Natural Products Expo West 2012 Part ThreeMarch 21, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
I’m always on the lookout for all-natural food products that make healthy living more practical. Based on what I saw at this year’s Expo West, many manufacturers are hoping to provide just that. However, my idea of what constitutes a healthy snack often differs from theirs. In many instances, natural food makers simply replace conventionally refined grains and sweeteners with organic counterparts. This is a step in the right direction. But, ultimately, these “new and improved” products are still largely comprised of nutrient-poor ingredients that are likely to cause unhealthy blood sugar fluctuations.
Fortunately, there are always exceptions to the rule. Three manufacturers in particular are making new products that I’ll recommend to clients, family and friends. Two of the three are vegan friendly. The third is particularly well suited for those on low carbohydrate diets. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re decidedly health promoting and nutrient-dense.
OLOVES, a new line of packaged olives, is now available in the U.S. Each 30 gram pouch contains only 50 calories and is as easy to take to school or work as a bag of potato chips or pretzels. The olives are moist and plump, but there’s no added liquid or pits to complicate matters. This line of products is preservative free and comes in three different flavors: Hot Chili Mama, Lemony Lover and Tasty Mediterranean. Apart from their delicious taste, science continues to document the value of adding more olives to the modern diet. Of late, studies reveal that naturally occurring chemicals in olives: counter inflammation, reduce DNA damage and may interfere with age-related processes that ultimately contribute to cancer and organ failure.
If you’ve given up chips and crackers, but miss them terribly, take note of an innovative company by the name of Just Pure Foods. Their line of organic, raw and sustainable snack foods is an exemplary alternative to conventional sources of crunch. They create crispy, delicious snacks using all sorts of dehydrated vegetables including kale, tomatoes and zucchini. They even make a kale chip coated with dark chocolate! My personal favorite is the (vegan) Cheesy Kale Chips. This is a near perfect snack because it more than satisfies your taste buds while providing a wealth of health benefits attributable to its core ingredient: organic kale. This green, leafy vegetable is an abundant source of health promoting phytochemicals (kaempferol, lutein, quercetin) that may support improved immune function and beyond. However, even advocates of kale admit that its assertive taste can be a stumbling block for adults and children alike. I submit that almost everyone will find this form of kale a genuine pleasure to eat.
You don’t have to be a new upstart to make a splash in the current marketplace. Coleman Natural, a company that’s been in operation since 1875, has an excellent line of gluten-free meatballs now widely available in health food stores. They’re 100% natural, high in protein and low in carbohydrates. There are four flavors currently in production including: Italian Parmesan, Pesto Parmesan, Spinach Fontina Cheese and Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Basil and Provolone. The base ingredient in all of the meatballs is antibiotic-, hormone-free chicken which is humanely raised on small family farms. These flavorful delights can be healthfully added to pasta alternatives such as shirataki noodles, spaghetti squash or eaten alone as a satisfying snack. This is a great resource for those on or interested in lower carbohydrate diets. And, there’s more reason than ever to consider restricting carbohydrates if heart health and/or obesity are a concern for you. One current study, presented at this year’s American Heart Association scientific meeting, reports that a lower carb diet resulted in 28.9 lb weight loss over a six month period compared to only 18.7 lbs in low-fat dieters. The relative safety of the carbohydrate restricted diet was also established.
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Contained in Olive Oil on Chronic … (link)
Study 2 – Antioxidant Activity of Olive Polyphenols in Humans: A Review … (link)
Study 3 – Phenolic Secoiridoids in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Impede Fibrogenic … (link)
Study 4 – Behavior of Flavonols and Carotenoids of Minimally Processed Kale … (link)
Study 5 – Immunostimulatory In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of a Water-Soluble … (link)
Study 7 – Comparison of the Effects of Weight Loss from a High-Protein Versus … (link)
Study 8 – Losing Belly Fat, Whether from a Low-Carb or a Low-Fat Diet … (link)
Study 9 – High Carbohydrate Intake was Inversely Associated with High … (link)
Study 10 – Effect of Dietary Patterns Differing in Carbohydrate and Fat Content … (link)
Oleuropein & Other Olive Phytochemicals May Support Good Health
Source: Sci Pharm. 2010 June 30; 78(2): 133–154. (link)
Tags: Kale, Low Carb, Olive
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Product Reviews