Expert Advice with Dr. Albert Goldberg

Albert Goldberg

About Dr. Goldberg

Dr. Albert Goldberg is a board certified pediatrician, practicing in Northern California since 1967. Dr. Goldberg was the Chief Pediatrician and Vice President, Prevention and Education, of Rotaplast International. He has done extensive work in the field of nutrition and is the author of the well received book, Feed Your Child Right From Birth.

In 2001 Doctor Goldberg was selected as one of fifty “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” from around the world and was acknowledged personally by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.

Althought most of Dr. Goldberg’s suggestions and anecdotes come from his years of experience nurturing thousands of children (and their parents), he has recruited the experience of many other experts in nutrition.

For the past twenty five years he has worked in countries such as Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Nepal, Philippines, Peru, Venezuela, and Vietnam, where poverty, ignorance, social disintegration and war have contributed to nutritional diseases, and he has brought back with him a keen understanding of the multi-cultural effects upon diet.

Real fruit juice is healthy, especially orange juice, but should be consumed in moderate amounts. Juices contain most of the fruit nutrients except for the important fiber. Beverages labeled “juice” must be 100% juice. Read the labels carefully!

“Juice blends,” lemonade, fruit “punches,” “drinks,” and “juice cocktails,” usually contain little juice, the rest being sugar water. Avoid Hi-C, Tang, Hawaiian Punch, GatorAid, Sunny Delight, V-8 Splash, Tropicana Twisters, Fruit soda and “Energy drinks.”

And don’t get your child into the soda habit. Soda is a poor choice because it destroys teeth, and its high phosphate content promotes calcium elimination from your body. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of Coke. A growing body needs calcium for strong bone development. Diet sodas are a special hazard and should not be a part of your child’s normal diet. Many parents mistakenly choose diet soda over regular soda because they believe sugar is a poison.

The important thing to remember about sugar is to consume only a little of it. When sugar becomes a major part of the diet, then it is harmful, as is any nutrient consumed in excess The long term effect of artificial sweeteners has not been adequately studied, in my opinion, and therefore should be avoided by children and teenagers. Let’s protect our children from nutritional experimentation!

Foods containing MSG or nitrites: hot dogs, lunchmeats, or Top Ramen soups are examples of common heachache triggering foods.

The practical side of finding suitable high fiber foods may be confusing unless you buy unprepared foods. The fiber in a product should come from the whole food and not as added fiber.

Here are some hints to help you break through the clutter and confusion set before the average and even sophisticated consumer.

If the label says:
Whole grain or whole wheat – it’s a whole grain.
If the label says:
Cracked wheat, “made with whole grain,” “made with whole wheat,” multi-grain, oat bran, oatmeal, pumpernickel, seven-grain, nine-grain, etc., stoned wheat, wheat, wheat-berry, whole bran – it’s mostly refined grain!

Best Choice: Hamburger is about 260 calories with 9 grams fat.

Burger King
Broiler Chicken (without mayo) is 370 calories and 9 grams of fat.

Sub contains 370 calories and 5 grams of fat. Hamburger is 260 calories with 10 grams of fat, but Pancakes are 280 calories with only 2 grams of fat. But behold the sugar.

Taco Bell
Menus keep changing, but select the best of the worst. How does Pintos n’ Cheese sound? 190 calories plus 9 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut
Veggie Pizza (2 slices) provides 380 calories that includes 16 grams of fat.

This fast food chain boasts of, “7 subs with 6 grams of fat or less.” This is true if you don’t add mayo and cheese. But check out the sodium. The turkey breast sub has over 1400mg! So if this is your selection, please don’t make it worse by adding pickles.

How does Light Roast Turkey sound with 260 calories including 6 grams of fat?

Peanut butter has a reputation for being a super source of protein. Four level teaspoons of peanut butter can provide your 7-10 year old with 16 grams of protein or half the protein he needs in a day. (The RDA for protein for a child 7-10 years old is 28 grams.) However, those four tablespoons contain a whopping 32 grams of fat and 400 calories. Seventy five percent of those calories come from fat! Commercial peanut butter such as Skippy or Jif uses additional hydrogenated fat- usually hydrogenated cottonseed oil to improve spreading and prevent the oil from separating. Cottonseed oil originates from the cotton plant, which has probably been sprayed with pesticide, thus endowing the oil with trace pesticidal properties. Salt and sugar are also added to commercial peanut butter to prevent mold growth and separation of the oil-fats such as butter or fats high in trans-fat (“hydrogenated” fats).

And that’s not all. Peanuts contain aflatoxin, a naturally occurring carcinogen and liver toxin that is produced by mold on damp peanuts. Roasting does not destroy this heavy duty toxin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a good program in place to minimize aflatoxin contamination in peanuts in commercially processed peanut butters and it seems to be keeping contamination down to acceptable low levels. “Real” peanut butter, made from ground peanut in a home processor or at the health food store in believed to have ten times the amount of aflatoxin as the Skippy or Jif type brands.

Cold Cereals:
Kashi Heart to Heart
Uncle Sam original
Romal Meal Multi Grain
Kashi Go Lean
Kellogg’s Almond Raisin Muslix
Raisin Bran Extra Grain
Kellogg’s All Bran, Bran Flakes
Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats
Post Bran Flakes
Barbara’s Shredded Wheat
Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats
General Mills Cheerios
Post Shredded Wheat Original
Kellogg Unfrosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size

Hot Cereals:
Steel Cut Irish Oatmeat
Erewhon Brown Rice Cream
Arrowhead Mills Oat Bran
Kashi Breakfast Pilaf
Instant Hot Cereals:
Quaker Instant Oatmeal – regular
Arrowhead Mills Instant Multigrain
Mother’s Instant Oatmeal
Roman Meal Instant Cream of Rye
For granola lovers, choose the low-fat cereals such as Bear Naked Granola.

Approach each food label with a few basic questions.

1. How many grams of saturated fat are present per serving? Try to keep it below 2 grams per serving. If this is not possible, compare products and select the one with the least fat.

2. Next, look for the sodium content per serving. Use the rule of thumb: one gram of sodium for each calorie per serving. This may be difficult when buying cheese, pizza, soup and other intrinsically high sodium foods. Here, the compromise rule may be expanded to read: 2 grams of sodium for each calorie per serving. Check different brands and select the one with the least sodium.

3. The fiber content of the food is the next important issue. If fiber is not listed, it means there is no significant fiber in the product. When choosing a cereal for your child (or for yourself) look for one that has 3 grams or more of fiber per serving (but not too high on sodium, saturated fat, or simple sugar). The word, “Whole” as in Whole Grains should appear as the first or second listed whether whole wheat, oats, rye, or another grain.

4. Check the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients labels for the amount of simple sugar. Avoid cereal products that say “Frosted” and be careful when the label reads, “lightly sweetened.” Select cereals that contain no more than 4 grams of added sugar per serving. Remember that juice is 100% sugar and water. The container may say no sugar added, but that does not mean it is without sugar. Fruit “drinks” and sodas should be avoided. Instead choose beverages such as water, herbal or green tea.

5. Finally check for vitamin and mineral content. Specifically look for Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Calcium and Iron.

The 10 worst foods according to the center for science in the public interest -2012
Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie: Why? Because one serving contains 520 calories; 11 grams of saturated fat; 800 mg of sodium; and if you eat the entire piece as most people do-you will consume 1040 calories of which 22 grams are of saturated fat and 1600 mg of sodium.

Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy: Why? Because it comes with Lasagna, Breaded Chicken Parmigiana, and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo and contains 1450 calories; 33 grams of saturated fat; and 3830 grams of sodium. And it comes with a plate of Garden-Fresh Salad with dressing that contains an additional 350 calories and 1930 mg of sodium!!

Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup” One cup of Campbell’s Condensed soup has 760 mg sodium.
Chipolte Chicken Burrito: Why? Because it has 970 calories; 18 grams of saturated fat; and 2200 mg sodium. Most teens eat two!!

The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake: Why? 1679 calories and 49 grams fat.
Pillsbury Grands! Cinnabon roll with icing: Why? 310 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat plus 2.5 grams of trans fat- from partially hydrogenated oils; 5 teaspoons of sugar. Do you need more reasons?

Land O’Lakes Margarine: Why? Because each teaspoon of the spread has 11 grams total fat of which 3 grams are saturated fat. This plus partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil.

Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream: Why? Because it has 550 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat. This is worse than McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Haagen-Daz ice cream: Why? Because a petite half-cup contains 260 calories and 17 grams of fat plus 21 grams (over 5 teaspoons) sugar. And what teenager eats only a ½ cup?

Cold Stone Creamery’s Oh Fudge shake (large): Why? Because it dumps 1750 calories loaded with 118 grams of fat-64 grams are saturated, plus 140 grams (29 ½ teaspoons) of sugar into your stomach without killing your appetite. This is the fat and calorie equivalent of 2 pounds of T-Bone steak and a buttered baked potato.

The Plate features four sections – vegetables, fruits, grains and protein plus a side order of dairy. The big message is that fruits and vegetables take up half the plate, with the vegetable portion being a little bigger than the fruit section. The grain section is bigger than the protein section because it is recommended you eat more vegetables than fruit and more grains than animal protein foods. The divided plate also aims to discourage super-big portions, which can cause overweight.

Keep up to date on how the USDA’s MyPlate can help you and your family’s food choices by checking new tools at:

You will be getting much advice on what type of milk to give to your child. A fuss is being made over giving whole milk to your child until he or she is over two years old before introducing low fat milk. The truth of the matter is that 2% milk containing adequate fat for optimal brain growth and is the preferred type of milk for children between one and two. When children eat whole grains, vegetables and meat too, they get a more than sufficient amount of fat for optimal growth and nutrition. One percent low fat milk is probably also fine for most children as well, but I usually reserve this for children approaching two. The transition to non-fat milk is gradually made after two years of age.

I’m not aware of a single case of nutritional problems due to quote “too little fat” in children over a year old that followed this advice. If you have a child who is exceptionally thin, it is important that you consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider to reevaluate your child’s diet and health. A complete history and physical examination is needed. Don’t attempt to “fatten the child up” with high saturated fat foods.