What’s the Deal With Electrolytes, Anyway?

by in Food News & Trends, August 1, 2017

You know how sports drinks – your Gatorades and your PowerAde, and their curiously colorful ilk – are always going on about all the electrolytes they’ll help you recover after a workout? While some people debate whether that’s true, others wonder what an electrolyte even is.

 

Because we’ve been hearing about them forever, we may be afraid to ask. Now we don’t have to be. The American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios have teamed up on a video that fills us all in. Read more

Buyer Beware: The Dangers of Confusing Food with Supplements

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, July 31, 2017

Are you looking for the magic pill for weight loss, increased energy or anything else that ails you? You aren’t alone. While the draw of dietary supplements is strong and the claims compelling – don’t be fooled – these products are not the same as food. For example, a recent study identified green tea extract as a potentially dangerous ingredient. While sipping on green tea can benefit health, the supplemental form commonly found in weight loss and bodybuilding supplements has been linked to many cases of liver damage. Here are 4 other supplements that are much more dangerous than their food-based counterparts.

 

Why Supplements Can Be So Dangerous

Unlike foods and medications, the dietary supplement industry has very little FDA oversight. For this reason, many products sold on store shelves and online are manufactured without proper safety testing. These dangers may be the culprit for a dramatic uptick in liver disease over the last decade. Health conscious consumers are rightfully confused. When a nutrient gets attention for its health benefits, it’s logical to look for more from a supplement, but this can do more harm than good. While there is a time and place for supplements when a true deficiency has been detected, some of the most popular nutrients out there can treat your body very differently when taken in supplement form. The good news is, however, it’s spectacularly hard to eat your way into toxicity if you stick to the whole food sources. Read more

Market Watch: Cherries

by in In Season, July 28, 2017

Sweet, tangy and conveniently bite-sized, cherries are one of the most reliable treats of summer. Beginning in June and ending in late August, the cherry season outlasts that of the other stone fruits and berries at the market. That’s because there are dozens of varieties that ripen at different times, ensuring a plentiful supply all summer long. Unlike peaches or nectarines, cherries are always sold tree-ripened, meaning that you’ll never have to sit around waiting for just the right moment to eat them.

Sweet cherries range from golden with a tinge of red to deep purple and nearly black. The most popular variety is the Bing, but other common types include the Rainier, Brooks, Sweetheart and Queen Anne. The most popular sour, or tart cherry is the Montmorency, which is harder to find fresh and is often made into juice, or sold frozen and canned. Happily, cold-tolerant cherries are grown in many regions of the country, from the Northwest and upper Midwest to the East coast. That means there’s usually a plentiful supply at roadside stands, farmer’s markets and grocery stores near you.

Read more

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

The Art of the Salad with Chef Joshua McFadden, Author of Six Seasons

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Cookbooks, July 21, 2017

When you think of Italian food, chances are hearty classics like meatballs, osso buco and pastas with a slow-cooked ragus first jump to mind. So you might be surprised that those aren’t necessarily the most crave-worthy dishes on Chef Joshua McFadden’s Roman-inspired menu at Ava Gene’s, his much-touted restaurant in Portland, Oregon: the veggies are.

 

We call them salads by default, but there really should be a different word for McFadden’s layered and complex vegetable dishes, often made with grains, nuts, cheese, and sweet-and-savory combinations of vegetables and fruits. Read more

Can Packaging Give Your Food a Health Halo?

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, July 18, 2017

We all try our best to eat healthy and buy nutritious food for our families. But the amount of information, misinformation and just plain marketing speak we’re hit with every trip to the grocery store can make goal hard to achieve. “Many foods contain front of package nutrient claims that make you think you are eating a healthy food,” says Alissa Rumsey M.S., R.D., author of Three Steps to a Healthier You. “This so-called ‘health halo’ often causes people to overeat foods they think are healthy.” Read more

Q&A with Chef Aaron Adams of Farm Spirit

by in Chefs and Restaurants, July 16, 2017

Aaron Adams knows a thing or two about making vegan food taste delicious. That was certainly my conclusion after eating at Farm Spirit, his dinner club style restaurant located in Portland, Oregon. At a cozy, 14-seat counter, he and his chefs prepare and serve a series of small dishes, featuring produce, grains, and nuts from local farms — none of which are more than 105 miles from the restaurant. By the end of the meal — up to 13 courses in all — you might imagine you’d have to roll home. Not so. Aaron’s light touch leaves you feeling satisfied, not over-stuffed. What’s more, there’s a lovely smug feeling that comes with consuming what might just have been one of the healthiest meals of your life. Recently, I had the chance to ask him about what inspires his ultra-healthy cooking style, and how home cooks might up their vegan game. Read more

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Watermelon

by in Healthy Recipes, July 14, 2017

It’s no surprise that watermelon is a healthy, hydrating and gorgeous looking summer fruit, but there are more uses for this melon than you might realize.

 

Tap It

With the help of a few power tools, turn a watermelon into a tasty adult beverage and a serving vessel. It’s one-stop shopping with a batch of this punch for 275 calories per serving.

Recipe: Watermelon Punch Keg (pictured above) Read more

6 Little Tricks to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Healthy Tips, July 11, 2017

With summer in full swing, I’m daydreaming about the travels I have planned for the season — including a couple of weeks in Europe — and about ways to make my travels healthier too. The tactic I’m using for part of my Europe trip: renting an apartment. This allows me to prep breakfast and even dinners — plus, I get the bonus of getting to cook with local produce! When my boyfriend and I were visiting the Pacific Northwest last summer, we whipped up the most delicious meal in our apartment rental, using mushrooms and huckleberries from a local farmers’ market.

 

To help you have the healthiest vacation possible, I rounded up top tips from my dietitian colleagues. I hope you put them to good use!

 

Load up on local produce. Hello, papaya and passion fruit! “Resort and cruise buffets are jam packed with fruits, vegetables, as well as lean protein options, which can help you feel full on fewer calories,” says Marisa Moore, RDN, owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition. “Fill up on those foods during your first trip to the buffet. If you’re heading to a tropical location, indulge in the abundant local fruits and vegetables, which are naturally nutritious and lower in calories.” Read more