Sunday, December 7, 2014

Nutrition in the News

Some nutrition articles this week were interesting.  Peeling that apple, then maybe you are losing some nutritional benefits.  Is there a mineral that helps prevent cancer? 
Many people don’t like the peel of apples and thus cut it off or buy apple slices in a bag with no peel.  Eating fruit is a healthy habit.   The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   reports, “Statistics from a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey show nearly 40% of Americans eat fruit less than one time a day”.   The good news is, over 60% of us are eating fruit one or more times a day.  So eating apples is good, eating apples that are not peeled is even better.
  • Double the fiber – leaving the peel on doubles the amount of fiber you get from eating the apple
  • Potassium – the peel adds 25% more potassium
  • Vitamin A – apples are not a great source of vitamin A, but leaving on the peel adds 40% more vitamin A 
                Compounds such as polyphenols and ursolic acid are in apples.  Doesn’t sound appetizing but one dietitian notes, “Animal studies have shown that ursolic acid may have an effect on burning more calories, weight loss and improved glucose control”  (Washington Post)
Cooking tip – I make a batch of brown rice which takes about 45 minutes to cook.  About halfway through I add some slices of cooking apples, with the peel on.  It adds great flavor to the rice and is so easy to make.  Many people who won’t eat the apple peel will eat it when cooked.
Are there foods to promote weight loss?
WebMD has an interesting slide show, Weight Loss Slideshow:  Bad Foods That Are Good for Weight Loss.  What are some of their recommended “bad” foods?
  • Eggs – many people avoid eggs because of the cholesterol.  But even the American Heart Association has lightened up on eggs.  One egg a day is fine for most of us.  Eggs are loaded with nutrition and are the “gold standard” for protein.  Eating eggs at breakfast can add protein to your breakfast and make you fell fuller longer. I always like to say, “Protein has staying power”.
  • Steak – yes, Web MD includes steak.  Lean cuts of steak, that is such as tenderloin or sirloin.  But not a 16 ounce steak.  A serving of steak would be the size of the palm of your hand.Pork – the other white meat as the pork industry likes to say.  Pork tenderloin is leaner than days gone by, by as much as 31%.  White pork can add protein to your diet and not a lot of fat.
  • Pasta – pasta is low in fat and many avoid because of “carbs”.  Try whole grain pasta which adds many nutrients to your diet.  Or, if you haven’t developed the taste for whole grain pasta, try 25% whole grain and 75% regular pasta.  Work up to at least 50-50.  As I noted in an earlier post, eating whole grains helps reduce belly fat.
  • Nuts – a handful of nuts a day is such a healthy habit.  One of Dr. Oz’s recommendations.  WebMD likes nuts because of their protein, fiber, and many nutrients.  A great snack.  At a party over the holidays, by-pass some of the junk and have a handful of nuts.  Many people avoid nuts thinking they are fattening but WebMD noted, “In one study people who ate a handful of nuts a day were slimmer and even lived longer.”

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