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Tag: nutrition

Updated USDA Websites

The USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center and the USDA websites have received a makeover!

FNIC strives to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition. serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers. The site is updated on an ongoing basis by a staff of Registered Dietitians at the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The recording of this eXtension webinar discussing these websites is at

Many free materials and handouts can be found at

Food Science in Action Competition

Do you know a budding videographer? The Institute of Food Technologists is having a video competition for K-12 students. This year’s theme is “Serious Ink: Know What’s on Your Food Label!”

The goal is to improve label literacy through a 1– to 5-minute video to help consumers understand food package labels.

There are three categories, Elementary school (K-5), Middle school (6-8), and High School and above (9-12, higher education.)

Submit your video by May 11, 2020. Information and how to submit a video can be found at


What’s New with the Nutrition Facts Label

Have you noticed the change? The Nutrition Facts Label has had its first major update in over 20 years. The goal is to help consumers make informed food choices for lifelong healthy eating habits.

The serving size is now in a larger, bold font. Some serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people typically eat and drink today. The serving size is not a recommendation of how much to eat.

Calories are in a larger, bolder font so they are easy to find.

Daily values (%DV) have been updated. A 5% or below DV is considered low. A 20% DV or more is considered high.

The nutrient list has been updated to remove calories from fat and vitamins A and C. Grams of added sugars has been added because consuming too much added sugars takes away other nutrient needs. Vitamin D and potassium were added because most people do not get enough.

Learn more at


March is National Nutrition Month®

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has designated March as National Nutrition Month®. The theme this year is Eat Right Bite by Bite.

Each week, key messages are suggested to help encourage nutritious eating. The four weekly themes are:

  • Vary your diet
  • Meal planning
  • Cook and prep
  • Visit an RDN

A toolkit is available handouts, press releases, activities and more. Learn more at

This event focuses on making good food choices, develop sound eating habits, and encouraging physical activity.

See Clearer with Green Foods!

Photo: USDA Flickr

March brings us closer to spring colors, such as fresh green foods! Some of those green foods contain lutein which helps keep our eyes healthier and could reduce the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lutein is a xanthophyll found in foods such as basil, parsley, kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and lettuce.

Some risk factors for AMD are out of our control such as advancing age, being female, having light skin and/or blue eyes, and having a close relative with the disease. Other factors include smoking, being sedentary, not consuming enough fruits and vegetables, and too much sun exposure.

But, eating eye-healthy foods can reduce the chances of getting AMD. So how can you incorporate these green foods into your diet? Add bright green vegetables to a party tray. Add a green salad as a side dish to lunch or dinner. Make the color pop in broccoli and green peas by blanching them briefly in boiling water, then put them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This enhances the green color to make those vegetables more appetizing.

Source: and


Kansas Nutrition Council Conference

The annual Kansas Nutrition Council Conference will be held April 23, 2020 at the K-State Alumni Center, Manhattan, KS.

Topics included in the conference include What’s Your Carb IQ?; Digestive Health; Intermittent Fasting: Trending Fad or Future Goals and many more.

Early bird registration is $130 by February 29. After that, the cost goes up to $150. Learn more about the day and how to register at

The Kansas Nutrition Council strives to provide structure and leadership for linking Kansas professionals in nutrition and related fields.

Stock Your Pantry the MED Way

Photo: USDA Flickr

The Mediterranean way of eating emphasizes a lot of fruits and vegetables. There are a variety of options to achieve this goal.

Fresh fruits and vegetables choices change throughout the year based on growing season. But, many of these same foods are available in frozen, canned, or dried forms year around. Look for plain frozen fruits and vegetables without added flavors or sauces. Choose canned products without added salt for vegetables or canned in their own juice for fruit. Dried fruits can be eaten as is or can be rehydrated.

Fresh or frozen fish options are few in some locations. But canned tuna or salmon, packed in water or olive oil, are good choices.

Don’t have fresh herbs? There are many dried herbs available to use instead. A general substitution is 1/4 teaspoon dried ground = 1 teaspoon dried whole/crumbled = 1 tablespoon fresh chopped.

If certain foods are not available in your local grocery store, ask the manager to order the item. You may not be the only person looking for it and it could become a regular item on the shelf.

Learn more at


Bitter Taste Could Be in Your Genes

Photo: USDA Flickr

While we encourage consumers to eat healthy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, to some, the bitterness will turn up their nose.

Turns out, this could be genetic. Researchers at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine discovered that we all inherit two copies of the TAS2R38 taste gene. There are two variants of this gene, the AVI and PAV variants. If you have two copies of the AVI variant, you are not as sensitive to bitter flavors those foods. If you have one of each variant, you perceive bitter flavors in the same foods. If you have two PAV variants, you are a “super-taster” and those foods will be very bitter and inedible.

Source: Food Technology, January 2020


Tea May Help Brain Health


There have been many reports on the benefits of drinking tea. It can be refreshing, soothing, calming and also provide health benefits.

In a recent study from the National University of Singapore, they looked at how tea effects brain function. Specifically, they targeted the connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This was designed to see if tea would reduce the aging affects on the brain and the connections regarding cognition and organization.

By using neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging, the study found that consumers who drank black, green, or oolong tea four times a week had better brain connectivity and better functionality.

While more research is needed, this is a positive step to better brain health. Read more at


2020 Kansas Nutrition Council Conference

Come join your friends and colleagues in the nutrition field at the Kansas Nutrition Council conference scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2020, at the K-State Alumni Center, Manhattan, KS.

The conference agenda includes:

7:30-8:00 a.m. | Breakfast & Registration

8:00-9:00 a.m. | Jim Painter, What’s Your Carb IQ?

9:00-10:00 a.m. | Megan Harper, Digestive Health

10:00-10:20 a.m. | BREAK

10:20-11:20 a.m. | Jenna Braddock, Enneagram Type & Eating

11:20 a.m. -12:20 p.m. | Claudia Martin-Ayoade, Intermittent Fasting: Trending Fad or Future Goals?

12:20-1:15 p.m. | LUNCH (Sponsored by KS Beef Council)

1:20-2:20 p.m. | Rebecca Kirk-McConville, Optimizing Nutrition to Avoid Red-S

2:20-3:20 p.m. | Paige Penick, Getting Out of Your Head: Becoming More Effective in Business and Communication

3:20-3:30 p.m. | BREAK

3:30-3:45 p.m. | Brainstorming Session: The Future of KNC

3:45-4:45 p.m. | Andrea Kasper-Doggett, Trauma-Informed Care Across Client Systems

Register now!