It's all about the eats
• Scientific American reports "Eat, Drink and Be Merry - or why we should learn to stop worrying and love food". It turns out, there is no "one size fits all" ideal diet.
When it comes to healthy absorption of nutrients, taste matters. Glassner cites a study in which "Swedish and Thai women were fed a Thai dish that the Swedes found overly spicy. The Thai women, who liked the dish, absorbed more iron from the meal. When the researchers reversed the experiment and served hamburger, potatoes, and beans, the Swedes, who like this food, absorbed more iron. Most telling was a third variation of the experiment, in which both the Swedes and the Thais were given food that was high in nutrients but consisted of a sticky, savorless paste. In this case, neither group absorbed much iron."As the article says, "A diet that is harmful to one person may be consumed with impunity by another." The flip side is also true: what is a healthy diet for one may not be for another.
• Wisegeek has photos of what 200 calories worth of different foods looks like. Not surprisingly you can eat a whole plateful of broccoli, but only half a cheeseburger.
• The Food Psychology lab at Cornell has a Tip Sheet for better eating and food awareness. It's part of a larger site with lots of interesting information on how the mind affects the way you eat, including "Why we unknowingly overeat (you tend to pour more into a short wide glass than a tall narrow glass, for example), potential pitfalls of restaurant eating (beware olive oil instead of butter), and grocery shopping psychology (why do we buy food we never use?).
• Corpus Collosum explains why it's important for all women of childbearing age to get enough folate, keeping in mind that people on low-carb diets may miss out on the folic acid supplements in bread and other grain products.
• And for those times the calories don't matter so much, the Women's Bioethics Project rounds up how eating chocolate can improve your health. Yay!
I will eat better this year, I swear!
Tags: food, diet, science