Natural Foods Merchandiser

Whole Carb, Not High Carb
Rebounding from the black eye that popular diets have given pasta recently, the Il Fornaio chain of Italian restaurants has landed an upper cut. Il Fornaio Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon has created The North Beach Diet, which emphasizes vegetables, whole grains and complex carbohydrates, such as bread made from wheat flour. It allows for 2,500 calories per day and encourages consumers to eat lots of produce and meals consisting of multiple courses but with smaller portions. It also recommends 30 minutes of daily exercise. ?We have many guests who make pasta, bread and olive oil part of a healthy, well-balanced diet,? says Mazzon. ?And it?s my opinion that those who enjoy a variety of foods are not only healthier but happier. So while we will always offer low-carb options [such as grilled chicken], we will continue to present the authentic foods of Italy, whether or not they fit the diet fad of the moment.? Look for this approach to trickle down to the retail level.

Kitchen Aid
In this era of high-cost medicines, scientists are furiously looking for treatments that won?t land consumers in bankruptcy. Lately, several promising breakthroughs have come right from the kitchen. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered why sulphorophane—a compound found in broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale—helps prevent breast cancer progression. By exposing malignant cells to sulphoraphane, Keith Singletary, a professor of food science and human nutrition, discovered along with his colleagues that the compound blocked the ability of protein-based cell components to aid in cancer-cell division and duplication. ?It is not yet clear whether the doses required to produce inhibition ? are higher than those achievable via dietary intakes,? Singletary wrote in the September Journal of Nutrition.

The following week, researchers at a conference in London presented findings that oranges, bananas and turmeric may prevent childhood leukemia. In turmeric, the disease-fighting agent seems to be the colorant curcumin, while in oranges the antioxidant properties of vitamin C are thought to be responsible for preventing damage to DNA. In bananas, researchers surmise that potassium may be the critical element. Similarly, Japanese researchers, reporting in the September Journal of Nutrition, said that a specific carotenoid found in spinach—neoxanthin—may prevent prostate cancer.

And if this all seems to promote nothing but produce, consider this: A study conducted at The Children?s Hospital of Philadelphia indicated that vanilla may be useful in treating sickle cell disease, a condition that affects 80,000 people nationwide. The flavoring seems to prevent red blood cells from forming into a sickle shape that obstructs blood vessels.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 11/p. 32

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