Tag Archives: nutritional information

Taco Bell tries to heat things up again with Daredevil Loaded Grillers

pdp-DareDevil-Ghost-Pepper2Taco Bell’s newest introduction, Daredevil Loaded Grillers are certainly loaded. The website describes these “creations” as follows: “The Mild Chipotle Dare Devil Loaded Griller starts with a warm flour tortilla and is filled with seasoned beef, nacho cheese, crispy red strips and our mild chipotle sauce then wrapped up and grilled to perfection.”
FoodFacts.com sometimes feels like fast food chains use code words that can translate into bad ingredients and nutrition facts. The same way you can safely assume that the word “cozy” in a rental apartment ad means “way too small,” things like “crispy red strips” and “mild chipotle sauce” stand for any number of controversial ingredients. Let’s find out what’s really in this one.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                     420
Fat:                              22 grams
Saturated Fat:           5 grams
Sodium:                     940 mg

That’s pretty typical for fast food fare. The numbers aren’t good and the food isn’t good for you. Now let’s take a look at the ingredient list:

Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Seasoned Beef: Beef, water, seasoning [cellulose, chili pepper, onion powder, salt, oats (contains wheat), maltodextrin, soy lecithin, tomato powder, sugar, soybean oil, spices, garlic powder, citric acid, caramel color (C), disodium inosinate & guanylate, cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors (contains gluten), trehalose, modified corn starch, lactic acid, torula yeast], salt, phosphates. Contains: Soy, Wheat, Nacho Cheese Sauce: Nonfat milk, cheese whey, water, vegetable oil (canola and soybean oil), food starch, maltodextrin, natural flavors, sea salt, contains 1% or less of jalapeno puree, vinegar, lactic acid, potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, citric acid, cellulose gum, annatto (VC), yellow 6 (C). Contains: Milk,Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk, Red Strips: Ground corn masa, canola oil, carmine & yellow 6 (C).

There are at least a dozen items in this list that should have been left out altogether. We won’t be trying these, even on a dare.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/specialties/Dare-Devil-Loaded-Griller-Mild-Chipotle

Foods rich in Vitamin C can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and early death


vitamin-cFoodFacts.com
has always believed that a long, healthy life can be achieved through a healthy, balanced diet. As we all strive for optimal health and well-being we take into consideration the latest information available on those foods we shouldn’t – and should – be consuming. Let’s face it, those recommendations can change from year to year and decade to decade. Trends and fads aside though, certain things have staying power – like the importance of fruits and vegetables in our diets. New research is now linking fruit and vegetable consumption with a whole new health benefit.

New research from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital shows that high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the intake of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.

The study, which has just been published in the well known American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on the Copenhagen General Population Study.

As part of the study, the researchers had access to data about 100,000 Danes and their intake of fruit and vegetables as well as their DNA. “We can see that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have a 15% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables. At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables,” says Camilla Kobylecki, a medical doctor and PhD student at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

Among other things, vitamin C helps build connective tissue which supports and connects different types of tissues and organs in the body. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant which protects cells and biological molecules from the damage which causes many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. The human body is not able to produce vitamin C, which means that we must get the vitamin from our diet.

“We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so. Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is a natural way of increasing vitamin C blood levels, which in the long term may contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. You can get vitamin C supplements, but it is a good idea to get your vitamin C by eating a healthy diet, which will at the same time help you to develop a healthier lifestyle in the long term, for the general benefit of your health,” says Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

The researchers are now continuing their work to determine which other factors, combined with vitamin C, have an impact on cardiovascular disease and death.

Including foods rich in vitamin C in our diets isn’t a difficult proposition. There are so many options that are easy to incorporate each day. These significant findings are a great motivation for us all to expand our dietary universe and make sure we’re consuming our share of vitamin C foods. Let’s all live a longer, healthier life!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150707082350.htm

New hope in the fight against obesity

150819211106_1_540x360We’re constantly reading about new research discovering more information regarding the obesity epidemic. There are always new developments that seem to offer promising new insights into controlling and reversing obesity for the millions that suffer with this debilitating disease. It’s rare that we hear further news surrounding any of the research that’s being done. FoodFacts.com is hopeful that the news we’re showcasing today will be something that we continue to find reports on well into the future.

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially fatal disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

But there may now be a new approach to prevent and even cure obesity, thanks to a study led by researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School and published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. By analyzing the cellular circuitry underlying the strongest genetic association with obesity, the researchers have unveiled a new pathway that controls human metabolism by prompting our adipocytes, or fat cells, to store fat or burn it away.

“Obesity has traditionally been seen as the result of an imbalance between the amount of food we eat and how much we exercise, but this view ignores the contribution of genetics to each individual’s metabolism,” says senior author Manolis Kellis, a professor of computer science and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and of the Broad Institute.

The strongest association with obesity resides in a gene region known as “FTO,” which has been the focus of intense scrutiny since its discovery in 2007. However, previous studies have failed to find a mechanism to explain how genetic differences in the region lead to obesity.

“Many studies attempted to link the FTO region with brain circuits that control appetite or propensity to exercise,” says first author Melina Claussnitzer, a visiting professor at CSAIL and instructor in medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. “Our results indicate that the obesity-associated region acts primarily in adipocyte progenitor cells in a brain-independent way.”

To recognize the cell types where the obesity-associated region may act, the researchers used annotations of genomic control switches across more than 100 tissues and cell types. They found evidence of a major control switchboard in human adipocyte progenitor cells, suggesting that genetic differences may affect the functioning of human fat stores.

To study the effects of genetic differences in adipocytes, the researchers gathered adipose samples from healthy Europeans carrying either the risk or the non-risk version of the region. They found that the risk version activated a major control region in adipocyte progenitor cells, which turned on two distant genes, IRX3 and IRX5.

Follow-up experiments showed that IRX3 and IRX5 act as master controllers of a process known as thermogenesis, whereby adipocytes dissipate energy as heat, instead of storing it as fat. Thermogenesis can be triggered by exercise, diet, or exposure to cold, and occurs both in mitochondria-rich brown adipocytes that are developmentally related to muscle, and in beige adipocytes that are instead related to energy-storing white adipocytes.

“Early studies of thermogenesis focused primarily on brown fat, which plays a major role in mice, but is virtually nonexistent in human adults,” Claussnitzer says. “This new pathway controls thermogenesis in the more abundant white fat stores instead, and its genetic association with obesity indicates it affects global energy balance in humans.”

The researchers predicted that a genetic difference of only one nucleotide is responsible for the obesity association. In risk individuals, a thymine (T) is replaced by a cytosine (C) nucleobase, which disrupts repression of the control region and turns on IRX3 and IRX5. This then turns off thermogenesis, leading to lipid accumulation and ultimately obesity.

By editing a single nucleotide position using the CRISPR/Cas9 system — a technology that allows researchers to make precise changes to a DNA sequence — the researchers could switch between lean and obese signatures in human pre-adipocytes. Switching the C to a T in risk individuals turned off IRX3 and IRX5, restored thermogenesis to non-risk levels, and switched off lipid storage genes.

“Knowing the causal variant underlying the obesity association may allow somatic genome editing as a therapeutic avenue for individuals carrying the risk allele,” Kellis says. “But more importantly, the uncovered cellular circuits may allow us to dial a metabolic master switch for both risk and non-risk individuals, as a means to counter environmental, lifestyle, or genetic contributors to obesity.”

The researchers showed that they could indeed manipulate this new pathway to reverse the signatures of obesity in both human cells and mice.

In primary adipose cells from either risk or non-risk individuals, altering the expression of either IRX3 or IRX5 switched between energy-storing white adipocyte functions and energy-burning beige adipocyte functions.

Similarly, repression of IRX3 in mouse adipocytes led to dramatic changes in whole-body energy balance, resulting in a reduction of body weight and all major fat stores, and complete resistance to a high-fat diet.

“By manipulating this new pathway, we could switch between energy storage and energy dissipation programs at both the cellular and the organismal level, providing new hope for a cure against obesity,” Kellis says.

These findings are significant and impressive and point to the idea that science can achieve a cure for obesity – as well as a way to prevent it from ever happening. There are truly genetic differences between us all … and reasons why some of us become obese while others don’t. Science is finding answers at a cellular level that can help millions of people worldwide. This is something we think we’ll hear about a lot more in the future that can have far-reaching implications for health across the globe.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819211106.htm

Coffee may offer protection from repeat colon cancer

coffee-beans-691761_640-e1440249722933It seems that FoodFacts.com is continually reporting on yet another health benefit from coffee. These welcome pieces of news are embraced by those of us who are avid coffee lovers. Today’s news shows how coffee can protect colon cancer survivors from the return of the disease. Share

Daily consumption of caffeinated coffee may prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment, research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has shown. Additionally, it may also improve chances of successful treatment.

Patients in the study, all of whom were treated with surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, had the greatest benefit from consuming four or more cups of coffee a day (about 460 milligrams of caffeine). These patients were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.

A more modest benefit was seen from two to three cups of coffee daily, while little protection was associated with one cup or less, reported the researchers, led by Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber.

“We found that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the cancer coming back and a significantly greater survival and chance of a cure,” Fuchs said.

Most recurrences happen within five years of treatment and are uncommon after that, he noted.

In patients with stage III disease, the cancer has been found in the lymph nodes near the original tumor but there are no signs of further metastasis. Fuchs said these patients have about a 35 percent chance of recurrence.

The results sound encouraging, but Fuchs is hesitant to make recommendations to patients until the results are confirmed in other studies.

“If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don’t stop,” he said. “But if you’re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician.”

An analysis of the study results by Fuchs and his colleagues showed that the lowered risk of cancer recurrence and deaths was entirely due to caffeine and not other components of coffee. He said it’s not clear why caffeine has this effect and the question needs further study.
One hypothesis is that caffeine consumption increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so less of it is needed, which in turn may help reduce inflammation – a risk factor for diabetes and cancer, Fuchs said.

While there are many valid concerns about consuming excessive caffeine, the health benefits of coffee are numerous and significant. Moderation is, of course, key to a healthy, balanced diet and should always apply to all our food and beverage choices. It does appear, though, that our cup of morning joe is something we can feel good about consuming.

http://reliawire.com/2015/08/coffee-may-reduce-risk-for-colon-cancer-recurrence/

In the world of fast food, bigger is better and spicy is trendy … meet Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger

Jelapeno_product-V2Big and spicy seem to be the name of the game in fast food these days. FoodFacts.com has been filling you in on everything ghost pepper and jalapeno for months now as fast food continues to “kick things up a notch.”

Burger King’s latest introduction is designed to do just that. And while we may not understand the “build” of the sandwich (the new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger places two beef patties side by side on a hoagie roll – sort of a burger sub) or the nutrition facts, or some of the ingredients, we are at least encouraged by the idea that there’s no spicy “ghost pepper sauce,” or any other element that suggests a barrage of controversial items hidden inside.

So here are the facts –

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                                   590
Fat:                                            35 grams
Saturated Fat:                         13 grams
Sodium:                                   1190 mg

The nutrition facts are fairly typical for a fast food burger. They aren’t good. But you probably knew that before we took a look. Now let’s examine the ingredient list:

Ingredients:
SPECIALTY BUNS: Enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, sesame seeds, yeast, soybean oil, salt, wheat gluten, calcium sulfate, calcium propionate (preservative), flaxseeds, mono- and diglycerides, datem, citric acid, potassium iodate, soy lecithin. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY, HAMBURGER PATTIES: 100% USDA inspected Ground Beef (Fire-Grilled), AMERICAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PROCESS): Cultured Milk, Water, Cream, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Sodium Phosphate, Artificial Color, Enzymes, Acetic Acid, Soy Lecithin. CONTAINS: MILK and SOY LECITHIN, MAYONNAISE: Soybean Oil, Eggs, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion, Paprika or Paprika Oleoresin. CONTAINS: EGG, Jalapenos, Iceberg Lettuce, Onions

There are items in this list that we obviously do not like. Honestly, though, for fast food this is a fairly clean option. It’s certainly not great. We try to avoid natural flavors, artificial color and Calcium Disodium EDTA. But in comparison to other fast food burgers (especially the ones relying on specialty sauces to spice things up), this is “less bad.”

We know that’s not saying much. We do try to be fair, though. How about we leave it at this: Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger is a better effort than some of the other spicy fast food options.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/extra-long-jalape%C3%B1o-cheeseburger

Giving up soda after 50

sodacanWe’re a very different society today than we were 30 years ago. We’re more active and more active as we age. We live longer. And we don’t quite think about age the same we that we used to. FoodFacts.com embraces the idea that we are able and willing to make the kind of changes that extend our lives and keep us healthier as we age. Our friends over at Huffington Post agree, and recently shared some important information that we think our community will find significant.

A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society of 749 adults age 65 or older showed that those who consumed diet soda daily over a 10-year period had double the gains in waist circumference than those who did not.

Increased belly fat and an increased waistline can be linked to many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, to name a few.

We think that when we switch from regular soda to diet soda we are doing a good thing by cutting out all those calories. Think again. Just because it’s calorie-free doesn’t mean it’s a healthy alternative.

In diet sodas as well as regular sodas, there are ingredients such as phosphoric acid and caffeine. Doesn’t phosphoric acid sound appetizing?

You may already know that phosphoric acid is great at removing rust. But since we do not typically harbor rust inside our bodies, let’s talk about what phosphoric acid really does when we consume it.

It can be responsible for removing calcium from our bones. That is the last thing we need, right? Especially for women over a certain age.

We also know that consuming excess caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, so those two together can provide a double whammy for our bones.

Hopefully, everyone knows by now that we need to strength-train to make our bones stronger. But what if you eliminate sodas from your diet and strength train, too? We may certainly cut our risk for osteoporosis and unnecessary bone breaks as we age.

Many experts believe that if you are drinking a lot of soda, then you probably are not drinking milk or juices that may be fortified with calcium.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, there are seven super foods you can eat or drink that are rich in calcium: yogurt, milk, romano or Swiss cheese, tofu, spinach, broccoli, and orange juice fortified with calcium.

Try substituting some of the sodas you drink with milk or OJ.

Recommended calcium intake for women over 50 can differ, but should be around 1,200 milligrams per day. Other factors play into these numbers, such as estrogen loss.

For men over 50, recommended calcium intake is around 1,000 milligrams per day.

We’d like to remind everyone that the messages written in icing on millions of birthday cakes is really very true – 50 IS fabulous. Soda is not. We should all act accordingly.

http://www.annistonstar.com/life/if-you-re-over-put-down-that-soda/article_e65078f8-4292-11e5-8221-4fe9310d2250.html

False advertising lawsuit filed against Almond Breeze: shockingly few almonds in the almond milk

Almond-Breeze1People love their almond milk. It tastes great. It’s healthy for you. It’s dairy free. Depending on the brand you buy, it’s a natural product. Unfortunately there are more than a few brands that are riding the coattails of that “health halo” that has formed around the product itself. Just do things the FoodFacts.com way and check the labels of some of the popular brands and you might be surprised. Now a new difficulty has come to the forefront in the form of a false advertising law suit against Almond Breeze almond milk.

According to a class action lawsuit filed in New York this past May (and amended on July 14), these popular items are more full of lies than they are actual almonds.

A pair of brave citizens are squaring off against Blue Diamond Growers, the largest processor and marketer of almonds in the world (according to their company website) in civil court. The plaintiffs, Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis, are claiming that Blue Diamond’s almond milk brand, Almond Breeze, has been fraudulently advertising itself as primarily containing almonds, when in actuality, it only contains about two percent.

According to the amended complaint, available to the public, Albert and Malaxianis were avid almond milk lovers — Albert even residing in California, where Blue Diamond helps produce a significant amount of the almonds grown in the U.S. every year. However, they became shocked when they learned that their Almond Breeze, according to nutritional information displayed by its UK counterpart, only contained two percent real almond. No such disclosure exists on the U.S. side of the almond milk aisle.

“Defendant is using its website to lead distributors, grocery stores, restaurants, consumers and other buyers and resellers of almond milk in the United States to believe that their almond milk branded products are primarily made from almonds,” read their complaint. “Said information from Defendant’s website has created a false perception amongst the public that Defendant’s almond milk labeled products are premium products that are healthy for you because they are primarily made from almonds.”

Regardless of the outcome, the civil case, filed in New York because of Malaxianis’s residency there, is coming at a time when almond milk has become incredibly popular. An article referenced by the complaint notes that sales of almond milk cleared over $700 million last year, with Blue Diamond the top dog (the original suit also named Whitewave Foods, which produces Silk, a brand that now includes almond milk). According to research they conducted online, the average amount of almond that should be found in almond milk is around 25 to 35 percent.

The two, fighting on behalf of themselves and “all other persons in the United States” who have ever purchased Almond Breeze, are claiming the company has committed unfair and deceptive business practices, false advertising, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

So it appears that Almond Breeze almond milk contains only 2% actual almonds. Of course, they needed to leave room in the product for the carrageenan and evaporated cane juice that are used to make Almond Breeze the tasty alternative to dairy milk so many consumers enjoy. Like we said, make sure you read the labels.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/almond-breeze-faces-false-advertising-lawsuit-claiming-its-milk-only-has-2-real-344294

Saturated fats not as detrimental as trans fats

150811215545_1_540x360Is butter your enemy? How about other saturated fats like those that come from milk, meat or egg yolks? The theories surrounding these foods change over time and research. We had an entire decade filled with fat-free anything and everything – even cookies and cheese. That faded as more emphasis was placed on the importance of the presence of fats in our bodies in specific quantities and types. But FoodFacts.com knows that there are still rumblings among the folks who lived through the “fat-free” era about these and other types of fats. This new research may be of interest.

A study led by researchers at McMaster University has found that that trans fats are associated with greater risk of death and coronary heart disease, but saturated fats are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes.

The findings were published today by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The lead author is Russell de Souza, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics with the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

“For years everyone has been advised to cut out fats. Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear,” said de Souza.

“That said, we aren’t advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don’t see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health.”

Guidelines currently recommend that saturated fats are limited to less than 10 per cent, and trans fats to less than one per cent of energy, to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.

Saturated fats come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows’ milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils. Trans unsaturated fats (trans fats) are mainly produced industrially from plant oils (a process known as hydrogenation) for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods.

Contrary to prevailing dietary advice, a recent evidence review found no excess cardiovascular risk associated with intake of saturated fat. In contrast, research suggests that industrial trans fats may increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

To help clarify these controversies, de Souza and colleagues analysed the results of 50 observational studies assessing the association between saturated and/or trans fats and health outcomes in adults.

Study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias, and the certainty of associations were assessed using a recognized scoring method developed at McMaster.

The team found no clear association between higher intake of saturated fats and death for any reason, coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischemic stroke or type 2 diabetes.

However, consumption of industrial trans fats was associated with a 34 per cent increase in death for any reason, a 28 per cent increased risk of CHD mortality, and a 21 per cent increase in the risk of CHD.

Inconsistencies in the studies analysed meant that the researchers could not confirm an association between trans fats and type 2 diabetes. And, they found no clear association between trans fats and ischemic stroke.

The researchers stress that their results are based on observational studies, so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, the authors write that their analysis “confirms the findings of five previous systematic reviews of saturated and trans fats and CHD.”

De Souza, a registered dietitian, added that dietary guidelines for saturated and trans fatty acids “must carefully consider the effect of replacement foods.

“If we tell people to eat less saturated or trans fats, we need to offer a better choice. Unfortunately, in our review we were not able to find as much evidence as we would have liked for a best replacement choice, but ours and other studies suggest replacing foods high in these fats, such as high-fat or processed meats and donuts, with vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains.”

Clearly, trans fats do not belong in our diets. And, not so clearly, saturated fats (within limits) aren’t the enemy at all. It can be difficult to wrap our arms around the idea that butter isn’t the enemy. Overdoing anything IS the enemy. Moderation and balance are imperative for a healthy diet … and certain fats (especially those that have been – or will be – manufactured industrially) are the things we need to avoid. Eat real food. Buy ingredients at the grocery store (milk, eggs, cheese, produce, protein, nuts, grains, spices). Keep your diet balanced and interesting. We’ll all be on the right track for health and wellnesee.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150811215545.htm

Put that salt shaker down! New possible risk factor for multiple sclerosis has been identified … high sodium diets

Salt-Watch_111It really does seem that sugar and salt are in the news weekly with new research uncovering new links between them any number of avoidable health conditions. FoodFacts.com honestly doesn’t think we need any more motivation than what we’ve already had to start monitoring the amount of sugar and salt we consume on a daily basis. But just in case you need an additional push in the right direction, read the latest surprising association between too much sodium and your health.

New research in mice shows that diets high in sodium may be a novel risk factor in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) by influencing immune cells that cause the disease. Although this research does implicate salt intake as a risk factor, it is important to note that dietary salt is likely just one of the many environmental factors contributing to this complex disease, and very much influenced by one’s genetic background. This finding was published in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal.

“We hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of how and why environmental factors interact with individuals’ unique genetic make up to influence autoimmune diseases such as MS,” said Dimitry N. Krementsov, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medicine, Immunobiology Program at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont.

To make this discovery, Krementsov and colleagues fed a high salt diet or a control diet to three genetically different groups of mice. Researchers then induced a disease in these mice that mimics human MS. In one genetic group, both males and females fed a high salt diet showed worse clinical signs of the disease. In the other genetic group, only females showed a negative response to salt. In the third genetic group, there was no response to salt. Genetics were the critical factor. In the mice that did respond to salt, there were no direct changes in the function of their immune cells, but they showed signs of a weakened blood-brain barrier.

“As is the case with other things, you need to get enough salt so your body functions properly, but not too much or things start to go haywire,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “This report helps shed light on what can go wrong in individuals with genes that make one susceptible to autoimmune disease. It also helps us understand how much salt is just right for any given individual.”

High salt intake and MS. There’s another really good reason to go easy on the salt. Let’s learn to enjoy the actual taste of our food again. Let’s avoid fast food and fast casual chains where one component of any one meal might contain your entire day’s recommended daily sodium intake. Let’s read labels vigilantly. Let’s stay healthy.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805110204.htm

Going where no breakfast sandwich has gone before … Dunkin’s Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich

1368630299433If you go to the Dunkin website and look this one up, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is promoted with the tagline, “Going Where No Breakfast Has Gone.” If you’re FoodFacts.com, a line like that can be pretty scary as it can imply any number of things that essentially translate to “stay far, far away.”

To be honest, making a sandwich out of a glazed donut strikes us as a messy, sticky meal and does not push any of our happiness buttons. We understand that there may be others that aren’t left with that immediate impression. So if you’re one of the folks out there who’s wondering whether or not to indulge, let’s explore more about the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                360
Fat:                         20 grams
Saturated Fat:      8 grams
Sugar:                    13 grams

Honestly, considering the idea that the sandwich is a glazed donut WITH eggs AND bacon, the nutrition facts are fairly reasonable. They aren’t great, but honestly we expected to see worse.

What about the ingredients?

INGREDIENTS: Glazed Donut: Donut [Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts and Beta Carotene), Eggs], Glaze [Sugar, Water, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Mono and Diglycerides, Agar, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Artificial Flavor]; Fried Egg: Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sautee Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; Bacon: Pork, cured with: Water, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Smoke Flavoring, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.

There are far too many controversial ingredients in here – a few of which really stand out from the pack. Things like Natural Sautee Flavor, Artificial Butter Flavor and Smoke Flavoring are terrible additions to this ingredient list.

So in addition to the major possibility that the sandwich itself is messy and sticky, the contents in the sandwich in our opinion are messy and stick. We wouldn’t have indulged before we knew what was really in here. We’re certainly not going near it now.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/breakfastsandwiches/Glazed_donut_breakfast_sandwich.html