Week of July 19, 2010
Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

AICR HealthTalk
Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN
American Institute for Cancer Research

Q: Which provides more vitamin C, refrigerated ready-to-drink or frozen concentrate orange juice?

A: Freshly-squeezed orange juice is generally tops for vitamin C content, providing at least a day’s worth in just one six-ounce glass. However, more convenient options such as frozen concentrate or bottled juice (100% juice made from concentrate or not) are all excellent sources of vitamin C. The vitamin C content varies some among brands compared to official USDA information, but you can usually count on the six ounces (the recommended serving) supplying 50 to 75 milligrams of the vitamin. That’s half to three-quarters of currently recommended daily amounts. Of course, vitamin C is just one of many vitamins, minerals and protective plant compounds we get from vegetables and fruits, so be sure to focus on getting a wide variety and plenty of produce. Whichever form of juice you choose may be based on price, convenience or flavor.

Q: Is it safe to lose weight while breastfeeding?

A: Certainly, in fact the extra calories you use in producing breast milk may even help. Exclusive breastfeeding, meaning giving your baby nothing else, is recommended as the optimal choice for baby’s and mother’s health for the first six months. In addition, it is associated with greatest weight loss. To maintain successful milk production, the key is to make sure you are losing weight gradually and with healthy food choices. Limit consumption of high-sugar drinks and watch out for high-fat or high-sugar snack foods and desserts without totally depriving yourself. Portion control can be important as well; if you’ve gotten used to larger portions during pregnancy, taking three-quarters of your usual portions of meat and starchy foods (pasta, cereal, potatoes) can make a significant difference. Remember, too, that adding in physical activity, such as taking your baby for a walk every day, also helps to create the difference between calories consumed and calories burned that leads to weight loss.

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