Tuesday December 11, 2018

Stop Mindless Snacking With These 2 Essential Steps

Don't think of snacks as extras, instead consciously work healthy bites into your diet, and make some smart snacks a part of your food plan for the day.

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Snacks
New treatment shows promise against peanut allergy. Pixabay
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Snacking is not a mindless pursuit. And unlike universally thought, snacks are not devoid of benefits. In fact, if done right, it can be a perfect way of incorporating important, often missed out nutrients to our daily diet. But for that to happen you need to become a smart snacker. Its a skill easily learned, as long as you master and follow the two essential smart snacking rules.

Kavita Devgan, a renowned nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi, lays down the rules of healthy snacking:

*Ensure that you choose to eat only those snacks that are made from right ingredients. This in fact is an accurate way of ensuring that the nutrients we need are added to our diet. A few of my favourite ingredients include Kaala Channa, nuts like almond, cashews and seeds, olive oil and whole grains.

* Kala Channa, a nutrition powerhouse, delivers a lot of fibre that helps regulate our blood sugar and is also loaded with nutrients that help save us from seasonal disorders by boosting our immunity.

Snacks
The best snacking to boost and maintain heart health is one low in refined carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods. Pixabay

The easiest way to get a stockpile of multiple vitamins and minerals, even difficult to find trace minerals, is to eat snacks that have nuts and seeds added liberally to them. Besides they also deliver high levels of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), wholesome fibre, and much needed good quality protein (with all essential amino acids). My personal favourites are almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and sesame seeds.

* It is always better to opt for truly baked, healthy and wholesome snacks as they are actually good for you. In fact, one of the best ways to lower fat consumption is to switch from deep fried snacks to baked snacks as they will help you keep both the calories and fat consumption down easily.

* Pick up snacks made in olive oil, as this is the smartest way to ensure omega 3 and to correct the good vs bad fat imbalance in our diet. It is the best way to keep our digestion humming along, keep constipation away and to keep cravings away. A snack made with whole grains (ragi, wheat, oats, jowar, amaranth, bajra etc.) is the best way to add nutrition to our diet and stay full for longer too.

* Make snacking a conscious activity. Snack mindfully, not mindlessly. It is essential that we not only snack smart but we also pick and select our snack smartly. So, wizen up to the misleading marketing messages and avoid snack packs that don’t deliver what is promised on the face of their pack.

Snacks
Eat good food. Pixabay

* Look out for promises and phrases like Fat-Free, Low in Calories and Lite snacks. Don’t take them on face value. All it takes is flipping the pack to the back and reading all ingredients, their proportions, style of making etc. to understand the health and calorie quotient of the snack you are picking up.

* Don’t think of snacks as extras, instead consciously work healthy bites into your diet, and make some smart snacks a part of your food plan for the day. This way they will work for you constructively. Finally, always focus on eating snacks that deliver something extra (yes more than just satisfaction and calories). That way you add value to your daily diet via the snacks that you eat and score some health too along the way.

Shikha Sharma, a dietician based out of Delhi, expresses her opinion on snacking carefully:

Also Read: A Diet Rich in Nutrients Helps in Living Longer: Study

* Focus on Clean Label. Consumers and regulators continue to put new pressures on food manufacturers, asking for even more information on the label. Consumers want to know the origin of their food. Food transparency strategies are now critical elements of the industry – no longer optional.

* Many varieties of snacks and breads sold in supermarkets have taken a huge hit in recent years as consumers are shifting to more health and wellness foods. More gluten-free and clean-label baked formulations are cropping up in stores, thanks to consumer demand for more transparent options that are convenient and more nutritious. (IANS)

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Researchers Develop New Test To Detect E.coli in Food Quickly

The kit has been approved by Health Canada and translated for commercial use

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Poultry, Produce Industry
Over 80% of UTIs caused by E.coli is found in poultry. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel testing kit that can detect Escherichia coli (E.coli) — a deadly pathogen — much more quickly than existing methods.

The kit detects E. coli 0157, commonly found in ground meat, and is considered more likely to cause severe illnesses than other forms of the bacteria.

The test detects a protein unique to the pathogenic E. coli bacteria and shows results in hours rather than days.

“Our goal is to get the testing to occur as close as possible to the source,” Michael Rieder, Professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said in a statement on Friday.

“This technology is not only faster, but it’s less expensive, it’s easy to use, and it can occur right in the processing plant.”

Food samples to be tested are incubated for a few hours. A sample is then placed on a pad. After 15 minutes, the pad displays one red line to show it worked properly – and a second if the sample contains E. coli O157, the CTV reported.

New test to detect E. coli in food quickly. Pixabay

“It’s very much like a pregnancy test,” Rieder was quoted as saying.

Current food testing methods typically rely on culture, which requires samples to be sent away for testing, with results taking up to two weeks to come back. By that time, the food has often been shipped to markets and large recalls have to occur.

The quicker testing ensures that results are received long before contaminated products make it to the market, thus reducing the risk to the public and the need for large-scale food recalls.

“We are looking at this specific biomarker because it is unique to this pathogenic bacteria.The presence of bacteria itself isn’t bad, but we want to be able to identify specific bacteria that will cause people to get sick,” Rieder said.

Also Read- Taapsee Pannu Feels Disturbed By How Some Communities Are Targeted

“The goal is a safer food chain for everyone so that public safety can be assured.”

The kit has been approved by Health Canada and translated for commercial use. (IANS)