This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, March 20, 2014

white pot
In this week’s news: Doctors embrace the food-as-medicine concept; chocolate is awesome for a whole new reason; and saturated fat (slowly) comes back into the fold.

Get Me a Spatula, Stat!
Last weekend,the Napa Valley branch of the Culinary Institute of America hosted hundreds of physicians for a medical meeting involving kitchen aprons, not lab coats. The draw was the Healthy Kitchens/Healthy Lives conference, co-sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and part of a quickly growing trend of culinary-medical cross-pollination. Come May, for example, Tulane University will debut the country’s first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school. In New York, meanwhile, celebrity chefs David Bouley and Seamus Mullen have been working with doctors Mark Hyman and Frank Lipman, respectively, to develop menu items and eating philosophies representing a drool-worthy intersection of pantry and pharmacy. (Wild mushrooms with white truffle, sweet garlic, grilled toro and coconut foam, anyone?) Fueling the trend is some pretty delicious research: In one recent study of a nonprofit program, patients whose doctors wrote them “prescriptions” to redeem at local farmers markets saw their BMI drop by an average of 37.8% in a single year.

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Taste Test: Turkey Bacon

by in Taste Test, March 20, 2014

turkey bacon
Do you reach for turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to conventional bacon? As it turns out, there’s not always a huge difference between the two when it comes to nutrition stats. An average slice of traditional pork bacon (about ½ ounce in weight) contains 35 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 130 milligrams of sodium. Now find out how the turkey version stacks up.

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The Chef’s Take: Lentil Soup with Tomato and Kale, Marco Canora

by in Chefs and Restaurants, March 19, 2014

lentil soup
“To have health and wellness,” says Marco Canora, “the best thing you can do is cook for yourself, because you control the fats and salts and you are cooking with whole foods.” These days, health and wellness are of central importance to Canora, the New York City chef who owns Hearth restaurant and five wine bars, all under the Terroir umbrella. But until a few years ago, that wasn’t the case.

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Link Between Saturated Fat Intake and Heart Disease Being Questioned

by in Food News, March 18, 2014

butter
It has been long accepted by the medical community that there is a connection between fat intake and heart disease risk. But recent studies, including one published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are calling into question the current recommendations.

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Dessert of the Month: Gluten-Free Pear and Almond Cake

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, March 18, 2014

pear cake
Here is a cake worth adding to your repertoire — it’s super-fast to put together, pleases many dietary requirements (it’s free of gluten and dairy) and can either be dressed up or down depending on how you serve it.

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5 Great Reasons to Eat Cabbage

by in Healthy Tips, March 17, 2014

corned beef and cabbage soup
Cabbage is the iconic veggie of St. Patrick’s Day, to be savored and enjoyed — with or without corned beef. Here are five very good reasons to pick up a head (or two!).

1. Help Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cabbage is part of the cruciferous veggie family, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. According to a 2012 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Urology, people who ate more vegetables from the cabbage family were found to have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Additional studies have also found that eating foods from the cruciferous group may reduce the risk of stomach, mouth, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

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Foods That Drive Dietitians Craaaazzy

by in Ask the Experts, March 16, 2014

chips
As a nutrition professional who works with food, there are many unhealthy items that, truth be told, make my skin crawl. (Those bowls made out of bacon?! I’m a bacon fan, but come on!) And I’m not alone. I polled registered dietitians from across the country to see what foods drive them bonkers. Some of answers are to be expected (deep-fried carnival foods were never going to win any nutritional awards from this crowd). But on the other end of the spectrum: Foods everyone seems to think are more virtuous than they really are (sorry, organic snack chips). Here, dietitians reveal all.

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How to Build a Better Chicken Pot Pie

by in Meal Makeovers, March 15, 2014

chicken pot pie

Order this classic dish at a restaurant, and you’re likely in for a 900-calorie meal. Opt for the frozen variety, and you won’t do much better, at around 700 calories a pop. (With both options, sodium could be double the recommended daily amount.) In other words: There are plenty of great reasons to make your own chicken pot pie!

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5 Ways to Up Your Greens Game

by in Healthy Recipes, March 14, 2014

creamed spinach
Greens that taste amazing? You better be-leaf it! These healthy, delicious sides will upgrade any main dish, assuming they don’t steal the show first. Consider these takes on spinach, collards and kale the healthiest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Creamed Spinach (above)
Okay, the term “creamed” is used lightly here, in every sense: Instead of actual cream, a blend of low-fat milk and evaporated milk makes for a rich spinach dish that’s just as satisfying as the original. Enjoy it alongside a seared top round for a guilt-free take on a steakhouse fave.

Collard Greens
Kale may get all the glory these days, but collard greens are just as nutrient-dense as those other scene-stealing leafy divas. Give collards a little love by braising them with onions and broth for a bit, then enjoy the meltingly tender result alongside baked chicken or pork tenderloin. (Kale better watch its back.) Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, March 13, 2014

green veggies

In this week’s news: time-warping with sprouted grains and hemp brownies; tracking down the four-leaf clover of kale; and betting the farm on farm-to-table real estate.

Sprouted Grains Hit the Big Time
Boomers might cop an eye roll when they hear of restaurant chain Panera Bread’s new launch. Come May, the Saint Louis-based company plans to roll out a line of sprouted-grain bagels made with rye, spelt and oat groats. Sprouts, all too familiar to those who lived through the 1970s, are grain seeds that have been soaked in water until they germinate. This results in a more nutrient-dense, higher protein food. Thanks to trendy grains like quinoa, sprouted versions have been making a comeback as protein-rich power foods (Au Bon Pain recently featured a sprouted grain roll on its menu), which is exactly how Panera plans to market it. The effort hasn’t been without its hiccups: An early version of the flax bagel made from whole seeds had to be reworked with a ground variety as consumers complained it tasted fishy.

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