Sunday Roundup–April 21

Michael Pollan’s new book, changing your habits, Big Soda tactics, studies on cancer and hypertension. All in today’s Roundup!

Pollan Cooks!

The article is Marc Bittman’s interview with Michael Pollan about his new book “Cooked” to be released this Tuesday. The book basically is a call for everyone to get in the kitchen and cook. By this simple act, you will be doing your diet and health a great favor. If for nothing else, at least you won’t be using any additives and you’ll be using higher quality ingredients. For a more detailed insight into the book, you can also check this review in the Washington Post. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.


“People who cook eat a healthier diet without giving it a thought. It’s the collapse of home cooking that led directly to the obesity epidemic.” Pollan as quoted in the NY Times

Ambushed by Big Soda on the Soccer Field

This is one issue brought up by Real Mom Nutrition that I feel so strongly about. She talks about representatives form Pepsico who came to her kids’ soccer field and started distributing Diet 7up to parents and kids for free. The average age of kids was roughly 7 during that game. That makes you wanna scream, doesn’t it? What are they doing pushing their products to kids like that? If you have kids and snacking has become synonymous with junk and is made available at every occasion from sports games to  birthday parties, head over to her blog to see what you can do about it.


“The soda companies are currently using low-calorie drinks in a campaign to distract from soda’s probable link to overweight, obesity, and diseases like diabetes.” Sally Kuzemchak, Real Mom Nutrition


FDA wants comments on labeling of artificial sweeteners in milk

The Dairy Industry is opposing a request by the FDA to label up-front artificially sweetened flavored milk targeted at kids. Why would the FDA allow artificial sweeteners in milk in the first place? Beats me! But you can have a say about this. Go to and type FDA-2009-P-0147 in the Search box. For more insight, check out Food Politics’ Marion Nestle post about it.


“Is giving artificial sweeteners to children a good idea? Why does milk for kids have to be sweetened?  Can’t kids drink plain, unflavored milk?” Marion Nestle, Food Politics

High-Salt Diet and Ulcer Bug Combine to Increase Risk of Cancer

Helicopacter pylori, also known as the bacterium causing ulcers, combined with a high-salt diet greatly increases the risk of gastric cancer according to a study published in the journal Infection and Immunity. The study was conducted on gerbils. All the animals with a specific strain of H.Pylori  who were fed a high-salt diet developed cancer compared to 58% who were fed a normal diet. It is always wise to consume less salt and watch out for the hidden sources such as processed and canned foods, condiments, and sauces.

salt shaker

“In several parts of the world that have high rates of gastric cancer, there is a high prevalence of cagA+ strains (H.Pylori) and a large proportion of the population consumes a high-salt diet.” Cover, researcher in the study as quoted in ScienceDaily

Drinking Cup of Beetroot Juice Daily May Help Lower Blood Pressure

This is a small study and the researchers don’t suggest just yet to start consuming massive amounts of beetroot juice. However, consumption of vegetables containing high amounts of nitrates such as green leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce..)  and beets seems to be beneficial for cardiac health. You can try my arugula and beet salad (can easily sub with spinach)or my super-easy beet salad.  The one thing that all people agree on is that vegetables are good for you. Now, go eat some!


“We were surprised by how little nitrate was needed to see such a large effect,… Getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables is challenging, but results of the study offer hope..” Ahluwalia, researcher as quoted in ScienceDaily

Habit Mastery: Creating the New Normal

The latest post from Leo Babauta from Zen Habits tackles habit change and how it can become normal. It all begins by starting small and starting the change every day. Then you start welcoming the change by no longer view it as a sacrifice. The fourth step is sticking to it even when you feel the urge to stop. You have to acknowledge that urge and letting it go by not acting on it. And finally, when your change has become your new normal, adjust it if you need to. This applies to everything in life whether diet, exercise, being more organized or going to bed earlier maybe….


“Start small, start with one thing at a time, and make the change easier. You want to make changing the path of least resistance, because change usually isn’t for most people.” Leo Babauta in Zen Habits

 Finishing up the roundup with a picture from twitter via @MMusikerRD from a TED talk TEDMED2013. It is with US statistics but can be applied everywhere. I especially loved the bottom right part with real motivation for men and women Smile !


Image Sources:

1- (Penguin Press) – “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan : from





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