temperature, humidity and light controlled environment
Curing Meat; fish Earliest curing was dehydration; included use of salt to help dessicate foods; uses salts, acid and/or nitrites; may employ secondary method of fermenting, smoking or sealing
Dry Salting Meat; fish; vegetables Fermenting or pickling techniques; 2.5-5% salt concentration promotes fermentation; 20-25% salt promotes high salt concentration;
Drying Often with fish, game, domestic animals, fruits; herbs In ancient times, sun and wind would have naturally dried foods—with Asian and Middle Eastern countries actively drying foods as early as 12,000 B.C. ; in the Middle Ages they built “still houses” for the purpose of drying fruits, vegetables and herbs that didn’t have strong enough sunlight for drying
Fermenting Fruits–>wine; cabbage–>Kim chi or sauerkraut ; legumes; seafood; dairy; eggs; wine; cured sausage; yogurt; meats Fermentation has been used to create more nutritious and palatable foods from less than desirable ingredients; microorganisms that are responsible for fermentation can produce vitamins
Freezing Meats, vegetables, leftovers, fruit; eggs; nuts; prepared foods Common use includes cellars, caves and cool streams; chilling foods to at least 0°F
Jamming  Fruits With use of honey or sugar; in ancient Greece, quince was mixed with honey, dried and packed tightly into jars;
Pickling Wine; ciders; chutneys; mustards; relishes; ketchups and sauces Preservation of foods in vinegar or other acids; first fermented to alcohol and then alcohol’s oxidized by bacteria to acetic acid;
Sealing Legumes; seafood; dairy; eggs; wine; cured sausage; yogurt; meats Covers food to keep out air—delaying the activity of spoilage organisms; used as complementary process to other fermentation methods, i.e. freezing or drying; relatively inexpensive
Smoking Meats Improves flavor and appearance; can be used as a drying agent; by smoking, meats are less likely to turn rancid or grow mold than unsmoked

With all this said, what canning techniques have I left out that you think should be used consistently? Have any kitchen hacks you’re willing to share with canning? We’d love to hear them!

Learn how to preserve specific foods with OSU’s guide!

Sources: http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/

http://nchfp.uga.edu/

http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation/safe-methods

http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation

http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/preservation.html

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/food-preservation

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/food_pres_hist.html

Kosher Kitchen


032210-kosher6By: Nikki Nies

While I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog for the last year and half, I’ve also used it as a channel to challenge myself to learn new concepts and review important points. Being aware of cultural and religious customs of others than yourself not only makes you more appreciative of the differences, but provides an obvious respect to how the differences are actually quite similar. If you’re like me,you recognize those differences, but don’t want to offend other parties by admitting you can’t articulate the exact differences.  So, today, with Rosh Hashanah upon us, there’s no better time to learn what it really means to have a ‘kosher’ kitchen.

In the Jewish community, the separation of meat and dairy products is crucial for the celebration of multiple holiday. The mixture of these two food groups is prohibited in Jewish law, which derives from the book of Exodus in the bible, which forbids [a goat] in a mother’s milk. This Jewish law prohibits against cooking a mixture of milk and meat, eating a cooked mixture of milk and meat and deriving any benefit from a cooked mixture of milk and meat.

During my research, I learned that creating a kosher kitchen does not have to be a daunting task, but one that is appropriate for the holidays. Prior to the revamp of a kitchen, one can start with purchasing only products that are certified kosher. If you’re not sure if a product is kosher or not, it’s best to put aside or discard.  It should be noted some new purchases will be necessary, including, but not limited to: dishes, some additional pots, plastic drainboards, and basins for the sink.

Many of the dishes and/or utensils will require the immersion into a mikvah before use.  Next, decide which drawers and/or kitchen cabinets will be used for the meat and dairy.  Labeling such designation may be helpful.  Many of the kitchen equipment and utensils will be permitted to use after koshering.  Koshering can be done by heating the item with a blowtorch or immersing it in boiling water.  The method of koshering will be dictated by the material the equipment is made of and/or its use. Once, it’s been decided which items need to be koshered, an appointment with rabbi needs to be made.

kosher-labels-LAccess to a kitchen for kashrut observance with two sinks, two stoves and separate working areas, would be ideal, but it’s not necessary! To ensure separation, there should be two sets of dishes, pots, trays, salt shakers, draining boards, draining racks, silverware, sponges, dish towels, tablecloths, cleanser and/or serving dishes. A practical way to accomplish this feat is planning the sets of meat and dairy utensils around a color scheme–red for meat and blue for dairy.  However, whatever color scheme works for you should be used!

Additionally, start separating your meat and dairy in the fridge.  Yes, every kitchen layout is different, but I’m sure there’s a way to make the necessary accommodations, even if that means having to get the creative juices flowing!

As you can see, I’m not expert on the ins and outs of a kosher kitchen.  I’m always open to hearing about personal touches and/or traditions that occur that I may overlooked.  Please share any stories that you feel comfortable with!

Photo Credit: The Kitchn and Jewish Recipes 

Sources: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/kosherkitchen.html

http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

http://judaism.wonderhowto.com/how-to/keep-kosher-272992/

Your Kosher Kitchen

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/82667/jewish/Koshering-Your-Kitchen.htm

MyPlate for Older Adults


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Source: http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/hnfs/enafs/MyPlate.php

New GF Food Labels


ALDI_blog_cover_05_GlutenFreeBy: Nikki Nies

I’ve written a lot about gluten free (GF) products lately, with my food demos of GF Pasta to talking about the hype surrounding the GF Frenzie. As an active future health professional, it’s important to know the leading health trends.  In addition, being aware of the new GF Food Labels is also important to understand and be able to interpret.

The FDA has been working tirelessly to better define the term gluten free.  With the crossbreeds of many grains (i.e. rye and wheat), it’s become necessary to eliminate any confusion regarding how food producers may label products and to assure those that need to avoid gluten that those products labeled as GF are indeed GF and are enforced by the FDA.

As of August 5th, a new rule states products that are advertised as GF can not contain more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.  This change provides increased certainty of what one’s consuming and provides comfort for those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity that their food is safe to consume.

With the “trend” of switching to a GF diet as led to an increase in GF products, a product doesn’t necessarily have to state it has gluten as an ingredients like nut or dairy allergy.  What’re your thoughts on the new label change? Do you find it hard to decipher food labels and/or packages?

Sources: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-gluten-regulations-20140802-story.html

http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm265212.htm

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/medicine/divisions/digestive-health/nutrition-support-team/nutrition-articles/Parrish_Oct_13%20-2.pdf

https://blog.aldi.us/gluten-free-special-buys/

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm367654.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/hidden-sources-of-gluten