Food News Today Transcripts for the week of January 13th, 2012

January 13, 2012

New Year’s resolutions, up up and away it's Super Foods, and why those who are overweight sometimes just can’t say no… for January 11th, 2012, this is Food News Today.

Good morning, Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting, and unbiased food news.

Today is National Hot Toddy Day - Hot toddies - such as mulled cider or wine- were traditionally drunk before going to bed, or in wet or cold weather. They were also believed to help cure the cold and flu – but of course, not Dr recommended.   

>About one-third of American adults are obese, a statistic we are all too familiar with – and one that unfortunately is projected to rise even more. So what’s going on? A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found the ability to fight food cravings may lie right here in our heads.

Researchers from Yale University and the University of Southern California found that those who are obese had a more difficult time fighting off cravings for high-calorie foods, which in part, could explain the difficulty obese people have losing weight.

Here's what they found: when blood sugar levels were low in both obese and nonobese participants, the region of the brain associated with reward - was activated, triggering a desire to eat junk foods. Once the levels were brought back to normal - in the normal weight group, there was increased activity in the region of the brain involved in impulse control (prefrontal cortex). But here is the amazing finding - This was not the case for obese participants. Not only was the desire for high-calorie foods more noticeable in their brain activity, but when their blood sugar levels were brought back up to normal, their brains continued to show a craving for high-calorie junk foods.

So what can we learn from this? Eat frequent, small healthy meals and small snacks so that you maintain an even blood glucose levels. Also eat within the first half hour of waking up, because if you wait until after noon to have your first meal, your body's low blood sugar will drive you to overeat.

>We are almost two weeks into the New Year – so what kinds of resolutions are you making this year? 85% of the SupermarketGuru consumer panel are resolving to improve their eating habits.  Thats the good news. But - here comes the bad - over 70 percent have made a similar resolution in the past, and only 32 percent stuck with it land changed their overall eating habits. Not good.

Most of us want to improve our life and health as a new year begins and that is exactly what 65 percent of the panel said - we want to feel better. Other top desires for 2012? To look better, have more energy,  loose weight or maintain current weight. Hopefully this is the year we actually stick to the plan!

>New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier are one step - but for many understanding just what is "healthy" is the problem. Some foods, as I am sure you know, have been dubbed “superfoods” for their amazing health benefits - but what does that really mean? Many of our daily supermarket staples are considered "super" and loaded with healthful phytochemicals (which is nothing more that potent plant chemicals -- antioxidants), typically these super foods are lower in calories and rich in fiber vitamins and minerals.  Which can help with  weight control and can help prevent some cancers according to American Institute for Cancer Research. So what are some of these super foods foods? 

Legumes such as dried beans, lentils, soybeans are high fiber and in saponins.

Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries make the "all-star team of superfruits." Each should be included for different benefits: strawberries for potassium, raspberries for vitamin C, blueberries for fiber and blackberries for vitamin E .

Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, have a high level of fiber and they actually help regulate the body's enzymes.

Your mom, and Popeye was right as those dark green leafy vegetables - spinach and kale, and dark lettuces are also on the list, as is garlic, green tea, and tomatoes which are a powerhouse combination of vitamins and phytonutrients such as lycopene.  

The list goes on and on - so check out for more. 

Let me know what's on your food mind. Thanks for watching!