Chart of the Day: Plant-based Burgers Aren’t Healthier than the Fast-food Originals

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Source: Business Insider

Barbecued Chicken Burgers


2 cups barbecue sauce
2 pounds ground chicken meat
freshly ground black pepper
6 hamburger buns, split
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 slices smoked Gouda cheese (optional)


thin red onion slices, separated into rings
Kosher dill pickle slices
fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs


  1. In a grill, prepare a medium-hot fire for direct-heat cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and a little salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into round patties to fit the buns.
  4. When the fire is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, brush the tops with barbecue sauce, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
  5. With a wide spatula, turn the patties and cook, brushing frequently with the sauce, until the juices run clean when the patties are pierced, about 4 minutes longer. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly and top each patty with a cheese slice (if used) to melt.
  6. Transfer the patties to the bottom halves of the buns and cover with the bun tops.
  7. Offer the condiments, including additional barbecue sauce, at the table.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: James McNair’s Burgers

This Is What Drinking Celery Juice Really Does to Your Body

Emily DiNuzzo wrote . . . . . . . . .

Some people see juicing as an easy way to add more fruits and veggies to their diet. Although it isn’t a new trend or dieting hack, celery juice, in particular, is having a moment. The never-ending health claims of celery juice benefits are alluring—but knowing what it actually does to your body is more helpful.

Celery juice is extremely hydrating

The one main benefit of drinking celery juice is hydration, according to Ali Webster, PhD, RD, the Associate Director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation. “Considering that a 16-ounce serving of celery juice contains a full head of celery, it does provide more water than a typical serving the intact vegetable would provide,” she says. Very few people would eat an entire head of celery as their source of hydration, so it’s safe to say drinking it is more hydrating since you can easily consume more in liquid form, adds Malina Malkani, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and creator of the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle.

Aside from hydration and a few vitamins and minerals, there are very few other benefits of drinking celery juice, Webster says. “Most of the claims of celery juice’s effects on health are anecdotal—they rely on one person’s experience after drinking it,” she says. But personal anecdotes aren’t the same as evidence. Plus, if someone starts drinking celery juice, they are likely making other lifestyle changes that could also account for things like weight loss or clearer skin. These are the 17 best healthy-eating secrets from nutritionists.

There’s not nearly enough research backing other claims

Celery juice health claims circling the Internet, however, include everything from helping weight loss and digestion to reducing inflammation and preventing cancer. Malkani and Webster warn these are serious and potentially dangerous claims. First, there’s no evidence to support celery juice’s ability to help with weight loss, Webster says. The juicing process strips away the fiber which makes people feel full and aids weight loss. The same goes for digestion benefits. “Some people think drinking it first thing in the morning ‘improves digestion’ of other foods they eat throughout the day,” Malkani says. “However, there is not enough evidence to support this notion.”

Similarly, there is no current evidence that celery juice prevents cancer, either. Some studies show that certain types of fruits and vegetables either protect against certain cancers or have components that protect against cancer. That said, there is no research specifically on celery juice and this benefit. There is a partial exception—whole celery has a flavonoid, apigenin, which shows some chemo-preventative effects in cell-based research. Webster notes, however, that these results haven’t been demonstrated on humans in controlled trials—and, again, this is talking about whole celery, not the juice. Still, it’s possible there are more health perks of celery juice that researchers have yet to study. Until then, know that the juice is doing next to nothing for your body. Here are 13 health “myths” that turned out to be true.

Celery and celery juice can still be part of a healthy diet

That said, whole celery is a different nutritional ballgame. “I want to be clear that celery itself is an excellent addition to a healthy way of eating,” Webster says. Celery is nutrient-rich and a great source of fiber, vitamins K and C, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6, as well as riboflavin, Malkani says. Plus, whole celery has anti-inflammatory properties that promote the health of gut lining and may help regulate digestion, she adds. “There is plenty of evidence suggesting that whole celery has a wide range of health benefits that include reducing the risk of heart disease, liver disease, and gout,” Malkani says. “However, research on whether celery juice offers similar benefits is very limited.” These are the 33 other foods that are way healthier than you realized.

After juicing the celery, however, the liquid is bitter, and some people might need to add sweeteners to stomach the flavor—increasing calories and sugar. Malkani recommends putting whole celery into a smoothie instead so that you can “drink” it without destroying the fiber.

The bottom line is that, like anything else, celery juice isn’t a cure-all and drinking it won’t eliminate other unhealthy eating or lifestyle habits. If you enjoy the taste, then keep on juicing, stay clear of sugary sweeteners, and eat other fruits and vegetables, too. Remember, however, that drinking plain water is an equally valid way to hydrate—and you don’t have to add any extra ingredients to stomach it.

Source: Reader’s Digest

Sleepless Nights Linked to High Blood Pressure

A bad night’s sleep may result in a spike in blood pressure that night and the following day, according to new research led by the University of Arizona.

The study, to be published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, offers one possible explanation for why sleep problems have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death from cardiovascular disease.

The link between poor sleep and cardiovascular health problems is increasingly well-established in scientific literature, but the reason for the relationship is less understood.

Researchers set out to learn more about the connection in a study of 300 men and women, ages 21 to 70, with no history of heart problems. Participants wore portable blood pressure cuffs for two consecutive days. The cuffs randomly took participants’ blood pressure during 45-minute intervals throughout each day and also overnight.

At night, participants wore actigraphy monitors — wristwatch-like devices that measure movement — to help determine their “sleep efficiency,” or the amount of time in bed spent sleeping soundly.

Overall, those who had lower sleep efficiency showed an increase in blood pressure during that restless night. They also had higher systolic blood pressure — the top number in a patient’s blood pressure reading — the next day.

More research is needed to understand why poor sleep raises blood pressure and what it could mean long-term for people with chronic sleep issues. Yet, these latest findings may be an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding the pathway through which sleep impacts overall cardiovascular health.

“Blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health,” said lead study author Caroline Doyle, a graduate student in the UA Department of Psychology. “There is a lot of literature out there that shows sleep has some kind of impact on mortality and on cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 killer of people in the country. We wanted to see if we could try to get a piece of that story — how sleep might be impacting disease through blood pressure.”

The study reinforces just how important a good night’s sleep can be. It’s not just the amount of time you spend in bed, but the quality of sleep you’re getting, said study co-author John Ruiz, UA associate professor of psychology.

Improving sleep quality can start with making simple changes and being proactive, Ruiz said.

“Keep the phone in a different room,” he suggested. “If your bedroom window faces the east, pull the shades. For anything that’s going to cause you to waken, think ahead about what you can do to mitigate those effects.”

For those with chronic sleep troubles, Doyle advocates cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBTI, which focuses on making behavioral changes to improve sleep health. CBTI is slowly gaining traction in the medical field and is recommended by both the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as the first line of treatment for insomnia.

Doyle and Ruiz say they hope their findings — showing the impact even one fitful night’s rest can have on the body — will help illuminate just how critical sleep is for heart health.

“This study stands on the shoulders of a broad literature looking at sleep and cardiovascular health,” Doyle said. “This is one more study that shows something is going on with sleep and our heart health. Sleep is important, so whatever you can do to improve your sleep, it’s worth prioritizing.”

Source: Science Daily

Red and White Meats Are Equally Bad for Cholesterol

Flying in the face of popular belief, new research suggests both red meat and white meat can drive up your cholesterol levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), part of the University of California, San Francisco. The analysis is reportedly the first to comprehensively compare the impact that red and white meat have on cholesterol.

Red meat, such as beef and lamb, has become unpopular in recent years because of its association with heart disease, and government nutrition guidelines have encouraged consumers to eat poultry as a healthier alternative, the researchers noted.

“When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case,” said study senior author Dr. Ronald Krauss. “Their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent.”

Krauss is senior scientist and director of atherosclerosis research at CHORI.

After tracking how red meat, white meat and plant protein all impacted cholesterol levels, Krauss and his team determined that both red and white meat prompted higher blood cholesterol levels than diets containing an equivalent amount of plant protein. (Grass-fed beef, fish and processed meat products such as bacon were not included in the analysis.)

The finding held up even after accounting for a high intake of saturated fats, investigators noted, and it suggests that the best way to keep cholesterol under control is to turn to non-meat proteins, such as vegetables, legumes and dairy products.

“Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol,” Krauss noted in a university news release. “Indeed, other effects of red meat consumption could contribute to heart disease, and these effects should be explored in more detail in an effort to improve health.”

The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: University of California San Francisco

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