Slash the Salt, Keep the Flavor and Boost Your Health

If you ate a bagel for breakfast this morning, you’ve already had a big chunk of the maximum amount of sodium you should have for the day. Going beyond that amount is pretty common though. According to a government report earlier this year, nine of ten adults consume more than the recommended amount of dietary sodium – 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is about one teaspoon.

One of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention is to limit how much salt and salty foods you eat. Our report last week found that salt preserved foods commonly eaten in Asia link to increased risk of stomach cancer and although those foods aren’t a staple in the US, Americans’ salt-loving habits lead to other health problems like high blood pressure and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

A small part of that  is the salt you add at the table. Most of your sodium comes from salt already added to foods that you buy.

Salt_draft 3 Continue reading

Smoothies for Kids: Just Another Sugary Drink

They are colorful, squeezable and have the term fruit all over, but kid-friendly smoothies are often just another sugary drink, as a study published last month highlighted. That study found that these drinks in the United Kingdom often come with as much added sugars as soda, giving a young child half of the highest amount of added sugar recommended per day.

That can lead to unhealthy weight gain in children. And that weight gain can mean higher cancer risk when children become adults, because many cancers are now linked to obesity, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

In the US, the story on smoothies is much the same. Many of the baby and child-focused drinks are called smoothies but the first two ingredients are milk and sugar. After that, comes fruit purees or juices, which means there is more sugar added than fruit. And some smoothies are simply milk, sugar and flavors, with no fruit at all. In two familiar brands, added sugar alone contributes 40-50% of the calories.Sugar in kids drinks[1]

Continue reading

How to transform two eggs into a perfect French Omelet

Having eggs year round is so familiar that we forget how seasonal they once were. Colorful eggs at Easter are more than a spiritual symbol of renewal. Until electricity was used to add hours of light, hens stopped laying through the short days of dark winter months and began laying abundantly again as spring brought longer days. So spring’s arrival was a reason to celebrate and enjoy eggs.

Whipping up a golden, buttery French omelet is an elementally simple way to enjoy eggs. I do not mean the familiar coffee shop staple, lightly browned and folded over an over-abundance of filling. A true – as in French –omelet is cooked just until the eggs are tenderly set, without time to brown, and are quickly rolled into thirds around only a filling that is just enough to add complimentary flavor.

set outside, moist inside_omeletteTo the French, making an omelet is a true test of a cook’s ability. Its ingredients are simply eggs, butter, and a splash of water. (A filling is optional.) What transforms them into bliss is using the perfect pan and precise technique. Getting the timing and tilting of the pan just so, the result is lightly set eggs rolled neatly into a cloud-light pillow and slipped onto your plate at just the perfect instant. Eating it can be close to a religious experience. Continue reading