27 August 2011

Quick and Easy Cooking With Grains - NYTimes.com

Image: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Grains are a powerhouse of nutrition: vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. There are never-ending recipes for preparation. Here is an article from The New York Times, Quick and Easy Cooking With Grains, by Tara Parker-Pope, to get you started.

"I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a well-stocked pantry to a healthy diet. If you have grains and legumes on hand — especially quick-cooking ingredients like bulgur, quinoa, rice and lentils — you’ll always have the basis for a healthy meal."

05 August 2011

7 Foods That Keep Us Fat | Care2 Healthy Living

7 Foods That Keep Us Fat | Care2 Healthy Living

By Sara Novak, Planet Green
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the quality of the foods that you eat has more to do with weight than the quantity of food. I’ve pulled together a list of foods that keep us fat compiled from various studies as well as recent articles and research:
7 Foods That Keep Us Fat | Care2 Healthy Living

Quoted in the above article, in many of the foods mentioned is the ingredient High Fructose Corn Syrup. From George Mateljan and whfoods.org read the following about this ubiquitous sweetener:

Healthy Food Tip

I am confused about high fructose corn syrup? Do you think it is a good sweetener?

No, I do not think that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a healthy sweetener. From my perspective, a "good sweetener" would have to meet the same type of standards that are used to evaluate other foods. It would have to be minimally processed and very close in composition to the whole, natural food from which it was produced. Unfortunately, high-fructose corn syrup fails miserably on all counts. Although its starting point might be whole, natural grains of corn (I use the word "might" here since a large amount of non-organic corn has been genetically engineered), that corn must first be milled and processed into corn starch. That corn starch must then be treated with a series of enzymes that help trigger the conversion of starch to sugars, including glucose and fructose. Once this processing is completed, you end up with a product that contains fewer than 20 micrograms per tablespoon of any vitamin or any mineral! HFCS is therefore the opposite of a whole, natural food. It's highly processed and cannot offer balanced nourishment in any respect.

Just how problematic is HFCS in the diet of an average U.S. adult? There is a reasonable amount of evidence linking increased intake of HCFS with increased risk of obesity, risk of type 2 diabetes, and also with changes in insulin secretion and leptin production that might help to explain these increased disease risks. Use of corn syrup as a sweetener has increased dramatically in the U.S., particularly following the development of high-fructose versions of this sweetener that brought its fructose content up to 90% of total sugars. On a percentage calories basis, the average U.S. citizen now consumes about 10% of all calories from HFCS. This amount represents 220 calories, or 55 grams, or nearly 3 tablespoons of HFCS each and every day.

On our website we feature some healthy sweetener alternatives to HFCS. These include honey, cane juice, maple syrup, and blackstrap molasses. You can find links to the write-ups on these sweeteners at http://whfoods.org/foodstoc.php

04 August 2011

The Chef Seamus Mullen Finds Healing in Food - NYTimes.com

A Chef Finds Healing in Food, by Jeff Gordiner

Image: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Many people are aware foods play a critical role beyond simple nutrition in the body. And many know, the less processed, and more natural and organic a nutrient is, the better it is nutritionally for you. All the pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and whatever else huge agri-business throws in to produce larger and "better" crops do not translate to better nutrition.

A new publication scheduled for publication next spring, “Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better”, by Seamus Mullen, is worth placing on your "watch list".

From The New York Times:

"Mr. Mullen calls these “hero foods,” and he’s just finished the manuscript for a cookbook called “Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better.” Scheduled to come out in the spring, it will celebrate these gustatory “super friends” for what he sees as their power to beat back inflammation, boost the immune system and amplify an eater’s overall health."

I for one, do believe in the power of foods to help with a great number of mild to moderate afflictions.

For the article, go to A Chef Finds Healing in Food.