Meet the new “super food”: popcorn? That’s right – popcorn is loaded with antioxidant polyphenols, as well as fibre. Back away from the microwave though; plain, air-popped popcorn is best in terms of calories, so watch the butter/salt you add and avoid that weird artificial butter stuff that comes coated in the microwaveable bag.
More “when in doubt, blame your mother” research with respect to in-utero fetal programming: exposure to a “poor” diet (namely low-protein and subsequent low birth weight) in the womb may not only predispose you to developing type 2 diabetes, but you may have inappropriate fat storage.
Although under-powered, a new RCT study suggests that snacking on raisins may help lower blood pressure. Keep in mind, the raisins were compared to commercial snacks like cookies and crackers, but just a small handful (about 30 g) of raisins daily did show benefit. But is it the potassium, fibre content or antioxidants (polyphenols and tannins) in raisins that are responsible? Note: sugar-sweetened Raisin Bran doesn’t count!
What impact does diet pop have on overall diet quality and health status? New study from UNC finds that diet pop consumption AND a “healthy” diet (more fruit, fish, whole grains, nuts and milk) may still be linked to poorer health when compared to a those with high-quality diets who DO NOT drink diet pop. Health was assessed based on waist circumference, triglyceride levels and presence of metabolic syndrome. Take home message: Diet Coke does not cancel out the pizza and chicken wings.
A little chocolate goes a long way…..maybe? The media has been all-a-blaze with a research article that found people who frequently eat chocolate had lower BMIs. (Thumbs up to the Globe and Mail for distinguishing correlation from causation at the end of the article!) Careful though, there are lots of limitations to the study. Check out Yoni Freedhoff’s blog for his comments. You can also access the full article to make your own judgment call: Golomb BA, et al. Association between more frequent chocolate consumption and lower body mass index. Arch Intern Med 2012 172(6):519-521.