June 1st, 2019

In one Italian study of 5,200 people ages 65 and older, those who followed a Mediterranean-style diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains, and low in meat and dairy) were 25% less likely to die over eight years than other study subjects. This eating style may delay the aging process by helping to protect the DNA in cells from damage. The researchers noted that several previous studies had similar results.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition, August 30, 2018.


April 28th, 2019

Half of a medium avocado has 114 calories and 10 grams of fat.  About 64% of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, which lowers LD (bad) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.   The fruit supplies a healthy array of vitamins and minerals not usually found together in one place.  These include fiber, potassium,  folate, and vitamins B6, C, E, and K.  They also contain lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids linked to eye health.  Guacamole dip has the same nutrients. You will find a delicious recipe for Guacamole dip on Page 8 of “Comfort Cooking Without Grains & Refined Sugars.”

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Source: Consumer Report on Health, December 2018.



March 28th, 2019

Avocado Oil – Smoke point: 520o F. Perfect for high-heat cooking, high in vitamin E.

Clarified Butter – Smoke point: 485o F. Excellent for general use, contains conjugated linoleic acid.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Smoke point: 350o F. Use for sautéing and baking, contains medium chain triglycerides.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Smoke point: 375o F.  Use for sautéing and  baking, high in omega-9.

Sesame Oil – Smoke point: 350o F.  Great for sautéing and baking, contains zinc and copper.

Sunflower Oil – Smoke point: 107o F.  Reserve for salad dressings and dips, contains vitamin E and lecithin.

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Source: Healthy Obsession Swanson, Spring & Summer 2019.


January 30th, 2019

Manufacturers provide Use-by and Sell-by dates to help consumers decide when food is of best quality.  In both cases, a product should be safe if handled properly until spoilage is evident.  Spoiled foods often have an off-odor and off-taste.  But look for other signs, such as changes in texture or color, because as you get older, your sense of smell may become less keen.  These changes will typically occur before a food becomes unsafe

Sell-by is the date set by manufacturers to tell retailers when to remove the product from shelves.  Use-by is the date when the manufacturer guarantees the product is at its best quality.  However, use-by is a safety date when used on infant formula.

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Source:  Consumer Reports on Health, February 2019. 


November 17th, 2018

If your family enjoys cranberries, pineapple, apples and pecans, your family will love this recipe.  It is a great accompaniment for turkey. 

2 (12-ounce) bags fresh cranberries

1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks in its own juice, drained, (reserve    juice)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons clover honey

1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped apple

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1. Lightly oil a 6-cup ring mold with vegetable oil and chill. Pick over cranberries, removing stems and any shriveled berries, then rinse. Place into a food processor; add pineapple chunks. Pulse into a thick puree, scraping down sides of bowl. Transfer to a large bowl; add honey. Fold the in apple, celery and nuts. Set aside.

2. Place reserved juice into a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add to cranberry mixture; mix thoroughly.

3. Remove ring mold from refrigerator. Blot any excess oil with a paper towel. Pour cranberry mixture into the mold; cover. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

4. To unmold, place mold at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove cover. Invert mold onto a serving plate. Cover with a hot, damp cloth; shake to release. Repeat procedure if necessary. Serve with turkey or roasts.

Tip: Mold can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Yield:  16 servings

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Source:  Comfort Cooking Without Grains and Refined Sugars,  p.270.


October 30th, 2018

The following are several medical, dietary and lifestyle books that deal with different aspects of the gluten-free diet as well as the different conditions associated with its ingestion:

Case, Shelly RD, R.D.  Gluten-Free:  The Definitive Resource Guide.  Regina, Saskatchewan. Canada:  Case Nutrition Consulting, Inc., 2016.

Gershon, Michael D.  The Second Brain.  New York:  Harper Collins, 1998.

Hillson Beth.  Gluten-Free Makeovers.  Boston:  Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2011.

Roberts, Annalise.  Gluten-Free Baking Baking Classics.  Surrey:  Agate, 2008.

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September 29th, 2018

Animal proteins—lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy—are considered “complete proteins” because they contain all 9 essential amino acids.  These are the building blocks of protein.  Plant based protein sources—such as lentils, quinoa and nuts—lack some of these amino acids, but you can mix and match (such as brown rice and beans, or peanut butter on whole grain bread) to make a complete protein.  You don’t have to always do this at the same meal.  As longs you eat a variety of plant proteins during the day, your body will build complete proteins.

And getting a mix of plant and animal proteins isn’t just about your protein needs. “It ensures you’re getting a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a CR nutritionist.

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Source:  Consumer Reports on Health,  September 2018


August 28th, 2018

Summer is the time for grilling that we all enjoy.  When meat is charred, substances are formed that can damage DNA and may raise cancer risk.  The following are four tips by UCLA’s Catherine Carpenter, Ph.D. for healthy grilling:

  1. Pair with Produce:  Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables protect cells from carcinogens,  Carpenter says.  “Eat a variety of produce, especially when you are having grilled meat.”
  2. Marinate:  Research shows this lowers the levels of unwanted substances.  Include herbs like rosemary, Carpenter says.  Their antioxidants help offset the effects of grilling. 
  3. Brush  the Grill:  Clean it every time you use it to reduce your exposure to chemicals from previous meals.
  4. Turn before it Burns:  The unwanted substances are found in the char and smoke.  “Turning meat often and cooking on indirect heat can prevent burning,” Carpenter says.  Fire up one side of the grill, then cook on the other.

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Source:  Consumer Reports on Health, August 2018


July 31st, 2018

Snacking on nuts three or more times a week led to an 18 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation—dangerous off beat heart rhythms—in a recent Swedish study that tracked the health and eating habits of 61,364 adults for 17 years.  Compounds in nuts may help the heart keep the beat by protecting cells against damage, reducing inflammation, and keeping artery linings healthy.  But be mindful of portions; nuts are high in calories.  The American Heart Association recommends three to five servings a week of nuts, seeds, and legumes for heart health; (a 1.5-ounce serving of nuts is about 34 almonds, 73 pistachios, or 21 walnuts).

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Source:  Heart, April 16, 2018 


June 21st, 2018

With the warm weather upon us, here is a tip to stay hydrated.

Each day set a goal to drink at least eight glasses of fluid.  

Don’t limit yourself.  Water can come from any beverage – juice, coffee, tea, milk and soup. However, it is important to be cautious.  Caffeine in coffee and tea boots your water output, offsetting the benefits of taking in the fluid.  Also, the sugar in regular soft drinks can pose a problem to individuals with diabetes or to those who are watching their weight. 

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