Nutrition News: Papa John’s Ingredients, Good Fat, Creative Hydration Tips

Papa John’s to eliminate artificial ingredients and additives, low-fat diets fall out of favor, and hydrating beyond the water bottle.
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Photo by: Todd Patterson

Todd Patterson

A Healthier Slice

Chalk another one up for natural ingredients. Papa John’s will eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives from its menu items, it has announced. The move will cost the company about $100 million per year, Bloomberg reports. Last year the pizza chain removed monosodium glutamate (MSG) from its ranch dressing and trans fats from its garlic sauce; now it aims to eliminate 14 other ingredients, including corn syrup, artificial colors and several preservatives, many in the restaurants’ dipping sauces, by the end of 2016. The changes may affect some flavors, the company acknowledges, but Papa John’s, the third-largest pizza chain, behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s, is clearly trying to make good on its “better ingredients, better pizza” messaging.

So Long, Low-Fat Diet Fad

For years, we’ve been told that eating fat — all fat — is bad, that it will make us fatter and undermine our health. Now, though, the scientific thinking has changed. NPR’s The Salt explains that the consensus is now that it’s important to consider the type of fat you’re consuming. While saturated fat can boost your artery-clogging LDL cholesterol levels, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in nuts, vegetable oils and fish — are actually good for you. So it’s best not to eliminate all fats, but to substitute the good kind for the bad kind — swapping pizza and cheese, say, for almonds and avocados.

Tips for Creative Hydration

Are you drinking enough water? Forty-three percent of us drink fewer than four 8-ounce cups a day, and while needs vary, according to the CDC, that amount generally falls shy of optimal consumption. Mashable points out that, while we should all continue to guzzle H2O, we can also hydrate by eating and drinking other healthy, water-containing foods and beverages. Such as? The site lists seven good options: watermelon, cucumbers, soup, tea, milk, celery and mixed leafy greens. Good reminder that there’s water beyond the bottle (or tap or fountain or cooler).

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish .

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