Monday, February 15, 2016

Nice Spice: McCormick Going Non-GMO

 McCormick, the world’s largest spice company, plans to eliminate almost all genetically modified (GMO) ingredients from their product line by 2016. 

In response to increased consumer demand for healthier options, 80 percent of its overall gourmet herb and spice business in the U.S. will be both organic and non-GMO by 2016, as well as all McCormick-branded herbs, spices and extracts sold in the U.S. They will voluntarily label the updated products to inform consumers as part of a commitment to transparency and consumer education. 

The first product introduced, a non-GMO vanilla extract, is already available. McCormick also uses steam treatments in its processing to preserve the health benefits of spices instead of the ionizing irradiation used by competitors. Although food radiation is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some studies link it to significant health problems. “Our consumers are increasingly interested in quality flavors with pure ingredients in their food,” says McCormick President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Kurzius. “Our efforts prove that we are listening to consumers and are committed to continuing to evolve.”


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Feel Young, Live Long

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found people that feel younger than their years have a lower incidence of earlier mortality. Conducted by scientists from the UK’s University College London, the research analyzed data from 6,489 people and measured their self-perceived age with the question, “How old do you feel you are?” Then, over more than eight years, the scientists tracked the number of deaths from all causes.

Almost 70 percent of those that averaged a little over 65 reported feeling at least three years younger than their chronological age. Only a quarter said they felt close to their age and about 5 percent said they felt more than a year older.

The research found that deaths among those that felt younger were 14 percent, while more than 18 percent of those who felt their own age and more than 24 percent of people that felt older died during the follow-up period. The research further found that individuals that felt at least three years younger were less likely to die later from heart disease or cancer. These relationships prevailed even when
other health and lifestyle factors were eliminated.

Co-author Andrew Steptoe, Ph.D., says, “We expected to find an association between self-perceived age and mortality. We didn’t expect that the relationship would still be present even when wealth, other socio-demographic indicators, health, depression, mobility and other factors were taken into account.”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Flaxseed Lowers Blood Pressure

Eating flaxseed reduces blood pressure, according to researchers from Canada’s St. Boniface Hospital Research Center. They attribute the effect to its omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

The researchers examined the effects of flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition typically marked by hypertension. Patients consumed a variety of foods that collectively contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed or a placebo each day for six months.

The flaxseed group experienced significantly increased plasma levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids and lower average systolic blood pressure (by 10 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (by 7 mm Hg). Those in the flaxseed group with initial systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mmHg saw reductions averaging 15 mmHg.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mammograms Carry Cancer Risk

There is growing evidence that mammograms, which are the primary screening tool for breast cancer, may cause it. Scientists have long known that radiation causes cancer, and now research published in the British Journal of Radiobiology reports that the so-called “low-energy X-rays” used in mammography are four to six times more likely to cause breast cancer than conventional high-energy X-rays because the low-energy variety causes more mutational damage to cells.
Mammograms led to a 30 percent rate of over-diagnosis and overtreatment, according to a study published in the Cochrane Review. Researchers wrote in the study, “This means that for every 2,000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily.
Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings.” Many women and functional medicine doctors are now choosing non-invasive and radiation-free annual thermograms as a safer alternative. Those at high risk for breast cancer may choose to do periodic MRI screenings, a recommendation supported by research at Britain’s University Hospitals Birmingham.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dulse Seaweed a Heart Health Powerhouse

Dulse (palmaria palmata), a protein-rich red seaweed, could become a new protein source to compete with current protein crops like soybeans, according to scientists at Ireland’s Teagasc Food Research Centre.

Dulse harvested from October to January usually has the highest protein content. This functional food also contributes levels of essential amino acids such as leucine, valine and methionine, similar to those contained in legumes like peas or beans. It may even help protect against cardiovascular disease. The Agriculture and
Food Development Authority reports that for the first time, researchers have identified a renin-inhibitory peptide in dulse that helps to reduce high blood pressure, like ACE-1 inhibitors commonly used in drug therapy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fare Sharing: Three Is the Perfect Number

With increasing traffic congestion and escalating gas prices, carpooling has become a way of life in America’s biggest cities. Now new high-tech innovations such as ridesharing apps that make the process more efficient have given rise to a new class of riders know as “slugs”.
The term was originally coined by bus drivers trying to distinguish between commuters awaiting carpool drivers and people standing in line for the bus, just as they used to stay vigilant for fake bus tokens known as slugs. In many urban centers with specific lanes dedicated to cars with three occupants (HOV-3), having clearly marked entry and exit points benefits everyone—drivers move faster and save gas; riders get to work; and the environment gets a break. The magic number is three—something about having just two occupants doesn’t seem as safe to many people, although the concept is the same. If the worst happens and no drivers show up, there’s always the bus.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Protein for Breakfast Curbs Food Cravings

Skipping breakfast or eating sugary breakfast breads and cereals sets us up for increased appetite all day long, while protein-rich food effectively satiates us, according to a recent University of Missouri-Columbia study. Subjects were 20 overweight young women, ages 18 to 20, divided into three groups: those that skipped breakfast, ate cereal, or enjoyed a 350-calorie, high-protein breakfast of eggs and lean meat. Researchers tracking brain function concluded that those eating the high-protein breakfast were better able to control their eating throughout the day and evening. For people that don’t currently eat breakfast, lead researcher Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, says it only takes about three days to acclimate the body. Leidy suggests first trying plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or egg or meat burritos. Aim for 35 grams of protein in the morning for all-day control of food cravings.