Thursday, August 10, 2006

Singing Volcanoes of Cheese... Okay Guacamole.

Image of the original Singing Volcano, Mario Del Monaco, master of squillo doncha know.

I can't believe it's been three days already. Gotta get this filed before the Blogger outage.
I've been editing hundreds of pages, however, and the nights have gone late. Now, I'm into another compositional phase, commencing as soon as I'm done here.

1) I apologize for the WSJ's subscription status on this article, but just a reminder to eat some darned guacamole, you joyless fatophobes! Because so many good nutrients are fat-soluble, you need to digest some fat to absorb them. I, a lover of a bit of cheese and/or full-fat dressing with my veggies just because it's fantastic, feel quite edified:

..."What we're finding is that if you don't have some fat in the meal, all these wonderful" compounds are missed, says Steven Clinton, program leader for molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus. "If the nutrients don't get into your system, then what good are they?"

Dr. Clinton's latest research looks at how adding avocado -- which is relatively high in unsaturated fat -- to salsa or a salad affects how well the body absorbs healthful compounds in the foods. In particular, the study looked at absorption of carotenoids, the red, yellow and orange pigments found in many fruits and vegetables that are believed to have cancer-fighting properties.

For the salsa study, 11 test subjects were first given a meal of fat-free salsa and some bread. Another day, the same meal was offered, but this time avocado was added to the salsa, boosting the fat content of the meal to about 37% of calories. In checking blood levels of the test subjects, researchers found that the men and women absorbed an average of 4.4 times as much lycopene and 2.6 times as much beta carotene when the avocado was added to the food.

Lycopene is the red carotenoid found in tomatoes and watermelon that is being studied as a potential fighter of prostate and other cancers. Beta carotene is the orange pigment in fruits and vegetables that is used in the body's manufacture of vitamin A. Studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables containing beta carotene are linked to lower cancer rates.

With the salad test, the impact of adding avocado was even greater. The first salad included romaine lettuce, baby spinach, shredded carrots and a no-fat dressing, resulting in a fat content of about 2%. After avocado was added, the fat content jumped to 42%. When the salad was consumed with the avocado, the 11 test subjects absorbed seven times the lutein and nearly 18 times the beta carotene. Lutein is a carotenoid found in many green vegetables and is linked with improved eye and heart health...

So far there isn't enough research to advise people how much fat they should consume with vegetables to get the optimal absorption of carotenoids. The basic advice is to still count calories and don't overdo the fats, choosing heart-healthy unsaturated fats like avocado or olive oil rather than foods with a high saturated-fat content...

[My note: Oh, go on, a little bit of saturation never hurt anyone]

Nutritionists say diners should look at the overall fat content of the meal. A bowl of cereal with berries might be improved by using 2% milk or full-fat yogurt instead of skim milk. But if you're eating a meal, dietitians advise clients to choose one food item per meal with a significant amount of fat, and keep the other foods very low in fat.

Though I admit I excerpted liberally, you'll have to subscribe for information about other similar results from other studies and pithy kickers about strawberries in cream after hamburgers.

2) Free trade fashion for free! Via Tim Worstall.

3) In other heartwarming, cheesy news, dozens of workers at a Sargento Cheese factory in Wisconsin are splitting a $208 million Powerball jackpot.

4) Via The Corner, scientists are turning the eruptions of volcanoes into music, so we can learn how to anticipate the big choruses.


Beth said...

My eyes are back in commission! Yay!


I always knew guacamole had good karma! I'm a guac junkie. That WSJ article was choc full of helpful information. I also appreciate the Columbus, Ohio shoutout. ha!

Also, I put in my order for a wristband.

Henway Twingo said...

So glad that you can see. I need a bracelet, too.