This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, February 13, 2014

raspberries
In this week’s news: vending machines that dispense fresh salads; another pro to probiotics; and yes, there’s something called the werewolf diet (howwwl!).

Farm to Fork, By Way of the Vending Machine
A Chicago businessman is attempting to reinvent vending machine food through a business called Farmer’s Fridge. Offerings include jars filled with the likes of Lemon Pepper Chicken, North Napa Salad (with avocado, grapes and pistachios) and Greek Yogurt with Berries, combining upmarket tastes with grab-n-go convenience (salads start at $8). The fresh goodies are delivered to machines daily.

More Pros to Probiotics
Many already turn to yogurt, other probiotic-containing foods and probiotic supplements to fend off digestive woes. But a new study has found the good bacteria may also protect against heart disease. The meta-analysis, published in Nutrition Reviews, looked at numerous studies and found a relationship between probiotic intake and reduction in both total cholesterol and the LDL (“bad”) variety. The study was funded by a manufacturer of probiotic supplements.

Consumers Bent Over Rubbery Bread
Shortly following an online assault from outraged consumers, sandwich chain Subway agreed to remove a potentially harmful chemical from many of its breads. Although also used in the production of foam and rubber products (like yoga mats), the ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is considered safe for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The chemical, also found in menu items at other chain restaurants, including Starbucks and McDonald’s, may be a carcinogen and an asthma trigger.

A Piece of the (Gluten-Free) Pie
Pizza has always been popular among restaurant goers, but according to a report from a food service data firm, pizza has become the number two most popular gluten-free menu item (behind salads). Data revealed that 3 percent of all pizza menus offer a gluten-free option (that includes large chains like Domino’s and Chuck E. Cheese) and 38 percent of all gluten-free menus make mention of pizza.

Promising the Moon
The newest diet isn’t about cavemen, it’s about werewolves! The program instructs dieters to eat along with the cycle of the moon, with periods of fasting and restricting. Surprise: Just like many other fad eating plans, this glorified “detox“ program presents a number of risks and not much in the way of scientific evidence.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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