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Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 1998

SPARKLING WATERS OFTEN LOADED WITH EXTRA CALORIES

February 11, 1998

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My teen-ager is drinking a lot of the sparkling water beverages. How many calories do they contain?

Unlike many no-cal drinks, such as seltzers or bottled waters, many new sparkling waters are sweetening the pot. To jazz up the taste of bottled waters, manufacturers started out by adding natural fruit flavors. But now, many of the "waters" aren't much different from soda pop.

It's important to check the ingredient label on those beverages named "sparkling water beverages with natural flavor." Is fructose or high fructose corn syrup on the list of ingredients? If it is, you may be getting more calories than you realized.

For example, according to the Nutrition Hotline at the Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp., their beverages range from 55 to 68 calories per 6 fluid ounces, yet the bottle contains 11 fluid ounces, increasing the total calories per bottle to 100 to 125 calories. On the "plus" side, their beverages do not contain any caffeine and only have 10 milligrams of sodium. They contain no fat or cholesterol.

An easy way to find out what you're paying for is to read the ingredient label. If fructose or high fructose corn syrup is listed as the second or third ingredient, beware. You may be getting more sugar than you bargained for.

How long can unopened processed meats, such as hot dogs and luncheon meats, be refrigerated?

Refrigerated hot dogs and luncheon meats will keep in their original, unopened, vacuum-packed packages for two weeks. Once opened, rewrap and use hot dogs within seven days, luncheon meats within three to five days. Frozen, cured meats should be used within one to two months.

What is the difference between salt and sodium? And what is the daily recommendation?

Sodium and salt are often interpreted as one and the same, but they are not. Salt contains 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. Sodium occurs naturally in foods in small amounts. Most is added to foods in processing, mainly as salt. An estimated two-thirds of our sodium intake comes from processed foods such as packaged dinners, cheese, canned soups and vegetables, packaged and prepared desserts, processed and cured meats and fast foods. One-third of our sodium intake comes from adding salt during food preparation or at the table.

The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a "safe and adequate" range of daily sodium intake is between 1,100 and 3,300 milligrams. This is equivalent to the amount of sodium in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Can I reuse meat marinade?

Never reuse meat marinade. The raw juices from the meat remain in the marinade making it unsafe to use again. Just as a reminder, always marinate meats in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Also, if you plan to use the marinade for basting or dipping, set aside a portion before adding raw meat.

I keep hearing about eating five fruits and vegetables a day. Will just any fruit or vegetable do? Or, do I have to eat specific ones?

According to the new Food Guild Pyramid, three to five servings of vegetables should be eaten daily and two to four daily servings of fruits.

Different types of vegetables provide different nutrients. For variety eat:

  • Dark-green leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli).
  • Deep-yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes).
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas).
  • Legumes (navy, pinto and kidney beans, chickpeas).
  • Other vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green beans).

Include dark-green leafy vegetables and legumes several times a week -- they are especially good sources of vitamins and minerals. Legumes also provide protein and can be used in place of meat.

Serving sizes for vegetables are: One cup of raw leafy vegetables; 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw; or 3/4 cup of vegetable juice.

As far as fruits go, choose fresh fruits, fruit juices, and frozen, canned or dried fruit. Pass up fruit canned or frozen in heavy syrups and sweetened fruit juices unless you have calories to spare.

Eat whole fruits often -- they are higher in fiber than fruit juices. Have citrus fruits, melons and berries regularly. They are rich in vitamin C. Count only 100 percent fruit juice as fruit. Punches, ades, cocktails and most fruit "drinks" contain little juice and lots of added sugars. Grape and orange sodas don't count as fruit juice.

Serving sizes for fruits are: A medium apple, banana or orange; 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit, or 3/4 cup of 100 percent fruit juice.

-- Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in home economics and consumer science with K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper. She can be reached at 843-7058.

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