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If You’re Going to Make One Diet Change in 2018, Make It This One

Committing to a complete diet overhaul in the new year can be overwhelming, exhausting, time consumi..

Committing to a complete diet overhaul in the new year can be overwhelming, exhausting, time consuming, and frankly unsustainable. So my advice to anyone who wants to make a food-related resolution? Zero in on one dietary change that’s likely to stick. And in my opinion, the resolution that offers the biggest bang for your buck is simple: Eat five servings of vegetables a day, every single day.

In addition to being packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, veggies are low in calories and high in belly-filling fiber. When they displace other foods, you can drastically lower your intake of calories and carbs without sacrificing fullness. For example, trading one cup of cooked rice with a cup of riced cauliflower saves about 175 calories and 40 grams of carbs.

But even if your overall calorie intake stays the same, more veggies in your diet could still help you slim down: When researchers compared people that consumed the same number of calories, they found those who ate more plant foods had a lower BMI and smaller waist measurements, as well as less inflammation, compared to those who ate less produce.

The high amount of fiber in veggies is a big benefit: A classic German study found that every gram of fiber we eat essentially cancels out about seven calories. A fiber-rich diet has also been tied to less belly fat, and it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, to keep hunger at bay and your energy levels steady.

Other benefits of eating more produce include protection against nearly every chronic disease and a healthier gut microbiome, which is tied to your immunity and mood. There are even beauty perks: Scientists at the University of Nottingham in the UK found that eating more produce daily gives skin a healthy glow. Another study from St. Andrews University found that people who upped their produce intake by roughly three portions a day for six weeks were rated as more attractive than those who ate less produce.

RELATED: 12 Foods You Need to Stop Buying—and 17 You Should Eat More

Want to give this resolution a go?

To hit the daily mark of five servings of veggies, use this simple strategy: one serving at breakfast, two at lunch, and another two at dinner. (One serving is one cup raw, which about the size of a baseball.)

At breakfast: Whip veggies into a smoothie. So many blend easily, including spinach, kale, zucchini, celery, bell pepper, and even broccoli or cauliflower. You could also add a cup of veggies to an omelet; serve eggs over a bed of shredded zucchini or fresh spinach; fold shredded or finely chopped veggies into overnight oats; combine veggies with chopped hard-boiled eggs tossed with pesto, mashed avocado, or olive tapenade. Or simply nibble on fresh, raw veggies, like cucumber or bell pepper, as a palate cleanser after eating breakfast. Many of my clients tell me this habit switches off their sweet tooth, so they’re less tempted by goodies around the office.

At lunch: Make salads a staple. Start with at least a cup of leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, romaine, or field greens) and top them with other veggies of your choice, such as tomato, cucumber, and red onion. Dress with a healthy fat, like EVOO mixed with balsamic, Dijon and Italian seasoning, seasoned tahini, avocado blended with a little apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper; or a jarred pesto, or olive tapenade. Top your veggie base with a lean protein (beans, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, or fish) and a scoop of clean carbs, such as cooked, chilled quinoa, sweet potato, or fresh fruit. Prevent boredom by mixing up the combinations. Try veggies, olive tapenade, tuna, and fingerling potatoes; followed by veggies dressed in balsamic topped with lentils and quinoa; then greens tossed with avocado dressing topped with chicken and sweet potato; or pesto tossed greens, topped lentils and apple slices. The potential combos are endless.

Eat clean (and save money!) by signing up for our 21-Day Healthy Lunch Challenge

At dinner: When deciding what to eat for dinner, choose your veggies first, so they’re never an afterthought. Sauté veggies over low heat in EVOO, or oven roast or grill your faves. Make veggies the largest component of a stir-fry, soup, chili, or stew, or make veggies your pasta alternative (think eggplant ribbons, spiralized zucchini, spaghetti squash, or shredded cabbage). Serve your protein over a bed of these same veggies, or over riced cauliflower, massaged kale, or wilted lettuce. Wrap bean, salmon, or turkey burgers in greens in place of buns, or use a bun made out of two grilled Portobello mushrooms. Or simply steam some frozen veggies and toss with a bit of jarred pesto to serve as a side. You can add veggies to nearly any dish, or serve entrees over or alongside veggies. When you make them the first step in your meal planning, or when ordering from a menu, it’s easy to fit in two baseball-sized portions each night, and reach the target of five servings by day's end.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

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The post If You’re Going to Make One Diet Change in 2018, Make It This One appeared first on News Wire Now.

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Food

30 Best Oreo Flavors, Ranked and Tested

We write about Oreos a lot here. Like, a lot a lot. But can you blame us? The classic cookie has been around longer than any of us have (since 1912!), and there are so many Oreo recipes and desserts out there that frankly, we’re surprised that we as a society haven’t caused a nationwide shortage. There are few things in the world more simple and versatile as an Oreo cookie and milk (yes, that includes all of the 85-plus flavors in the brand’s history), and it’s safe to say we’re just a little bit obsessed. Case in point, this giant Oreo cake, these Oreo truffles, this Oreo popcorn, and this Oreo cookie skillet. You get the idea.

It was only a matter of time before we turned around and said, “Have we ever tried them all in one sitting?” We hadn’t. So we did.

Of course, there were hiccups. Although so many Oreo flavors have emerged over the course of the cookie brand’s 110-year lifespan, some flavors are hard to find on shelves. Some seem to be discontinued. Others are only available overseas. Green tea Oreos, for instance, are only available in Japan. (But whyyyy?) That said, our editors are nothing if not intrepid, tracking down a whopping 30 Oreo varieties for an in-depth taste test.

Without further ado, here’s our worst-to-best ranking of every Oreo flavor we could get our hands on. Let us know if we missed any favorites!

 

Read from: https://www.delish.com/food-news/g26783387/best-oreo-flavors/

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Food

How to convert a mushroom hater

As with any difficult relationship, Ollie, it can take work, but there is hope. “When you say, ‘I don’t like mushrooms’, it’s like saying you don’t like wine,” says self-confessed fungus obsessive Will Murray. “There are so many varieties out there, and they all behave in different ways.” The chef and co-founder of Fallow in London, who even grows his own at the restaurant, adds: “If, for example, you brine and deep-fry grey oyster mushrooms, they take on the texture of fried chicken.”

Perhaps a simpler strategy in the fight against squishy, spongy mushrooms, however, is to fry them on a high heat. “You need to be in danger of setting off the smoke alarm, or you’re not doing it properly,” Murray says. Then, as in life, it pays to be patient – and use more butter than seems reasonable. “Mushrooms hold a lot of liquid, so you need to fry them for quite a while to get them crisp,” says Helen Graham, head chef of veg-led Bubala in London. “If you don’t take them to the colour you want before adding other stuff to the pan, the mushrooms will never catch up.”

You could also try replicating Bubala’s charred oyster mushroom skewers. “We marinate the mushrooms in soy sauce, agave, coriander seeds, garlic and vegetable oil, then thread on to skewers and grill,” Graham says. “The agave helps to caramelise them, and obviously the oil helps to give crispiness and a really nice texture.”

Alternatively, pop a portobello in a bun. “I grew up in the Middle East, where it’s always barbecue weather,” says Noor Murad, who heads up the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen. “I love throwing mushrooms on the grill and slathering them in barbecue sauce [homemade or store-bought].” Melt a square of cheese on top, if you fancy, and serve with slaw.

It’s also worth considering how you prep the mushrooms. “You want to keep their meaty integrity, so you can really get your teeth into them, which means don’t chop them too small,” Murad explains. That said, a duxelles [finely chopped mushrooms cooked in butter with onions or shallots and herbs] might be a good gateway. “If she doesn’t enjoy the texture of mushrooms, make a very finely chopped duxelles,” Murray says. “The mushrooms dissolve into the sauce and add a rich undercurrent of earthy umami.” Spread on toast, add to omelettes or mashed potato, or go all out with a wellington.

You could also, of course, do away with cooking them altogether. “Raw mushrooms aren’t slimy,” says Murray, who suggests thinly slicing chestnuts or portobellos, dressing them with sherry vinegar (“or even a little sherry”), dijon mustard, olive oil, fresh herbs and minced garlic, then adding to salads. Dried mushrooms, meanwhile, have “second chance” written all over them. “They’re amazing, especially in the base of soups and stews,” Murad says. “You don’t get the texture, but you’ll get that umaminess – maybe that’s a good way to get Ollie’s partner to like mushrooms.” Graham agrees. She adds shiitake (“porcini would be equally delicious”) and kombu to stock, reduces down “with something tangy like pomegranate molasses”, then uses it as a sauce for cabbage. Happily, it’s good with other veg, too, so there’s shroom to manoeuvre. *groans*

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Food

Preventing food fraud: Europe’s battle against the spice pirates

Spices are among the oldest food products in the world and still enjoy great popularity today. But h..

Spices are among the oldest food products in the world and still enjoy great popularity today. But how can we be sure of their quality and authenticity? With serious money to be made, counterfeiters are often attempting to fradulently pass off inferior products as the genuine article.

To find out more about how fraud in this arena can be identified and stopped, we went to Belgium to meet a spice trader – and also to see scientists working at the Joint Research Centre’s Fraud Detection Unit.

Spice expert

Herbs and spices are the daily business of Alexandre Veuve; he is the manager of the prestigious spice specialist and gourmet grocery store Le Tour Du Monde En Epices in Waterloo, south of Brussels.

As an expert in the sector, he always guarantees that the products he sells are of the highest quality:

However, he knows only too well that fraud is a common risk in this market:

“There is generally fraud on quite expensive spices, for example saffron. This is a spice that is worth as much as gold, so obviously there are a lot of scams involving it.

“Powders are also the target of fraud because they can be more easily falsified.

“That’s why we make our own powders; we buy the spices whole and then we create them ourselves.”

“There is ofen fraud on quite expensive spices – for example, saffron. This is a spice that is worth as much as gold, so obviously there are a lot of scams involving it.”Euronews

Europe’s food fraud unit

One of the facilities of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Geel in Belgium hosts the European Food Fraud Detection and Prevention Unit. Here, teams of scientists analyse samples of spices imported to Europe using state-of-the-art technologies, in some cases using methods similar to those used for police investigations.

One of the most powerful tools at their disposal is DNA analysis. The genetic map of the spice can indicate whether or not there are foreign biological elements present.

The most common types of fraud are the use of less expensive plants, or the addition of dyes to make the spice appear more attractive or authentic.

Antoon Lievens, a Molecular Biologist at the Unit, says saffron is a good example of where fraud is regularly attempted:

“We’ve found one or two samples that were not saffron at all and the sequencing analysis has shown that it was safflower that has been sold as saffron.

“Another exemple is curcuma (turmeric). We’ve found a sample that was not curcuma, but actually paprika powder that had been dyed or coloured to look like curcuma.”

Analysis via spectroscopy

The detection of fraud is based on a set of investigative protocols, each of which unveils a part of the puzzle. Spectroscopy is one powerful method; it doesn’t require special sample preparation and allows a rapid result through the examination of the samples molecules by a laser beam.

Jone Omar, an Analytical Chemist at the Fraud Detection and Prevention Unit, says this is a foolproof method:

“Spectroscopy is basically based on a ray of light touching the sample, which makes the molecules vibrate and we then obtain a light spectrum readout of the vibration of those molecules.

“So when we focus on a pure food, we have a pure spectrum for it.

“When we spot an adulteration, the spectrum of the vibration of the molecule bands is different.”

This x-ray fluorescence technique, which is also used for non-invasive analysis of artworks to establish authenticity or otherwise, reveals whether or not inorganic materials – such as sand or clay – are present in the plant sample.

Chemical tests such as liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry allow, through the separation of the molecules, the establishment of whether or not there are traces of external dyes present.

These same techniques are also used to create chemical fingerprints of spices, which can then provide even more in-depth information about the nature of the sample.

If the adulteration is confirmed, certain measures can then be taken.

Franz Ulberth, Head of the Fraud Detection and Prevention Unit, explains:

“One of the further measures could be that you send inspectors to check the company, to look into the books, to (examine) transportation papers, establishing a chain of traceability, to trace it back to the origin.”

The spice production and distribution supply chain is spread between different countries and this makes controls more complicated.

In a growing market of global scale, the use of these techniques is key to certifying the quality of the product.

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