Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Could Prebiotics Be Healthier Than Probiotics? – Consumers and doctors tend to think all probiotics and prebiotics are beneficial, but it’s becoming clear that they have different effects. Could prebiotics, the food for the good bacteria known as probiotics, have more benefits than a dose of the microbes, particularly for people with serious health problems like preemies? Baby formula manufacturers have started adding prebiotics.
- Kids Offered Free Fruit Eat Less Junk Food – Norwegian children attending schools where free fruit was on offer ate less junk food and drank less soda than before the fruit was available, according to a new study that also found kids from disadvantaged households seemed to benefit the most. The U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages eating more fresh fruit as part of a healthy diet; some schools participate in the agency’s Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides free produce to students.
- Schools Implementing Nutrition Changes See Decline in Child Obesity – Places that have implemented nutritional improvements in the foods served at schools have seen childhood obesity rates decline. Several cities and states tackling the issue — including Mississippi, California, New York City, Philadelphia, El Paso and Anchorage — are seeing a reverse in the 30-year trend of higher obesity rates among kids.
- Diet Soda Alters Metabolism, Leading to Weight Gain – A University of Minnesota study of about 10,000 adults showed that consuming just one sugar-free or diet soda per day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome. The resulting symptoms, such as weight gain around the stomach and high cholesterol, also raise the risk for heart disease.
- Ten Healthy Foods That Cost Less Than $1 – Purchasing healthy prepared foods can be cost-prohibitive for many consumers, but the truth is many high quality, nutritious foods are affordable and together can constitute their own value menu. Some healthful options that cost less than $1 per serving include lentils, bananas, kiwis, oatmeal and air-popped popcorn.
Image courtesy of gwire.