For decades, policy makers have tried and failed to get Americans to eat less salt. In April 2010 the Institute of Medicine urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of salt that food manufacturers put into products; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already convinced 16 companies to do so voluntarily. But if the U.S. does conquer salt, what will we gain? Bland french fries, for sure. But a healthy nation? Not necessarily. [MORE]
The Salt Wars Rage On: A Chat with Nutrition Professor Marion Nestle. A researcher explains why there may never be a good study on whether excess dietary salt causes hypertension and heart disease
ScienceDaily (Feb. 8, 2008) — Amid concern that people in the United States are consuming inadequate amounts of iodine, scientists in Texas have found that 53 percent of iodized salt samples contained less than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended level of this key nutrient. Iodized table salt is the main source of iodine for most individuals, they note in a new study. [MORE]
Also read: Experts Urge Complete Global Access To Iodized Salt; Prevents IQ Loss And Brain Damage In Babies: HERE
Those conclusions are important because recent, well-publicized efforts to reduce the salt content in food have left many people struggling to accept fare that simply doesn't taste as good to them as it does to others, pointed out John Hayes, assistant professor of food science, who was lead investigator of the study.
Published in the latest edition of Physiology & Behavior, "Explaining variability in sodium intake through oral sensory phenotype, salt sensation and liking" was a collaboration between Hayes and University of Connecticut professor Valerie Duffy. The research involved 87 carefully screened participants who sampled salty foods such as broth, chips and pretzels, on multiple occasions, spread out over weeks. [MORE]
Listen to the NPR interview here.
Journal Reference:Hayes et al. Explaining variability in sodium intake through oral sensory phenotype, salt sensation and liking. Physiology & Behavior, 2010; 100 (4): 369 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.03.017
ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2009) — Millions of children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 11 may suffer from suboptimal levels of vitamin D, according to a large nationally representative study published in the November issue of Pediatrics, accompanied by an editorial.[MORE]
A Solution... Light-zapped mushrooms filled with vitamin D - Bringing 'shrooms out of the dark packs them with sunshine nutrient
Mushrooms may soon emerge from the dark as an unlikely but significant source of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that helps keep bones strong and fights disease. Researchers found that a single serving of white button mushrooms will contain 869 percent the daily value of vitamin D once exposed to just five minutes of UV light after being harvested.[MORE]
Similar to the way that humans absorb sunlight and convert it to vitamin D, mushrooms contain a plant sterol–ergosterol–that converts to vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Check out the resources below for more information on vitamin D.
And here's the data from Penn State University...Post-harvest Vitamin D Enrichment of Fresh Mushroom.
WASHINGTON — As summer winds to a close, backyard grillers may be looking back on their last barbecue and asking some rather pointed questions: Why was the grilled chicken so dry? Does eating charred meat really cause cancer? Why did Uncle Fred pucker and cringe after each sip of beer? [MORE]
May 14, 2009
Current data from on and between farm comparisons conducted over several growing seasons suggest that there is no simple answer to the organic vs. conventional comparison. The effects of the cultivation system are often obscured by other environmental and genetic factors. However in all the research reported, the organic cultivation system performed as well as the conventional system. Thus, organic produce is not likely to be inferior to that produced by conventional methods [MORE].
Brown, Professor of Food Science, Penn State University
More on nutritional aspects of organic food from the Institute of Food Technologists: Scientific Status Summary - Organic Food
Organic Food Not Nutritionally Better Than Conventionally-produced Food, Review Of Literature Shows. ScienceDaily (July 30, 2009) — There is no evidence that organically produced foods are nutritionally superior to conventionally produced foodstuffs, according to a study published July 29 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Here's a question to challenge your nutrition literacy: How much trans fat is likely in a package of cookies that are labeled as having zero grams per serving?
"I would say zero!" said Joanna Robinson, of Washington, D.C., who was grocery shopping this week during her lunch break. "I'd trust the label."
But other shoppers were more skeptical. "More than zero," said Guy Powell.
How To Spot Trans Fat
The way to know if a packaged food contains trans fat is to scan the ingredient label for oils labeled as "partially hydrogenated."
Food manufacturers have relied on hydrogenated oils to add shelf life
to products and also to make ingredients stick together better. The
process of adding hydrogen molecules to vegetable oils makes them
Audio version [Listen Now]
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils and Trans Fatty Acids
Prepared by J. Lynne Brown, Penn State professor of food science.
Other Penn State Food Science Department health and wellness fact sheets.
ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2009) — The health benefits of fish consumption have been over-dramatized and have put increased pressure on wild fish, according to a new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). In an innovative collaboration, medical scientists from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto have teamed up with researchers from the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre and author Farley Mowat to closely examine the effects of health claims with regard to seafood [MORE].
ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2008) — Offering another reason why eating red meat could be bad for you, an international research team, including University of California, San Diego School of Medicine professor Ajit Varki, M.D., has uncovered the first example of a bacterium that causes food poisoning in humans when it targets a non-human molecule absorbed into the body through red meats such as lamb, pork and beef.[MORE]