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Nicci Micco's Blog (Page 16)

June 10, 2009 - 11:36am

If you start reading ingredient lists, you might think high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in everything: from soda, cereals and granola bars to even pasta sauces and ketchup. Is that a problem? Well, it depends on whom you ask.

Some people say that HFCS is nutritionally the same as sugar, while others believe that it’s pure evil. In fact, some say that our bodies break HFCS down in a way that stokes our appetites and leads us to eat too much. Could this be true? In this second installment of a 5-part series, we investigate whether HFCS makes us feel hungrier. Here’s what we discovered:

  • People often confuse HFCS with plain fructose (the main type of natural sugar found in fruits and honey). In...
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June 3, 2009 - 11:36am

As a nutrition editor, I hear a lot about the evils of high-fructose corn syrup—the sweetener that’s in everything from soda to pasta sauce. I’ve also seen the Corn Refiner Association’s commercials that say that HFCS is nutritionally the same as sugar. It’s hard to know what to believe.

So we went to the experts to get the real facts. In this first installment of a 5-part series, we investigate whether HFCS is a main culprit in the obesity epidemic, as some people say.

The HFCS/fat theory sounded logical in 2004, when an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) pointed out that from 1970 to 1990 Americans’ intake of HFCS increased by more than 1,000 percent and, during that same time, the proportion...

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May 27, 2009 - 4:36am

Some people just love to gossip about the health benefits of certain foods (like eating oysters for better sex), but it’s not so great when they end up spreading food myths instead of truths. It’s not that they’re intentionally lying. It’s just that they don’t have the whole story. There are a few myths (or you might call them half-truths) that I hear again and again. Here they are, “busted” with the cold, hard facts.

Eating oysters helps get you “in the mood.” That oysters or other foods can spark your libido is more fable than fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which reviewed the science on the subject. So why, then...

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May 20, 2009 - 4:36am

When the weather turns warm and the days get long, my husband, Jon, and I start gathering our neighbors and friends for “firepit nights.” (A month after we moved into our house, Jon built us a huge in-ground firepit.) We’ll make burgers or some chicken, tofu or even grilled pizzas; everyone else brings sides, snacks and drinks to share. On a typical Saturday, the crew gathers around 4:30 or 5 and lingers well past midnight. Often, the eating gets out of hand. So that I can still stuff myself into my shorts the next day, I’ve found that it’s helpful to follow a few simple rules for smart eating at summer barbecues:

Contribute something that’s good—for you. If you bring a...

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May 6, 2009 - 4:36am

This weekend, the farmers’ market in my town is starting up and I absolutely cannot wait! I love shopping the market for fruits and vegetables that represent all colors of the rainbow. A colorful variety means that my shopping bag looks super pretty—but it also means that I’m packing in tons of good nutrients. In the new, yummy EatingWell in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook, Dr. Preston Maring says nature saturates foods with bright hues to highlight their nutritional benefits. Anthocyanins make blueberries blue and may help to keep your mind sharp. Tomatoes get their ruby hue from lycopene, a compound that may help prevent breast cancer. Here’s the vibrant variety I’ll be looking for all summer long with some delicious recipes from...

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