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What’s in Fast-Food Beef, Fish, and Chicken? It’s Not Always 100% Meat

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Share on PinterestThe beef in your fast food burger may not be exactly what it seems. Natalie Jeffcott / Stocksy

  • Beef, chicken, and fish products in fast food restaurants are not always made from 100 percent meat.
  • They can contain additional additives, such as a textured vegetable protein or a soy product, that make them cheaper to produce.
  • Health experts say these types of processed meat are less healthy than unprocessed meat.
  • If you are concerned about the quality of the meat a fast food restaurant serves, health experts recommend checking the ingredient list on the menu as it may offer unprocessed options as well as plant-based alternatives.

The New York Times recently took a deep dive into one of the big questions of our time:

Is the fish product in the popular sandwiches from the Subway restaurant chain actually tuna or … something else?

Journalist Julie Carmel’s investigative report was in response to a class action lawsuit filed in California in January against the fast food giant. The lawsuit alleges that the branded tuna sandwiches are “without any tuna as an ingredient”.

The lawsuit spread far and wide, and even elicited pop star Jessica Simpson – who once questioned the origins of Chicken of the Sea (is it chicken or tuna, after all?) – on Twitter.

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The headlines generated around the tuna confusion played into the longstanding debate about what exactly is in the meat we consume in fast food restaurants.

How healthy are the highly processed items you could order from McDonald’s or Subway? Are they all they pretend to be as advertised?

In an email statement to the New York Times, a Subway spokesman wrote that “the allegations in the California lawsuit are simply not true.”

“Subway delivers 100 percent cooked tuna to its restaurants that is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served and enjoyed by our guests,” they added.

For its part, Carmel sent samples of subway tuna sandwiches to a commercial food testing lab. The results were a little inconclusive.

The laboratories found that there was “no amplifiable tuna DNA” in the samples they sent in and that they could not “identify” the species present in the sandwich products.

A spokesman for the laboratory told the New York Times that two conclusions can be drawn from this: either the tuna products are “so highly processed” that it is impossible to clearly identify tuna, or “there is simply nothing that is tuna” in of the samples sent.

Carmel cites a previous Inside Edition report that found positive tuna identification from samples taken from three subway locations in Queens, New York City.

Registered nutritionist Amber Pankonin, MS, LMNT, provided a little more context for Healthline.

When asked if claims that Subway may sell questionable meat products are a common fast food industry practice, Pankonin said, “It really depends on the brand who their supplier is and what they offer on the menu.”

She said that fast food brands with more than 20 locations in the United States are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to publicly publish their nutritional information.

“There are fast food chains that could use a structured vegetable protein or a soy product as a filler in their beef burgers or tacos,” she explained. “If you have any concerns about this, I would recommend searching for ‘100 percent beef’ on the menu description and checking the allergen information.”

Pankonin has directed Healthline to easily accessible information that is easy to access if you are concerned about what foods you might be consuming in a fast food restaurant.

This includes official FDA menu labeling guidelines and publicly available information on sourcing beef from popular brands like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell.

Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior nutritionist at UCLA Medical Center, reiterated to Pankonin that the product really matters.

She told Healthline that it is “difficult to counterfeit a product that looks exactly what it is,” such as a meat pie-based hamburger.

“However, when it comes to a fried nugget, that is, a chicken nugget, the question can get a bit more confusing as the product often contains a number of additional ingredients such as: B. breading, starch, dextrose, which could either mask an alternative meat product or is actually more of the product than the “chicken” or the so-called named meat itself, “added Hunnes, who is also the author of the forthcoming book” Recipe for Survival “is.

What is the nutritional value of meat-based fast food items?

Hunnes said she generally consults people to limit or avoid meat consumption, adding that a plant-based diet is generally much better for overall health.

However, if you eat meat-based products, she said “unadulterated meat” is better because you are consuming “unprocessed meat product” which is in some ways a bit healthier than “processed meat product”. . ‘”

She said that many restaurants, even fast food restaurants, are offering more plant-based alternatives. Your personal opinion is that these offerings are more attracted and overall they are better for the environment.

Pankonin said it is now pretty easy to access nutritional and allergen information for your fast food items just by looking at menu labeling requirements. She said you should avoid items that may contain potential allergens for you.

“Nutritionally, the products that contain fillers are likely to be quite similar,” she added, reiterating that it really depends on the particular restaurant and its suppliers.

How Healthy is Fast Food Meat? There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

“In terms of cooking preparation and taste acceptance, they are [fast-food meat items] could be different. If fillers are added, there may be more moisture or flour in the product, which can affect the preparation and quality. And depending on how much filler is used, it can affect the taste of the product, ”said Pankonin.

She added that in fast food restaurants, “standardized products can provide consistency in terms of the estimation of nutritional values”. This is compared to shopping and making a burger from scratch at home; it depends on the “meat used and the portion prepared”.

“When I advise people what to order in fast food restaurants, it really depends on what their health goals are and whether they have any food allergies. I can help them evaluate the calorie and nutritional information to see if certain menu items fit into their overall eating plan, ”said Pankonin.

If you are concerned about the headlines about fast food meat, what are good menu options at your favorite fast food restaurant?

“Some of the plant-based alternatives will gradually be better than real meat in terms of health. I say gradual because they are still a processed food product and will contain salt,” said Hunnes.

“But they’re better for health in that their fats come from plant sources, which are generally better than fats from animal sources, and they can also contain fiber that meat doesn’t,” she said.

Pankonin reiterated that it is about your diet and health preferences.

“Again, I think it depends on health goals and whether there are food allergies. For example, if someone is allergic to soy they should be educated about meat fillers and also avoid some of the plant-based options on the menu, ”she said.

Pankonin said if you want to make a burger from the comfort of your home and want to lower the fat or calorie content, for example, you can try “making a burger mix” by “using beef and vegetables like onions and mushrooms”.

She said that some breakfast suggestions involve coming up with something to prepare and freeze in advance.

Try a breakfast sandwich that uses a whole grain English muffin, egg, and slice of cheese. This could be an easy alternative to your favorite breakfast sandwich before heading to the office.

She also said no-bake recipes are a great way to cut down on kitchen time. Pankonin also mentioned wraps, which can be kept in a cool box and taken to the family picnic or to the canteen, as good options.

In addition, she said that you can’t go wrong with sausage boards.

“They are basically adult lunchables, and I love them,” she said. “These are super easy to assemble and can be a great alternative to fast food. Put it in a bento box instead of a board and lunch is ready. “

Hunnes said that while it might seem cheaper to go to a fast food restaurant and order four burgers, four fries, and four soft drinks for your family or group of friends for $ 20, in reality you could causing a lot of damage to your overall health and “you can pay for it in the backend.”

“However, since most people don’t think that far ahead when choosing meals, just from a monetary and momentary point of view, you can absolutely make something similar, healthier, and possibly even cheaper at home,” Hunnes said.

She said the plant-based meat brands Impossible or Beyond Burger cost only $ 9-11 a pound. One pound can feed four people. Wheat rolls are only $ 3 for about $ 8, with lettuce, tomato, and onion setting you back another $ 4 and soda adding a little more, say, another dollar or so.

The total sum? That’s roughly $ 17 for your own homemade burger.

“It’s actually cheaper and a lot healthier to do at home,” added Hunnes. “And if you wanted to use real meat, it would probably be even cheaper, since most pieces of ground beef are maybe $ 5 a pound.”

Overall, we may not have solved the great tuna riddle of 2021, but a few things are clear.

Always investigate the dietary and nutritional background of the foods you consume, assess whether they contain allergens, and consider potentially cheaper and healthier options that you can make for yourself and your family.

Whole Grains Health

Falling for weight loss myths

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I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at getfit@bbdforlife.com or visit bbdforlife.com.

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How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic

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Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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Meeting sleep recommendations can lead to smarter snacks

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Photo credit: CC0 public domain

New studies show that missing more than 7 hours of sleep each night, which is recommended, may lower the chances of choosing a treat than those who meet the guidelines with their eyes closed.

Analysis of data from nearly 20,000 American adults showed a link between failure to follow sleepy diet recommendations and snack-related carbohydrates, added sugar, fats, and caffeine.

The preferred food category without meals has been set – salty snacks, sweets and soft drinks are the same for adults. Sleep Habits However, people who sleep less tend to eat more total snack calories in a single day.

The study also revealed what appears to be a popular American habit, a dinner that is no matter how much we sleep.

Christopher Taylor, professor of medical nutrition and lead study author at Ohio State University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said:

“Not only do we sleep when we stay up late, but we also have all of these obesity-related behaviors: lack of physical activity, prolonged screening times, a variety of foods that we consume as snacks, not meals. Whether or not you meet your sleep recommendations will have a huge impact. “

Recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Study Group Adults should regularly sleep at least 7 hours a night to promote optimal health. Sleep Less There is an increased risk of many health problems, including weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, than recommended.

“We know sleep deprivation is broadly linked to obesity, but it’s all these little behaviors that determine how it happens,” says Taylor. I did.

The abstract of the study is in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Nutrition The study will be presented in a poster session on October 18, 2021 Food Nutrition Conference & Expo.

The researchers analyzed data from 19,650 American adults, ages 20 to 60, who participated between 2007 and 2018. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

This study collects 24-hour meals from each participant, details what and when all foods are consumed, and asks about the average hours of sleep on weekdays.

The Ohio State University team ranked participants on whether they met sleep recommendations based on whether they reported more than 7 hours or less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Using the USDA database, researchers estimated participants’ snack-related nutrient intake and classified all snacks into food groups. Three snack time frames were established for the analysis. It’s from 2:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m., 5:59 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 1:59 p.m. in the evening.

According to statistical analysis, almost everyone (95.5%) eats at least one snack a day, and more than 50% of the snack calories of all participants are soda and energy drinks and chips, pretzels, cookies, and pastries. It was of two broad categories including.

Participants who did not meet sleep recommendations were more likely to eat morning treats, less likely to have afternoon treats, and have more calories than participants who slept more than 7 hours at night. I have eaten a lot of low-nutrient snacks.

Although many physiological factors are involved in the relationship between sleep and health, Taylor says that behavior modification, particularly avoiding the nose at night, not only helps adults adhere to sleep guidelines, but also improves their diet. Said it could help you.

“Following sleep recommendations helps to meet certain sleep needs that are relevant to our health, but it is also related to the fact that we are not doing anything that could harm our health. “Says registered nutritionist Taylor. “The longer you stay up, the more chances you have to eat. At night, these calories come from treats and sweets. Every time you make these decisions, you increase your risk of developing chronic diseases. Here are some calories and foods that are relevant and we don’t have whole grains, fruits, or vegetables.

“If you’re in bed trying to sleep, at least you won’t eat in the kitchen. So if you can go to bed yourself, that’s the starting point. ”

How to sleep well in 2021

For more informations:
E. Potosky et al., Differences in Snack Intake by Meet Sleep Recommendations, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Nutrition (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jand.2021.06.145

Provided by
Ohio State University

Quote: Smarter snacks from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-smarter-snacking.html on September 20, 2021 (September 20, 2021).

This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission except in fair transaction for personal investigation or research. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

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