Canned soup… not so healty after all!

Many people believe that choosing soup over other meals is a healthier choice. Those of you who cook might had notice that in order to get a tasty soup, lots of salt needs to be added to the recipe. Although I love soup, especially during the winter, I try to eat it in moderation because it might represent a risk for my health and the health of my family.

Last month your classmate Vita shared with me this new article about the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) in canned soup. BPA is an organic chemical that is usually associated with the production of plastics. Whenever you go out shopping, you can find many products clearly specifying BPA free. Manufacturers of products such as baby bottles and food containers will try to keep these products BPA free because it has been associated with and increased health hazard, especially for babies and young children. BPA has hormone-like properties mimicking estrogen and affecting many processes in the body. It is believed that the most severe effects occur early in development, and lots of studies are being currently conducted to identify safety levels for this compound.

Below you can find a preview to the article published by Harvard School of Public Health. Please, review the article focusing on increased risk, study strengths and weaknesses, and your thoughts about this topic. The full article can be accessed from  Enjoy!

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Arsenic and the chicken you eat

In order to keep up with our previous arsenic and apple juice post, I thought it might be interesting to present this article.  Now you see an article introducing the presence of arsenic in chicken.  Interestinlgy, they talk about the uses of arsenic in chicken and why the concentration is usually high (hint: antibacterial).  Please, review this article and share your thoughts.  Remember to refer to the arsenic in your apple juice post to review why arsenic can represent a health hazard.  You can even google arsenic+cancer and you will find some interesting articles.

Please, access the article from the NYT and share your thoughts about this topic.  Review also the comments below.  Do you consider these comments objective and with a scientific basis?

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Are you up for a beef burger?

Modern consumers seem to be more interested in health and food quality. The media is constantly trying to expose practices that are not considered so safe for the health of individuals. Scientists are constantly trying to address the safety of the products that are part of our daily diets, and new evidence is generated as we speak. One of the purposes of this nutrition class is to make students aware of the current issues from a health and scientific perspective and promote critical thinking on topics that represent a public concern.


This article addresses the quality of beef burgers. For the past few years, the quality and safety of products of big fast food chains have been questioned. It seems that some of these companies are trying to fight the stigma and new changes have been made to adapt to consumer needs. Trans-fats have been reduced, chicken fillers have been modified, but this article presents a new perspective on burgers and the fillers used. They actually talked about “pink slime” a product that was previously used only as dog food, but it is actually now used in some of the burgers we get from these fast food chains.


Please, review the article below and share your thoughts. Would you feel safe eating burgers with the pink slime? Do you consider that media could affect the product without scientific evidence? What could be the financial impact of banning these products?


You can access the complete article from  It could even be interesting to google search pink slime and find what it is.

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sugar: the bitter truth

This video open my eyes to high fructose corn syrup, however blaming the obesity epidemic to this ingredient is an exaggeration.  I believe that high fructose corn syrup is a risk factor and contributes to obesity but, it is only one factor and should be regarded as that.  Consuming too much fats, carbohydrates and living a sedimentary lifestyle are all contributing factors, and now new research shows that there may be a genetic link to obesity, we have another risk factor.  The one thing that intrigue me was high fructose corn syrup suppresses the hormone leptin, the hormorne that surpresses appetite.   I did observed with my own self since I came to the united states, I eat more processed food that contains high fructose corn syrup and after a meal I still feel hunger although I am full.  I always think to myself why is the message not being sent to my brain that I am full.  Could it be high fructose corn syrup?

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Arsenic in your juice?

We have been discussing in class a wide variety of nutrients and how they are essential for the functionality of the human body. Among the nutrients required in large quantities are water, carbs, lipids and proteins. We also require minerals and vitamins in smaller quantities that are essential for our metabolism and body processes.

Usually heavy metals are associated with toxicity, but some elements classified as heavy metals are essential to humans. Metals such as iron, copper, selenium and zinc are required in trace amounts for proper body functionality. Do you remember why iron is important and which conditions you can developed if you lack this essential metal? On the other hand, other metals can be extremely toxic to the human body since they can’t be metabolized and accumulate in the tissues. I am sure that you have heard recommendations such as, limit your intake of tuna fish during pregnancy because of the presence of mercury or the danger that lead represents for kids. Well, in this course we will be discussing arsenic, a heavy metal that represents a serious risk to human health.

Why arsenic is a concern? If you look at the periodic table, arsenic is just above phosphorous in the periodic table. Phosphorous (phosphate) is essential to living organisms because it is a main component of genetic material, energy forms and components of cell membranes. Arsenic and phosphorus both have similar reactivity and when combined with oxygen form very similar compounds (arsenate and phosphate respectively). Our bodies can recognize arsenate as phosphorus, but arsenate cannot be utilized as phosphate (Look at the chemical structures below for better understanding of the chemistry of both compounds). Any ideas why this could be detrimental?


Below you can find a link to an article published by Consumer Reports that talks about the presence of arsenic in some drinks (especially some juices). Please, read over this article and share your thoughts. What is your perspective on this article? What do you think about the FDA regulations? What kind of measures should be implemented?<

As a mother this article is concerning. I rarely give my kids juice, but in the US sugary drinks such

as the type of juices described in this article are the primary source of liquids for many kids.

Please, share your thoughts!

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Diet Sodas and Cardiovascular Disease

After our discussion on carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners, I thought it might be appropriate to post this article. This is a 10 year-long cohort study from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center.  It was found that drinking diet sodas everyday result in a 43% increase of heart attack, stroke and/or vascular death.   Access the link below to get the full article from the Science Daily.

Are Diet Soft Drinks Bad for You?

Please feel free to engage in a scientific discussion and share what are your thoughts.  Hope we have fun discussing this topic. 

 I will have to admit that after reading this article for sure I will have to moderate my own habits!

Now I wonder, what would happen to my favorite soda brand that promotes its support the women’s heart health programs?

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Fatty food preference… is there a genetic link?

We will be discussing Fats soon in class and I thought that this article is very interesting.  It shows a correlation between a preference for foods rich in fats and people having certain forms CD36 gene.   Check it out and let me kow what you think!

PS:  I just hope that’s not the reason why I haven’t been able to get rid of those extra pounds bothering me 😉

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