Thanksgiving Favorites: Mashed Potatoes and Cheesy Broccoli (with a twist)

20 Nov IMG_7368


We here at the ONIE Project put a healthy twist on two of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes: mashed potatoes and broccoli casserole.


We took traditional mashed potatoes and added some cauliflower to sneak in an extra vegetable that is mild enough to not even notice. We also replaced the traditional butter with healthier alternatives such as low-fat sour cream, non-fat Greek yogurt, and a buttermilk alternative (see simple instruction below). Our taste testers overwhelmingly agreed that using non-fat Greek yogurt was the creamiest. This was a great surprise as you can see in the nutrition label comparison below, replacing the butter with Greek yogurt cuts all the fat, lowers the calories and cholesterol, and pumps up the protein!

Here is the recipe for the winning mash!


Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Estimated time: 40 minutes


Servings: 4


  • 3 medium Russet potatoes
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp. non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • Pepper (to taste)


  1. Fill a large pot with water and heat on high until boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, wash potatoes thoroughly and cut into 1” pieces.
  3. Once water is boiling, add potatoes and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. About 8 minutes until potatoes are done add cauliflower.
  5. Once potatoes and cauliflower are done, remove from heat and drain the pot. Return cauliflower and potatoes to pot and add Greek yogurt and milk.
  6. Begin mashing until ideal consistency is reached.

Try our other healthy butter alternatives:

  • 3 Tbps light sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup buttermilk substitute (1 cup 1% low fat milk and 1 Tbsp white vinegar (let stand 5-10 minutes or until milk consistency changes)

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole


Traditional cheesy broccoli casseroles use a highly processed quick melting cheese such as Velveeta, that is high in sodium and saturated fat. Here at the ONIE Project we used reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, low-fat milk, and reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup to cut down on the amount of sodium and fat.Estimated time: 1 hour

Servings: 8



  • 2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz ) can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 8 oz shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk


  1. Cook rice according to box directions.
  2. Once rice is cooked, combine broccoli, soup, rice, onion, milk, and half of cheese in large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole Nutrition Label

Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole ONIE Nutrition Label CROPPED - 1

We hope you have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!!

Your ONIE Project Team


TURKEY EXPOSE’: Don’t Pay for Salt Water!

12 Nov RoastedTurkey

Thanksgiving, our special day of giving thanks, is just three weeks away.  The ONIE Project Team has lots of ideas to help you have a healthy and hearty Thanksgiving dinner! Over the next few weeks, we will post recipes and tips on healthy meal preparation.  But first, we have a word on the Thanksgiving Turkey.


ONIE went on an undercover shopping trip to get the facts about Thanksgiving turkeys. Our advice is buyer beware, many turkeys are “moisture enhanced” which means they are injected with a salt-water solution. For frozen turkeys, 8% to 20% of the bird’s weight could be sodium-water solution.  This means you’re paying for salt water; a 20 lb “moisture enhanced” turkey equals only 16 lbs of meat (4 lbs is nothing but water). It also means that a 4-oz serving from that same turkey could add as much as 540mg or 23% of the daily recommended amount of sodium to your diet (2300 mg).  None of us need this much sodium, especially your favorite uncle with high-blood pressure joining you for dinner.  ONIE has some tips to help you make your way through the maze of options.


 Step One: Read the Front (Small Font) of the Packaging

The first step is to read the packaging. The amount of “moisture injection” must be disclosed on the front of the turkey.  However, we found the description confusing. Sometimes the description of the moisture injected includes the words salt or sodium, or it may just be described as solution without mentioning from what the solution is made. Moreover, the word “natural” can be used on the labels of these injected birds. USDA doesn’t regulate the labeling of “100% natural” or “all natural.” A turkey can be labeled “natural” and still be injected with ingredients that do not naturally occur in a turkey.



Step Two: Flip the Bird Over

The only ways to evaluate the amount of sodium injected is turn the bird over and read the food label.


Step Three: Reading the label

You have “healthy options” to choose. The first label is from a fresh turkey (not frozen) with no “moisture injection”.  As you can see on the label, a 4-oz serving of turkey with no salt water added contains about 65mg or 3% of the daily recommended amount of sodium.  This is because all turkeys contain some sodium naturally.  If this is your choice, these fresh no salt water “moisture injected” turkeys will be in stores starting on November 20th. Our friendly grocery manager, warned us that they will sell out quickly!

If you really prefer to have the “moisture injected” turkeys, go with one that doesn’t add as much salt. The second label is from a turkey that has been injected with 8% sugar and salt solution; a 4-oz serving contains 190 mg of sodium which is about equal to the amount of calories (170). Both of these options, come close to meeting the one-for-one rule, that is watch your sodium intake by matching the amount of sodium to the amount of calories in each serving.

Turkey Blog Label 2


We at ONIE would not choose the turkey products labeled below, with so much salt water added you really aren’t getting a lot of turkey for your dollar.  Also, as you can see, the first turkey has 540mg of sodium per 4 oz serving, that is almost 25% of the daily recommended amount per just one serving. It has been injected with approximately 20% of a “moisture solution” so you are paying for a lot of water as well as sodium. The second product contains 230mg of sodium per a4 oz serving, a much better choice than 540mg of sodium but there are better options. This label is from a turkey injected with a 8% solution, which means that 1.6 lbs of your 20 lb turkey is just water.

Turkey Blog Label 1


If you do buy a fresh, no salt water added Turkey do not be concerned that your turkey will be dry because it has not been bathed in salt water or pre-brined. You can retain the moisture by stuffingRoastedTurkey  the turkey with orange and/or lemon slices, rosemary, thyme, and a few cloves of garlic. Our ONIE test kitchen, we soaked our turkey with apple cider and water. We also basted the chicken while cooking with apple cider. It was juicy! The best part of buying a turkey that has not been “moisture injected” is that you taste the wonderful flavor of turkey meat. You may even save money by buying more meat and no water.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the ONIE Project Team!


Recipe of the Month

5 Nov DSC_0395

Southwest Meatballs


This meatball recipe adds a fun southwestern twist, packing in flavors you will love. It is hearty dish that takes just 20 minutes to prepare. The bonus is that it sneaks in veggies and is low in sodium!!!


1 lb ground turkey
2 egg whites
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn up
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup frozen corn
½ cup 50% less sodium beef broth
1 (15 oz) can no-salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp ground cumin
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Preparation:Southwest Meatballs Blog Label

  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg whites, bread, & pepper. Mix well.
  2. Shape into 16 meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meatballs & cook slowly. Turn until browned on all sides (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice and cumin into skillet, mix well.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover & cook an additional 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked thoroughly. Stir in cilantro and serve.

From the ONIE Test Kitchen!  Hearty, Healthy, and Homemade.


Halloween Ghosts and Globins!

29 Oct IMG_6994


Hi! My name is Amie Mencer and I am a dietetic intern from the University of Oklahoma currently working with ONIE! First, something important to know about me is that I love learning about nutrition, but I also have a major sweet tooth. Chocolate is my weakness but any sweet or sugary item will do. I always get excited when Halloween rolls around because the shops are stocked with extra candy and treats and I’m pretty much in candy land heaven.

However, being the sweets fanatic and dietetic intern I am, I know that too much candy doesn’t fit into a healthy and nutritious diet. In fact, 4% of the entire United States yearly consumption of candy is consumed on Halloween alone­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­. Therefore, I like to stock my house with lots of festive treats that don’t overload my diet on sugar and fat but still let me celebrate the holiday. One way to do this is to start dressing up your daily fruit. Of course I cannot take credit for all of these ideas but from a ‘hope to be dietitian’ standpoint I think these hit the “A”  list for Halloween treats. Also remember that when you are enjoying some candy this season, a little bit is okay in moderation.

Here are some simple tips to not over do the candy crazy2:

  • Buy what you need.
  • Eat carbohydrates and proteins together to keep you full before going out trick or treating
  • Get creative with fruit
  • Watch out for trans fats in cookies or crackers
  • Buy in bite sized pieces

Try these easy, healthy and cheap treats to help you start the holiday off right!


Frozen Ghost Bananas!

Ingredients: Bananas, non-fat greek yogurt (any flavor), chocolate chips, cheerios, raisins, popsicle sticks, baking sheet, wax paper

How To: Place wax paper on baking sheet for easy clean up. Take banana out of peel and cut banana straight down the middle so that you have two even sides. Cut each side across the middle so you are left with four even slices. Stick one popsicle stick in the bottom of each banana slice. Next, dip banana in yogurt and cover well. A spoon might be helpful for this step. Place banana on baking sheet and add chocolate chips or raisins for eyes and cheerios for mouths.  Place yogurt covered banana on wax paper and baking sheet in freezer for a few hours until frozen.

Tip: Use firm bananas so they can be covered with yogurt easily.


Mini Clementine Pumpkins!

Ingredients: Clementine’s, celery sticks

How To: Peel clementine’s completely and throw away skins. Take one washed celery stalk and cut in half length wise. Cut stalk into ¼ to ½ inch pieces and push into middle of clementine.

Tip: Cut the bottom of the celery piece into a point to stick celery more easily into the clementine.


Grape Worms!

Ingredients: Grapes (red or green), raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter, shish kabob skewers

How To: Wash grapes well and let try. Take skewer and slowly load individual grapes onto skewer either horizontally or vertically. When skewer is full take two raisins or chocolate chips and attach with a teeny bit of peanut butter for eyes on the last grape.


Gross Goblin Teeth!

Ingredients: Apples (any kind), peanut butter, raisins, knife

How To: Wash apple, cut into fourths and slice out core. Slice each fourth apple into three small slices. Using two slices, spread peanut butter onto one side of each apple slice. Stick one row of raisins upright in the peanut butter across the apple slice to look like teeth. Complete smile by adding the remaining apple slice, peanut butter facing down to the top of raisins.

Tip: Use large apples for easier preparation, this one is messy!


Dirty Band Aids!

Ingredients: whole grain graham crackers, cream cheese, red jelly (any flavor)

How To: Break graham cracker on cracker indents into fourths. Spread cream cheese in a square shape in just the center of the cracker piece until smooth. Add a small drop of jelly for fake blood.

Tip: Non fat yogurt can substitute for cream cheese or whole grain cracker can substitute for graham cracker.

Other healthy and easy ideas for Halloween can be drawing pumpkin faces onto peel away fruit skins such as bananas and oranges, wrapping fruit or fruit juice boxes in paper towels as dressed up mummies, cutting sandwiches into tombstones or ghosts, make a veggie skeleton with left over vegetables around the house or add eyeballs onto almost anything for a touch of Halloween!

Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!






Harvest Hustle 2014, 800 Smiling Faces!

22 Oct Harvest Hustle 2014

HH 2014 Collage

Let’s Get Midwest City Moving’s 2014 Harvest Hustle 5K walk/run event on Sunday, October 19, 2014 was spectacular.  The complete not compete 5K is hosted by the Let’s Get Midwest City Moving initiative under the leadership of the ONIE Project and MIDWEST CITY YMCA with the support of 24 sponsors and 85 volunteers. Midwest City was moving as 780 racers completed a 5K course at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City and attended a Wellness Expo. The weather was perfect and the smiling faces seemed endless. The park was awash in orange as racers sported t-shirts sponsored by Variety Care Community Health Center. There were new faces and familiar faces, 33% of the racers were returning races from the 2013 Let’s Get Midwest City Moving initiative.


Before the race began, a wide range of vendors led an interactive wellness expo. The expo featured games and activities, helpful health information, and wellness screenings. Those attending the Wellness Expo won a “blackout bingo” prize if their bingo card was signed by twelve of the vendors. The prize was a first aid kit donated by Midwest City’s Walgreens.  Many children and families jump roped with volunteers from the Midwest City and Del City Metropolitan Library, and others played with colorful hula hoops with Midwest City Jazzercise. Variety Care Community Health Center hosted potato sack races and the American Lung Association helped people exercise their lungs with wind powered boat races. Walgreens provided BMI wellness screenings and flu shots at no out of pocket cost. Midwest Regional Medical Center offered blood pressure checks. Also, there were many wonderfully painted mustaches and other designs worn by those who stopped at the ONIE Project‘s face painting table. All 17 vendors had a unique activity they created to show how being active and healthy is doable and fun!


Everyone had a great time, especially when Midwest City’s Jazzercise gave a demonstration, with many participants testing their moves. Next the Let’s Get Midwest City Moving Team handed out awards! The award for the first to register went to Kim Pearse, who started registration within 4 seconds of it opening. The largest group award went to Sister’s on A Serious Mission 4 Life. These women were serious with 26 members in their group! The largest group of volunteers was University of Central Oklahoma. The most life experienced racer was Elmer Grove. The youngest racer went to Shiloh Jamerson. Most festive awards went to Patterson Family Team who were dressed as zombies. Three racers dressed as black-eye peas won 2nd place most festive award. Third place most festive award went to a mother and daughter team dressed as skeletons in the tradition of the Day of the Dead, Dia de Muertos, holiday. Right before the line up began, the group warm-up was led by the Midwest City YMCA’s Zumba instructor.


On the course racers encountered optional obstacles and games including potato sack races, musical limbo, spider web crawl, pumpkin balance, and hula-hoop hop. Racers celebrated completing the course with granola snacks, fruit, and water that was provided by Buddy’s Produce, Ozarka, and ONIE. It was one fun-filled day!  Stay-tuned for all of the photos from the day to be uploaded on the ONIE Facebook page.

We want to acknowledge our sponsors and vendors who make this event possible.


  • Variety Care Community Health Center
  • Buddy’s Produce
  • City of Midwest City
  • FNB Bank
  • Addtronics
  • Crest Fresh Market
  • Del City & Midwest City Library – Metropolitan Library System
  • Hibbett Sports
  • Homeland
  • Icehouse Oklahoma
  • Jersey Mikes
  • McAlister’s Deli
  • Metro Family Magazine
  • Midwest City Jazzercise
  • Midwest Regional Medical Center
  • Oklahoma City 7-11Stores
  • Oklahoma State Health Department
  • ONIE Project
  • Ozarka – Eureka Water Company
  • Starbucks – Midwest City
  • TFCU
  • Wal Mart – Del City
  • Walgreens
  • YMCA – Midwest City YMCA

List Wellness Expo Vendors:

  •   American Lung Association
  • CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc.
  • Family Expectations
  • Harold Hamm Diabetes Center
  • North Care
  • Metropolitan Library
  • Midwest City Fire Department
  • Midwest City Jazzercise
  • Midwest Regional Medical Center
  • Midwest City YMCA
  • The ONIE Project
  • Spencer Family Dentistry
  • Variety Care Community Health Center
  • Vision Source
  • Walgreens Pharmacy

Let’s Get Midwest City Moving is looking forward to seeing you on March 29, 2015!  Like the ONIE Facebook page to be alerted of race updates including when registration opens for the 2015 Spring Race.

YMCA and ONIE Logo Photo

Harvest Hustle 5K: Ready, set, go!

15 Oct IMG_8900_motivationsigns

Harvest Hustle Header 8

It’s race week; just 4 days until the Harvest Hustle.  On October 19, 2014, it is time to get moving at MWC Regional Park!

What should I wear?

The weather forecast is 75 degrees with no chance of rain and an southeast breeze of 12 mph-perfect for an afternoon in the park. It will be warm when you are walking or running the course. Wearing your race-shirt will probably be plenty. If you tend to be a bit cooler, dressing in layers will keep you warm before and after the race. On the course, you can take a layer off and tie it around your waist.IMG_3656

What time should I get there?

The festivities begin at 12:30 p.m.  New vendors, games and activities have been added to the Wellness Expo. Midwest City Jazzercise will do a demo at 1:45. The group warm-up begins at 2:30 and the race starts at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you didn’t pick up your packet on Friday or Saturday, packet-pick up at the race is at 12:30, but we strongly recommend picking your packet up at the YMCA on Friday from noon-8:00 or Saturday from 8:00-5:00 to avoid long waits.

What should I eat for lunch?

The key is to avoid any heavy food.  Bagels, bananas, and peanut butter are good choices. A favorite of ONIE is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread. These foods give you both a carbohydrate and a protein that will give you energy throughout the IMG_8902_hulahooping_1whole race; energy that will last. Foods like cheeseburgers, pizzas, and fried foods can give you a stomach ache when you are active; not good.

What should I drink?

Drink water before, during, and after the race. Drinking water and staying hydrated are an important part of your race day. We will not have water for participants before the race, but we will have several water stops on the course and a bottle of water for you after you cross the finish line.

How fast should I go?IMG_8999_meredithwith5Ksign

There is a big temptation to start off fast when the whistle goes off, and lots of people are around. If you start too fast you can run out of energy too soon. The best strategy is to pace yourself and save energy for the finish line.

What if I come in last?

The Harvest Hustle is a complete not compete 5K race. The goal is to have fun and be active. Throughout the course, we will have 5 different obstacles for you to try. For those of you who want to know how fast you are, we will have a time clock going at the start and finish. Remember to wear your finishers medal proud, you just beat the thousands who are on the couch on their Sunday afternoon.  We really hope you are ready for a lot of fun with your friends and family.

What if I get separated from my friends and family on the finish line?

Create a plan before the race, and agree upon a place to meet friends and family after the race.

How do I dress up in a costume?

The Let’s Get Midwest City Moving Planning Team will award the top 3 most festive families or individuals at the harvest hustle. But do not worry, there is no need to spend a lot of money getting a special costume. Fun, creative costumes are always the favorite! Here are a few hint on how to make your own:

  • Start with your closet.
  1. Do you have clothes on hand that you can turn into a theme, like green for a leprechaun or orange for a pumpkin?
  2. Do your children have some stockings and a big shirt? Blow up a bunch of balloons and pin them on to go as a grape.
  3. Tear up the legs of some old pants, and splatter some red paint onto a shirt. Add some face paint, and a ghoulish zombie emerges.
  • A good costume is often about being clever, it does not need to be a time consuming project.
  1. Old t-shirts can be shredded to make a decorative head band.
  2. Create a Lego costume by taping pieces of cardboard together; spray paint the cardboard to decorate.
  3. Add a tail to black sweat pants, and go as a cat.
  4. Grab anything in your closet that looks like the 1960s or 1970s, add a headband and go retro.


Yes, we will be giving awards this year!  These are the categories:

  1. First person who registered
  2. Youngest participant
  3. Participant with the most life experience
  4. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest groups or teams
  5. 1st, 2nd and 3rd most festive family or individual.   

Also, you are invited to bring a donation of a non-perishable food item to the Midwest City Food Pantry. Anyone bringing a donation will be entered into a drawing for a prize. There will be a bag in your packet to bring your food items to the race.

IMG_8900_motivationsignsThe last and best tip!

It is all about having fun and spending time with your friends, family, and community. We will have tons of encouraging signs and people along the course to help keep you on route and cheer you on as you finish!! Have a great time and enjoy the music, games, and activities at the Wellness Expo. We will be there to take your picture at the Family Fun Photo Booth.

We can’t wait to see everyone at the race on Sunday! Let’s Get Midwest City Moving!

YMCA and ONIE Logo Photo

1% Milk: The All-Round Ingredient

8 Oct

Choose 1%

1% milk, it is an all-round cooking ingredient. I used to believe that it would not work for cooking. I was wrong! It works great for cooking whether baking, preparing a cream-based sauce, or preparing a dipping sauce for battering. Our nutritionist, Stephanie DeBerry, prepared delicious recipes using 1% low-fat milk as an ingredient in the ONIE Test Kitchen. Today, we are featuring  Apple Oatmeal Muffins and Healthy Chicken & Dumplings. More recipes are available on our website.


Apple Oatmeal Muffins 

Apple Oatmeal Muffins ONIE Nutrition Label CROPPED


½ cup 1% low-fat milk
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
¼ cup sugar
½ Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tart apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place 6 cupcake holders in baking tin.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add milk and apple sauce. Stir until blended.
  4. Stir in flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Just mix until moistened.
  5. Gently stir in apples, raisins, and walnuts.
  6. Spoon into cupcake holders.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan 5 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Chicken and dumplings

Healthy Chicken and Dumplings

Servings: 6                       Serving size: 1-1/4 cups soup with 2 dumplings

Ingredients:Healthy  Chicken & Dumplings ONIE Nutrition Label CROPPED

1 lb skinless, boneless, chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 ½ tsp poultry seasoning
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 cups 33% less sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) package peas, frozen
1 cup heart smart biscuit mix
1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk


  1. Place chicken, onion, carrot, celery, and broth in large saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Reduce heat to low.
  2. Skim off foam with a ladle, and then add peas.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together biscuit mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls into soup.
  4. Cook uncovered on low-heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Refrigerate left overs within 2-3 hours.

Enjoy! These recipes are great with our fall weather.

The ONIE Project Team



Pack it in with 1% low-fat milk!

1 Oct Choose 1%


Packed with Nutrients

1% low-fat milk is packed with vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. Did you know that people who drink milk have higher intakes of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, protein, and other nutrients than non-milk users? They are also more likely to meet USDA recommended nutritional goals.  Milk is an excellent source of some minerals and vitamins, and for others a good source.  Today we are featuring 1% low-fat milk mineral and vitamin trivia.


Foods that contain 20% or more of the recommended daily value of a vitamin or minerals are considered to be an excellent source. Did you know 1% low-fat milk is an excellent source of calcium, Vitamin D, phosphorus and Riboflavin? Calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus help build strong bones.



Calcium builds strong bones and teeth at all  ages.  One glass (8 0z) of 1% low-fat milk contains 30% of the daily recommended amount of calcium (305mg). ). If you have three servings which is recommended by USDA’s MyPlate, that is almost enough calcium for the entire day!

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It is an excellent source of Vitamin D, (32%DV or 127IU in one glass of 1% low-fat milk).


Phosphorus also keeps bones and teeth healthy.  1% low-fat milk is one of the top ten foods that have a high amount of phosphorus (23% DV or 232 mg in one glass of 1% low fat milk).

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

1% low-fat milk is also an excellent source of Riboflavin. One glass has 27% of your recommended daily value (0.5mg). Riboflavin is important for growth, red blood cell production, and healthy skin. It is a vitamin that we all need.


Foods that contain between 10% to 19% of the recommended daily value of a vitamin or mineral are considered to be an good source. 1% low-fat milk is a good source of protein, Vitamin B12, and Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Pyridoxine helps metabolizes protein, which is important for the functioning of every cell in your body. Protein builds bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It also helps repair cells when they are damaged. One glass (8 oz.) of milk has 8.22 grams of protein or 16% of the daily recommended amount.  1% low-fat milk is a healthy protein drink.


Drinking an 8 oz glass of 1% low-fat milk also adds zinc, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Folate (Vitamin B9), magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A to your diet. These vitamins and minerals play many different important roles to help your body perform well! For example, Vitamin A is important for good vision and a healthy immune system. Potassium helps your muscles and nerves work properly together, including your heart. It can reduce some of the harmful effects of sodium on blood pressure.  An 8 oz glass of 1% low-fat milk has 7% of the recommended daily value (232 mg). All cells in the body contain magnesium. It helps muscles contract and is important for bone development and repair.

There is one thing that 1% low-fat milk does not have, and that is a lot of saturated fat!

Happy hump day!  Have a glass of 1% low-fat milk and refuel.

The ONIE Project


1% Milk-No Added Sugar

24 Sep No Sugar Added_3

Choose 1%

At ONIE we agree that watching the sugar you eat is a very legitimate concern.  Blood glucose levels are directly affected by the amount of sugar we eat.  Similarly, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar. Too much sugar in the diet can cause you to gain weight and damage your overall health. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend that we reduce consuming foods with added sugars or foods that have caloric sweeteners added to them during processing, preparation, or after preparation.

However, the same US Dietary Guidelines recommend that we consume 1% low-fat milk as part of a healthy diet. As a nutrient dense food, 1% low-fat milk is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The American Diabetes Association also recommends 1% low-fat milk because it is such an important source of nutrients.


In addition, 1% low-fat milk does not have added sugar. All milk contains natural sugar called lactose. The amount of lactose in milk does not vary by type of milk. In fact, 1% and non-fat milk have the same amount of sugar as whole and 2% milk. In contrast, sugar-sweetened beverages will add much more sugar to your diet than 1% low-fat milk and will not add protein, vitamins and minerals. As you can see, soda has no protein, vitamins, or minerals. We often refer to sugar-sweetened beverages as “empty calories” because they are just that, calories with no nutritional benefit.  Similarly, most soy and almond milk substitutes have added sugar.

Milk vs Cola Label comparison edit

Make the healthy choice, 1% low-fat milk.

THE ONIE Project Team


No Myth, 1% Is The Healthy Choice!

19 Sep ONIE-DigitalAds-English-300x250-S2

Choose 1%

This week we launched our campaign to promote 1% Low-fat milk use in your home. There are many myths about 1% low-fat milk.  The ONIE Project team has gathered FACTS to bust the myths listed below.

Myth: 1% low-fat milk has less vitamins and minerals than 2% or whole milk.

Fact: Milk is rich in nutrients including Vitamin D, Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well as protein and Vitamin B-12[1-4]. 1% low-fat milk has the same nutrients as whole or 2% milk.

Myth: The thick texture of whole and 2% milk is a sign of quality. The essential vitamins and minerals in milk are in the fat.

Fact: The fat in milk is well just fat.  Adding the fat to milk does not improve the nutritional value of milk. It is a cosmetic change to make milk look thicker.  Milk is homogenized to create the thick look and texture. This is a process which mixes the fat into the milk at very high pressures. Almost all milk sold in grocery stores is homogenized. The 8 grams of protein and nine essential vitamins that we love about milk are in the milk, not the fat.

Myth: 1% low-fat milk has more sugar.

Fact: Lactose is the sugar that occurs naturally in milk. The amount of lactose does not vary by the type of milk. Therefore, 1% milk has the same amount of sugar as whole and 2% milk. The American Diabetes Association recommends use of 1% low-fat or non-fat milk. We recommend that you ask your personal physician if you have questions about the type of milk to use because of an illness or chronic disease (link).

Not Low-FatMyth:  Just drink less 2% milk to avoid the fat. It is all about moderation.

Fact: The saturated fat and excess calories contained in whole and 2% milk is a problem. Whole and 2% milk are among the top 20 sources of saturated fat in the American diet.  Also, milk is one of the top ten sources of calories in the American diet[5, 6]. However, it also is a major source of nutrients. A study of dietary patterns revealed that the milk we drink contributes 49.5% of Vitamin D, 25.3% of calcium, 17.1% of Vitamin B12, and 11.6% of potassium we intake, as well as many other nutrients[5]. This is great because milk is one of the most affordable, nutrient-dense foods[2]. Don’t miss out on the important vitamins and minerals in milk; make the change to 1% low-fat milk, all the vitamins and minerals with half of the fat and calories of 2% milk.

Myth: Kids need whole milk to grow.mealtime_vertical2

Fact: While dietary fats are needed for children’s growth and development, children 2 years old and older generally consume enough fats in their diet without consuming fat from milk. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines (USDA)[6] and the American Academy of Pediatricians[7] recommend that after a child’s 2nd birthday, they should start drinking 1% low-fat or non-fat milk.  1% low-fat milk is served in schools. Make the healthy choice at home as well.

Myth: The fat in whole and 2% milk is good for us.

Fact: The large majority of studies show that low-fat 1% milk is a better choice than high fat 2% and whole milk. We follow the current 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for America[6] to guide our nutrition education. These guidelines are also backed by the Institute of Medicine and other respectable and credible sources.

Myth: 1% low-fat milk is watered-down.

Fact: 1% low-fat milk is not watered down. As you might know, fat floats on top of milk. The difference in the types of milk is how much fat the milk processor adds back in and mixes up (homogenizes) after all of the fat is skimmed off the top of the milk. 1% milk is 100% milk, all the vitamins and minerals and half the fat of 2% milk.

Myth: I can manage lactose intolerance by drinking whole or 2% milk.

Fact: Lactose intolerance/maldigestion is caused by the incomplete digestion of lactose (milk sugar). All types of milk have the same amount of sugar. Changing the type of milk is not recommended to manage lactose intolerance[8]. Recommendations to manage symptoms of lactose intolerance include the following:

  • Consuming smaller portions of milk in a serving;
  • Consuming milk with a meal;
  • Choosing lactose-free 1% low-fat milk.

Vitamin DMyth: Only whole milk has Vitamin D.

Fact: The front of the whole milk carton is often labeled “Vitamin D milk”. But don’t let this labeling fool you: 1% low-fat milk has all the Vitamin D of whole milk, just with much less fat and calories. They could label all types of milk “Vitamin D milk” because   they all have the same amount of Vitamin D.

From the ONIE Project Team


  1. Aggarwal, A., P. Monsivals, and A. Drewnowski, Nutrient intakes linked to better health outcomes are associated with higher diet costs in the US. Plos ONE, 2012. 7(5): p. 1-10.
  2. Drewnowski, A., The nutrient rich foods index helps to identify healthy, affordable foods. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. 91S: p. 1095S-1101S.
  3. Drewnowski, A. and S.E. Specter, Poverty and obesity: The role of engery density and energy costs. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004. 79: p. 6-16.
  4. Sebastian, R.S., et al., Fluid milk consumption in the United States: What we eat in America, NHANES 2005-2006, in Food Surveys Research Group Dietary Data Brief 2010.
  5. Huth, P.J., et al., Major food sources of calories, added sugars, and saturated fat and their contribution to essential nutrient intakes in the U.S. diet: data from the national health and nutrition examination survey (2003–2006). Nutrition Journal, 2013. 12(116): p. 1-10.
  6. Gidding, S.S., et al., Dietary recommendations for children and adolescents: A guide for practitioners. Pediatrics, 2006. 117(2): p. 544-559.
  7. Bailey, R.K., et al., Lactose intolerance and health disparities among African Americans and Hispanic Americans: An updated consensus statement. Journal of the National Medical Association, 2013. 105(2): p. 112-127.
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