Here are some uncomplicated answers.
These are sugars, fats, and oils.
FROM OLIVE OIL TO FLAXSEED AND PEANUT OILS, COOKING OILS CAN MAKE OR BREAK A MEAL WHEN IT COMES TO TASTE AND HEALTH BENEFITS.
Most cooking oils that are simply labeled "vegetable oil" are made from soybean oil. Soybean oil is also used as an ingredient in many brands of margarine, mayonnaise, and salad dressing. This oil supplies a fair amount of omega-3 fat, though not as much as canola and walnut oils do. Like canola oil, soybean oil has a bland flavor that works well when you want to avoid adding any interfering flavors to your dish.
Available unflavored and in butter, olive oil, and garlic flavors, these products are pure fat. The advantage to using them is that the amount that comes out during a one-second spray is so small that it adds an insignificant amount of fat to a recipe. Nonstick cooking sprays are very useful to the low-fat cook, as they promote the browning of foods and prevent foods from sticking to pots and pans.
This oil has a delicious, light macadamia nut flavor, making it especially complementary to fish, chicken, vegetables, baked goods, and salads. Its high smoking point also makes macadamia nut oil ideal for stir-frying and sautéing. Like olive oil, macadamia nut oil is highly monounsaturated. Look for macadamia nut oil in health food and specialty stores.
Sesame oil has a rich, nutty flavor that enhances the flavors of many foods. And when used in small amounts, this ingredient will add a distinctive taste to recipes without blowing your fat budget. Use toasted (dark) sesame oil for the most flavor.
With a delicate nutty flavor, walnut oil is an excellent choice for baking, cooking, and salad making. Most grocery stores sell as least one brand of walnut oil such as Lorvia California Walnut Oil. Like canola oil, walnut oil contains a substantial amount of omega-3 fats. Most brands of walnut oil have been only minimally processed and can turn rancid quickly, so once opened, they should be refrigerated.
* OPPONENTS ARGUE YOU SHOULD NEVER USE CANOLA OIL OR VEGETABLE OIL IN ANY TYPE OF COOKING, EVEN LOW TEMPERATURE COOKING BECAUSE IT CREATES TRANS FATTY ACIDS AND FREE RADICALS BOTH OF WHICH ARE VERY HARMFUL TO THE BODY. BECAUSE POLYUNSATURATES ARE HIGHLY SUBJECT TO RANCIDITY, THEY INCREASE THE BODY'S NEED FOR VITAMIN E AND OTHER ANTIOXIDANTS. CANOLA OIL, IN PARTICULAR, CAN CREATE SEVERE VITAMIN E DEFICIENCY. EXCESS CONSUMPTION OF VEGETABLE OILS IS ESPECIALLY DAMAGING TO THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS AND THE LUNGS--BOTH OF WHICH ARE SITES FOR HUGE INCREASES IN CANCER IN THE US.
Why Do People Become Vegetarians?For much of the world, vegetarianism is largely a matter of economics: Meat costs a lot more than, say, beans or rice, so meat becomes a special-occasion dish (if it's eaten at all). Even where meat is more plentiful, it's still used in moderation, often providing a side note to a meal rather than taking center stage.In countries like the United States where meat is not as expensive, though, people choose to be vegetarians for reasons other than cost. Parental preferences, religious or other beliefs, and health issues are among the most common reasons for choosing to be a vegetarian. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern over animal rights or the environment. And lots of people have more than one reason for choosing vegetarianism.Vegetarian and Semi-Vegetarian Diets
Different people follow different forms of vegetarianism. A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including chicken and fish. A eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry. It follows, then, that a eats dairy products but not eggs, whereas an eats eggs but not dairy products.A stricter form of vegetarianism is (pronounced: -gun-izm). Not only are eggs and dairy products excluded from a vegan diet, so are animal products like honey and gelatin.Some people consider themselves and eat fish and maybe a small amount of poultry as part of a diet that's primarily made up of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. A eats fish, but not poultry.
What This Means For You
Vegetarians are still a minority in the United States, but a large and growing one. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has officially endorsed vegetarianism, stating "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."So what does this mean for you? If you're already a vegetarian, or are thinking of becoming one, you're in good company. There are more choices in the supermarket than ever before, and an increasing number of restaurants and schools are providing vegetarian options — way beyond a basic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.If you're choosing a vegetarian diet, the most important thing you can do is to educate yourself. That's why the ADA says that a vegetarian diet needs to be "appropriately planned." Simply dropping certain foods from your diet isn't the way to go if you're interested in maintaining good health, a high energy level, and strong muscles and bones.Vegetarians have to be careful to include the following key nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet:· iron· calcium· protein· vitamin D· vitamin B12· zincIf meat, fish, dairy products, and/or eggs are not going to be part of your diet, you'll need to know how to get enough of these nutrients, or you may need to take a daily multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the main questions I get when telling people that I am now a vegetarian is, "So do you only eat vegetables, fruits and nuts?" It's hard for me to understand why most Americans don't know that there are other sources of protein and nutrients besides animals.
Benefits of Soy The American Dietetic Association says soy products make a good substitute for meat in vegetarian meals. Soy protein comes in a package that's naturally cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. While some health claims about soy have yet to be supported by science, it may help lower your cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration says daily intake of 25 g of soy protein as part of a diet with reduced fat and cholesterol may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Where To Find ItWhile soy foods have been around for centuries, a lot of new soy products have emerged in recent years. In fact, soy food sale figures more than quadrupled in value between 1996 and 2009. Besides whole cooked soybeans, there are soft and firm varieties of tofu, soy milk in several flavors, toasted soy "nuts," green soybean snacks called edamame, meatlike soy crumbles, and soy versions of hot dogs and cheese slices. Check out the links below for a few of my favorite meat and dairy substitutes (some soy, some not).
Healthy Use of SoyDon't expect great benefits from soy protein if you just add it to a diet that's already high in fat, sugar and cholesterol. The Cleveland Clinic explains that its value to cardiovascular health is as a substitute for other foods that provide fewer nutrients or more calories. Examples include soy burgers instead of hamburgers, soy cheese instead of full-fat cheese, soy nut butter instead of regular butter, textured soy protein instead of ground beef, and marinated tofu in a recipe instead of skin-on chicken.
*Thank you to www.livestrong.com for all the wonderful information.*
Baby Food Memories
This is a little off subject from my normal blog topics but with so many people in my life expecting, I thought it was an appropriate subject.
Want your child to love veggies? Start early. Very early. Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb, but may shape food preferences later in life.
At 21 weeks after conception, a developing baby weighs about as much as a can of Coke — and he or she can taste it, too. Still in the womb, the growing baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid daily. That fluid surrounding the baby is actually flavored by the foods and beverages the mother has eaten in the last few hours.
"Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother's milk," says Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, Mennella says there isn't a single flavor they have found that doesn't show up in utero. Her work has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
The Scent Of Amniotic FluidTo determine if flavors are passed from the mother to the baby via the amniotic fluid, researchers gave women garlic
capsules or sugar capsules before taking a routine sample of their amniotic fluid — and then asked a panel of people to smell the samples.
"And it was easy," says Mennella. "They could pick out the samples easily from the women who ate garlic." The sense of taste is actually 90-percent smell, she added, so they knew just from the odor that the babies could taste it.
Mennella says she got the idea from dairy farmers, who in the 1960s and 70s were doing research on how the diet of the dairy cow impacted the flavor of the milk. She says cows that graze on wild garlic and onion, or who live in stinking barns, produce milk with distinct flavors.
But Mennella says that not only is the amniotic fluid and breast milk in humans flavored by food just like cows, but memories of these flavors are formed even before birth. That could result in preferences for these foods or odors for a lifetime. In other words, if you eat broccoli while you're pregnant, there's a much better chance your baby will like broccoli.
Mennella says this had already been observed in rabbits, so she decided to test it in human babies — with carrots. Pregnant women were divided into three groups. One group was asked to drink carrot juice every day during their pregnancy, another during breastfeeding and a third to avoid carrots completely. Then when the children began to eat solid food, researchers fed them cereal made either with water, or carrot juice and videotaped their responses.
Introducing Babies To Food Culture "And just like the European rabbit, the babies who had experienced carrot in amniotic fluid or mother's milk ate more of the carrot-flavored cereal," says Mennella. "And when we analyzed the video tapes they made less negative faces while eating it." This makes a lot of evolutionary sense, says Mennella. Since mothers tend to feed their children what they eat themselves, it is nature's way of introducing babies to the foods and flavors that they are likely to encounter in their family and their culture.
"Each individual baby is having their own unique experience, it's changing from hour to hour, from day to day, from month to month," says Mennella. "As a stimulus it's providing so much information to that baby about who they are as a family and what are the foods their family enjoys and appreciates."
That very idea got Matty Lau thinking 'how is it that kids in other cultures eat foods that are spicy, bitter, or have pungent flavors?' She's a Chinese-American who had a baby in late July and recalls growing up eating foods most American kids she knows would never touch.
"My parents are great cooks — and so they'll cook things like preserved oysters. I always wondered how it was that I was able to grow up eating bitter vegetables like kale and mustard greens and things like ginger," says Lau.
Instilling A Love Of Chinese Flavors Before Birth While she was pregnant, she consciously tried to provide her baby with the flavors she loves from her native Chinese cuisine. She the hopes that when her baby is older, it will share her love of flavorful food.
"I was really concerned that my child enjoys food as much as the rest of my family," says Lau.
University of Florida taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk says babies are born with very few hard and fast taste preferences. She says Mennella's work shows that very early exposures to flavors – both before and after birth — make it more likely that children will accept a wide variety of flavors. And when those early exposures are reinforced over a lifetime, Bartoshuk thinks they might have far-reaching implications, even promoting good eating.
"To what extent can we make a baby eat a healthier diet by exposing it to all the right flavors — broccoli, carrots, lima beans, et cetera? Could we do that or not? My guess is we could," says Bartoshuk.
Menella acknowledges that many toddlers will still make a sour face when given broccoli, no matter how much the mother ate while pregnant. And maybe they will never like it. But she says parents should keep exposing young children to these flavors because they can eventually learn to like them.
Benefits of Soy
Healthy Use of Soy