January 2015

View or Print a Copy of the Entire January 2015 Issue of Environmental Nutrition

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The Skinny on Unrefined Plant Oils

Today, the cooking oil aisle at the grocery store is more crowded than ever, selling oils from a variety of sources—nuts, seeds, and fruits—each with their own unique flavor, nutritional profile, and health benefits.

Sandwiches: Heavy on Sodium

A favorite for lunch—and increasingly breakfast and dinner, too—sandwiches make up a large part of American diets, and also are a significant contributor to sodium intake. According to a USDA study, 49 percent of U.S. adults eat at least one sandwich per day, which accounts for one-fifth of total sodium intake.

New Report on Diet for Breast Cancer Survivors

Subscribers Only - A new report outlines four lifestyle strategies that can lead to longer survival for women diagnosed with breast cancer: A healthy body weight Being physically active Eating foods containing fiber and soy A lower intake of fat, particularly saturated fat

Spilling the Beans on Bulletproof Coffee; Peppermint Eases IBS

Drinking “bulletproof “ coffee, a trend that emerged from high fat and “Paleo” diets, involves adding 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil directly to your morning cup of coffee as a breakfast replacement. Dave Asprey, the founder of a bulletproof line of products, claims the motivation for his product line came in a Nepalese village where he was energized by yak butter tea. On his website he sells the specific coffee beans and coconut oil required to get the supposed benefits. His theory is that high fat diets reduce insulin-response, curb hunger and lead to weight loss.

A Twist of Lemon Can Trim Salt

Subscribers Only - Most good cooks understand the secret of lemons: These citrus fruits are indispensable ingredients in your kitchen, offering a bold array of aromas and flavors—sour, fresh, and zesty. With every squeeze of juice and pinch of zest, lemons can brighten savory dishes, soups, pastas, salads, baked goods, and desserts—all with zero fat and sodium. And the trademark flavor of lemons may have an added nutritional bonus; recent research found that using lemon juice and lemon zest can help decrease the amount of sodium you add to recipes, without sacrificing flavor.

The New Gluten-Free Food Label

Subscribers Only - The demand for food products devoid of gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and like grains, continues to rise, along with the growing percentage of people who must avoid it due to gluten sensitivity, allergies, or celiac disease, the inherited, inflammatory, chronic autoimmune digestive disorder. So, the new gluten-free label, which ensures the reliability of gluten-free products, is a welcome addition on our grocery shelves.

Make Your Diet More Nutrient-Dense

Subscribers Only - When you turn over a packaged product in the grocery store to read the nutritional breakdown, it’s tempting to look at the calories first—we’ve been bombarded for years with messages that calories count most when it comes to the battle of the bulge. Yet, nutrition experts are increasingly using the terms “nutrient density” and “nutrient-rich” to describe the foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins—we should be eating more of, with less focus on their calories.

The Best Plant-Based Milks

Subscribers Only - A generation or so ago people who were lactose intolerant, had milk allergies, or special dietary preferences didn’t have many options for a milk replacement. If you couldn’t find soymilk at your local supermarket, you had to rely on non-dairy creamer to moisten your breakfast cereal or add to coffee. But in the past few years the number of dairy milk alternatives has exploded. You can find milk-like beverages made from all sorts of plants, including nuts, seeds, and grains.

Pescetarian Diet: Swimming in Benefits

Subscribers Only - Think something’s fishy about a pescetarian diet? Think again! More people are interested in this style of eating, which may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Pescetarians avoid red meat and poultry, yet eat all manner of seafood, including fish, shrimp, and clams, along with dairy, eggs, and an abundance of plant foods. Janis Jibrin, MS, RD, author of The Pescetarian Plan, says, “Following a pescetarian diet could potentially lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, erectile dysfunction, and depression.”

Diet Meals on Demand

Subscribers Only - Diets wouldn’t be nearly as challenging an undertaking if you removed all of the planning, shopping, measuring and counting involved. But diet delivery programs do all of that for you, and meals appear right on your doorstep. No preparation, no impulse shopping buys, no worries—and the weight comes off! Great as these services can be, however, there are a lot of programs out there that may or may not be realistic for sustainable and healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Heart-Healthy Walnuts

Subscribers Only - The folklore. Walnuts are one of the oldest tree foods known to man, cultivated as early as 7,000 B.C. Often called the “Persian walnut,” since it’s believed they came from ancient Persia, it soon gained the moniker “English walnut” due to English merchant mariners trading it around the world. Ancient Greeks and Romans wrote of the walnut’s many medicinal purposes, such as counteracting poisons and removing bruises, but they were also believed to be an aphrodisiac and fertility aid.

Research Roundup: January 2015

Regular consumption of freeze-dried mango has a positive impact on fasting blood glucose, without negatively impacting body weight, according to researchers. Study participants, 20 obese adults aged 20-50, consumed 10 grams of ground, freeze-dried mango pulp (the equivalent of half a fresh mango) for 12 weeks. Blood glucose levels were lowered in all participants. Researchers say results may be due to mango’s fiber and phytochemical, mangiferin.