Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fish in a Can

Photo by F Martin Ramin
The WSJ wrote a great article this weekend on canned fish. Use it for inspiration. My personal favorite - Henry and Lisa's tuna. It's from low mercury waters and the tuna tastes exquisite. No mayonnaise or oil needed. Simply add new potatoes, green peas, and mint - delicious!

Little Fish that Can by Sara Dickerman

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Research round-up - November 2010

Photograph by Lisa Hubbard
Purple Potatoes and their Phenolic Composition
Nov 2010: According to preliminary research at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Purple Majesty potatoes have 3x has much antioxidant capacity as white potatoes. The purple potatoes contain anthocyanins, a flavanoid found in red and purple fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, red cabbage and red grapes. These potatoes were developed at Colorado State University in 2006 as a cross of original varieties of potatoes. They are not genetically modified. The study showed "peak plasma antioxidant capacity at 1-2 hours post consumption".

Dana's comment: the Purple Majesty taste as beautiful as they look. They mash well, are wonderful as potato wedges and are very appealing to children. The potatoes are available all year round. Union Square Greenmarket sells them as does Eataly. Check out Bon Appetit's Ceaser Potato Salad recipe.  For a healthier version, use 2 tbl of olive oil versus 1/4 of a cup and skip the parmesan cheese. You won't notice a difference in taste.

Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory
Nov 2010: Researchers at the University of Cincinnati identified that drinking 2 1/2 cups of wild blueberry juice daily improved memory test scores (paired associate learning and word list recollection) after 12 weeks. There were also trends suggesting reduced depressive symptoms as well lower glucose levels. The researchers concluded “the findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term blueberry supplementation can confer a neurocognitive benefit".

Dana's comment: Blueberries, like the purple potatoes, contain anthocyanins, which are associated with improved signaling in the brain. Wild blueberries contain more of the anthocyanins than cultivated blueberries. Look at for wild blueberries in the frozen section of the supermarket. Add them to a breakfast smoothie or snack on them with a dollop of Greek yogurt, but don't confine yourself to just blueberries, experiment with blackberries, red grapes and red cabbage. Antioxidants work synergistically together and the greater the variety the more powerful the impact. Remember, we are still discovering new polyphenol compounds so just because a food has less of one compound does not mean that it is inferior - the compound is likely to be discovered in the future.

High Protein - Low Glycemic Diet is Better for Weight Maintenance
25 Nov 2010: A large scale study funded by the European Commission, looked at 5 different dietary approaches for weight maintenance following a mean 11kg weight loss. All maintenance options had the same calories. The low-protein–high-glycemic-index diet was associated with subsequent significant weight regain, while the low glycemic and high protein diets saw a continued decrease in weight.

Dana's comment: A calorie is not just a calorie and it's a travesty that this dogma continues to be espoused. Controlling your weight is about regulating the hormones that influence weight loss. If you eat a high glycemic diet (think rice cakes, bagels and pasta) you cause a surge in insulin which triggers fat storage and inhibits the oxidation of fat. Eat a moderate amount of clean protein and get the vast majority of your carbohydrates from vegetables. It is this combination that stimulates the hormone glucagon which encourages fat burning and satiety.