NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Pleasure to Meet You!

Pleasure to Meet You!  7/28/17The Sargent County Fair always provides a wonderful opportunity to meet people.  This year was no different, and I was delighted to be able to “seize the day,” and take advantage of that opportunity! 

In spite of the challenging conditions of the heat and humidity last weekend, it was a pleasure to visit with lots of folks!   After introducing ourselves to each other, the first comment I hear most often from whomever I’m meeting is, “Oh!  I read your column in the Teller every week!”  I’m always delighted to hear that, and want to remind and encourage readers that I do take requests!  If there is a topic or question you have that you would like to have me address or write about in this column, please give me a call!

On the heels of the Sargent County Fair, I departed on Monday of this week to travel to the ND State Fair in Minot with our Sargent County 4-H Consumer Choice Judging team so they could compete in the state Consumer Choice Judging Contest on Tuesday.  “Smoothies” was one of the topics for the contest.

Smoothies can be very nutritious, and they can provide a convenient way to meet some of our dietary needs.  Smoothies that are “healthy” or “nutritious” can be used to satisfy some of the USDA MyPlate food group recommendations that help us meet our dietary needs for nutrients.

However, smoothies can also be a nutrition disaster.  This is because they are sometimes a source of lots of extra (“empty”) calories, due to the added sugars and fats that are used in making them.  In our culture, beverages are often the culprits that cause us to exceed our daily calorie need, while failing to meet our daily nutrient needs.  Dietitians often refer to this as being “overfed but undernourished.”

Smoothies are most often made from fruit and/or dairy foods such as milk or yogurt.  Smoothies containing vegetables and protein ingredients are becoming increasingly popular and readily available.

When using a smoothie as a meal, it should provide foods from at least two different food groups out of the five food groups that USDA MyPlate recommends.

When choosing a ready-to-drink smoothie for its nutritional merits, read the nutrition facts label.  Look to see what the serving size is, how many servings are in the container, and how many calories are in each serving.  Also check the nutrients and where those calories.  Keep in mind that carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram, while fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Most people like a bargain, or at least a “good deal.”  When choosing foods and beverages, the “good deal,” nutritionally speaking, is when we get a good supply of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber, for a relatively low calorie “cost” in whatever food or beverage we are choosing.

The long-term health effects of sugar substitutes and non-nutritive sweeteners used in making lower calorie smoothies are unknown, particularly for children and adolescents.  For that reason, when choosing smoothies, it is advisable to choose those made with naturally sweet ingredients and free of caffeine.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/hand-advice-client-hand-shaking-1870179/  (downloaded 7/31/17)

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