Study links possibility of contracting dementia and stroke to diet soda consumption

It’s another blow to the processed food industry’s widespread use of artificial sweeteners in its products. A new study in the journal Stroke revealed that an individual’s risk of suffering from dementia and stroke widens as his or her intake of artificial sweeteners heightens. Specifically, an individual who consumes not so much as one diet soda per seven days is three time less likely to contract dementia or a stroke in comparison to an individual who consumes one diet soda every 24 hours. While the study did not affirmatively establish the consumption of artificial sweeteners as a cause for these conditions, it did associate these two variables. Even still, yikes!

These findings again demonstrate the marketing prowess of the processed food industry. By adding the word diet to soda, soft drink companies often succeed in duping consumers into thinking that this new and improved (as the food business would like the general public to believe) version of a sugary beverage is somehow healthy. The sheer speed at which tweaks to the formulas of sugary beverages and new marketing claims sprawled across soda cans appear make it difficult to keep up with the methods of processing and persuasion implemented by the beverage industry. A healthy dose of skepticism while making purchasing decisions in the sugary drink aisle goes a long way in ensuring that no beverage is bought until ensuring its contents align with its health claims.

Are you surprised by the Stroke study’s findings? Why or why not? Also, how do you make sure not to be deceived by the marketing claims processed foods and drinks boast?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

Switch Up Your Sides With Polenta Croutons

I was home over the weekend and my Mom prepared polenta as a side dish for dinner. The next day, we made polenta croutons with the leftovers. In particular, we spread out the leftover polenta evenly on a baking sheet and baked until crisp.

Here’s a link to Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe for polenta croutons that our family enjoys:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/valerie-bertinelli/greens-with-polenta-croutons

You’ll notice that Bertinelli’s version contains chopped rosemary. If you’re not a fan of this herb, but you enjoy savory flavors, substitute the chopped rosemary with either sprigs of thyme or leaves of oregano. If you’re feeling adventurous, elevate your polenta croutons with a dash of cayenne for a spicy bite.

How do you switch up your favorite side dishes to ensure variety? Also, how do you repurpose leftover side dishes?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie