Nutrition For You

In this section, Island Harvest will provide information about nutrition and other healthy living topics that are of interest to our readers. Should you have a topic or question you would like covered in a future update, please email allison@islandharvest.org or write to Island Harvest at 199 Second Street, Mineola, NY 11501.

Here are some new facts on nutrition for you  (espanol)

How much caffeine is okay?
It’s back to school, back to work time and the days are getting shorter. Are you tempted to reach for an extra cup of coffee to help clear the cobwebs? What is it about caffeine that gets us going? Caffeine is a drug, a mild stimulant that can temporarily increase your heart rate and boost energy levels. According to the American Dietetic Association, 200 to 300 milligrams a day (about 2-3 cups of coffee) is safe for most healthy adults, but excessive caffeine intake can cause anxiety, insomnia, headaches or stomach irritation. Caffeine is found mainly in coffee, tea and colas, but also is found in energy drinks, hot cocoa, chocolate and many over the counter medications, so if you’re watching your caffeine intake, take note of all these sources! Learn more, at www.eatright.org.


What’s the new Food Guide Pyramid?
Did you know that there is a new food guide pyramid, and it’s just for you? “MyPyramid” is the new food guide pyramid that individualizes a person’s needs based on age, gender and physical activity level. It emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. It stresses the importance of physical activity with a balance of food. It provides healthy food choices by recognizing and promoting that “one size does not fit all.” Visit www.mypyramid.gov to learn more.


What is the proper way to wash your hands?
According to CDC statistics, one of every four people will contract a food borne illness this year. Chances are, you know hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. It’s important to wash your hands before and after you handle food, before you eat, after touching your ears, nose, mouth, or hair and after you use the restroom. But are you really getting those hands clean? Spend at least 20 second scrubbing your hands with soap – about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Be sure to clean under fingernails and between your fingers, rinse thoroughly and dry your hands with single-use paper towels or a warm-air hand dryer. Learn more, at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/op.


Before undertaking any significant nutritional or physical activity changes, it is recommended that you check with your physician.

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