All Posts By Amy Reiter

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Glamour and Marie Claire, as well as Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to FN Dish, she blogs for Food Network’s Healthy Eats.

Drinking Tea May Bring Deeper Benefits Than You Realized

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, July 26, 2017

Coffee, tea or … well, both have their fans. But only one of them is traditionally drunk with crumpets at teatime, so, hey, tea definitely has that in its favor.

 

What’s more, a new study suggests that drinking tea, especially for women, could actually affect us at a genetic level and modulate our risk for certain diseases, especially cancer. The results were somewhat different for coffee. Big ups for tea then.

 

“Previous studies have reported health benefits of tea and the aim of our study was to investigate if tea consumption lead to epigenetic changes on the DNA, which might be one of the mechanisms behind these health effects,” the study’s lead author, Weronica Ek, a researcher at department of immunology, genetics and pathology in the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University, in Sweden, tells Healthy Eats. “We did find epigenetic changes in women, but not in men, drinking tea.” Read more

Are Mangoes Really the “King of Fruits?”

by in Food News & Trends, July 24, 2017

So many “superfoods,” so little time. We know. But when the superfood in question is as juicy and pulpy-perfect as a mango (mmmm … mangoes), it’s worth paying attention.

 

Research suggests mangoes may have a variety of health benefits, including, according to two recent studies, partly funded by the National Mango Board conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University and Oklahoma State University, possibly reducing the risk of chronic inflammation and metabolic disorders. Read more

Why Everyone’s Sweet on Tart Cherries

by in Food News & Trends, July 7, 2017

Tart cherries are enjoying a moment in the media sweet spot, hailed for their health benefits, including their usefulness in curtailing post-workout muscle pain and inflammation. They provide a healthy alternative to over-the-counter pain relief and may work on headaches, too, the Seattle Times observed. U.S. News dubbed the fruit “the newest post-workout superfood.”

 

Tart cherries aren’t new to the list of kitchen staples Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It, recommends exploring for their health benefits. Read more

Are Flavored Waters Messing with Your Tooth Enamel?

by in Healthy Tips, June 26, 2017

You’ve sworn off soda and you’re leery of juices, worried about their effects on your health and teeth. But, you figure, flavored waters, be they sparkling or still — Hint, La Croix, Ice, Poland Spring and their tasty, refreshing ilk — often pitched as a healthy alternative, should be OK, right? Except, wait, now you’re hearing that they may not be.

Are flavored waters messing with your tooth enamel? What’s a mindful sipper to do? We asked American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a professor of restorative dentistry and associate dean for outreach and diversity at the UCLA School of Dentistry, to shed some light. Read more

Clearing Up the Confusion About Salt

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, June 9, 2017

We consumers may find ourselves all shook up when it comes to salt — unsure about how to absorb the latest research, which can seem to conflict. One minute we are warned to be super-careful about our salt intake or hazard increasing our risk of a host of health woes, including high blood pressure — and are further cautioned that high sodium consumption could be raising our children’s risk of heart attack and stroke. The next minute we’re told our efforts to cut down on salt intake by easing up on our salt shakers is not going to help much — and that, in fact, consuming less sodium might not do much to lower blood pressure after all. Read more

How One Simple Vending Machine Tweak Could Prompt Healthier Choices

by in Food News & Trends, Healthy Tips, May 22, 2017

You’re at work, feeling a little hungry, low energy or just in the mood to take a break, so you stroll down to the vending machine in search of a snack. You feed some cash into the machine and choose something that catches your eye. A few minutes later, you’re sitting at your desk with an empty bag, greasy fingers and an unmistakable sense of regret. Why didn’t you choose something healthier?

 

Making snack decisions in a snap doesn’t always bring out the healthiest eater in us. To quantify this truism, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago created a device that can be installed in vending machines that delays the dispensing of unhealthy snacks (candy and chips, for instance) for 25 seconds and but allows healthier snacks (nuts, popcorn) to be dispensed straightaway. A sign on the vending machine lets people know unhealthy snacks will take extra time to receive.

 

Guess what happened when the experimental machines were made available around campus? Yep, people began to choose healthier snacks. Read more

Nut and Seed Butters Are a Trend Worth Spreading

by in Food News & Trends, May 20, 2017

Here’s a toast-worthy trend that just might stick: Nutrition experts are increasingly looking beyond trusty old peanut butter and going nuts for other sorts of protein-rich nut and seed spreads – sunflower butter, sesame butter and more. (SB&J? Why not?)

“When it comes to nut and seed butters, variety is the spice of life!” says San Diego-based nutrition coach, registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist EA Stewart, MBA, RD at The Spicy RD. Healthy Eats asked Stewart to share her thoughts about the incredible spreadable trend:

 

How do seed and other nut butters compare nutritionally to trusty old peanut butter?

While all nuts and seeds contain heart-healthy fats and fiber, each nut and seed is unique in its nutrition profile, so it’s a good idea to include a variety of them in our diets. For instance, macadamia nuts are very high in monounsaturated fats, while flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are the highest in omega-3 fats. Almonds and hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, while pumpkin and other seeds are rich in magnesium, a nutrient many of us fall short on. Bottom line: Enjoy a wide variety of nut, seed and legume (peanuts) butters in your diet to get the greatest nutrient bang for your buck. The only potential downside is to keep portion control in mind, as nut and seed butters are a concentrated source of calories, and it’s easy to go overboard. Read more

A New Study Offers Yet Another Reason to Eat Avocados

by in Food News & Trends, May 4, 2017

If you needed another reason to dip your chip (or better yet, a crisp veggie) into a bowl of yummy guacamole, a new comprehensive research review has offered a good one.

 

The review, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, evaluated the results of 129 studies to determine the effects of the avocados on various aspects of Metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Read more

The Dietary Perils of Being a Night Owl

by in Healthy Tips, April 25, 2017

Are you a morning person — awake early with the larks and sparrows — or a night person who stays up late with the owls? If you answered the latter, you may make less healthy dietary choices and be at a greater risk for obesity, a new study indicates.

Researchers in Finland who studied the behavior of 1,854 participants between the ages of 25 and 74 determined that, even though morning and night people tended to take in the same amount of calories, the timing of their intake and the kinds of foods they ate differed. Read more

Untangling the Facts About Instant Ramen Noodles

by in Healthy Tips, March 29, 2017

We know that instant ramen noodles — that cheap college-student staple — probably don’t qualify as a health food, but exactly how bad for us are they?

A 2014 study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate instant ramen noodles at least twice a week were at a 68 percent higher risk for metabolic syndrome – a group of conditions including elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar; obesity and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. So, you know, not good.

“Instant ramen is notoriously high in sodium,” explains Michelle Dudash, RDN, Cordon Bleu-certified chef and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families, noting that some brands contain 72 percent of the daily-recommended sodium limit per package.

The packaged noodles are also made with refined grain flour, fried in palm oil, and are hardly redeemed by the teensy bit of dehydrated vegetables they contain. Consequently, Dudash puts them squarely in the “unhealthy food” category. But, she adds, “one of the leading brands of instant ramen noodles offers a 35-percent-less sodium option, so that is a move in the right direction.” Read more

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