IRN Digest - Issue 1 > May 21, 2015

Feature Story:
Real Food, Real Science, Real Health

What is real food and what does it have to do with our health? Despite a vibrant food movement, the state of human nutrition — and the food system that is supposed to deliver it — is in a state of steady decline. Metabolic disease now affects one quarter of the global population while the pandemics of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity are ravaging whole communities and even entire countries. Read more »

The Big Debunk
Do You Believe a Calorie Is a Calorie?

The mantra "calories in = calories out" has been giving dieters false hope for decades. A calorie is not a calorie. This myth is debunked by four scientific truths:

  • Fiber. You eat 160 calories in almonds, but only absorb 130, because some fiber calories pass through without metabolizing. Vegetables, greens, beans and whole grains are all high in fiber.
  • Protein. It takes twice as much energy to metabolize protein as carbs, so protein spends more calories in processing. And, protein makes you feel full longer.
  • Fat. All fats are 9 calories per gram. But omega-3 fats are heart-healthy and can save your life. Trans-fats will clog your arteries and kill you. Eat more fish, nuts, avocados, olive oil and eggs. Avoid most processed foods.
  • Added Sugar. Calories from added sugar are different from other calories, and are jeopardizing health worldwide. And, yes, that includes honey, syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Excess added sugar leads to diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease — unrelated to the calories. Avoid processed foods and sodas; they're loaded with added sugar. Read more »

What the Pediatrician Says
Dr. Alan Green, MD: Hidden Impact

Added sugar is a major concern in kids' diets, but there is another culprit lurking, often unnoticed, in many of the same "kids' foods" — sodium. The concern is not salt from the saltshaker at home; it's the added sodium, used to make processed foods and restaurant foods more compelling, that can have long-term negative consequences on health. Read more »

What's the Number?


245 billion. What do you think this number represents? The first person to answer correctly will be featured in our next newsletter and win a prize!

Partner Highlight
Cindy Gershen and the Wellness City Challenge: It Takes a Community to Change a Food System

Mt. Diablo High School students and other leaders in Contra Costa County are audacious enough to believe that food and nutrition is primary to education, not peripheral. Cindy Gershen, Culinary Arts instructor at Mt. Diablo High School, states that "If you change the food, you change the future. Strong science-based nutrition must be essential and central elements of the educational model for all schools and grade levels."

If you think this sounds radical, Mrs. Gershen is not alone — 13 students and adults from the Concord community took their ideas for changing the food system to Washington, D.C. on April 5–11. The group visited Members of Congress and representatives at the USDA, and shared their innovative curriculum Pathways to Healthy Living with Ballou High School, one of the high schools in the District of Columbia with the largest enrollment. The Vice Mayor of Concord, Laura Hoffmeister, accompanied the group along with other community leaders including: Chuck Carpenter, Vice-Chair of the Workforce Development Board; Anna Fisher, Director of Food Services for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District; Pamela Singh, Executive Director of Wellness City Challenge; and Wolfram Alderson, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. Read more »

Healthy Chefs: Great Recipes
Hale to the Kale from Wolfram Alderson

This is a quick and easy meal that you can eat this almost every day - it will fill you up, and is loaded with great nutrients and fiber. Seems like everywhere you go today, there is many varieties! I'm hooked on kale and thought I might share my favorite kale recipe for you folks out there that don't have a whole lot of time for food preparation. There is so much incredible kale out there in markets right now, so please experiment with your own mix. Read more »

Real Food Sources


The word is out that we should eat "Real Food" or "Whole Food" or "Clean Food," but where do you find this food? At the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, we make it easy for you. Trust us to locate the best, most reliable food sources out there so you don't have to. Take a look at our growing list of "Real Food Sources" to finding local food that is wholesome, tasty, and, of course, real. We've also provided resources for school gardens, farm tours and healthy food certifications. Read more »

Feel free to nominate additional sources by contacting us.

Monthly Survey Questions


Be the person first to read the article "Real Food, Real Science, Real Health" and answer all of the survey questions correctly to win a prize! Take the Survey.

Quote of the Month


"Change the food, change the future" - Cindy Gershen



Michele Hozer's new documentary Sugar Coated is premiering soon in Toronto! Have you seen the trailer?



Why aren't all calories the same?
Dr. Lustig's famous statement "a calorie is not a calorie" has baffled many. Most people have lived their entire lives believing that calorie counting and exercise are the be-all and end-all for weight loss. However, you may have been eating too many of the wrong calories. Review our infographic that explains why all calories are NOT equal. Got a question? We'll answer it in our FAQs! Read more »

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