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Healthy eating, sustainability, nutrition guidelines – news to July 31 2011

Fast casual restaurants are offering healthier menu items with lower calories, and customers are starting to order them. They say that they’re eating smaller portions as well. They think that foods with added healthy ingredients are healthier than the absence of less healthy ingredients such as sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. A sustainable shrimp farm opens in the Mojave Desert near Las Vegas, with salt water pools simulating an ocean environment. U.S. guidelines for sugar may be too high and may lead to higher cholesterol and triglycerides.

Healthier menus – McDonalds, fast casual restaurants

McDonalds Happy Meals to become less unhealthy Jul-25-11 LA Times
McDonalds plans to add a serving of fruit or vegetable to all of the Happy Meals, and shrink the portion of French fries. Apple slices will often be included as the healthful side dish, but it could also be carrots, raisins, pineapple slices or mandarin oranges, depending on the time of year and the region in which they’re being served. Caramel sauce will no longer be offered with apples.

Consumers finally starting to order healthier menu options Jul-27-11 New Hope 360
Restaurant goers are finally starting to choose better-for-you items on menus at big chain restaurants like Applebee’s and IHOP.

Healthy definitions – fortification, smaller portions

Fortification drives consumer definition of ‘healthy’ Jul-25-11 Food Navigator-USA
Fortification and added healthy ingredients are stronger factors in driving purchases of foods perceived as healthy than absence of less healthy ingredients like sugar, saturated fat and sodium, according to the results of a new survey from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Prevention magazine.

Portion control of growing interest to U.S. consumers Jul-26-11 NPD Group
According to the NPD food and beverage market research report “Healthy Eating Strategies by Generation,” 43% of the over 5000 adults surveyed indicated that they ate smaller portions always or most of the time in the past year.

Sustainable eating – freegan, sustainable shrimp in the desert

A week in the life of a freegan Jul-28-11 HuffPost Food
Freeganism is a lifestyle in which one employs “alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.”

Sustainable shrimp farm opens near Las Vegas Jul-29-11 GreenAnswers
Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp began operating its sustainable shrimp facility in April in the middle of the Mojave Desert, about 30 miles from the bustling Las Vegas Strip. Though the farm’s unlikely location — is far from water, the enclosed facility’s salt water pools simulate an ocean environment for the young Mexican white shrimp. It plans to have its first harvest on the plates of Las Vegas diners by the end of August.

Nutrition guidelines and food laws- too much sugar, gluten-free laws

U.S. guidelines for sugar may be too high Jul-29-11 Medscape (Free; registration required)
Results from a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism show that adults who consumed 25% of their daily calories as fructose or high-fructose corn syrup beverages (a percentage within current government guidelines) for 2 weeks experienced increases in serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Senators urge prompt action on gluten-free laws Jul-26-11 Food Navigator-USA
In 2007, the FDA proposed that gluten should be labeled at anything over 20mg per kg (20ppm); foods labeled gluten-free containing more than this amount would be considered misbranded. Many companies are already voluntarily using this standard, but the rule has yet to be finalized.

Other – oils and allergies, traceability of chickens, and more

Trans fats cut and produce increased in UK Jul-22-11 Food Navigator
The UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has welcomed a nutrition and dietary habits survey published this week by the UK government which found positive shifts in key areas including trans-fat consumption levels. Parents are giving their kids a healthier diet with fewer sweets, fizzy drinks, and chocolate, and switching them to high-fiber cereals.

Salmonella outbreak linked to papaya Jul-26-11 WebMD
The FDA has warned Americans not to eat papayas imported by a Texas company from Mexico because they have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in at least 23 states that has sickened nearly 100 people.

Low-carb diet may be suitable for advanced cancer Jul-27-11 Nutrition and Metabolism
A pilot study suggested that a ketogenic diet is suitable for even advanced cancer patients. It has no severe side effects and might improve aspects of quality of life and blood parameters in some patients with advanced metastatic tumors.

Veganism articles Jul-27-11 New Hope 360
Links from a journalist currently researching an article about how to go vegan – the basics, and what you need to know about this opportunity to improve your diet and lifestyle in a healthy way.

Nutrition navigation system in Shaw’s supermarkets Jul-27-11 Progressive Grocer
Developed with the input of Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Harvard Medical School, nutrition iQ employs color-coded shelf tags and signs for more than 3,200 food items throughout the store. The colored tags spotlight the foods’ key nutrients and health attributes. For instance, dark-orange tags call out whole grain foods, while yellow tags signify products that are good or excellent sources of protein.

Refined oils ‘unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction’ Jul-28-11 Food Navigator-USA
Refined vegetable oils including soya and peanut oils are highly unlikely to trigger allergic reactions, according to new research in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry

Traceability of organic chickens Jul-29-11 New Hope 360
Consumers who buy Coleman Natural brands will be able to trace where each chicken was raised and check the food safety status of the poultry. In addition, Coleman Natural is sharing images of the farm, farmer profiles, the brand’s story and history.

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