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Nutrition

Saturday, March 8, 2014

PHIL ROEDER/FLICKR
Prepare for major street closures and start rerouting your usual commute: The L.A. Marathon is upon us. The race begins the morning of Sunday, March 9, and goes from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific.  What exactly do these (possibly crazy) people eat to fuel a 26.2-mile run? (And the rest of us, who will be cheering them on, or thinking about running rather than actually putting on the shoes for it.)

You're probably familiar with the usual contenders - simple carbs like pasta, bread and bagels are at the top of most runners' lists. But the folks at GrubHub, the online and mobile food-ordering company, took a look at various runner-friendly foods that Angelenos order more of than the rest of the nation. 

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Nutrition

Nutrition Labels Getting Major Overhaul

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Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 5:00 AM
The current label (left) vs. the proposed new label (right) - FDA
  • FDA
  • The current label (left) vs. the proposed new label (right)
Ever look at the nutrition label on a drink bottle and become annoyed seeing "serving size: 2"? It's one bottle! A new overhaul of nutrition labels by the Food and Drug Administration will change that, and a whole lot more.

If approved, the proposed new nutrition labels on packaged foods and beverages would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as vitamin D and potassium, according to CNN.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

One of the hits with the "astronauts" -- Cajun Spam jambalaya - SIAN PROCTOR/HI-SEAS
  • Sian Proctor/HI-SEAS
  • One of the hits with the "astronauts" -- Cajun Spam jambalaya
Six scientists -- some of them accomplished chefs -- emerged from four months in a simulated space habitat where their mission was ... to eat.

The purpose of the study, conducted on an isolated lava field about 8,000 feet above sea level on the northern slope of Mauna Loa on Hawaii's Big Island, was to determine how best to feed astronauts during the long trip to Mars. The mission, known as Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation (or HI-SEAS for short), was led by Cornell University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa and funded by NASA. It began in mid-April and wrapped up August 13.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Science

Low-Sodium Diet May Actually Be Bad for You

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Mon, May 20, 2013 at 5:57 AM

A salty soft pretzel - FLICKR/SIGCKGC
  • Flickr/sigckgc
  • A salty soft pretzel
A new study has found that a low-sodium diet is not only not beneficial to health, it may even be harmful, The New York Times reports.

A committee of experts commissioned by the Institute of Medicine at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no medical rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day. That is far above the American Heart Assn.'s recommended maximum sodium intake of 1,500 milligrams a day.

The AHA level is purported to prevent heart attacks and strokes in those at risk, which includes people over 50, African-Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease -- fully half the U.S. population. But the AHA says everyone should aim for no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. They are sticking to their guns, even in the face of the Institute of Medicine's new report.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fast Food

Restaurant Dishes: More Calories Than Fast Food?

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Tue, May 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Restaurant rib dinner - FLICKR/JOELK75
  • Flickr/Joelk75
  • Restaurant rib dinner
The average meal at an average sit-down restaurant chain contains a belt-busting 1,128 calories -- more than half of the Food and Drug Administration's recommended 2,000 calories a day for a healthy adult, according to a study by University of Toronto researchers.

In contrast, the average fast food meal contains 881 calories.

The researchers, who analyzed the posted nutritional content of 685 meals ordered at 19 popular sit-down restaurant chains, found that it wasn't just the dinnertime portions that packed a caloric punch. A typical lunch averaged more than 1,000 calories. (That's a big sandwich.)

In addition: "This was a little surprising, but the volume of food served in many breakfast options is comparable to those served at dinnertime," Mary Scourboutakos, one of the study's authors, told ABC News.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Eli's in Chicago crafts a 500-lb. cheesecake for the Staff Inaugural Ball - ELI'S CHEESECAKE
  • Eli's Cheesecake
  • Eli's in Chicago crafts a 500-lb. cheesecake for the Staff Inaugural Ball
President Obama is a firm advocate of universal healthcare. He cares about gun control. He's passionate about seizing moments together. He does not, however, seem to care about calorie-counting. And, despite her anti-obesity campaign and her hipster bangs, neither, apparently, does First Lady Michelle Obama.

As Fox News points out, today's Inaugural Luncheon menu weighs in at a hefty 3,027 calories, not including the wine, as calculated by the website DietsInReview. There isn't even a bacon milkshake involved. There is, however, lobster with clam chowder sauce and hickory-grilled bison with red potato horseradish cake. Dessert is, of course, apple pie with sour cream ice cream, topped with maple caramel sauce. And just to be really classy and Frenchified, the whole thing is topped off with an artisan cheese plate with fancy honey.

See the full menu, with links to recipes provided by the White House, plus details of the 500-lb. cheesecake being served tomorrow night and an epic Lincoln Second Inaugural feasting frenzy, after the jump.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Food News

Food Journals Can Help You Lose Weight, Study Reports

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Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Diet journal prototype - O5COM/FLICKR
As Speedo weather sweeps much of the country, dieters are using tweezers to eat, spending fortunes on salad bar creations and avoiding meals altogether in order to look dandy in beachside Facebook pics. However, new research shows that these last two measures (we can't speak for the tweezers) may not work so well. And that a notebook and a pen may join the jumprope and a bag of kale as good ways to lose weight.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

CALORIE COUNT
  • Calorie Count
In this country, where super-sized portions are as normal as, well, being super-sized, it's difficult to keep perspective on the amount of food you're actually consuming. Between monstrously sized drinks and the seemingly endless parade of food in all-you-can-eat joints and Vegas-style buffets, how do you determine what actually constitutes a normal portion size?

The folks at Calorie Count have devised a visual aid to help you. Because if you know that a normal portion of steak or halibut should be about the same size as a deck of cards, you might think twice about the behemoth on your plate. (A mnemonic device that would come in particularly handy if your buffet is actually in Las Vegas.)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

FLICKR/NICKYNUNCHUCK
Fat kids everywhere, rejoice! There's no link between childhood obesity and junk food sold in schools, a new study has found.

Cities all over the country have been busy banning the sale of sweet and salty snacks in public schools in a bid to fight childhood obesity (thanks, Mrs. Obama). But a new study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University suggests that the strategy may be ineffective, The New York Times reports. The research appears in the January issue of the journal Sociology of Education.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tech

The Fooducate iPhone App: Scan Favorite Foods At Your Own Risk

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Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

app2.jpg
Does your New Year's resolution have you up against a wall yet? Introducing the Fooducate app, an app available for iPhones that helps the average food consumer shop for grocery foods. The app works like a scanner; it scans the barcode of foodstuffs and immediately produces a nutritional breakdown in layman's terms, highlighting things like the tablespoons of sugar per serving and hidden trans fats not shown on the nutrition facts.

Reaching for that guilty pleasure all the way in the back of your pantry? According to a recent scan of Pilsbury's Creamy Supreme Milk Chocolate, it will cost you "5 tsp of sugars per serving" and also "contains controversial artificial colors."

There are specialty foods that are not part of the database yet. Sorry guys, no truthful rundown on that can of garbanzos from Fresh & Easy yet. But the platform makes it really easy for you to add it yourself and help your fellow Fooducate classmates.

There are two versions available on iTunes: a free app with ads and an app without ads and a couple of extra perks for $3.99.

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