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....

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FOOD BITES: MAY 2017

Gluten-Free Diet & Diabetes Risk

People who follow diets with little to no gluten were found to have a slightly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a few decades, according to researchers at Harvard University School of Public Health. “We wanted to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with....

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FOOD BITES: JUNE 2017

Diet Soda Can Cause Weight Gain

Diet sodas with aspartame can boost the appetite, said a study published in the International Journal of Obesity last December. The researchers found people who consumed diet drinks with aspartame felt hungrier than those who did not, and thus ended up consuming more calories.

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FOOD BITES: FEBRUARY 2017

Understanding Sticker Codes on Produce


The Price Look Up (PLU) codes on the stickers placed on fruits and vegetables reveal important information. A four-digit code that begins with a 3 or 4 means the produce was grown with modern-day agronomic techniques. This means plenty of fertilizer and pesticides. A 5-digit code beginning with the number 8 means the produce is genetically modified. The most prevalent genetically modified fruits are bananas, papayas and melons. A 5-digit code beginning with the number 9 means the produce was grown without pesticides and is not genetically modified or engineered. These items were grown and harvested using old farming methods and fall under the criteria of organic. There is no law that requires a PLU code on produce, so when you see no code, the item is not organic and other than that, there’s no information available as to where or how it was grown or harvested.


Legumes More Satiating Than Pork


Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas increase fullness more than pork or veal based meals, according to a study at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports. High-protein diets have been found to lead to weight loss. In this study, released

this past December, participants ate 12 percent fewer calories when the proteins were legumes. The researchers conclude diets high in legumes could help with weight loss.The results were published in the journal Food & Nutrition.


Nuts Cut May Health Risks


A large analysis of current research by Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows individuals who eat at least 20 grams of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. This is the equivalent of just a handful of nuts. Coronary heart disease risk is reduced by 30 percent, cancer risk by 15 percent and risk of premature death by 22 percent, according to the analysis of all current studies on nut consumption. This small amount of daily nut consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half and diabetes by nearly 40 percent.


“In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we’re starting to see data for other

diseases,” said study co-author Dagfinn Aune with the School of Public Health at Imperial. “We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food.” This includes all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, and peanuts, which are actually legumes. “Nuts and peanuts are high in fiber, magnesium and polyunsaturated fats – nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels,” Aune said. “Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecans, are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk.” Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fiber and protein, and some evidence suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time. The study further found eating more than 20 grams of nuts per day does not further improve health outcomes. The results were published in the journal BMC Medicine.

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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