FOOD BITES: OCTOBER 2017

U.S. Obesity Rates Begin to Level

After years of increasing, adult obesity rates remained stable in 45 states from 2015 to 2016, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit health advocacy organization, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds health research.

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FOOD BITES: SEPTEMBER 2017

Tomatoes No Longer Considered ‘Poison Apples’

Originating in Mesoamerica, tomatoes were part of the Aztecs’ diet as early as 700 A.D., but they weren’t grown in Britain until the 1590s. First arriving in southern Europe in the early 16th century via Spanish conquistadors returning from Mesoamerica, the tomato was considered a “poison apple”

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FOOD BITES: DECEMBER 2017

Milk Proteins Make Edible  Wrapping

To create an all-around better packaging solution, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is developing environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein to wrap meats, cheese and other food items. “The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage,”

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FOOD BITES: APRIL 2017

Don’t Reheat These Foods

Some foods can lose their health benefits or even cause food poisoning if they are reheated in a microwave. Celery and spinach contain nitrates that turn into toxic nitrates and carcinogenic nitrosamines after reheating. Eggs can also become toxic after reheating, so it’s best to use leftover eggs cold in a salad or sandwich or throw them away. Mushrooms have a high content of proteins, vitamins and amino acids, but they are not digested very well most of the time and this is further complicated when they are reheated. This can cause stomach ache and bloating. Reheated potatoes lose their taste and health benefits and can even cause botulism if they’re stored in aluminum foil at room temperature.


New Use-By Dates

Two major industry associations are encouraging retailers and manufacturers to make the switch to only two product date labels – “best if used by” and “use by.” “Best if used by” describes when the item may not taste as expected but is safe to consume, whereas “use by” applies to highly perishable products or those that have food safety concerns over time. Manufacturers have until July 2018 to make the switch.


Possible Non-Gluten Causes for Wheat Sensitivities

New clues as to why people who do not have celiac disease have wheat sen- sitivities were presented at the 2016 United European

Gastroenterology Conference. These individuals have damaged intestinal linings and higher levels of systemic inflammation in their blood tests. A group of non-gluten proteins can trigger symptoms of asthma, chronic pain and more. Amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) only account for about 4 percent of wheat proteins, but they’re powerful. ATIs can trigger inflammation in the gut, lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain, say the international researchers.


These inflammations can exacerbate autoimmune conditions such rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease. ATIs and gluten produce similar but distinct reactions in the body, says lead researcher Detlef Schuppan of Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. “ATIs from wheat that are also contaminating commercial gluten activate specific types of immune cells in the gut and other tissues, thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory illnesses,” Schuppan said in a statement.


ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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