The trendiest drinks used to be pomegranate and acai juice. It was the battle of the superjuices.
Now there’s a new contender vying for the top spot: kombucha.
Goodbye Amazon berry, hello bacteria-laden tea.
Kombucha was once limited to the kitchen counters of homebrewers and the shelves of health food stores. Now it’s hard to miss colorful bottles of this fizzy fermented tea in the refrigerated cases of mainstream markets.
Maybe you read my recent post about kombucha. I’ve also written a column for MSNBC.com that was published today. I hope you’ll check out.
So what do you think about kombucha? Do you love it or hate it? It seems that people are passionately lined up in either camp — no one seems to be neutral about this ancient drink that’s making a major comeback.
Here’s my bottom line view of kombucha: [click to continue…]
The race is on to be the next superfood.
I’ve frequently written about these boastful foods and beverages — whether it’s chia seeds, coconut water, kombucha, tropical berries like acai and gogi, or superjuices, such as MonaVie and Vemma.
As I’ve said before, these products may actually be good for you. Many do contain an abundance of nutrients or they’re high in antioxidants. But I’m just not sure they deserve such glowing praise — or in many cases, the steep price tag.
Bottom line, I’m opposed to the magical thinking.
And I’m worried an over-reliance on superfoods could cause you to take your eye off the bigger picture and distract you from eating a wide array of nutrient-rich foods. I’m also concerned about the “health halo” effect that I recently wrote about. Maybe a giant muffin contains a sprinkling of flaxseed, but that doesn’t erase the amount of calories and fat inside this breakfast cake. [click to continue…]
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Candi Mandi
Go ahead , they’re low fat!
Haven’t you heard that before? Haven’t you thought that?
You’re not alone. Lots of people tend to let down their guard when they think something is low fat. It’s a tempting lure on food labels and on restaurant menus. A low-fat label can be a blinding spell that researchers have dubbed a “health halo,” and this devilish effect could be adding to your unwanted pounds.
The concept of a health halo has been around for several years now, and new studies continue to document the potential downfall. I first wrote about the health halo a few years ago for ABCNews.com. Researchers at Cornell University found that people who chose low-fat snacks ended up eating even more calories compared to their counterparts who selected regular snacks. The low-fat snackers consumed 90 more calories — presumably because they mistakenly thought low fat = low calories.
I interviewed co-author Brian Wansink at the time who described low-fat labels as “hidden persuaders” that can get you to overeat or to eat more than you intended.
Studies have repeatedly shown that putting a low-fat label on food causes people, especially those who are overweight, to underestimate its calories, to eat bigger helpings and to indulge in other foods. Researchers believe low-fat labels give people the mental permission to eat more. They may feel less guilty about their choice — which leads them to eat more. [click to continue…]
Food Channel identified the Top Ten Foods of the Decade
- gourmet burgers made with Kobe or Angus beef
- superfruits (acai, pomegranate, blueberries)
- oils (including olive oil, truffle oil)
- whole grains
- artisan foods (particularly breads, cheeses, dark chocolate)
- coffees, teas
What foods and beverages do you think will define the next decade? Not sure if the following are all contenders, but they’re off to a hot start in 2010.
Macarons are the new cupcakes.
Don’t confuse these colorful, crunchy French confections with the sticky-sweet coconut balls called macaroons. Maybe only one “o” separates the two, but they’re nothing alike. Macarons are whoopie pie-like treats that were once limited to Parisian tea salons and pastry shops. Now they’ve broken through to the mainstream stage. McDonald’s has started to sell in France and you can now find in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks. Read more about macarons at Wall Street Journal, Serious Eats and Salon.
Beef jerky is the new bacon.
This dried, chewy beef is hardly new — its origins date back to the Incas. Often associated with truck stops and C-stores, beef jerky gained cult-like status during the Atkins era. But now these meat snacks are back with a vengeance. Today’s jerky, however, has earned a shred of respectability. Read more about the jerky renaissance at the New York Times.
Coconut water is the new sports drink. [click to continue…]