GOOD FATS, BAD FATS
Over the years, I’ve observed a variety of health fads come and go, accompanied by lists of foods to avoid. Among those forbidden foods were fried chicken, pizza, cheeseburgers, French fries—anything greasy, high in sodium, high in carbs, or high in the dreaded fat, which has been known to contribute to obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
I’ve eaten my fair share of reduced-fat or fat-free alternatives, such as lighter cream cheese, low-fat salad dressing, or fat-free yogurt. But I’ve often found that these are lacking in flavor or texture, and may contain increased levels of sugar and hydrogenated fats that cause other health issues. Low-fat products don’t necessarily indicate health.
Not All Fats are Harmful
It has recently come to the public’s attention that not all fat is detrimental to the body. In fact, certain types of fat contain essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s, and are necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. These healthy fats also release energy through the body over a prolonged period of time and help improve brain function.
Good vs. Bad
“Good” fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats, which can reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease, are found in olive oil, olives, nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pecans, and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in plant-based oils including soybean, corn, and sunflower oils, and in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, are known to reduce blood pressure and levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), fight inflammation, and improve eye health.
DOCTOR'S ADVICE FOR A HAPPIER, HEALTHIER BRAIN PUT TO THE TEST
In his latest book, "Eat Complete," Dr. Drew Ramsey tells how to eat the right nutrients for mental and overall health.
He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and one of modern medicine’s leading proponents of a nutrition-based approach to clinical mental health treatment. The right foods can help as much as the right medications is his point.
He has written several books on the topic. The first, a cookbook called “Fifty Shades of Kale,” tries to make nutrient-dense kale look sexy while explaining how it plays a huge role in brain health. The second, more of a lifestyle book, called “The Happiness Diet,” tells readers how to avoid the common “mood busters” (sugar, bad fats, chemical additives and dangerous pesticides) commonly found in processed foods and to choose whole foods that give the brain the nutrients (magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D and good fats) it needs for optimal health.
STARTUPS USE 'UPCYCLED' FOOD WASTE IN PRODUCTS
Flour milled from discarded coffee fruit. Chips made from juice pulp. Vodka distilled from strawberries that nobody seems to want.
At one point not so long ago, such waste-based products were novelties for the Whole Foods set. But in the past three years, there's been an explosion in the number of startups making products from food waste, according to a new industry census by the nonprofit coalition ReFED.
The report, which was released recently and tracks a number of trends across the food-waste diversion industry, found that only 11 such companies existed in 2011. By 2013, that number had doubled, and ReFED now logs 64 established companies selling ugly-fruit jam, stale-bread beer, and other "upcycled" food products.
The companies have diverted thousands of pounds of food waste from landfills, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. They've also become a model for larger, multinational food companies, which are starting to realize that upcycling peels and piths can be good business.
"What was once considered 'waste' -- or an accepted cost of doing business -- is now seen as an asset and revenue generator," said Chris Cochran, the executive director of ReFED. "As companies begin to track, measure, and understand food loss and waste, the economics of food waste solutions begin to look a lot more attractive."
WHY BAD SERVICE CAN RUIN A ROMANTIC DATE -- NO MATTER HOW FINE THE DINING
Professional service, prompt seating, appropriate lighting and soft music provide the perfect dining experience
I could be on the most romantic date, with my hair done just right, in the most fabulous dress, with the hottest and most perfect gentleman, but if a restaurant’s service is bad it will still ruin my entire night.
I am known as a style diva, but I’m also a picky fine-dining snob. To be clear, I don’t expect every waiter and maitre d’ to fawn over me, but I do want professional service especially at the gourmet establishments where I assume the help didn’t just clock in after class and homework.
My standards are more relaxed ordering a latte at Starbucks or grabbing a sandwich at Pret. But if you’re charging HK$70 for water, I expect the polished silver to shine and the sommelier to know exactly how much rain fell on the chardonnay I am ordering.
FAST FOOD CHAINS FIND ANTIBIOTIC-FREE MEATS ARE HARD TO DELIVER
CHICAGO — Consumers are demanding more antibiotic-free meat. At McDonald’s, so is a group of nuns.
The world’s largest burger chain and its fast-food brethren have made commitments to remove antibiotics from chicken, but plans to curb the use of antibiotics in beef and pork have been far less common. It’s a far more complex and expensive proposition, and fast-food chains are largely taking a wait-and-see approach before changing the way their burgers and bacon are made.
KFC, a holdout in the wave of major fast-food restaurants vowing to curb the routine use of antibiotics in chicken, jumped on board earlier this month in response to pressure from animal and environmental groups. A number of major restaurant chains and producers have made promises, of varying degrees, to only use antibiotics on chicken when they’re sick, a step back from widespread usage of the drugs.
But promises to curb the use of antibiotics in cows and pigs have been far less common. A renewed push by a group of socially conscious nuns asking McDonald’s to announce a plan for antibiotic-free pork and beef highlights the hurdles that the industry will have to jump over to meet consumers’ growing appetite for “clean” meat.
In a regulatory filing last week, McDonald’s, headquartered in suburban Chicago, revealed that the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, intend to submit a proposal at the company’s annual meeting in May, asking it to set goals and timelines to phase out the routine use of antibiotics in pork and beef. The sisters have pushed McDonald’s for similar promises in recent years. Antibiotics are often given to healthy animals in industrial or so-called factory farms to prevent disease in close quarters.
MAN PATENTS NEW FISHING LURE TECHNOLOGY
Fishermen want lures to look and act like edible creatures to the salmon, trout or other species they hope to hook.
A local man has just patented two fishing lures that add sense of smell, in a brand new way, to the art of attracting fish. His lures could give anglers other advantages as well.
Bill Madala of Caledonia, who is retired from a career at SC Johnson’s entomology center, received U.S. patents on a single-tail fishing lure and a double-tail lure. What sets them apart is his innovation: bait-cavity technology.
A lure featuring Madala’s bait-cavity technology has a hollow tail, easily detachable from the lure-head and designed to hold a wide variety of baits. They are laid or dropped into the detached tail which is then snapped back into the lure head, with no hooking of bait.
Openings in the tail spread the scent and sound of the bait to fish while keeping the bait fresher than it would stay on a hook.