Research Tips

January 25, 2009
A half-cup of cooked spinach and three ounces of cooked lean beef contain similar amounts of iron, but because iron from spinach is poorly absorbed, it really takes five cups of the spinach to equal three ounces of beef when it comes to meeting iron needs.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;62(3):336-41. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

February 2, 2009
Thyroid function is essential for normal metabolism. To help prevent impaired thyroid function in later life, it is especially important to include iodine in the diet. The most consistent iodine sources are seafood and seaweeds. Sea salt, however, is actually very low in iodine.
Nutr Rev. 2007 Dec;65(12 Pt 1):535-43.

February 14, 2009
No food is more tightly linked to romance than chocolate. This may be due to a stimulatory effect of the compound theobromine. Although not a nutrient, theobromine can dilate blood vessels and stimulate the heart, giving that "feeling a little flushed" sensation.
Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Jun;8(3):205-11.

March 6, 2009
Teas are one way to get the water your body needs. Black and green teas are good natural sources of fluoride that can benefit teeth. In contrast, some herbal teas are acidic and may erode tooth enamel. It can help to swish your mouth with water after eating food or drinking liquids high in acid or sugar.
J Dent. 2003 May;31(4):241-6.

March 9, 2009
It is possible to choose a healthy diet that does not include milk products. However, this must be done carefully to provide adequate calcium for long-term bone health.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1238S-1241S.

March 17, 2009
Contrary to popular belief, dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol. Including one or two whole eggs in the diet daily can provide many beneficial nutrients, including eye-protecting phytochemicals, without adding too much cholesterol.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):596S-600S.

March 22, 2009
Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Lycopene is absorbed better from tomato products like tomato sauce and catsup than it is from raw tomatoes. Tomato soup anyone?
Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2000 Sep 19;163(6):739-44.

March 30, 2009
Some studies link moderate coffee consumption with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as Parkinson's, liver and gallstone diseases. These types of studies can't claim cause and effect, but they do reduce concerns about possible harmful effects.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(2):101-23.

April 2, 2009
Fear of the unknown is a logical human survival trait that can raise suspicions about advances in agricultural biotechnology. To avoid unnecessary fears of food, be sure to educate yourself on all aspects of genetic engineering.
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Jun;90(6 Suppl 3):90-8

June 23, 2009
Even though the odds are very low for any individual to become ill from salmonella contamination in eggs, fully cooking eggs reduces this small risk even more.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2006 Winter;3(4):403-12.

July 19, 2009
The toxin in Clostridium botulinum bacteria causes muscle paralysis and even small amounts of this toxin in spoiled food can kill an adult. These bacteria live without oxygen. So, for canned foods, when in doubt, throw it out.
Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):103-8.

July 21, 2009
Lycopene, the colorful compound in tomatoes, is proving to provide many health benefits. This phytochemical is absorbed better from cooked tomato products than from fresh tomatoes, so even catsup can count as part (but not all) of your daily vegetables.
CMAJ. 2000 Sep 19;163(6):739-44.

November 21, 2009
Researchers suggest that daily caffeine intake of adults not exceed 400 milligrams. That is the amount typically found in four 6- to 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on the strength of the brew.
Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jun 17;148(12):904-14.

November 22, 2009
"Antioxidants" protect the body from oxidative damage. Fruits and vegeta­bles are among of the best sources of these antioxidants.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2004 Nov;63(4):579-85.

November 23, 2009
The phytochemical lycopene found in tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration in the retina of the eye. The best absorbed sources include commonly used tomato sauce and catsup.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2000 Sep 19;163(6):739-44.

November 28, 2009
It's the season for cranberries, but remember that cranberry juice helps to prevent urinary tract infections and can be a valuable part of the diet year-round.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305.

December 13, 2009
Although clams are frequently listed as a good food source of iron, chopped and minced clam products are very low in this mineral. So, don't rely on clam chowder to meet your iron needs.
J Food Comp and Analysis. 2009;(22):S78-S82.

December 15, 2009
Cranberries are loaded with beneficial phytochemicals that can help to prevent health problems like urinary infections.
Drugs. 2009;69(7):775-807.

December 28, 2009
Are you enjoying leftover cranberry sauce or drink? So is your bladder. Substances in cranberries are known to benefit the health of the urinary tract.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):732-7.

January 12, 2010
Stay "food safe" by always washing your hands well before handling foods and by keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot - out of the "danger zone."
J Food Prot. 2003 Oct;66(10):1893-9.

February 14, 2010
Valentine’s Day and chocolate are tightly linked. Components of chocolate can dilate blood vessels and stimulate the heart, making one feel maybe a bit more fondly toward the giver of the chocolate.
Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Jun;8(3):205-11.

March 10, 2010
Dietary fiber is not entirely calorie-free. However, it provides a minor amount of calories when compared to food components like sugar, starch, protein and fat.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Nov;62(5 Suppl):1158S-1160S.

March 24, 2010
Beans promote good intestinal health, however people often avoid beans because of increased flatulence. Beano, an over-the-counter enzyme product, can decrease or prevent intestinal gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms resulting from a high-fiber diet.
J Fam Pract. 1994 Nov;39(5):441-5.

April 14, 2010
There are many good reasons to include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Most fresh produce should be consumed within 7 days of harvest. Otherwise, frozen or canned products are good alternatives.
J Sci Food Agric 87:930–944 (2007).

May 2, 2010
A single large egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals and only 70 calories, making it an ideal component of a balanced diet.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):596S-600S.

May 3, 2010
One large banana provides almost 500 mg of potassium, a little more than 10 percent of the daily recommended intake for an adult.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

May 20, 2010
Good nutrition starts with food safety. Remember to: 1) Wash your hands before handling foods; 2) Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. For picnics, plan ahead with adequate coolers and ice.
Nutr Clin Care. 2004 Oct-Dec;7(4):134-40.

May 24, 2010
To help both your heart and your brain, include plenty of vegetables and fruits in a balanced diet to reduce oxidative damage to blood vessels.
Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010 Feb;17(1):50-5.

May 30, 2010
Spices that are rich in antioxidants may be useful in reducing potentially harmful oxidation products in the body. These spices include cloves, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, ginger, black pepper and paprika.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1180-4.

June 26, 2010
All foods have the potential to cause foodborne illness. Even fresh produce needs to be handled, stored, and prepared safely to obtain essential nutrients with minimal risk of illness.
Emerg Infect Dis. 1997 Oct-Dec;3(4):459-65.

July 2, 2010
The content of some key vitamins in fresh produce begins to decrease soon after harvest. Therefore to get the most nutrients from your produce, buy fresh produce in quantities that can be consumed within a few days.
Eur J Cancer Prev. 1997 Mar;6 Suppl 1:S21-4.

July 16, 2010
Green tea is widely extolled for its beneficial content of polyphenols that are linked to reduced chronic disease risks. However, consuming too much tea (green or black) also can potentially supply excessive amounts of aluminum and fluoride.
Rev Saude Publica. 2004 Feb;38(1):100-5. Epub 2004 Jan 30.

August 19, 2010
Methods of processing and preparation can affect the nutrient content of foods. For example, fresh tender bitter melon leafy tips are an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. However, during cooking a large amount of vitamin C is lost.
J Food Sci. 2009 Aug;74(6):C441-8.

August 29, 2010
Research on caffeine consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease often reports a potential benefit of caffeine rather than a risk.
Am J Clin Nutr 92: 509-514, 2010.

August 30, 2010
Why do some people really like flavors that you don’t like? It may be in your genes. Some people are “supertasters” of specific flavors in foods, especially bitter flavors.
Chem Senses. 2000 Aug;25(4):447-60.

September 4, 2010
There may be something to the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Daily consumption of two apples or 12 ounces of apple juice was found to reduce oxidation of the "bad" low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in healthy men and women.
J Med Food. 2000 Winter;3(4):159-66.

September 25, 2010
Carbohydrate is a food component that provides sugar (glucose) required by the brain. In a balanced diet, some of this glucose comes directly from sugars, but most of it comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, bread, and pasta.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):893S-897S.

October 18, 2010
Foodborne illness remains a persistent problem causing more than 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. As football season and tailgating roll into full swing, don’t forget to keep foods safe by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Always store perishables foods at 40 degrees F or below.
Nutr Rev. 2010 May;68(5):257-69.

November 22, 2010
With Thanksgiving dinner preparations, it is important to remember that we are each at the end of the food safety chain from farm to fork. Let's keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold for a happy holiday!
Food Safety and Inspection Service

December 12, 2010
Cranberries tend to be consumed as a holiday food. However, research on the chemical components of cranberries indicates that there are good reasons to consume these berries year-round.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):666-79.

December 27, 2010
Not all foods are created equal, even if their culinary function is the same. For example, egg white may be used in place of whole egg, but eliminating the egg yoke also eliminates about half of the protein and nearly all of the essential nutrient choline.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 for choline

January 12, 2011
Tomato is one of the most common agricultural crops worldwide and now we have another great reason to keep tomatoes in our diet. Researchers have found another beneficial compound besides lycopene that helps to improve abnormalities of lipid metabolism.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

January 23, 2011
If it tastes good, it CAN be good for you. Research from the Nurses' Health Study indicates that berries have clear health benefits. Foods containing high levels of anthocyanins (found mainly in blueberries and strawberries) were associated with lower levels of hypertension, especially in individuals younger than 60 years of age.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):338-47.

January 28, 2011
It has become an increasingly common practice to mix highly caffeinated energy drinks with alcoholic beverages. Health professionals are expressing concern about this practice because those who combine caffeine and alcohol appear to be more likely to underestimate their level of impairment.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006 Apr;30(4):598-605.

January 29, 2011
Many of us choose skim milk products to keep calories down. It may be better, however, to not go totally non-fat. There is growing evidence that some of the components in milk fat are beneficial and may reduce the risk of diabetes, colorectal cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Ann Intern Med. 2010 Dec 21;153(12):790-9.

February 6, 2011
Whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production, is commonly used as a protein source in high protein beverages and other products. When young adults with high blood pressure added a daily drink containing 28 grams of whey protein to their usual diet, it normalized their blood pressure. The whey protein drink had no effect on those with normal blood pressure.
Int Dairy J. 2010;11:753-760.

February 5, 2011
Spinach is not a good source of absorbable iron or calcium, but it does provide other beneficial substances. Recent studies show that the amount of nitrate in spinach is similar to amounts found to enhance performance of endurance exercise.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Jan 15;48(2):342-7.

February 11, 2011
It was found decades ago that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people. Despite this knowledge, recommendations persist to reduce egg consumption for lowering blood cholesterol. The good news for those who "missed the memo" is that the cholesterol in a large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

February 14, 2011
Full recovery from exercise bouts is as important for athletes as a good workout. A recent double-blind study found that daily consumption of a sour cherry (Montmorency) juice concentrate could enhanced muscle recovery from hard workouts.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jan 12.

February 22, 2011
Garlic is known to have antibacterial properties due to a compound called allicin. However, the allicin that is present in freshly crushed garlic degrades rapidly within hours or a few days, depending on how it is processed.
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jun 11;56(11):4229-35.

February 25, 2011
A recent study found that adding a cup or two of vegetable juice (V8) to the daily diet helped people meet their vegetable recommendations. Those with blood pressure greater than 120/80 had a significant decrease in blood pressure at the end of 12 weeks. The juice increased their intake of both sodium and potassium.
Nutr J. 2010; 9: 38. Published online 2010 September 17.

February 26, 2011
Fresh produce can sometimes lose vitamin content in the market while waiting to be purchased. However, this is not the case for fresh spinach leaves displayed under fluorescent lighting. After 3 days of showcase-like exposure to fluorescent light, spinach's levels of vitamins C, K, E, and folate increased significantly.
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Mar 10;58(5):2980-7.

March 2, 2011
Consumer research shows that labeling a food as “healthy” or “tasty and delicious” affects appetite. When people eat a food identifies as “healthy”, their appetite is not decreased as much as when they eat the same food identified as “tasty and delicious”.

March 7, 2011
March is National Nutrition Month and this year's theme from the American Dietetic Association is, "Eat Right with Color." A colorful meal appeals both to the eye and the palate and provides a greater variety of nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals.
Molecules. 2011 Feb 18;16(2):1710-38.

March 11, 2011
Almonds are a healthful addition to the diet and 4 ounces of almonds contain as much calcium as 8 ounces of milk. But wait! Due to limited bioavailability of calcium in almonds and high calorie content, meeting daily calcium needs with almonds requires eating more than 3,000 calories of almonds compared to less than 300 calories of nonfat milk.
J Food Comp Anal. 2007;20(8):717-724.

March 12, 2011
More good news about coffee: A Swedish study from the Karolinska Institute found that NOT drinking coffee was associated with an increased risk of stroke in women. It is not known why this is the case, but it could be due to coffee’s ability to moderate subclinical inflammation, decrease oxidative stress and improve insulin sensitivity.
Stroke. 2011 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

March 14, 2011
When trying to get the benefits of consuming vegetables, don’t forget the tomato sauce on your pasta and pizza. One tablespoon of tomato sauce provides as much of the beneficial lycopene as a medium-sized fresh tomato. Also, cooking of the sauces greatly improves the bioavailability of lycopene.
Amer J Lifestyle Med. doi:10.1177/1559827610387488

March 16, 2011
Much of the world suffers from blindness and low resistance to infections because of vitamin A deficiency. A genetically modified rice, called “golden rice” contains beta carotene, a precursor for vitamin A. Although this would seem to be a simple solution to the problem, significant hurdles include resistance to the use of genetically modified plant and cultural acceptance of a different colored type of rice.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1776-83. Epub 2009 Apr 15

March 23, 2011
A good rule of thumb: Your diet should have more color than your wardrobe.
Molecules. 2011 Feb 18;16(2):1710-38.

March 25, 2011
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the levels of mercury consumed in fish do not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. This was based on two major studies with a total of over 170,000 participants.
NEJM Vol. 364 No. 12 P 1116-1125.

March 31, 2011
More and more, we are learning that natural foods contain non-nutrient chemical compounds that provide health benefits. One of the latest surprises came from the identification of over 50 beneficial compounds in maple syrup. However, there is much to learn about how these compounds affect the body and how much is needed to make a difference.
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Nov 24;58(22):11673-9. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

April 15, 2011
A gluten-free food does not make a food "healthy." However, for the 6 percent of the population with "gluten sensitivity" or the individuals (estimated as 1 out of 133 Americans) with celiac disease, a gluten free diet is the only way to prevent additional intestinal damage.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Oct;108(10):1682-7.

April 16, 2011
A number of beneficial compounds have been identified in green tea. However, an analysis of dietary supplement products with green tea concentrates found that these compounds are often degraded during manufacturing and storage.
J AOAC Int. 2010 Nov-Dec;93(6):1788-97.

April 16, 2011
A number of beneficial compounds have been identified in green tea. However, an analysis of dietary supplement products with green tea concentrates found that these compounds are often degraded during manufacturing and storage.
J AOAC Int. 2010 Nov-Dec;93(6):1788-97.

April 20, 2011
A compound found in milk fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and even diabetes. Recent evidence found that yak cheese has about four times as much CLA as cheese made from cow's milk.
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008 56 (5):1654–1660.

April 24, 2011
Due to the stimulant effects of caffeine, it often is assumed that drinking coffee can increase blood pressure. However, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of over 170,000 people in six studies found little or no relationship between coffee drinking and blood pressure. It does remain possible that blood pressure in some individuals may be sensitive to caffeine.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar 30.

April 25, 2011
A new study provides another reason to consume alcohol only in moderation. In a rat model, heavy alcohol consumption triggered a substantial inflammatory response in the lungs that would normally delay surgery. However, this inflammatory state was not detectable by the blood tests commonly conducted prior to surgery.
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011 Apr;93(8):739-49.

April 26, 2011
There are many reasons to grow or purchase organically grown produce. However, in the continual debate about which is better, organic or non-organic produce, a recent study reports no real antioxidant difference. So, while the debate goes on, rest assured that produce provides a significant amount of healthful antioxidants, organically grown or not.
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Oct 13;58(19):10323-9.

April 29, 2011
The human need for omega-3 fatty acids promises to have an increasingly negative impact on the ocean fish population. Research on the fatty acid composition of various types of fish livers indicates that this typically discarded part of the fish is a rich source of these beneficial fatty acids. Using fish livers as a source of fish oil could potentially relieve some of the pressure on the fish population.
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2011; 24 (2): 217

April 29, 2011
The human need for omega-3 fatty acids promises to have an increasingly negative impact on the ocean fish population. Research on the fatty acid composition of various types of fish livers indicates that this typically discarded part of the fish is a rich source of these beneficial fatty acids. Using fish livers as a source of fish oil could potentially relieve some of the pressure on the fish population.
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2011; 24 (2): 217

May 7, 2011
In case you want some "feel good" information to support your coffee habit, caffeine is known to "scavenger" some free radical types of molecules called alkoxyl radicals. In "street language," this means that caffeine has antioxidant activity!
J Phys Chem B. 2011 Apr 21;115(15):4538-4546.

May 12, 2011
Health benefits due to the components of dark chocolate continue to be confirmed by research. While enjoying dark chocolate, remember that most forms of chocolate are very concentrated sources of calories. Moderation in all things . . . including dark chocolate!
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]

May 13, 2011
Corn comes in many colors besides yellow and white. Some types of orange corn provide beta-carotene, the vitamin A precursor, and have the potential to reduce serious vitamin A deficiency in some parts of the world. Other types of orange corn provide zeaxanthin, a compound needed to help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Nat Genet. 2010 Apr;42(4):322-7. Epub 2010 Mar 21.

May 30, 2011
Green tea and red wine are both sources of compounds called polyphenols. The potential benefits of polyphenols depend on the consumer's iron status. When consumed with iron-containing foods, polyphenols strongly inhibit iron absorption. In this case, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
J Nutr. 2010 Jun;140(6):1117-21.

June 23, 2011
Recent research shows that food products made with fat substitute ingredients designed to mimic high fat food characteristics may actually interfere with normal satiety mechanisms. The end result showed that rats actually gained weight when offered low-calorie potato chips made with fat substitutes.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 2011; 125 (4)

June 24, 2011
Including a variety of colorful fruits in the daily diet is commonly recommended for good health. As a food group, fruits contain a wide variety of antioxidant compounds. A recent study found that daily consumption of strawberries enhanced the ability of red blood cells to handle oxidative stress.
Food Chemistry Volume 128, Issue 1, 1 September 2011, Pages 180-186

June 29, 2011
The declining populations of bees and other pollinators could have substantial nutritional consequences for humans. For example, the vast majority of food sources of vitamin C come from plants that require pollination.
PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (6): e21363.

June 30, 2011
Like many fruits, strawberries contain flavanoids thought to benefit health. Based on animal studies, a specific polyphenolic flavanoid in strawberries, called fisetin, has been found to reduce many of the adverse consequences of diabetes.
PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (6): e21226

July 19, 2011
It is commonly thought that all of the protein in eggs is contained in the egg white. In fact, about 40 percent of the protein is in the yolk (along with many other essential nutrients).
USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

July 22, 2011
The calorie amounts provided with restaurant foods should be considered to be rough estimates. Culinary measurements of ingredients, preparation techniques, and variability in the composition of ingredients all add to the error.
JAMA 2010 306(3):237-330.

July 23, 2011
Seaweeds represent a widely under-utilized food and source of beneficial food ingredients. As rich sources of polyphenols among other compounds, seaweed components can both enhance food safety and provide healthful antioxidants.
Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Mar;4(3):205-11. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

August 1, 2011
No big news: On average, Americans do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables. Surveys have reported that people who garden eat more vegetables. However, their reasons for gardening are unrelated to the amount of vegetables they consume.
HortTechnology. 2010;20:711-717.

August 11, 2011
Like spicy food? A spice blend that included cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, and other spices was recently shown to reduce insulin and triglyceride levels following a 1200 calorie meal.
J Nutr. 2011 Aug;141(8):1451-7.

August 21, 2011
One small way to increase variety in your diet is to include multigrain products. Researchers in India report that combining flour from inexpensive finger millet with wheat flour worked well in bakery products and even improved their nutrient composition.
Journal of Texture Studies online 27 JUN 2011 [ahead of print]

September 2, 2011
Curcumin, a key component of turmeric, has been recommended as a "natural" medicine to treat inflammatory conditions. Using a cell culture model of human tendon inflammation, a new study has found biochemical mechanisms that support the potential efficacy of curcumin in treating arthritis and a range of rheumatic diseases.
J Biol Chem. 2011 Aug 12;286(32):28556-66. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

September 10, 2011
Moderate alcohol consumption is generally defined as one drink per day for a woman. Recent analysis of data from the U.S. Nurses Health Study found that women who consumed alcohol moderately on 5 to 7 days a week were more likely to have good overall health status as they aged than women who did not drink at all or who drank only a couple of times a week.
PLoS Medicine, 2011; 8 (9): e1001090

September 13, 2011
Simple food choices are actually quite complex. To make a decision to eat a food, the brain juggles multiple factors such as food taste and appearance versus perceived health attributes. The good news is that when presented with health cues, research subjects did tend to make more healthful food choices.
Journal of Neuroscience, 2011; 31 (30): 11077

September 17, 2011
The old adage to eat an apple a day may help to keep body fat at bay. When a fresh apple was consumed before a meal, people consumed 15 percent less calories on average. And, that included the calories from the apple. Apple sauce and apple juice did not have the same effect.
Appetite. 2009 Apr;52(2):416-22.

September 21, 2011
Mushrooms are one of the few non-animal food sources of vitamin D. To boost the vitamin D content of commercial mushrooms, some growers expose their growing mushrooms to ultraviolet light.
J Ag Food Chem 2011; 59 (16): 8724-8732.

September 25, 2011
A lesser-known variety of rice is black in color due to anthocyanin antioxidant compounds like those found in blueberries. Based on animal research with black rice, it may be good to mix black rice with white and brown rice for both color and good health.
J Ag Food Chem, 2010; 58 (18): 10007.

September 26, 2011
If you thought that prunes were only good for keeping the bowels on the move, think again. Also called dried plums, prunes are beneficial to bone health. It is not known exactly why prunes are good for bones, but it is likely due to the unique mixture of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals found in prunes.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):923-30.

September 30, 2011
Resveratrol is a compound found in the skins of dark colored grapes and the juice and wine made from them. Peanuts and some berries also contain resveratrol. Cell-culture and animal research indicate that resveratrol may help to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, however definitive human research is lacking.
The FASEB Journal, 2011; 25 (10): 3695.

October 9, 2011
When people cut potatoes out of their diet, they generally replace them with foods like bread, rice or pasta. A cup of cooked potato provides about 115 calories. However, a single slice of whole-grain bread has about 130 calories, a cup of rice (brown or white) is more than 200 calories and a cup of pasta will range from 150 to 200 calories. Do the math and potatoes look pretty good.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Nov;49(10):823-40.

October 13, 2011
Vitamins and other beneficial food components are generally absorbed very well from dietary supplements. However, key beneficial phytochemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are absorbed much better from the fresh or lightly cooked vegetable.
J. Agric. Food Chem., Sept 19, 2011 [Epub]

October 15, 2011
Population growth and increased global food needs are projected to create significant pressure on agriculture, land availability, water, biodiversity, and climate change. As we seek solutions to minimize environmental damage, necessary dietary changes will be challenged to maintain an adequate intake of essential nutrients.
Nature (2011) published online 12 October

November 4, 2011
In a recent study, researchers found that people consuming a 1-ounce mixture of raw unpeeled walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts daily for twelve weeks had higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin is associated with promoting a positive emotional state and normal sleep.
J Proteome Res. 2011 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

November 19, 2011
We now know that soybeans are a good source of protein along with other nutrients like riboflavin, vitamin K, copper, manganese, iron, etc. Archeologists are finding that communities in China, Korea, and Japan were well aware of this nutrient-rich food and were farming soybeans as long as 5000 years ago.
PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (11): e26720.

November 24, 2011
Despite ongoing news about economic woes in the nation, sales are up for organic and heritage turkeys that can sell for up to $150. Whether you are spending $3 or $150 on a turkey, best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day.
USDA Top Turkey Resources

December 3, 2011
A new study out of Sweden quantified the antioxidant capacity of the total diet of over 35,000 older women and found that the risk of stroke was decreases as the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increased. Future studies need to evaluate the role of nutrient adequacy of the diet concurrently with antioxidant capacity.
Stroke, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.635557 [ahead of print]

December 14, 2011
The health benefits of grapes and red wine have been attributed to the polyphenol components in the fruit's skins. Apple peels also contain polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory effects in the lower intestine.
J Leukoc Biol. 2011 Dec;90(6):1043-54. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

December 24, 2011
Accumulating research on salt questions current sodium recommendations that are based on the Institute of Medicine report published in 2004. More recent research indicates that lowering sodium intake to recommended levels may slightly lower blood pressure; however, other cardiovascular risk factors are elevated.
Am J Hypertension (2012); 25 1, 1–15.

December 28, 2011
Vegetables contribute natural antioxidant substances to the diet. The method of cooking that preserves these antioxidants best depends on the vegetable. In general, griddle- and microwave-cooking preserve antioxidants best while pressure-cooking and boiling cause the greatest losses.
J Food Sci. 2009 Apr;74(3):H97-H103.

January 8, 2012
Compounds from licorice root inhibit the growth of key bacteria that cause tooth decay. Don't be surprised if you start to see licorice root compounds in toothpaste or mouthwash ingredients.
J Nat Prod. 2011 Dec 27;74(12):2514-9.

January 11, 2012
Excessive alcohol consumption is well known to increase breast cancer risk. Some, but not all, research indicates that compounds in red wine help to decrease breast cancer risk in those who consume alcohol moderately.
J Womens Health. 2011 Dec 7. [Epub ahead of print]

January 14, 2012
Humans are known to have sensors to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory (umami). New research adds fat to this list and indicates that some people are better than others at tasting the presence of fat in foods.
Journal of Lipid Research, Dec. 31, 2011 [Epub ahead of print].

January 18, 2012
Some common foods with new natural colors can mean good nutrition. For example, unlike the classic white colored version, orange cauliflower, is a good source of the vitamin A precursor, beta carotene.
Biotechnol Annu Rev. 2008;14:171-90.

January 21, 2012
The message is clear that diets high in trans fatty acids are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, some natural trans fats such as those found in milk products may provide positive health effects. Not all trans fatty acids are created equal.
Adv Nutr 2011 vol. 2: 332-354,

January 25, 2012
Many Americans consume diets that are low in magnesium. Although low magnesium intake generally causes no noticeable symptoms in the short-run, the risk for stroke and various chronic diseases increases. Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole-grain cereals.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):362-6.

February 2, 2012
Tomato sauce, tomato paste, and catsup are concentrated forms of the tomato. Research links tomato product consumption with reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):326-33.

February 7, 2012
Want some fiber in your snack food? Try some popcorn. Archeological research indicates that ancient Peruvians were the first people to take advantage of this tasty food.
PNAS January 31, 2012 vol. 109 no. 5 1755-1759

February 12, 2012
It's great to feel good about eating something you really like. But, even the good stuff should be consumed in moderation. Chocolate is an excellent example. In moderation, it can be a good source of beneficial flavanols, but it doesn't take much chocolate to get a lot of calories.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]

February 13, 2012
Tomatoes are rich in a beneficial compound called lycopene. There is growing evidence that this red colored molecule has valuable cancer prevention properties. Tomato sauces are especially high in lycopene.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Dec 6:1-9.

March 3, 2012
The benefits of non-essential, but beneficial food components can be subtle. However, when the epicatechin in dark chocolate was fed to those with impaired muscle function, the benefit was obvious and measurable.
Clin Transl Sci. 2012 Feb;5(1):43-7.

March 5, 2012
The vitamin content of fresh fruits and vegetables can decline during transport, storage, and display in the store. Depending on the food, frozen and canned products often contain more vitamins than their fresh forms.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 87, Issue 7, May 2007, Pages: 1185–1196,

March 8, 2012
Vegetable intake can be augmented by adding vegetables to recipes to make foods like zucchini chocolate chip bread and broccoli gingerbread spice cake. Although this can increase vegetable intake, it does little to help children learn to appreciate the tastes and textures of vegetables.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Mar;44(2):178-82. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

March 20, 2012
Although a recent review of research linked white rice consumption to an increased risk of diabetes, it is not possible to conclude from this study that eating white rice is a cause of diabetes. The results do support the need for additional research on the role of overall carbohydrate intake in the development of diabetes.
BMJ. 2012 Mar 15;344:e1454.

March 23, 2012
A novel experiment indicated that people take smaller bites of food when the aroma of the food is greater. It is possible that this could be used to help reduce food intake.
Flavour, 2012, 1:3

March 29, 2012
Many beneficial compounds in foods and spices are chemically unstable, making them difficult to add to supplements or fortified foods in a form that does not readily break down. A new technique protects these molecules by surrounding them with a special type of carbohydrate that comes from seaweed.
Food Funct. 2012 Mar 15. [Epub ahead of print]

April 13, 2012
Plant fungal infections have now outstripped bacterial and viral diseases. World hunger could be significantly decreased by halting the spread of fungal diseases in the world's five most important crops: rice, wheat, maize, potatoes and soybeans. Supporting basic agricultural research is important to both nutrition and sustainability.
Nature, 2012; 484 (7393): 186 DOI: 10.1038/nature10947

April 14, 2012
The painful illness brucellosis is caused by a bacterium that can pass between pigs and humans. Although domestic pigs no longer harbor this disease, hunting of feral pigs can expose people to the bacteria. To avoid the disease, wear gloves when butchering feral pigs and cook the meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F (71 C).
J Wildl Dis. 2011 Apr;47(2):338-43.

April 20, 2012
The amount of salt in fast foods can vary by country. Most major fast food chains are gradually reducing the amount of salt in their foods. Consequently, the amount of salt in fast foods can change over time within a country.
CMAJ April 16, 2012 First published April 16, 2012, doi: 10.1503/cmaj.111895

April 28, 2012
Discussions about organic vs conventional agriculture are usually strongly pro or con for one or the other. However, hybrid farming that combines the strengths of each approach may be the best way to maximize yields and support environmental sustainability.
Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11069

April 29, 2012
When young men consumed watercress (85g or 2.5 cups of chopped watercress) before a workout, the workout produced significantly less damage to DNA and lipid components of cells. Like similar vegetables, watercress contains a variety of antioxidant substances that are the likely cause of this beneficial effect.
British Journal of Nutrition, 2012; : 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114512000992

April 30, 2012
Fish farming may help to relieve the human impact on wild fish populations of the fish that are being farmed. However, there is growing concern that some of the wild fish incorporated into aquaculture fish feeds may excessively impact some of the feed species.
Fisheries Research, 2012; 115-116: 115 DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2011.08.011

May 4, 2012
A compound in red grapes called resveratrol is thought to be one of the beneficial components of red wine. New research indicates that resveratrol affects the expression of genes that may, in fact, slow some age-related changes that commonly occur in mitochondria.
Cell Metabolism, 2012; 15 (5): 675 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.003

May 12, 2012
Legumes like soybeans, lentils, and chickpeas produce a class of naturally-occurring protease inhibitors called Bowman-Birk inhibitors that have potential health benefits. These interesting natural compounds are being studies for anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Mar 28;60(12):3135-43.

May 18, 2012
The good news on coffee keeps coming. A new study conducted on over 400,000 men and women during a span of 13 years found that deaths from a variety of diseases were lower in those who consumed more coffee. Though this type of study does not establish a "cause and effect" conclusion, it does at least support the concept that coffee is safe and potentially healthy to drink.
N Engl J Med 2012;366:1891-1904

May 25, 2012
For decades, research has questioned recommendations to avoid foods considered high in dietary cholesterol such as eggs. Not only do eggs have less cholesterol that previously thought, they are rich sources of biotin and choline that tend to be too low in American diets.
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Mar;15(2):117-21.

May 28, 2012
While the body weight of Americans has increased, so has eating out. This may have distorted our perception of what is a normal portion size as portions in fast food restaurants have increased greatly over the past 50 years.
CDC The New( Ab)normal

May 29, 2012
Nuts like almonds are a good source of dietary fiber and healthful fats. It appears that some of the fat travels along with the fiber to the lower intestine where it has potential prebiotic effects to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 Jul;74(14):4264-70.

June 2, 2012
The flavor of a food is not the same as the taste of the food. The flavor of a food is the brain's integration of the senses of both taste and smell and appears to have evolved as a way to identify foods that are safe to eat.
Chem Senses. 2012 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]

June 3, 2012
An international consortium of researchers has completed the decoding of the genome for a specific variety of tomato. This paves the way for plant breeders to more easily develop improved varieties with preferred qualities including enhanced flavor and nutrient content.
Nature 485, 635–641 (31 May 2012)

June 5, 2012
The flavor of a food is not the same as the taste of the food. The flavor of a food is the brain's integration of the senses of both taste and smell and appears to have evolved as a way to identify foods that are safe to eat.
Chem Senses. 2012 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]

June 20, 2012
The nutrients in a food are only as good as the amount of those nutrients that are absorbed into the body. A Purdue University study showed that adding various oils and fats to the diet increased the amount of fat-soluble carotenoids absorbed.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2012; 56 (6): 866-877

June 23, 2012
Many breakfast cereals have become more nutritious over the years in response to consumer preferences. Cereals can provide nutrient-dense whole grains and are usually low in fat. But, pay attention when purchasing children's cereals because the most advertised brands typically are high in sugar.
Cereal FACTS 2012: Limited progress in the nutrition quality and marketing of children's cereals

June 24, 2012
Brazilian researchers have developed a new type of gluten-free pasta. The major ingredient is green banana flour. Sensory evaluation results indicate good consumer acceptance as a substitute for wheat-based pasta.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012; 112 (7): Pages 1068-1072

July 4, 2012
Spinach may benefit muscle function, but not because of the high content of iron and calcium that are in poorly absorbed forms. The spinach promoter of muscle function appears to be nitrate.
J Physiol. 2012 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

July 5, 2012
Results of a study of over 400,000 men and women found that those who consumed the most coffee had a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer compared to those who did not consume coffee. Although this association type of study does not establish a cause and effect relationship, it does suggest that further study is warranted.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]

July 8, 2012
Sweeteners, both natural and artificial, get blamed for many health issues. A new position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics brings a rational, science-based focus to the discussion. When used as intended (in moderation), the sweeteners currently approved for use in foods are all considered to be safe. The full report is available for free online.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 May;112(5):739-58.

July 11, 2012
The glycemic index of a food is a measure of how much blood glucose rises during the 2-hour period after eating a measured amount of the food. A food like rice has many varieties that vary greatly in their values for glycemic index. Depending on the variety, rice can have a low, medium, or high glycemic index.
Rice. Volume 4, Number 2 (2011), 66-74.

July 31, 2012
Sports drinks are basically properly diluted sugar water with a flavor and a pinch of salt. Although this is what meets the needs of the competitive endurance athlete during exercise, most recreational athletes can do just as well with water.
BMJ. 2012 Jul 18;345:e4737.

August 2, 2012
The calorie content of a food provided on food labels is supposed to represent the approximate amount of calories in the food that are available to the human body. Foods that are poorly digested provide less calories than would be expected from their composition. A new human study found that almonds provide about 20% fewer calories than currently indicated on their nutrition facts labels.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):296-301.

August 5, 2012
Public education about the most healthful species of fish to eat may help to preserve the more endangered species. In general, the more sustainable types of fish species also are the most healthful for human consumption.
Ecological Applications, 2012; 22 (2): 597-607.

August 8, 2012
Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables to recommended levels improved symptoms in asthmatics. A lycopene supplement (tomato extract), however, did not improve symptoms.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]

August 12, 2012
Grapes contain compounds that are being studied for health benefits. Men with metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excess abdominal body fat, and low HDL cholesterol)experienced reduced blood pressure and improved vascular function after a month of taking a freeze-dried grape polyphenol powder daily.
J Nutr. 2012 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]

August 14, 2012
Few foods pack more calories per gram than chocolate due to its primary components: fat and sugar. But, chocolate lovers, don't despair. A new lower calorie type of chocolate may be on the way that incorporates a special form of fruit juices into the chocolate to cut the fat content in half.
Journal of Materials Chemistry, Aug 8, 2012 [Epub ahead of print]

August 20, 2012
New research provides some support for not drinking alcohol until 21 years of age. Starting drinking at younger ages, especially when drinking to the point of intoxication, was associated with a greater likelihood of later drinking problems.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01812.x. [Epub ahead of print]

August 21, 2012
Those taking "blood thinner" drugs like warfarin (coumadin) are commonly advised to avoid foods high in vitamin K because this vitamin can reduce the function of the drug, making it ineffective. There are other components in some foods (like pomegranate juice) that appear to do the opposite - cause the drug to build up and thin the blood too much.
Emerg Med J. 2010 Jan;27(1):74-5.

August 25, 2012
Purchasing the foods that meet nutrient needs can be difficult on a limited budget. A focus on limiting food waste by purchasing only food amounts that can be consumed in a timely manner can spare funds needed to purchase more food variety.
Global Food Losses and Food Waste - a FAO Report

September 3, 2012
For those concerned about the amount of alcohol they consume, research shows that people consume beer slower if the glass shape is straight rather than a curved beer glass that is narrower at the base than the rim. This may be due to differences in the perception of the half-way point of the glass.
PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43007. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

September 4, 2012
Microgreens are popular salad ingredients. Typically harvested within a couple weeks after seed germination, these small greens generally have greater levels of nutrients and phytochemicals that their more mature counterparts.
J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 8;60(31):7644-51. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

September 7, 2012
To help reduce sodium intake, try substituting soy sauce. Other flavors in soy sauce that likely come from naturally formed free amino acids like glutamate appear to help reduce the need for more salt flavor.
J Food Sci. 2009 Aug;74(6):S255-62.

September 9, 2012
Studies evaluating the potential differences between organically grown foods and standard fare continue to show no significant differences in nutrient content. Choosing organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues. However, the risk of exceeding maximum allowed pesticide residue limits in conventional foods is small.
Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012; 157 (5): 348-366

September 11, 2012
Red wine has been touted for a potential blood pressure lowering effect. A new study of sixty-seven men at high cardiovascular risk found that daily consumption of dealcoholized red wine decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure more than the consumption of regular red wine or gin.
Circ Res. 2012 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

September 12, 2012
A small bottle of the mega-selling 5-Hour Energy product provides over 200 milligrams of caffeine. Reviews of the product indicate that none of the other ingredients in the product are likely to add to the boost provided by the caffeine. If you like energy drinks like this, remember that the acidity of these products can be hard on tooth enamel. Wash them down with well-swished water.
Gen Dent. 2012 May-Jun;60(3):190-7.

September 24, 2012
Meeting nutrient needs within your calorie needs can be expensive. A recent study found that diets providing healthful amounts of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium are significantly more expensive.
PLoS ONE 7(5): e37533.

September 30, 2012
In a Swedish study of more than 32,000 49-83-year-old women, dietary total antioxidant capacity estimated from the consumption of fruits, vegetables, coffee, and whole grains, was was associated with a reduced risk of heart attack.
Am J Med. 2012 Oct;125(10):974-80.

October 6, 2012
The recommendation to eat an apple a day can now add heart health benefits to its accomplishments. Recent research showed that this simple dietary intervention decreased the risk of atherosclerosis partially due to poyphenols.
Journal of Functional Foods, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2012.08.010

October 12, 2012
We all know we should include vegetables in our daily fare. But how often do you include sea vegetables? Edible seaweeds provide many of the same nutrients as land vegetables. Some seaweeds even contain substantial amounts of iodine, a nutrient often low in American diets.
Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:371-90.

October 17, 2012
The world's population has reached a level that is beginning to exceed the supply of food. However, much of the currently produced food is lost as waste. A new study estimated that cutting food waste in half on a global level would feed an additional billion people.
Science of The Total Environment, 2012; 438: 477.

October 18, 2012
Colorful foods often get their color from substances called carotenoids. The best known carotenoid is probably beta-carotene that makes carrots orange and that the body can convert into vitamin A. Other carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are rich in foods like collards, broccoli, and yellow corn, benefit eye health and appear to be beneficial for the brain as well.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct 10. [Epub ahead of print]

October 23, 2012
As temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase with global warming, new research indicates that growing rice will become less climate friendly. This is primarily because the production of the greenhouse gas methane will increase due to the activity of microorganisms that thrive in rice paddies.
Nature Climate Change, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]

October 24, 2012
A new review article comparing organic to conventional food production in the U.S., confirmed the primary conclusions of the controversial systematic review published last month by Stanford researchers. This new review also indicates that based on current evidence, nutritional differences between the two types of foods are minor. They also emphasize that continuing research is warranted on potentially important differences between organic and conventional foods.
Pediatrics. October 22, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]

October 26, 2012
Cooking foods at high temperatures by frying and grilling increases the amount of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs for short). Since excess consumption of AGEs is linked to the progression of many chronic diseases, consuming less AGEs in the diet may benefit long term health. Cooking methods that minimize the formation of AGEs include steaming, stewing, poaching, and boiling.
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

October 31, 2012
Potato varieties are being crossed to produce many new colors. Many of these new colorful potatoes provide the nutritional benefit of higher levels of carotenoids, making them more nutritionally similar to sweet potatoes and yams.
J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. July 2011 136:265-272

November 25, 2012
Corn is a common staple food that has the potential to benefit eye health in both developed and under-developed parts of the world. Scientists now know which gene functions to make some varieties of corn high in zeaxanthin (beneficial for retinal health) and other varieties high in beta-carotene (can be converted to vitamin A) to help prevent blindness in developing countries.
Nat Genet. 2010 Apr;42(4):322-7.

November 29, 2012
Want people to see you as a good cook that also cares? Don't forget to include a vegetable on the plate. As new research puts it, serving vegetables as part of the meal increases the hedonic appeal of the meal and heroic appeal of the cook.
Public Health Nutr. 2012 Nov 15:1-7.

December 2, 2012
If you are not fond of eating fish, new products are on the horizon that can provide those important omega-3 fatty acids. Milk could be the next omega-3 fortified food based on research indicating that the fatty acids can be added without affecting the taste or smell of the milk.
J Dairy Sci. 2012;95(110:6242-6251.

December 6, 2012
Resveratrol is a phytochemical found naturally in foods like grapes and peanuts. Dietary supplements of resveratrol have been found to benefit people with elevated blood glucose, but as expected, the supplement does not cause measurable changes in people with normal glucose control.
Cell Metabolism. 2012 16(5):658-664.

December 14, 2012
Like tomato sauces? A new study indicates that lycopene, the colorful antioxidant in tomato products, can improve markers of antioxidant status and inflammation related to heart health. Cooked tomato sauces provide more readily absorbed lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Jan;24(1):163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

December 16, 2012
A Spanish study of almost 4000 older people with high cardiovascular risk (mean age 67) found that those who consumed the most gazpacho soup on a regular basis had the lowest blood pressure despite significantly greater sodium intake.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Nov 10. pii: S0939-4753(12)00181-0.[Epub ahead of print]

December 25, 2012
In case you were not already sure, those scrumptious recipes prepared by popular TV chefs have been evaluated based on nutrition recommendations. Frequently these recipes are very high in calories and fat in relation to beneficial nutrients. Home prepared meals that rely primarily on healthful raw ingredients are more likely to be nutritionally balanced.
BMJ. 2012 Dec 14;345:e7607.

December 26, 2012
As the world population grows, so does the demand for efficiently produced high protein foods. Insects have the potential to help fill this protein gap.
PLoS ONE 7(12): e51145.

January 4, 2013
A study evaluating brain scans of 20 young, normal-weight people found that the sugar fructose does not promote a sensation of fullness to the same degree as the sugar glucose. The ramifications of this remain to be explored further. Foods especially high in fructose include agave syrup and some fruits such as dates and raisins.
JAMA. 2013;309(1):63-70.

January 6, 2013
Food packaging is known to influence food acceptability. A recent study served people hot chocolate in white, red, orange, (all white on the inside) and dark cream colored plastic vending cups. The beverage was rated as tasting better when served in the orange or dark cream colored cups.
J Sensory Studies 27 (5): 324–331, 2012.

January 9, 2013
Components in red wine (not the alcohol) were found to have the potential to increase testosterone levels by potentially decreasing testosterone excretion in the urine. However, this was based on a cellular "test tube" type of study and human studies are needed for confirmation.
Nutr J. 2012 Sep 7;11:67.

January 13, 2013
According to a recent study, foods labeled with the whole grains "stamp" logo provide more dietary fiber than similar foods without the stamp. However, on average, a serving of these "stamped" foods contains more sugar and provides significantly more calories than comparable non-stamped foods.
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jan 4:1-10.

January 29, 2013
A review of the scientific literature on high-fat dairy foods found that these foods do not contribute to obesity or cardiometabolic risk. This study challenges the assumption that high-fat dairy foods should not be part of a healthy diet and encourages more research on this topic.
Eur J Nutr (2013) 52:1–24

February 17, 2013
Some foods that often get put on the "bad list" are rich sources of important nutrients. Recent extensive research reviews indicate that whole milk and eggs can be beneficial components of the diet when consumed in reasonable amounts.
Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):1-24.

February 21, 2013
A portion of the starch in some foods is not digestible in the human small intestine. This "resistant starch" is utilized for energy by bacteria in the colon. The metabolic byproducts these bacteria produce from the resistant starch are beneficial to the cells lining the colon and may help to prevent colorectal cancer. Among commonly consumed foods, legumes (beans and peas) are the richest sources of resistant starch with about ten percent of their starch in this form.
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 29(2):190-194, March 2013.

February 22, 2013
If you took a nutrition class, you learned that carbohydrate, protein, and fat provide 4, 4, and 9 Calories per gram, respectively. These values were determined early in the 20th century by William Atwater and are commonly called the Atwater factors. However, 4, 4, and 9 are not the original numbers - only rounded approximations. For example, the actual Atwater values for beans and nuts are 4.07, 3.47, and 8.37.
See page 25 of Energy Value of Foods, USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 74

March 1, 2013
Estimating the impact of how we eat on the production of greenhouse gases is complicated by many variables. A recent systematic attempt to do this illustrates that it is important to compare equal calorie amounts of foods. When this was done, there was little difference in greenhouse gas production associated with the consumption of fruits, vegetables, pork, poultry, and eggs. Dairy foods ranked lower than fruits and vegetables.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):569-83.

March 4, 2013
Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds found in plant foods and are especially high in soy foods. These compounds also are present in various animal foods, but are present in much smaller amounts. Research has found both pro and con effects of phytoestrogens. Moderation in the intake of soy foods seems to be the best option.
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (21), pp 10099–10104

March 11, 2013
Consumption of grapefruit prior to a meal can enhance insulin function and help in the management of blood glucose. However, grapefruit can interact with many medications. Those taking medications should consult with their physician and/or pharmacist about possible interactions that would contraindicate consuming grapefruit, its juice, or other grapefruit products.
J Med Food. 2006 Spring;9(1):49-54.

March 16, 2013
Putting the amount of calories on fast food packaging may be helpful for health-conscious consumers. However, using clear symbols to indicate calorie amounts appears to work better to help less health-conscious consumers to consume less calories.
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 Feb 8;10(1):21. [Epub ahead of print]

March 31, 2013
The micro-ecology of the bacterial population in the human colon is proving to play a substantial role in overall health. The types and amounts of various bacteria may be influenced by both the foods we eat and the bacteria present in or on those foods. New research found that the types and relative amounts of bacteria present on surface of fruits and vegetables commonly eaten raw can vary due to many variables, including farming practices.
PLoS ONE 8(3): e59310. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059310

April 8, 2013
As plant breeders are working to find cultivars that produce well under changing climatic conditions, it is also important to keep changes in nutritional quality in mind.
Plant Cell. 2013 Mar 15. [Epub ahead of print]

April 10, 2013
Showing that the label can influence our perceptions of a product, researchers at Cornell found that when a food product was labeled as "organic," people perceived the food to have less calories and be more nutritious than identical products not bearing the organic label. They referred to this as the "Health Halo Effect."
Food Qual Pref. 2013;29(1):33-39.

April 15, 2013
Research on consumer responses to limiting sugary drink container sizes indicates that many soda drinkers may actually end up drinking more soda when the beverage is offered in bundles of smaller-sized drinks.
PLoS ONE 8(4): e61081.

April 16, 2013
What does "natural" really mean on a product label? There is little agreement on the definition. New efforts are in progress to clarify when the term can be legally used on food labels.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance.

April 18, 2013
As shown by many studies of the placebo effect, brain function can be affected by many factors. A recent study found that just the taste of beer, without the alcohol, increased brain levels of dopamine much the same as beer with alcohol. Those with a family history of alcoholism were most sensitive to this effect.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 15 April 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

April 20, 2013
"Let them eat paper." Scientists have worked out an enzyme system to convert cellulose into starch. Cellulose is a structural component of plants and is a major part of dietary fiber in most plant foods. Starch can be an important source of calories for people and also can provide the substrate for yeast to produce alcohol.
PNAS. April 15, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

April 22, 2013
It is common to hear people recommend selecting food items only with short ingredient lists with ingredients you can recognize and understand. The problem with this is that nutrient enrichment and fortification can sometimes add ingredients like retinyl palmitate that many consumers do not recognize as vitamin A.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:680-685.

April 26, 2013
The Internet is a great resource for spreading knowledge. It seems to be equally effective at spreading stupidity. Thousands of YouTube videos with millions of views have popularized the possibly life-threatening challenge to consume a spoonful of dry powdered cinnamon. Inhalation of the cinnamon powder can cause a medical emergency and possibly result in lung damage.
Pediatrics. April 22, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

May 3, 2013
Natural and safe do not always go together. Natural is not necessarily better in medicine and the same can be said for food and nutrition.
JAMA. 2013;309(17):1783-1784.

May 18, 2013
When you incorporate the recommendation to include a variety of colorful vegetables in your diet, remember that white is a color too. Including white vegetables in the diet, such as potatoes and cauliflower, can increase the intake of nutrients like potassium and magnesium that often are under-consumed in the U.S.
Adv Nutr.2013;4:318S-326S.

May 21, 2013
Combining dietary protective foods may be more beneficial than either food alone. When studying mice with a strong predisposition to developing prostate cancer, researchers found that a diet with both tomato powder and soy germ powder reduced prostate cancer significantly more than either substance fed separately.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

May 23, 2013
Tomatoes contain large amounts of the carotenoid lycopene that is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Another study was just published that supports the risk-reducing effects of tomatoes and tomato products, but it remains to be proved that lycopene is the key protective component.
Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 15:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

May 25, 2013
Love garlic but not the resultant garlic breath? A innovative study found that drinking milk, especially whole milk, along with a garlic-containing meal helps to significantly reduce the levels of the offending compounds in the breath.
J Food Sci. 2010 Aug 1;75(6):C549-58.

June 1, 2013
Although artificial sweeteners generally provide no calories, they may affect the metabolic response to food sources of calories. A recent study conducted with obese individuals found that consuming a beverage containing sucralose ten minutes prior to a glucose tolerance test caused an increase in the peak level of blood glucose and in the amount of insulin released during the test.
Diabetes Care. 2013 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]

June 3, 2013
An evaluation of the cost of obtaining key nutrients from vegetables found that beans and potatoes were the most affordable food sources of most of these key nutrients. Sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and collards also ranked well.
PLoS One. 2013 May 15;8(5):e63277. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063277. Print 2013.

June 8, 2013
Alcoholic beverages now have the option to provide a nutrition label on their product. The standard format will have "Serving Facts" as the panel heading and include serving size, percent and fluid ounces of alcohol, calories, carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
TTB Ruling 2013–2

June 20, 2013
Consuming caffeine within an hour of exercise has been shown to reduce the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma. A dose of caffeine equivalent to two to six cups of coffee showed benefit.
Int J Sports Med. 2010 Apr;31(4):231-6.

June 25, 2013
A recent study found that human gut bacteria can metabolize compounds like carnitine to trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) which increases atherosclerosis in mice. Since beef contains carnitine, the authors proposed this to be why beef has been associated with cardiovascular disease. However, they failed to point out that consuming fish increases TMAO production by 10 to 50 times the level observed after beef consumption.
Nat Med. 2013 May;19(5):576-85.

June 27, 2013
Liquid test meals that were higher in saturated or polyunsaturated fat components produced a greater sense of fullness than the same meal high in monounsaturated fats. The study used butter, palm oil, and coconut oil for the high saturated fat meal, sunflower and flaxseed oils for the high polyunsaturated meal, and canola and olive oils for the high monounsaturated meal.
Appetite. 2013 May 18;69C:39-45

June 28, 2013
If you enjoy eating chocolate, research indicates that you can feel good about eating it too. Although the effect is small in most people, moderate consumption of dark chocolate and cocoa can contribute to lowering of blood pressure.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Aug 15;8:CD008893.

July 6, 2013
It is known that specific brain cells release the neurotransmitter dopamine in response to pleasure stimuli. New research indicates that dopamine release in the retina of the eye responds similarly and is relatively easy to study with eye imaging technology. This may facilitate the study of food and drug pleasure responses associated with addictive behaviors.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 May;21(5):976-80. doi: 10.1002/oby.20101.

July 7, 2013
Picture books designed to teach preschool children concepts related to nutrition and how the body uses the nutrient components of food helped to increase vegetable consumption by the children. A focus on how their body uses nutrients from a wide variety of foods was much more effective than a focus on how food affects health.
Psychol Sci. 2013 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print]

July 10, 2013
When cows consume diets containing iodine, their milk can be a good source of the essential element. Research conducted in Spain found that the iodine content of organically produced milk was significantly lower than the iodine in the milk from conventional production techniques.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:513-8.

July 27, 2013
Reseveratrol, the key polyphenol antioxidant in dark grapes and red wine, has been observed to have exercise-like effects on metabolism in some animal studies. However, a new study on resveratrol supplementation (250 mg/day) in older men (about 65 years of age) actually prevented many of the usual positive changes that take place in response to an exercise training program. The dose of resveratrol used in the study is more than 100 times the amount present in a typical bottle of red wine.
J Physiology. July 22, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

August 3, 2013
Milk is commonly consumed with breakfast cereals high in sugar. However, keeping some milk separate from the cereal to consume after the meal was shown to significantly decrease acidity in the plaque on teeth, reducing the key cause of tooth decay.
J Am Dental Assn. 2013;144(7):815-822.

August 21, 2013
Pancreatic cancer is very aggressive and deadly. New research on pancreatic cancer cells indicates that a flavonoid called apigenin, that is found in foods such as celery, artichokes, and Mexican oregano, is likely to help prevent pancreatic cancer and may enhance treatment of the cancer when used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jul 18;60C:83-91.

August 26, 2013
It is common to think of genetically modified crops as those designed to maximize the profits of big corporations and mega-farms. However, golden rice, modified to contain beta-carotene (a vitamin A precursor), was developed by the nonprofit International Rice Research Institute. The goal is to prove an affordable source of vitamin A to people who do not have the means to obtain this nutrient from other foods. This rice has the potential to prevent rampant blindness and deaths due to impaired immune function in many parts of the world.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1776-83.

August 27, 2013
Although crocodiles are highly carnivorous, it turns out that they do venture into plant foods at times. These reptiles may even play an important role in the dispersal of the seeds of some fruits.
J Zoology. 16 JUL 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

August 28, 2013
Have you ever been surprised that someone else likes the taste of a particular sweetener that tastes bitter or metallic to you? It turns out that minor differences in specific genes can have a major impact on how we sense substances like artificial sweeteners. This is why the big soda companies typically offer a variety of sweetener options in their diet sodas.
Chem Senses. 2013 Jun;38(5):379-89.

September 19, 2013
MRI brain scanning indicates that carbonation of a beverage makes it more difficult for the brain to sense the difference between sugar and a mixture of the non-caloric sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame. Carbonation also appears to blunt the sensation of high levels of sugar in a beverage, making it easy to consume potentially excessive amounts of sugar.
Gastroenterology. 2013 Sep;145(3):537-539.e3.

September 30, 2013
The starchy root of the cassava plant (source of tapioca) serves as the major staple food for many people around the world. Researchers recently determined that, in addition to the starch in the tuberous root of the plant, the stems of the plant contain rather high amounts of starch. Techniques to utilize the plant stems for food and bioenergy production are under development.
GCB Bioenergy. 9 Sep 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

October 2, 2013
You may have seen recent headlines stating that girls who ate more peanut butter had less benign breast disease later in life. Although the related study demonstrated an interesting association, the study design cannot be interpreted to mean that eating more peanut butter will reduce breast disease.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013;141(2):299-306.

October 10, 2013
Famous athletes frequently are featured in ads for foods and beverages that are rich in calories, but poor in nutrients. Keep in mind that these athletes are being paid for their image, not their nutritional expertise. Although these types of food can fit into a healthful diet, they still should be consumed in moderation.
Pediatrics. 7 Oct 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

October 17, 2013
Since a salad smothered in a rich salad dressing can be a high calorie meal, calorie-conscious people may opt for low fat or fat-free dressings. However, many of the beneficial colorful carotenoids in vegetables are poorly absorbed when they are consumed without a source of fat or oil in the meal. About a tablespoon and a half of canola oil (180 calories) added to a salad was found to be effective at promoting carotenoid absorption.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Jun;56(6):866-77.

November 5, 2013
A study of people eating at fast food restaurants found that adults and adolescents generally underestimate the calorie content of meals. This was especially true when they were consuming large meals and when they were eating at Subway restaurants.
BMJ. 2013 May 23;346:f2907. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f2907.

October 7, 2013
Some have proposed food labeling that uses a traffic light system. Foods are identified as red (unhealthy), yellow (less healthy), or green (healthy). Unfortunately, foods are not all that simple. It may be risky to overly simplify the complexity of food composition into a system normally used to convey only go/caution/stop.
Prev Med. 2013 Oct;57(4):253-7.

November 8, 2013
Involving children in food preparation not only prepares them for life, it also increases their awareness of foods and how to eat a more varied diet.
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jan;16(1):108-12.

November 10, 2013
Rapeseed is the source of Canola oil. Generally, the seed components remaining after oil pressing are used in animal feeds. New methods of processing these pressings are producing protein isolates that may soon show up in human foods as well.
Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;32(4):519-26.

November 14, 2013
In case you didn't already figure it out, chicken nuggets provide more calories from fat and carbohydrate than from protein. Although this information has been available in the USDA nutrient database for some time, researchers from a medical center published a "tongue-in-cheek" paper in which they performed surgery and microscopic analysis of chicken nuggets to see what they were made of.
Am J Med. 2013 Nov;126(11):1018-9.

November 15, 2013
Researchers have developed what could be called a "happy onion." It has less of the eye-irritating protein that makes you tear-up over your chopped onions. It also contains a compound similar to one in garlic that is thought to enhance cardiovascular health.
J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 6;61(44):10574-81.

November 27, 2013
Just in case you have been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years, a very large 10-country European study of over 400,000 people found that consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease. This relationship was strongest for people with high alcohol consumption, high body mass index, and for smokers. Of course, we still need foods from other food groups to meet all nutrient needs.
Am. J. Epidemiol. (2013) 178 (4): 590-602.

December 16, 2013
A study on fatty acid content of organic and conventionally produced milk found that organic milk had a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. However, milk is not considered to be a good source of these fatty acids. According to data in this publication, a one-cup serving of organic or conventional whole milk provides less than five percent of the recommended adequate intake for the key omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.
PLoS ONE 8(12): e82429.

December 21, 2013
The artificial sweeteners sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Sunett or Sweet One) were tested in a well-controlled study to evaluate their effects on the body's response to consuming the sugar glucose. When beverages with these artificial sweeteners were consumed 10 minutes before drinking a glucose sweetened beverage, there was no effect on blood glucose or hormonal responses.
Diabetes Care. 2013 vol. 36 no. 12 e202-e203.

January 11, 2014
Caffeine in coffee is known to trigger increased urine production following consumption. However, studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption as part of the overall diet hydrates the body as well as other beverages in people who habitually consume coffee.
PLoS ONE 9(1): e84154.

January 26, 2014
The phytochemical lycopene makes tomatoes red and it also functions as an antioxidant. Cooking tomatoes actually increases the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content.
J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):3010-4

January 30, 2014
The seeds of the quinoa plant have become a popular nutty-tasting grain-like food that is gluten-free and well tolerated by people with celiac disease. Quinoa, however, is high in oxalates and can contributes to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones in people that have a tendency toward developing kidney stones.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan 21. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.431. [Epub ahead of print]

February 6, 2014
Think you know the difference between conventionally and organically grown produce? Most of us have only a vague idea. The actual differences in nutrient amounts and pesticide residues are less significant than you might think. Read the links below this tip to help put it into a clear perspective.
CTAHR/UHM Food Safety and Technology. Dec 2013;FST-56.

February 8, 2014
Nutritionists often stress that the best way to meet nutrient needs is to consume a variety of wholesome foods from all of the food groups. However, when people cannot or will not eat this way, proper nutrient fortification of key foods can prevent a great deal of misery and save lives. For example, folic acid fortification of wheat flour resulted in a reduction of the incidence of neural tube defects in infants by 33% in Brazil and 59% in Mexico.
Pub Health Nutr. 2014;17(03):537-550.

February 10, 2014
Researchers found a strawberry suited for farming in space that could produce berries for astronauts during long space travel. The plant produces well even with a short light cycle. This cultivar, called Seascape, could probably be good for "apartment gardening" as well.
Adv Space Res. 2010;46(6):735–743.

February 15, 2014
If you woke up "feeling a little flushed" and all you indulged in last night was Valentine's Day chocolates, you may have over-consumed the compound theobromine. Although not a nutrient, theobromine can dilate blood vessels and stimulate the heart causing a "flushed" sensation.
Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Jun;8(3):205-11.

February 17, 2014
Some nutrition experts are extending their concerns about sugar-sweetened beverages to fruit juices that typically have about the same amount of sugar as sodas. Sorry Jamba Juice. But to top this off, the U.S. MyPlate system currently considers 1 cup of fruit or fruit juice and ½ cup of dried fruit to be equivalent. However, be careful. One cup of grapes has about 23 grams of sugar, a cup of grape juice has 36 grams of sugar, and a half cup of raisins has 45 grams of sugar. Any questions?
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 10 February 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 4, 2014
Wheat is a major staple in 97.4% of countries around the world along with rice (in 90.8%) and soy (in 74.3%). This reduction of food crop diversity has heightened interdependence among countries in relation to availability and access to these food sources. Decreased diversity in key staple foods increases the risk of future famine.
PNAS. Jan 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 6, 2014
Including fish in the diet has often been shown to have health benefits. A new study reports that increasing fish in the diet resulted in increased levels of the more protective larger HDL particles in the blood.
PLoS One. 2014 Feb 28;9(2):e90352.

March 7, 2014
When garlic bulbs are left around too long, they begin to sprout with green shoots. Most of us toss them out at that point. However, a new study stresses that these sprouting garlic bulbs are higher in antioxidant components. The study did not provide a comparison of sprouted garlic's culinary attributes compared to regular garlic. Feeling adventurous?
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Feb 26;62(8):1875-80.

March 8, 2014
Middle-aged, overweight men, who consumed 70 grams (2.5 ounces) of dark chocolate per day for four weeks, had changes in blood vessel function that decreased their risk of cardiovascular disease. This may lead to the development of a drug that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, we will just need to eat dark chocolate.
FASEB J. 2014 Mar;28(3):1464-73. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-239384. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

March 10, 2014
A recent scientific workshop evaluated the associations between red and processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer. The workshop emphasized that research results about disease links with individual foods can be misleading when not considered within the context of a balanced diet that meets nutrient needs.
Meat Science. 2014 24 February. [Epub ahead of print]

March 27, 2014
Many people feel that essential nutrients are only available from fresh produce. However, a recent study from Michigan State University analyzed nutrient data from more than 40 scientific studies and concluded that frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are cost-effective and provide quality nutrition for meeting nutrient needs.
Am J Lifestyle Med. Feb 27, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 30, 2014
A new study found that marinating meat in beer before cooking on a charcoal grill reduced the formation of potential carcinogens during cooking. Previous studies have found similar benefits from marination with wine or tea.
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

April 10, 2014
Olestra, also known by the brand name Olean, is a nonabsorbable fat substitute used in some reduced calorie foods. Since olestra can bind fat soluble substances and carry them out of the body, recent research indicates that consuming olestra can significantly reduce fat soluble toxins in the body such as PCBs. However, olestra also can bind fat-soluble vitamins and prevent their absorption too.
J Nutr Biochem. 2014;25(4):483-488.

April 16, 2014
Quinoa is a grain-like food that has become increasingly popular in the U.S. during the past five years or so. It is a good source of some nutrients. However, quinoa also is high in oxalate and should be avoided by people that are predisposed to forming calcium oxalate kidney stones.
J Alim Nutr. 2009;20(4):669-675

April 19, 2014
Banning chocolate milk in school meals to cut back on sugar has been debated for decades. A recent study of 11 schools that stopped offering chocolate milk found that (after one year) there was an overall 10% decrease in milk sales and a 29% increase in milk waste. This change would also decrease the calcium and protein consumed.
PLoS One. 2014 Apr 16;9(4):e91022.

April 30, 2014
There is more good news for coffee drinkers. A very large study found that those who increased their coffee intake during a four-year study period were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not change coffee consumption. Those who decreased their coffee drinking during the study were more likely to develop diabetes.
Diabetologia, April 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 1, 2014
A study that followed over 600,000 women for about nine years found no difference in overall cancer occurrence in those who at primarily organic food compared to those who did not. However, the researchers did find a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in those mostly or always consuming organic foods. Other studies are needed to determine if this observation was based on chance alone and if it has a logical explanation.
Br J Cancer. 2014 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]

May 11, 2014
New research reports that increased carbon dioxide levels in the air can cause common staple grain foods to have reduced levels of zinc, iron, and protein. Since the supply of these nutrients already is limited in many parts of the world, we need to seek ways to prevent this from causing massive nutrient deficiencies in the future.
Nature 07 May 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 16, 2014
Some studies indicate that resveratrol (a compound found in red grapes, some berries, chocolate, and peanuts) helps to reduce inflammation in the body. However, a recent Italian study suggests that the amounts of resveratrol consumed in the diet do not reduce measures of inflammation nor enhance longevity.
JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 17, 2014
Nitrate and nitrite are a food additives that turn out to have beneficial effects in the body. These are used to inhibit microbial growth in foods like hot dogs. As it turns out, spinach contains about 80 times as much nitrate as hot dogs and beets have about 25 times as much. In the body, nitrates and nitrites are used to produce nitric oxide which helps to lower blood pressure.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2013;33:129-59.

May 19, 2014
Some people joke that they consume only one to two alcoholic drinks a day on average, consuming them all on Saturday. New research on the effects of binge drinking shows that this is not a good idea. They found that consuming four to five drinks within a two hour period compromised the intestine in a way that caused bacterial toxins to enter the body and show up in the blood.
PLoS One. 2014 May 14;9(5):e96864.

May 20, 2014
Does coffee give you heartburn? A study with nine volunteers found that dark roast coffee triggers less stomach acid secretion than medium roast.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]

May 22, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new sweetener called advantame. It is similar to aspartame in chemical structure, but is about 100 times sweeter than aspartame and 20,000–37,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Since extremely small amounts are needed as a sweetener, there is no risk for people with phenylketonuria and no requirement for a label statement for those with PKU.
WHO Food Additives Series: 68; 2013.

June 18, 2014
Kombucha tea, is black tea with added sugar that is then fermented with a yeast and bacterial culture. Although it is promoted for its health benefits, there is little evidence that it is beneficial to people. Unless it is made under well-monitored conditions by knowledgeable preparers, the beverage can be dangerous to consume.
J Environ Health. 2013 Nov;76(4):8-11.

June 24, 2014
As we learn more about the mix of microorganisms living in our lower intestine, it grows increasingly evident that investigating the effect of the whole diet is more applicable than studying the effects of individual foods.
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 26, 2014
Do you fall for all the "healthy" buzzwords? A study found that terms on food labels such as antioxidants, organic, gluten-free, and whole grains often are used to give an otherwise standard food or even not so healthy food the "healthy" halo.
Food Studies. 2014;3(1):9-18.

June 28, 2014
Want to detox? New research indicates that Mom was right - eat your broccoli. Compounds found in broccoli and related plant foods contain substances that help the body detoxify and eliminate a variety of toxic compounds commonly found in our modern environment.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

July 2, 2014
Consumer-based research shows that most food and food ingredient fears often are based on lack of knowledge. Increased knowledge about the history and production of a feared ingredient generally reduces fear of the ingredient.
Food Qual Pref. 2014;38:40–48.

July 5, 2014
A study that fed men 50 grams of almonds a day for four weeks found that it increased their blood levels of vitamin E and benefited blood vessel function. Almonds are high fat, protein, fiber, and calories, all of which have high satiety value. Because 50 grams of almonds provide about 300 calories, it would be prudent to remove 300 calories of other snack foods from the diet to prevent undesired weight gain.
Free Radic Res. 2014 May;48(5):599-606.

August 19, 2014
A study of the diets of over 7000 children and adolescents found that without nutrient-fortified foods in the diet, a high percentage of the children and adolescents had inadequate intakes of numerous vitamins and minerals. Consumption of fortified foods substantially reduced the the number of participants that did not meet the Estimated Average Requirement for many, but not all nutrients
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jul;114(7):1009-1022.e8.

August 25, 2014
Genetically modified (GMO) plant foods are traditionally produced by introducing a foreign gene from another plant or organism into the plant's genetic makeup. Watch for a new approach to genetic modification called genetic editing. This approach does not involve introducing any foreign genes.
Trends in Biotechnology, August 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

September 1, 2014
Food products that indicate zero grams of trans fat per serving may still contain some trans fatty acids if the product contains partially hydrogenated oil. If a food has less than a half a gram of trans fat per serving, labeling regulations require that the product indicate zero grams on the label. Generally this is not a concern because a typical adult would need to consume more than five servings a day of these types of food to exceed the American Heart Association's recommendation to consume less than one percent of dietary calories in the form of trans fats.
Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140161.

September 6, 2014
Vitamin A deficiency causes irreversible damage to the health of millions of children, causing blindness in many. "Golden Rice" provides enough beta-carotene to meet most, if not all, of the vitamin A recommendation for children in rice-eating cultures. New efforts are under way to explore the appropriate use of this genetically modified rice to reduce the burden of vitamin A deficiency.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;96(3):658-64.

October 5, 2014
Organic Foods: Although organically grown foods have not been shown to provide more nutrients, a recent review found evidence that organically grown foods do have higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds, lower concentrations of toxic cadmium, and a lower incidence of pesticide residues. It remains to be demonstrated that these differences between organic and conventionally grown foods are significant enough to affect overall health.
Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep;112(5):794-811.

October 12, 2014
Chocolate and Blood Flow: A small study of 20 people who had peripheral artery disease (reduced blood flow to the legs) found that they could walk farther and longer two hours after eating dark chocolate when compared to milk chocolate. The researchers think that the greater amount of polyphenol compounds in dark chocolate enhanced arterial dilation and improved blood flow to the muscles.
J Am Heart Assoc. 2014 Jul 2;3(4).

October 28, 2014
Non-dairy Milks and Vitamin D Status: Alternatives to cows milk like soy milk are increasingly being selected by parents for their children for perceived health benefits. However, these milk substitutes are not nutritionally equivalent to milk and are low in or lack nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. When choosing these milk substitute products, select the calcium and vitamin D fortified options.
CMAJ. 2014 Oct 20. pii: cmaj.140555. [Epub ahead of print]

November 5, 2014
Beetroot, Nitrate, and Muscle: Due to its high nitrate content, beetroot juice has been found to increase nitric oxide and expand blood vessel diameter to increase blood flow to working muscles. A new study with rats indicates that beetroot juice preferentially increases blood flow to fast-twitch muscle fibers that play a major role in higher intensity exercise.
Nitric Oxide. 2014 Oct 2. [Epub ahead of print]

November 20, 2014
Sugar Sodas and Adolescent Health: Although sugar-sweetened sodas provide more sugar than most of us need, a new study found that when active teenagers consumed the equivalent of about two sodas a day (sweetened primarily with glucose or fructose) it had little impact on common markers of metabolic health. The key word is "active" teenagers. For the rapidly growing and highly active adolescent, the sugar in a couple of sodas gets utilized rapidly. For more sedentary individuals, the study results could have been quite different.
Am J Clin Nutr September 2014 vol. 100 no. 3 796-805

November 23, 2014
Crickets in Your Food: Future food predictions indicate that protein will become a limited resource. As part of the solution, crickets are being touted as containing more protein than chicken or beef. But beware, those numbers are comparing dried crickets to fresh chicken and beef. In the live animal form, crickets contain about half the protein of chicken and beef. However, ground crickets or "cricket flour" is a convenient way to add a high protein ingredient to foods. Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The
Annu Rev Entomol. 2013;58:563-83. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120811- 153704. Epub 2012 Sep 27

November 25, 2014
Blueberries and Night Vision: It has been proposed that blueberries improve night vision. Two human research trials show that is not the case. However, blueberries did have a small effect on helping vision recover after brief exposure to a bright light.
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Nov 19;62(46):11180-11189. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

November 26, 2014
Phytase Enhances Iron Absorption: To meet essential nutrient needs, nutrients must be absorbed from food sources. Many plant-based foods such as whole grains and legumes contain an antinutrient called phytate that inhibits the absorption of multiple minerals in the intestine. Research now shows that adding the enzyme phytase to flour may significantly improve iron absorption.
Food Nutr Bull. 2013 Jun;34(2 Suppl):S90-101.

November 29, 2014
New Calorie Labeling Law: In one year, restaurants and similar retail food establishments that have 20 or more locations will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards next to the food name or price.
FDA News Release

December 7, 2014
Plant Food Sources of Iron and Zinc: Deficiencies of iron and zinc impair the physical and mental development of infants and children worldwide. Not only are plant foods generally low in these trace minerals, absorption is poor due to natural inhibitors. New research is finding that certain varieties of chickpeas contain greater amounts of these minerals. This may help to meet human needs if absorption inhibitors also can be reduced.
Genome. 2014 Oct 31:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

December 23, 2014
Paleo Diet: Modern "paleo diets" at best, are a very rough approximation of the real thing. This is a good thing because what we know about ancient diets is that they varied greatly, depending on the location and season. The diet only had to be good enough to support survival and reproduction. Because lifespans were much shorter than now, age-related chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis were unlikely to occur.
Q Rev Biol. 2014 Dec;89(4):319-57.

January 3, 2015
Omega-6 Fats: Mice fed high omega-6 corn oil reduced their physical activity and developed signs of diabetes, whereas those fed olive oil did not. Both corn and olive oils are low in omega-3 fatty acids, so it is difficult to fully evaluate these results and determine how this may or may not relate to humans consuming adequate amounts of omega-3-rich fat sources.
J Nutr Biochem. December 15, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

January 6, 2015
Estimation of Sodium and Potassium Intake: Typically, records or recalls of food intake underestimate nutrient intake. However, a study of over 400 people found that a dietary recall method overestimated sodium and potassium intake when compared to the amounts of these nutrients lost in the urine on a daily basis. This may be due to the challenge for food composition nutrient databases to keep up with a rapidly changing food environment.
Am J Clin Nutr. February 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 12, 2015
Risks from High Dose Caffeine: Some supplement companies sell products like purified caffeine in bulk powder form. Anyone using this form of any supplement needs to be very careful with dosage. A cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, a teaspoon of caffeine powder contains about 5,000 mg of caffeine (50 cups of coffee worth). Overdose on caffeine creates a medical emergency and can even cause death.
BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Feb 8;2013.

January 18, 2015
Chocolate Milk in Schools: This has been documented many times over the past 40 years. When chocolate milk is removed from school food offerings, children consume much less milk. Which is worse? A little sugar and chocolate in the milk or no milk?
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Jan. [Epub ahead of print]

January 30, 2015
Organic vs Conventional Milk: An extensive review of almost 200 publications comparing organic and conventional production of milk concluded that the results of these studies have been largely ambiguous due to the complexity and number of factors that can influence milk composition. The review concluded that, reported differences between organic and conventional milk are mostly due to types of feed given to cows and the breed of the cow. When these variables are the same, there is no clear difference between organic or conventional milk.
J Dairy Sci. 2015 Feb;98(2):721-746.

February 6, 2015
Potatoes, Women and Children: A new report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that those receiving support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (known better as WIC) should be able to use their food purchasing vouchers to buy potatoes. Potatoes are a good source of some key nutrients that are commonly low in U.S. diets: potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Food and Nutrition Board, IOM 2015. Review of WIC Food Packages.

March 3, 2015
OJ or Whole Orange: Generally, it is thought to be preferable to consume the whole orange rather than orange juice. However, it might make more sense to mix it up a bit. Although the orange has more dietary fiber, a recent study found that certain nutrients in oranges are better absorbed from orange juice. Although processing oranges into pasteurized orange juice slightly reduced the levels of carotenoids and vitamin C, these nutrients were absorbed significantly better from the juice.
J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Jan 21;63(2):578-87.

March 5, 2015
Coffee and Coronary Heart Disease: A Korean study of over 25,000 people found that those consuming coffee regularly had reduced odds of developing coronary artery calcium accumulation - a sign of developing heart disease. The risk was lowest for those consuming two to four cups of coffee a day. Presumably, these were 8-ounce cups.
Heart. March 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

March 11, 2015
Nuts and Health: An epidemiological study of about 200,000 people from the U.S. and China found that the consumption of nuts was associated with a reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease. Although nuts are a good source of important nutrients, their very high calorie content suggests moderation.
JAMA Intern Med. March 02, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

April 2, 2015
Red Meat and Mortality: One of the few foods that Americans have decreased in their diet during the past couple of decades is red meats. However, this has not translated to any obvious health improvements. This continues to take us back to the concept that a variety of all types of foods in the diet is most likely to meet nutrient needs and promote good health. Eating too much of everything, however, may be the main problem - especially when we are not very active.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;67(6):598-606.

April 10, 2015
Energy Drinks and Teens: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks during adolescence. Caffeine consumption has been linked to neurologic and cardiovascular problems in both children and adolescents. However, researchers found that energy drink manufacturers market their products primarily on television programs that appeal to teens.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Mar-Apr;47(2):120-126.

April 23, 2015
Shiitake Mushrooms and Immune Function: A study with 52 adults found that consuming 5 to 10 grams of dried shiitake mushrooms per day for 4 weeks improved a number of indicators of immune function. They estimated that this was the equivalent of 3 to 6 ounces of fresh mushrooms (5 to 10 medium-size mushrooms).
J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Apr 11:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

May 2, 2015
A high level of blood triglycerides is one of many risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Consuming fish two or three times a week provides omega-3 fatty acids that can help to decrease triglycerides.
Nutr Health. 2009;20(1):11-20.

May 14, 2015
Food Security: World population growth and increasing dependence on imported foods are contributing to declining resilience in the global food system. Researchers are concerned that this makes the global food supply system increasingly unstable and more susceptible to conditions of crisis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 8, 2015
Cooking Food: Are humans the only animal that cook their food? New research shows that when chimpanzees were given a cooking device, the chimps learned to cook sweet potato slices and took the time to cook the sweet potatoes.
Proc. R. Soc. B. 3 June 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 15, 2015
Eggs and Carotenoid Absorption: Adding cooked whole eggs to a vegetable salad was found to substantially increase the absorption of carotenoids such as beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin from the vegetables. Additional well-absorbed carotenoids are present in egg yolks.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]

June 16, 2015
Nuts and Disease Risk: Men and women who eat at least 10 grams (about 1/3 ounce) of tree nuts or peanuts per day have a lower risk of dying from several major causes of death. Mortality reduction was greatest for respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes, followed by cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Peanut butter, however, was not associated with lower mortality. The authors speculate that this may be due to other added ingredients frequently present in peanut butter.
Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 17, 2015
Chocolate and Heart Health: Yet another study links chocolate consumption with better heart health. This study followed over 20,000 men and women for about 12 years and found that it didn't seem to matter if the chocolate was dark or the lighter milk chocolate. Both types of chocolate were related to less heart attacks and strokes. The average chocolate eater in this study consumed less than half an ounce per day, but some consumed up to three and a half ounces (100 grams) per day. Remember, chocolate is high in calories.
Heart, 15 June 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 20, 2015
Green Tea: Benefits and Risks: For most people, moderate use of green tea may provide health benefits. But, those who rely on drugs to treat medical conditions should be aware that green tea and its extracts can clash with many common prescription and nonprescription drugs.
Green Tea, MedlinePlus.

June 24, 2015
Microwave Cooking and Nutrient Loss: Some have claimed that cooking in a microwave oven destroys nutrients. Although, some vitamins are heat sensitive and may be reduced in a food by any type of cooking method, microwave cooking is actually one of the best cooking methods to minimize nutrient loss. Cooking also can make some nutrients more readily absorbed by the intestine. So, mix it up. Raw, cooked, it's all good!
Am Chem Society. 2015. Food myth video.

June 25, 2015
Fiber and Flatulence: Dietary fiber is composed of a number of different compounds. One of these compounds is inulin (sometimes listed on labels as chicory root extract). Inulin is a convenient way to increase dietary fiber in processed foods. However, too much inulin causes substantial flatulence in most people.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Apr;49(4):327-60.

July 14, 2015
UV Treated Bread for Vitamin D: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently issued a favorable opinion on the safety of bread that is exposed to ultraviolet radiation to turn ergosterol, produced in bread by yeast, into vitamin D2 after the bread has been baked. The bread contains 0.75 to 3 mcg of vitamin D2 -- that is, up to about 130 IU -- per 100 grams of bread (about three slices).
EFSA Journal 2015;13(7):4148.

July 16, 2015
Probiotic Bacteria: Researchers often have found that consuming probiotic bacteria in foods like yogurt does not change the relative numbers of various bacteria in the lower intestine (as might be expected). A new study indicates that although the consumption of a type of lactic acid bacteria (found in some yogurts) did not change the gut mirobe populations, it did affect how the resident microorganisms functioned, especially by promoting beneficial anti-inflammatory activities.
MBio. 2015 Apr 14;6(2). pii: e00231-15.

July 31, 2015
The Taste of Fat: In addition to sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, new research suggests that there is a sixth basic taste that they call oleogustus - the taste of fat. Most fats and oils in foods are in the form of triglyceride molecules that provide a smooth and creamy texture or mouth feel to many foods, but no apparent taste sensation. The taste sensation appears to come from the small amount of free fatty acids in foods that are not bound up in the form of triglycerides or are freed from triglycerides in small amounts by actions in the mouth.
Chem Senses. 2015 Jul 3. pii: bjv036.

August 10, 2015
Spicy Foods and Health: A study that followed over 400,000 people for about 7 years found that those who ate spicy foods more often had a significantly lower risk of death than those who rarely or never ate them. It is not clear why this association exists, but it is good news for those who enjoy spicy foods.
BMJ. 2015 Aug 4;351:h3942.

August 13, 2015
Climate Friendly Rice: Rice paddies are known to be major producers of the greenhouse gas methane. The development of a new variety of rice provides an option that produces increased starch levels in the rice with very low methane production.
Nature. 2015 Jul 30;523(7562):602-6.

August 15, 2015
Iron Bioavailability: Some dark leafy greens and beans contain a fair amount of iron, but the mineral is usually in a form that is very poorly absorbed. In comparison, lean beef and chicken thigh provide iron that is efficiently absorbed by the body.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;62(3):336-41.

September 3, 2015
Colorful Potatoes: Various types of potatoes with flesh colors ranging from white to purple are becoming more widely available at markets. The chemical compounds producing these colors have both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 10;59(15):8155-66.

September 11, 2015
Cocoa Flavanols and Blood Vessels: Compounds called flavanols are present in large amounts in some cocoa and chocolate products. Research indicates that regular consumption of these cocoa flavanols can benefit blood vessel flexibility and help to lower blood pressure. Cocoa and chocolate products contain widely varying amounts of flavanols and some products contain excessive levels of toxic lead and cadmium. So, use resources like to find the safest products.
Br J Nutr. 2015 Sep 9:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

September 21, 2015
Insects for Food: Insects represent a sustainable nutritious food source that is likely to become more widely used. They provide a variety of culinary and nutritional opportunities that may become more important as pressures increase on the supply of more traditional foods.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

September 24, 2015
Seaweed Nutrient Variability: There are many varieties of edible seaweeds and, like land plants, their nutrient compositions vary by species and the environmental conditions in which they were grown. Minerals like iron can be high in some seaweeds but be poorly absorbed by the body due to chemical compounds in the seaweed that interfere with iron's absorption.
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Volume 43, November 2015, Pages 185–193

October 14, 2015
Water and Blood Pressure: Older people have a tendency for blood pressure to drop after eating. This can sometimes lead to fainting and falls. A small study on healthy older adults found that drinking about 16 ounces of water (500 ml) before a breakfast helped to reduce the usual post-meal blood pressure decline.
Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;34(5):885-91.

October 15, 2015
Coffee and Hydration: The caffeine in coffee has been known to trigger increased urine production in people. However, research on men found that those who drink coffee regularly do not experience this diuretic effect. Consequently, coffee can contribute to hydration as well as water. The potassium in coffee also may help the body hold on to water.
PLoS One. 2014 Jan 9;9(1):e84154.

November 6, 2015
Energy Drinks, Men, and Sleep: Men are the main target market for energy drinks and the major consumers of them. However, research indicates that men can easily consume excessive amounts of caffeine from energy drinks and experience serious sleep problems.
Health Psychology, Vol 34(11), Nov 2015, 1100-1106.

November 28, 2015
Cranberries and Bladder Health: It's the season for cranberries, but remember that cranberry juice helps to prevent urinary tract infections and can be a valuable part of the diet year-round.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305.

December 4, 2015
Nutrient Variability in Foods: The actual amount of a nutrient in a food you consume could be significantly more or less than what is reported. Nutrients like vitamin C in a fruit can vary greatly depending on the variety of the fruit, the growing conditions, ripeness, and storage conditions. Therefore nutrient information for natural plant foods should always be considered an estimate.
Food Chemistry 2015;188:399-405.

December 9, 2015
Coffee and Diabetes: Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers have identified two compounds in coffee, cafestol and caffeic acid, that affect blood glucose and likely decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
J Nat Prod. 2015 Oct 23;78(10):2447-51.

December 16, 2015
Diet and Environment: When researchers conducted a comprehensive assessment of energy costs and greenhouse gas production related to getting foods from the farm to our forks, they found that meeting calorie needs with more healthful foods (fruits, vegetables, dairy, and seafood) causes more environmental damage than that caused by current dietary habits.
Environ Sys Dec. 24 November 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 23, 2016
Lactose Tolerance: Those with lactose intolerance are not destined to a diet devoid of high-calcium milk products. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss contain only trace amounts of lactose.
Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):167-73.

February 10, 2016
Wholegrain Phytochemicals: Whole grain foods have been linked to a variety of possible health benefits. A type of phytochemical compound known as benzoxazinoids is found in a variety of whole grains. These phytochemicals appear to support normal immune function and reduce allergic reactions.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015;59(7):1324-38.

February 18, 2016
Sucrose Substitute: The sugar isomaltulose has the brand name Palatinose. Isomaltulose is composed of the same sugars as table sugar (glucose and fructose) but the sugars are bonded together differently. This difference in chemical structure causes isomaltulose to digest more slowly and increase blood sugar less than sucrose. Although isomaltulose is better for blood glucose control in type 2 diabetics, it is half as sweet as sucrose.
Diabetes Care, 2015 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]

February 19, 2016
Organic vs Conventional Meat: Studies on the nutritional differences between organical and conventional produced meat have quite variable results. A meta-analysis review of the literature indicates that organic livestock may have different fatty acid composition than conventional farming and these may be nutritionally desirable. However, it is important to conduct additional studies to address limitations identified with the present studies.
Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 16:1-18. [Epub ahead of print]

February 28, 2016
Coffee and Blood Pressure: Although it is commonly believed that coffee increases blood pressure, most research evidence indicates that daily consumption of coffee does not increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(5):963-70.

March 5, 2016
Caffeine and a Healthy Blood Pressure: Overly low blood pressure (hypotension) can impair both brain function and balance. Caffeine sources like coffee and tea may help some people avoid the blood-pressure drops that commonly occur following meals.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;85(2):392-8.

March 6, 2016
Higher Fat Fish and Health: Eating higher fat ocean fish like butterfish, kahala, salmon and sardines, provides the omega-3 fatty acids that are proving to be so important for maintaining many body functions, including vision and the function of the aging brain.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2004;8(3):163-74.

March 8, 2016
Protein and Fullness: A review of research on the effects of consuming a high protein food on fullness found that protein (compared to carbohydrate and fat) is associated with greater fullness ratings in healthy adults. To determine if this short-term effect of protein translates into improved weight management over time requires additional research.
J Acad Nutr Diet. March 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

March 10, 2016
Ready-to-eat Cereals: Cereals have not only been a convenient way to get a quick morning meal, they also have represented a food form that is easily fortified with a number of vitamins and minerals. Breakfast consumption, both with or without cereal, has been associated with numerous health benefits.
Adv Nutr. 2014 Sep 15;5(5):636S-673S.

March 18, 2016
Green Tea and Iron: A component of green tea (EGCG), known to provide beneficial antioxidant effects in the body, strongly binds to iron in the intestine. This creates a double whammy by blocking the absorption of both iron and EGCG.
Am J Pathol. 2016 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]

March 26, 2016
Increasing Bean acceptability: Beans promote good intestinal health, however people often avoid beans because of increased flatulence. Beano, an over-the-counter enzyme product, can decrease or prevent intestinal gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms resulting from a high-fiber diet.
J Fam Pract. 1994 Nov;39(5):441-5.

April 6, 2016
Seafood and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Simply following the recommendation to include fish and seafood in your diet once or twice a week does not necessarily provide adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It depends on what seafood you select. For example, foods like shrimp, tilapia, and many other "white" fish are low in omega-3 fatty acids. However, fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovy provide substantial amounts of these beneficial fatty acids.
Nutrients. 2014 Dec 22;6(12):6060-75.

April 13, 2016
Zinc Enriched Plants: In parts of the world where animal protein foods are scarce in the diet, zinc deficiency is common. New research has found the mechanism in plants that transports zinc into plant cells. Breeding new varieties of plants to enhance this transport mechanism promises to increase zinc in many plant foods.
Nature Plants, April 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

April 18, 2016
Folate Deficiency: FDA recently announced approval for voluntary folic acid fortification in corn masa flour, which is a staple food for many Latin Americans. This fortification affects foods such as corn tortillas, tortilla chips, tamales, taco shells, and corn chips. Folic acid is critical for women of childbearing age to prevent birth defects affecting the brain, spine, and spinal cord.
Fed Register. Apr 16 2016. 81 FR 22176; 22176 -22183 (8 pages); 21 CFR 172.

May 10, 2016
Vitamin D Fortified Bread: Milk is the food most commonly fortified with vitamin D. New research found that bread also can be an effective food for vitamin D fortification. This could be especially helpful for groups of people who have little or no milk in their diet.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr 26:jc20161631. [Epub ahead of print]

May 28, 2016
Base Food Choices on Nutrition Facts not Fiction: In the world of nutrition, things that sound reasonable are not always correct. Unfortunately, it is very easy to change your food choices based on fiction and become part of a "mutual illusion support system" of people who unknowingly promote misinformation.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):601-7.

June 5, 2016
Hyperactivity Not Caused By Sugar: Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that sugar does not cause increased aggressiveness and hyperactivity. In fact, a study of incarcerated teenage boys found that sugar had a calming effect and helped the boys to concentrate and pay attention.
Nutr Rev. 1994 May;52(5):173-5.

June 9, 2016
Evaporated Cane Juice: This term often is used in the ingredient lists of products with the concept that it seems more natural than "sugar." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that this is a deceptive term and recommends that food manufacturers use simpler terminology such as "sugar" or "cane sugar."
FDA Constituent Update. May 25, 2016.

June 17, 2016
Paleo Diet and Weight Loss: A 4-week study compared the effects of following the eating plan in The Paleo Diet book to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. In this short study, both groups lost weight, but women following the Paleo Diet lost more weight and body fat. However, researchers cautioned that The Paleo Diet was low in some micronutrients. For example, calcium was low enough to likely increase the risk of osteoporosis if consumed over a long period of time.
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 314.

June 27, 2016
Insects for Food: Insects are a rich source of many key nutrients found in meats including protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamin B12. Many people have an aversion to consuming insects, but indicate more willingness to consume insects when they are included in foods as a ground up ingredient like insect flour.
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed: 1 (3) - Pages: 215 - 225

July 1, 2016
Beer for the Brain: A study of the brains of 125 men (age 35 to 70 years) from the Helsinki Sudden Death Series autopsy study indicated that those who consumed beer regularly had lower brain levels of the beta amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer's disease than those who did not drink or those who consumed other alcoholic beverages. Although this association is interesting, additional prospective research is needed to indicate any cause/effect relationships. The study also found that age was the strongest predictor of brain beta amyloid levels.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 May 24. [Epub ahead of print]

July 2, 2016
The content of some key vitamins in fresh produce begins to decrease soon after harvest. Therefore to get the most nutrients from your produce, buy fresh produce in quantities that can be consumed within a few days.
Eur J Cancer Prev. 1997 Mar;6 Suppl 1:S21-4.

July 8, 2016
Butter and Cardiovascular Health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 9 databases indicates that butter consumption was not significantly associated with any cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or stroke.
PLoS One. Published: June 29, 2016

August 7, 2016
How To Make Food Decisions: When you decide to eliminate a food from your diet, make sure your decision is based on science rather than Internet scare tactics masquerading as the latest nutrition news.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.

August 11, 2016
Green Tea, Bowel Disease, and Iron: Green tea is rich in compounds known as polyphenols. One that has been widely studied has the acronym EGCG. This compound has been shown to reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, tea polyphenols like EGCG bind to iron. Consequently, when tea components are consumed together with foods rich in iron, it can both reduce the benefits of the EGCG and reduce the absorption of iron.
Am J Pathol. 2016 Apr;186(4):912-26.

August 21, 2016
Food as Medicine: The link between food and health has been appreciated since at least the time of Hippocrates. Consuming an inadequate amount of even one essential nutrient can increase risk factors for disease.
Nutr Health. 2009;20(2):135-66.

August 25, 2016
Caffeine Benefits: Reported risks related to caffeine consumption and cardiovascular disease were not supported by research. Instead, research shows that caffeine may have potential health benefits. But remember, everything in moderation.
Am J Clin Nutr 92: 509-514, 2010.

August 29, 2016
Belief and Experience: What we believe strongly influences what we experience. People tasting two samples of beef jerky indicated that they liked the one labeled as "factory farmed" less than one labeled to indicate more humane farming conditions. However, the two samples were from the same beef.
PLoS One. 2016 Aug 24;11(8):e0160424. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160424.

August 31, 2016
Coffee Grounds for Dietary Fiber: Coffee grounds left over from making coffee or manufacturing instant coffee often are considered a waste product. However, researchers found that as much as four percent of the weight of the ingredients for muffins could come from spent coffee grounds. The muffins were palatable and a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds.
Food Chemistry. 2017;216:114–122.

September 30, 2016
Insects as Alternative Sustainable Protein Sources: Swedish research now shows that crickets can be raised on weeds and agricultural by-products, making them an inexpensive protein source.
J Insects Food Feed. 2016, Sept.

October 16, 2016
Iodized salt and Thyroid health: Iodized salt is the major source of essential iodine in many people’s diets. When salt is restricted in the diet, alternative sources of iodine need to be included to avoid iodine deficiency and thyroid problems. Food sources include seafood and foods from plants grown near the ocean.
Am J Hypertens. 2010 Oct;23(10):1095-102.

November 3, 2016
Bugs and Beef: Iron is limited in many types of diets around the world. Red meat is a commonly recommended iron source because it provides iron that is well absorbed. New research on a variety of edible insects indicates that they also provide well absorbed iron and may prove to be a reasonable substitute for red meat - at least as a source of iron.
J. Agric. Food Chem. October 12, 2016 online

November 7, 2016
Cheese and Salt: Most cheeses are high in sodium, however, a new human study confirms the results of animal studies showing that some components of cheese protect against some of sodium’s effects on the cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure. Dilation (expansion) of blood vessels was significantly greater after consuming cheese compared to pretzels or tofu that contained the same amount of salt.
Br J Nutr. 2016 Aug;116(4):658-65.

November 10, 2016
Soda and Diabetes Risk: A study of 1685 middle-age adults followed for a 14-year period of time found that the regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater increase in insulin resistance and risk of developing prediabetes. However, they found no association with the consumption of non-sugar-sweetened "diet" sodas.
J. Nutr. November 9, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

November 17, 2016
Food Color Preference: Study of non-human primates in their natural environment showed that their food preferences are based largely on availability, with the most preferred foods being those are least often available and high in calories. Based on new research, human food preferences are influenced by similar factors with red foods typically being less readily available and high in calories. However, green foods that are widely available are lower on the preference list for both animals and humans.
Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 14;6:37034.

November 23, 2016
Probiotics and Stress: The types of bacteria found in cultured foods like yogurt may help our brains cope with stressful situations. At least, this was demonstrated in a zebrafish model. This type of research with zebrafish may provide a rather quick way to screen different types of probiotic bacteria for their potential to benefit neurological function and stress management. Of course, follow-up studies would need to be conducted with humans.
Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 19;6:33726.

November 24, 2016
Sleepiness myth about turkey: Most animal proteins have lots of the amino acid L-tryptophan. Thanksgiving sleepiness occurs when more blood flow is shunted to the intestine and less to the brain therefore triggering sleepiness. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day.
USDA Food Composition Databases

November 29, 2016
Healthy Circulation and Healthy Aging: There are many vasoactive food components that help to dilate blood vessels and benefit blood circulation. Resveratrol, a compound in grapes and berries, has been found to enhance brain blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes and improve cognitive performance when compared to a placebo.
Nutrients. 2016 Jul 12;8(7). pii: E425.

December 10, 2016
Benefits of Cranberries: Cranberries tend to be consumed as a holiday food. However, research on the chemical components of cranberries indicates that there are good reasons to consume these berries year-round.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):666-79.

December 11, 2016
Health Benefits of Chicken Soup: Cold and flu viruses often spread when people get together for the holidays. Hot chicken soup can help treat the symptoms by known anti-inflammatory effects and by temporarily increasing the flow of mucus.
Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.

December 12, 2016
Paleo Diet: Archeological evidence of animal foods eaten by people hundreds of thousands of years ago is typically better preserved than evidence of plant foods consumed. However, new research conducted in Israel found substantial archeological evidence of people 780,000 years ago including a very wide variety of plant foods in their diets, including many cooked foods.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 5. [Epub ahead of print]

December 16, 2016
Energy Drink Case Study: Serious bleeding occurred in a part of the brain of a 57-year old man who consumed one can (2 servings) of a Redline brand energy drink. Within 15 minutes of consuming the beverage, he sensed tingling and numbness in his right arm and leg and developed a shaky gait and movement. This drink contains about 250 mg of caffeine, along with a variety of other ingredients, many of which are associated with increased blood pressure.
Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]

December 21, 2016
Red Meat and Cardiovascular Disease: Some, but not all observational studies have linked red meat intake to cardiovascular disease. To evaluate the potential meaning of these inconsistent observations, researchers conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to feed people specific diets with controlled amounts of red meat. A review of 24 RCT studies on red meat concluded that moderate red meat consumption had little or no effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors like blood pressure and blood lipids.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]

December 22, 2016
Cooking Vegetables: New archeological evidence indicates that people were cooking both animal and vegetable foods in ceramic cooking vessels over 10,000 years ago. This allowed people to obtain calories and nutrients from plant foods that were not palatable nor safe to eat raw. The process of cooking destroys many of the natural toxins found in plant foods.
Nat Plants. 2016 Dec 19;3:16194.

December 26, 2016
Cranberries and Health: Are you enjoying leftover cranberry sauce or drink? So is your bladder. Substances in cranberries are known to benefit the health of the urinary tract.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;103(6):1434-42. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.130542.

December 27, 2016
Sugar Recommendations: Guidelines from authoritative organizations vary greatly and range from 5 to 25 percent of total calorie intake. When calorie needs are low, it is difficult to meet essential nutrient needs if sugar intake is a large part of the calories. Much of the confusion likely comes from the fact that people vary greatly in their levels of physical activity and total calorie needs.
Ann Intern Med. 2016 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]

December 30, 2016
World Food Needs: Commonly, you hear that the world doesn't have a food problem, just a food distribution problem. By 2050, that will no longer be true due to the escalating population. Self-sufficiency will only be possible if cereal grain yields increase significantly, especially in Africa.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 27;113(52):14964-14969.

January 5, 2017
Imported Food: Communities have imported food from other places to feed large populations living in areas that don't have the resources or conditions to grow adequate amounts of foods to feed their people. New archeological evidence indicates that a community of over 10,000 people living in northern New Mexico over 1000 years ago very likely had to import foods like corn from an area about 50 miles away.
J Archaeol Sci Rep. 2 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

January 6, 2017
Microgreens: Microgreens are small immature edible plants. They have become popular primarily as a salad ingredient. New research with red cabbage microgreens indicates that they contain more polyphenols and glucosinolates than the more commonly eaten mature cabbage. These compounds have been found to be protective against cardiovascular disease in some animal models of human disease.
J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Dec 7;64(48):9161-9171.

January 13, 2017
Prepocessed Foods - a Culinary Catch 22: Using preprocessed meals is convenient, saves preparation time, and can be easy for a child to prepare. These conveniences cost more than foods prepared from scratch and can be higher in calories. New research shows now that overuse of prepackaged foods may be linked to parents having lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning abilities and in turn trains another generation to do the same.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016 Oct 12. pii: S1499-4046(16)30738-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.08.012. [Epub ahead of print]

January 15, 2017
Those with lactose intolerance are not destined to a diet devoid of high-calcium milk products. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss contain only trace amounts of lactose.
Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):167-73.

January 17, 2017
Chili Peppers and Mortality: A study that measured the frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption in over 16,000 adults reported that the risk of dying was significantly lower in those who consumed hot red chili peppers more frequently. Whether there is a cause and effect relationship is unknown.
PLoS One. 2017 Jan 9;12(1):e0169876.

March 2, 2017
Seaweed Nutrients: Researchers find evidence that seaweeds were likely a major part of the diets of our early ancestors. The nutrients in a variety of seaweeds include many that are critical for human brain development. Some of these key nutrients include magnesium, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, essential fatty acids, and the amino acid taurine. Another key brain nutrient rich in some seaweeds that is not mentioned in the article is iron.
J Appl Phycol (2017). [Epub ahead of print]

March 16, 2017
Organic or Conventional: A thorough review and evaluation of organic food production and consumption makes the point that aspects of both approaches have their place in a good sustainable food system. Components of both approaches increasingly are being combined by farmers to optimize production and maintain environmental and agricultural stability.
Science Advances 10 Mar 2017: Vol. 3, no. 3, e1602638.

March 27, 2017
Iron from Beans: A compound called phytic acid in beans and whole grains greatly reduces absorption of nutrients like iron and zinc in these foods. Therefore, researchers developed beans with reduced amounts of phytic acid. Unexpectedly, lower phytic acid beans did not enhance iron absorption in human volunteers. Part of the problem seemed to be related to higher levels of a naturally occurring toxin (phytohemagglutinin) in the lower phytic acid beans. This toxin, commonly found in beans, was not adequately destroyed by usual cooking practices.
J Nutr. 2016 May;146(5):970-5.

April 16, 2017
Gardening and Your Diet: Not eating your vegetables? Consider taking up gardening. It is good hobby both for physical activity and studies find that people who do gardening generally eat more vegetables.
HortTechnology, 20: 711-717 (2010)

April 19, 2017
Climate Change and Nutrients: Selenium is a nutritionally essential trace mineral. The amount of selenium in plant foods is directly related to the amount of selenium in the soil the plant is grown in. Based on existing data and models predicting the effects of future climate change, the amount of selenium in foods is likely to decline and cause selenium deficiency in many people around the world. There are similar predictions for a decline in iron and zinc.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Mar 14;114(11):2848-2853.

April 21, 2017
Salt and Water Intake: During simulated space travel to Mars, salt intake was varied to determine the effect on water consumption and fluid loss from the body. Unlike what was previously thought, higher salt intake on an ongoing basis did not have a significant effect on water consumed nor on water loss in the urine when measured over a period of several months.
J Clin Invest. April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

May 4, 2017
Strawberries and Breast Cancer: A study of mice consuming a diet containing a large amount of a strawberry extract found that they had a significantly reduced risk of developing breast cancer. When the mice did develop breast cancer, the tumors were smaller and less aggressive than the tumors observed in mice not consuming the strawberry extract. This proves nothing yet for humans, but we can certainly feel good about eating strawberries.
Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 8;6:30917. doi: 10.1038/srep30917.

May 6, 2017
Coffee and Antioxidants: In case you want some "feel good" information to support your coffee habit, caffeine is known to "scavenger" some free radical types of molecules called alkoxyl radicals. In "street language," this means that caffeine has antioxidant activity!
J. Phys. Chem. B, 2011, 115 (15), pp 4538–4546

May 9, 2017
Insects for a Sustainable Food Supply: In an analysis of the production of protein foods that require less land use, the two most efficient products included imitation meat (based on soybeans, etc.) and insects. Production of poultry meat, eggs and milk was almost as efficient. However, this evaluation did not account for beef and lamb production on grazing land that is not fit for other agricultural activities.
Global Food Security. 22 April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

May 11, 2017
GMO Soybeans and Climate Change: In a study comparing the productivity of genetically engineered soybeans to regular soybeans, only the modified soybeans maintained normal levels of production under the temperatures and carbon dioxide levels expected to occur in the year 2050.
Journal of Experimental Botany, (2017) 68 (3): 715-726.

May 15, 2017
Yogurt and Bone Density: A large study in Ireland found that those who reported eating the greatest number of yogurt servings per day had the best bone density. Even though the research design was unable to prove a cause and effect relationship, yogurt and other milk products contain significant amounts of key nutrients needed for bone health such as calcium and protein.
Osteoporos Int. 2017 May 1. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-4049-5. [Epub ahead of print]

May 17, 2017
Food Waste = Nutrient Waste: Using United States food waste data, researchers estimated nutrients lost from the food supply. They found that it added up to about 1200 calories, 33 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 286 mg calcium, and 880 mg of potassium per person per day. That adds up to about half of the daily calorie and protein needs of a typical adult.
J Acad Nutr Diet. May 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

May 25, 2017
Chocolate and Atrial Fibrillation Risk: A study of over 50,000 adults found that the risk of having atrial fibrillation was about 20 percent lower in people who consumed two to six one-ounce servings of chocolate per week compared to those who rarely ate chocolate. However, for those consuming more chocolate than this (one or more servings per day), the risk reduction was 14 percent. So, as usual, the message is to enjoy chocolate, but in moderation.
Heart. May 23, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

May 30, 2017
Foods as Sources of Nutrients: Foods are more than just a mixture of nutrients. For example, the fat in almonds is absorbed much more efficiently from almond butter than from a handful of chewed almonds. Similarly, the amount of iron in spinach is relatively unimportant due to other components in spinach that prevent iron absorption. And, although milk products contain significant amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, their consumption is mainly associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Consequently, an expert panel is recommending that food labeling regulations take these types of issues into account in the future.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 May;105(5):1033-1045

June 5, 2017
Tea and DNA: A new study reports that tea consumption by women leads to epigenetic changes in genes that are known to interact with cancer and estrogen metabolism in ways that may reduce disease risk. Epigenetic changes are chemical modifications that turn genes off or on.
Hum Mol Genet. 2017 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]

June 6, 2017
Vitamin K in Milk Products: Chemical analysis of milk products found that appreciable amounts of various forms of vitamin K are present in fat-containing milk products. Since vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, fat-free milk products contain essentially no vitamin K.
Curr Dev Nutr June 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

June 7, 2017
Whole Wheat or White? An in-depth study was conducted on 20 adults during one-week periods of consuming about 25 percent of their calories either in the form of common commercially produced white bread or sour dough bread made from freshly ground whole grain wheat flour. They found no significant differences in multiple clinical parameters associated with the type of bread consumed. What was most interesting is that about half of the subjects experienced a greater increase in blood glucose after eating white bread and the other half had blood glucose rise more after the whole grain bread.
Cell Metabolism Volume 25, Issue 6, p1243–1253.e5, 6 June 2017

June 8, 2017
Nutrients in Rice Bran: There is little difference between the fiber and B vitamin content of brown and white rice. However, the bran removed from brown rice to produce white rice is rich in fiber and the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, and pyridoxine. Rice bran often is used as an animal food, but it could be a nutritious addition to various foods for people.
Rice. 2 June 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

June 10, 2017
Coffee and Hep C: Almost ten times as many people are infected by the hepatitis C virus compared to the AIDS virus. Although no reliable treatment currently exists for hepatitis C, coffee consumption has been reported to slow the progression of the disease and to improve the response to current standard treatment.
Gastroenterology. 2011 Jun;140(7):1961-9.

June 12, 2017
Diet of Early Homo sapiens: A new fossil study in Morocco indicates that Homo sapiens existed approximately 300,000 years ago, about 100,000 years earlier than previously estimated. The fossils also indicated that large and small animals, along with ostrich eggs were a major part of their diet.
Nature. 2017;546(7657):289.

June 25, 2017
Maintaining Nutrient Quality in Foods: The content of some key vitamins in fresh produce begins to decrease soon after harvest. Therefore to get the most nutrients from your produce, buy fresh produce in quantities that can be consumed within a few days
Eur J Cancer Prev. 1997 Mar;6 Suppl 1:S21-4.

June 29, 2017
Iron and Zinc Fortification of Wheat: Cultures that rely heavily on staple foods like wheat to meet most of their calorie needs often suffer from serious iron and zinc deficiency. A study found that spraying growing wheat plants with a solution containing iron and zinc significantly increased zinc, but not iron, in the flour made from one of the two wheat varieties tested.
J Agric Food Chem. June 28, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

July 3, 2017
Chocolate and Brain Function: There is research evidence that components in chocolate, especially flavonols in the cocoa solids, may have beneficial effects on brain function. However, these potential benefits must be put into perspective because of the high sugar and fat content of many chocolate products.
Front. Nutr., 16 May 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

July 8, 2017
Salt - Time to Re-evaluate: Sodium and chloride, the components of common salt, are essential nutrients for the human body. Like many other nutrients, it is possible to consume too much of them. However, how much is too much salt is not as clear as many would like to think according to a recent extensive review of the subject.
Am J Hypertens. 2011 Aug;24(8):843-53.

July 12, 2017
Coffee and Health: A new study surveyed the coffee drinking habits of more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries. This largest study to date on coffee drinking found that drinking more coffee was associated with a lower risk of mortality.
Ann Intern Med. July 2017. [Epub Ahead of Print]

July 18, 2017
Tomatoes and Skin Cancer: A study using a mouse model found that feeding the animals a diet high in dehydrated red tomato powder caused a 50 percent reduction in skin cancer tumors. Interestingly, the cancer reduction occurred only in male mice. There was no effect on female mice.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 5106.

July 22, 2017
Seaweed Ingredients: Seaweeds represent a widely under-utilized food and source of beneficial food ingredients. As rich sources of polyphenols among other compounds, seaweed components can both enhance food safety and provide healthful antioxidants.
Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Mar;4(3):205-11. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

August 3, 2017
Jellyfish for Snack Food: Jellyfish represent a substantial and rapidly renewable food source. A new processing technique provides a simple way to produce a tasty high protein snack food product from jellyfish.
Int J Gast Food Sci 2017;9:34.

August 12, 2017
Gluten Free Options: For those with celiac disease and less severe forms of gluten sensitivity, avoidance of offending foods can be very challenging. A recent study confirmed that the grains tef and millet, along with amaranth and quinoa (not true grains) are gluten-free options.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Aug;55(8):1266-70.

August 14, 2017
Walnuts and Gut Health: Nuts are frequently recommended as part of an overall healthful diet. Being a good source of both fiber and fat, chewed up nuts may carry some fat along with the fiber into the lower intestine where intestinal bacteria can benefit from it. A new study with rats found that adding walnuts to the diet had probiotic effects that substantially and positively altered the microbial community in the lower intestine.
J Nutr Biochem. July 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

August 21, 2017
Early Human Diet: New research indicates that anatomically modern humans that colonized Europe about 43,000 years ago consumed a variety of vegetable foods and several types of animals, especially mammoths. Attempts to return to ancestral dietary patterns will be challenged by the extinction of mammoths.
Scientific Reports. July 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

August 24, 2017
Plant Hormones and Health: Like humans, plants produce a wide variety of chemicals that function as hormones. Some of these hormones are similar to molecules humans and their gut microbes produce. Researchers are starting to study these plant hormones to learn how they may be good or bad for a variety of health problems.
Trends Plant Sci. 2017;22(9):754–758.

August 31, 2017
Cocoa Compounds and Diabetes: Compounds called catechins, that are found in the cocoa solids in chocolate, enhance the function of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. When these cells are able to produce more insulin, it can help to prevent high blood glucose. However, this is more like treating the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause.
J Nutr Biochem. 2017;(49):30-41.

September 9, 2017
Benefit of Salt: Sodium and chloride, the components of salt, are essential nutrients that were difficult for early humans to obtain. Our enjoyment of the taste of salt is thought to be tied to basic survival drive mechanisms in the brain.
Physiology & Behavior, 94 (5), p.709-721

September 12, 2017
Healthy Bread: It is generally assumed that whole grain sourdough bread is better for you than common white bread. However, new research shows that the blood glucose response after consuming these breads is very unique to individuals. Some people have a lower glycemic response to whole grain bread and others are just the opposite. It appears that the types of intestinal bacteria that predominate play a significant role in this individuality.
Cell Metab. 2017;25(6):1243–1253.

September 16, 2017
Sweet potatoes and Blood Pressure: A significant drop in blood pressure occurred when obese people with hypertension were fed 6 to 8 golf ball size sweet potatoes twice a day. This may be due to phytochemicals or the high potassium content of sweet potatoes.
242nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Fall 2011.

September 20, 2017
Sustainability and Large Food Companies: Often big food companies are maligned regarding sustainability, however, a Dartmouth University study showed that as big companies are becoming more concerned about climate change they are also incorporating sustainability into their business models.
Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 2017; Published online: 31 May 2017.

September 24, 2017
Prunes and Bones: Prunes are good for keeping bowels moving. Prunes, also called dried plums, are beneficial to bone health. It is likely due to the unique mixture of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals found in prunes.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):923-30.

September 27, 2017
Iodine in Milk Alternatives: A study conducted in the United Kingdom found that several milk alternative products contained much less iodine than common milk products. This is likely the same in the U.S. With declining use of iodized salt, overall intake of iodine has decreased during the past ten to twenty years.
Br J Nutr. Sept 26 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

October 1, 2017
Alcohol hinders Immune Function: Have you ever heard that if you feel like you are getting sick, just drink enough alcohol and it will kill off anything that might ail you? Don't believe it. According to some new research, alcohol abuse is likely to impair immune functions and increase susceptibility to viral infection.
BMC Immunology 2011, 12:55

October 14, 2017
Benefit of Foods: Vitamins and other beneficial food components are generally absorbed well from dietary supplements. However, key beneficial phytochemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are absorbed much better from the fresh or lightly cooked vegetable.
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 (20), pp 10955–10963

October 17, 2017
Oil and Salad: A study conducted with 12 women found that when soybean oil was consumed with a salad, most of the women absorbed significantly more carotenoids and fat-soluble vitamins from the salad they consumed. The amount of these fat soluble nutrients absorbed increased as the amount of oil consumed increased(up to about 2 tablespoons) with the salad.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(4):1041-1051.

October 20, 2017
Boosting a Nutrient in Corn: Corn is a major food source for people and animals around the world. However, the protein in corn contains limited amounts of the essential amino acid methionine. Using a bacterial gene, researchers were able to develop a variety of corn that has much higher levels of methionine. This could greatly enhance the nutrition of people and animals in areas where corn is a major staple crop.
Proc Nat Acad Sci.October 9, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

October 25, 2017
Broccoli and Gut Health: A study using mice found that supplementing their diet with a lot of broccoli enhanced intestinal function and overall health. Other cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage likely provide similar benefit.
J Funct Foods. 2017;37:685-698.

October 31, 2017
Food Insecurity: As the population growth in a geographical area exceeds the food production capacity of the land, the solution, when possible, is to depend more on imported foods. This generally increases the financial and environmental cost of food. When the logical solutions of increasing local food production and/or reducing population numbers are not possible, starvation is the inevitable result.
Earth's Future. 2017;5:393–407.

November 1, 2017
Spice and Salt: For some time, chefs have known that adding hot chili spice in very small amounts to a savory dish can add to flavor appreciation even at levels of the spice well below what would make the food "hot." New research reports that the part of the brain that senses salt also senses spicy flavors and people who consume more spicy foods tend to consume diets lower in salt and total sodium.
Hypertension. 2017 October 31. [Epub ahead of print]

November 7, 2017
Vitamin E in Maize: In many parts of the world, people obtain the majority of their calories from one staple food like maize. To improve essential nutrient supply, there has been an ongoing search for ways to increase key nutrients that are low in these staples. Researchers recently identified genes in maize that encode for the production of vitamin E. This will help to develop maize with higher levels of vitamin E through genomics-assisted selective breading or genetic engineering techniques.
The Plant Cell. October 2, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

November 14, 2017
Plant-based Milk Products: There are many products on the market now labeled as "milk" such as "almond milk" or "rice milk." These products do not come close to providing the same nutrients as cow milk and should not be used in the diets of young children in place of cow milk.
Dietitians of Canada, Trending Topics. August 2017.

November 16, 2017
Mushroom Antioxidants: Many mushroom species contain the antioxidants glutathione and ergothioneine. Our bodies are capable of synthesizing glutathione, but not ergothioneine which appears to be especially beneficial for tissues that are exposed to oxidative stress from injury or environmental exposure.
Food Chemistry. 2017;233:429-433.

November 17, 2017
Soybeans-an ancient food: We now know that soybeans are a good source of protein along with other nutrients like riboflavin, vitamin K, copper, manganese, iron, etc. Archeologists are finding that communities in China, Korea, and Japan were well aware of this nutrient-rich food and were farming soybeans as long as 5000 years ago.
PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (11): e26720.

November 20, 2017
Healthy Potatoes: The top three staple foods consumed in the world are rice, wheat, and corn. Number four is potatoes. People who must rely on one of these staple foods to supply most of their calories are at high risk of not meeting their need for essential nutrients like vitamins A and E - especially growing children. Consequently, researchers developed a potato that is called the golden potato that contains much more vitamin E and beta carotene (that the body converts to vitamin A) than standard white potatoes.
PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (11):e0187102.

November 24, 2017
Super Tomatoes: Chinese and French researchers working with tomatoes developed a strategy to substantially increase the content of vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lycopene. Although you will not likely see this tomato in the local grocery store in the near future, its development shows how it is possible to significantly increase essential nutrients in natural foods to meet the nutritional needs of a rapidly increasing population.
Plant Biotech J. 17 October 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

December 3, 2017
Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables: Want to get kids to eat vegetables? A new study demonstrates what many parents may already know. Give kids a tasty dressing or sauce to dip the vegetables in and they will eat them.
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December 15, 2017
Wine Consumption: If you think wine glasses are getting bigger - they are. A study of wine glass capacity in England found that the volume has increased seven-fold in 300 years - from just over two ounces to about 16 ounces. Bigger glasses also mean more calories.
BMJ 2017; 359 :j5623.

December 16, 2017
Grapes and Apples: The health benefits of grapes and red wine have been attributed to the polyphenol components in the fruit's skins. Apple peels also contain polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory effects in the lower intestine.
J Leukoc Biol. 2011 Dec;90(6):1043-54

January 14, 2018
Food Colors and Health: Some common foods with new natural colors can mean good nutrition. For example, unlike the classic white colored version, orange cauliflower, is a good source of the vitamin A precursor, beta carotene.
Biotechnol Annu Rev. 2008;14:171-90.

January 26, 2018
Whole Wheat or White? When comparing the effects of people consuming standard white bread to consuming whole wheat sourdough bread for one week each, researchers found no difference in multiple measures made, including the effect on blood sugar levels. However, when researchers examined each person separately, they found that some people had higher blood sugar levels after eating white bread and others were higher after consuming the whole grain bread.
Cell Metab. 2017;25(6):1243–1253.e5,

January 30, 2018
Insects for Food: Eating insects is kind of like eating tiny lobsters or shrimp. Their exoskeleton is composed of a compound called chitin. Some animals have the ability to digest chitin. Humans may partially digest chitin, but most of it likely contributes to our dietary fiber.
Mol Biol Evol. 2017 Dec 5. [Epub ahead of print]

February 1, 2018
Plant-based Milk Products: Although many consider plant-based milk products to be healthful options, these products all have nutrient limitations when compared to cow's milk. Properly fortified soy milk comes the closest to matching the nutrients in cow's milk, but the quality of soy protein is lower than milk protein.
J Food Sci Technol. 2018 Jan;55(1):10-20.

February 4, 2018
Ancient Food Snack: Popcorn Want some fiber in your snack food? Try some popcorn. Archeological research indicates that ancient Peruvians were the first people to take advantage of this tasty food.
PNAS January 31, 2012 vol. 109 no. 5 1755-1759

February 6, 2018
Alcohol and the Brain: Population studies on alcohol have generally reported that low to moderate alcohol consumption may benefit overall health, while excessive consumption is clearly detrimental. This also appears to be the case for brain health. New research with a mouse model reports reduced brain inflammation and enhanced clearance of toxins associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Scientific Reports, 2 February 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

February 10, 2018
Beans as a Possible Iron Source: Legumes like soybeans contain iron in a form called ferritin. This is the form that the human body uses to store iron. New research indicates that legume ferritin is reasonably well absorbed by the human intestine. However, it is not known how well this form of iron will improve the iron status of an iron deficient individual.
Nutrients. 2015 Feb 12;7(2):1184-201. doi: 10.3390/nu7021184.

February 11, 2018
Chocolate and Heart Health: It's great to feel good about eating something you really like. But, even the good stuff should be consumed in moderation. Chocolate is an excellent example. In moderation, it can be a good source of beneficial flavanols, but it doesn't take much chocolate to get a lot of calories.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Mar;95(3):740-51. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.023457. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

February 14, 2018
Energy Drink Guidelines: A new issues paper from the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that children and adolescents should not consume energy drink products. The document states, "Warnings should be prominently displayed on the front of products stating vulnerable populations, including those younger than 18 yr, pregnant or breastfeeding women, caffeine naive or sensitive individuals, taking stimulant or caffeine-based medications, or those with certain cardiovascular or medical conditions, should avoid energy drink use."
Cur Spt Med Rep. 2018;17(2):65–72.

February 18, 2018
Fresh or Processed? The vitamin content of fresh fruits and vegetables can decline during transport, storage, and display in the store. Depending on the food, frozen and canned products often contain more vitamins than their fresh forms.
Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.

February 22, 2018
Chickpeas and Climate Change: Most of the plant foods we eat are the result of thousands of years of selective breeding. A plant food like chickpeas is very different from its original wild relative. As climate changes in some areas of the world, new varieties that are drought resistant, heat resistant, etc. will be needed. Scientists are now finding ways to give commercial varieties of chickpeas some of the same genes that make the wild varieties so hardy.
Nature Com. 2018;9(649):1-13.

March 30, 2018
Food Environment: If you live in an area with a limited availability of good quality produce, it makes sense that you are likely to eat less fruits and vegetables. Research conducted in Montana found that more rural areas had lower quality produce and people in those areas consumed less fruits and vegetables. This limitation in dietary variety is a likely contributor to the health disparities observed in these areas.
Food Security. 2018;10(1):169–182.

April 3, 2018
Functional Foods: Functional foods, sometimes called “nutraceuticals” or “designer foods,” are fortified with nutrients and other beneficial food components that are intended to improve health. A varied diet of wholesome foods can provide the same benefits, however functional foods can be a convenient way to fill nutrient gaps in a dietary pattern that is low in one or more essential nutrients.
BMJ. 2007;334(7602):1015–1016.

April 5, 2018
Fish in Stone Age Diet: Stone Age (Mesolithic) humans lived in a wide variety of environments that influenced what they ate. A new study using human bone isotope technology found that around 10,000 years ago people in southern Sweden consumed at least half of their protein from fish. This is much more fish consumption than previously thought.
J Arch Sci. March 16 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

April 14, 2018
Important Ag Practices: Plant fungal infections have now outstripped bacterial and viral diseases. World hunger could be significantly decreased by halting the spread of fungal diseases in the world's five most important crops: rice, wheat, maize, potatoes and soybeans. Supporting basic agricultural research is important to both nutrition and sustainability.
Nature, 2012; 484 (7393): 186 DOI: 10.1038/nature10947

April 20, 2018
Early Cooking Skills and Good Nutrition: It makes sense that learning about food preparation during the growing years could lead to better nutrition. A new study on over 1000 people found that those who had good cooking skills in their late teens and early 20s were likely to have a more varied and healthful diet about 10 years later compared to people with limited cooking skills.
J Nutr Ed Behav. 2018 March 7. [Epub ahead of print]

April 26, 2018
Micro Greens: The small micro greens popular in high end salads are typically harvested within one to 3 weeks of sprouting the seeds. Research indicates that the amount of some essential minerals in the micro greens of something like broccoli is greater than in the fully grown plant. However, since the quantity of micro greens typically eaten at a meal is rather small, the actual amount of minerals consumed may not be very nutritionally significant.
Front. Nutr. 2017 March 2017, Volume 4, Article 7.

May 5, 2018
Benefits of Grapes and Wine: A compound in red grapes called resveratrol is thought to be one of the beneficial components of red wine. New research indicates that resveratrol affects the expression of genes that may, in fact, slow some age-related changes that commonly occur in mitochondria.
Cell Metabolism, 2012; 15 (5): 675 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.003

May 9, 2018
Eggs and Health: A study of 128 people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes found that those who consumed a high-egg diet (about 12 eggs per week) for 12 months (which included a 3-month weight-loss phase) had no adverse changes in cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory or oxidative stress markers, or measures of glycemia. Eggs are a rich source of key nutrients like protein and choline as well as the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy048

May 10, 2018
Updated Research Continues to Support: If you are tired of consuming sugar-based sports drinks during your workouts, go bananas. A new study found that consuming bananas along with water during a 2.5 to 3 hour session of cycling provided the same performance benefit as consuming a sports drink that provided the same amount of carbohydrate.
PLOS ONE Vol 13 Issue: 3 Number: e0194843 Published: MAR 22 2018

May 12, 2018
Meat- Not Just for Men: Meat often is considered to be a food more for men than for women. From a nutrient perspective, however, women have a much greater need for iron, a key nutrient in meat.
Journal of Consumer Research Vol. 39, No. 3 (October 2012), pp. 629-643

May 22, 2018
Vitamin B12 in Plants: New research demonstrated that it is possible for a plant, common garden cress, to take up vitamin B12 when the vitamin is included in the plant's growth medium. It is not yet clear how much B12 ends up in the plant and how expensive it would be as as source of the vitamin compared to other common sources.
Chemical Biology. 2018 17 May. [Epub ahead of print]

May 28, 2018
Diet and Cardiometabolic Disease: A major review by an international group of experts indicates that frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiometabolic risk factors significantly more than consuming the same amount of calories from starchy foods. They also found no evidence that non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame promote weight gain or increase cardiometabolic disease risk. However, the review had little focus on the influence of protein intake and level of physical activity.
Obes Rev. 2018 May 14. [Epub ahead of print]

May 30, 2018
Rising Carbon Dioxide and Rice Nutrients: Researchers grew 18 common strains of rice under atmospheric CO2 concentrations that are expected by the end of the 21st century. As others have reported, they found significant reduction in protein, iron, and zinc. In addition, they found substantial declines in vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9. Since many people rely on rice as a major source of calories, this could adversely affect human health unless we can develop strains that are not affected this way.
Science Advances 23 MAY 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

June 15, 2018
Environmental Changes and Vegetable Production: A systematic review of 174 articles indicated that several environmental changes projected to occur by 2050 will threaten agricultural production, food security, and health. Although increased atmospheric CO2 can increase some crop yields, when these researchers factored in other expected changes like increased ambient temperature, increased ozone, decreased water availability, and increased salinization of soils from rising sea levels, they estimated substantially reduced yields of vegetables and legumes.
PNAS June 11, 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

June 19, 2018
Mediterranean Diet and Red Meat: Many healthy eating guidelines recommend reduced intake of red meat. However, a new study of 41 adults compared a Mediterranean-style eating pattern with unprocessed red meat intake of about 3 ounces per day to a commonly recommended intake of about 3 ounces twice a week. Heart health indicators improved with both Mediterranean-style eating patterns, but LDL cholesterol blood levels (a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease) improved while consuming the higher rather than the lower red meat intake.
Amer J Clin Nutr. 13 June 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

June 24, 2018
Spinach and Cancer Prevention: OSU's Linus Pauling Institute researchers recently reported that spinach may have properties that aid in cancer prevention by affecting gene expression. This research has great potential to help us understand and at least partially offset the damaging effects of various carcinogens
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Aug;56(8):1259-69. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200117

June 25, 2018
Caffeine and Heart Health: Many studies have indicated that habitual coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes. Now, a new study using a mouse model has demonstrated that caffeine triggers protective effects at the level of mitochondria in heart cells.
PLOS Biology, 2018;16(6): e2004408.

June 29, 2018
Water Purification: Seeking a simple water purification system, researchers combined silica sand with the protein from moringa tree seeds (Moringa oleifera). This produced an inexpensive filtration system that can remove many contaminants from water. This uses sand and plant materials readily available in many developing nations to produce "f-sand" or filtration sand to create an effective water filtration medium.
Langmuir. 2018;34(16):4852.

July 1, 2018
Environmental Friendly Protein Substitutes: Desire for more environmentally friendly protein options has increased the number of meat-alternative products. Selecting products that make sense as plant-based meat alternatives requires reading the nutrition facts panel to assure adequate protein. Ideally, a meat substitute should contain at least 15 grams of protein per serving.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Mar 24;57(5):923-932. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.939739.

July 3, 2018
Tea, Wine, and Health: Polyphenol compounds naturally present in tea and red wine potentially can both harm or benefit health. They can bind to and prevent absorption of essential elements like iron and zinc and contribute to nutrient deficiency. On the other hand, new research indicates that these compounds can prevent the formation of damaging amyloid fibrils in tissues like the brain. This is a good example of why we should not refer to foods and food components as being "good" or "bad," because it depends on overall dietary balance and the specific health problems a person has.
Comm Chem. 03 May 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

July 5, 2018
GMO Labeling: Amidst all the confusion around labeling foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, a study conducted after mandatory labeling was implemented in Vermont found that people became less concerned about genetically engineered ingredients in their food after labeling was implemented.
Science Advances. 27 Jun 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

July 9, 2018
Bean Cooking Time and Nutrition: Sometimes convenience and nutrition come together in a food. When researchers analyzed varieties of beans for nutrient content, they found that beans with the shortest cooking times (from dry beans) were generally higher in both protein and iron than beans that took longer to cook.
J Agric Food Chem. 2018;64(45):8592-8603.

July 10, 2018
Umami and Healthy Eating: Researchers have found that consuming a savory broth before a meal can reduce food intake and improve food choices. The savory flavor is often referred to as the umami flavor that naturally comes from the amino acid glutamate - present in foods as monosodium glutamate (MSG). New research found that consuming a broth rich in umami from added MSG promotes subtle changes in the brain that result in more healthful eating behaviors and better food choices.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 30 March 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

July 18, 2018
Milk Fat: The fat in milk has some fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms (15 and 17 carbons). Since these fatty acids are not found much in other foods, blood levels of these fatty acids can be used to determine habitual intake of milk fat. A study followed 2907 U.S. adults, age 65 and older, for 22 years and found that those with greater blood levels of these milk-derived fatty acids had lower cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]

August 16, 2018
Iron Biofortified Millet: India has an extremely high incidence of iron deficiency, especially in adolescents. A six-month study provided adolescents with common foods made with iron-biofortified millet (bajra). Compared to a group consuming a common variety of millet with less iron, those consuming the biofortified millet substantially improved measures of iron status and cognitive performance. This variety of millet was developed by traditional selective breeding practices.
J Nutr. 17 July 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

August 19, 2018
Green Tea and Health: High tech chemical analysis of green tea dietary supplements indicated that these products are not a reliable way to obtain the beneficial compounds present in green tea. Although the researchers found some good green tea supplement products, most of the products had little of the key active components present, apparently because the compounds broke down during manufacturing and storage.
J AOAC Int. 2011 Mar-Apr;94(2):487-97.

August 20, 2018
Forest Proximity and Nutrition: A multinational study found that when people live closer to forests, they are more likely to get good nutrition. This was especially the case when they also had ready access to markets, roads, and education.
Science Advances 15 Aug 2018. [Epub ahead of print]

September 1, 2018
Chocolate Potential Benefits: A large Swedish study found that men who ate the most chocolate, typically a little over 2 ounces (63 grams) a week, had a lower risk of stroke than men who consumed little or no chocolate. This type of study does not establish a cause and effect relationship, but it does raise some interesting questions.
Neurology. 2012 Sep 18;79(12):1223-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826aacfa

September 2, 2018
Concentrated Nutrient Greens: Microgreens are popular salad ingredients. Typically harvested within a couple weeks after seed germination, these small greens generally have greater levels of nutrients and phytochemicals that their more mature counterparts.
J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 8;60(31):7644-51.

October 4, 2018
Caffeine and Pain Tolerance: Researchers found that those who reported consuming greater amounts of caffeine on a regular basis had a higher tolerance to pain than those consuming less caffeine. Pain was induced by increasing heat or blunt pressure on the forearm until the participant pushed a button to stop the pain.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print]

October 13, 2018
Possible Protection from Milk: Using a human colon cell culture technique, a new study identified a component in milk that may be responsible for milk's association with reduced colon cancer.
J Dairy Sci. 2012 Oct;95(10):5552-60.

October 21, 2018
Organic or Convention: A review article comparing organic to conventional food production in the U.S., confirmed the primary conclusions of the controversial systematic review published last month by Stanford researchers. This new review also indicates that based on current evidence, nutritional differences between the two types of foods are minor. They also emphasize that continuing research is warranted on potentially important differences between organic and conventional foods.
American Academy of Pediatric October 2018

October 29, 2018
High Protein Snack: Some recommend that a high protein snack before bedtime is good for muscle repair and maintenance of lean body mass instead of body fat. A new study pitted cottage cheese against a protein supplement and found that there was no significant difference between the two foods regarding their effects on measures of metabolism the following morning.
Br J Nutr. 2018;120(9):988-994.

November 3, 2018
Increasing Color and Carotenoids: Potato varieties are being crossed to produce many new colors. Many of these new colorful potatoes provide the nutritional benefit of higher levels of carotenoids, making them more nutritionally similar to sweet potatoes and yams.
JASHS July 2011 vol. 136 no. 4 265-272

November 17, 2018
Milk and Better Later Health: A British study found that milk intake during childhood was associated with improved physical function later in life between ages 63 and 86 years. They also found that greater protein intake during adult years was associated with faster walking times on a walking test.
Age Ageing. 2012 Nov;41(6):776-84.

November 24, 2018
Corn for Vitamin A: Corn is a common staple food that has the potential to benefit eye health in both developed and under-developed parts of the world. Scientists now know which gene functions to make some varieties of corn high in zeaxanthin (beneficial for retinal health) and other varieties high in beta-carotene (can be converted to vitamin A) to help prevent blindness in developing countries.
Nat Genet. 2010 Apr;42(4):322-7.

December 1, 2018
Omega-3 Milk: If you are not fond of eating fish, new products are on the horizon that can provide those important omega-3 fatty acids. Milk could be the next omega-3 fortified food based on research indicating that the fatty acids can be added without affecting the taste or smell of the milk.
J Dairy Sci. 2012;95(110:6242-6251.

December 24, 2018
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Research indicates that eating meals as a family, as well as cutting up fruits and vegetables, can both help to increase fruit and vegetable intake by children.
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013 Apr;67(4):332-8. doi: 10.1136/jech-2012-201604.

December 27, 2018
Lutein from Spinach: Lutein is a carotenoid compound found in many vegetable foods and egg yolks. Important in the body as an antioxidant, especially in the retina of the eye, lutein is not always absorbed well from foods. By simulating digestion in the laboratory, researchers found that lutein is released from spinach best when it is blended raw with some added cream. Longer cooking times also increased lutein release, however the study did not compare blended raw spinach to blended cooked spinach. Since the high oxalate content of spinach could increase the risk of kidney stones, it would be best to acquire lutein from a combination of foods like kale, mustard greens, collards, egg yolks, etc.
Food Chem. 2019;277:573-578.

December 29, 2018
Upcoming Protein Sources: As the world population grows, so does the demand for efficiently produced high protein foods. Insects have the potential to help fill this protein gap.
PLoS ONE 7(12): e51145.

January 12, 2019
Whole Grains and Sugar: Foods labeled with the whole grains logo often provide more dietary fiber than similar foods without the stamp. However, on average, a serving of these logo labeled foods contains more sugar and provides significantly more calories than comparable non-stamped foods.
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jan 4:1-10.

February 11, 2019
Eating Insects: Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki used an online questionnaire to examine consumers' willingness to include insects in their diet as a nutrient-rich, environmentally-friendly food source. Non-vegan vegetarians and omnivores were the most willing groups to consume insects and vegans were the least willing, considering insect consumption to be immoral and irresponsible.
Nutrients. 2019;11(2):292.

February 17, 2019
Bad Name for Good Foods: Some foods that often get put on the "bad list" are rich sources of important nutrients. Recent extensive research reviews indicate that whole milk and eggs can be beneficial components of the diet when consumed in reasonable amounts.
Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):1-24.