Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

antioxidants



Experts Question the Value of O2 Diet and ORAC Scale

This week, experts came out to say the O2 Diet, an antioxidant-based program by registered dietitian Keri Glassman that promises weight loss and beauty, may not make you any healthier. The O2 diet stresses eating foods that rank high on the ORAC scale and instead of counting calories, dieters count ORAC points, which stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity.”

According to Glassman, the ORAC scale measures how well a food protects against free radicals, which are substances in the body that may cause cancer, heart disease and other ailments. In February 2010, Glassman told Diets In Review that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants has been linked to strengthening the memory, improving the skin, and aiding in weight loss.

While these principles may be true, chemists and food scientists recently revealed that eating according to ORAC won’t necessarily make you any healthier, as ORAC testing is not standardized across the industry and was not designed to compare two foods against one another. Multiple factors, such as food storage, age and processing, can all affect a food’s ORAC score.

Though ORAC scores may be misleading, the O2 Diet is based on healthy guidelines and encourages eating a lot of good-for-you foods, a variety of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, high fiber whole grains and lean proteins, as well as occasional indulgences like O2 Diet’s aramelized Pear and Pecan French Toast. Glassman also suggests eating consistently through the day, drinking plenty of water and green tea,  getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress.

Despite recent developments in ORAC numbers’ meaning, market research firm Euromonitor International predicts that consumers may begin to see  more ORAC numbers in advertising and on labels. To avoid label confusion at the grocery store, remember that while ORAC numbers can be a good indicator of nutrition, it’s the nutrition panel that will provide the most accurate information.



Top 10 Superfoods for Fall

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

I, for one, love the idea that there are superfoods–certain edibles that go the extra mile in terms of nutritional chutzpah. They may not leap tall buildings, but superfoods are purported to fight the evil villains of heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and a host of other diseases. Blueberries, for example, have become a superfood darling for their powerful punch of antoxidants–and I have to say, they do seem pretty mighty to me.

That said, I think some of the trendy superfoods are stealing the spotlight from the true heart of the matter–from the everyday heroes. It seems to me that almost any grain or produce that is grown organically, unprocessed and prepared gently has much to offer. Aside from just a listing of antioxidant values, I can’t see a list of ten superfoods that earn obvious rank. In fact, if you look at 10 “Top 10 Superfoods” lists, you will see that they vary widely.

The truth is, most good food from nature is pretty super. So with that in mind, I like taking a seasonal approach. Rather than debating the merits of acai berries over goji berries, I prefer to look at what’s in season, and work with the nutritional workhorses that I can get here and now. These are my favorites for fall, based primarily on nutritional variety and strength, but that also give me that primal, sensuous satisfaction that comes with eating what’s in season:


Read Full Post >



Drink Green Tea for Weight Control and Disease Prevention

We’ve all heard that “green tea is good for you” but how many of us actually know why? Despite the fact that green tea remains one of the most popular beverages around the world, its health benefits are somewhat mysterious.

Though WebMD reports more than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits, some of those studies question green tea’s role in burning fat, lowering cholesterol and fighting some diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

So, what do we know about green tea?

Green tea has antioxidants: Also called catechins, the antioxidants in green tea help fight the cells that can damage DNA and cause cancer and certain types of heart disease. These same properties are found in grapes, berries, red wine and dark chocolate, however green tea’s minimal processing makes it a good bet. Even though we still condone eating tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, one recent estimate said green tea has 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies.


Read Full Post >



Eat More Honey for National Honey Month

This month is National Honey Month and it just so happens that this week, we’re all about honey. Between the Jewish New Year, which includes a tradition of dipping apples in honey for a “sweet” New Year to First Lady Michelle Obama’s honey beehive at the white house, we just can’t get enough. Plus, there is just no denying that the sweet sugar alternative has some astounding health benefits.

According to the National Honey Board, Americans consume nearly 1.5 pounds of honey per year annually. While honey is certainly not new, it has recently gained popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. At 60 calories per tablespoon, honey offers a number of advantages.


Read Full Post >



Yogurt and Turmeric Found to Have Medicinal Properties

A recently aired special on CNN by famous doctor Sanjay Gupta discussed the possibility of using food as medicine. I was intrigued by this idea and thought I would look into the foods and flavor ingredients that have dual purposes mentioned in the special: yogurt and turmeric.

Turmeric is a spice mainly found in Indian and Pakistani dishes often used in making curry with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and possibly anti-cancer properties. Curcumin is a component in turmeric that some studies have found can stop the growth of different kinds of tumors.

It couldn’t hurt to add this spice to some of your cooking, especially if you’re into hot and spicy foods. Some stomachs may not be able to handle turmeric. You’ve probably seen movies spoof people having diarrhea after going to an Indian restaurant- turmeric is spice to blame. Most girls will remember a certain episode of Sex and the City when Miranda goes on a date and udders the phrase “You’re just not that into me” after her dates cuts things short after dining on Indian cuisine.


Read Full Post >