Are cooking shows making us fat?

cooking show

There are channels devoted to all day food programming while big networks like ABC and FOX are getting in on the food show craze. It seems that any time of the day it is possible to find some kind of food programming.

While it is helpful for the busy man or woman to learn Rachael Ray’s  30 minute meals it could be making us heavier says a new study from Cornell University. The study followed 500 women between 20-30 and asked them to report their cooking and eating habits while watching cooking shows.

Now we aren’t talking a lot of weight but the women in the study varied roughly 11 pounds from those who did watch the shows and cooked from scratch to those who didn’t watch and didn’t’ cook from scratch.

I know when I watch a show like Diner, Drive ins, and Dives I always get hungry because the food always looks so good and I am more prone to snacking. Triple D in particular could be adding to your waistline because they feature foods that are over the top. Recipes by Paula Dean are also filled with lots of butter, cream, and fattening ingredients.

ABC is getting in on the food shows too with The Chew, but it is not solely focused on food. Fox has Hell’s Kitchen which features master chef Gordon Ramsey. The network shows are less about the food and more about the conversation and the drama. Food Network and The Cooking Channel are almost exclusively food.

While it’s not a huge difference it would be something worth looking into. Reports have always said we should try to eat as naturally as possible but this study is sounding like pre packaged food may not be the worst thing to eat.

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Risks of diet soda

diet sodaOver the last few years news reports have gone back and forth about whether you should drink diet sodas or if they are worse for you than drinking their full sugar counterparts. The topic has come up again this week in the news with doctors and health officials saying that it contributes to belly fat.

There is scientific evidence to go with the claims saying that people who drank just ONE diet soda a day had  an increase in belly fat over several years and also had more health problems than those who didn’t drink soda at all. It is believed that some of the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda changes the composition of gut bacteria which could result into an increase in belly fat.

Aspartame a common artificial sweetener used in diet soda has also been linked to things like cancer and depression. However, aspartame is also said to have a habit forming effect on people who consume it. There is also a risk of having additional belly fat such as heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and larger risk of diabetes.

The best way to avoid belly fat and the addicting artificial sweeteners are to just drink water, because even regular sodas don’t have the best record for being anywhere near healthy as it can be used to clean.

Powdered alcohol

alcohol

The powdered alcohol will be sold under the name of Palcohol and was just okayed to be sold in the United States by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The product could be shelves as soon as this summer.

Four different drinks have been approved for sale: cosmopolitan, margarita, vodka, rum, and lemon drop is in production. However, not every seems so excited by it. Some states are looking into regulations on the powdered drink through legislation.

States like Connecticut are worried about it helping an existing problem of underage drinking, so they are fighting to pass legislation to ban the mix all together. The powder could also hurt bars and restaurants who depend on alcohol sells to drive their business.

The powdered alcohol would allow someone to walk into a bar or restaurant and only order water which is generally free and mix their own drink right at the table only for the price they paid for the powder packet.

Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont have already banned the selling of powdered alcohol. While Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, and New York are also moving to ban the product along with Connecticut. Only time will tell and we will see which states allows the powdered drinks by the time summer rolls around.

Shipping produce in plastic reuseable containers

ifco

Reusable shipping crates are being used by most grocery chains for their produce deliveries. Various Universities have warn against the use of these plastic containers due to the transfer of bacteria and pathogens that can breed and spread in the crates during shipping.

Yesterday however the Reusable Packaging Association released a protocol based on science for going forward with using the plastic shipping crates and also outlines protocols for testing the safety of the crates to maintain their safety. They have even come up with adhesive labels that don’t leave behind any residue that can grab ahold of bacteria and transfer it to different products.

Once these plastic crates get back to their original starting point they are washed, rinsed, and dried. Then they will be ready for their next trip. The crates are then stored in a warehouse until they are needed again.

all ifcos

It is still somewhat troubling that they are just kept in a warehouse until they are needed again, and there is no way to trust that they have been cleaned and dried properly. There is also some worry about the grocery stores reusing them for multiple items which could result in cross contamination before they are even sent back to be cleaned.

The one take away from this is make sure you always wash your fruits and vegetables before consuming them. They even make a special fruit and veggie wash if it interests you.

Dunkin Donut is the latest to dump additives

donut

Dunkin Donut is just the latest company to get rid of an additive used in powdered sugar for their donut holes.Titanium dioxide is the additive that will be ditched soon. The additive is most commonly used as a food coloring aid. Dunkin Donuts uses it for the whiteness of their powdered sugar to dust the donuts in.

Titanium dioxide is supposed to be used as a nanoparticle, but Dunkin Donut says that how they used it does not meet the standards for a FDA approved nanoparticle. McDonald’s released this week that they too are reformulating a favorite menu item this week, and Subway also removed a chemical from their breads last year.

In the ever changing world of food their is a push for healthier living and eating. Companies are playing their part in this movement.

Are we headed for less desserts?

dessert

The 29th annual “Eating Patterns in America” came out this past week and something shocking came from it. American’s are eating less dessert than ever before.

The “Eating Pattern” report comes from 5,000 consumers in 2,000 households, and the shocking take away from this years report was the lack of dessert being consumed. Roughly 12% of dinners eaten at home include a dessert, which is down almost 15% from 10 years ago and even more from the 1980’s.

Should you worry that your favorite sweet treat may be disappearing soon? Experts say no, that often times American’s are just trying to find a way to simplify their meals, and the easiest way to do that is drop dessert. While many fitness guru’s would like to say it all has to do with American’s wanting to be more present in their diet this simply is not the case. It is just quicker to for-go the dessert.

With life seeming so busy all the time now, because we are constantly on the go many families are switching over to try these one dish meals. The one dish meal has everything cooked in one pan together and makes it easy to transfer over to the dinner table, and that leaves no room for dessert or so one would think.

It has been my experience however, that more families eat dessert for parties, cook outs, and big dinners. I know that may family eats more dessert during the summer when we are more likely to work off the extra calories. However, between 2008-2012 people ate less cookies! Although these cookies were the prepackaged kind. We all know homemade cookies are so much better anyhow and easy to make!

I say happy eating whether it be dessert, cookies, or a salad!

Fast food gets creative

It’s coming up on the anniversary of Taco Bell rolling out their new breakfast menu. March 27th, 2014 Taco Bell introduced their breakfast menu to mixed reviews. Although now you only hear good things, but the taco giant is about to up the competition with a new deep fried doughnut.

Taco Bell is getting ready to unveil a deep fried doughnut with a Cap’n Crunch berry coating and a sweet milky icing on the inside. Right now the doughnut is being tested at select stores in California, but if things go well it could be rolled out nationwide. If they go nationwide it is said that they would be sold 2 for $1 or $4.50 for a dozen.

Meanwhile, KFC is getting in on the new food wagon. The fried chicken company is testing a edible coffee cup. They would like to roll out the new product for their 50th anniversary. The cup is actually made of cookie and is being called the Scoff-ee cup. The cup is made of cookie wrapped in a sugar coating on the outside so it can be decorated and on the inside is a layer of heat resistant white chocolate to add flavor but also act as a insulator to keep the coffee hot and the outside of the cup cool.

The cups are being tested in the UK right now, but the hopes are that it is a zero waste cup and would push them one step above competition. The coffee cup comes on the very successful re-launch of their once popcorn chicken now rebranded as popcorn nuggets.

Social media is on a roll with both of the ideas. So far the responses seem to be pretty open to trying both of the new products. Hopefully we see them sometime in the near future. I don’t know about anyone else but I would try both of them!