Nutrition News: Nuts About Nuts, Calorie-Cutting Rice Hack, Kraft and Diet Group Part Ways


Nuts to You

Do you nix nuts from your diet because you think they’re fattening and hard to digest? Recent studies would indicate that precisely the contrary is true, Jane E. Brody writes in The New York Times, calling nuts and peanuts “some of nature’s most perfect and healthful foods.” Not only have multiple studies indicated that nuts reduce our risk of death at any age from any cause, but several studies also show that nuts can help people lose weight and maintain the loss — perhaps because nuts are so satisfying or because of the way the body breaks them down. Plus, because nuts are high in dietary fiber, they may actually aid digestion and prevent constipation. Nuts are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals, making them, Brody says, “a nutritional powerhouse.”

Rice Calorie Reduction

Talk about hard to absorb: New research introduced by a team of Sri Lankan chemists at last week’s 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society suggests that weight-watching rice lovers can cut the number of calories their bodies absorb from rice in half (or more) by cooking it a particular way that converts digestible starch to resistant starch (RS). The chemists’ method: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water, then toss in a cup of rice. Simmer for 40 minutes (or boil for 20 to 25 minutes instead). Then let it cool in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Voila, the rice’s RS level may be 10 times higher. You can then reheat it and eat it without changing its RS level. The procedure was found to be effective for traditional, nonfortified rice from Sri Lanka. The researchers are now experimenting with different kinds of rice and oils.

Singles Uncouples from Dietitians Group

Remember how we told you a few weeks ago about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ decision to slap a “Kids Eat Right” seal on Kraft Singles, the plastic-wrapped “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product”? And remember how we also told you about the outcry that decision sparked? Well, the agreement is off. The academy and Kraft now say they will back away from the partnership, The Wall Street Journal reports. “We believe misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign,” a Kraft spokeswoman said Tuesday. “As such, both organizations have agreed it is best not to proceed as originally planned.” Because some packaging was already produced, you may spot the “Kids Eat Right” logo on Kraft Singles for an unspecified time. Collector’s item?

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