Q: Are mandarin oranges nutritionally equivalent to regular oranges?
A:Although many people are
only familiar with canned mandarin oranges, there are a large number of fresh
varieties including Satsumas, Clementines and tangerines such as Dancy, Honey
and Pixie. Most are sweeter than other citrus fruits and are notable for their
bright orange, easily peeled skin with flesh that divides easily into sections.
Mandarins are smaller than standard oranges, but even comparing equal portions
of the fresh fruits, they are not as high in vitamin C as navel oranges
(although they are still excellent sources).
However, mandarins provide greater amounts of two antioxidant
beta-cryptoxanthin. If you use canned mandarin oranges, choose juice-packed
versions instead of those in light syrup in order to minimize added calories
and maximize vitamin C.
Q: My dad is a widower who eats mainly frozen meals.
Should I be concerned about his diet?
A: Frozen foods can be a wonderful way to make balanced meals with
and fruits are great options and can be as rich in nutrients as fresh
Using frozen varieties also
allows you to prepare only what you need at one time, reducing waste. Utilizing
the Nutrition Facts panel on frozen packages is also helpful in choosing meals
without excess fat and sodium. A well-balanced frozen meal should contain no
more than 25 to 35 percent of your “Daily Value” (DV) for saturated fat (no
more than 7 grams for someone eating 2000 calories a day).
High sodium meals are often a particular
concern for people who are salt sensitive, which includes those with high blood
pressure and older adults. Your dad should look for meals with 500 milligrams
of sodium or less. Finally, whether food is fresh or frozen, they key to
healthful, balanced meals is to center them around grains, vegetables and
fruits. Most frozen meals or entrees use small vegetable portions, so adding
extra fresh or frozen vegetables or fruits to the meal is a smart move.
Q: Are the pork cuts available today leaner than years past?
A: Pork today is bred to be a far leaner animal than it was years
Of course, fatty cuts like bacon
and spare ribs are still very high in fat.
But several pork cuts meet the criteria of
leanmeat – less than 10
(g) of fat, no more than 4.5 g of
saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per three-ounce
cooked serving (the size of a deck of cards).
These lean cuts include sirloin, top loin and center rib chops and
When preparing pork, be sure to trim
off the fat around the outside.
leanest cut of all is the tenderloin, which meets the standard for
extraleanmeat (less than 5 g
of fat and less than 2 g of saturated fat per serving).
Lean cuts of meat are the most heart-healthy,
But note that
experts still recommend limiting even lean red meats – beef, pork and lamb –
for optimal cancer protection.
link more than 18 ounces of red meat a week with increased risk of colon
cancer. There is currently no evidence that the risk is reduced if the meat is
The American Institute for Cancer Research
(AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of
nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets
the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has
contributed more than $86 million for innovative research conducted at
universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has
published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the
field and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a
wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make
dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate
program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its Web site, www.aicr.org.
AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
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