We know, we know, there’s very little chance that you, dear reader, are struggling with smoking, but here at Mark’s Daily Apple we’re suckers for a good science experiment (especially ones with high volumes of grammatical and spelling errors!)
Sorry, we’re not talking about how to politely show your Aunt Mildred how much you appreciate her tomato jello mold. Research from the Agricultural Research Service suggests that eating antioxidant rich foods such as berries with each meal can neutralize the free radicals inevitably created by the oxidative stress of regular digestion.
As if you needed another reason to eat your fruits and veggies…
We’ve all been there at one time or another. Sworn to ourselves that we’ll follow all the rules – survey the room before making our food selection, fill up on vegetables first, select only those foods that you generally enjoy, don’t mix sweet and salty, have a glass of water for every glass of wine – yet, when we find ourselves at a cocktail party or social event, all of a sudden we’re the ones gorging on the spanakopita and shoveling chips – of all things! – into our mouths with reckless abandon.
The reality? There are literally dozens of excuses for the gorge fest. Everyone else is doing it, it’s a holiday/birthday/weekend/happy hour, you’re a guest, you’re the host, you just love tartlets.
Ever had the debate about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Well, perhaps next time you could back up your argument for tomatoes being a fruit by noting that the eggplant, which is widely perceived to be a vegetable, is actually a fruit, and a berry at that!
Counting tomato, sweet peppers and potatoes among its relatives, this member of the nightshade family was once feared in some European cultures. According to reports, early versions of the eggplant were so bitter that people believed that they must also have a bitter disposition, earning the poor eggplant (or aubergine as it is called in France and much of Europe) a reputation as a cause of insanity, leprosy and cancer.
An inevitable question surfaced this past week regarding the use of artificial sweeteners. When you adopt a low carb, no or next-to-no sugar diet, it’s almost assured that you’ll come up against the question at some point. There are as many perspectives on this issue as there are foods containing these products. And, these days, we even have several choices if we choose to go the alternative sweetener route.
It’s a question, we think, each person has to answer for him/herself. It’s admittedly tough to wade through the hearsay, personal accounts, discredited studies, conflicts of interest, and industry talk. One less complicated criterion we suggest applying to the issue is this: as you look at an artificially sweetened food/drink, does the item offer any real benefit (physical or otherwise) that you couldn’t get from an unsweetened source? Sometimes the answer will be yes, sometimes no. For example, an artificially sweetened soda might seem a better choice than a regular soda. But the best choice, of course, is to nix the soda order completely. If a recipe calls for sugar, you could substitute, say, Splenda, but you might also consider leaving out the sugar/sweetener ingredient entirely, substituting with fruit puree (still fructose but with nutrients) or finding a different recipe. (Quick aside: you can find some interesting substitutes and familiar but low carb adjusted recipes on paleo diet sites.)
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