Entries in Eating (46)


McDonald's French Fry Bucket Makes Eating and Driving Easier

Photo Credit: McDonald's(NEW YORK) -- Eating on the go has never been easier.  Instead of having a friend in the passenger’s seat precariously pass individual fries while the driver inhales the entire container, a nifty little invention now lets drivers have their fair share.

Starting April 24, McDonald’s Japan is offering the limited-edition “potato basket” until the end of May. The red basket is designed to look like the company’s fry packaging and cleverly fits into any car cup holder or bicycle water bottle holder.

A Twitter campaign is launching in conjunction with the release of the potato basket, encouraging users to send in photos of how and where they use the new gadget.

A representative for McDonald’s says the company has no plans to launch the French fry bucket in the United States.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


You Are ‘When’ You Eat, New Study Finds

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In dieting, like comedy, timing is everything.  That’s the conclusion of a new Spanish study that suggests that when you eat might be just as important as what you eat.

During the first few weeks of the 20-week study, run by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in collaboration with Tufts University and the University of Murcia, all 420 subjects lost weight at about the same rate.  But starting around week five, weight loss for dieters who ate their main meal after 3 p.m. began to stall and remained sluggish for the duration of the study.  In the end, they lost 22 percent less weight than dieters who ate the bulk of their calories earlier in the day.

The results left researchers scratching their heads.  All the subjects ate and burned off about the same number of calories.  They all followed a Mediterranean-style diet consisting of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oil, and consumed about 40 percent of their daily calories at lunch.  They all slept approximately the same number of hours each night and, when tested, their appetite and hunger hormone levels were comparable.  Even their genetics were similar.

The late-in-the-day eaters did tend to be breakfast-skippers, and they showed a higher level of insulin resistance.  But according to the researchers, these differences alone didn’t explain the variability in weight loss between late and early eaters -- and neither of these factors was correlated with the amount of an individual’s weight loss.

The researchers’ best guess is that that eating later in the day messes with the body’s internal clock system, known as circadian rhythms, and this might somehow have an adverse effect on metabolism.

Frank Sheer, one of the study’s co-authors and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explained it this way:

“The circadian system is made up of a master clock in the brain and peripheral clocks in most cells throughout the body.  Normally, the master clock synchronizes all peripheral clocks, similar to the conductor of an orchestra.  When meal timing is abnormal this leads to de-synchronization between these different clocks, resulting in a cacophony.”

Over the years, many popular fad diets have sung the virtues of early-in-the-day eating patterns.  But David Just, co-director of Cornell University’s Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition, said the results of this latest study notwithstanding, such advice may not apply to Americans.

“Spaniards tend to eat their largest meal midday,” he said.  “Starting toward the end of the eighteenth century, as more people in this country began taking factory jobs that didn’t allow them to pop home for lunch, Americans began shifting their main meal toward the end of the day, which is how most of us still tend to manage our eating.”

Just said he suspects that Americans who eat less in the first part of the day simply eat more later on to compensate.  His own studies with school-age children show that kids who eat an early lunch tend to skip breakfast and have large afternoon snacks.  He’s also found that kids who eat a late lunch often enjoy a light afternoon snack but make up the calories by having an enormous dinner.  The kids who ate the fewest calories in his studies regularly had their lunch right around noon.

Sheer also said he believed it’s too soon to relate his study’s outcomes to the American lifestyle.  But he does think the timing of eating could be an important part of weight loss.

“These new findings may help in developing new strategies to further optimize weight-loss therapies in the battle against obesity,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Bluetooth Fork Vibrates If You Eat Too Fast

Joanna Stern / ABC News(LAS VEGAS) — We had a feeling that fitness and health gadgets were going to be a big deal at CES 2013, but we didn’t expect this. It’s a Bluetooth fork that not only pairs with your phone but vibrates when you eat too fast. It’s called the HapiFork and its made by a start-up called HapiLabs.

The fork is, well, a fork. But inside it has a capacitive sensor that knows how long it has been since you have taken your last bite. Say you take a bite of fish, chew it and then go for another bite within 10 seconds.  The fork will know that and gently vibrate to tell you have been eating too fast.

The fork also pairs with HapiLab’s iPhone app so you can see how long your meals are, how long you are pausing between bites and even track the number of times you bring the fork to your mouth. The app will also let you track your food intake.

“We created HapiLabs to help people take control of their happiness, health and fitness. Fifty percent of your health comes from what you eat. That’s where HapiFork comes in,” Fabrice Boutain, the CEO and founder of HapiLabs, told ABC News.

ABC News was able to try it on the show floor at CES and the fork did in fact vibrate when two bites were taken in less than 10 seconds. You can change the time by going into the app.

So how often do you have to charge your fork? Boutain says it will last two weeks with intensive use, so if you’re not eating constantly, you can expect it to last much longer. The HapiLabs is putting the fork on Kickstarter in February. It will cost $99.99.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Will Smart Fork Stop Stupid Eating?

HAPILABS(LAS VEGAS) -- At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a company is betting its new fork will be the latest weapon in the battle of the bulge.

HAPILABS' HAPIfork is designed to monitor a user's meal times and eating habits, vibrating when an eater chows down too quickly, or takes too many bites too soon.

What's more, all of that information can be downloaded to an user's computer or phone after every meal so they can track their eating habits via a special app.

The fork will be available to order beginning in April, at a cost of $99.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Company Patents DIY Stomach Pump

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Inventor Dean Kamen, the man who tried to make exercise obsolete with the Segway, is now using technology to shortcut sensible eating.

According to the U.K.'s Independent, Kamen has applied for a patent for a device that allows people who can't stop eating too much to literally pump excess food from their own stomach.

The device would attach to a valve that would be surgically installed on a patient.  Kamen reportedly envisions the new add-on as an alternative to other kinds of surgery that have become a more popular option for the morbidly obese.

Trials are already underway, and the paper reports this early version of the pump has clogged at times with a variety of food, including vegetables, french fries and Chinese food.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


6 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

iStockphoto/ThinkstockBy DIANE HENDERIKS, Good Morning America Health Contributor

(NEW YORK) -- Many people believe that eating healthy is expensive and time consuming, but that’s not necessarily the case. The reality is that healthy eating can be cheap and quick too.

Difficult economic times do not mean that we have to sacrifice our health — or budget – when it comes to food.  With careful planning and a little effort, healthy eating can fit into  a budget, but preparation and planning are key.

Here are six easy tips for economic, healthful eats:

1. Local, seasonal fruits and veggies can often be less expensive than what’s in the typical grocery store.  Buying produce by the bag instead of individually is cheaper and puts more fruits and veggies in front of you to eat at home.

2. Protein such as chicken, fish, pork and beef are not cheap, but there are some ways to save a buck.  Buy the large, family packs, and when you get home place them in separate bags for each meal.  Bulk packs are always cheaper than smaller packs.  Don’t buy preseasoned or marinated meat or fish, because that means paying for someone to do that for you.  Season, rub and marinate the cuts yourself for an economical and healthier way to add flavor to your food — that way you control the amount of salt, fat and sugar, which is always better.

3. Make extra portions of what you prepare for dinner to pack for the kids’ lunches the next day — saves time and money.

4. Check the store circulars and websites for coupons to save some cash

5. Buy generic items and store brands, which are often less expensive yet identical to name brands

6. Try to have a meatless meal at least one day a week.  It is a recommendation that I have always made to my clients, regardless of their economic situation.  Legumes (beans and such) , grains and soy-based products are inexpensive and healthy.

My philosophy is to purchase foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, which means the least processed, with no added sugar, fat and salt.

Diane Henderiks is a registered dietitian, the founder of and a Good Morning America health contributor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pumping Iron Cuts Diabetes Risk

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pumping iron can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in men, a new study found.

The study of more than 32,000 men found those who lifted weights for at least two and a half hours a week were 34 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease linked to complications including blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.

"Previous studies have shown that aerobic exercise is beneficial for the prevention of diabetes, but no epidemiological studies had looked at the impact of weight training," said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "This study demonstrates that weight training has benefits independent of aerobic exercise."

Aerobic exercise helps burns excess fat, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. But weight training helps boosts muscle mass, which is "very important for metabolism and insulin sensitivity," according to Hu.

Merging aerobic exercise and weight training was linked to a 59 percent reduction in diabetes risk, according to the study -- a link that held up even when the researchers controlled for unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.

"The most important message from this study is that combining the two types of exercise confers the largest benefit," said Hu.

Because the study was done in men, it's unclear whether the findings extend to women.

More than 23 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a number expected to rise as American waistlines expand.

"These studies remind us that the fundamental cornerstone in the management of these pandemics is still lifestyle," Dr. Ruchi Mathur, an endocrinologist at the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center in Los Angeles, said in an email. "We know that something as simple as walking can enhance insulin sensitivity."

Even people who already have diabetes can benefit from regular exercise, according to a second study published today in the same journal that found "moderately active" diabetics were half as likely to die from cardiovascular complications as their physically inactive counterparts.

"The study reminds us that physical activity does not have to be aggressive to confer cardiovascular benefit in patients with diabetes," said Mathur. "In fact, simple leisure activities such as gardening and walking are beneficial."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Want to Lose Weight? Cut Up Your Food

Polka Dot/Thinkstock(ZURICH, Switzerland) -- If you're looking to cut calories, you might start by cutting your food into smaller pieces. So suggests a study reported Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland, at the international conference for the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

Arizona State University researchers gave 301 hungry college students either a whole bagel or the same bagel cut into four separate pieces. Twenty minutes later, both groups of students were treated to a free lunch.

What the researchers found was that the college students in both groups ended up eating roughly the same amount of each bagel; however the students that ate the bagel cut in four pieces ate roughly 25 percent less of their free lunch than the students who ate the uncut bagel.

The phenomenon appeared to hold true in animals as well. As part of the same study, the researchers also found that when hungry rats were given a choice to look for food either as a single large pellet or 30 small pellets, the rats ran faster and more frequently to the small pellets.

"Cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control," lead study author Devina Wadhera said in a news release.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Antioxidants in a Nutshell

iStockphoto/ThinkstockBy DIANE HENDERIKS, Health Contributor, ABC News Good Morning America

(NEW YORK) -- From skin care to gasoline to the dinner table, antioxidants play a role.  Ask anyone whether antioxidants are good for you and they will say “definitely.” Follow that up with, “What are antioxidants?” and you might be surprised by the answer.  Most people have no idea what antioxidants are but know they are good for you.  Here is my quick and minimally confusing explanation of antioxidants:

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may protect your cells from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food for energy, or by environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, weaken the immune system and may play a role in heart disease, arthritis, cancer and other diseases.

Free radicals are thieves looking for electrons and will take them whenever available, leaving the cellular victim of this theft vulnerable to problems until those electrons are put back.  Our bodies have a natural ability to replace these stolen electrons but we can also get them from the food we eat by way of “antioxidants.”  Antioxidants give electrons to free radicals so they don’t have to commit the crime of stealing from healthy cells in our bodies.

There are numerous compounds that can act as antioxidants with Vitamin E, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and manganese being the most popular. Each one of these substances has a unique function and play different roles in the body so when it comes to food choices, variety is the key.

The more color you have on your plate, the more nutrition and potential antioxidant-wielding capacity you have. Foods contain so many substances that work together in ways that are not completely understood and I truly believe that science cannot extract everything from a food and turn it into a supplement.  I recommend eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are all packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that help to keep us healthy.

Here are some antioxidant-rich compounds and some of the best food sources.  Bon Appetit!

Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, greens (chard, collard, mustard, turnip), papaya, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, mangoes, pumpkin, bell peppers and nuts.

Vitamin C: kiwi, guava, berries, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, honeydew, kale, mangoes, nectarines, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato and tomatoes.

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, peppers, kale, mangoes, greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, squash, tangerines, tomatoes and watermelon.

Zinc: oysters, wheat germ, sesame seeds, lean red meat, dark chocolate, poultry, beans, nuts and seafood

Selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish, beef, eggs, poultry, mushrooms, onions and whole grains

Manganese: herbs and spices, wheat germ, nuts, mollusks, seeds, edamame and cocoa powder

Other super antioxidant rich foods: onions, Concord grapes, celery, eggplant, tea, apples, red wine, plums, apples, berries, sprouts.

Diane Henderiks is a registered dietitian, the founder of and a Good Morning America health contributor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Low-Cal Peanut Butter Is a Dream for Dieters

PB2(NEW YORK) -- If eating peanut butter straight from the jar is wreaking havoc on your waistline, a new low-cal powdered option might be worth a try.

Two new powdered peanut butters on the market are offering the same delicious taste of peanut butter at a fraction of the calories and fat.

The new products, Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter and PB2, both contain 45 calories and zero saturated fat in a 2-tablespoon portion.  The products are free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

Traditional peanut butter weighs in at about 190 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat for a 2-tablespoon portion.  But regular peanut butter contains more protein and fiber, compared with the powdered substitute.

The company website states that PB2 removes over “85% of the fat from premium quality peanuts.”

“Essentially, the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is our famous powdered peanut butter – all natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.”

The products have already generated a cult following, including Weight Watchers’ customers looking for a peanut butter solution without all of the points.

“This product is fantastic, all the yummy goodness of peanut butter without the hefty calories that usually comes with it,” one reviewer raves on the site.

Both companies also offer chocolate peanut butter options but testers generally prefer the original.  The powder can be used in many different recipes for added peanut flavor without the fat.

Just Great Stuff’s Organic Powdered Peanut Butter is available online and in natural food stores at $8.50 for a 6.5oz jar.  PB2 is available across the country or online and offers four 6.5oz jars for $15.96.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio