Natural Foods Merchandiser


1950s Diet Plate Makes a Comeback
First, dieters resurrected the Atkins plan, originally published in the 1970s. Now, consumers watching their waistlines may have reason to go even further retro. A new study from the San Diego-based Scripps Clinic shows that grapefruit may speed up metabolism and reduce insulin production, resulting in weight loss. In the clinic?s 12-week study of 100 people, those who ate grapefruit three times a day, but didn?t make any other dietary changes, lost an average of 3.6 pounds, with some losing as much as 10 pounds. Subjects who drank grapefruit juice three times daily lost 3.3 pounds, while the control group saw an average weight loss of only 0.5 pounds. Researchers plan to conduct a larger follow-up study.

A Gut Response
Most naturals retailers, along with a large cadre of savvy shoppers, are aware of the health benefits of probiotics. Added to supplements and dairy foods such as yogurt to promote gut health, they may soon be overshadowed by their nutritional cousins, prebiotics. Prebiotics, derived from fiber, serve a similar function but have much wider application. While probiotics? use in prepared food is limited to chilled dairy products, prebiotics can be added to beverages, breads, cereals, chocolates, meats and snacks.

Keeping Avocados Green Longer
Studies show that as many as 46 percent of American households purchase avocados regularly. But they?d probably buy more if they could keep them fresh even after slicing into them. Now, Westport, Conn.-based specialty coatings company Mantrose-Haeuser has developed a treatment to keep the fruits from browning. NatureSeal, which the manufacturer says is free of sulfites, allergens and genetically modified organisms, protects the color, flavor and texture of avocados for up to two weeks. According to Mantrose-Haeuser, NatureSeal is a blend of vitamins and minerals that can be applied as a dip or a spray. The company offers a formula certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use on organic avocados. Widespread acceptance of NatureSeal would mean avocados could join the fresh-cut produce revolution.

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