Do You Know Nutrition: Hush puppies have colorful history

May 3, 2011 at 12:03 a.m.

By Phylis Canion

I love fish and usually enjoy preparing hush puppies to accompany them. Can you please explain where the name hush puppy came from?

Hush puppies are scoops of fried cornmeal batter that are a huge Southern tradition. Many years ago, pieces of the fried batter were tossed to hungry dogs that begged for food. After the scraps were given to the dog, the owner would say, "Now hush, puppy."

I have started a new diet and have given up my regular sodas that I know are loaded with sugar. I have switched to diet sodas, and now I am gaining weight. I have selected healthier foods, but am totally perplexed as to my weight gain? Do you think it could be the diet sodas?

A recent study that was conducted by University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and reported to the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.

The study revealed there was a 41-percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of a diet soft drink that a person consumes every day.

According to the study, the risk of becoming overweight calculates as follows: if you drink a half of a can a day, your risk increases 35.5 percent. If you consume from one half to one can daily, your risk increases to 37.5 percent. If you drink between one to two cans of soda daily, your risk of becoming overweight jumps up to 54.5 percent, and if you are consuming more than two cans of diet sodas daily, your risk is more than 57 percent that you would gain weight.

It is very important to remember that a diet not only includes the food you consume but all liquids. And don't forget your daily intake of water.

Water satisfies your thirst - diet sodas do not. Water is not addictive - diet sodas can be. Water helps flush out toxins - diet sodas do not. Water rehydrates your system, diet sodas deplete the system of essential nutrients and can leave you with increased body aches and pains.

To replace the water stolen by one diet soda, you would need to consume at least eight glasses of water. Here's to that tall glass of water. Cheers.

Note: The next free nutrition class is at 7 p.m. at Organic Emporium on May 9. Call 361-576-2100 to reserve a seat.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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