UPDATE: Today I am going to give you a short true/false "good food/bad food" quiz based on an article in the Tuft's University "Diet and Nutrition Letter," (Volume 7, No. 1, March 1989). Get your pencil and go:
1. True or false. Apple juice is better than orange juice for young children.Answer: False. A favorite with mothers of young children, apple juice is little more than flavored water containing some natural fruit sugar. Unless it's fortified, a cup of apple juice provides almost no vitamin C, while a cup of orange juice has about double the daily recommended amount for a child. Apple juice can cause diarrhea in some children as well.
2. True or false. "Carob bars" are much better for you than candy bars.
Answer: False. Chocolate lovers who become health-conscious often substitute carob products to satisfy their passion. But although unprocessed carob powder is lower in fat than the cocoa powder used to make chocolate, products made from carob powder, such as carob candy bars and chips, can have just as much fat as a chocolate bar because they often have saturated fats added to them.
3. True or false. Cottage cheese is an excellent choice for a "diet plate special" because it is high in protein and calcium and low in fat.
Answer: False. Unless it is low-fat cottage cheese, nearly 40 percent of its calories come from fat. This decreases its value as a protein source and provides too much fat in the diet. Regular cottage cheese is also a poorer choice in terms of calcium - it takes 21/2 cups to equal the amount of calcium in a 100-calorie cup of low-fat milk. In addition, cottage cheese is quite high in sodium, with several brands providing around 900 milligrams per cup.
4. True or false. Fruit leather and fruit bits are great snacks to send with the kids.
Answer: False. Many of these products are little more than fruit-flavored candy. They contain added sugar and fewer nutrients than the real thing. If your child likes a sweet snack (and what child doesn't), pack a banana or some grapes instead.
5. True or false. It is probably a good idea to eat some eggs each week, even though they are high in cholesterol.
Answer: True. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are easy to use for a number of tasty and satisfying meals. Even the American Heart Association says it's OK for most of us to eat as many as three egg yolks a week. Eggs contain about 250-275 mg of cholesterol, but total fat in the diet is probably more important than the amount of cholesterol. Of course, eggs also contain 6 grams of fat, but that is only as much as an ounce of hard cheese, so a few eggs will probably be OK.
6. True or false. It is probably a good idea to avoid jelly because it is loaded with sugar.
Answer: False. In terms of both your heart and waistline, jelly is actually better than margarine or butter. Unlike those spreads, it has no fat to speak of and, tablespoon for tablespoon, provides only about half the calories.