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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…

Spinach buckwheat pancakes made in the blender, perfect for Saturday mornings

Buckwheat pancakes are the perfect balance between delicate and hearty. They have more texture than the traditional buttermilk blend, and they don’t skimp on flavor either. Adding a cup of spinach to the mix makes it a balance between decadent and healthy, as well. And buckwheat is actually a great gluten-free alternative to the classically carb-heavy Saturday morning stack. Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts. I tell myself I can eat them more often if I improve upon their nutritional content, so when I first started to see green pancakes pop up on Pinterest, I had to investigate. The most photogenic stacks had used a white flour base, so the spinach color could shine through. This buckwheat version takes much of the color pop away, but leaves the health benefits in tact — and that’s more important than a photo, of course. While buckwheat is known as a healthy, nutty-flavored grain,…

Organic Food Sales Grow 8.4 Percent Across the Country

The U.S. organic sector continues to gain new market share, breaking numerous records in 2016, and has since topped $43 billion in sales, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Industry Survey. While the overall food market was stagnant, organic food sales increased by $3.3 billion and accounts for more than 5.3 percent of total food sales in the country. Organic fruits and vegetables account for nearly 40 percent of all organic food sales — the largest organic food category. Organic meat and poultry sales increased by more than 17 percent last year to $991 million — the category’s largest-ever yearly gain. Organic dips and spices also continue to see increased sales with $57 million and $193 million sold respectively in 2016. (h/t Specialty Food Association) Shop organic at everybodycravespantry.com.

Garden Tuna Avocado Salad Wrap

If you’re not a fan of mayo, or if you’re trying to eat healthier, you’ll want to try this creamy substitute. Tuna salad wraps are a quick and tasty go-to dinner option anytime of the year, but if you’re making them with mayo and bread, you’re not exactly eating healthy. Try this recipe using avocado as a substitute and be well on your way to eliminating as many as 20 grams of bad fats from your meal. If you garden or keep lots of leafy veggies handy, this is also a great opportunity for a carb-swap out. Eliminate that processed bread or that heavy wrap, and use a large leaf of Swiss chard or Romaine instead. You’ll love the extra crunch it adds without adding any calories — A typically wrap can be as much as 150 calories, while a leafy green will only add about 10. Garden Tuna Avocado Salad Serves about 5…

Watermelon salad perfect for summer

It’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the next five months without finishing a meal with watermelon juice running down your arm. Nothing says ‘warm weather is here’ quite like a thick slice of this quintessential summer fruit. You’re likely very familiar with watermelons sliced or in slushies, but chances are you’ve never had one in a salad. While it won’t go running down your sleeve, this sweet and savory, salty and spicy salad will definitely make it on your menu rotation this summer. It would also be a great dish to take to any summer get together. Watermelon is about 92 percent water and six percent sugars, but you benefit so much more than those figures let on. Adding more melon to your diet means a lots of vitamin C and A and betacarotene. Watermelons are second only to tomatoes for lycopene content — an antioxidant effective in preventing some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The thick-rinded fruit is also low…

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,…

Not Your Mama’s Grapefruit Juice

Watch out. If it’s an mild morning juice you’re looking for to wash down your bran muffin, you’ve come to the wrong recipe. This spicy, citrus juice will leave you feeling alive — and your day will be better for drinking it too. Turmeric is becoming famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, the grapefruits give a big dose of vitamin C, beta-carotene rich carrots leave your eyes healthy and fresh, and ginger makes a the morning a little zestier. Grapefruit, Carrot, Ginger, Turmeric Juice Ingredients:  6 medium carrots 2 grapefruits, halved and peeled 1 inch fresh ginger 1 inch fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp. ground powder) Directions: Run ingredients through juicer barrel in the given order. If using ground turmeric, pour glass and stir in. Pour over ice. Enjoy. *Note: You can find fresh turmeric in many common grocery stores nowadays, but if you’re having difficulty, try a local Asian market. Find delicious…

Women No Longer Primary Grocery Store Shoppers

Tradition still leads us to believe women do more grocery shopping than men. But according to a recent study, the genders are now pretty much equal. The Grocery Shopper Impact MegaStudy conducted by VideoMining, a State College, Pennsylvania-based provider of store behavioral analytics, found that women account for 51 percent of in-store grocery shoppers and men 49 percent. Equal on-site presence has not meant equal spending power, however. On average, female grocery shoppers spend $2.73 more per trip. The study also found that shoppers of both genders are avoiding the center of the store in favor of shopping the perimeter — traditionally where the healthier items such as fruits, vegetables and dairy items are shelved. One in five shoppers avoid the center of the store altogether. Shoppers are also trading in their weekly packed carts for smaller, more frequent visits. About 68 percent of grocery store check-out carts include 10…

10 Unusual Recipes Using Coconut Water

Coconut water is so much more than a basic beverage. Coconut water became a health food craze a few years back, and even though it’s not longer in the nightly news, hopefully it’s still a part of your diet in some way. Research on the slightly sweet, nutty-flavored liquid is encouraging. It’s said to have antioxidant properties, defend against diabetes and kidney stones, lower blood pressure and provide a perfect hydration blend of potassium, magnesium and sodium if consumed after prolonged exercise. Try these recipes for new ways to use your favorite coconut water. We all know it’s delicious on its own, but it’s fun to find new ways to incorporate the naturally sweet drink in your diet. Check out everybodycravespantry.com for other healthy ingredients. QUICK COCONUT & CHIA SEED PUDDING PINEAPPLE, LIME COCONUT WATER COCONUT LAVENDER LEMONADE RECIPE Coconut Sorbet Coconut Water & Fresh Blackberry Gelatin Cucumber Noodles with Coconut Lime Cumin Dressing DEATH…