Food News Today transcripts for the week of January 2nd, 2012

January 06, 2012

Fighting colds with foods, how much fish are we eating, the new role of super sizing and can foods improve our mood? For January 4th, 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.

Now for today's useless food facts!  Today is National Spaghetti Day as well as the day in 1493 that Columbus returned from his first voyage to the New World. The connection? They are both Italian. No not really spaghetti's origin is China. Hey! I said it was useless! email me tweet me Facebook me with yours!


•What we eat affects our entire body -- and on top of mind this time of year is staying healthy and cold and flu free. Here's some natural ways to help.  Limit your sugar consumption. Sugar actually suppresses our immune system - causing a 50 percent drop in our ability to fight off bacteria and germs.  

Eat more fats.. yes thats right - I said eat more fats. But the healthy kind! Having enough healthy fats in our diet ensures all of the cells in our body are well maintained and thus less likely to be vulnerable to any ills. Choose omega-3 rich foods like salmon, walnuts and flax seeds.

Spice up your meals by adding onion, garlic and ginger which are natural immune boosters.

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids such as herbal teas.  When were dehydrated were much more susceptible to colds.   And of course - don't forget the chicken soup - which lessens the amount of white blood cells. Scientists continue to study the effects of chicken soup, but most doctors agree any warm liquid is good for a cold and soothes a sore throat.


•Eating fish is something all nutritionists and doctors agree we all should be doing more of - but are we? We went to the SupermarketGuru consumer panel to find out. 4 out of 5 members report that they are eating more or the same amount of fish as compared to last year. Why? Most often consumers report eating fish for its health benefits and because they are eating less red meat. When it comes to sustainability, just over half  say they sometimes avoid certain species because of environment concerns. For the complete survey just log on to The Lempert Report . com


•Supersizing has been controversial at best. Morgan Spurlock proved how just saying "yes" could be dangerous at fast fooleries. But a new study suggests the emotional issue may be just as dangerous as the health implications. Soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research the study found that those who feel powerless in their daily lives, reach for extra-large portions of food in an effort to increase their social standing and impress others.   


 Researchers from the French business school in Paris and Northwestern University conducted several experiments regarding cultural norms and food choice.  

In one of the experiments, the participants perceived consumers who purchased a large coffee at a cafe as having a higher status than those who chose medium or small — even when all prices were equal!

The good news is that they found the group could be swayed to make healthy decisions; they told participants that smaller hors d'oeuvres were served at prestigious events; and guess what happened? they then chose smaller food portions that had fewer calories to achieve that prestige - perhaps new light on what could have powerful implications in the fight against obesity.


•Do you have the winter blues? According to researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain, nuts are not only good for our health but they may also influence how we feel.  The study found that those who were obese and at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart attack, and consumed nuts had higher levels of serotonin - the  brain chemical that helps regulate mood, appetite and sleep. The feel-good natural substance, if you will. The mind body connection continues to prove the path to good health.


What is your new year’s resolution? Well if so head to and take our New Years resolution quick poll.  

That's Food News Today for this week - thanks for watching!