In the News: High-Cal Dining Out, A Tomato Pill, Get Your Fiber & More by Toby Amidor in Food News, June 5, 2009
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From this week’s headlines: Restaurant’s heaviest dishes, lower fertility and poor diets linked, a tomato pill for your heart and kids get hands-on with healthy food.
Don’t Order These Dishes
The Center for Public Interest and Science (CSPI) just announced the winners in their “Xtreme Eating Awards” — an annual (dis)honor given to the fast-food chains, who serve the highest-calorie appetizers, mains and desserts. Two of this year’s heaviest-hitters include The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken and Biscuits dish, which weighs in at 2,500 calories (that’s more calories than most people need in an entire day!) and Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger (shown above) at 1,820 calories. My stomach was turning as I read through the list!
Poor Eating Affects Fertility (Dads-to-be, Read Up!)
Researchers connected poor dieting habits in men to decreased fertility. Previous research showed that men who load up on meat and full-fat dairy products have lower seminal quality than those who eat more fruit, veggies and lower-fat dairy. New findings now show that antioxidants can keep your fertility stronger. What does this mean, guys? Eat your recommended daily fruits and veggies (where many antioxidants are found) — especially if you’re looking to have kids.
The Tomato Pill
Lycopene, a good-for-you compound found in ketchup, tomato sauce or other tomato products, may decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. Now, like for most anything, there’s a pill. But as this article suggests (and I agree), don’t go stocking up yet. We need more clinical trials to see how effective the pill is. And remember that you can always get these nutrients from food.
America’s Top Chef: Dan Barber
I’ve been dying to visit Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where Chef Dan Barber relies on farm-fresh ingredients (including eggs) to prep his restaurant’s dishes. (Most of the food actually comes from the 22-acre surrounding farm, which includes a huge greenhouse.) Last month, Chef Barber won the Outstanding Chef James Beard Award — dubbing him one of the nation’s top chefs — and made Time magazine’s 100 World’s Most Influential People. The extra icing: the First Family visited his Blue Hill extension in New York City this past weekend for “date night.” We couldn’t find specifics on what the Obamas ate, though.
Kids Meet Your Veggies. Veggies Meet the Kids.
Many of my clients are overweight kids — actually, they’re technically defined as “morbidly obese,” which means they’re at a higher risk for diabetes, cholesterol and many other health issues. Amazingly, when I ask “When’s pizza day at school?” 90% of them tell me it’s every Friday. When I read about this food program in Baltimore, where kids got to see how lettuce is grown and create their own salads, of course, I thought it was amazing. It also makes me wonder: why don’t more schools do this?
Kellogg’s Online Fiber Guide
Most adults don’t get enough fiber (or fruits and veggies for that matter). So, to educate the public, Kellogg’s just launched a new site, Fiber-pe-dia, which offers fiber basics and recommendations along with some printable materials. We haven’t vetted it fully yet, but any new info — especially on healthier eating — given to consumers can only be good.