Quinn on Nutrition: Nutrition on the road

July 11, 2016

The real treat from my recent gallivant around the country to hawk my book was meeting you, the readers of this column. And on every highway and country road, I came to better appreciate this great country we call home.

Communities like Burlington, Iowa and Racine, Wisconsin could be called small town America. I call them the heart of this country, in states that feed our world with steadfast determination.

Driving through the meticulously farmed fields of Americaís dairyland, my attention was drawn to an idyllic scene of contented black and white Holstein cattle. On a brick wall overlooking their green pasture was a hand-painted sign that announced, "Drink milk."

Further west, I found myself on Iowaís Lincoln Heritage Byway ó the first transcontinental improved highway to connect New York City with San Francisco. Lots of American flags wave to drivers on this road. Out here, itís absolutely fine to watch the corn grow.

Later, lovingly cared for farmland gave way to rolling green hills of delicate grass Ö the Sandhills of Nebraska. Cows like it here.

A short time later I landed in Corvallis, Oregon, where you donít pump your own gas and you donít pay sales tax. Sweet. Home town bookstores and farmers markets thrive here, thanks to citizens that see the value in shopping local.

All along the way, I got great questions from readers like you. Here is a sampling:

Q: My husband wants to eat a lot of fish for omega 3ís. I prefer shellfish to fish. Is there as much omega 3 in squid, crab, shrimp, shellfish?

A: Ounce for ounce, shellfish like crab and shrimp contains about a third as much DHA and EPA (active forms of omega-3ís) as is found in darker fleshed fish like salmon, anchovies and sardines. Good news, though. The most recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we eat "a wide variety of seafood" which includes your beloved shellfish as well.

Q: You wrote that a can of regular soda has 39 grams of sugar added. That didnít mean much to me but then I was shocked to read that is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar!! The number of teaspoons of sugar should be on the label to get peopleís attention. Is there any action being done to implement this?

Q: The newly revised Nutrition Facts label does not mention this specifically. However, it will show how much of the sugar in a product is "added" versus sugar that is naturally present. Hereís a hint, though. One teaspoon of sugar weighs about 4 grams. You can calculate how many teaspoons of added sugar is in a product by dividing the grams by 4.

Keep those letters and emails coming.




McClatchy-Tribune Information Services