Food & Nutrition

Geeta Sidhu-Robb bills herself an inspirational mother of three, ex-corporate lawyer and entrepreneur who created a line of organic smoothies that she claims will detox you. Or anyone willing to give her money, really. She says her inspiration emerged because one of her children had severe food allergies, eczema and asthma and pesky medicine couldn't solve it. Really.
A new story in the British press reveals that very few lunches brought from home are actually meeting nutritional guidelines. But the way to ameliorate the situation is not pass laws to regulate what can be included in that brown bag. Nutritional guidelines should be used to educate, not punish.
Hard-boiled eggs (Credit: Shutterstock)
A major protein inside the egg, called ovalbumin, possesses the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. When heated, these sulfur atoms are converted to hydrogen sulfide, the nasty gas associated with rotten eggs and bodily functions. It doesn't take much to wrinkle our noses.
We here at the council enjoy debunking health fads. We especially enjoy debunking — in both print and video — weight loss fads. In fact, just last week I debunked one of the hottest trends in weight loss: body wraps. I don't know why this is, but something about selling unrealistic goals to vulnerable consumers for financial gain that only benefits the person at the top of the pyramid scheme really irks me. 
We all know aerobic exercise -- running, swimming, walking briskly -- is good for the heart. Apparently it's also good for the brain, too. Researchers wanted to know what happens to the brains of older folks who exercised vigorously and often, if they stopped exercising. The report of their study was published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
When it comes to picking produce at the grocery store, don't judge a book by its cover! Spotted fruits and veggies aren't spoiled or harmful — they've simply been through a lot, and they need a little TLC.    
Fortification of enriched grain foods with the B vitamin folate has been mandated in the U.S. and Canada since 1998. Since then, the prevalence of central nervous system defects in babies has decreased, as was the purpose of the fortification. A recent Canadian study indicates that such fortification has also reduced the prevalence of several heart malformation — an unexpected benefit.
We understand that a hungry child needs help and that school systems are socially efficient means of providing this assistance. But really: criticizing school principals for prioritizing academics over meals? What's next -- McDonald’s stressing reading over Happy Meals? 
When the latest trend generates buzzwords from its devotees like "detoxify" and "rejuvenation" and "cleansing," and with the celebrity set hopping on board, that usually means it's time for the level-headed among us to tap their inner skepticism before the purveyors of cool have us all bamboozled and reaching for our wallets. Welcome to the wonderful world of infrared saunas, and the dubious health claims that come with them.
We've known for a while that excess body fat (as in overweight and obesity) can raise the risk not only of chronic diseases like diabetes, but also some types of cancer. A new report indicates that the number of types of cancer may be more than we have thought.
The importance of protein for muscle-building and cell functions was discovered in the 1830's, but there is still some controversy regarding what's considered an ideal source of protein for overall health. A recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association directly compared animal protein with plant protein, and it produced some interesting results.
Plastic food wraps are pretty much ubiquitous in today's markets. But they have drawbacks — they aren't biodegradable, and don't keep foods as fresh as they might. Scientist from the USDA have come up with a new type of wrap — it's biodegradable, keeps foods fresher, and it's edible to boot.