Nutritional Information

Nutritional Brochures

Working with Co-op Food Stores in Hanover and Lebanon, NH, Harvest is able to bring you these wonderful brochures to add to our Nutrition Files. From apples to winter harvest, we pass on information, ideas and recipes for your health and culinary delight. If there are subjects you want to know more about, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Current Nutrition articles:

Cholesterol: Redefining the standards

Wheat and Gluten-free Update

Did you know?


Cholesterol: Redefining the Standards

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring lipid (fat) that circulates in the bloodstream. Our bodies make it, and we take it in through foods we eat. When we have too much cholesterol in circulation it clogs up the arteries and can cause heart disease. Cholesterol is contained solely in animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt. No foods of plant origin contain cholesterol. The “bad” cholesterol circulating in our bloodstreams is elevated by eating saturated fat and trans-fat as well as by consumption of cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as those listed above, and in varying degrees in vegetable oils. Most vegetable oils have a higher proportion of beneficial liquid oils to saturated fats except for coconut oil and palm oil (not to be confused with palm kernel oil). The beneficial fats in vegetable oils are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help promote “good” cholesterol levels (see explanation below). These beneficial fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, almonds and avocados, to name a few sources. Trans-fat elevates blood cholesterol even more than saturated fat. Trans-fat is a liquid oil that has been chemically altered to behave more like a solid fat, and it does so in the body. It is listed on ingredients labels as hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, vegetable shortening, or margarine.

Total cholesterol is not the best indicator of the health of your arteries. Cholesterol subcategories and triglycerides, another type of fat, are better indicators. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is the “bad cholesterol” that makes deposits in the arteries, and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is the “good cholesterol” that carries excess cholesterol out of the bloodstream. You want low levels of LDL, which is affected by diet. And you want HDL above a certain level, which is affected by diet as well as exercise. Keeping triglycerides low is also beneficial for heart health. Triglyceride levels are elevated through eating sugar and sweets as well as starchy foods like refined flours. Refined flour is one that is not listed as “whole” on the ingredients label, such as “wheat flour” or “flour” rather than “whole wheat flour”.

The new guidelines for healthy cholesterol levels were released last May by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The new criteria almost tripled the number of American adults who don’t meet the healthy guidelines. They are listed below.

Cholesterol Goals

Types of CholesterolOld Guidelines (1993)New Guidelines (2001)
LDL CholesterolLess than 130 mg/dlLess than 100 mg/dl
HDL CholesterolMore than 35mg/dlMore than 40mg/dl
TriglyceridesLess than 200 mg/dlLess than 150 mg/dl

Wheat and Gluten-Free Update

Wheat and Gluten Free
By Dawn Olcott

We continue to get calls from customers looking for gluten free products. We still have the ever-popular Foods By George, pecan tarts, brownies, crumb cake and giant cookies!

If you are looking for some good rice pasta, try the Tinkyada. The penne and spaghetti are my favorites. You do have to be careful not to overcook it, but it does not turn to paste in seconds when slightly overcooked like other alternative pastas. I’ve served it to friends coming for dinner topped with stir-fried chicken, spinach, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, crushed garlic, olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan. Delicious!

My new favorite fun food is the Black Licorice Bears made by Let’s Do Organic. They are gluten free, chewy licorice in the shape of gummy bears.

Look for the Glutano chocolate wafers for a gluten, egg, and dairy-free treat. They have a chocolate filling inside a sandwich of light, crunchy vanilla wafer cookies. It’s easy to sit down and eat a whole package if you’re not careful. The Glutano Chocolate O’s are good too. It’s still fun to take them apart and lick out the filling and then eat the cookie part. Try them with a cold glass of Westbrae unsweetened, organic soymilk, it’s just organic soy and water.

We also have some gluten-free mixes. The Pamela’s pancake and baking mix. It can be used for quick pancakes and other goodies. It makes great muffins. If you use the really small muffin tins, they cook as fast as a batch of pancakes and are fun to eat. Add some canned pumpkin to the mix and the results are not only delicious but also high in carotenes (vitamin A). There are other recipes on the bag too, but I haven’t tried them myself. Let me know if you do, and which ones you like. The Pamela’s brownie mix is very good. The brownies are moist and chocolaty. It makes a good substitute for a Birthday cake with a little creative decoration. Try using a jar of preserves like raspberry or cherry for a frosting when it is still slightly warm and it will soak in a little.

With alternatives like these gluten free is not a diet of deprivation!

Did you know?

By weight, broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and has as much calcium as milk?

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Harvest Co-op

580 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 617-661-1580
3815 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 617-405-5300
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