Summer Treat: Raspberry and Passion Fruit Waffle

The waffles are topped with raspberry ice cream and passion fruit ice cream, plus fruit of orange and raspberry, and raspberry sauce.

Lemon-based Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

3 medium-size boneless chicken breast, about 1 lb
1 egg
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch

Sauce

1 tsp grated lemon peel (the yellow part only — the white part is bitter)
2 tbsp sugar
juice of 2 lemon
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces, add salt and pepper to taste. Beat egg with flour and cornstarch.
  2. Coat the chicken with egg batter. Deep fry the chicken in 1 cup of oil for 3 to 5 minutes until it is golden brown and done, then remove onto a plate.
  3. To make the sauce: saute grated lemon peel in 1 tbsp of oil or butter. Add the mixture of sugar, lemon juice, water and cornstarch to the saucepan, and mix and stir over medium heat until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Add the fried chicken pieces, mix well with the sauce, then remove from the heat and serve, topped with a few slices of lemon.

Source: Scrutable Chinese Cooking

Nutrition Trend of 2016: Clean Eating

Judith C. Thalheimer, RD, LDN wrote . . . . .

Nutrition professionals weigh in on this year’s top nutrition trends, and clean eating is number one. Today’s Dietitian explores the pros and cons of this move toward more whole foods and simpler ingredients and the companion trend of front-of-package “free-from” claims.

The fourth annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey from Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications, a food, health, and wellness public relations agency in New York City, asked 450 RDs for their observations on what’s hot and what’s not. “The survey revealed that ancient grains stay strong, low-fat moves out, and seeds steal the show,” says Jenna Bell, PhD, RD, senior vice president and director of food and wellness at Pollock Communications, “but clean eating is where it’s at.”

Related to the “clean” trend, the survey also anticipated a continued rise in interest in products that make “free-from” claims, in particular “antibiotic-free” and “gluten-free.”

This article is the first in a three-part series highlighting the top trends nutrition professionals expect to see in 2016. The series will delve into these trends, exploring how they developed, where they’re going, their pros and cons, and what RDs will need to know to address their clients’ questions and concerns.

Eating Clean

From the socially conscious health food movement of the 1960s to the growth of the organic foods market in the 1990s to this decade’s focus on local foods, the roots of the current clean eating movement run deep. But there are many different interpretations of what it means to eat clean. “The foundation of clean eating is choosing foods in their whole-food state or as close as possible to how they’re found in nature,” says Michelle Dudash, RDN, a Cordon Bleu–certified chef and creator of CleanEatingCookingSchool.com. Beyond that, the definition of clean eating seems to be up to interpretation. For some, only whole foods are clean; for others, minimally processed foods are acceptable. Some clean eating advocates recommend a vegan or vegetarian diet, but it’s a matter of choice, Dudash says. “You can eat clean foods from all of the food groups, although fruits and vegetables would be at the base of a clean eating pyramid.” Organic food, grown or made with no pesticides, hormones, or GMOs, are a part of clean eating for many, and choosing local and in-season produce may be as well. Several proponents even include principles such as eating multiple small meals throughout the day and being more active as part of a clean eating lifestyle.

“Clean eaters avoid highly processed foods that contain added sugar and unhealthy fats, as well as artificial ingredients such as preservatives and additives,” says Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, a Chicago-area nutrition communications consultant who works with supermarket industry clients.

“When you eat a whole food, you know it doesn’t have any added sugars or extra sodium or fat,” Dudash says, “and I think any nutrition professional will agree that an apple plucked from a tree is more healthful overall than an apple fruit leather or apple juice.”

Avoiding all “processed” foods can be limiting, since nearly everything we eat and drink is processed in some way. Washing, cutting, removing inedible parts, and peeling are all forms of processing. Even freezing, drying, pasteurizing, and fermenting may be considered minimal forms of processing.1 But, the more processed a food, the higher the likelihood that healthful nutrients have been replaced with extra sugar, fat, salt, calories, and chemical preservatives or flavorings. “Foods like oats and almonds have to go through some processing before we can eat them,” says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RDN, LDN, a clinical associate professor and director of the dietetic internship at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But we can choose oats without added sugar and almonds without extra sodium.”

Eating more whole and minimally processed foods is in line with current nutrition recommendations and dietary patterns, which emphasize eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean animal proteins and reducing intake of added sugars, fat, and sodium. “The new Dietary Guidelines have moved away from focusing on individual nutrients and now focus on overall diet,” Salge Blake says. “If clean eating moves people toward eating more whole plant foods, leaner cuts of meat, and more fish, that’s in line with the DASH [Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension] diet, the Mediterranean diet, and other dietary patterns that are best at fighting chronic disease over time.”

“Ultimately, a diet that is rich in whole foods is going to be very nourishing,” says Katie Cavuto, MS, RD, a chef and author of the blog Nourish. Breathe. Thrive, “but it’s unrealistic to expect that we’re not going to utilize any packaged or processed foods.”

Dudash agrees: “A lot of Americans are already scared to cook, or don’t cook.” In fact, 1 in 5 Americans spends less than 15 minutes cooking dinner on an average day.2 “Packaged foods can save time in the kitchen, require a lower skill level, and fill nutritional gaps, and some, like whole-grain pasta and canned vegetables, may encourage intake of certain important food groups. It’s all about looking at the ingredient list. As long as the ingredients are mostly whole foods, it’s still a good choice,” Dudash says.

Stephanie Perez, RD, LDN, retail dietitian supervisor for ShopRite supermarkets, says customers interested in clean eating typically look for minimally processed foods. “This translates into more buying of whole foods but also foods with shorter ingredient lists,” Perez says. In fact, one shortcut often associated with clean eating in the media is looking for labels that list no more than five ingredients.

“I totally disagree with that,” Dudash says. “The number of ingredients has no relation to how clean a food is. Look at the long list of ingredients in a good vegetable soup: It’s about the quality of ingredients, not the quantity.”

Cavuto agrees. “Instead of counting ingredients, when I look at an ingredient list I ask myself a) ‘Can I buy the ingredients in the grocery store?’ and b) ‘Is this how I would make this myself?'” Cavuto says.

Cavuto cautions that encouraging clean eating can have a downside. “The clean eating movement can put pressure on consumers and make them feel inadequate because they can’t meet their self-imposed definition of healthy eating,” Cavuto says. “Sometimes the clean eating mentality forces people into this ‘all or nothing’ mode. That can be very stifling for long-term goals, and can cause stress, anxiety, and failure. Perfection doesn’t exist,” Cavuto adds, “We have to be realistic about our food choices.”

Salge Blake agrees: “It’s great that more people are looking to eat less of the things we don’t want in our diet, but it’s important not to make people feel inferior if they eat something out of a bag or a box. After all, frozen vegetables come out of a bag, and they are often more nutritious than fresh that left the fields days ago only to be stored in your refrigerator for so long that there is a loss of nutrients. If people aren’t eating clean, we don’t want them to feel they must be eating ‘dirty.'”

Free From

Despite the potential for negative feelings, the clean eating trend continues to grow. “Food companies are responding to the growing number of consumers who are clean eaters by removing certain ingredients such as gluten, high-fructose corn syrup, and GMOs from their products,” Quagliani says. “The next logical step is for these companies to highlight that their products are free from these ingredients on their labels.”

According to the “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey, many dietitians agree. “When it comes to the messages and claims that impact shopping decisions, 2016 will look for ‘free from,'” Bell says. “These claims may include things like GMO-free and antibiotic-free when making purchasing decisions, as well as additive-free and locally sourced.”

“Our shelves are definitely showing this trend,” Perez says. “Manufacturers are removing ingredients seen as less desirable from their products and advertising that on their labels and in the media. Demand for ‘cleaner’ food drove the manufacturers’ decisions,” she says, “and the plethora of ‘free-from’ labels on foods is driving demand even higher as customers are catching on to it.” According to Quagliani, the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s What’s in Store 2015 report found that almost 13% of global food and beverage introductions in 2013 included a “free-from” claim, up 3% over the previous five years.

A May 2015 report from the market research firm Mintel found that 84% of consumers buying products with “free-from” claims do so because they want more natural, less processed foods. Trans fat–free was most important to 78% of purchasers, 71% looked first for preservative-free, and sodium-free ranked number one for 57% of consumers who buy these foods. Foods free from GMOs also ranked in the top four most important considerations. Animal welfare and the health of the planet factor into buying decisions as well, with “cage-free” and “free-range” claims ranking high on “free-from” consumers’ lists of concerns.3

Perez is seeing these data borne out on the supermarket shelves. “We see foods free from the top eight allergens, plus gluten-free, free from artificial colors and flavors, preservative-free, non-GMO, free from trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup, and more,” Perez says. “Organic can be part of the discussion or not. Organic foods are free from pesticides, hormones, and GMOs but not necessarily free from allergens, gluten, or other ingredients that can impact health,” she says.

According to Dudash, these “free-from” claims are becoming a bit much. “It’s great to have allergen information and ingredients spelled out clearly on the back of the package, but all of these non, no, and free front-of-package claims can be overwhelming.”

Perez agrees: “Nutrition professionals need to be aware of the confusion these labels can cause. Questions are coming up in weight loss classes, sampling events, and community presentations as well as in our stores. Our in-store dietitians regularly answer questions like ‘Should I be choosing gluten-free products?’ or ‘What are GMOs?'”

“The word ‘free’ on a package has a legal meaning,” Salge Blake says. “Something that is sodium-free, for example, has to have less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. But, just like in the 1980s with the cholesterol-free craze, we are again seeing foods that have always been free from a particular food component touting it on their labels as if it’s exceptional.”

Other experts caution that “free-from” labels can give consumers a false impression. “People might give ‘free-from’ foods a healthy halo and end up overindulging in certain ‘free-from’ treats like snack foods and desserts,” Quagliani says.

Cavuto agrees people may wrongly equate “free from” with “good for you.” “These labels are not all synonymous with nourishing and healthy,” Cavuto says. “For example, unless you have a gluten intolerance, gluten-free does not equal nourishing. There are a lot of highly processed, high-sugar gluten-free products. The same goes for organic products. Consumers trust those labels,” Cavuto says.

Another potential pitfall of trying to avoid particular food components is the risk of unbalancing the diet. “In their quest to avoid certain ingredients, people might forget the importance of getting enough of certain foods and nutrients,” Quagliani says.

Bell agrees: “If we narrowly focus on finding foods that are ‘free from’ something, we may miss out on health-promoting options or—even worse—lose the joy of eating.”

Source: Today’s Dietitian

In Pictures: Foods of New American Restaurants

Prolonged Repetitive Physical Workload Increases Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis

The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) showed that prolonged repetitive physical workload increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although work-related physical activity over many years is known to cause many cases of osteoarthritis (OA) in selected joints, this is the first study to show a link between physical workload and RA.1

To examine whether physical workload is a possible risk factor for RA, information on different types of self-reported exposure was analysed from a population of 3,680 RA patients and 5,935 matched controls included in the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA). To investigate whether some people are more susceptible than others, the risk was compared in subjects with and without a specific genotype (HLA-DRB1), and an analysis was performed in relation to the presence/absence of ACPA (anti-citrullinated protein antibodies) among RA patients.

“We found that some types of physical workload increased the odds of developing RA more than others,” said Miss Pingling Zeng of the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. “There also appeared to be a significant interaction between genetic makeup, in terms of HLA-DRB1 genes, and the risk of ACPA-positive RA from specific types of physical workload.”

The estimated odds ratio of developing RA in exposed vs. unexposed subjects was greater than or equal to 1.5, with several repetitive types of manual work that would be common, for example, in the building trade: exposure to repeated vibration (1.5), carrying or lifting weights greater than 10kg (1.5), bending/turning (1.6), and working with hands either below knee level (1.7), or above shoulder level (1.8).

“These new insights into the cause of RA may hopefully lead to effective strategies to prevent the development of RA, particularly in those RA patients with a susceptible genotype,” Miss Zeng concluded.

Source: eular


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