by Amy Reiter in Food News, November 13, 2015
by Amy Reiter in Food News, November 6, 2015
Junk Food Is Not the Sole Culprit
While no one’s saying soda, candy and fast food are healthy, a new study suggests they alone cannot be blamed for the obesity epidemic. Cornell University Food and Brand Lab co-directors David Just, Ph.D., and Brian Wansink, Ph.D., analyzed the dietary habits of about 5,000 U.S. adults and found that, for 95 percent of the population, there was no link between the consumption of soda, candy and fast food and weight gain. “These are foods that are clearly bad for you and if you eat too much of them they will make you fat, but it doesn’t appear to be the main driver that is making people overweight and obese,” Just told HealthDay. The researchers said eating less and exercising more overall is the key to controlling weight, and they clarified that they are not endorsing a junk food diet, even in moderation. “These foods aren’t good for you,” Just said. “There is no good argument for soda in your diet.” Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, July 31, 2015
Hide the Leftover Halloween Candy
Cutting back on sugar consumption can dramatically improve the health of obese children in only 10 days, even when they remain at the same weight, a new study has found. Foods with added sugar were eliminated from the diets of the children who participated in the National Institutes of Health-backed study and replaced with other carbs to maintain calorie intake. The children’s weight was deliberately kept stable; nevertheless, all 43 children in the study showed improvements in blood pressure as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels. “We can turn a child’s metabolic health around in 10 days without changing calories and without changing weight — just by taking the added sugars out of their diet,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Benioff Children’s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times. “From a clinical standpoint, from a health care standpoint, that’s very important.” Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, June 5, 2015
So Long, Subway. Hola, Chipotle!
Subway’s stint as America’s favorite “healthy” fast-food spot has reached its end. The sandwich chain has been bested by Chipotle, where sales have grown more than 20 percent this year. Meanwhile, sales at Subway — whose (now former) spokesman Jared Fogle has recently been embroiled in a scandal that is beyond distasteful — have sunk by 3 percent. While some experts have scoffed at Chipotle, whose tasty offerings are hardly low-cal, being labeled a “healthy” choice, the burrito chain has staked its claim to the title by using fresh, high-quality ingredients, maintaining high standards in its supply chain, preparing its food on the spot and in view of customers, and consistently publicizing its efforts to improve its product. Recently Chipotle announced it would no longer use GMO ingredients. Subway, on the other hand, struggled to overcome criticism that it used a chemical used in yoga mats and shoe rubber in its bread, though it subsequently discontinued the chemical’s use. Chipotle’s rise and Subway’s decline may also indicate changing attitudes about what constitutes “healthy”: “Millennials care less about calories and more about where their food comes from,” Darren Tristano, of the food industry research firm Technomic, told Business Insider. Read more
by Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2015
Now in Season
This month brings us not only the official beginning of summer (on June 21), but also all of those wonderful summer fruits and vegetables to add to our healthy diets. Look for sweet strawberries, thick asparagus spears, fresh peas, juicy peaches, earthy summer beats, and green garlic and spring garlic to appear at your local farmers market or CSA. “It is brilliant whole grilled and on pizza, or mince it and use it as you would garlic cloves or leeks, where it will impart a slightly milder, rounder flavor,” cookbook author and food blogger Tara O’Brady told Time. Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food and Nutrition Experts, February 6, 2015
White sugar is a standby in the kitchen, but there are plenty of reasons to seek out alternatives. Alternative sweeteners lend a different flavor to foods — be they baked goods, salad dressings or cocktails — and some of them even have health benefits. (Keep in mind, though, that added sugar is added sugar, no matter the source. For your health, that should be limited to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.) Read more
by Toby Amidor in Food and Nutrition Experts, October 21, 2014
In this week’s news: New findings about sugar and diabetes are not so sweet; vitamin drinks may do more harm than good; weight training could prevent your weight from yo-yoing.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, September 19, 2014
New research is giving us another reason to question the safety of artificial sweeteners. Researchers concluded that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to diseases like obesity and diabetes. It may be another reason you should swap the pink or blue packet of the artificial stuff for something more natural.
A recent study published in the journal Nature found that folks who were given saccharin (a type of artificial sweetener) over a week developed glucose intolerance, a condition that can lead to diabetes. Additionally, researchers also analyzed close to 400 people and found that the gut bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were really different from folks who did not use the fake stuff. The study concluded that more research should be done to really determine the safety of these calorie-free sugar alternatives.
by Sally Wadyka in Trends, May 31, 2014
In this week’s news: Comfort foods are found to be not so soothing; diet soda gets a gut check; and addiction programs quit with the sweets.
Cold Comfort for Comfort Food Fans
What’s your go-to food when you’re feeling down? Carbs? Ice cream? You might as well reach for the carrot sticks and celery — or not snack at all. A new study has found that scarfing down comfort foods doesn’t actually boost mood more than eating healthier foods — or no food — does. Bad moods go away, the researchers determined, whether we eat that big pile of cookies or not. “We found no justification for people to choose comfort foods when they are distressed,” the researchers concluded, adding that they hoped their findings would lead people to skip the high-cal indulgences and “focus on other, food-free methods of improving their mood.” Read more
by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, April 17, 2014
If fat was the star dietary villain for the past few decades, sugar is quickly stepping up to take its place. The sweet stuff figures prominently in the recent documentary Fed Up. There are websites, such as I Quit Sugar, devoted to eliminating sugar from the diet. And several books published this year chronicle or advocate similar nutritional journeys, including Year of No Sugar — which recounts a family’s quest to rid their lives of added sugars — and The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, written by Dr. Mark Hyman, who just so happens to advise the Clinton family on matters of healthy eating.
In this week’s news: Mondays get even more meatless; the world learns what happens when a household bans sugar (hint: a book deal); and coupon-clipping takes a healthier turn.
Hitting the Beach — and the Tofu
Why book Canyon Ranch when you can visit Grandma in Boca? Earlier this week, the Florida city announced that it was joining Meatless Mondays — a national movement that advocates exactly what the name suggests. The logic is this: Research suggests that when you eliminate a day’s worth of meat, you’re cutting 15 percent of saturated fat intake. That, in turn, may decrease your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Twenty percent of Boca Raton’s residents are 65 or older, and with role models like Bill Clinton, whose health swami — Mark Hyman — was featured in the New York Times earlier this week, it might not be a surprise that the trend caught on.