Recent Posts

Cooking Out? Don't Forget Your Food Thermometer

Cooking Out? Don't Forget Your Food Thermometer

Cooking Out? Don't Forget Your Food Thermometer Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News SATURDAY, June 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Keep food safety at the top of your mind when you cook out this summer. A key is using a food thermometer when you prepare […]

Better Sleep for Better Weight Loss

Better Sleep for Better Weight Loss

Better Sleep for Better Weight Loss By Regina Boyle WheelerHealthDay Reporter Latest Sleep News MONDAY, June 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Did you know that the key to your “dream diet” may be as close as your bedroom? Along with cutting calories and adding exercise, […]

Unwanted Consequences of High-Heat Cooking

Unwanted Consequences of High-Heat Cooking

High heat cooking is problematic because it creates toxic substances as well as causes the loss of nutrients. Virtually all nutrients in food are susceptible to damage from heat. Of course, whether a particular nutrient gets damaged depends on the exact nutrient in question, the degree of heat, and the amount of cooking time. But in general, most of the temperatures we cook at in the over (250-450°F/120-230°C) are temperatures at which substantial nutrient loss occurs, except for roasting turkey because it takes a long time for the heat to penetrate the meat and damage the nutrients. And although very short cooking at 212°F (100°C) in boiling water produces relatively little nutrient loss, once boiling goes on for anything more than a very short period of time (1-3 minutes) the nutrient loss becomes significant. We’ve researched and searched through the nutrition research and all of the evidence points to the same conclusion: prolonged high-heat cooking is just not the way to go.

Broiling and Gas Grilling

While grilling does create foods that have a unique flavor and texture and grilling is pretty synonymous with summertime, we do have some concerns about it.

There are documented health risks associated with the char-broiling and gas grilling of foods. In general, these risk are associated with the formation of heterocyclic amines (HAs). Most HAs are well-documented carcinogens and keeping their levels to a minimum in a diet can decrease our cancer risk. Here are the basic factors involved with HA formation in food.

It is best to grill or broil on an area without a direct flame as the temperatures directly above or below the flame can reach as high as 500°F to 1000°F. HAs form most easily at high temperatures. Under 325°F the formulation of these compounds is very low. As temperatures increase above 400°F the formation of HAs can increase by 700%-1000%. Gas and charcoal grilling often (but not always) involve higher temperatures.

More HAs form when a food is in very close proximity to its heat source. Flame-grilling is perhaps the best example of a food coming into direct contact with a heat source. Less contact with the heating element (whatever heating element is used) lowers the formation of HAs. In deep fat frying, for example, where we might expect high HA formation, there is often very little HA creation due to relatively low temperatures and indirect exposure to the source of heat (although deep frying involves its own set of issues related to health concerns.)

The longer a food is exposed to high heat, the great the HA formation. When a food like a hamburger is grilled for 10 minutes versus 6 minutes, for example, the HA levels in the hamburger may increase by 25-30%.

The so-called “MPF” foods (meat, fish, and poultry) are more likely to give rise to HA formation when prepared in the above fashion because HA formation requires the presence of amino acids (from protein) as well as nitrogen-containing substances creatine or creatinine. Both of these substances are plentiful in most animal foods.

The principles of nutrient loss from charcoaled or gas-grilled foods are very similar to the principles of all cooking: the shorter the time of exposure to heat, the lower the heat, the less nutrient loss. Since this cooking method does not typically involve use of water, there an be less nutrient loss from this method than from boiling or simmering. However, minimal steaming of a food would typically require less total cooking time and for this reason result in decreased loss of nutrients.

As noted above, most of the research on HAs has been done on meat. Therefore, it is uncertain that the grilling of vegetables and fruits have the same level of outcomes, notably because some of the phytonutrients found in vegetables, such as the sulforaphane in broccoli, have been found to reduce the carcinogenic effect of the HAs in research studies..

The bottom line from a health perspective: we would choose other methods of preparing foods rather than grilling, yet if you want to enjoy grilled foods on occasion, given that the the rest of your diet is healthy, it may not be so detrimental. If you do choose to grill foods and use an oil to coat them, we would suggest using an oil that has a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, high-oleic safflower oil, or coconut oil to avoid the formation of oxidative damage to the oil itself. Additionally, there are certain antioxidant-containing foods, such as rosemary, citrus fruits, and green tea, which have been found to reduce HA levels. Therefore, you could consider using these foods in marinades if you are looking for ways to reduce HA formation.

Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:49:44 +0000

From the kitchen: Tips for Preparing Spinach

From the kitchen: Tips for Preparing Spinach Spinach should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Place the spinach in a large bowl of tepid water and […]

Best sources of Vitamin B2

Best sources of Vitamin B2 World’s Healthiest Foods rich invitamin B2 FoodCalsDRI/DV For serving size for specific foods see the Nutrient Rating Chart. Basic Description Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is arguably the only vitamin that gives you a visual cue as to its […]

Recipe of the Week: 1-Minute “Quick Boiled” Spinach

Recipe of the Week: 1-Minute “Quick Boiled” Spinach

Recipe of the Week: 1-Minute “Quick Boiled” Spinach

This way of preparing Spinach has the best flavor because it helps remove some of the acids found in Spinach and brings out its sweetness. Make sure the water is at a rapid boil before adding Spinach. Taken from page 417 of the 2nd Edition of the World’s Healthiest Foods book.

1-Minute Prep and Cook Time: 1 minute



  1. Fill a 3 quart pot three-quarter full with water and

    bring to a boil.

  2. While water is coming to a boil, press or chop garlic and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Wash Spinach as directed in The Best Way to Prepare


  4. When water is at full boil, place Spinach into the pot, being extremely careful to avoid burning yourself. Do not cover. Cooking uncovered helps the acids escape into the air. Cook Spinach for 1 minute; begin timing when water starts boiling again.
  5. After 1 minute, drain the Spinach in a colander in the sink. Press out excess liquid with fork to prevent diluting the flavor of your dressing. You want the Spinach to be tender, brightly colored, and not mushy when it’s done.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and toss Spinach with the remaining ingredients while it is still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately.) Research shows that fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids found in foods, such as Spinach, may be better absorbed when consumed with fat-containing foods like extra virgin olive oil. Dressing helps tenderize Spinach. After 5-10 minutes it will become more tender.
  7. Important: For best flavor, use a knife and fork to cut the cooked Spinach crosswise several times until it is in very small pieces. The more finely you

    cut Spinach the more exposed surface area you create. This can allow more flavors of the dressing to pass into the Spinach and speed up desirable changes in texture including tenderness.

Serves 2

Nutritional Profile

1-Minute Spinach
1.00 serving
(237.84 grams)

Calories: 115


Introduction to Recipe Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify recipes that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Recipe Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the recipes that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which 1-Minute “Quick Boiled” Spinach is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the recipe doesn’t contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this recipe’s in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients – not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good – please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance back up to see the ingredients used in the recipe and the number of serving sizes provided by the recipe. Our nutrient ratings are based on a single serving. For example, if a recipe makes 4 servings, you would be receiving the nutrient amounts listed in the chart by eating 1/4th of the combined ingredients found in the recipe. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this recipe and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” Read more background information and details of our rating system.

World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellent DRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
very good DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
good DRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for 1-Minute “Quick Boiled” Spinach

Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:49:44 +0000

Food of the Week: Spinach

Food of the Week: Spinach

Food of the Week: Spinach What’s New and Beneficial About Spinach Recent studies continue to underscore the amazing versatility of spinach. Because this leafy vegetable is rich in water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of phytonutrients, there are many different ways to […]

How Can I Treat Sweat Rash?

How Can I Treat Sweat Rash?

How Can I Treat Sweat Rash? Ask the experts After I work out, I break out in a very itchy rash all over my arms, legs, and abdomen. Is this normal? What causes this? Doctor’s response Not that your experience is normal, but it is […]

Birth Control Pill vs. Shot (Depo-Provera): Similarities and Differences

Birth Control Pill vs. Shot (Depo-Provera): Similarities and Differences

Birth Control Pill vs. Shot (Depo-Provera): Similarities and Differences

Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin, and are about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy if you take them as directed. The mini-pill only contains estrogen, and is up to 95% effective.

Examples of side effects of birth control pills include weight gain, irregular bleeding, mood changes, nausea, and breast tenderness.

Birth control pill vs. the Depo-Provera shot, which method is right for you?

The choice of what birth control method is highly personal and depends upon many factors. It is important to consider your age, overall health status, and how long you would like the birth control method to last. It also is important to look at how well each method works (its effectiveness) in preventing pregnancy, how easy each method is for you to use, and any side effects or drug interactions it may cause. The birth control pill (“the pill”, oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera hormone injection (“shot”) are just two of the many choices a woman has to prevent pregnancy. This article compares birth control pills (known as oral contraceptives) with the birth control shot (Depo-Provera injection).

Similarities and differences between how birth control pills vs. the shot work, and frequency of administration

Birth control pills and the birth control Deop-Provera shot are both hormonal methods of birth control. This means that they work by changing hormone levels in your body, preventing pregnancy from occurring. The hormones in birth control pills prevent release of an egg, or ovulation.

Birth control pills are available as combination pills, containing the hormones estrogen and progestin, or as mini-pills containing progestin only. Both typically come in packs of 28 pills, and you take one pill daily. With combination pills, the last 7 pills in the pack do not contain hormones, and while you are taking these non-hormone pills, your menstrual period occurs. The menstrual period also occurs during the last 7 days of the progestin-only pill packs. Some newer types of birth control pills are taken continuously for a few months without the inactive pills, before a menstrual period occurs. The pill also work to make the cervix (opening to the womb or uterus) and the uterus itself unfavorable for a pregnancy to begin.

The birth control shot is known as Depo-Provera (and the newer low-dose Depo-SubQ Provera 104). It contains the hormone progestin and prevents pregnancy for three months in a row. Like the hormones in birth control pills, the progestin in the shot make the environment in the uterus unfavorable to begin a pregnancy and may stop ovulation.

Birth control pill vs. shot effectiveness in preventing pregnancy

Both the pill and the shot are very effective methods of birth control. When combination birth control pills are taken correctly, they are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Progestin-only pills are about 95% effective. The birth control shot (Depo-Provera) also is about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy (average annual failure rate is about 3%).

Do birth control pills or shot cause weight gain?

Yes, women have reported weight gain while taking oral contraceptives and using the Depo-Provera shot.

Similar side effects of the pill vs. shot

Both methods can cause tenderness or soreness of the breasts. Other side effects of oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot include headaches and mood changes. Both methods can lead to a decreased interest in sex (decreased libido) in some women.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/15/2017

Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Health Tip: If You Have Sleep Apnea

Health Tip: If You Have Sleep Apnea

Health Tip: If You Have Sleep Apnea Latest Sleep News (HealthDay News) — Sleep apnea — when you stop breathing for short periods during sleep — can leave you tired and feeling run down while you’re awake. So what should you do? The National Heart, […]