Salt and Sugar Diets & Banana Extinction?

The Lempert Report
December 16, 2015

This Week in Food News!

New research out of Monell Chemical Sense Center reports that when people went on a low sugar diet for three months at the end of the trial, when tasting pudding and a sweetened beverage, the group rated the sweetness 40% higher than that of a control group who ate normally for the same period. Most disturbing was that after 5 months from the start of the diet, the research found a “rapid rebound” effect when the subject were allowed to choose their own foods again - and they returned to eating the same amounts of sugars as before the low-sugar diet.

In the meantime, it is important to note that in a study published in October of this year, in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that when people went on a low salt diet they did not exhibit the same “rapid rebound” effect and maintained a lower sodium intake after the restricted diet. 

Look for more research on reducing sugars and the Monell study, which was sponsored by PepsiCo, to reinvigorate the discussions on the sugar tax.

Have you heard of Tropical Race 4? No, it’s not another TV reality show but rather a lethal fungus that quite possibly can wipe out the most popular banana the Cavendish. What makes this story interesting is that back in the 1800s another strain of this same disease wiped out what was then the most popular banana - the Gros Michel variety. The plot thickens as pro and anti GMO factions are pointing fingers at each other for making this story up and saying the only way to save the banana is to change it’s DNA through biotechnology. 

What’s the truth? Well, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, when these reports first surfaced in 2003 they released a statement declaring that the Cavendish is not on the verge of extinction. and pointed out that the variety only accounts for about 10 percent of global banana production. but adds that the banana’s vulnerability is “inevitable and not unexpected.”