If you’re anything like the average American, you’re consuming way too much sodium. You may have tried to kick the habit, but found that you just don’t like the taste of low sodium foods as much.
A recent study published in the journal Appetite may help. Researchers split about 150 participants into three groups to test how much they liked three soups over repeated tastings: a standard tomato soup, a low sodium
tomato soup, and a low sodium tomato soup seasoned with herbs and spices.
On the first day of the study, everyone tasted samples — about two tablespoons each — of all three soups. For the next three days, participants ate larger portions of their one assigned soup. On the last day, all three groups again sampled small portions of the three soups. Participants rated how much they liked each soup every day.
Results from the study suggest three strategies that can help you cut back on sodium without sacrificing flavor:
- Find the blend that you like best. Before beginning the study, researchers tested three different herb and spice blends to add to the low sodium soup: blends were based around basil, cumin and coriander, or oregano. No one blend was a clear favorite among participants overall, but individual participants had definite preferences. The lesson is to find the herb and spice blend that you prefer.
A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.
This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.
All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.
We, at AICR know how tough it is to follow our recommendations on the road – whether for vacation or work related conferences. At our research conference last week we want our attendees to be able to live the message, so we work hard to make sure they get delicious, beautiful and cancer-fighting meals.
Black Bean & Barley Salad for Day 2 lunch
Months before the conference we begin working closely with the hotel chef talking about our recommendations, recipes and research-based New American Plate. The chef had no trouble embracing our basic food guidelines:
- Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
- Limit the amount of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) you eat and avoid processed meats.
- Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
Flavor-filled chocolate and lemon mini-tarts.
Our specifications also include vegetarian options, modest portions of whole grains, and light and small desserts. Continue reading