Saturday, December 14, 2002

Adding to mom's balancing act

From the "Too Much of a Good Thing Is a Bad Thing" file comes research from the U.S. agriculture department and Cornell University that the antioxidants in dark grape juice, while good for your heart, are bad for your ability to absorb iron. That might not be a big deal for adults who are obsessed with cholesterol and looking for something other than red wine to lower it, but it's a big deal for kids, in whom iron deficiency can lead to anemia and, from there, to "mental, physical and behavioral impairment, particularly in infants and toddlers," according to the experts. Dark fruit juices in general appear to be iron-uptake-reducing, while lighter-colored juices have an opposite effect. The researchers stopped short of suggesting the witholding of dark grape juice for tots, but did recommend a balanced palette of beverage hues for maximum nutritional correctness. So there you go, moms: Now in addition to making sure your kids have a balanced diet that hits all the proper points on the food pyramid, and that their fruit juices don't contain corn syrup or aspertame or dyes or preservatives, you need to make sure that the colors of those juices assort themselves through the day in all shades from white grape juice to dark. So what if this means you have six or seven bottles open at all times -- you want to be drinking to their health, right?

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