Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fish Consumption Could Boost Bone Health - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter Article

This article gives us one more reason to eat more fish.  Many of us shy away from fish because we do not know how to prepare it.  Fish can be baked, pan-fried, broiled, poached and even deep-fat fried.  Lots of herbs complement fish for added flavor.  Fish is ideal for a quick meal option as it only takes a few minutes to cook.  While dark fish such as salmon, has more health benefits, if you are new to eating fish, try some tilapia.  It is a mild fish that cooks in minutes when pan-fried in a little olive oil.  I like to season mine with my favorite no salt herb mixture or lemon pepper.

Fish Consumption Could Boost Bone Health - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter Article

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nuts For Health

For many years I have been suggesting adding a 1/4 cup of pecans, almonds or walnuts as a breakfast protein source or a snack for people with diabetes who need to balance their carbohydrate servings.  The added bonus of eating these nuts is the anti-inflammatory antioxidants for people with arthritis and heart healthy oils.  Recently I began adding a small handful of nuts to my breakfast and discovered that I stay full longer and I enjoy the extra crunch too.  Nuts are high in calories, so we must be careful not to eat too many and we should avoid the ones processed in oil with added salt.

In an article published by Tuff's University they sited clinical trials that showed diets emphasizing tree nuts were associated with significantly lower levels of fasting glucose and A1C levels.  One study touted the praises of pistachios.  Read the article below.

We are fortunate to live in a state where many nuts grow.  Check out your farmer's market for fresh nuts.  Many people will have excess nuts this Fall if you are willing to shell your own.  It might even be worth the investment in a sheller. 

Eating Tree Nuts Helps Fight Diabetes
A new clinical trial and a review of the evidence both suggest eating tree nuts may help fight diabetes. Tree nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, macadamias and pistachios. One study reported that pistachios improved markers of blood sugar and inflammation in people at risk for diabetes, while the second concluded that tree nuts of various types contribute to better glycemic control in patients already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

"The positive results of these two studies extend the growing body of evidence that tree nut consumption is beneficial to fend off diabetes and helpful in blood glucose control in diabetic patients," says Oliver Chen, PhD, a scientist in Tufts' HNRCA Antioxidants Research Laboratory, an expert on the health benefits of nuts. "However, more research should be conducted to substantiate whether all tree nuts confer similar effects."

PISTACHIO PREVENTION: In the new clinical trial, published in Diabetes Care, Spanish researchers tested the effects of about two ounces (57 grams) of pistachios daily in a group of 54 adults with prediabetes. That condition, characterized by borderline high blood sugar levels, progresses to diabetes in 15-30% of patients within five years. The study randomly assigned half the participants to consume a daily handful of pistachios. A control group added olive oil and other fats to their diets instead to keep total calories the same between the groups.

After four months, participants who consumed pistachios showed significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels, protection of unhealthy LDL cholesterol against oxidation (which makes it more dangerous), and drops in some markers of inflammation. Neither group saw a significant weight change.

Although pistachios were used in the study, which received funding from the American Pistachio Growers association, researchers speculated that other nuts would have a similar effect. They also cautioned that because nuts are a concentrated energy source, it's important to substitute nuts for other foods in your diet to keep from adding calories.

BLOOD-SUGAR BENEFITS: The second study, said to be the first of its kind, pooled results from 12 prior clinical trials of tree nuts in patients with type 2 diabetes, totaling 450 participants. The team of researchers from several Canadian universities looked at studies including almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews. The average intake of nuts in the studies was about two ounces (56 grams).

Diets emphasizing tree nuts were associated with significantly lower levels of fasting glucose and of HbA1c, a measure of blood sugar level over time. Participants consuming nuts also had positive trends in fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, but these did not reach statistical significance.

Publishing their findings in PLOS One, the researchers concluded, "Pooled analyses show that tree nuts improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes, supporting their inclusion in a healthy diet." They cautioned, however, that the trials they analyzed were of short duration - an average of eight weeks - and of lower quality.

They also emphasized the importance of substituting nuts into your diet. One explanation for nuts' blood-sugar benefits, they speculated, might be that nuts high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates replace carbohydrates with a higher glycemic load (a measure of how rapidly a food boosts blood sugar). Nuts might thereby lower the overall glycemic load of the diet.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Canning Salsas Publication Now Available

Hot of the presses is a revise publication on canning salsas.  We cannot just can our favorite recipe.  When canning we are removing the air from the jar, which allows botulism to grow.  We can not smell or taste this bacteria, but it can kill us.  Salas require the correct ph balance to prevent botulism.  Be sure to follow an approved tested USDA recipe with canning salsas.  Here are some for you to try.Salsa Recipes for Canning

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Kraft Heinz Company Voluntarily Recalls Select Varieties of Kraft Singles Products Due to Potential Choking Hazard

The Kraft Heinz Company Voluntarily Recalls Select Varieties of Kraft Singles Products Due to Potential Choking Hazard

Only 3-Lb. and 4-Lb. Packages of Kraft Singles Included in Recall

The Kraft Heinz Company is voluntarily recalling select code dates and manufacturing codes of Kraft Singles individually-wrapped slices due to the possibility that a thin strip of the individual packaging film may remain adhered to the slice after the wrapper has been removed. If the film sticks to the slice and is not removed, it could potentially cause a choking hazard.

he recall applies to 3-lb. and 4-lb. sizes of Kraft Singles American and White American pasteurized prepared cheese product with a Best When Used By Date of 29 DEC 15 through 04 JAN 16

Approximately 36,000 cases of the recalled product were shipped by Kraft Heinz to retailers in the U.S

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Facts & Figures on Pesticide Safety & Use in Food Production

Here is an interesting article on pesticides and food.

Facts & Figures on Pesticide Safety & Use in Food Production

Six Tips to Prevent Headaches

While I am listening to the thunder and rain this evening, I decided to spend some time cleaning out my e-mail inbox.  It has been a crazy summer and my box is full.  I came across a newsletter with information on preventing headaches.

For most of us, our headaches can be minimized with some easy steps, all of which bring other benefits as well!
Most headaches can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or with natural techniques, such as deep breathing or inhaling the essential oil of lavender, a proven aromatherapy technique. But that's once you have a headache. Try these six tips to lower your odds of getting one in the first place.

1. Slim down - Overweight people get more headaches.  Why would excess pounds cause headaches? Well, high blood sugar and poor circulation can both lead to headaches, and both are concerns for overweight people. So weight management can be a good way to manage headaches too. 

2. Workout - Exercise helps burn off both stress (which can lead to headaches) and calories (see #1).

3. Sit up straight - Some headaches can be brought on by poor posture or by sitting too long. When you're at your computer or desk, be sure to keep your back erect, your feet on the floor, and your computer monitor at eye level so that your head stays in alignment with your spine.  Also, take regular breaks from sitting. A quick walk or some basic stretches every 20 to 30 minutes will keep your blood flowing to bring much-needed oxygen to your brain.

4. Sleep tight - Keeping a regular sleep schedule can effectively help you manage your headaches, according to the National Headache Foundation.  

5. Have some water - When your headache is accompanied by fatigue, dehydration may be the cause. 

6. Quit smoking - It's well known that cigarette smoke leads the blood vessels in our brains to constrict. 

For details each of these tips see the article in the Health e-report newsletter.  6 Tips to Fight Headaches