What I’m Reading: Eating For Good Health

I’ve bookmarked these brief, but informative articles about eating for good health to share with you this weekend.  They all appeared on National Public Radio’s terrific blog, The Salt (What’s On Your Plate), which I recommend for the latest news and coverage of nutrition studies as well as lighter fare, such as the last story below.

Why Health Officials Want You To Eat More Potassium

Rarely do you hear health authorities telling us to eat MORE of something, but when it comes to peas and beans, more is better. “By amping up consumption of potassium-rich foods, public health officials say, we can cut the risk of high blood pressure — which may, in turn, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.” The blogpost includes a link to this FDA chart showing which foods contain the most of this important plant nutrient.

Women With A Berry-snacking Habit May Have Healthier Hearts

A new study shows for the first time that a regular intake of substances that are naturally present in red, and blue-colored fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of a heart attack by about 32 percent in young and middle-aged women (mid-40s to 60s), compared with women who ate berries once a month or less.  It’s the plant compounds known as anthocyanins that offer so many positive health effects.

Eat Earlier in the Day To Maximize Weight Loss

This story reports on a Spanish study that showed why consuming most of your daily calories early in the day can help with weight loss. “The study suggests that it’s not just what we eat but when we eat is important.”

Small Meals, Big Payoff

This story will make you laugh, especially if you’re a Francophile like I am. It describes a oh-so-French nutrition study, conducted at the Institute Paul Bocuse, (named for the famous French chef who pioneered nouvelle cuisine). Researchers there wanted to test the prevailing wisdom that eating frequent, small meals would keep your appetite, and therefore your calories in check.

They gave twenty young men a typical (ie. not so healthful)French breakfast of 675 calories consisting of white bread, a croissant, jam and butter, orange juice, a teaspoon of sugar and coffee. One group consumed it all at once, the others had to spread it out over four sittings. The ones who had four mini-breakfasts were less hungry at lunchtime.

THEN, for lunch they were offered a buffet that included: Pâté (cholesterol-rich duck liver), white rice, fried potatoes, sausages, cheese, and chocolate cake for dessert. The men who had previously eaten four small breakfasts ate less at lunch.

Ergo, “eating small but often does seem to help prevent overindulging, even in France.”