If Earth Day is inspiring you to take some action to improve the health of the planet, some experts suggest you might want to start by examining your diet. Thinking about having a steak for dinner? Well, know that the pollution generated to produce your T-bone is roughly equivalent to that created by driving a small car for 29 miles. Replace it with a veggie burger this evening and it’s more like driving that car only about three miles.
If you do a Google search for “apple cider vinegar,” you will undoubtedly come away with hundreds of articles touting its myriad magical powers. Depending on whom you believe, downing regular shots of vinegar will do everything from helping you drop pounds to improving your digestion and even preventing diabetes. “Vinegar has been used medicinally for thousands of years, but evidence supporting its use for health outcomes is limited and quite recent,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at Arizona State University who studies the impact of vinegar on diabetes.
You may think that — thanks in large part to the Starbucks-ization of the latte industry — that coffee has already been made into every conceivable form. But in its latest incarnation, you’ll be more likely baking with it than brewing it. That’s because it’s turning up in a trendy new ingredient called coffee flour.
Fat has been demonized — by nutritionists, doctors and the Dietary Guidelines — for so long now that it’s hard to even remember a time when low- and no-fat foods weren’t all the rage. But one man is on a mission to change that attitude. Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, is the author of Eat Fat, Get Thin (Little, Brown and Company, 2016). “For 35 years we’ve been told to eat low fat, but the result is that we’ve cut fat and eaten a ton of carbs and sugar,” he says, which accounts for the corresponding surge in obesity, diabetes and other related ills over the same time period.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to liquid refreshment. But while it doesn’t take anything more complicated than plain old tap water to keep you hydrated, the newest beverages aren’t content to stop there. Functional beverages are drinks with a little something extra included — designed to protect your skin, boost your brainpower, reduce inflammation or help you get a better night’s sleep. The idea behind them is simple (to help you get more out of every sip), but the formulations are complex blends of vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and more.
Looking for a way to make your baked goods healthier and add extra nutrients to other everyday dishes? Then you’ll want to start keeping some pulse flours in your kitchen pantry. If you search online or in specialty grocery stores, you’ll find a wide array of flours made from pulses — like green pea, white bean, chickpea, fava bean and black bean. And more and more, you can find one or two varieties (chickpea being the most common) even at mainstream groceries.
Chances are when you hear the phrase “vegan meat,” you think of bland veggie burgers, mealy meatless sausages and the much-maligned Tofurky. But that’s about to change. Enter a new breed of meatless “meat” that’s carefully crafted and technologically engineered to truly replicate the tastes, smells and textures of the real thing — no animals required.
According to the dictionary, the word “natural” means “having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives.” But when it comes to seeing the word “natural” on a food label, the definition gets much murkier — so much so, in fact, that the FDA (which is currently reviewing the term and how it can define and regulate it) has recently extended its public comment period on the meaning of this word until May 10, 2016.
If you don’t readily recognize the word “pulses,” or know it is the official name for the category of food that includes dry peas, chickpeas, beans and lentils, you’re not alone. In fact, most Americans have no idea what pulses are. But many of those same people likely have a can of chickpeas, a bag of dried lentils or some black beans lurking on the shelves of their kitchen cupboards. And now that the United Nations has officially declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, it’s only a matter of time before this pantry staple also becomes a household word.
Pulses, it turns out, have a lot going for them in terms of nutrition, sustainability and affordability. Here are the top five reasons to start including more of them in your diet.
Every nutrient, it seems, gets to have its day in the sun (and its time in the doghouse). First fat was the enemy, then good fats suddenly became all the rage. High-protein diets have come and gone. And while carbs have been demonized by some, the high-fiber content of complex carbohydrates is predicted to be the next big thing on the dietary horizon. Read more