Tag Archives: Meat

Spice Up Your Health

 

 

Your favorite marinades may provide a beneficial source of natural antioxidants, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Western Ontario.
………...CLICK  &  SEE
After analyzing seven popular brands of marinade that contained herbs and spices as their primary ingredients, they found “very good quantities” of antioxidants remained, even after cooking and marinating.

Although marinating meat reduced antioxidants levels by 45-70 percent, there was still a benefit over cooking meat plain, with no marinade.

Consumers can help boost their intake of antioxidants by choosing sauces with the highest levels of antioxidants to begin with, according to researchers.

Foods rich in antioxidants play an essential role in preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, inflammation and problems associated with cutaneous aging,” Science Daily reported.

Resources:
Science Daily March 24, 2010
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis May 2010, Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 244-252

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What’s in a Healthy Lunchbox?

Ninety-nine out of every 100 packed lunches being eaten by primary school children are reported to be unhealthy and failing to meet nutritional standards.

click & see the pictures

So what should a healthy lunch contain and what foods should be left out?

According to advice from the Food Standards Agency,a healthy packed lunch should include:

• Meat, fish or a dairy source of protein

• Starchy carbohydrate, such as a wholegrain sandwich, to provide energy

• At least one portion each of a fruit and vegetable or salad

• Water or milk to drink, but diluted fruit juice and yoghurt drinks or smoothies are acceptable

 

The key foods to avoid are:-

• Sweets and chocolate

• Snacks, like crisps, with added salt/sugar/fat

Sugary and fizzy drinks

Deep-fried foods and processed meats

• White bread – if children won’t eat brown, try whole white sliced bread

Nutritional standards for school meals were introduced in 2006 and standards for vending machines, breakfast clubs and tuck shops came into force a year later.

In 2008, strict nutrition content guidelines for primary schools were introduced and extended to secondary schools in September 2009.

They include maximum/minimum levels of energy or calories and 13 different nutrients, including fat, salt and sugars.

SUGAR, FAT AND SALT (As per  Food Standards Agency)
Sugar: 15g sugar per 100g is high in sugar, 5g or less is low
Fat: 20g fat per 100g is high in fat, 3g or less is low

Salt: 1.5g salt per 100g is high in salt, 0.3g or less is low


The Schools Food Trust – an independent body set up to advise schools on healthy eating – says there are no plans to issue statutory guidance on packed lunches, but it has produced some sample lunchbox menus

You may click to see:

SAMPLE MENU  in a packed standard lunch (526.29 K

Children’s lunchboxes ‘unhealthy’
Pupils are to face lunchbox exams
Charity seeks end to lunchbox ham
Food Standards Agency
School Food Trust

Source: BBC News:12Th. January. 2010

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The Hidden Salt in Chicken

Those plump breasts often come ‘enhanced’ with saltwater broth.
Most people don’t think of uncooked chicken as a significant source of sodium — but it can be, not just because most cooks use salt as seasoning.
Injecting raw chicken with saltwater solutions during processing is a widespread practice in the poultry industry. It’s also a practice that has the industry increasingly divided. Major producers who inject their products with saltwater solutions say it makes for tastier, juicier meat. Other producers promote their products as free of the additive and say that the practice is deceptive.

Granted, poultry producers on both sides of the issue are probably vying for a market edge. But marketing wars aside, the practice of saltwater plumping has ruffled the feathers of many nutrition experts too. “People believe that when they’re getting chicken, they’re getting a low-sodium food,” says Liz Trondsen, a registered dietitian at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Assn.”They need to be aware of this.”

Raw chicken breast can contain as little as 50 to 75 milligrams of sodium per 4-ounce serving. But much of the chicken on the market in the U.S. is “enhanced” — injected with a salt solution, or broth, during processing. Sodium levels often reach well over 400 milligrams per serving — nearly one-third of the maximum daily intake of 1500 milligrams recommended for people at risk of high blood pressure (including African Americans and older adults). High sodium levels can cause and aggravate high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Producers have been injecting chicken (and other meats) with saltwater solutions since the 1970s, says John Marcy, professor and poultry processing specialist at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The practice makes for more flavorful meat, he says, because “a consumer can’t put salt into chicken like a processor can.”

Processors use multiple-needle injectors or vacuum-tumblers, which force the sodium solution into the muscle. Binding agents in the solution prevent the added salt and water from leaching out of the meat during transport, in grocery stores and during cooking, says Kenneth McMillin, professor of meat science at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge.

The labels on saltwater-infused meats typically say “enhanced with up to 15% chicken broth.” They can also say “all natural” if ingredients in the solution meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of natural, says Bryn M. Burkard, a public affairs specialist with the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The Truthful Labeling Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of poultry producers that don’t enhance their products, is pressing the USDA to change that policy. “The labels [on raw poultry] are really misleading,” says Charles Hansen, executive director of the coalition. “We’ve got no objections to them adding saltwater to chicken, but why not list it prominently on the label?”

The USDA is reviewing comments on the policy, Burkard says. But though clearer labeling may help consumers avoid excess sodium in the chicken they buy at grocery stores, they’ll still encounter high sodium levels in chicken dishes in restaurants and cafeterias. “In the food services industry, chicken has always been injected to retain moisture,” Marcy says. “It’s been standard practice for decades.”

And despite the high levels of sodium in enhanced chicken, it’s still not the top source of hidden dietary sodium, Trondsen says. Consumers should generally be more concerned with the typically high levels of sodium in frozen and canned foods, processed foods, soups and condiments, she says. An 8-ounce serving of canned soup can often contain 700 to 900 milligrams of sodium, and many frozen dinners contain well over 1,000 per meal.

Nonetheless, at more than 400 milligrams per serving, the sodium levels in plumped chicken are significant. “Pity the poor person trying to cut down on salt,” says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, and the author of the 2006 book “What to Eat.” “It gets put into everything and you don’t have any choice about it.”

Nestle adds that not only does the practice of saltwater plumping add unnecessary salt to people’s diets, it also increases the water weight of chicken. Livingston, Calif.-based Foster Farms, a member of the Truthful Labeling Coalition, has estimated that consumers are paying an average of $1.50 for added saltwater per package when they purchase enhanced chicken.

“This practice manages to do not one but two bad things,” Nestle says. “It increases the water weight of the chicken so you are paying for water, not chicken, and it adds salt that you don’t need.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Red Meat Dos and Don’ts

Roast beef

Image via Wikipedia

* Keep your red meat consumption to 18 ounces per week or less. A handy yardstick: A typical 3-ounce serving of red meat is about the size of a computer mouse.

* Choose leaner cuts of meat, such as top sirloin beef, and trim excess fat.

* Serve meat as a side dish instead of an entree.

* Replace red meat with other protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans or nuts.

* Use lower-temperature cooking methods such as stewing.

* If you grill, keep meat away from the coals or use a gas grill and don’t overcook.

* Women in reproductive years who eat little meat should take a multivitamin with iron to reduce the risk of iron deficiency.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Mayonnaise Does Not Spoil Food

Food poisoning typically increases during the summer, and one ingredient that always attracts suspicion is mayonnaise.

But most mayonnaise contains vinegar and other ingredients that make it acidic, and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from low-acid ingredients like chicken and seafood.

One study published in The Journal of Food Protection found that in the presence of mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad slowed down or stopped completely. The more mayonnaise used, the more the rate of growth decreased.


Sources:
New York Times July 1, 2008