Nutrition News: Red Wine and Diabetes, 2016 Food Trends, Canned Fish or Fresh?
A glass of red wine with dinner? For people with Type 2 diabetes, the answer may be yes. A new study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, found that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner may be not only safe but perhaps even beneficial for those with diabetes. The study assigned 224 patients with Type 2 diabetes, none of whom were alcohol drinkers previously and all of whom followed a Mediterranean diet without calorie restrictions, to drink 5 ounces of either mineral water, white wine or red wine with their dinner — and followed them for two years. Those who drank red wine saw their HDL (“good”) cholesterol climb by 10 percent over those who drank only mineral water with dinner. White-wine drinkers did not see the same effect. The researchers say a broader follow-up study is necessary to confirm the initial results.
What food trends can nutrition-minded eaters expect to see headed their way in 2016? In a U.S. News roundup, registered dietitian nutritionist Janet Helm has reported from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 2015 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Her “top eight food trends” include pulses (legumes such as dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas) featured prominently in everything from chips and pasta to salad, soups and hummus (the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 to be the “ International Year of Pulses”); single-serving packaged salads; sprouted grains; seeds; microwave-steamable frozen meals in paper pouches; probiotics proliferating beyond yogurt and kefir; lighter desserts; and packages touting health benefits.
Canned fish may be less expensive and more convenient and available than fresh fish, but is it also less healthy? The New York Times tackled the fresh fish vs. canned fish debate, consulting nutrition experts, and determined that each has its pluses and minuses. Fresh fish may have less sodium and may taste, well, fresher than canned. On the other hand, canned fish may be more likely to be wild (and therefore contain fewer pollutants) and may contain more calcium and less mercury than fresh. Both are good sources of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. (Fish canned in oil may retain more of the Omega-3s than fish canned in water, though it may also be higher in calories.) The bottom line, registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick told the Times, is that it’s important to get your Omega-3s, “and one of the easiest and most affordable ways to do that is to go canned. You won’t be skimping on nutrition.”
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 .