July Blog Posts

Green Kiwifruit & Gold Kiwi

Once exotic and now fairly mainstream, kiwifruits (or kiwis) have a distinctive green inside with a brown and fuzzy outside. Kiwifruit is actually named after a small bird—also called the kiwi—which has a brown and fuzzy coat of its own. While the fruit is native to northern China, it’s been brought to New Zealand and other parts of the world, like California, where much of it is grown today.

And, yes, you can eat the skin! Just make sure you give it a good wash first. The skin contains lots of fiber and Vitamin C.

Typically, kiwis grown in California are available in the winter months, while those that are grown in New Zealand and other parts of the world are harvested in the spring. That puts fresh kiwis in in the store for most of the year. Look for one that gives slightly to pressure, which means it's ripe. Kiwis can be stored at room temperature for about a week and in the fridge for up to a month.


A newcomer in Giant stores in the SunGold Kiwifruit. Unlike its green cousin, it has a smooth, brown outside and a yellow-gold color on the inside. Gold Kiwifruit is usually sweeter and less tart than traditional kiwifruit. SunGold Kiwifruit are grown in New Zealand and Italy and their growing season is from May to February (depending on location) so you'll see them in stores in summer and most other months of the year as well.


Nutritionally, Green Kiwifruit and SunGold Kiwifruit are quite similar. Both are a low-calorie food, with about 100 calories for 2 pieces of fruit, and a good source of fiber, especially if you eat the skin. Both fruit varieties are good sources of vitamin C and potassium, but Gold delivers a little more vitamin C and green has slightly more potassium. All in all, either option is a nutrition superstar and a tasty snack, ingredient in a fruit salad, or in recipes.




FODMAP Diet

Does your stomach feel like it's in a knot after eating certain foods? The feeling may be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which impacts how the gut moves and digests food. IBS is a common GI issue affecting roughly 25-45 million people in the United States. Certain foods can cause can IBS symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. To help alleviate these GI symptoms, you may have heard about the FODMAP diet.

FODMAP stands for fermentable short-chain carbohydrates oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols. These are carbohydrates found in many foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes, and sugar alcohols. Bacteria ferment carbohydrates during digestion. Some individuals may have a difficult time absorbing these carbohydrates, which can cause excess gas and fluid to develop, leading to abdominal discomfort, pain, and changes in bowel habits.

FODMAP is a short-term elimination diet that can help identify the foods that contain these types of carbohydrates that may trigger digestive issues. During the elimination process, high-FODMAP foods should be avoided for approximately six to eight weeks then slowly reintroduced. People should track their food and symptoms to help identify problematic foods. Certain FODMAP foods may not impact people with IBS symptoms. People are encouraged to work closely with a physician and a registered dietitian. For help in the aisles, reach out to an in-store nutritionist.

What’s the research say?

A FODMAP eating plan has been shown to reduce symptoms in individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, but may also plus improve mood and quality of life. However, other studies have shown inconclusive results. More extensive FODMAP studies are needed to assess the diet’s long-term efficacy.

FODMAP Foods in the Aisle

Manufacturers are answering the requests of consumers and now offering low-FODMAP products that do not contain onions, garlic, lactose, or gluten that may trigger IBS symptoms. Available products range from soups, baking mixes, cookies, and protein bites. There are two voluntary certifications for low-FODMAP food products are available from Monash University and FODMAP Friendly.

Find gut-friendly foods at Giant!

  • Enjoy Life Foods® makes allergy-friendly products that are free from gluten and 14 common allergens, has introduced low-FODMAP products such as cookies and protein bites.
  • FODY™ makes a variety of low fodmap products, including chocolate, sauces, salad dressings, and seasonings.
  • Rao’s Homemade® Sensitive Marinara Sauce doesn’t contain onions or garlic.


Are you interested in gut health? Check out our blog on probiotics and Love Your Gut podcast.

High FODMAP carbohydrate sources: Yogurt (lactose), asparagus (monosaccharides), watermelon (fructans), legumes (galacto-oligosaccharides), and blackberries (polyols).




FODMAP Diet

Does your stomach feel like it's in a knot after eating certain foods? The feeling may be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which impacts how the gut moves and digests food. IBS is a common GI issue affecting roughly 25-45 million people in the United States. Certain foods can cause can IBS symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. To help alleviate these GI symptoms, you may have heard about the FODMAP diet.

FODMAP stands for fermentable short-chain carbohydrates oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols. These are carbohydrates found in many foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes, and sugar alcohols. Bacteria ferment carbohydrates during digestion. Some individuals may have a difficult time absorbing these carbohydrates, which can cause excess gas and fluid to develop, leading to abdominal discomfort, pain, and changes in bowel habits.

FODMAP is a short-term elimination diet that can help identify the foods that contain these types of carbohydrates that may trigger digestive issues. During the elimination process, high-FODMAP foods should be avoided for approximately six to eight weeks then slowly reintroduced. People should track their food and symptoms to help identify problematic foods. Certain FODMAP foods may not impact people with IBS symptoms. People are encouraged to work closely with a physician and a registered dietitian. For help in the aisles, reach out to an in-store nutritionist.

What’s the research say?

A FODMAP eating plan has been shown to reduce symptoms in individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, but may also plus improve mood and quality of life. However, other studies have shown inconclusive results. More extensive FODMAP studies are needed to assess the diet’s long-term efficacy.

FODMAP Foods in the Aisle

Manufacturers are answering the requests of consumers and now offering low-FODMAP products that do not contain onions, garlic, lactose, or gluten that may trigger IBS symptoms. Available products range from soups, baking mixes, cookies, and protein bites. There are two voluntary certifications for low-FODMAP food products are available from Monash University and FODMAP Friendly.

Find gut-friendly foods at Giant!

  • Enjoy Life Foods® makes allergy-friendly products that are free from gluten and 14 common allergens, has introduced low-FODMAP products such as cookies and protein bites.
  • FODY™ makes a variety of low fodmap products, including chocolate, sauces, salad dressings, and seasonings.
  • Rao’s Homemade® Sensitive Marinara Sauce doesn’t contain onions or garlic.


Are you interested in gut health? Check out our blog on probiotics and Love Your Gut podcast.

High FODMAP carbohydrate sources: Yogurt (lactose), asparagus (monosaccharides), watermelon (fructans), legumes (galacto-oligosaccharides), and blackberries (polyols).




How to go nut-free when there’s no PB—starring Sunbutter and Wowbutter

When it comes to making lunches, peanut butter is a back-to-school classic. But lots of schools are restricting—or outright banning—peanut butter out of concern for students with peanut allergies. Thankfully, there are lots of options for an easy, nut-free, and nutritious lunch.

Let's start by talking about peanut butter. Though it gets a bad rap, it's a great source of nutrition! Peanuts are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and those benefits don’t change when they get ground into peanut butter. Plus, peanut butter is tasty! I grew up on peanut butter sandwiches (my mom didn't like the flavor of jelly), and I never knew jelly was a member of the team. To this day I still eat peanut butter sandwiches without jelly.

So when it comes to health and flavor (if you don't have an allergy, of course) peanut butter is a great choice. However, since allergies affect many, let’s look at two options: Sunbutter and Wowbutter.

Sunbutter is one of two sunflower seed butters at Giant—the other is in their Nature’s Promise organic line. Both are exactly what you might expect: ground-up sunflower seeds, usually with a pinch of salt and sugar added for flavor. Sunflower seed butter is a great allergy-friendly option because it’s free from all 8 of the top food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, and soybeans. You can use sunflower seed butter just as you would peanut butter. Just know that the flavor is nearly identical to that of sunflower seeds, so don't expect a peanut butter flavor here.

Wowbutter is a soy-based spread. While "soy spread" doesn't exactly sound like a partner to jelly, it tastes and looks quite similar to peanut butter! Wowbutter is safe for peanut-free schools as it is free from both peanuts and tree nuts. It is also gluten-free and has no added colors. While sunflower seed butter can separate, Wowbutter does not, meaning no surprise stirring if you’re in a rush.

Nutritionally, both butters are like peanut butter in terms of calories, total fat, sodium, sugar, fiber, and protein. Sunflower seed butter delivers more Vitamin E, while peanut butter usually has more Vitamin B6, and Wowbutter has more beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Most nut and seed butters are similar in these respects.

Of course, there are tons of options in the nut butter aisle to suit your diet! Nearly all nut butters are made up of ground nuts, salt, and sugar. Some have other flavors added. My best advice is check the ingredient label, where you’ll find the add-ins—or not.