Why try it: With 13 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein in each 270-calorie cup (plus a nice dose of folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc), chickpeas are superstars that you can eat right out of the can. Try tossing a handful into your next salad, soup, sauce, or sauté.
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While you’re at it: Black, navy, cannellini. All beans are good beans. Look for no-salt-added brands (Eden Organic is also BPA-free). Or soak dried beans overnight, then drain and simmer in plenty of fresh water for about an hour. One 15 oz. can of beans is about 1¾ cups. A pound of dried beans makes 6 to 8 cups cooked.
Start with Crispy Chickpea Salad: Toss 2 chopped red bell peppers and 1 drained 15 oz. can of chickpeas with 2 Tbs. of extra-virgin olive oil. Roast at 425°F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then toss with 4 cups of arugula or baby spinach and 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar. Season with up to ¼ tsp. of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes two 3-cup servings.
PER SERVING—Calories: 410 / Saturated Fat: 2.5 g / Protein: 13 g / Carbohydrates: 47 g / Fiber: 11 g / Sodium: 380 mg
The HDL (“good”) cholesterol story isn’t as simple as researchers had thought.
Numerous studies have found a higher risk of heart disease in people with low HDL levels (under 40 in men or under 50 in women). However, in 2011, a trial that raised HDL levels with niacin (2,000 mg a day) failed to lower the risk of heart disease in people who had low HDL and were also taking statins to lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
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And in May 2012, Roche Pharmaceuticals halted a trial testing an HDL-raising drug called dalcetrapib after it found no evidence that the drug was curbing the risk of heart attacks. Two other HDL-raising drugs—fenofibrate and torcetrapib—also failed to protect the heart in earlier studies. (Torcetrapib never reached the market.)
Now two more studies suggest that people who have versions of genes that raise their HDL have no lower risk of heart disease than people with other versions of those genes.
Researchers at Harvard University found no lower risk of heart disease in people with HDL-raising versions of an endothelial lipase gene. And Danish researchers found no lower risk in people with HDL-raising versions of the lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase gene.
“This may suggest that low HDL cholesterol levels per se do not cause” heart attacks, said the Danish scientists. But not everyone is convinced.
“There may be ways of changing HDL that may be protective that we don’t know about yet,” suggests Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard Medical School. “For example, making the liver produce more HDL might be better than drugs like dalcetrapib and torcetrapib, which keep cholesterol in HDL,” he explains.
“That creates a big, overstuffed HDL that may not be able to move cholesterol from cells and tissues to the liver for excretion.” Sacks’ bottom line: “We don’t know much about HDL metabolism in humans.”
What to do: Losing excess weight and getting more exercise can raise HDL. HDL or not, there’s plenty of reason to do both.
Sources: Lancet 380: 572, 2012; J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 97: E248, 2012.
The recipe for the dill-yogurt sauce in the picture is included at the bottom.
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Total time to prepare: 20 minutes
1 lb. skinless salmon filet (or 1 14.75 oz. can no-salt-added salmon, drained)
½ cup diced red onion
2 Tbs. lemon juice
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
¼ cup low-fat sour cream
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbs. canola oil
• Cut the salmon into 1-inch pieces. Pulse in a food processor until minced.
• In a large bowl, mix the onion, lemon juice, spinach, sour cream, mustard, and bread crumbs. Add the salmon and mix to combine. Form into 3-inch cakes that are ½-inch thick.
• In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Sauté half the cakes until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil and sauté the remaining cakes.
Sodium: 370 mg
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Protein: 29 g
Fiber: 5 g
Dill-Yogurt Sauce: Combine 6 oz. of fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 cup of fresh dill sprigs, 1 Tbs. of lemon juice, 1 Tbs. of dijon mustard, 1 small shallot, and ¼ tsp. of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.
Being overweight raises the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. Losing weight can make acid reflux disappear.
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Researchers assigned 332 overweight or obese adults—a third of them had GERD—to a weight-loss program that included advice to cut calories (to 1,200 to 1,500 a day) and to walk or do other exercise for from 15 minutes a day (at first) to 60 minutes a day (by week 12), five days a week.
After six months, the average participant had lost 29 pounds and four inches off his or her waist. And symptoms completely disappeared in 65 percent—and partially disappeared in 15 percent—of those who initially had GERD.
What to do: This study had no control group, so it’s possible that just being in a study ended or curbed the GERD. Nevertheless, you can’t lose by losing excess weight.
Source: Obesity 21: 284, 2013.
How can you lower your odds of getting food poisoning from resistant bacteria?
It may help to buy meat or poultry that comes from animals that were never given antibiotics. According to a 2012 Stanford University meta-analysis, conventionally produced chicken and pork were 33 percent more likely than organic chicken and pork to be contaminated with bacteria that were resistant to at least three antibiotics.
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But that won’t guarantee that you—or your child or parent— won’t get a bout of antibiotic-resistant food poisoning.
“As a society, we have to say that antibiotics are too valuable for treating sick people and that we cannot afford to squander them as production tools for raising animals,” says Lance Price, an environmental health scientist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
“We’re talking about the future of medicine. We don’t have new drugs coming up through the pipeline. And even if we did, if we abuse them the same way, they’re going to be useless again very quickly.”
Source: Ann. Intern. Med. 157: 348, 2012.
Minimize Salt in Hot Cereal
Enjoy breakfast without the extra sodiumMarch 4, 2013
Author: Jayne Hurley in: Salt in Food