Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health

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From top chefs to parents, it’s a question on everyone’s mind these days: how do we bring together flavor and healthfulness? fruit in fridge

Food scientists are already hard at work on this. Last week a study out of the University of Florida shed light – literally – on how much flavor matters to us. Researchers used light treatments to enhance the taste and aroma of tomatoes and berries – a technology that could one day make its way into your home refrigerator.

Now the culinary world is getting in on the action. A hot field of study known as culinary nutrition merges the art of cooking with the science of nutrition – in other words, how to make healthful food taste delicious.

Let’s face it: no one wants to eat a tasteless tomato or bland meal, no matter how healthy. Yet the impact of what we eat on our risk of chronic disease cannot be put by the wayside. AICR’s report and its continuous updates link a diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables and fiber with a lower risk of many cancers. Read more… “Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health”

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    Testing the (cooking) Water

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    Cooking can save you money and help you and your family eat healthier, which will lower your risk of getting cancer. (It’s also really helpful when you’re trying to lose weight, which is why it’s a part of the New American Plate Challenge.) canstockphoto4003655

    However, if you don’t cook a lot, getting started in the kitchen can be daunting. I know when I started cooking, even basic meals seemed overwhelming. It might be that you don’t have a lot of time, the right tools in the kitchen, or you’ve just never really tried.

    But cooking can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some tips to make it easier.

    Get your kitchen essentials:

    • 3 quart (or larger) sauce pan or stockpot
    • 10-12 inch frying pan
    • Large chopping knife
    • Cutting board
    • Glass or ceramic baking dish
    • Spatula and wooden spoon
    • Measuring cups
    • Set of mixing bowls

    Spice it up with herbs
    Make sure to also stock up on a few basic herbs and spices – these can help flavor food without adding a lot of salt. I recommend a basic Italian herb mix or any other salt-free blends, like those by Mrs. Dash. Read more… “Testing the (cooking) Water”

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      Get Your Kids to Eat More Plant-Based Foods in Honor of Earth Day!

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      With every meal, children develop their lifelong eating habits. The food choices they make while young can impact how their genes work later in life. Healthy kids make healthy adults, but only 39% of children ages 2 to 17 meet USDA recommendations for fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, and only 7% of children ages 2 to 19 meet recommendations for whole grains. Eating the types of foods listed above that contain natural fiber help combat cancer. Try these three simple steps to help your kids eat more plant-based foods, so they can be healthy now and later!

      1)    Turn off the TV: Food companies spend billions on marketing campaigns that utilize television, Internet advertising, brand licensing, and games to promote food products may seem fun, but offer little nutritional value. Kids love the colorful packaging they see on sweets, cereals, and sodas, but don’t realize that the package hides an unhealthy product. Take the time to explain to your child that these companies care about getting their money and not whether they are healthy. Help your children outsmart food companies by introducing them to foods that come in natural packaging, like bananas, apples and oranges. Remember that children like eating foods that are visually appealing.  Cut fruits into fun shapes, serve them in creative ways, and have your kids help wash and prepare them Read more… “Get Your Kids to Eat More Plant-Based Foods in Honor of Earth Day!”

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