Reading List: The Gluten-Free Hype, Massive Egg Recall and Heart-Healthy Chocolate

In this week’s nutrition news: Rare heirloom veggies up for auction, gulf seafood finally being thoroughly tested and the gluten-free fad
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In this week’s nutrition news: Rare heirloom veggies up for auction, gulf seafood finally being thoroughly tested and the should you start a gluten-free diet?

Unless You're A Celiac, Gluten-Free Benefits Are Few

Gluten-free diets used to attract only those with celiac disease, but more gluten-free products and celebrity adopters like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham have others considering a switch to the gluten-free lifestyle. Chelsea Clinton even served up gluten-free, vegan menu at her recent wedding.  So what are the benefits? Unless you have a gluten intolerance, experts say there aren't many.  Sure, if you trade high-fat, high sugar meals for whole foods and veggies, you'll feel better, but many people rely on highly-processed products.

TELL US: Have you tried a gluten-free diet?
Massive Egg Recall

Another huge recall, this time it’s over 300 million eggs, because of possible Salmonella contamination. The eggs were recalled by Wright County Egg, which is distributed the breakfast favorite throughout the country under the following brand names: Albertson, Lucerne, Ralph’s, Boomsama’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Shoreland, Mountain Dairy, Farm Fresh, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. Carton sizes include 6, 12 and 18-egg cartons with plants numbers 1026, 1413, and 1946 that were packed May 16 through August 13.

Sotheby’s Auctioning Heirloom Veggies

Sotheby’s Auction House specializes in rare goods, and its adding an edible component to its for-sale list:  heirloom vegetables. Mixed crates filled with rare, vintage veggie varieties are being auctioned off for $1,000 each. Some of the gems you’ll find for sale: Turkish Orange Eggplant, Lady Godiva Squash and Pink Banana Pumpkin. The auction titled “The Art of Farming” is being held on September 23 in their Manhattan showroom. This is one auction I’d love to attend!

Chocolate Linked to Heart Health

Another reason to love dark chocolate:  On top of its antioxidant properties and numerous health benefits, a new study found that eating one to two servings a week can also help prevent heart failure. Scientists looked at about 32,000 women between the ages of 48 and 83 years of age and found a 32 percent risk reduction when they ate one or two servings of dark chocolate per week. Interestingly, women who ate one or more servings per day showed no health benefits. It's like we always say: good things are even better in moderation.

Gulf Seafood Gets Tested

Fish, shrimp and other seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is going through in-depth testing after “smell tests” didn’t go over well with local Gulf residents. Folks are testing for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which has been linked to cancer (you may have heard about them in grilled meats). In order for fishing waters to be opened, there needs to be no visible oil and a “smell test” is still administered. Once fish pass the test, PAH levels of the sample are checked to ensure they’re not dangerous. Over 1,200 samples have been tested and many more are in the works.

TELL US: Do you feel proper testing is being done on the Gulf seafood?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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