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
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Organic may be a good deal
If you pay the premium for pricey organic food when you shop for groceries, you may wonder if it’s worth it. A review study just published online in the journal Nature Plants has concluded that when it comes to sustainability — as measured by “productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social wellbeing” — organic food is definitely worthwhile. Read more
There’s a debate raging around dairy, with some people advocating its consumption for a variety of health reasons, and others shunning it based on their own digestive or ethical concerns. But the newly released dietary guidelines are clear: They continue to recommend three servings per day of dairy as the best way to meet the requirements for calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin A and magnesium. “The guidelines say that dairy is crucial, because for most Americans it is the primary source of those nutrients that many come up short on,” says Isabel Maples, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.
But many Americans experience symptoms of lactose intolerance that make consuming dairy products particularly unpleasant. The gas, bloating and diarrhea are caused by an inability to digest lactose — the sugar that naturally occurs in cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. Recently, however, science has started to tease out another possible explanation for many people’s post-dairy discomfort. “Researchers looked into why people who thought they were lactose-intolerant could drink goat’s milk without issue, even though it has as much lactose as cow’s milk,” says Bonnie Johnson, M.S., R.D., nutrition director, a2 Milk Company.
Move over, sweet and salty; hello, sweet heat. This flavor combo that gives a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) burn to sweet foods has been steadily gaining traction. And it’s moving far beyond chile chocolate and jalapeno margaritas. This Valentine’s Day, check out some of the latest offerings to sport the sweet-hot flavor combo.
Here’s where we’ve spotted it:
New hurdle for genetically modified salmon
Looks like it’s going to be an upstream battle for purveyors of genetically modified salmon. A scant two months after U.S. authorities deemed it safe for human consumption, the FDA has issued a ban on the import and sale of genetically engineered salmon until the agency sets forth guidelines as to how it should be labeled — a step that, the Washington Post notes, could take years. The ban was issued in response to a bill recently passed by Congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, who had pushed for labeling, called it “a huge step in our fight against ‘Frankenfish,’” adding that she believes “mandatory labeling guidelines must be put in place as soon as possible so consumers know what it is they are purchasing.” Read more
Purple lovers, unite! We’ve spied (and tasted) a bunch of products made from antioxidant-packed purple corn and are happy to report much of it is really good!
The popularity of home-delivery cooking services continues to grow. Think beyond meal programs: Now smoothie and juice lovers can get in on the action. We took a few of the most-popular options for a whirl in our blenders.
Diets Are Out, but Healthy Is In
Have you given up dieting? Consider yourself on-trend. Brand-name diets like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine are falling out of fashion, NPR’s The Salt reported. Healthy eating is in. In a recent survey by the market research firm Mintel, 94 percent of respondents said they’ve ceased to see themselves as “dieters” and doubt the healthfulness of brand-name diets. “Consumers are not dieting in the traditional sense anymore — being on programs or buying foods specific to programs,” Mintel analyst Marissa Gilbert told The Salt. Those who are trying to lose weight are increasingly taking what market research firm Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy described as “a more holistic, more health and wellness approach.”
Eat right, sleep tight
Looking for a good night’s sleep? (Who isn’t?) Try eating foods that are high in fiber. A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, concludes that eating a high-fiber diet may correlate with sleep that is deeper and more restorative, with few interruptions — it’s called “slow wave sleep” — whereas consuming a diet that is low in fiber and high in saturated fat and sugar has the opposite effect. What’s more, the researchers found, just one day of high-fat, low-fiber eating can negatively affect the quality of your night’s sleep. So you may want to lay off the buttery sugar cookies before bedtime — or have a high-fiber snack instead.
It’s true: You can have your cheese and eat it, too, especially on this national food holiday. Many cheeses are naturally lower in fat and calories, like Parmesan and Romano. Use the size of your thumb for measuring the proper portion, which is about an ounce of cheese. One ounce of Parmesan has more protein than the same amount of red meat (10 grams) and clocks in at 111 calories, 7 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat. An ounce of whole-milk mozzarella has 85 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat. Cheese also has calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorus, and counts towards the USDA’s recommendation of three daily servings of dairy.