There are easy substitutions for flour, fats and sugars to make holiday cookie recipes healthier, registered dietitian Jessica Short writes. Whole-wheat flour and pureed black beans can be used instead of white flour; coconut palm sugar, unsweetened applesauce and stevia are good sugar swaps; and avocado puree and mashed bananas can be used as fats, Short writes.
Diet experts say that the key to effective and consistent weight loss varies individually and therefore should be planned based on one's personality and interests. "We are all unique in our food preferences, values, lifestyle, etc., so it seems like trying to 'fit' yourself into someone else's plan is likely to have only short-term benefits, if any," said Judy Rodriguez, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Florida.
A food expert told the House Agriculture Committee that Congress should ban sugary soda from the U.S. food stamp program as a way to fight obesity. Wellesley College professor Rob Paarlberg said the ban would be similar to existing food stamp prohibitions on buying alcohol and tobacco and would not hurt poor people because it would not mean a change in benefit levels.
New laws, efforts to fight obesity and consumers' desire to eat a healthier diet have combined to spur a wave of new nutritional information at restaurants. Some industry watchers wonder whether the new transparency borders on "too much information" -- how much data on calories, fat, salt and such is likely to create confusion among diners?
U.S. researchers said a review of 13 studies showed folic acid supplements do not prevent strokes. They suggested additional research be done, however, into the relationship between folic acid and stroke, especially for men and for patients with the earliest stages of heart disease.