Do you have questions about nutrition, health or Del Monte's family of products?
We have made it easy to submit your question. So ask away.
Our staff nutritionist Sarah Ludmer will respond to one question each week. Check back often and learn something new.
I hate to cook and cooking for one is a chore when trying to stay healthy. Please tell me what is simple and easy to cook for one person and is good for my health.
Cooking for one can be tough. I think it requires a little more creativity but if planned can be easy to do. When you do have time to cook meats like chicken, cook off more than you need. Chicken when baked or even sautéed without sauces is easy to store in the refrigerator for later in the week. Add sauce to have it with pasta or spread it on a salad with your favorite dressing.
Do the same when cooking grains. I love quinoa and when I make it for dinner, I always try to save extra for lunch the next day. Quinoa is a great grain that tastes great with vegetables and cheese. I like Del Monte® Green Beans and mozzarella cheese heated with my leftover quinoa. It also is great as a warm breakfast with your favorite fruit and brown sugar.
Always have a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand. When buying fresh be sure to only get what you can eat up before it spoils. Look for canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. You can portion those as you want them and they heat up quickly. Canned, Fresh and Frozen fruits and vegetables all have similar nutrition and are great additions for someone cooking by themselves.
I assume the nutritionals posted on Del Monte® canned fruit is inclusive of the syrup portion, if so, is there a fairly consistent sugar content in the regular syrup and lite syrup ? If you could provide me with the typical sugar content (mg/ml) of both lite and regular syrups I could better calculate my sugar intake. Alternatively, do you have a listing of "drained nutritionals" you could send me for Del Monte® canned fruit products. In addition, do you have this same information for salt (regular vs. low sodium) in canned Del Monte® Vegetables?
The nutritionals are based on the entire contents of the can including all the syrup and sodium. We don’t have published nutritionals for draining. We have done some internal work and I can provide you a rule of thumb that will be helpful to you.
For our vegetables, typically there is a 35-50% loss of sodium when you drain. It varies per vegetables. Green beans lose closer to 50% of the sodium when you drain and corn loses closer to 40% of the sodium when you drain.
For our fruits, typically you will lose about 30-35% of the sugar when you drain.
If you are really concerned about your sodium and sugar intake, I strongly suggest you try our No Salt Added Vegetables. We make nine different types of No Salt Added products, then you can add your own salt to your needs. You can also get our No Sugar Added fruits, fruits packed in 100% juice or our Lite fruits which are packed in extra light syrup. These items all help you control your sugar intake.
What is the caloric count for almonds and peanuts?
Nuts are a very healthy snack. They provide healthy fats and are a source of protein. Both nutrients help you make you feel fuller longer which tends to satisfy most people’s appetites. Portion control is very important. Too much fat, even if it is good fat, can affect your weight and your cholesterol. Typically a serving of nuts is 1 oz.
The nuts with the fewest calories are pistachios, almonds, cashews and peanuts, which are all around 160 calories per oz. Macadamia nuts and pecans have the highest calorie count at about 200 calories per oz.
Pistachios are a source of some antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein, which are both helpful for your eyes. Almonds have the highest amount of calcium and walnuts have the most omega 3 fatty acids.
There has been a fair amount of research on walnuts and almonds related to heart health.
I think all nuts are a great choice for snacks and a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. From a nutrition standpoint, I would choose pistachios, almonds and walnuts as the best choices.
I have to be on a low-iodine diet for two weeks before a test, so I cannot have any iodized salt. I checked the sodium on your no-salt added diced tomatoes and it indicates 50mg of sodium. Where does this sodium come from and is it iodized?
The salt in the product is the naturally occurring salt in the tomatoes. It would not be iodized since it is not added salt. Most vegetables have natural sodium. You can be assured that the salt in any of our No Salt Added vegetables and tomatoes products is not iodized. As you can see from the label, they only contain vegetables and water.
My sister was recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and was told to avoid all products containing wheat. Are your products wheat free?
First, a little background on Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is a disease that a damages the lining of the intestinal tract. People with Celiac Disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley. When people with Celiac Disease eat a food or consume a product that contains gluten, their immune system kicks in and destroys the lining of the intestinal tract which causes decreased absorption of all nutrients. Celiac Disease affects 1 out of every 133 people in the United States. It used to be thought of as a fairly rare disease but is becoming more common and does run in families. Individuals with a first degree relative who has been diagnosed may wish to be screened for it.
The only treatment for Celiac Disease is to follow a gluten free diet. Even a small amount of gluten can cause side effects and symptoms and should be avoided so knowing what is in the food you are eating is important. Looking for "wheat" listed in the ingredient list on the food label is a place to start, but not the only indication that a food may contain gluten. While commonly thought of foods that containing gluten are breads, pasta and crackers gluten may also be a component of some ingredients that are commonly used in some processed foods like modified food starch and some preservatives.
Del Monte maintains a list of our products that are gluten free and can be found FAQs. Keep in mind that product formulations can change and it is always best to read the ingredient list on your food labels for the most current information. You can also contact us if you have additional questions or need further information about our products.
This is for information purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice. Individuals should always consult with their physician and registered dietitian.
More information on Celiac Disease can be found though the National Institute of Health, NIDDK website
As a man, what foods should I incorporate into my diet for long term health?
Men and women are different in lots of ways and their nutritional needs are no different. While both men and women need to monitor their calorie intake, reduce their fat intake and eat more fruits and vegetables, there are specific foods men should include in their diets for optimal long term health.
Fish is a great source of lean protein, which helps build muscle and maintain weight, as well as Omega-3 Fatty Acids good-for-you fats that are found in fattier fish like salmon, trout and tuna. Two servings of fish a week is ideal.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E powerful antioxidants that may play a role in protecting against cancer and heart disease. It seems that almost every day, more research backing the health benefits of tomatoes is discovered. Adding tomatoes and tomato products to your favorite dishes is an easy, delicious way to amp up your healthy diet.
Nuts and Seeds
They may be small, but nuts and seeds are a powerful source of nutrients that are vital to men's health magnesium, potassium and even protein. Almonds contain Vitamin E which can help protect your heart; walnuts contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids that help protect your heart and brain; and pumpkin and sesame seeds are a good source of magnesium, which may have a role in blood pressure regulation. Don't over do it, though! Because they are a concentrated source of calories and fat, a small handful of nuts or seeds is all you need.
No, you probably aren't going to get larger muscles from eating spinach, but green leafy vegetables are great sources of antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein that help protect your eyes, especially as you age.
Citrus Fruit and Berries
Both are great sources of antioxidants and help support our immune system, protect our vision and keep our brains functioning. Throw some blueberries in your cereal or yogurt and have a cup of red grapefruit for a snack in the afternoon!
As a woman, what foods should I incorporate into my diet to promote long term health?
Women should focus on eating foods that are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. A diet with foods that contain these nutrients will help promote overall health and help fight diseases like cancer and heart disease.
It's also important for women of all ages to maintain a healthy weight. Filling your plate with low calorie, nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein will help keep your weight in check.
Here's more info on what foods are crucial for a women's diet and why:
Fruits and vegetables
The more colorful the better! Antioxidants like lycopene and beta carotene found in red and orange foods may help protect against certain cancers and promote heart health. Green foods like spinach and broccoli can help protect your eyes and are a good source of folic acid, an essential nutrient for women of childbearing age. Blue foods like blueberries could help protect your brain and white foods like onions and garlic have heart protective effects. Fruits and vegetables are also a good source of potassium which has been linked to lowered blood pressure. Add just one more serving of fruits and veggies to your diet daily throw a bag of carrots in your lunch, mix canned tomatoes into your favorite soup or pasta dish or add canned veggies or fruit to your favorite salad.
Low in fat and rich in protein, seafood is also loaded with nutrients vital to heart health in adults and the health and brain development of unborn babies. Selenium, B vitamins, and heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in all types of seafood. Keep a pouch of tuna or salmon in your desk drawer for times when you need a quick lunch a convenient and great-tasting addition to a simple vegetable salad!
Soy protein has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods like edamame, tofu and soy milk and certain protein bars are good sources.
Low Fat Yogurt, Milk and Cheese
These dairy products provide calcium and vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium. As most women know, these foods can help protect against osteoporosis later in life. It's important to choose low fat varieties of dairy products to keep calories and fat in check. Mix light yogurt with granola and a fruit cup for a yummy afternoon snack!
Hot or cold, tea is a great addition to your diet because it contains flavonoids that can help strengthen your immune system. Black and green teas are best so treat yourself to a glass or two in the afternoon or after dinner.
By incorporating these foods into your diet on a daily basis, keeping your weight in a healthy range, getting plenty of rest and relaxation, and striving for 30 minutes of physical activity every day, you will be on your way to good health!
What are the best heart healthy foods for my family?
For years, consumers have been told what NOT to eat for a healthier heart, but understanding what foods you should eat are just as important in the fight against heart disease. Foods rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables and those with Omega-3 fatty acids like seafood play a crucial role in protecting your heart and keeping it strong.
Fruits and vegetables of all kinds are good for your heart.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day have been shown to have a 20% decrease in heart disease, along with reduced risk of stroke and certain types of cancer. Fruits and veggies contain powerful antioxidants that protect your heart against oxidative damage; they contain other nutrients like magnesium and potassium that help keep blood pressure in check.
Eat a Rainbow
As a general rule, the more colorful the food, the more powerful its protective properties:
- Red colored foods, like tomatoes, red peppers and red grapefruit contain antioxidants like lycopene that may help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and possibly cancer.
- Green colored foods like spinach and asparagus contain other antioxidants like lutein and beta carotene that help maintain healthy vision along with other vitamins and minerals such as folate and magnesium that help your heart.
- Orange/yellow foods like apricots, peaches and corn also contain antioxidants that protect your immune system and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Blue/purple foods like blueberries and plums may be helpful in improving your memory.
- Even white foods like garlic and onions seem to contain a powerful nutrient called allicin that has been shown to protect against heart disease.
Fresh, Frozen or Canned
Every form of fruits and vegetables are healthful and important to include in your diet. Recent research from UCLA even showed that once prepared in a recipe, canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables provided the same nutrients. And in some cases, like lycopene in tomatoes, the canning process makes the nutrient more available than in the fresh form.
Why is potassium so important? How much potassium is found in Del Monte fruits and vegetables?
The electrolyte potassium is an extremely important nutrient. It helps our muscles work and maintains our body's fluid levels.
In addition, potassium has been linked to reduced blood pressure. More than one-third of adults are at risk for high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. While many people have focused on a low sodium diet as the key to fighting hypertension, experts now agree other dietary factors including potassium intake can aid those looking to keep their blood pressure in check.
Most fruits and vegetables are a good source of potassium, but eating more dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, tomato products, potatoes, citrus fruits and dry beans will help increase the amount of potassium you consume. The amount of potassium in each individual fruit or vegetable varies; below is an overview of the potassium content of some of Del Monte's fruit and vegetables:
- Sweet Peas – 125 mg/ ½ cup
- Mixed Vegetables – 140 mg/ ½ cup
- Green Beans – 120 mg/ ½ cup
- Whole Kernel Corn – 180 mg/ ½ cup
- Creamed Corn – 140 mg/ ½ cup
- Whole New Potatoes – 300 mg/ 2 potatoes
- Chopped Spinach – 350 mg/ ½ cup
- Carrots – 125 mg/ ½ cup
- Tomato Sauce – 230 mg/ ¼ cup
- Stewed Tomatoes, Italian Style – 260 mg/ ½ cup
- Stewed Tomatoes, Original – 300 mg/ ½ cup
- Diced Tomatoes – 260 mg/ ½ cup
- Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano – 325 mg/ ½ cup
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Pepper and Onion – 300 mg/ ½ cup
- Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Onion – 275 mg/ ½ cup
- Petite Cut Diced – 130 mg/ ½ cup
- Apricot Halves in 100% Juice – 200 mg/ ½ cup
- Peach Halves in Heavy Syrup – 120 mg/ ½ cup
- Chunky Mixed Fruit – 100 mg/ ½ cup
- Cinnamon Peach Chunks – 120 mg/ ½ cup
- Mandarin Oranges – 100 mg/ ½ cup
While most people need to eat more potassium, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, there are some individuals who need to limit the amount of potassium found in food. Your doctor can tell you if you need to limit the amount of potassium you eat.
What are "Superfoods"?
Superfoods are foods that contain powerful disease fighting nutrients and have significantly more of these good nutrients when compared to other foods. And although they may sound intimidating, the good news about superfoods is that you can find them on your local grocery store shelves. In fact, you may already have some in your pantry and your fridge.
Which foods contain these super nutrients? Most fruits and vegetables contain protective vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but a few truly stand out as superfoods. And in many cases, the canned product is just as good, if not better, than the fresh version:
- Tomatoes — especially canned! Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Heating the tomato through the canning process helps make this nutrient even more available for your body.
- Grapefruit, Oranges and Citrus fruits — especially red grapefruit! Vitamin C and other antioxidants are found in grapefruit and help strengthen your immune system.
- Spinach — in addition to being a good source of iron, calcium and B vitamins, spinach is loaded with beta carotene thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease. In addition, spinach contains an antioxidant called lutein, a nutrient that helps protect your eyes.
- Corn — The antioxidant lutein is also found in corn and a study from Cornell University found higher levels in canned corn than in fresh.
You may be wondering how the nutrients in superfoods work to your benefit. Simply put, they protect your body from the damage that free radicals can cause to your cells.
To better understand this process, imagine an iron railing that has been exposed to the elements. The rust that forms on the railing is the result of exposure to oxygen. By applying a protective coating to the railing, you block out the rust-inducing oxygen, thus safeguarding the railing from significant damage.
The nutrients in superfoods act in a similar same manner inside your body. Their powerful nutrients, or antioxidants, prevent free radicals, damaged cells that can be problematic, from assaulting your healthy cells. When your body needs to put up its best defense, antioxidants are crucial to your health.
So take a step toward healthier living by eating your fruits and vegetables every day, you'll be on your way to getting the extra protection your body needs.