Watermelon is my favorite summertime treat: cold, juicy, and sweet. Last year, at a July 4th get-together, as I was cutting up watermelon, another holiday party guest suggested I sprinkle my slice with a pinch of salt. I thought “salty watermelon?” I’m a dietitian who encourages people to cut down on salt! But sure enough: instead of tasting salty, the watermelon popped with sweetness.
It’s May and temperatures are rising, plants are sprouting, and the sun is still shining as I drive home from work. I feel more peppy than usual.
This feeling and month connect me to that wonderful song from Camelot entitled “The Lusty Month of May.” Here Queen Guinevere proclaims to her loyal subjects: May is the time for Spring Fever!
In early January many people make daring declarations that this is the year they will follow a healthy eating plan and/or will lose weight. Most turn to the bookstore or internet for a diet to help them reach their goal. And there are lots to choose from; as 2017 comes to an end, Google revealed that the most searched for healthy eating plans were ketogenic, low-carb, Paleolithic, military, Atkins, and gluten-free.
When I was in graduate school at Drexel University in Philadelphia, I was taught “if a food doesn’t taste good – no matter how healthy it is – it doesn’t get eaten.” A very memorable student visit to the Monell Chemical Senses Center, right down the street from Drexel, reinforced that concept. Monell is the world’s only independent, non-profit scientific institute dedicated to basic research on taste and smell. It was where the sense of taste, finally made sense to me!
Before modern politics made “fake news” a household word, dietitians have long battled to contradict false headlines. Practically everyone with an internet connection has seen #fakenews nutrition and food stories; those links – often posted on social media by well-meaning friends – claiming that what we eat is filled with risky chemicals and banned in every nation but our own.
MSG has not been spared from incorrect headlines. When searching online, I found monosodium glutamate falsely linked to many health conditions including hormonal imbalances, weight gain, brain damage, obesity, headaches – and more. This is all #fakenewsMSG.