Nutritious Life

Brining Nutrition to Daily Life

Soy (soybeans, soymilk, tofu…) May 21, 2009

Below is an interesting article on soy. It is very long, but worth the read!

Here are some key points:

“Organic foods or foods labeled “made with organic ingredients” are almost always free of ingredients processed with hexane—but not always. Clif® Bars, for example, misleads consumers with the “made with organic soy and oats” label, when one of the first ingredients listed is conventional, hexane-extracted “soy protein isolate.”

“Trader Joe’s participated in the project by filling out the survey but refused to disclose sourcing information. It is unique among private-label brands for the company policy against sourcing genetically engineered ingredients (WHOLE FOODS also has a company policy against sourcing genetically engineered ingredients but did not participate in this project). “

“In January 2009, the familiar Silk soymilk cartons lost the green “USDA Organic” seal and now state “natural” where they once said “organic.” The carton’s design is the same, and many loyal Silk customers who associate the brand with organics may not be aware that they are now buying a nonorganic product.”

“On some of their nonorganic products, including Silk Live® and Silk Yo­gurt®, White Wave/Dean Foods lists “organic soymilk” and “organic soy­beans” as the first ingredient. According to a Silk spokeswoman, not all soybeans in these products are in fact organic,61 these products are made with some organic soybeans, but not enough to qualify them for “made with organic soybeans” status. To qualify for the “made with organic soybeans” status, at least 70% of the ingredients must be certified organic.”

“Scientists agree; Dr. William Helferich, who studies the effects of soy on cancer, found in one study that isolated soy ingredients stimulated the growth of tumors.”

“Hexane is used to extract oil from grains such as corn, soy, and canola. It is a cost-effective and highly efficient method for separating whole soybeans into soy oil, protein, and fiber. In conventional food processing, soybeans are immersed in what the industry calls a “hexane bath” before they are further processed into ingredients such as oil, soy protein isolate, or texturized soy protein (TVP). The soy protein ingredients in most nonorganic foods such as vegetarian burgers and nutrition bars are processed with the use of hexane.”

“Unfortunately, not all foods with “organic” on the label are guaranteed to be free of hexane-extracted soy ingredients. First, products such as Clif Bars with the label “made with organic oats and soybeans” are required by law to have 70% organic ingredients—the remaining 30%, however, can legally be hexane extracted. Second, even foods with the “certified or­ganic” label could have minor hexane-extracted in­gredients, such as soy lecithin, historically not avail­able in organic form, and DHA oil.”

“unless a soy-based vegetarian burger or meat analog product is organic, with the green USDA Organic seal on the package, it almost certainly contains hexane-extracted soy protein, such as soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate.”

“Clif Bars appeal to organic consumers with the following statement on its web site: “And food, made right, can make the world a better place. That’s why we use organic ingredients in all our products.” What customers may not understand is that this does not mean that Clif Bars are 100% organic, or even 95% organic. Clif Bars comply with the 70% organic labeling requirement (the 70% category is the third and lowest of the USDA’s organic labels and allows for manufacturers to use the organic label if at least 70% of the product’s ingredients are organic)…”

“Since organic soy lecithin is available but more expensive, checking an ingredients label for organic soy lecithin is a great way to determine how committed a company is to organics. If a company uses organic soy lecithin, they are paying more, in return for a more truly organic product. They show their commitment to organics and their support to the companies that are pioneers in developing ingredients that are organic. Consumers should be aware of this issue so that they can support these companies in the marketplace.”



Veggie Burgers March 5, 2009


I did a post a while back on Amy’s foods. I recently tried her California Veggie Burgers and thought they were very tasty and wanted to recommend them. They are similar to the Boca Burgers out there, but the California Veggie Burgers are much healthier (made with whole ingredients, nothing processed).

All you need is a whole wheat english muffin (which I got at Trader Joes), an Amy’s California Veggie Burger and fixings of your choice (spinach, mustard and onions are my top three) and you got yourself a healthy meal in a matter of minutes!





Where to get them:

Target: selected locations/$3.99 which is going to be your cheapest bet!

Henry’s: around $4-5

WholeFoods: around $5

Vons/Safeway (selected locations)

Check with your local super market!



Energy Bars February 3, 2009

protein-bar-pictureClif Bar, Luna Bar, Balance Bar, PowerBar. Ever eaten one of these? Maybe you grab one before a long run or long bike ride …or maybe you grab one in the middle of the day to beat that mid afternoon slump. There are so many energy bars out there, what do you look for when you buy them? Do you fully understand all the ingredients in them? I pulled up the Clif Bar website and looked up some of the ingredients. Most ingredients I recognized, however, some ingredients I have no idea what they are like soy protein isolate. Sounds simple, but I don’t think it is as simple as it sounds. Also many of these so called healthy energy bars contain way too much sugar and processed ingredients.


I have found some energy bars that are healthy, have flavor and you actually recognize all the ingredients.


Energy Bar #1: Lara bars

          Offer a wide variety of flavors

          Sweetened with dates (natural sweetener)

          My favorite is the Banana Nut (taste exactly like banana nut bread) and the Peanut Butter bar

          Found at Trader Joes, WholeFoods, Henry’s and I have seen them at Vons/Safeway

Energy Bar #2: Bora Bora bars

          Made mostly from nuts

          Sweetened with agave syrup (natural sweetener)

          My favorite is the Cinnamon Oatmeal

          So far the only place I have been able to find these are at Costco, check your local markets I am sure they sold elsewhere (I think I saw them at Whole Foods, but I have not had time to confirm that)

Energy Bar #3: Trio Bar

          Also made mostly from nuts

          More of a crunchy texture

          These are not particularly my favorite, but some of you might like them

          Sweetened with dates (natural sweetener), evaporated cane juice, which isn’t the best, but at least you know what it is

          I have also only seen these at Costco, but I am sure there are elsewhere as well

I do hope you get to try out one of these healthy energy bars. I am sure there are other healthy ones out there, but these are the ones I have tried, think they taste great and really recommend in place of your current energy bar.


Nutrition Facts Panel January 22, 2009

How many of you look at the nutrition facts panel before you buy something? Maybe you check out the fat content or the sugar content? Do you really know what you are reading? Maybe you know what you are looking for, but do you understand it?


I found this diagram below and wanted to share it with you (courtesy of Trader Joes)! I constantly read the ingredients of a product and the nutrition facts panel. I think it is important to read the ingredients label and the nutrition facts panel before you buy anything, but most of all it is important to understand what you are reading. Reading this article below gave me a refresher course on what I am reading.


If you are not already reading labels, I encourage you to read the ingredients and nutrition facts panel before you purchase anything. Most likely if you don’t know what an ingredient is then it probably isn’t good for you.


Happy Shopping!!




Organic or Non Organic December 20, 2008

We probably know organic is better for us, but sometimes at the expense of our paycheck it just isn’t worth it. I was reading an article in Runners World this month and came across a piece of info I found interesting and wanted to share:

“By eating the organic versions of the dirty dozen, you can reduce your exposure to contaminants by 90 percent,”

Can you believe that? This is great news … for our health and especially our wallets!

If you don’t know what the “dirty dozen” are check it out:


Tips to buying organic and saving a buck:

-shop the farmers market in your area

– check weekly what is on sale at the local grocery stores

– if you have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood check them out (usually they are fairly inexpensive)


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