Nora Ephron wrote an amusing article in the NY Times recently complaining that salt is no longer on the tables or that lump salt, which she referred to as kosher or sea salt, is out and only sits in lumps on her food.
Sea salt is not the same as kosher salt. Kosher salt is salt in lumps, and is usually refined. Sea salt is unrefined and has more minerals, especially trace minerals in it. It can come in big lumps, as Ephron described, or in small crystals or powder. I am sure that expensive restaurants will use sea salt in large lumps because it seems trendier. Our taste for salt is really a taste for minerals, so just taking in sodium chloride misses the need for a broader spectrum of minerals. In fact if we just use plain sodium chloride, we may overconsume it because we are not getting the other minerals that a salt taste is a proxy for. Continue reading Salt!→
From Harvard: a two years old trial found that diabetic women who drank coffee had 10% less inflammation in their blood vessels, shown by lower CRP levels than controls for each additional cup of coffee drunk per day. These results are much better than the recent Crestor statin trial on CRP. From other research, the likely antiiflammatory constituent is chlorogenic acid, also present in blueberries.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;84(4):888-93.
Coffee consumption and markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in healthy and diabetic women.
Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Qi L, Hu FB.
Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA,
BACKGROUND: In several short-term studies, coffee consumption has been associated
with impairment of endothelial function. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess the relation between long-term caffeinated and decaffeinated filtered coffee consumption and markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. … CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that neither caffeinated nor decaffeinated filtered coffee has a detrimental effect on endothelial function. In contrast, the results suggest that coffee consumption is inversely associated with markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
Butter has been eaten since Biblical times and even before: In Mesopotamia, butter from goats and sheep has been eaten since 9000-8000 BC, and cows were domesticated for such use a thousand years later. The first reference to butter in written history was found on a 4,500-year-old limestone tablet illustrating how butter was made. Although butter was part of the human diet for tens of thousands of years, a series of misleading studies in the 1950s and 1960s vilified it.
At the turn of the 20th century, heart disease in America was so rare that medical students from all the New York City medical schools were summoned to see a heart attack. By 1960, it was our number one killer. Yet during the same time period, butter consumption had decreased – from eighteen pounds per person per year, to four. A researcher named Ancel Keys first proposed that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet were to blame for coronary heart disease but numerous subsequent studies costing hundreds of millions of dollars, have failed to conclusively back up this claim. In fact a Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine. Continue reading Butter is Good for Your Health→