Reading List: Red Meat Gets The Green Light, Chemicals in Canned Foods and Fast Food Facts

by in Food News, May 21, 2010
Grilled Steak
Steak lovers, rejoice: Red meat may not deserve a bad wrap.

In this week’s nutrition news: Trendy dark-colored foods are taking over menus, added fiber in General Mills products and don’t be afraid to eat that juicy steak or burger.

Red Meat Gets The Green Light
Steak lovers, rejoice: Red meat may not deserve the bad wrap it’s gotten for many years. A new Harvard study says that the risk for heart disease comes from processed meats (like bacon, cold cuts and hot dogs) rather than unprocessed steaks and burgers. Folks in the study who ate two ounces of processed meat a day were 42 percent more likely to develop heart disease,  while those who ate four ounces of red meat daily had no increased risk. Both processed and non-processed meats contain saturated fat, which contributes to heart disease, but the study suggests that it’s the salt in processed meats that may be the “really bad” culprit. What’s your take on red meat?

Alarming Amount of Canned Foods Contain BPA

We’ve told you about the chemical found in canned foods called BPA and how it’s been linked to cancer. A recent study examined how much BPA in can’s metal lining leached into the food itself. The results? A whopping 92 percent of food tested (including fruits, veggies, fish and beans) contained BPA. The study concluded that if meals are prepared from various canned food, this can lead to potential harmful levels of BPA. Although some companies use BPA-free lining in their cans, many do not. The FDA is taking a closer look at the issue and has pledged $30 million to research it.

Fast Food Joints Print Calories on Receipt

Ever wonder how many calories are in the meal you ordered? Burgerville (a fast food joint in the Pacific Northwest) makes that information readily available — on your receipt! They’re rolling out this new receipt system in 39 of their restaurants this week. Although this is the first fast food joint to use this system, the “SmartReceipt” is already found in numerous hospitals and cafeterias. Would you like to see the calories in your food order?

Dark-Colored Foods Are The New Black

If you follow fashion trends, you always hear about the “new black”. But instead of clothes, we’re talking food — black trumpet mushrooms, black garlic, black walnuts and black chickpeas are some of the foods that are appearing on menus across the country. Read up on some of the fabulous dishes being made from these ingredients.

General Mills Adds Fiber
With all the salt and trans fat-cutting going on, General Mills is actually adding an ingredient—fiber. They’ve added fiber to yogurt, soup and breakfast bars. So, does this fiber have the same benefit as the natural fiber found in whole grains and fresh produce? Studies aren’t conclusive to prove that all fiber is equal, but eating more fiber in general is a huge health benefit. Read more about the types of fiber and how much you really need.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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