This is very interesting! My wife loves Mediterranean food (well, and the area!) and this guide certainly suggests that the food is awesome for our health! Check out the details from The Atlantic:
Study Confirms the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
Pivotal research in the New England Journal of Medicine today confirmed well-worn notions that the Mediterranean diet — including produce, olive oil, nuts, etc. – significantly reduced rates of heart attacks and strokes, as compared to a low-fat diet. Now, to make these foods as accessible as corn sugar
When research has to be stopped because it would be “unethical to continue,” it suggests one of a few polarizing scenarios. In this case, it’s because the study found something that was clearly good. So good that after five years of watching trends in heart disease and strokes among people at high risk, the researchers could not in good conscience continue to recommend a “low-fat diet” to anyone.
On the island of Ikaria, in Greece, there are more centenarians than you can shake a stick at. In Loma Linda, California, the Adventist community has a lifespan that’s five to seven years longer than the average American’s. These are people who eat a Mediterranean diet, and we’ve long inferred correlations between that and their prosperity and longevity. But we haven’t had solid research to show us how important their diet — as opposed to other factors genetic, lifestyle, and social — actually is.
That’s why today’s study in the New England Journal of Medicine is particularly important.
As Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told Gina Kolata at The New York Times, the study “says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent … And you can actually enjoy life.”
So, enjoy life, if that’s what it means to you.
Of course, utilizing this knowledge doesn’t just mean educating people about diet choices, but also making these foods accessible. That would necessarily involve reassessing and prioritizing how the U.S. subsidizes agriculture. You don’t need to eat a ton of any one these items to see the benefits of the diet, so making them more common in U.S. culture is not at all inconceivable.
Here’s how the study defined and broke down the diets it tested:
Recommended in Mediterranean diet
Discouraged in Mediterranean diet
Recommended in low-fat diet
Discouraged in low-fat diet
Sofrito is “a sauce made with tomato and onion, often including garlic and aromatic herbs, and slowly simmered with olive oil.”
I note the wine as a point of interest because a lot of people ask me how much they should drink. But no one element of these diets clearly shouldered an undue share of the glory or burden. I take this as a check in the “good” column for alcohol, among the thousands of studies that look more specifically at its goods and bads.
This is a great chart and should be posted on everyone’s refrigerator! I hate having to throw away anything especially food! Take a look at this from Lifehacker:
The Shelf Life of Food
(click on the above for the full chart)
The costs of wasted food go far beyond the money you may have wasted buying something and letting it spoil. We’ve talked about ways to stop wasting food before, but if all you really need to know is “How long will this stay fresh and how should I store it,” this helpful chart will help.
This chart, sent over to us by our friends at Visual.ly, does a great job at listing some common foods and how long they’ll stay fresh and safe to eat based on different storage methods (along with a few that you might be tempted to freeze but really shouldn’t.) At the bottom the chart goes into detail about the differences between the “sell by,” “use by,” and “expires on” dates you commonly see on packaging at the store. Put simply, those dates refer to the quality of the food and how often a store should rotate its stock to ensure freshness—it has nothing to do with the safety of the food.
Its also worth noting that while the chart has good data, don’t forget to trust your nose—if you’ve stored your food properly, you can usually beat most expiration dates and keep your food fresher, longer. For another reference, check out previously mentioned Still Tasty and type in the type of food you’re curious about. Otherwise, click the chart below to enlarge, or hit the link below to see it at Visual.ly.
The Shelf Life of Food | Visual.ly
Wow – these look yummy AND easy! Just two ingredients! Details from The Burlap Bag:
2 ingredient cookies – plus the mix-ins of your choice!
July 23, 2012 by Lauren
I’ve spent weeks making sure this recipe is fool proof. It was also an amazing excuse to make these at least once a week…. for 5 weeks in a row.
I present you with:
the TWO ingredient cookie.
Yes. For real. Two ingredients. (Yes, you can add other things if you want… but you don’t HAVE to!) I made this up after seeing a “healthy breakfast cookie” that wanted me to add eggs, applesauce, baking soda, etc and I said NO!
And also, I hate those “two/three ingredient” recipes where one of the ingredients is a boxed cookie mix. and the other is a can of pie filling. CMON PEOPLE.
2 large old bananas
1 cup of quick oats
Mix those two together. Old bananas are amazing for this, but you can use fresh ones too. I buy a bunch of bananas, let them get old on my counter, and then stick ‘em all in the freezer.
Then add in what sounds yummy to you! (or nothing!) We love:
-a handful of chocolate chips
-crushed walnut pieces
Since all bananas are different sizes, the needed measurements can vary. If it seems too runny and the cookies would flatten out too much, add in more oatmeal. And make sure to not add in TOO many mix-ins as the cookies won’t hold together very well. The ones in these photos have a handful of chocolate chips, a teaspoon or two or cinnamon, and 1/4ish a cup of crushed walnuts.
We made 16 cookies with those measurements. We cook them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a GREASED cookie sheet. Don’t forget the greased part…. I did once and had to scrub my pan forever.
post-mixing. You can still see the chunks of ‘nanas.
post-cooking. check out those walnut chunks!
These cookies taste most amazing right out of the oven. But still great later. I wouldn’t even know if they taste great 2 days later because they’ve never lasted that long.
Sometimes we’ll make 16 “cookies”. And we’ll eat them all for lunch. I know what you’re thinking… WOW lauren you’re gonna be 500 pounds if you keep eating 8 cookies. But think about what went in these cookies! If I ate 8 cookies, I’ve had: 1 banana, 1/2 cup of oats, and half a handful of chocolate chips and walnuts. Amazing. Leave out the chocolate chips and they are all health.
Why this recipe is awesome? I’m terrible at eating regular oatmeal. But I’m EXCELLENT at eating cookies!
I hope you like these. We love them. Tell us what random “mix-ins” you’d add!!
(p.s. check out our “autumn” 2 ingredient cookie!)
I enjoy a good glass of wine, and the best way to really enjoy it is to have it paired correctly with food. Here are some great tips from WineFolly:
5 Tips to Perfect Food and Wine Pairing
Want a Wine Pairing Chart? Buy it
5 Wine & Food Pairing Guidelines
Champion the Wine
The number one guideline is to bring out the best characteristics of a wine. A high tannin red wine will taste like sweet cherries when paired with the right dish. Focus on the characteristics that you want to champion and make sure that the wine will shine instead of fighting against the food.
Bitter + Bitter = Bad
Since our tastebuds are very sensitive to bitterness, it’s important to pay special attention to not pair bitter food and high tannin wine. Green Beans with Cabernet Sauvignon will multiply bitter tastes. If you want to pair a high tannin wine, look to foods with fat, umami and salt for balance.
Wine Should be Sweeter
As a general rule, make sure that the wine is sweeter than the food and you will have a successful wine pairing. If the wine is less sweet than the food it’s matched with, it will tend to taste bitter and tart. This is why Port wine is perfect with dessert.
Improve an Earthy Wine
Ever hear that Old World Wine is better with food? On their own, Old World wines can be very earthy and tart. However, when you pair an earthy wine with something even more earthy like mushroom stroganoff, then the wine tastes more fruity.
We love fruits and vegetables around here. But I despise having to throw away food that has gone bad! Ugggg! Here are some great tips from Organic Gardening:
12 Fruits and Vegetables That Last for Months
Do you routinely throw $5 bills away just for kicks? Probably not. And very few of us light candles with dollar bills, no matter how much we may have loved Scrooge McDuck.
But that’s basically what you’re doing whenever you go grocery shopping. According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 percent of the food that’s grown and sold in the United States is wasted—if we cut food waste by just a third, we could feed every hungry person in the country. That waste comes to the staggering cost of $2,275 per year, for a family of four. The biggest loss category? Fresh produce. Just 48 percent of what’s produced is eaten. The rest heads to landfills (or the compost pile).
Another report from the United Nations pointed the finger, in developed countries at least, squarely at grocery stores and consumers, in part because the former pushes “great bargains” that encourage the latter to buy more than they need.
The solution, though, isn’t cutting back on your fresh produce purchases. It’s getting smarter about how you shop. Rather than load up on bags and bags of spinach that will wilt before you get home, for instance, buy cabbage, which will keep in your fridge for months. Instead of buying grapes and kiwis and other delicate fruits that turn brown in days, buy apples, which will last for weeks.
We’ve compiled a list of the healthiest produce that lasts virtually forever, so you can cut down on waste and yet always have fresh veggies handy for a healthy dinner.
Apples need an optimal temperature of 30°F to 32°F—just 10 degrees warmer, and they’ll ripen twice as fast. If you want your apples to last for weeks, keep them in a plastic bag in your fruit crisper drawer, away from vegetables (the ethylene gas they emit will cause other vegetables to ripen faster).
Bonus tip: Eat the largest apples in your bag first; they’re usually the first to go bad.
Eat This: The Best Applesauce You’ve Ever Had
Beets can last between 2 and 4 months in the refrigerator. First, cut off the greens if they’re still attached, and then store them in a perforated plastic bag in your vegetable crisper.
Dig Deeper: The Beauty of the Beets
Cabbage tastes best when it’s fresh, but it can last for up to 2 months wrapped in plastic in your fridge. Use it as a stand-in for lettuce or other delicate leafy greens in salads, since most salad greens wilt within days due to their high water content.
The key to making carrots last is keeping them dry, as they give off a lot of moisture, which causes them to rot more quickly. If you buy carrots in a plastic bag, place a paper towel in the bag to absorb any moisture and change it whenever it gets saturated. This can keep them fresh for a few weeks to a few months.
Web Extra: Purple Carrots?
A root vegetable available mostly at farmers’ markets, celeriac is the root of celery plants and has a mild celerylike flavor. Celeriac likes moisture, so store it wrapped in plastic on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Even after it’s cut, celeriac will keep for another week if wrapped well.
Learn More: 4 Extraordinary Root Vegetables
Garlic keeps longest when stored at 60º to 65ºF and moderate humidity. Unless you have an older, very dry home, your garlic should do fine in a dark kitchen cabinet. You can also store whole bulbs in the fridge in a paper bag (cut garlic will make all your other food taste like garlic), where the bulbs will last for months. Just be aware that once garlic has been in the cold, it will start sprouting within days after being brought to room temperature. So if you store it this way, keep it in the fridge till just before you’re ready to use it.
Go For It: Grow Your Own Garlic
Store onions in a dry area where the temperature stays between 30ºF and 50ºF, and they’ll keep for up to a year. If you don’t have a place like that, keeping them in mesh bags (like the kind used to package grocery-store onions) and storing them in a dark cabinet will let them last for up to a month, and perhaps longer.
Eat This: Caramelized Onion and Sweet Potato Soup
The ideal storage temperature for potatoes is 40ºF, which is on the warm end of most home refrigerators, and they don’t like light, which can cause them to turn green. Basements or cellars usually provide perfect potato-storage conditions that will keep them from rotting for between 2 and 4 months. Keep them away from onions and apples, wherever you store them, as both emit gases that speed up the ripening process.
Bonus tip: Sweet potatoes don’t last very long in storage, so eat those within a week of purchase.
Garden Geek: 7 Ways to Plant Potatoes
Winter radishes, like the daikon variety you might see at grocery stores, are much more pungent than the red varieties you get on spring salads, so don’t load up on too many if you’re looking for a healthy supply of fresh veggies. Store them as you would carrots, with their greens removed and in a plastic bag accompanied by a paper towel to absorb moisture. They’ll last for up to a month.
Learn More: The New Status of the Radish
Pumpkins, butternut squash, and other varieties of hearty winter squash will last between 2 and 6 months if kept in a dark cabinet. Keep all your squash in a single layer in your cabinet so air can circulate around them.
Rutabagas are great sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, and the fact that they can last up to a month in your refrigerator makes them good candidates for stocking up. Store them as you would celeriac, wrapped in plastic on a low shelf in your fridge.
When all else fails, head to the frozen-foods aisle. Because they are frozen within hours of being picked, frozen vegetables can be even healthier than fresh versions of spinach, asparagus, peas, and other veggies that don’t last very long in storage. And you never have to worry about them going bad!
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Five Scientific Facts on How Chocolate Is Good For You
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s with a special someone or you’re stuck celebrating “Singles Awareness Day,” we put together a list of five fascinating chemical facts about why chocolate, in moderation, may be good for you.
The video explains how a bar of chocolate contains hundreds of compounds, many with beneficial properties. Among the video’s “sweet” facts:
•Chocolate may improve your mood, and not just because of its delicious flavor. Chocolate contains a number of chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter anandamide — sometimes called “the molecule of bliss” — which can block feelings of pain and depression.
•According to an article from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa ― the key ingredient in chocolate ― boost levels of HDL, commonly known as the “good cholesterol.”
Video by Kirk Zamieroski
Produced by the American Chemical Society