shipperx: (Chrstimas - Balls!)
I made this at Thanksgiving to serve with pumpkin pie.  I could see it as going with apple pie or some sort of chocolate as well.  Heck, it's delicious all on its own.

Turned out really, really well.



Ginger Ice Cream (From Gourmet Magazine)

4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated fresh gingerroot
2 Tbs water
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crystallized ginger

In a large bowl lightly whisk yolks. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, fresh gingerroot, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add hot half-and-half mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over
moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F.
(Do not let boil.)

Pour custard through a sieve into cleaned bowl and stir in cream and vanilla. Cool custard. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.

Finely chop crystallized ginger. Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker, adding crystallized ginger three fourths of way through freezing process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.



CUSTOMIZATION:  

1) I added 1/4tsp of ground cardamom when I added the vanilla.

2) Reading the comments, there were several saying that there were too many mushy ginger pieces in it, so I strained out 2/3 of the ginger before freezing it.  While freezing, I buttered then toasted some pecan bits plus ground up a couple of tablespoons of crystalized ginger.  I then folded in the pecans and crystalized ginger dust before transfering to a container and placing in the freezer.



The texture of the ice cream was really good, and it was pretty darn tasty.
shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
So I suppose the polar vortex is back, huh.  It's extremely cold for this time of year (at least around here).  Though there's sunlight and the weather is beautiful, it is cold.    And, since it's cold, the thought of vegetable soup appealed.

It's relatively low carb (and primal) since I don't use potatoes (though of course you could).


Marinate 1 pound beef shank w/ salt, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp thyme, 1tbs vinegar, 1tbs olive oil, 2 tsp mustard powder


Cover steak and refrigerate 1 hour up to 24 hours

Heat 1 tbs peanut or canola oil in skillet, sear steak on each side (appx 3 min each side) transfer to crockpot set on medium (or pre-heated oven (325F) + dutch oven) w/ 1 cup chicken stock

Drain excess oil from skillet and add aromatics

Chopped aromatics:

3 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 shallot
1 small yellow onion

"sweat" aromatics in skillet (IOW cook until soft)
add salt, black pepper 1tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp garlic salt and/or dried garlic

Deglaze skillet w/ 1tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 red or white wine

Bring to simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

Add 1 14 ounce can of tomatoes (and any whole cherry tomatoes you happen to have around)
Add 2 cups beef broth
Add 2 tsp Thai Chili Oil

Bring liquid to simmer,
Pour liquid over steak in crockpot

Prepare root vegetables.

Root vegetables:

1 small celery root (celeriac)
1 small turnip
2 carrots
(Potato and/or sweet potato can be used as well as or in place of)
1 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
1tsp black pepper
2 tsp thyme

Heat 1 tbs olive oil in skillet. Add root vegetables, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pan roast mixture until lightly browned (appx 10 minutes)

Add root vegetable mixture to crockpot set on medium
Cook for 3 hours

Remove shank steak, stripping and chopping meat return to crockpot
Add 1/2 cup peas and 1/2 cut frozen green beans to crock pot

Cook another 20 mintutes +/-

salt and pepper to taste

Serve

Can be frozen and is better the 2nd day.

Makes 3 1/2 - 4 quarts of vegetable soup
shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
From i09.com:

Scientists Fail To Find Link Between Fat Consumption and Heart Disease

For years we've been told to reduce our consumption of saturated fats as a sure-fire way to prevent heart disease. But a recent analysis of 45 studies and 27 trials involving over 600,000 participants is forcing a rethink of this long held — and apparently erroneous — assumption.

The primary takeaway of this study is not necessarily that saturated fats don't contribute to heart disease (a link that's now most certainly been cast into doubt) — but that food and the way it affects our health is an incredibly complicated and multifaceted process. One of the study's authors, Dariush Mozaffarian of the department of epidemiology at Harvard University in Boston, put it best by saying: "Guidelines that focus on the nutrients, single nutrients, as targets for preventing chronic diseases don't make a lot of sense. I think we need to move to food-based guidelines, to really talk about food, not nutrients."

Indeed, a prime example of this problem is the unwarranted focus on cholesterol and its apparent association with cardiovascular disease — the so-called LDL-heart disease hypothesis. Recently, however, physicians are coming to realize that cholesterol levels do not strongly predict our chances of developing heart disease, and there are now over a dozen studies that prove it. The notion that lowering saturated fats — which are typically consumed via butter, whole milk, red meat, poultry, coconut oil, and nuts — will lower bad cholesterol is predicated on some rather shaky ideas.

And now, as the new meta-study shows, there's insufficient data to support current guidelines restricting the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease.

For the study, which now appears in the Internal Annals of Medicine, researchers evaluated data from 72 unique studies analyzing over 600,000 participants from 18 nations. Results showed that total saturated fatty acid, whether it was measured in the diet or in the bloodstream, could not be associated with coronary disease risk. Also, intake of total monounsaturated fatty acids, long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids could not be linked to cardiovascular risk.

Actually, what they did find was that circulating levels of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (two main types of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish), and an omega-6 fat were associated with lower coronary risk. However, after investigating the effects of of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplementations on reducing coronary disease, they did not find any significant effects.

Not surprisingly, the researchers also reaffirmed what most of us already know — trans fats are evil.

"These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific inquiry and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines," noted lead author Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury of the University of Cambridge. Indeed, given that more than 17-million people died from a cardiovascular disease in 2008, it's critical to have guidelines that are actually backed by scientific evidence.

Now it's important to note that this doesn't mean you should run out and start eating foods laden in saturated fats with reckless abandon. As already noted, it's the overall quality of the foods that matter. If you down a fast food hamburger, you're probably taking in more sodium and wheat than what's considered healthy.

What's more, as stated by Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation: "This analysis of existing data suggests there isn't enough evidence to say that a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats but low in saturated fats reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. But large scale clinical studies are needed, as these researchers recommend, before making a conclusive judgement."

According to Pearson, in addition to taking necessary medication, the best way to stay heart healthy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including smoking cessation, staying active, and ensuring an overall healthy diet. This includes not only the fats in our diet but also our intake of salt, sugar and fruit and vegetables.



shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
Saw this on [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo's journal the other day:

[livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni has come up with the idea to cook something new from existing recipe books, one a month. Because I don't know about you, but I tend to get down to a standard few selections from each book and then only get them out for those recipes. And I am giving these massive books too much houseroom for that. Which sounds like fun. So I'm going to give this a try and she suggested the second Monday of the month so that would be the 13th.


I tend to cook more on weekends, and today being cold and gray, I thought I'd spend time doing some comfort food. So the recipe I'm trying this month is a classic pot roast with roasted vegetables (sounds good for a nasty gray winter's day)

2 teaspoon2 chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 2-3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
3 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1x1/2-inch rectangles
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 large onions, thinly sliced
6 small shallots, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaf
2 large carrots peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips cut into 1-inch pieces
Don't care for parsnips and don't have any around, so I'm going to use 1 small turnip root instead
1 small celery root, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup mushrooms



Combine first six ingredients as a rub for the chuck roast

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cook bacon on low heat in heavy pan such as a dutch oven until lightly crisp. Remove bacon, leaving behind the drippings.

Increase the heat and brown roast on all sides. Maintain heat so that the meat sizzles but does not burn. Appx 15-20 minutes

Remove meat. Retain 2tbs of drippings.

Deglaze the pan, adding wine to the drippings and scraping up the browned bits. Boil until reduced by half (appx 5 minutes).

Add broth and bacon.

Place roast on top of bacon.

Scatter onions, shallots, garlic and bay leaf around the roast.

Cover and cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of your roast (Turn the roast over every 20-30 minutes for more even cooking. Add water by the 1/4cp as needed if dry).

Remove meat from pan. Add vegetables to bottom of the pan then return the meat. Cook until vegetables are fork tender and the meat's internal thermometer is 130F for medium rare to 150 to medium well.




So, that's my plan for the day. We'll see.

ETA: Made it. The flavor was quite good. Very nummy. The beef was a bit tough. Next time I make it I'll probably look for a more marbled roast and will lower the temp to 300F and cook longer but lower.
shipperx: (Chrstimas - Balls!)
Happy New Year...which Southern tradition says should include a meal of black-eye peas, "greens" (any leafy will do but collard greens are most traditional) and also there tends to be pork. I don't complain. Personally, I really like black-eyed peas and collard greens (yes, I really am that Southern).

Article on the topic:


Have you ever wondered how the tradition of eating pork, greens and black-eyed peas developed or what the different foods represent?

Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are perhaps the most well-known New Year’s Day dish in the South. The origins of the black-eyed pea itself date back to prehistoric times.

The pea, which is technically a bean and not a pea, is believed to have been domesticated in Africa 5,000 years ago. Later, the beans reached the Americas via slave ships.

The beans were utilized as food for enslaved passengers aboard the ships. One of the earliest records of black-eyed peas being planted in colonial times in the United States dates back to the early 1700s in the Carolinas.

Black-eyed pea plants were often planted along the border of fields to enrich the soil with nitrogen. Cattle could also graze on the plant stem and vine, leading to the alternative names of field peas and cow peas for the plant.

Eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the year is believed to bring good luck in the coming year. Although exactly how the black-eyed pea became associated with good luck and prosperity is in question, it is believed that the tradition began during the Civil War.

Black-eyed peas were the only food spared by Gen. William T. Sherman and his Union troops during their destructive march through the South. Union troops found the beans to be fit only for use as animal fodder.

Thus, black-eyed peas helped save surviving Confederates from starvation and were thereafter regarded as a symbol of good luck.

The tradition of consuming black-eyed peas in honor of the New Year may also be tied to Jewish culture. The Talmud lists the small white bean as a food to be eaten during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, for good fortune.

Sephardic Jews arrived in the American South in the early 18th century. Their culture and traditions likely mingled with those of African slaves and other colonial residents to spread the practice of eating black-eyed peas in celebration of the New Year.

Greens

The greens that are eaten on New Year’s Day represent wealth as they are flat and green like paper money. In the South, the types of greens commonly consumed are cabbage, collards, mustard greens and turnip greens.

Pork

Pork has long been a celebratory food in many cultures. Throughout history, the amount of pigs and other livestock that a family owned was a sign of the family’s financial status. The ability to own and slaughter a pig was regarded as a symbol of prosperity. Therefore, pork is still eaten today in both the southern United States and many other countries in hopes of prosperity and a bountiful harvest during the upcoming year.

Pigs are also symbols of progress in folklore. The animals move forward while using their snout to root for food and symbolize forward and progressive movement into the year ahead.

Even if you are not superstitious, it is worth noting that greens, black-eyed peas, and small amounts of pork are very nutritious foods. Consuming dark, leafy greens and beans can help us all get a healthy start to our new year.

Greens, particularly, mustard, spinach, kale, turnip and collards are rich in vitamins A, C, K and folate, and contain calcium and potassium.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that adults eat 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. Both greens and black-eyed peas can help us meet the recommended intake of vegetables.

Black-eyed peas and other beans may also be used as substitutes for meat in the protein foods group. With 7 grams of protein per one half cup serving of frozen, boiled beans, black-eyed peas are an excellent source of plant protein. The beans provide zinc and iron, which help keep our immune system functioning properly and allow us to carry oxygen in our blood.

Black-eyed peas are also excellent sources of dietary fiber, with 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is 20 percent of the recommended daily value, per one-half cup serving. Diets that are rich in foods containing fiber, such as beans and vegetables, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

This year when you sit down to enjoy your New Year’s Day meal, I hope that you will think about not only the history behind the New Year’s Day tradition of eating pork, greens and black-eyed peas, but also the nutritional benefits that these foods can provide to keep you and your family healthy in the year ahead.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2014/01/01/2855555/the-story-behind-traditional-new.html#storylink=cpy



shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
from nerdfitness.com:

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/06/27/how-to-not-get-scammed-by-food-labels-plus-were-hiring/#more-19151

Food marketers are clever.

In the quest for the almighty dollar, companies continually find new ways to make you feel like buying their product is the best possible choice. For a while, it was all about bigger, better, greasier, more delicious.

But as our country became bigger and bigger, the topic of conversation turned to “how can we get healthier?”

So marketers had to change up their tactics. Instead of promoting the unhealthy, they started rebranding and repackaging their products with healthy buzzwords to make you THINK you’re eating healthier, while still making incredibly unhealthy products that keep you addicted to them.

That Lucky Charms Leprechaun is full of sh**! If anybody thinks that sugary cereal is healthy because the box says “made with heart healthy whole grains” they’re kidding themselves. But making the healthy choice isn’t always so obvious: Read more... )
shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
Posted primarily to save the recipe for myself. I haven't tried it yet, but like the recipe's author, collard greens are one of my favorite greens, so I'm interested.

I love collard greens. They may be my favorite green food – well, second to mint chocolate chip ice cream, at least. They’ve been in use for at least 2,000 years; the ancient Greeks cultivated them along with kale.

I typically simmer my collard greens with chicken broth and apple cider vinegar, and it’s always delicious, although it can get a little boring. So a while back I consulted my buddy, the internet, to find another use for collard greens. During my search, I kept coming across the word Sukuma Wiki, the Swahili name for collard greens. Sukuma Wiki literally translates to “push/stretch the week” – collard greens are available year-round in East Africa, and are used to stretch meals out to last all week.

In the culinary world, Sukuma Wiki is a common name for a Kenyan dish of braised collard greens, usually prepared with ground meat, tomatoes, and onions. Turns out that this dish is dead easy to make, both in terms of time/preparation and ingredients. I was able to whip it up using stuff already in my pantry, and it’s always nice to find another use for ground beef. But the best part about this dish is its taste: it’s absolutely delicious, and has just a hint of exoticness to make it remarkable. One thing that sets this dish apart is that the collard greens are simply wilted down, and so they retain a slightly crunchy texture that really complements the ground beef.

Serves four

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each sea salt, cumin, coriander
1/2 tsp each black pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground fennel seeds, turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1 bunch collard greens (about 8 leaves), stems removed, sliced into 1″ strips
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice

Be sure to prep everything before starting to cook; this is a relatively quick dish, so you want to have everything on hand when you need it.

Warm the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for a minute, then add the onion. Sauté the onion until softened, about four minutes. Add the chopped garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the ground beef and seasonings, and cook until mostly done, about six minutes, stirring frequently so the ground beef doesn’t clump.

Add the collard greens and tomatoes, and sauté until the collard greens are wilted, about four minutes. Stir everything around carefully as it cooks – be sure to do this step gently so you don’t mush up the tomatoes.

Add the lemon juice and season to taste by adding salt and pepper as needed, and serve immediately. This dish is typically served with a flatbread called Chapati, but we just enjoyed it on its own.


Sounds do-able. I'll have to try it out.

Sugar

Jul. 26th, 2013 01:06 pm
shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
From National Geographic:

Sugar Love

Mosques of Marzipan
In the beginning, on the island of New Guinea, where sugarcane was domesticated some 10,000 years ago, people picked cane and ate it raw, chewing a stem until the taste hit their tongue like a starburst...


I did this as a kid, myself. They used to have whole canes of it down at Tite's (a little local grocery store). We would peel and trim shoots and then chew and suck on them. (Of course, we'd also pick off honeysuckles, pull their stamens and lick the juice off those as well). :)

A kind of elixir, a cure for every ailment, an answer for every mood, sugar featured prominently in ancient New Guinean myths. In one the first man makes love to a stalk of cane, yielding the human race. At religious ceremonies priests sipped sugar water from coconut shells, a beverage since replaced in sacred ceremonies with cans of Coke.

Sugar spread slowly from island to island, finally reaching the Asian mainland around 1000 B.C. By A.D. 500 it was being processed into a powder in India and used as a medicine for headaches, stomach flutters, impotence. For years sugar refinement remained a secret science, passed master to apprentice. By 600 the art had spread to Persia, where rulers entertained guests with a plethora of sweets. When Arab armies conquered the region, they carried away the knowledge and love of sugar. It was like throwing paint at a fan: first here, then there, sugar turning up wherever Allah was worshipped. “Wherever they went, the Arabs brought with them sugar, the product and the technology of its production,” writes Sidney Mintz in Sweetness and Power. “Sugar, we are told, followed the Koran.”...


Hey, I think they may have accidentally found a way to cure the 'obesity epidemic', start screaming that it's Sharia sugar!

Marveled at, prayed in, devoured by the poor. The Arabs perfected sugar refinement and turned it into an industry. The work was brutally difficult. The heat of the fields, the flash of the scythes, the smoke of the boiling rooms, the crush of the mills. By 1500, with the demand for sugar surging, the work was considered suitable only for the lowest of laborers. Many of the field hands were prisoners of war, eastern Europeans captured when Muslim and Christian armies clashed.

Perhaps the first Europeans to fall in love with sugar were British and French crusaders who went east to wrest the Holy Land from the infidel. They came home full of visions and stories and memories of sugar. As cane is not at its most productive in temperate climes—it needs tropical, rain-drenched fields to flourish—the first European market was built on a trickle of Muslim trade, and the sugar that reached the West was consumed only by the nobility, so rare it was classified as a spice. But with the spread of the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s, trade with the East became more difficult. To the Western elite who had fallen under sugar’s spell there were few options: deal with the small southern European sugar manufacturers, defeat the Turk, or develop new sources of sugar.


{...}

...there was no stopping the boom. Sugar was the oil of its day. The more you tasted, the more you wanted. In 1700 the average Englishman consumed 4 pounds a year. In 1800 the common man ate 18 pounds of sugar. In 1870 that same sweet-toothed bloke was eating 47 pounds annually. Was he satisfied? Of course not! By 1900 he was up to 100 pounds a year. In that span of 30 years, world production of cane and beet sugar exploded from 2.8 million tons a year to 13 million plus. Today the average American consumes 77 pounds of added sugar annually, or more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.


{...}

“It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.”

Richard Johnson, a nephrologist at the University of Colorado Denver, was talking to me in his office in Aurora, Colorado, the Rockies crowding the horizon. He’s a big man with eyes that sparkle when he talks. “Why is it that one-third of adults [worldwide] have high blood pressure, when in 1900 only 5 percent had high blood pressure?” he asked. “Why did 153 million people have diabetes in 1980, and now we’re up to 347 million? Why are more and more Americans obese? Sugar, we believe, is one of the culprits, if not the major culprit.” {...}

As far back as 1675, when western Europe was experiencing its first sugar boom, Thomas Willis, a physician and founding member of Britain’s Royal Society, noted that the urine of people afflicted with diabetes tasted “wonderfully sweet, as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.” Two hundred and fifty years later Haven Emerson at Columbia University pointed out that a remarkable increase in deaths from diabetes between 1900 and 1920 corresponded with an increase in sugar consumption. And in the 1960s the British nutrition expert John Yudkin conducted a series of experiments on animals and people showing that high amounts of sugar in the diet led to high levels of fat and insulin in the blood—risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. But Yudkin’s message was drowned out by a chorus of other scientists blaming the rising rates of obesity and heart disease instead on cholesterol caused by too much saturated fat in the diet.

As a result, fat makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did 20 years ago. Yet the portion of America that is obese has only grown larger. The primary reason, says Johnson, along with other experts, is sugar, and in particular fructose. {...} Recently the American Heart Association added its voice to the warnings against too much added sugar in the diet. But its rationale is that sugar provides calories with no nutritional benefit. According to Johnson and his colleagues, this misses the point. Excessive sugar isn’t just empty calories; it’s toxic.

“It has nothing to do with its calories,” says endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco. “Sugar is a poison by itself when consumed at high doses.” {...}

Johnson summed up the conventional wisdom this way: Americans are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar, which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch.


Full Article Here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/08/sugar/cohen-text
shipperx: (GOT Dany)

Just made this one up for dinner yesterday and served alongside grilled chicken

Cucumber Mango Avocado Salad  (4-6 servings)


  • 2 Mangos

  • 1 Cucumber

  • 1 Avocado

  • 2 Scallions

  • Fresh Basil & Parsley

  • 1 Bag Arugula

  • 2 Tbs Alessi White Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Tbs Plain Greek Yogurt

  • 1/2 Tbs Honey (Optional)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and chop mango, cucumber, and avocado into 1/2" cubes, chop scallion, basil and parsley. Add 2 tbs vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss. Add 1 tbs greek yogurt. Toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Add honey if desired.

Serve on a bed of arugula

Appx. 150 cals per serving (14 carbs, 10 fat, 2 protein, 4 fiber, 9 sugar (with honey included)

shipperx: (GOT Dany)
With summer here, tomatoes are ripening.   This little yellow heirloom cherry tomato (sun sugar) has been a particularly good producer so far (and a really tasty one).

After spending WAY too much time over the years watching Top Chef and Chopped and seeing them use watermelon in ways I hadn't thought of, I decided to experiment a little (and resort to google).  Turns out watermelon and tomato make an awesome combo.   So, recently I've been making variations of this salad/chutney a lot and pairing it with grilled chicken or steak.

Watermelon-Tomato Salad

  • 3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks (or 7 or 9 halved cherry tomatoes)

  • (optional) 1 small English or regular cucumber, peeled,  cut into cubes

  • An equal amount of seedless watermelon flesh, cut to the same size as the tomatos and cucumber

  • 1 tablespoon (preferably fresh) herb of choice (basil, tarragon, cilantro, or mint)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white balsalmic vinegar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Combine in bowl, toss together, best served cold (so it's quite nice on a hot summer day)

    You can add avocado if you want to make it richer and heavier to be a meal on its own.
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
From Popular Science:

Read more... )
shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
From i09 (which is strange because I go there to read up on fannish matters not nutrition, but for some strange reason they had this article today. Huh.) :

The Rules of Good Nutrition (that everyone agrees on)

Fewer things can generate more controversy and disagreement than discussions about food and nutrition. It often seems that people will never reach any kind of consensus on what we should and shouldn't eat. But there may actually be a few exceptions to this. Here are 10 nutrition facts that everyone actually agrees on — well, perhaps almost everyone.


1. Added Sugar is a Disaster

We all know that added sugar is bad. Some think sugar is a simple matter of “empty” calories, while others believe it to cause diseases that kill millions of people each year.

It is definitely true that added sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contains empty calories. There are no nutrients in it and if you eat a lot of sugar then you’re likely to become deficient because you aren’t getting enough foods that actually have nutrients in them.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are other, much more serious dangers of sugar that are now reaching mainstream attention.

Sugar, mainly due to the high fructose content, is being implicated as a leading cause of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes (1, 2, 3).

How does fructose do this? Well, fructose is metabolized strictly by the liver over time, causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Fructose also makes our brains resistant to a hormone called leptin, which effectively makes our brains want to get fat (10, 11, 12). This way, eating an excess of added sugars sets up a relentless biochemical drive in the brain to keep eating sugar, getting fatter and eating even more sugar.

Bottom Line: Added sugar provides empty calories and is believed to be a leading cause of diseases that kill millions of people each year.



2. Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial and Most People Don’t Get Enough

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper functioning of the human body.

For example, DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from animals, makes up about 40% of the polyunsaturated fats in the brain (13). Being deficient in Omega-3 (very common) is associated with a lower IQ, depression, various mental disorders, heart disease and many other serious diseases (14).

There are three main sources of Omega-3 fats: ALA (from plants mostly), DHA and EPA (from animals). The plant form, ALA, needs to get transformed into DHA or EPA in order to function correctly in the human body. There is some evidence that this conversion process is ineffective in humans (15).

Therefore, it is best to get Omega-3 fats from animal sources, including fish, grass-fed meat, Omega-3 enriched or pasturized eggs, or fish oil.

Bottom Line: A large part of the population is Omega-3 deficient. Avoiding a deficiency in these essential fatty acids can help prevent many diseases.

3. There is No Perfect Diet For Everyone

We are all unique, and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat.

Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet. The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next.Read more... )

Bottom Line: The best diet for YOU is the one you get results with and that you can stick to in the long term.

4. Trans Fats Are Very Unhealthy and Should be Avoided
Read more... )

Bottom Line: Trans Fats are chemically processed fats that cause all sorts of damage in the body. You should avoid them like the plague.

5. Eating Vegetables Will Improve Your Health

Vegetables are good for you.Read more... )

Bottom Line: Vegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients. Eating vegetables each day is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.

6. It is Critical to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency

Read more... )

Bottom Line: Vitamin D is a crucial hormone in the body and many people are deficient in it. Reversing a deficiency can have powerful health benefits.

7. Refined Carbohydrates Are Bad For You

There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat. Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases. But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are at the very least worse than unrefined carbohydrates.

There are some nutrients in high-carb foods like grains that can be beneficial. However, when you process the grains you remove most of the nutrients and then there’s nothing left but the bad stuffRead more... ) It is very clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are at least a lot better than their refined, processed counterparts (30, 31).

Bottom Line: Refined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.

8. Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods

Read more... )

But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.

Bottom Line: It is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.

9. “Diets” Don’t Work, a Lifestyle Change is Necessary

“Diets” are ineffective. That is a fact. They may lead to short-term results, but as soon as you return to eating junk food you will gain the weight back. This is called yo-yo dieting and is extremely common. Most people that lose a lot of weight on a diet end up gaining it back whenever they “stop” the diet. For this reason, the only thing that can give you actual long-term results is to adopt a lifestyle change.

Bottom Line: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure long term weight loss and a lifetime of improved health.

10. Unprocessed Food is Healthiest

Read more... )

Basically, processed foods have less of the good stuff and a LOT more of the bad stuff. The most important thing you can do to ensure optimal health is to “eat real food.”
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
So after reading a bunch of different books on nutrition and listening to UCBerkley's online lectures on nutrition, etc. And, since I'm dieting to actively lose weight, I've settled on a strategy of restricting sugar and flour - aka highly refined carbs. In truth, it sort of boils down to restricting carbs, because in the end that's basically what I'm doing, as I'm aiming for less than 80g carbs on most days (and theoretically consistently less than 100g {we're ignoring what I did Easter Sunday, okay ;) } ) in an appx. <1600 calorie diet.

Meanwhile, a male co-worker is on his bi-annual low carb diet.

Silly, random observation?


My "low-carb" lunch:
* Homemade chicken salad (made with: grilled chicken, celery, shredded broccoli & cabbage slaw, chopped red and yellow bell peppers, vinegar, curry powder, and sour cream)
* 2% cottage cheese with canteloupe and blueberries
* Ice water


His "low carb" lunch:
* A cheeseburger from Hardee's (aka Carl's Jr.) sans hamburger bun (but extra ketchup)
* And diet Dr. Pepper


So, you know, virtually the same thing... lol.
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
Nothing particularly special, just made it last night for today's lunch and dinner.

Quick Shrimp Salad (I don't know how many servings. Several).

1 lb shrimp
shrimp boil (as directed) (Bay seasoning can be used instead)
4 cups water
salt

Prepare shrimp w/ shrimp boil

1 stalk celery
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (broccoli/cabbage slaw)
1 stalk fennel (w/ 'leaves')
1/8 tsp sweet curry powder
1 tbs mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbs sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
2 tsp vinegar (I use Alessi white balsamic {I halfway live off the stuff) but rice or cider vinegar would be fine)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp horseradish (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

chop shrimp, celery, broccoli slaw, and fennel
combine mayo, sour cream (or yogurt), vinegar, honey, curry, horseradish (optional), salt and pepper

Toss.
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
The Edible Egg

From Livestrong.com

In the world of nutrition, few debates have remained as heated as the great egg debate. For nearly 40 years, researchers have tried to determine whether your omelets, scrambled eggs and frittatas are actually healthy. The argument against has always revolved around two simple factors -- eggs are high in fat and cholesterol. So it’d be easy to assume that removing the yolk or avoiding eggs altogether are part of any get back in shape diet plan. But a closer look at the research reveals that the real debate about eggs is why there was any question about their health benefits. In fact, a quick look at the most common myths shows that making eggs a standard part of your diet is one of the best decisions you can make.

Myth: Eggs make you fat
Truth: Eggs are a great food for weight loss


You may have heard that eating eggs will make you fat because 60 percent of the calories in eggs come from fat. However, eating fat doesn’t make you fat and eggs are a calorie-controlled food designed to maximize weight loss, not prevent it. One egg is only about 70 calories, with a great balance of 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. The protein/fat combination of increases satiety hormones -- the ones that tell your brain you are full. The protein in eggs also causes your body to release the hormone glucagon, which encourages your body to release and use stored carbohydrates and fat.

To prove the point, compare eggs to rice cakes—a timeless “diet” food. Two rice cakes also contain 70 calories, but with no protein or fat. Those calories come from 14 grams of high glycemic, fat-cell stuffing, refined carbohydrates, which makes it a much less desirable choice.

Myth: Eggs raise your cholesterol
Truth: Eggs don’t affect cholesterol levels


Reducing blood cholesterol levels has been a major public health mission for decades. It would make complete sense that if you wanted to decrease the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream then you should reduce the amount of cholesterol you are eating. That’s why eggs have typically been touted as dangerous, as they contain approximately 200 mg per serving.

The problem: Dietary cholesterol doesn’t actually raise cholesterol as much as you might think. In fact, only 30 percent of people experience significant increases in cholesterol levels after following a diet high in cholesterol. Researchers from Harvard looked at the dietary habits of more than 100,000 people and concluded that daily egg consumption in healthy individuals didn’t increase risk of coronary heart disease. What’s more, a study from the University of Connecticut found that eating three eggs per day as part of a low carbohydrate regimen improved HDL -- the "good" cholesterol -- without any negative health effects.

Myth: You should only eat egg whites
Truth: Enjoy the entire egg -- yolk included)


The "egg white only" movement was created out of the mass movement to remove as much cholesterol and fat from the American diet to fight heart disease and obesity. An egg white contains all protein -- 3.5 grams per egg; the rest of the nutrients, protein and fat are hiding in the yolk, which means the yellow is the most nutritious part. Egg yolks contain 240mg of leucine, the amino acid single-handedly responsible for flipping your genetic muscle-building switch .

But egg yolks are much more than just a muscle building nutrient. They also include choline -- essential for cell membrane function -- cholesterol, which serves as the molecular framework for multiple hormones in the body, vitamin A , vitamin D and vitamin E. You can also get eggs that come from chickens that were fed omega-3 rich feed, the omega-3s in their feed enriches the omega-3 fats in the yolk, giving you as much as also contain 150mg of the long chain omega-3 fat DHA . Enjoy the entire egg to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits

Myth: Eating raw eggs allows you access to more nutrients
Truth: Cook your eggs to ensure you access all the nutrients


Ever since Rocky chugged down raw eggs as part of his quest to beat Apollo Creed, the lore about eating raw eggs has appealed to nutrition fanatics. However, research shows that the only thing you’ll gain from your Italian Stallion style of eating is a list of health concerns -- without the benefits. One touted benefit of raw eggs is that you’ll digest cholesterol in its unoxidized form. However, the oxidation of egg cholesterol during cooking is minimal -- and reduced even further if you cook your eggs at a lower temperature. Eating raw eggs has also been recommended to prevent the degradation of health-promoting lutein and zeaxanthin. However, research from the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and "Journal of Nutrition" shows that eating cooked eggs leads to increases in blood lutein and zeaxanthin levels.

On the flip side, raw eggs contain a compound called avidin, which binds and prevents the absorption of the essential nutrient biotin. Cooking eggs deactivates avidin, rendering it biochemically useless. And while only 1 in 10,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, properly cooking eggs will effectively kill any salmonella that is present—as well as significantly reduce the risk of any food-borne illness that might exist.


Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/556213-nutrition-debate-are-eggs-good-for-you/#ixzz2OkWBU3e0
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
I grew fennel once, but had no idea what to do with it. I didn't discover until later that it's great in salads.

Pear-Fennel-Carrot-Arugula Chopped Salad (2+/- servings)

1 Bartlett Pear
1/2 Bulb Fennel (and any fronds attached) (equal to about 1 cup when chopped)
1 celery stalk
1/4 cup baby carrots
2 cups arugula
1.5 oz crumbled blue cheese (optional)
salt and black pepper

Chop fennel, celery, carrots, and pear into roughly equal 1/2" pieces.
Toss with arugala and blue cheese

vinaigrette below

340 Calories total/ 170 per serving (w/o vinaigrette)



Standard vinaigrette (4 servings)
3 tbs virgin olive oil : 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey (or to taste)
1 tsp roasted garlic or in a pinch, garlic salt (optional)
salt and pepper (to taste)

appx 100 calories per 1tbs



I usually serve it with either chicken or shrimp.
shipperx: (30 Rock - Liz&Jack)
So, I'm reading an article on the NYC soda size ban (that was court suspended) and I read another article this weekend about Mississippi passing a law that NO REGULATION can be passed regarding nutrition.

Yeah.  Um.  Hmm.

I'm not sure it's all one thing or the other.

(And before I talk about that can I bitch about the new online LJ interface for posting?  It sucks!  Look, I"m not as picky as some about all the bells and whistles, but I damn well want to have some ability to actually make the damn thing work with a functioning cursor!  Damn it, LJ!)

The thing is, I'm all for 'our freedomzzz!' We should be able to choose to eat what we want and if we want to eat too much, well, our choice.

But that's looking at things on an individual level.

The complication comes in with the fact that many of these problems are systemic. It's not like the government isn't involved. The government is already involved. Look at our farm subsidies program, the foodstuffs we subsidize to keep priced artificially stable (read: low), or stuff we supply to the poverty stricken in the form of SNAP and WIC, or things we make readily available in public schools. We primarily subsidize corn and soybeans, which sounds more healthful than it is because the corn is in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup and the soybeans are distributed as soy oil and isolated soy protein, things that haven't existed in nature before. These are bio-engineered foodstuffs distributed in historically unprecedented quantities (and in themselves are historically unprecedented. They didn't EXIST a century ago but are now in virtually EVERYTHING from cornbread mix to tomato sauce to blue cheese salad dressing. Experiment for a week trying to avoid them. It's damn near impossible.) To reduce them will take government action, because it's through government intervention that they are more cheaply produced than other options in the first place.

Still, does that mean Bloomberg sizing your soda for you?

Or does it make sense for Mississippi, listed as the state with THE most weight related problems as well as the most dependent on poverty aid to stamp their foot and say "No regulation on nurtrition! EVAH!" It's thinking like that that causes the USDA and FDA budgets to be slashed, with us winding up with uninspected peanut butter factories that cause salmonella outbreaks.

Not all regulation is bad. If the only thing we're concerned with is profit margins, we're on the road to Soylent Green, people.

Still, does that require regulating what size soda is sold?

Don't get me wrong. The above linked article has some good points.

Unlike other foods, sodas are a unique target for intervention. They contain sugars – and sugar calories – but nothing else of nutritional value. They are candy in liquid form.


Arguing that we should:
crack down on what gets sold in our schools, tackle abusive marketing practices, demand a redesign of labels [to inform consumers of content]


That part seems practical.

You will still be able to drink all the soda, and down all the sugar, that you want. The cap on soda size makes it just a tiny bit harder for you to do so.

That “tiny bit harder” is its point. If you have to order two sodas instead of one, maybe you won’t. If you have to add sugar to your coffee drink yourself, maybe you will only add one or two teaspoons instead of the 10 or more someone else put in there for you.


Okaaayyyy. That's a bit more, but I see it's worth discussion. Rational discussion (good luck with that in politics these days).

I mean we have warning labels and 'luxury' taxes on cigarettes for not dissimilar reasons. (BTW Nabisco is currently owned and run by William Morris, the maker of Malborough cigarettes... AKA Big Tobacco.) You can do what you want, but no one said it has to be as cheaply as humanly possible to do it.

I guess.

But... I don't know.

Still:
You may find this hard to believe, but the original Coca-Cola was 6.5 ounces, smaller than any size available today. In the 1950s, Coke advertised its 16-ounce bottle as large enough to serve three.

Times have changed. The sizes of foods and drinks have expanded, and so have waistlines. This is no coincidence. On the basis of calories alone, larger portions are all you need to explain why Americans are putting on pounds.


Well... sorta but not exactly. From all the books I've read recently, it seems that yes, caloric consumption has increased across the board. However, protein consumption has remained roughly the same. Fat consumption has even (marginally) gone down. The increase in calories has come from an increase in carbohydrates -- primarily cerals (wheat, corn, and rice products) and sugar be it sucrose OR high fructose corn syrup... or any other of a half dozen names they currently break sugar into so that labels can list it multiple times without it having to show up first on the ingredient list.

So yes, calorie consumption has gone up in the U.S. . . . because sugar and cereal consumption (we also subsidize wheat) has exploded. When discussing these things we tend to mention the first and politely avoid mentioning the second.

Anyway, interesting article, but I remain conflicted. And I don't know that I totally agree with the writer.

Still, in practical terms I tend to think that what should be done is move many of the farm subsidies away from non-edible (sugar producing) corn (The corn used for that is too sweet to be consumed in any way but sugar or alcohol or used to produce ethanol. It's not your corn cobs and niblets) and towards a broader scope of vegetables. That should (but won't) be done, because keeping the price low for sugar is good for mega-corporations like Coke, Nabisco, General Foods, etc. and we live in an era where profit is king (queen, king's hand, and court jester. Oh hell, it's practically the whole damn court). As long as what the government does is to the benefit of big business, well that 'government intervention' is good. But, if it's intervening in other way (for the 99%) 'teh socialist evol!!!!'

So, yeah, the most logical step (stop subsidizing agri-businesses' hyperproduction of sugars) will never be taken (they have big-time lobbyists, y'know). Which leaves things like soda bans, which feels an awful like avoiding tackling thorny issues with suppliers and instead taking the problem to the consumers.) And I don't know how I feel about that.

I don't know where I come down on the concept regulating soda bottle sizes. Seems like a bicycle being used as a fishing pole. Though I think even that may be better than Mississippi behaving like a three year old having a tantrum because someone is trying to limit its time with its binky.

*sigh* No good answers. I don't know. Just navel gazing, I guess. Carry on.
shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies
by Gary Taubes

On a brisk spring Tuesday in 1976, a pair of executives from the Sugar Association stepped up to the podium of a Chicago ballroom to accept the Oscar of the public relations world, the Silver Anvil award for excellence in "the forging of public opinion." The trade group had recently pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds in PR history. For nearly a decade, the sugar industry had been buffeted by crisis after crisis as the media and the public soured on sugar and scientists began to view it as a likely cause of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  {...} Their winning campaign, crafted with the help of the prestigious public relations firm Carl Byoir & Associates, had been prompted by a poll showing that consumers had come to see sugar as fattening, and that most doctors suspected it might exacerbate, if not cause, heart disease and diabetes.

{...} the [newly established sugar] association recruited a stable of medical and nutritional professionals to allay the public's fears, brought snack and beverage companies into the fold, and bankrolled scientific papers that contributed to a "highly supportive" FDA ruling, which, the Silver Anvil application boasted, made it "unlikely that sugar will be subject to legislative restriction in coming years." {...}  [transforming sugar] from what the New York Times in 1977 had deemed "a villain in disguise" into a nutrient so seemingly innocuous that even the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association approved it as healthy.

{...} The industry's PR campaign corresponded roughly with a significant rise in Americans' consumption of {...} sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This increase was accompanied, in turn, by a surge in the chronic diseases increasingly linked to sugar. Since 1970, obesity rates in the United States have more than doubled, while the incidence of diabetes has more than tripled.

Precisely how did the sugar industry engineer its turnaround? The answer is found in more than 1,500 pages of internal memos, letters, and company board reports we discovered buried in the archives of now-defunct sugar companies as well as in the recently released papers of deceased researchers and consultants who played key roles in the industry's strategy. They show how Big Sugar used Big Tobacco-style tactics to ensure that government agencies would dismiss troubling health claims against their products.

{...} Robert Lustig, a leading authority on pediatric obesity at the University of California-San Francisco (explored in a 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story), made this case last February in the prestigious journal Nature. In an article titled "The Toxic Truth About Sugar," Lustig and two colleagues observed that sucrose and HFCS are addictive in much the same way as cigarettes and alcohol, and that overconsumption of them is driving worldwide epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes (the type associated with obesity) {...} The Sugar Association dusted off what has become its stock response: The Lustig paper, it said, "lacks the scientific evidence or consensus" to support its claims, and its authors were irresponsible not to point out that the full body of science "is inconclusive at best." This inconclusiveness, of course, is precisely what the Sugar Association has worked so assiduously to maintain. "In confronting our critics," Tatem explained to his board of directors back in 1976, "we try never to lose sight of the fact that no confirmed scientific evidence links sugar to the death-dealing diseases."

{...}  Meanwhile, researchers had been reporting that blood lipids—cholesterol and triglycerides in particular—were a risk factor in heart disease. Some people had high cholesterol but normal triglycerides, prompting health experts to recommend that they avoid animal fats. Other people were deemed "carbohydrate sensitive," with normal cholesterol but markedly increased triglyceride levels. In these individuals, even moderate sugar consumption could cause a spike in triglycerides. John Yudkin, the United Kingdom's leading nutritionist, was making headlines with claims that sugar, not fat, was the primary cause of heart disease.

In 1967, the Sugar Association's research division began considering "the rising tide of implications of sucrose in atherosclerosis." Before long, according to a confidential 1970 review of industry-funded studies, the newly formed ISRF was spending 10 percent of its research budget on the link between diet and heart disease. Hickson, the ISRF's vice president, urged his member corporations to keep the results of the review under wraps. Of particular concern was the work of a University of Pennsylvania researcher on "sucrose sensitivity," which sugar executives feared was "likely to reveal evidence of harmful effects."

[In response] {...}  the Sugar Association proper [funded]  {...} 17 studies designed, as internal documents put it, "to maintain research as a main prop of the industry's defense." Each proposal was vetted by a panel of industry-friendly scientists and a second committee staffed by representatives from sugar companies and "contributing research members" such as Coca-Cola, Hershey's, General Mills, and Nabisco.  {...} Most of the cash was awarded to researchers whose studies seemed explicitly designed to exonerate sugar.

{...} Working to the industry's recruiting advantage was the rising notion that cholesterol and dietary fat—especially saturated fat—were the likely causes of heart disease. (Tatem even suggested, in a letter to the Times Magazine, that some "sugar critics" were motivated merely by wanting "to keep the heat off saturated fats.") This was the brainchild of nutritionist Ancel Keys, whose University of Minnesota laboratory had received financial support from the sugar industry as early as 1944. From the 1950s through the 1980s, Keys remained the most outspoken proponent of the fat hypothesis, often clashing publicly with Yudkin, the most vocal supporter of the sugar hypothesis—the two men "shared a good deal of loathing," recalled one of Yudkin's colleagues.

{...} [And] the industry recruited Edwin Bierman of the University of Washington, who believed that diabetics need not pay strict attention to their sugar intake so long as they maintained a healthy weight by burning off the calories they consumed. Bierman also professed an apparently unconditional faith that it was dietary fat (and being fat) that caused heart disease, with sugar having no meaningful effect.

{...}  scientists from the USDA's Carbohydrate Nutrition Laboratory submitted what they considered "abundant evidence that sucrose is one of the dietary factors responsible for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease." As they later explained in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, some portion of the public—perhaps 15 million Americans at that time—clearly could not tolerate a diet rich in sugar and other carbohydrates. Sugar consumption, they said, should come down by "a minimum of 60 percent," and the government should launch a national campaign "to inform the populace of the hazards of excessive sugar consumption."

{...} In 1977, McGovern's select committee—the one that had held the 1973 hearings on sugar and diabetes—blindsided the industry with a report titled "Dietary Goals for the United States," recommending that Americans lower their sugar intake by 40 percent (PDF). The association "hammered away" {...}  McGovern held fast, but Big Sugar would prevail in the end. In 1980, when the USDA first published its own set of dietary guidelines, it relied heavily on a review written for the American Society of Clinical Nutrition by none other than Bierman,

{...} By the early 1990s, the USDA's research into sugar's health effects had ceased, and the FDA's take on sugar had become conventional wisdom, influencing a generation's worth of key publications on diet and health [repeating] the mantra that the evidence linking sugar to chronic disease was inconclusive, and then went on to equate "inconclusive" with "nonexistent."

They also ignored a crucial caveat: The FDA reviewers had deemed added sugars—those in excess of what occurs naturally in our diets—safe at "current" 1986 consumption levels, and even then the  FDA's consumption estimate was 43 percent lower than that of its sister agency, the USDA.

By 1999, the average American would be eating more than double the amount the FDA had deemed safe­

{...} In 2003, after an expert panel convened by the World Health Organization recommended that no more than 10 percent of all calories in people's diets should come from added sugars—nearly 40 percent less than the USDA's estimate for the average American current Sugar Association president Andrew Briscoe wrote the WHO's director general warning that the association would "exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature" of the report and urge "congressional appropriators to challenge future funding" for the WHO. Larry Craig (R-Idaho, sugar beets) and John Breaux (D-La., sugarcane), then co-chairs of the Senate Sweetener Caucus, wrote a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, urging his "prompt and favorable attention" to prevent the report from becoming official WHO policy.

{...}  In recent years the scientific tide has begun to turn against sugar. Despite the industry's best efforts, researchers and public health authorities have come to accept that the primary risk factor for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes is a condition called metabolic syndrome, which now affects more than 75 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a cluster of abnormalities—some of which Yudkin and others associated with sugar almost 50 years ago—including weight gain, increased insulin levels, and elevated triglycerides. It also has been linked to cancer and Alzheimer's disease. "Scientists have now established causation," Lustig said recently. "Sugar causes metabolic syndrome."

Newer studies from the University of California-Davis have even reported that LDL cholesterol, the classic risk factor for heart disease, can be raised significantly in just two weeks by drinking sugary beverages at a rate well within the upper range of what Americans consume...


Full Article: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign?page=1


shipperx: (Fringe Cast)
Seen all over my flist :

What I just finished reading

Warm Bodies
by Isaac Marion
Boy meets girl.  Boy is eaten by Zombie.  Zombie gets boy's memories which reawaken his humanity.  Zombie protects boy's girl and falls in love with girl.  Humans are wigged out.  And the whole thing is far more existential and enjoyable than it sounds.  Honest.

Fat Chance by Robert Lustig
Written by a Pediatric Endocrinologist  and contributing board member of the American Heart Association regarding the likely causes of the obesity epidemic which, in his estimation, boils down to processed foods that have:

1) Ever increasing amounts of sugar (be it sugar, fructose, sucrose, 'condensed fruit juice' [Sounds like fruit -- it's not.  It's just processed sugar that originated from pears and apples rather than sugar cane or beets, but chemically it's the exact same thing.  There is absolutely nothing left from the fruit but the sugar], caramel, dextrose, galactose, or high fructose corn syrup.  They're all more or less the same)

2) the systematic replacement of omega-3 fats with more durable (but worse for you) industrialized fats (isolated soy protein/soybean oil does not occur in a digestible form in nature, and neither did corn oil or canola oil (aka rape seed oil) 100 years ago.)  Omega-6 decoupled from Omega-3 also increases inflamation, which is a factor in heart disease.

3) the systematic removal of fiber (fiber spoils.  Processed foods eliminate as much fiber as they can.  And the post-production soluble fiber in 'fiber fortified' is not the same thing and does not function in the same way).

Then he delves into the regulatory capture of the FDA, USDA, and the Farm Bill / Farm Subsidies by big agri-business and the processed food corp giants.

Worth the read for the way he explains the science behind digestion, hormones, and weight.  Not a diet book as the only dietary suggestion he makes in the book is to NEVER drink a sugared beverage with a meal (apparently, our bodies don't properly judge the sugar in liquid, so we're adding calories that in no way aid the satisfying of our hunger and may in fact increase hunger or at least speed how quickly you are hungry again).


What I'm reading now

Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
by Michael Moss.
This one doesn't really examine why certain things are unhealthy for us (and is in fact a tad outdated on the science of fats)  and is absolutely in no way a diet book.  It's the chronicle of food industries in the 20th/21st century and how we've arrived at the current state of industrialized processed food stuffs.  Lots of interesting anecdotes re: the Mad Men-like workings of food companies such as Coke, Kraft, Kellog's, General Foods, etc.  Including many having been taken over by Big Tobacco in the 70s, 80s, and 90s with the resulting 'synergies' as the infrastructure of the tobacco industry began guiding the food companies.

Real Food by Nina Planck
She seems to have a rather odd fixation on raw milk, given that raw milk is not commercially available (commercially sold milk is pretty much REQUIRED to be pasteurized).  I also tend to be a bit more wary of her science when she keeps quoting pre-WWII studies.  Still, she has pretty much convinced me that when buying milk, I'm going to try to buy pastured cow milk (brands such as Organic Valley are always grass-fed cows).  Other than that... I'm still waiting to go beyond the milk chapters.  Less interesting than Fat Chance or Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food.


What I'm Reading Next
Don't know.  Any recs?
shipperx: (Kirk - I meant to do that)
Okay, I'm going to break my streak of 100 things meme posts being about nutrition. This is the opposite of nutrition.

This one is...well... sinful.

I'm not even sure what made me think of this the other day. I haven't had it in decades. I just had the craving and a vague memory of what was in it, making google my friend.

Unsurprisingly, from what I could find, it appears to be a Southern thing. Certainly, I grew up with it in the South. Did anyone else have anything like it when growing up? We all live within our culture so it's hard to know whether something is as ubiquitous as it seems while growing up. (It being such an odd, fat-laden combo makes me think it's probably mostly Southern, so I'm curious. Anyone else have anything like it?)

I found it on a couple of sites. The more amusing write-up came from ezrapoundcake.com with:

I made another Southern spring classic, a so-wrong-it’s-right Baked Pineapple Casserole.


It’s the sort of golden mystery dish you might find bubbling away on a Southern granny’s Easter table, since pineapple goes so well with ham.

To appreciate this casserole, you have to refrain from passing judgment on its ingredients: crushed pineapple, sugar, Ritz cracker crumbs, butter and cheddar cheese. You have to accept the logic that pineapple, crackers and cheese are perfectly fine together.

Because they are.



Anyway, I splurge on my diet on weekends (you have to sometimes, right?), and since I have a craving I'm planning to make this (while attempting to reduce and/or eliminate the added sugar. Pineapple is already sweet, right?) and then discover whether I still like it. (I loved it as a kid.)

Old Fashioned Pineapple-Cheddar-Ritz Casserole (as found on DeepSouthDish.com)

• 10 oz pineapple chunks, juices reserved
• 1/8 cup of granulated sugar
• 2 tsp cornstarch
• 3/4cp cups of grated cheddar cheese
• 1/4 stick cold butter, sliced thin
• 1 sleeves of crushed Ritz crackers

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1-quart casserole dish, or spray with non-stick spray; set aside. Drain the pineapple juice into a saucepan; set aside the pineapple. Combine the sugar and cornstarch and add to the juice. Heat over medium high, stirring regularly, until sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Stir in the pineapple then transfer to the baking dish add 1/2 of the pineapple and syrup mixture, top that with 1/2 of the crushed Ritz crackers, and thinly slice 1/2 of the butter over the top. Sprinkle the cheese; repeat crackers and butter. Baked uncovered at 350 degreesF for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

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