In the Catbird Seat/Joe Kirkish

If you’re concerned about good health, there are plenty of helpful publications around, but you might also check out one you’ve heard about among the almost two million people who subscribe to this slim, ad-free, chock full of health information – Nutrition Action Newsletter – the most successful little magazine of its kind.

The government estimates that a lifestyle of poor diet and lack of exercise kills about 400,000 Americans each year – as many as smoking does!

And as people age, they tend to put on weight. But dangerous weight gain is not inevitable. Nutrition Action points the way to an escape.

For starters, it’s time you know exactly what’s in your food, even in restaurants, where the menus simply present in seductive ways what there is to eat, with no information beyond that. And when shopping, what do you find on the product labels to help inform you? Not much. The Healthletter goes all the way, naming brand names for both the good and the bad.

Before the Healthletter analyzed Chinese-restaurant food, for example, no one knew that a typical order of Kung Pao chicken contains 1600 calories and 75 grams of fat more than should be consumed in a day. But you can still have fun eating Chinese meals; the magazine tells all.

It tells you about the mysterious ingredient MSG; it tells you which sugar substitute is safest, which foods can keep you regular, which are good as arthritis supplements, names super foods for those over 50. It tells you where calories come from, the inside story of whole grains, how to lower your risk of diabetes, how to recognize tricks in food advertising, what is best to eat or drink for a good night’s rest, and, best of all, the truth about junk foods.

Naming names: you get the truth about Starbucks 20oz Venti; about Campbell’s Chunky Select and red & white label condensed soups that are salt laden slow killers; that McDonald’s Chicken Select Premium Breast Strips are no healthier than killer Chicken McNuggets, with 630 calories and 11 grams of artery-clogging fat about the same as a Big Mac, except the burger has 1000 mg of sodium, while the Select hits 1500 even without the salty sauce.

On the healthy side, you’d be surprised to find out about the really good foods, like sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, low-fat milk, broccoli, wild salmon, crisp breads (Wasa, for example), brown rice, whole grains, legumes of all kinds, and citrus fruits -and why, specifically, they ARE good.

You’d be surprised to find how many different kinds of supplements are added to foods – fresh, canned, bottled, packaged – and get the truth about them. Some are excellent, some falsely advertised, some downright harmful. You’ll find out why stick margarine is worse for you than butter.

That just scratches the surface. The award-winning Health letter will, in short, help you to be healthier and live longer & better, with in-depth answers to your questions about nutrition, food safety, dietary supplements and exercise – and, as they say in TV ads, much, much more.

You want to know more, specifically? Did you know that a box of Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix contains no carrots and only a miniscule amount of carrot powder in a chemical cocktail that forms the “carrot flavored pieces?” Likewise, Smucker’s Simply Fruit Strawberry Spreadable Fruit contains 30% berries and 70% fruit syrup from lemon juice concentrate, pectin, red grape juice, and other unspecified “natural” ingredients. You’ll get the truth – straight out.

This is not a commercial for the valuable little magazine; in fact, if you’d like to learn more, check your web pages for Nutrition Action Healthletter, where – free – you’ll get more information about healthy living than you’ll get anywhere else and for any price. And if you want to subscribe, you might even find a discounted subscription listed.

The Healthletter, by the way, is published by the NONPROFIT Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC, 200009.

P.S. – in every issue you will also find tips on making simple, healthy, delicious meal innovations and, now & then, like this, for a happy, healthy Memorial Day meal or anytime:

“For grilled or roasted salmon or other fish (and also doubling as a delightfully tangy salad dressing) is this Greek-inspired topping: Combine 6oz of fat-free Greek yogurt with a cup of fresh dill sprigs, 1 tbs. of lemon juice, 1 tbs. of dijon mustard, a small shallot or green onion, and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Cheap, healthy & delicious!”

  • Rotten Tomato average: “Star Trek Into Darkness,” A-