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New American Heart Association Study Warns Against Coconut Oil

Superfood fans take caution. The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against consuming coconut oil. Coconut oil has seen a growing following in recent years as fans viewed it as an almost miracle-like fat and butter alternative, particularly with the paleo set. Touted as a superfood, cooking with the waxy white solid was said to burn fat, kill harmful microorganisms, curb hunger and improve cholesterol levels. But researchers recently found that coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven trials, and they failed to see a difference between coconut oil and other popular oils high in saturated fat like butter, lard and beef fat. In fact, 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is s saturated, while butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%) contain less. Frank Sacks, lead author on the report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy — I’s almost…

You’re cleaning your cutting board wrong and it could make you ill

Raw meat, juicy fruits and vegetables, herbs, fish — your cutting board has been underneath it all. Cutting boards are an integral part of any kitchen, but with all of this chopping action, isn’t there a hygiene concern? Most of us wash our cutting boards with warm, soapy water, thinking we’ve taken care of the task and happily move on to something else. But cutting boards have been reported to harbor 200 percent more fecal bacteria than your everyday toilet seat. It’s time to switch up our cleaning routine. Washing with soapy liquid is effective at killing harmful bacteria present on other kitchen items — plates, cutlery, utensils, counters — it just can’t compete with the cold, hard surface of a cutting board, meaning bacteria can linger and make you ill. Sarah from Expert Home Tips told The Mirror that bleach is the answer. “Soaking chopping boards in bleach after every use…

Non-cows milk linked to shorter kids, new study finds

“Got Milk?” isn’t such a simple question in today’s grocery store. Beyond the old skim or 2% battle, there are so many other options out there. Soy? Almond? Rice? What was once the simplest of transactions, with a one-size-fits-all home delivery from the milkman, has become pretty darn complicated. But a new study falls in favors of traditional cow’s milk. It turns out Mom was right in telling you you’ll get taller if you drink your milk — but only if that was cow’s milk. A study published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that kids who drank non-cows milks had shorter statures than their cow milk drinking peers. Canadian researchers studied 5,034 healthy kids ages two to six over several years. They tracked what type and how much milk the children were consuming, and found that each cup of non-cow’s milk consumed was associated with 0.15 inches (0.4 centimeters) lower…

The Scary Truth Behind Processed Cheeses

You’ve probably heard that processed cheeses like Kraft Singles, Velveeta and Cheese Whiz are made of unappetizing things. But what exactly is this scary stuff that goes these molten, melty cheeses of the glowing orange variety? USDA research chemist Michael Tunick was tapped by Tech Insider to sit down and discuss exactly what’s inside those oh-so-unnatural cheeses. He explains, since before WWI, companies have been stretching their cheese supply by grinding up older cheeses and adding them to newer cheeses. The two mix together with an emulsifier to help hold it all together, while also helping it melt really well for the consumer. It’s perfectly legal, as long as their description bears the label  “pasteurized processed cheese spread” or “pasteurized processed cheese product.” So be wary of these terms because they are essentially code for “not actually real cheese.” For some fun history mixed with scary facts, be sure to watch. For healthy alternatives, visit everybodycravespantry.com.…

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Eat On The Go

You just finished your work day but only have 30 minutes until you have to be across town for an evening event. Lunch has long worn off, and it will be hours until you get home. You’re going to have to eat this one on the run. You map out quick options along your route — the taco stand, the joint with pizza by the slice, the greasy burger restaurant. It’s just calories to get you through, but what does such careless eating do to your body? Research suggests that eating on the run is less physically satisfying. The study from the University of Surrey examined a group of women, both dieters and non-dieters. They were lead to believe the study was looking at how distraction affects food taste. The study broke the women into three group. The first, watched television while eating a cereal bar. The second had to walk around while…

A look at the growing artisanal salt trend

A half dozen salts sparkle in the sunlight at a stand in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. They vary wildly in texture, size, color, shape, and, of course, taste. The artisan salt trend has taken off in recent years, and with it, a deeper appreciation for the common mineral. Culinary creators are no longer limited to the taste of table salt, and health conscious consumers committed to the “farm to table” lifestyle have taken to them as a healthier alternative. Still, salt gets a bad rap among most. We’re told by doctors to avoid ingesting extra salt at all cost. But Kimarie Santiago wants to shake up that idea. The Long Valley, New Jersey woman is, of course, biased. She owns the growing artisan salt empire, Saltopia, but her passion for preaching salt’s health benefits, is infectious. And, she backs her bias with science. “I’ve dedicated my life to having my two…

Your favorite candy bars will have less calories by 2022

Candy companies are responding to consumer cries for healthier foods and smaller portion sizes. More than a dozen candy companies including Mars, Nestle, Ferrara, Lindt & Sprungli and Ferrero Rocher, promised the Partnership for a Healthier America, a foundation chaired by former first lady Michelle Obama, to reduce the size of 50 percent of their products to less than 200 calories by 2022, reported The Washington Post. As part of the initiative, the companies also agreed to include front-of-package nutrition information for no less than 90 percent of their products. “It’s a big commitment, and a big shift,” John Downs, chief executive of the National Confectioners Association told The Washington Post. But, he added, “obviously there’s an important and ongoing conversation around sugar in the U.S., and around the world … and our industry has been discussing how we can be a productive part of that conversation.” About 30 percent of American candies have already…

Instagram insights into food deserts

For some areas of the country, limited access to healthy and affordable food is the first problem in chain of linked public health concerns. These areas have become known as “food deserts,” and mostly consist of urban neighborhoods and rural towns. These types of areas are often associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other diet-related issues reflective of poor eating habits, and are often measured by the distance people have to travel to get to a large, respectable grocery store. But what is harder to measure, is what these folks are actually eating at every meal. A recent study shed light on this information void by data mining Instagram posts — Finally some scientific  good coming out of all of those hours users spend artfully arranging plates of food, overnight oats and smoothie bowls. The researchers looked at 3 million Instagram posts tagged with food-related words such as “pizza” or “tea.” Next, the researchers,…

Four cups of coffee probably safe, new study confirms

Despite nearly two decades of conflicting research on how much coffee we can safely consume, people still love their morning cup of joe. And that would be fine, if our society stopped there. But collectively, we have a tendency to take things to the extreme. “Bring it!” responded one Los Angeles newscaster to an announcement that “the world’s strongest coffee” will now be available in the U.S. Just one cup of the South African based product, Black Insomnia (now also available on Amazon), has the equivalent of taking three Five Hour Energy shots. So how much is too much? Is there even a place for such a coffee in a responsible daily diet at all? A new study published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology claims to have settled the great caffeine debate once and for all. Researchers combed through and compiled data from 5,000 articles published over a span of 15…

Diet Sodas Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia and Stroke, Study Finds

Given everything we’ve been told about sugar being bad for us, you might think reaching for the “diet” or “sugar-free” option is the smarter choice. But you’d be wrong. According to a new research published in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Stroke, the sweeteners used in these alternative beverages are linked to higher rates of stroke and a risk of developing dementia among consumers. The April 2017 study asked more than 4,000 participants, three times each over a span of seven years, about their eating and drinking habits during that time. Over the next 10 years, the researchers continued to follow the participants’ health records and tracked which among them had strokes or developed dementia. Researches found that those participants who consumed at least one artificially sweetened “diet” or “sugar-free” drink per day — whether soda or juice — were nearly three times more liked to suffer a stroke…