Mary’s Memo #2205


Nutrition experts have been warning us to watch added
sugars for at least a decade, but Americans are still struggling
to follow that advice. Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, Rd, of the
University of Vermont, incoming chair of the American Heart
Association's nutrition committee, told a recent conference
that Americans average 475 daily calories from added sugars.
That's far more than the AHA's recommended 100 daily
calories from added sugars for women and 150 for men and a
whopping 30 teaspoons a day. "So we have a long way to go,"
Johnson told attendees at the American Dietetic Association
Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Added sugars and
solid fats total about 35 percent of the calories in the average
diet, she added; the recommended maximum is 5 to 15 percent.
To start scaling back on added sugars, Johnson advised
simply avoiding sugary soft drinks, the source of about 36 percent
of added sugars in the US diet. Check labels to see if sugar
in any form is listed among the ingredients.

Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2011.


The verdict is still out on the health effects of high fructose
corn syrup (HFCS). What we do know is that too much of any
kind of sugar can lead to weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition
and increased triglycerides which can boost your heart
attack risk.


People are quick to complain about food prices but it
doesn't stop them from stocking up on carbonated soft drinks
by the case when they're on sale. They buy tea by the jug and
so-called health drinks are also popular. Although I may keep
root beer on hand for a root beer float and occasionally drink
peach tea Snapple in the summertime, water is still my beverage-
of-choice and not the bottled kind.

I keep one case of bottled water around for emergencies
or to drink in the car when I'm traveling but that's it. According
to the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization
based in Oakland, California, producing, packaging and transporting
a liter of bottled water requires between 1,100 and
2,000 times more energy on average than treating and delivering
the same amount of tap water.

From what I've read, 86 percent of over 30 billion plastic
bottles a year are discarded instead of being recycled, even
when recycling facilities are available.


Grace Carr started the school lunch program in Bryan City
Schools. She also catered large banquets held in the high
school gymnasium. Grace was one of Bryan's best cooks and
her recipes are still used by many of us who knew her. Looking
for recipes to share in this week's memo, I came across
her recipe for Delish Cookies, printed in a 1971 memo when
the National School Lunch program was 25 years old. Recipe
makes 12 dozen cookies. If that's more than you care to make
cut the recipe in half.


6 cups granulated sugar

2 cups packed light brown sugar

4 cups butter (2 pounds), softened

8 eggs

8 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons vanilla

16 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour

6 cups plump raisins

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls
onto parchment-covered cookie sheets. Bake in preheated
350ºF oven for 10 to 12 minutes.


You don't have to be Irish to savor the flavor of Irish Potato
Salad on St. Patrick's Day.


2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

3 medium-large potatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

3/4 pound deli corned beef, cubed

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles or dill pickle relish

1 cup Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise

Combine vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed; set aside. Scrub
potatoes and cook until done; drain and cube. While potatoes
are still warm, drizzle with vinegar mixture. Sprinkle with sugar
and salt; chill. Before serving, add cabbage, corned beef, scallions
and mayonnaise. Toss lightly. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.


A food scientist at Bush Brothers Beans reports that the
company sent samples of their beans to an independent lab,
which found that you can remove 40 percent of the sodium
when you rinse the beans thoroughly.

Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2011. Download PDF of Memo #2205

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