Content tagged “Diet”

LSU researchers link dark chocolate to heart benefits, stroke risk reduction

Researchers at LSU say certain bacteria in the stomach gobble dark chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. As United Press International reports, study leader John Finley of LSU and his colleagues in Baton Rouge tested three cocoa powders using a model digestive tract, comprised of a series of modified test tubes, to simulate normal digestion. They then subjected the nondigestible materials to anaerobic fermentation using human fecal bacteria. Cocoa powder, an ingredient in chocolate, contains several polyphenolic, or antioxidant, compounds such as catechin and epicatechin, and a small amount of dietary fiber, Finley says. Both components are poorly digested and absorbed, but when they reach the colon, the desirable microbes take over. "In our study we found that the fiber is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are metabolized to smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed. These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory...

'225 Dine': Restaurants sign on to initiative aimed at healthier kids' menus

An effort within Mayor Kip Holden's Healthy BR initiative is gaining steam to address childhood obesity as more and more families dine out. As 225 Dine reports, the Eat Healthy BR program is seeking partnerships with city restaurants in an effort to bring healthier options to Baton Rouge residents who dine out with their children. So far, 13 restaurants—including MJ's Café, Nino's, The Little Village, Mestizo and others—are working with Eat Healthy BR to provide milk and water as drink options and a fruit and vegetable side option for all kids' meals. Nutritionist and Baton Rouge Dietetic Association representative Melissa Martin says having access to fruits, vegetables and healthier options is key to a positive, citywide change. "So many families don't cook at home anymore," she says. "By not having access to fruits or vegetables, that child may not get a balanced diet. We want to give children that opportunity and access to achieve that balanced diet when...