NCC News | Winter 2014

Solid Fats and Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA) Coming in NDSR 2014!

You asked and we’ve responded by adding two sought after nutrients/food components, solid fats and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), to the NCC Food and Nutrient Database for release with NDSR 2014.

Solid fats are a dietary constituent for which limited consumption is recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPlate food guide. They are defined as fats naturally present in dairy products, meat, poultry, eggs, lard, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and palm oil. Solid fats are being added to the NCC Food and Nutrient Database using a methodology modeled after that used in the USDA Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED). Values for solid fats will be reported in grams.

Alpha-linolenic acid (PUFA 18:3 n-3) is an omega-3 fatty acid of growing research interest. It is an isomer of PUFA 18:3, and consequently PUFA 18:3 (linolenic acid) and PUFA 18:3 n-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) values for some foods will differ due to the presence of other isomers such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and alpha-eleostearic acid (ELA).

Adding alpha-linolenic acid has allowed us to improve the ‘omega-3 fatty acids’ values in the database. Currently, the ‘omega-3 fatty acids’ field is calculated by summing PUFA 18:3, PUFA 18:4, PUFA 20:5, PUFA 22:5, and PUFA 22:6. In NDSR 2014, linolenic acid (PUFA 18:3) will be replaced with alpha-linolenic acid (PUFA 18:3 n-3) in this calculation, producing a more accurate estimate of omega-3 fatty acids.

Both solid fats and alpha-linolenic acid will be available in output files 01-06. Additionally, if data from previous versions of NDSR are rerun in NDSR 2014, values for both solid fats and alpha-linolenic acid will be calculated.



Bigger Chickens Mean a Change to the NCC Food Amount Booklet

We all know food portions have grown in the US, but now the chickens have too. With the release of NDSR 2013, the food specific units ‘small’, ‘medium’, and ‘large’ for all parts of the chicken have increased in weight based on data from the USDA Standard Reference, Release 25. For example, the size of a ‘medium’ chicken breast (skin removed) has increased from 3.0 to 4.2 ounces.

What this means, in practical terms, is that the photos in our Food Amounts Booklet (FAB) for chicken no longer match the ‘medium’ food specific units in NDSR 2013. As a refresher, the FAB contains pictures of a chicken leg, breast, thigh, and wing. The interviewer copy of the FAB indicates the size to be medium and the interviewer is instructed to select the ‘medium’ unit in NDSR when a participant reports consuming a piece of chicken the same size as the picture in the FAB.

Because the pictures in the FAB no longer correspond with a ‘medium’ sized piece of chicken, we have now labeled the chicken pictures with the exact weight in ounces each represents. The interviewer should enter a chicken piece by weight instead of the food specific unit ‘medium’ when the FAB is used, just like using the meat and fish pictures. For example, if a participant reports eating a chicken breast (no skin) the size of the breast piece in the FAB, enter 3.0 ounces instead of 1 medium piece.

To help make this switch, we have an updated interviewer copy of the English and Spanish versions of the FAB available on our website.

We recommend using the new interviewer copy of the FAB if you are using NDSR 2013 or any subsequent version of the program. Note: The participant FAB is not affected by this change since the chicken depictions in that FAB do not include unit labels.



Change to New Food Resolutions

Starting July 1, 2014 clients who license or pay annual support for the Research version of NDSR will receive up to 30 new food resolutions per year for the initial copy of the program, a decrease from 50 in previous years. The number of new food resolutions per each additional copy of the software will remain at five per year. Additional new foods can be resolved for a fee.



New Foods

The following foods are included in the NCC News Winter 2014 New Food Backup File, available for download on our website.

  • Ensure CLEAR
  • Mt. Dew Kick Start Soda
  • Little Hug Fruit Barrels
  • Gatorade G2
  • Nutri-Grain Bar Fruit Crunch Apple Cobbler
  • Nabisco Triscuit Brown Rice & Wheat Savory Red Bean Crackers
  • Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Puffs Gluten Free
  • Austin’s Sandwich Crackers – Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Cheese
  • Taco Bell Beefy Nacho Griller
  • Taco Bell Spicy Buffalo Chicken Griller
  • Taco Bell Loaded Potato Griller
  • Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps – Lightly Salted

If you have questions about New Foods, contact Sue Seftick at or 612-624-0223.