All posts by Warren Krantz MD

Fever is your friend

Fever is your friend

The purpose of this post is to demystify fever in of itself and to offer a natural approach to supplement the advice and treatment you receive from your physician.

[This is not meant in any way as medical advice or diagnosis regarding fever or illness. This post is as an informational source only.  Before following any information presented here please consult with your physician or child’s Pediatrician. No part of this post is meant as a treatment for fever or the symptoms accompanying fever].

Each doctor varies slightly in their approach to fever management. Fever is only one symptom, like a warning sign in a constellation of symptoms involving a disease process whether it be a virus or bacterial infection.

As a medical doctor I recommend face to face examination of a patient with fever to be certain of what the fever represents. I keep in contact with my patient’s for any changes in both behavior and medical condition.

Any fever above 102 F should be brought to the attention of your physician. Babies under 2 months any fever above 100.5F

”Fever is our friend”–without fever we wouldn’t have an important warning about an illness whether it be viral or bacterial. We would not be able to mount an immune response for this infection . Fever helps your body fight the infection particularly a virus. It helps send your fighting cells to the site of infection. Fever also builds your immune response to the particular infection so next time you are exposed to that illness it can fight it more effectively.

[Febrile seizures :High temperatures are not responsible for febrile seizures rather the cause is an unusually rapid rise in temperature from normal level to febrile. In fact most febrile seizures stop on their own and are not harmful . ( you should  seek medical care if your child has a possible febrile seizure). Febrile seizures occur from 6 months to 6 years.]

Fever symptoms- chills, aches and pains, sweating are all coordinated symptoms , not themselves harmful but are part of a response to fight the invading infection.

Fever is a sign of illness and as such any treatment should be in coordination with your physician or your child’s pediatrician

Since the middle ages we have feared fever as some mysterious evil force and sign of a terrible deadly disease.

Often the treatments born out of this fever fear were worse than the disease itself.

Some of the things we have done include the below but WE DO NOT USE THESE ANY MORE

Alcohol baths- is toxic to children by being absorbed through the skin

Aspirin – in children causes Reyes’s syndrome- injuring the liver and brain.        

Bloodletting – don’t have to discuss this one

Ice baths- not what someone needs when we are trying to be comfortable

General approach to fever after you have consulted with your physician .

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen both are useful medications to control fever and use for comfort from the symptoms of fever- including headache, chills aches, and pains. Ibuprofen is more beneficial for these symptoms that accompany fever but does have more gastrointestinal side effects.

Let your body fight the infection with fever as long as your or your child is comfortable.

Do what is reasonable when necessary with respect to any medication to get adequate sleep.

It is OK to stay with fever if you or your child is getting enough fluids, breathing comfortably, and resting comfortably. If you or your child is sleeping and have no other signs of distress  there is no major rush to wake up and give something to knock the fever down. Now you and the child  are awake and miserable.

Make sure you get more liquids, when your body has fever you require more fluid.

Only exert yourself to the point that you feel comfortable. No intense exercise or sports. It’s fine if you feel up to it to go outdoors in good weather, move around and get mobile. Fresh air is good.

If a fever does not immediately respond to fever reducers does not mean it is a worse infection or virus than a fever that drops quickly and goes back up.

Fever in general is stabilizing to the body. Higher fevers do not harm you more if your body is fighting a virus.

Treat the person or child not the fever.

Go for comfort, you do not have to follow the fever every minute.

Fever itself is just a sign that you have an illness – not the illness itself.

Make sure you are aware of the important signs and symptoms of worsening illness besides just fever-respiratory distress { any difficulty breathing}. Sore throat, not taking fluids, pain ( chest, joints), cough. These are some of the additional signs of illness that may give your physician a better idea of what this fever may represent.

Natural methods for fever control

Drink lots of fluids

Room temperature bath or wipe down with water

Wet socks, and many cultures add citrus fruit or spice balm to help a fever.


The usual healing teas are very useful here. Hibiscus , ginger and echinacea

Goji tea works very well for fever, add ginger to it

The fever tea : specifically combine these leaves or oil


peppermint tea or oil. Caution excessive  peppermint oil can be toxic.

lemon balm


Spices and herbs

Cayenne pepper- many people I know sprinkle cayenne pepper on a slice of pineapple and eat it that way for illness or fever. It helps to enhance the effect of the fever and the body’s ability to fight the infection .

Turmeric , garlic, and oregano – on food, soups. tea

Super power chicken and vegan vegetable soup- add many of the above ingredients, see post on fighting a cold.
Warren Krantz MD, FAAP


Soy does your body good ?

Soy does your body good?


American Cancer Society states; “soy is protective for developing breast cancer and recurrence for breast cancer”

[ This post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant as medical advice or guidance to make any medical or medication changes. Please contact your physician  or pediatrician before beginning any lifestyle or dietary change]

The fear regarding soy originated with the concern over  “estrogen” being present in soy and how that “female hormone” would negatively affect women, men, and girls. Perhaps causing increased hormone effects and the subsequent negative impact including increased risk of breast cancer, cystic breast disease, and sterility. The following will help dispel some of the misunderstanding regarding the dangers of soy.

Soy Confusion

Confusion about soy arises from the term “phytoestrogens.” Some soy nutrients—the isoflavones—have chemical structures that are similar to that of estrogen found in a women . This is where the term phytoestrogen originated. However, phytoestrogens are not the same thing as female estrogens. Soy foods do not contain estrogen.The phytoestrogen in soy have a mild estrogen like effect but tend to have a  positive effect on preventing breast cancer due to a blocking the real estrogen effect on its receptors in the breast tissue. Meaning this phytoestrogen blocks the body’s actual estrogen hormone from binding to tissue such as breast tissue with a milder impact and less pathology compared to the natural estrogen. “In population based studies and real life trials it has not been proven to cause lower testosterone in men or increased risk of breast cancer in women”

                 Soy is safe if you take these precautions –


  • Always purchase organic and avoid any processed soy products.
  • The majority of your soy intake should be healthy products like tempeh, and tofu.
  • Avoid soy from certain regions like Indonesia where processing with toxin like hexadene tends to be common place.
  • Stick to brands you trust .
  • Moderation with the amount; Not more than 3 servings a day.
  • If you’re using soy milk whether it’s a child or an adult servings should be no more than three times a day.


Breast cancer and soy ? The current consensus among health experts who study soy is that breast cancer survivors can safely eat these foods. Recent studies suggest soy is protective against breast cancer recurrence.  The concern over long term increased risk of breast cancer is unsubstantiated and generally found to be the opposite. As discussed above organic soy products tend to be protective against breast cancer and other chronic diseases. There is not as much research involving soy and other estrogen related cancers, including endometrial and ovarian cancers. However, the studies that have been reviewed indicate that soy is also safe for women with a history of endometrial or ovarian cancer.

Sterility in men: misrepresentation of facts.  Although the sperm concentration seems to be lower, the actual load – amount of ejaculate, is greater and possibly better for reproduction.  Making it more effective for transport. Decreased inflammation associated with soy helps both the blood flow and increases the overall fertility.

Asian health argument: When considering the long term safety of soy formula, one argument that frequently comes up is that Asian populations have been consuming soy for a long time, with no known consequences and in fact are healthier than Western cultures.The differences in the overall healthy lifestyle between Western and Asian populations make the ability to compare soy as the main healthy food difference difficult but with controls for populations who eat more soy or do not, those who do are found to be healthier with lower inflammatory diseases and chronic illness.


                       Additional reasons Asian populations tend to be healthier


  • Asians consume a traditional soy-rich diet and Caucasians eat a typical “Western” diet  which differs dramatically over the lifespan.
  • In Asian populations , soy is consumed mostly in the form of tofu, tempeh, and other unprocessed foods, not as dietary supplements or products enriched with “soy protein isolate”, which is a keyword for a soy product not being healthy.  
  • Asian populations also eat considerably higher levels of seafood and low levels of animal fat than Western populations.
  • Have a generally healthy diet – low fat, lots of vegetables, not processed, stay thin and exercise.  
  • Asian populations breastfeed in higher percentage than other similar populations particularly Western mothers. They do not use soy formula so extensively at the newborn period. However they do ingest lots of soy products once they are introduced to solid foods and throughout life. Westerners feeding their babies soy infant formula the pattern is just the opposite,very high formula ingestion the first year and virtually no soy and significantly less healthy plant based products the rest of their life.

For babies

Breastfeeding exclusively the first 5- 6 months is the most preferred source of nutrition. However, during this time as the main nutritional source soy milk is one of many less than perfect choices to feed your baby. While it is a natural plant product and in theory it should be better than processed cow’s milk based formulas, there is not sufficient research to definitively state that giving human babies exclusive soy food during infancy is completely healthy and free of immediate or long term health risks.  As a supplement to breast milk it seems to be adequate . Soy milk is often recommended as a more natural supplement milk to breast feeding ( should only be in conjunction with breastfeeding) but should not be more than a supplement . Like all soy products, soy formula and milk should be organic and any processing or preservatives should be evaluated for safety.

Children 1 and older

Soy milk should not be the only milk beverage and limit its consumption to a maximum of  3 glasses a day. The total soy servings including milk for a day should also be no more than 3 of all forms of soy as well.

Healthful MD conclusion: Soy products are safe if taken with awareness and used as another healthy food source among a varied and plentiful healthy diet and not the sole nutritionally rich plant food. In addition , soy is not recommended as the only milk for infants or children when other plant options are available.

Environmental impact of  organic unprocessed soy products are less than meat and dairy products.

Warren Krantz MD

The truth about protein

The truth about protein

[ As with all posts the below is for informational purposes only. It is not to be considered as medical advice. Before making any changes in diet or health please check with your Pediatrician or Physician first]

This is one of the most perplexing issues confronting those of us who counsel patients to eat healthier. In our culture we have been programmed to believe the word “protein” is synonymous with animal protein. If we are weak, need to  build muscle, lose weight, gain weight, have a celebration  “ Beef. It”s what’s for dinner”. It’s the food source most people associate with vigorous health. You must need protein ( meat, chicken, turkey)  if you are sick or weak. “Make sure to get your protein”is the first remark regarding nutrition when growing up and old. Even for most people who understand there are other sources of protein from plants still believe that meat protein is a better more substantial form of protein . It’s as though everyone pictures a muscle man eating a steak and sickly little guy eating beans and kale. Real men eat meat. Popular concept, but not based on any facts or science. Plant protein calorie per calorie is a healthier form to receive your protein. It does not come with the baggage of meat protein as recent studies linking meat sources of protein with cancer and heart disease have demonstrated  .

The most common question I get when anyone hears I am Vegan is where do you get your protein?

My goal in this post is not to advocate for vegan eating or against eating animal sources of protein but to get the facts regarding food sources of protein and their relationship to good health. Many people want to know what are the portions of meat that are necessary to get your needed quantity of protein and how to replace the amount of animal protein in order to eat healthier especially if they want their child to attain a healthier weight . The overall amount of meat we eat in order to get protein in in the US is well over the maximum protein amount we need for good health. In fact, many sources believe the excess protein we ingest from animal protein is part of the problem regarding our poor health as a nation. 

Quick takes:

  • Can you get enough protein from plant based foods? Yes
  • Plant based foods source of protein is healthier than animal protein. Plants have no fat, no cholesterol, have phenols, anti-inflammatory, and  high fiber.
  • Nuts , seeds, beans, all have plenty of protein. nuts 18 gm , seeds 30 gm, beans 15 gm-

Compared to a hamburger 16 gm, 3 oz steak 25 gm, 3 oz chicken 15.8 gm.

  • Nut butters, hummus, tofu and tempeh are all high protein high nutrient easy to eat foods that are vegan and add to your health.
  • Bean dishes of all sorts have high protein, high fiber and add to your health. Improving colon health, heart health, lowering cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Grains also have good protein. Even brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa all are healthy source of protein.
  • Do greens have protein? Yes. Broccoli for instance has 16.7 gm per bunch
  • Even some berries have protein . Goji berries have 4.7 gm of protein

In the US the recommended amount of daily protein is 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women.

At one year of age approximately 12 grams of protein a day is what is recommended- (see chart below for more details on protein amount and requirements).

Your source of protein is the key to good health – whatever the number or percentage of calories you follow , the majority of the calories from protein should not be animal protein because of the dangerous fat and harmful elements for health. Animal protein should be at most a supplementary source of calories to maximize health. Too much protein is harmful to your liver and kidney and over indulging in animal protein causes damage in all organs.

What is your main source of protein? Is it a healthy source?

You will find that there are more sources of protein than you knew. A good varied diet with an abundance of plant protein sources is easy and healthful.

Scroll down for the answer and to try to match vegetable protein to the below examples of meat protein.

Red meat- hamburger single patty 15.7 gram protein ; 25 % of calories from protein.

                      -3 oz steak  25 gram of protein;   36% of calories from protein

Chicken breast tenders 3 oz   15.8 grams protein ;   22% of calories from protein

Turkey breast    22.2 gram of protein; 74 % of calories from protein

Below is a table comparing average protein content of food groups.


                                                                             Protein avg cup                               % Adult American RDA

Beef   80 grams / 3oz=31 gm 120%/ 60%
Chicken   55 grams / 3 oz = 22 gms 100%/ 45%
Fish   62 grams /. 3oz= 22 gms 100%/ 45%
Dairy/ cheese/milk   9 grams slice/ 8gms cup 16%
Eggs   17 grams 30%
vegetables/greens   4- 5 gram 10%
Nuts  18-20 grams 40%
Seeds   30     grams 55%
Grains    6 – 8 grams 15%
Beans    15    grams 28%

These percentages are based on the American version of the daily protein requirements. But the WHO organization and most healthful guidelines prefer a much lower number of required protein for maximum health especially for kidney and other organ maximum function.

Below is a table of age and protein requirements

Age                                             Female protein req per day               Male Protein req per day

Newborn 10 – 12 grams same
1 -3 yo 13-20 grams same
4-8 yo 19- 25 grams same
9-13 yo 34 gams same
14-18 yo 46 grams 56 grams
Adult 46 grams 56 grams

Protein minimum requirements per age. Generally based on weight and US standards

Sample of “ Healthful foods” and their protein content.


Broccoli – 1 bunch cooked 16.7 gram 47% calories from protein/ 100gm 3.8 gram protein

Spinach cooked 5.3 grams of protein cup cooked , 41% of calories from protein

Kale 100 gram 1.9 gram protein / cup chopped 2.5 gram of protein 23% of calories from protein

Sweet potato 1 medium 2.3 gram of protein 9 % of calories from protein

White potato baked 4.3 gram for medium potato, 10 % of calories from protein

Peas- 5.4 grams of protein /100 gm 7.9 gm cup

Mushrooms 5.6 grams per cup,

Corn 4.7 grams per cup

Brussel sprouts 2 grams per 1/2 cup of protein

Squash 5.1 grams per cup of protein

Cauliflower 2.1 grams per cup of protein


Rye 17.5 grams cup uncooked

Brown rice 5 grams protein cooked per cup

Wild rice 6.5 grams protein cooked per cup

Barley 3.5 grams protein per cooked cup

Couscous 6 of grams of protein per cooked cup

Quinoa 8.1 grams of protein cooked per cup

Oatmeal 5.9 grams of protein cooked per cup

Amaranth 9.3 grams of cooked protein per cup

Whole wheat pasta 7.5 grams of protein cooked per cup


Soybeans roasted 36.8 grams protein per cup

Lentils cooked 18 grams protein per cup

Kidney beans cooked 15.5  grams protein per cup

Baked beans 14 grams protein per cup

Black beans cooked 15.5 grams protein per cup

Split peas cooked 16.3 grams of protein per cup

Pinto beans cooked 15.4 grams of protein per cup

Chickpeas cooked 14.5 grams of protein per cup

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds       6 grams per ounce        20 grams per cup

Cashews      5 grams per oz              21 grams per cup

Walnuts        4.3 grams per oz           18 grams per cup

Macadamia  2.2 grams per oz           11 grams per cup

Pistachio       6 grams per oz             25 grams per cup

Pecans         2.6 grams per oz           13 grams per cup

Chia seeds   4.7 grams per oz           33 grams per cup

Flax seeds    1 tablespoon 1.3 gm     31 grams per cup

Sunflower seeds                                29 grams per cup

Pumpkin seeds                                  12 grams per cup

Sesame seeds                                   26 grams per cup

By looking at the above list you get the idea that if you eat a bountiful meal of grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds you get more than enough protein. This should be motivation along with being healthful to lower the quantity of meat sources of protein without fear of wasting away from protein malnutrition. Look at the amount of  food you could eat to be completely full for about the same calories and same protein. You would get away with less harmful fat by varying your protein sources. In addition, vegetable protein comes with heart protecting  anti inflammatory properties.

Which do you think is a more healthful way to get the same protein?  One burger or a cup of good grains with vegetables, beans and seeds? Which has more fiber? Is filled with more good vitamins? Has a more anti inflammatory effect? Which plate of food will harm your heart and blood vessels less? Help your digestive system more and help prevent colon cancer ? All this and still get enough muscle building protein?

If you know the answer to all these questions you are a step closer to being Healthful

“Vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is what’s for dinner!”

Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

Future blogs will detail healthy protein rich meals and servings of healthy protein filled foods.

Label reading part 2

Advance label reading

Getting down to the fine print. Figuring out what is real in the ingredients


Magnify and look closely at the label above. 

Ingredients – this is the most important part of the labeling . It is often in small print and hidden on a corner or remote part of the container. I go straight to this section of the label when looking at packages and reviewing the quality for patient’s. This is where the real names and chemicals , compounds, preservatives, taste enhancers, thickeners, food coloring are hidden and can almost be deciphered. . Any multi-syllabic and hyphenated chemical compound additive you cannot pronounce is listed here . Words and phrases such as starch, to preserve freshness, and flavor additives with numbers are some of the content listed here.

Things to look out for in this section that are not good for you or your children:

Protein- soy protein isolates ( chemically processed soy)

Vegetable oil- as unhealthy processed oils such as palm oil, soy oil, and other unnatural oils. Examples of good oils are organic unprocessed olive, safflower or canola if any oil.

Amino acids- have salt

Starch- another word for corn starch, modified corn starch,  and unnatural fillers.

Sweeteners – corn sweeteners , high fructose corn syrup, rice sugar, maltose. An acceptable sweetener is with real organic fruit juice.

Fiber- Should be from good real plant sources not cellulose which can be from wood pulp even though they can list it as vegetable fiber. Not a source of fiber you would choose to eat if you had a choice.

Chemical additives- words with any number, for color, for freshness, for taste, preservative should be a SOS for an unnatural product.

Nutrition facts – making the deception complete- This is the part of the label with the percentages of RDA ingredients. The real facts are in the small print ingredients and very small print the asterisk

Oil is fat . Good bad or otherwise, plain and simple. It does not add any food value to the package. What is the percentage of saturated to unsaturated. Unsaturated is better. Select as little saturated as possible. Really want to keep the number for processed foods to 3 gm. There are a number of natural real foods with high fat but these are whole plant foods with unsaturated fat.

Salt or sodium, The lower the better on the package. As close to zero as possible but shoot for under 100 or less at least. The daily allowance sodium has been moved to 1500 from 2,000 for optimal health. Add it up per serving size. Products often have upwards of 500 mg per serving using salt as a preservative and to hide processed unnatural flavors.

Sugar- cane sugar, brown sugar, sweeteners, chemicals sugar substitutes. Want no added sugar. Actually would prefer for the sugar number to reflect only the natural sugar in the food itself. For instance fruit sugar from the fruit itself will account for the grams of sugar let’s say an apple has natural fructose or fruit sugar, but the label will not say any other sugar added by not saying cane sugar, or natural brown sugar etc..Sweetened with fruit juice with a low sugar number 3-5 gm is an acceptable form of sugar added.

Protein- the recommended daily allowance is 56 gram of protein for  a man and 46 grams of protein for a woman in a day. ( Even though many health experts recommend less) The number here is not particularly helpful without knowing the source. Not all protein is the same or healthy.

Fiber – good sources of natural fiber have at least 3- 5 gm of fiber. The source, see above, will be crucial.

Cholesterol- related to the fat, a new notation on the box, convincing you the product is healthy if it does not have direct cholesterol. But your body can still turn fats and oils into cholesterol. So this number has very little value other than marketing. Low cholesterol is not synonymous with healthy.

Potassium – is good for many of your body function especially heart and blood vessels but the best source if from natural food.The number on processed food is not very important.

Carbohydrates- another new catch phrase for health. The number does not indicate anything of significance. There are good and bad carbs. Equating the absolute number with any reason to buy a package is not meaningful

Portion size. Listed at the very top of the nutrition facts is crucial in understanding how many calories per serving or how much fat or protein for a meal. The portion size could be only 1/4 or 1/2  of what you perceive as a serving  How many nutrients , calories, fat per the real serving size is what counts.

Vitamin fortified-how do they do this . Are these vitamins necessary for your health. Is the form in this package even useful for you or healthy for that matter? . Wouldn’t it be better to get these vitamins from real fruits and vegetables?

HealthfulMD message : In this constantly changing battle with packaging information it is difficult to tell what is really healthy for you and your family. The only true way to make sure what you put in your mouth has not been altered , modified, or preserved it to buy real foods and organic products as much as possible. Once a food source passes through factory processing of any sort the name change game begins and you are playing poker with altered “food products”. Make sure you use due diligence in selecting any food you purchase.


Warren Krantz MD, FAAP


Food labeling part 1



The good the bad and ugly of food package labeling and how to figure out what is the real good.

I review food package labels daily for patients through texted photos. When reading packaging more often than not they become confused with the message on the front of the packaging. It seems as though the main purpose of the labeling is to distract us and lead us to believe the contents of the food packaging is healthier than it is. When I get contacted to approve the ingredients as healthy or appropriate I always ask them to turn the package around and send a photo of the nutritional facts and ingredients.  This misinformation campaign requires detective work to decipher the real health content of the packaging in order to make the healthiest choice. This blog post and the next one that will follow will hopefully guide you in analyzing labels. usually a term reserved for a distress signal but I will be using this as a catchphrase for a warning regarding foods and ingredients that are not really “healthful”.-Salt-Oil-Sugar is going to be used to bring awareness when selecting foods for yourself and your family. The closer you get to eliminating SOS the closer you are to nutritional health. Generally these three unhealthy ingredients-salt,oil, sugar are manipulated to change the taste of a food with deceptive labeling exchanging one for higher levels of the other. Low sugar may have higher salt. Low fat would have high sugar. And most oils are responsible for excess and unnecessary fat in foods with no nutritional benefit other than taste.. And all this is without even discussing the new fake fats and sugars, and artificial flavors and colors to imitate your favorite tastes and textures.


                                                  Breaking the packaging code:

Front label and packaging -Is where the deceptive marketing takes place to get your attention in hopes of influencing your decision to purchase the food product without further investigation. Oftentimes the practice uses misleading wording and a confusing message to make you think it is a healthier product inside the package than it really is. This includes wording such as “natural” or ” real”, “ recommended protein”, “organic”, “low fat”, “sugar free”, “gluten free”, “ fiber”, “whole grain”, “ vegetable oil”,  “heart healthy”.

Nutritional highlights, which includes main nutritional information you want to see,  is placed prominently on the front packaging to sway you from looking at the rest of the labeling.

Deceptive language: Terms to be aware of when selecting a healthy product!

Natural or real– really has no meaning. It is allowed for manufacturers to write “natural” because the product starts off natural , but it does no legally mean anything else added to the package is natural. It does not represent unprocessed. And it certainly does not mean organic, or preservative or chemical free. This is legal and the FDA is looking at changing the law. But for now natural usually means very unnatural.

Protein – does not mean good protein like the whole grain or natural source they try to get you to believe. There usually is added processed protein sources to fulfill that packed with the alleged good protein pitched amount.

Organic- even the term organic can be misleading by having an organic ingredient like organic salt, or sugar, but not everything has to be organic to say “ made with organic ingredients “

Free range– chicken or beef. Does not mean what you think. We visualize chicken roaming free in an idyllic rolling hills. But it only means the chicken have to be let outside or even have real sunlight for brief period each day.

Gluten free – the latest catch phrase to make you think it is healthy . But many products are already gluten free. Like fruit, vegetables, etc. Gluten free is now the main packaging distractor from all the other additives like sugar, salt, and fat .

Fat labeling- unsaturated, low fat, etc. some are good , but usually another bait and switch for health. There is always something else they add. Once again sugar, salt, or chemicals. Check the total fat. There might be more unsaturated fats but the overall saturated fats might be the same.

Heart health- all they have to do is add any fiber products, healthy or unhealthy ones. or vegetable oil , or whole grain part and they can say heart healthy.

Fiber- generally connotes something healthy for your heart and gastrointestinal system. But this number and comment makes very little distinction between healthy natural fiber and processed fiber like plant cellulose ( wood has plant cellulose).

Vegetable oil- this is prominent message making you believe it is good vegetable or soy oil. But this often can mean processed Palm, and soy oil neither of which is particularly healthy!

Salt content ( low salt)- may have substitutes such as “ amino acids” which itself has sodium or other forms of sodium like sea salt which is sold as healthier form of salt.

Low or no carbohydrate- does not really indicate any healthier value to a food in the package. Only recently included to make it seemingly trendy and healthier.

GMO free– can mean some of the ingredients are gmo free. The FDA is trying to pass laws to tighten the loopholes for GMO labeling once again read the fine print.

Nutritional highlights- usually on top or bottom corner of the container. It’s purpose here is to tell you what they want you to think. There is a good amount of protein, fiber, grain, carb, etc. But this gives you no information regarding the type or source of these. They are hoping you do not need to look further at the fine print and believe then

Healthful MD message: The closer you can get to real honest to goodness natural – from the ground untouched and unprocessed the better. Spend a few extra minutes evaluating the ingredients from top to bottom front and back of a package.

Convenience usually comes with a price both financially and healthfully !

Environmental conscience- every time you recognize the additives in packaging have come at an environmental cost and choose to make a healthier selection you are indirectly influencing the company’s choice of what to add and hopefully alter where they get their products.

Part 2 of advanced label reading will deal with what is in the small print and ingredients.
Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

Cold fight

Fighting colds – a cold is a cold

[ As with any post here or online advice the content is for informational purposes only and not medical advice . Before trying anything written here please consult with your physician or your child’s Pediatrician]

“ Take my magic potion”  “ cold cure”  every day and you will better in 2 weeks.

Granny Clampett

There are no magic potions, lotions, herbs, unapproved tinctures, or anything that will cure a cold or short cut your body’s immune fight with a cold virus. There is no pill to make the cold go away immediately. Only the basics of your body’s natural defenses fighting an illness ; with fever, congestion, and coughing. Your system learns to recognize the cold virus and builds an immune reaction to defeat the cold this time and in the future.

My main medical focus is to help your body physiologically mount a strong response to the illness by  supporting and boosting  your own immune system . Secondly to make you comfortable to be able to fight the virus,by helping you sleep and rest. And finally by keeping the inflammatory response, that is responsible for your misery, to a minimum, while maximally fighting the virus.

Standard medical natural-physiological advice

For babies and those of us that still act like babies:

Nose suctioning: Do not use the blue suction bulb given to you at the delivery.It goes too far into the nasal canal.  Use a nasal aspirator which doesn’t go all the way in the nose but uses a vacuum to gently suction out loose secretions.Start with two drops of sterile saline drops or spray. [ can buy these at most pharmacies] Tilt your child’s head back to put the drops then gently suction the mucus four or five times a day.There’s a new Suction apparatus which has two tubes to go in separately into a container that doesn’t directly apply suction to the nose

Stop frequently when you feed your baby so they can catch their breath and not end up choking

Steam: Hold the child ( over 6 months) in the bathroom ( not in the shower)  and turn on the shower to reasonably hot  only for a few minutes to breathe in the steam.

Humidifier with eucalyptus oil ( five to ten drops) a couple times a day. You can also put some eucalyptus oil on the floor of the bathroom shower. 

NOTHING directly on the body. You should not put any eucalyptus oil or menthol  directly on a baby. You can put it on a cloth near the baby or somewhere on the bed so they get the benefit without irritating the skin or absorbing it.

We do not use any decongestants or medication for a baby.

Consult your Pediatrician before trying any remedy.

Elevate the head at night by putting something underneath the mattress NEVER using a pillow for the baby. You usually end up holding the baby or driving in the car seat or use the stroller to keep the head elevated.

On the feet with socks included here for guidance only: Only over a year. ( not medical and not wholly recommended by Pediatricians please check first)- Many people place Eastern spices and herbs , or very small amount menthol or eucalyptus oil on the soles of the feet then cover with socks.(be careful of allergic reactions) . Studies have actually shown that this does help drain some of the mucous by dilating blood vessels away from the sinuses . This has temporary relief but tradition is hard to sway. What is most interesting is that almost every culture from every part of the world uses this method for aiding cold symptoms. When something spans a wide range of global behavior there generally is some validity to its use. Caution with anything you put directly on a child’s skin.

NO over the counter cold MEDICATION FOR BABIES and very little recommended for any child under 4. Please consult with your physician before treating any cold with any meditation .

HealthfulMD:See below for the natural treatments of a cold.

Breastfeeding: If mom has the cold -wear a surgical mask, wash your hands and continue breast feeding.

Breast milk – for babies under a year breast milk is by far the best source of immune supporting antibodies to fight a cold. .  

The following is for over 6-8 months of age and teas should be decaffeinated for children


HIbiscus tea with ginger and add echinacea tea to it for the first two to 3 days , 3 -4 cups a day, continue the same tea without the echinacea after that.Can add a teaspoon of organic honey particularly Manuka honey but only if your child is over a year. I also add turmeric particularly at the first sign of a cold.

Green tea ( matcha) with ginger, honey-only over a year of  age, and echinacea as above. Add ginseng if elevated blood pressure is not an issue.

Goji berry tea- as above one of my favorites

Chamomile tea- has anti inflammatory properties and settles the stomach . Add any of the same ingredients from above.

Rose hip tea-is high in vitamin C


My superpowered immune building grandma’s chicken and unchicken vegan soup

Take grandma’s base of chicken soup or vegetable soup base

Make sure to add lots of green leafy vegetables as tolerated

Add sweet potatoes


mushrooms, any will do, but shitakke preferred

lots of garlic

turmeric- kids will not notice the yellow color here

red pepper chili or cayenne , or a milder version for your child’s taste.



red onions

nutritional yeast

Spices – same health spices but  I double the amount of turmeric I add to food and tea. I also increase the cayenne pepper and chili pepper to the point I can tolerate when I feel like I am getting sick or already congested. Make a big emphasis to add all these ingredients to the level you can tolerate without giving you indigestion: turmeric,  garlic, oregano / oil, cayenne pepper or chili pepper  , cinnamon, thyme. Add to vegetables, soups , and sauces.

Healing smoothies and juices – similar ingredients to above

Preferred to blend in the fruits in a smoothie to get the pulp rather than juice.

Could also start with high vitamin C anti-inflammatory juices : fresh squeezed orange, tomato, pineapple, or dark juices blueberry, or pomegranate .

Or start with a blended fruit as above or healthy plant milk like almond, hemp, soy.

Add high vitamin C fruits papaya, strawberries,  citrus fruits- pineapple, oranges, lemon,

Sweet fruits to make it taste good especially for children, apples for quercetin with red skin, peaches, pears, bananas.

Dark fruits for maximize vitamin C and anti inflammatory fighting – blueberries, blackberries, black cherries, pomegranate, acai, goji berries

Vegetables as tolerated and rich in  vitamin C and antioxidants- bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.


Foods and other extras to help your immune system fight a cold

Supplements such as vitamin c, are not as effective as the real food source for the vitamins and herbs.

Zinc in natural sources are healthier: Following are good zinc food sources .

Dark chocolate( greater than 70%), garlic ,sesame seeds, wheat germ, lentils, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc lozenges also have some benefit if you or your child can not eat enough of the foods that contain it.

Foods with high vitamin C also have natural healing anti inflammatory properties with the  understanding that most of the symptoms of the cold are our body’s inflammatory response to the cold virus . Eat more of these  vitamin C rich foods ( also review my vitamin C post.

Fruits – Papaya, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, blackberries,  pineapple, etc.

Greens greens greens- as usual your dark green inflammation fighting vegetables are at their best when you need them for colds. Kale, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, Swiss chard, collard greens, and any dark green vegetable you like and Jerusalem artichokes are also known to help immunity fight a cold. Do not forget the bell pepper which has a high vitamin C rating. 

Mushrooms of any type – need to be cooked- have immune supporting properties

Nutritional yeast– also helps support your immune system

Manuka honey purported to help stop a cold but is expensive, and has a milder glycemic index ( has to be authentic) rise. ( honey is only safe over a year of age)

Echinacea -I use tea instead of the drops. But there are enough supporters of the drops to try them if you prefer but for a short time only.

Fish oil is considered to be helpful as well if it is not contraindicated for any other health reasons.

Probiotics are known to help your immune system particularly when you are ill. Not generally necessary for children and adults who maintain a healthy diet of natural plant foods.

Rest – get as much rest as possible . The only time I recommend any medication is to help you sleep from a cold and then generally only a antihistamine.Contact your physician for their guidance regarding cold meditcation to help you sleep.

Get mobile – don’t over do it but exercise thins and mobilizes the congestion. If you exercise regularly lower the intensity of the workout.Contact your physician before any exercise particularly during an illness . If there is fever or lethargy , difficulty breathing refrain from any exertion and contact your doctor.

Relax– as in all things ,stress has a negative impact on your psyche and your immune system. As I tell adolescents don’t get angry and stressed that you are sick it only makes it worse. You are sick now what. Accept it and do what you have to fight it. Meditate, walk, take quiet time with the above teas. Take an extra long hot shower with eucalyptus oil and lavender. Take a break from your  work, study, hustle and bustle, and anger. Put your body in the best position to focus on the job it has to do fighting the cold.

Homeopathic remedies have been reported to have anecdotal benefit but not consistently research proven . The following besides echinacea are widely used and  generally not harmful if you follow the directions

Immunoberry supplement

Astragalus and Elderberry

Oscilllococcinum has been proven with substantial research to not be of value besides acting as a placebo

Limit foods that have a negative impact on cold fighting

Sweets- sugar tends to feed a virus.

Fatty foods, cause inflammation and don’t allow your body or immunity to do its best in fighting a virus.


Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

Author of “Start healthy, stay healthy”

Cough – Natural defense and a natural treatment


Cough-a natural defense a natural treatment

When we cough it serves a purpose. For the most part we have been programmed to fear the cough for the worse possibility , pneumonia, bronchitis,  asthma. But the vast majority of coughing is a result of a mild cold or allergies. Nowadays  doctors and patients just want something to quell the cough automatically when it starts regardless of the etiology. However, like most of the things we’ve been discussing the over reaction and quick treatment of coughing is much worse than the actual disease associated with the cough. When you reflexively treat to suppress the cough you are not letting the body do its job of protecting the lungs by bringing up phlegm and keeping the bronchioles open. Suppressing it can lead to the mucous dripping down to the lungs and settling where it shouldn’t including bacteria that we naturally carry in our upper respiratory system.  If you’re asthmatic not being allowed to cough in order to  keep your bronchioles open can lead to an asthma attack . So the misinformation of what we think we know about a symptom and the fear of unknown can lead to more problems than the natural course of the disease itself. ( not to mention the side effects of the medication ) Treat a cough only at the direction of your physician. Treating coughs with cough suppressants, mucus thinners, and expectorants are more often than not the cause of complications and delay the healing rather than a cure. It is common for a cough to seem worse at the very end of a cold or virus as the mucous and congestion starts to drain . Especially when you lay down at night and wake up after a night of mucous dripping down the back of your throat. Any cough should be observed closely and a cough accompanied by fever breathing distress, prolonged,  painful , or any additional symptoms always needs to be brought to the attention of  your physician. There are numerous over the counter products to help suppress the cough but we know they are only to help sleep not treat the condition and we do not recommend cough suppressants for children under 4. Everyone is now turning to natural organic homeopathic cough syrups, since they think this is less harmful and natural means safer. But once again like all the natural products they are not reviewed,licensed by the FDA, or researched. There is no substantive evidence that any of the natural , homeopathic, or naturopathic products have any benefit, and certainly there is always the  possibility of them causing harm.   If you or your child have a chronic condition such as asthma, bronchitis, allergies, or sinus infections then you should automatically notify your physician and not self medicate with cough syrup. For everybody else there are options that are both natural non harmful and beneficial for the typical non infectious cold cough, when used after consulting with your physician.

Natural physiological methods are the best in a alleviating symptoms and helping the body fight the underlying source of the cough. It is always better to enhance the body’s own defense mechanisms to help fight an infection than go against it. My motto is to help the body fight the source of infection in any way you can naturally and physiologically  but only treat the symptoms when necessary in order to help a patient be comfortable enough to sleep ( since we do need sound sleep to maximize our immune system and heal ourselves).

Cough – Home treatment

General congestion and cough advice

Steam, saline washes in the nose, eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or steam shower , eucalyptus oil on the pillow or clothes. Not directly on a child.

Lots of dark fruits and vegetables ( see my fighting cold section)

Superpowered chicken and non-chicken soup. With immune enhancing foods.

Move- don’t just lie there if you are able, mobilize the mucous, walk, expand your lungs and thin the mucous by exercise-approved by your doctor.

Good teas with anti-inflammatory properties to help fight the cold and drain your sinus.

Turmeric tea

Hibiscus tea with ginger

Green tea with honey and ginger

Peppermint tea

Natural ingredients which have been found to help a cough.

( If you buy a product you should look for these natural ingredients for effectiveness)

Honey- tablespoon, raw, organic ( not for any child under 1 year of age). Manuka works the best.

Teaspoon of GInger

Peppermint oil. Steam and breathe in the oil..

Apple cider vinegar mixed to make it tolerable has many vascular and health healing effects


Pineapple with its bromelian ingredient ( supplements not for children) helps mobilize immune system and mucous.


Natural home cough treatments ( may adjust some ingredients for children due to taste)


Homemade cough syrup

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 tablespoon ground ginger

I tablespoon honey ( raw , only children over a year)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water


Thyme tea specifically for cough

2 teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves to one cup boiled water, steep for 10 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons organic raw honey ( over one year of age )   

Lemon wedge.

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger

[ All contents here are for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For any symptoms including cough please contact your physician first ]
Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

Antibiotic overuse and health

A recent article evaluating antibiotic use and correlated weight gain was recently published by Brian Schwartz of Johns Hopkins, in “The journal of Obesity”. This gives me a starting point for a discussion of antibiotic overuse and the harmful effects they have both immediately and long term. Even when judiciously used by many physicians there are issues with intestinal bacteria changes.But these changes are especially common place with  the rampant over prescribing because of fear, lack of understanding, and due to time constraints. There is still a prevalent  ignorance regarding disease and the use of medications and their complications. Everything you put in you mouth has good or bad health effects both immediate and long term. Antibiotics more so than the majority of things you put in your body has an immediate negative impact, but more and more we are learning about the long term impact. This article studies the relationship of antibiotics to weight gain for children with increasing proportion with rising number of antibiotics used. This goes on to relate it to the loss of good bacteria in your gut that can process food and help break down good nutrition. This is a new idea regarding weight gain but not new knowledge that the loss of normal bacteria flora in your intestine causes all sorts of problems. These range from digestive issues to many other systemic diseases. By changing your intestinal system you lose a lot of natural ability to build immunity through the gut, a main source of fighting illness, and have poor absorption of nutrients, causing stomach, issues, gas, bloating, inflammatory bowel disease and all sorts of chronic diseases. Antibiotics alone are not the only cause of this. A poor western diet with processed foods, fats, sugars, salts ,toxins including those from animal protein ,  junk food, and diary. These have direct and lifelong negative impact. We now know intuitively that when you are on antibiotics you should take a probiotic ( which add good bacteria) especially if the use is prolonged.  Antibiotics kill all bacteria randomly including the good bacteria in your gut making the way for stronger more dangerous bacteria to flourish. And now for the really bad news: This antibiotic misuse  is not just personal where it wipes out our useful bacteria and can make you personally resistant to that particular antibiotic by helping the strongest of the bacteria mutate: antibiotic overuse is causing a worldwide plague of resistant bugs that are not treatable with the antibiotics we currently have. This may be a boon to the drug companies who want to come up with a super expensive super bacteria killing antibiotic, but even they are running out of the options to do this. They are going back to nature to find natural plant antibiotics in tropical forests remote environments to find remedies to fight these super bugs. The pharmaceutical companies are finding the origin of strong antibiotics, manipulate and synthesize them to fight the resistant bugs they have created while wreaking havoc on your intestinal and immune system. I personally prescribe antibiotics when necessary and will not sacrifice anyone’s health for the sake of a philosophy or politics or to be strictly“ natural organic”, but necessary means well documented and proven , or there is no other choice when the danger of watching and patiently waiting for a disease to resolve would far outweigh the use and dangers associated with the medication prescribed.

The theory of the study is that antibiotics change a child’s intestinal flora by changing the way one digests food and therefore absorb nutrients differently, possibly absorbing more calories and fat. In turn gaining weight faster than other children.

The average additional weight gain by the time they were teenagers in this study was 3 lbs. Early in childhood children would gain weight after the antibiotic use but would lose it, but by the time they became 15 the weight gain was permanent.

Researchers, in preliminary studies believe the weight will keep going up as the patient’s age.

Other variables that could contribute to weight gain do not seem to be accounted for in this study including family lifestyle and health perspective including the following factors:

Food quality- fatty food, meat, dairy, processed food, sugar,  fried foods. all lead to               weight gain and changes in intestinal flora as well. Antibiotic use in animals is a main source of this growing worldwide resistance.

Activity level– less activity and exercise is a well known factor in obesity and weight gain.

Illness – chronic illness, multiple antibiotic use could be correlated with sickly less active children.

Overuse of physician’s care– have a tendency to seek medical care for small viral illness and prefer antibiotic use to natural means and patiently waiting for viruses to resolve.

The broader point is that maintaining good natural bacterial flora in your intestine is one of the key components to good health, whether it be maintaining a healthy weight as pointed out in this study or by eating healthy and supporting good bowel function. Your intestinal system health is linked to overall health more intricately them we previously understood.

by Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

Build a better milk

Let’s think outside the “milk box” when it comes to what we think we know about the importance of dairy in our diet . We can survive without depending on cow’s milk as our main nutritional beverage , we are not baby cows. Humans can do better . We can drink more than one type of “milk”. Nutritional Knowledge is the key to better health decisions. Let’s try to understand all our food sources to improve our health and not rely on others or corporations to do this for us. Our nutritional food source should be based on what is healthful for us and our family as well as having less of negative impact on the environment.

We can now base this choice on facts and research not hearsay .

      This choice cannot be taken out of context with the entirety of a person’s whole diet. The decision should be supervised by your physician as well.  Generally speaking after a year of age milk does not have to be the main source of an individual’s protein, calcium , vitamins, and fat.

You can create a improved “designer milk”  to maximize health for your family’s needs.

Our method is to include the main essential ingredients attributed as a healthy in cows milk by most pediatricians and parents ( whether warranted or not) and match it to healthier types of milk .

Let’s start with the basics using one of the most widely available plant milks which offer nutritionally sound and healthful ingredients.

When possible the milk should be organic especially without any harmful processing. It is important to avoid the thickening agent carrageenan due to its inflammatory effect on the gastrointestinal system.  

Children 1 -3 require approximately 700 MG calcium a day . There are many sources for calcium which we will cover in subsequent articles but we will try to match cow’s milk calcium and protein to allay any concerns. Fat is another story . We want to  improve upon the fat content of cow’s milk.

Please refer to the “ which milk “ blog to view the side by side comparison of milks.

Start with one of these plant milks as your base

Almond milk is a good base and is now widely available however it is lacking in protein and fat during the processing but fortified with adequate calcium. Whenever possible the almond milk should be organic. A simple healthful solution would be to add almond butter or walnut butter or the nuts themselves to get a great source of protein and healthier fat for your heart and brain.

Soy milk. Try to use only organic soy milk. The non- organic processing is the key to most of the problems associated with soy products. Organic soy milk has been shown to be healthy and lend no credence to the misrepresented estrogen effect in real studies or populations which consume substantial amounts of soy products. Organic soy milk best represents a healthier form of milk ingredient per ingredient when compared to whole cow’s  milk. The fat is is unsaturated, the protein is less allergenic, and the sugar is not the cow’s milk galactose which has sensitized a sizable percentage of the population. And is generally fortified with the same calcium as cow’s milk.  Soy milk after a year of age should be limited to 3-5 servings a day. See blog on “soy” for more information.

Hemp milk – for those who want a closer to plant based milk. Organic as usual. The two main drawbacks for hemp milk is availability and lack of calcium,.Most of the commercial products do not have the same amount of calcium fortified when compared to the other milks. To increase calcium you can add dark greens for more calcium or consult your physician to make sure adequate sources of calcium are eaten by your child in other forms. Hemp milk which actually has omega 3’s and 6’s in the perfect ratio to maximize heart health.

Building a milk

Some basic suggestions of healthy foods you could add to nutritionally enrich any milk beverage. – Avocado with 21 grams of good 17 gm unsaturated fat and 10 gm of fiber.

Flax seed with omega 3 fats and protein and fiber.

Any fruit for flavor and vitamins , and anti inflammatory properties.

Spinach or kale in particular for calcium vitamin a and c, greens and it hides well when blended. even

Nuts for protein cashews have 5 gm per ounce of healthy protein and 12 gm of healthy fat and 0 cholesterol compared to 24 mg for cow’s milk.

Walnuts 12 gm protein, 52 gm fat 4.9 sat/ 45 unsat 5 gm fiber good protein good fat with DHA and omega 3.

Calcium of common greens to add to any base milk

Kale 179 MG calcium cup,

Cooked spinach 245 cooked or 30 MG uncooked,  

Broccoli 70 mg,

Collard greens 357 MG,  

Broccoli rabe 516.

Sweet potatoes , beans , and grains also contain calcium.

Environmental impact : While it can be said that all forms of milk production are labor intensive and environmentally taxing per calorie consumed ; the methane gas cows produce has been estimated to be 25 x more harmful to our ozone than car emissions.

In the US cow methane is number 2 or 3 behind gasoline use but globally livestock ( primarily cows) is number 1 cause of global warming. Plant milks do use substantial environmental resources especially water , land , and leech nutrients from the soil. But are less harmful overall than livestock.

Healthful MD choice : Build a better milk.To be healthier and leave less of a damaging environmental trace – eat organic fruits and vegetables , drink organic plant milks, and design your own milk beverage to maximize nutritional calories as well as lessen the impact on earth.


Which milk does a body good ?

All information in this post is the opinion of the author. All decisions regarding food choices should be the responsibility of the individual,  parents and your physician.  This post should serve as a guide and not medical care. Information here is based on personal experience,  individual preference,  reviews of respected research and experts opinions.

One of the main questions Pediatricians receive regularly is “When do I switch my child from formula or breast milk to cow’s milk?”

The  answer ( in the US) to this question has traditionally been whole cow’s milk.

But  a new paradigm is taking hold and the question has changed from when to switch to which  milk to switch to.

And now with so many choices of milk these days parents pose the question differently and want to know if they “can introduce more than just one milk ?”.

Can’t we treat it like any healthy beverage and have a child get used to a variety of tastes and types of milk?”  

Why can’t milk be a part of a wide variety of healthful options for our children?

The medical community myself included, have been steadfast in dedication to whole cow’s milk as the nutritional beverage of choice at a year and 2 % at 2 .

It is a perplexing issue for us Pediatricians who are given the scepter of decision to change from medical tradition which we have been promoting as medical science and truth, relying on the assumption that cow’s milk has the necessary nutritional qualities for our children and ourselves. But as parents are learning more about the health issues associated with cow’s milk there is increasing interest in choosing a healthier milk drink. Parents are doing their searches and concluding that standard cow’s milk may not be their choice of drink for their children . As guardians of health we cannot be complacent and hide behind what we have traditionally recommended with very little critical or scientific proof. We have to do our own due diligence and offer educated and informed advice for proper nutrition based on real science.

    With informed choice a parent can develop their child’s taste for many different healthful milk and smoothie beverages while adding natural organic foods to enhance the nutrition . You do not have to stick to the old single cow’s milk view for your child. You can base your milk choice on your child’s nutritional needs, allergies , and sensitivities, with the assistance of your Pediatrician. There are many ways to get healthy protein, fat, and calcium other than cow’s milk. There is really no scientific proof that the protein, calcium, or fat from cow’s milk is a superior source of nutrition for a growing child than from other sources.

    See the table below to get a better idea of the main nutrients in various milk. Mix and match . Try several different tastes.  As in all foods,  introduce one new milk type at a time. In subsequent articles we will review the benefit and problems with each milk type.

Look for the next article to see which milk I recommend and “ How to build a better Milk”.

  1 cup                                             Protein                  fat: sat/unsat           calcium       sugar

Cow’s milk       8 gm 8    4.6/2.5 305 mg 12 gm
Almond milk       1gm 3: .0/3 200 mg 10 gm
Soy milk       6.6 gm 4:  0.5/3 299 mg 9 gm
Hemp milk        5 gm 7:   1/6 20  mg 5 gm
Goat’s milk        8.7 gm 10: 6.5/3 327 mg 10.9 gm
Rice milk         0 gm 2 : 0/ 2 20mg 0
Coconut milk         6 gm 57: 51/3 38.4 8 gm

Sat- saturated fat is the fat that raises cholesterol causing inflammation and clogs arteries and not considered optimal for brain growth. We want to keep this type of fat ( generally animal fat) to a minimum. There is really no value to have this fat in our children’s milk  . Unsaturated plant fat can actually be helpful for nutrition and our overall heart health as we grow while still giving a better fat for brain development. There are a number of foods which are well documented to offer better fat and protein source than cow’s milk for our child’s diet.

These milks should only be part of a well balanced diet. Please consult your physician since each child and adult have different nutritional needs.  For instance almond milk has lower calories and less protein. Cow’s milk has more protein but unhealthy fat. Soy milk has more of what we need,  but the concern over the estrogen effect on girls and boys is pervasive with little real research.  

Healthful MD’s view is to look at the entirety of your child’s diet. Choose the milk or milks according to a child’s nutritional needs, health, and possible sensitivities . Then add foods or healthy ingredients to maximize healthful nutrients either to their diet or to their milk.

See next blog for guidance on how to” Build a better milk”