Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Grocery store lessons: flour

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When the Internet exploded a little while back with the news that Subway (and a number of other fast food restaurants) included the ingredient¬†azodicarbonamide (a chemical also found in things such as yoga mats) I felt a little smug. After all, it’s extremely rare for me to eat at Subway, and even more rare for me to eat at the other places mentioned. Then I saw a post by a friend of mine on facebook indicating that¬†azodicarbonamide can be found in flours on grocery store shelves. That lead me to take a look through my cupboards.

Lo and behold, there it was in the ingredient list for my healthy whole wheat flour. Interestingly, not for my unbleached all-purpose white flour, nor for my organic gluten-free flours. It turns out that perhaps the fast food companies aren’t to blame for this one. This goes back to the ingredient suppliers.

Now,¬†azodicarbonamide may be safe for us to consume in the quantities that it’s present in our flour. It may not be. I don’t know. Personally, I’d rather avoid consuming unnecessary additives regardless. I know that in the future I’ll be checking the ingredients in my flour before I buy it. I’m also feeling a whole lot less smug about baking my own bread.


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Grocery store lessons: coconut water

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As with coconut milk, for some reason I assumed that coconut water was just that, the water from the centre of a coconut. Once again I was wrong. You would think that as a dietitian, and a regular label reader, I would have the good sense to check-out the ingredients of any product I’m buying. Some day I’ll learn!

So… coconut water. Not always just coconut water apparently. Some brands are made from concentrate, some have additives like “natural flavour” and citric acid. Other brands are watered-down coconut water. Still others have added flavours (along with which tend to come added sugars) ranging from various fruits to chocolate and latte. Obviously, these versions tend to negate any of the benefits from consuming coconut water.

Now, I like coconut water. I often have a small (i.e. about 1/2 cup or less) glass in the morning. It’s tends to have about half the sugar that a glass of juice would have and most of us can do with a little bit more potassium. That being said, it’s not for everyone and I’m certainly not advising everyone to consume it. However, if you’re like me and you do enjoy it, just be sure to read the ingredients and make sure that you’re getting 100% pure coconut water.