alternatives to excercise, lycopene in ketchup, and brown versus white eggs.

Q: I hate exercise! Do other ways of being physically active protect health?
Q: Is it true that ketchup supplies lycopene, just like tomatoes?
Q: Are brown eggs more nutritious than white eggs?


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

Q: I hate exercise! Do other ways of being physically active protect health?
A: Certainly. United States Department of Agriculture recommendations to reduce risk of cancer and heart disease and promote overall health call for at least 30 minutes a day (preferably 60 minutes) of physical activity classified as “moderate.” Moderate activity is described as activity during which you can talk but not sing, or activity that leaves you energized but not exhausted. Moderate activity can include household activity such as mopping, vacuuming, window washing, raking and lawn mowing. If you walk at a brisk pace to work or to do errands, that can be a moderate activity. Recreational activities and sports, such as leisurely cycling, lawn or indoor bowling and golf (without a cart) also fall in this category. More vigorous activities are great, too. Studies show that people have a wide range of energy they put into household and recreational activities. Some people move with enough zest that an activity is properly classified as moderate or vigorous while others take a leisurely approach that expends so little energy the activity would be classified as light. A light activity would not count toward the 30 minutes or more recommended daily activity.

Q: Is it true that ketchup supplies lycopene, just like tomatoes?
A: Lycopene is a natural antioxidant found in tomatoes that seems to help lower risk of cancer (as do many other compounds from vegetables, fruits and whole grains). Because ketchup is made from tomatoes, ketchup also supplies lycopene and in a highly available form. But usually our ketchup portions are not large enough to provide the amount that we would get from tomato sauce, tomato soup or tomato juice. One tablespoon of ketchup provides 2.9 milligrams (mg) of lycopene. That’s helpful, but foods we eat in larger portions can provide much more: a half cup of tomato sauce provides about 19 mg and one cup of tomato juice provides about 23 mg, for example. If you eat large amounts of ketchup, of course you will get more lycopene. But keep in mind that sugar and salt consumption also rises as you boost your ketchup portion. If you had 7 tablespoons (almost half a cup) of ketchup, you would get as much lycopene as in a half cup of tomato sauce and cup of juice, but you’d also be getting half a day’s worth of sodium and about 6 teaspoons of sugar. Tomato juice and sauce can also provide quite a bit of sodium (if you don’t get the reduced-sodium varieties), but even they wouldn’t provide that much.

Q: Are brown eggs more nutritious than white eggs?
A: The breed of hen that lays an egg determines the color of its shell. White hens lay white eggs and dark hens lay brown eggs. Shell color has nothing to do with egg quality, flavor, nutritional value or cooking characteristics.

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