Precision Nutrition and Type 2 Diabetes Management

When it comes to the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes, a combination of regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, and following evidenced-based dietary recommendations remains sound guidance for the general population. However, in combination with recent technological advances, the emerging field of precision nutrition offers a novel approach to tailor prevention and treatment of this chronic disease to individual characteristics—such as genetic background or gut microbiome. So just how close are we to applying precision nutrition effectively in our clinical and public health settings, to tackle a disease affecting nearly 425 million adults worldwide? (1)

In the February 2018 issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Drs. Dong Wang and Frank Hu from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health reviewed recent advances and challenges in the applications of precision nutrition to diabetes prevention and management. (2)

“It is well-known that the response to the same dietary intervention varies considerably across individuals,” said Dr. Wang, a research fellow in the  Department and lead author of the paper. “Thus, the concept of personalized or precision nutrition in disease prevention and management has attracted a great deal of attention in the scientific community and the general public. However, it is important to assess current evidence before widespread applications in clinical and public health settings.”

Several areas of research in the application of precision nutrition in diabetes prevention and management were reviewed by the authors, including:

  • Gene-types that are related to food intake and the breakdown of certain nutrients, which can predict potential differences in the way a person responds to dietary intake and a person’ risk of diabetes.
  • The two-way interaction between food intake and the gut microbiota (our food intake shapes the gut microbiota, and the composition, type, and actions of microbes in the digestive tract play a role in the way that food is broken down). Certain bacteria that respond to dietary interventions have been associated with improved glucose control, and therefore introducing dietary interventions that can change one’s gut microbiota in favor of these bacteria may be beneficial.
  • Measuring metabolites that can paint a picture of one’s long-term dietary patterns such as a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats; and furthermore, associating a particular pattern with one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes and explaining the health effects of this dietary pattern.
  • Mobile apps and wearable devices that provide real-time information on one’s food intake, exercise, and blood sugar level that can be integrated with other information from omics data and traditional dietary questionnaires.

As ideal as this technology seems for improving patient care and health outcomes, it is teamed with obstacles that prevent it from being easily embraced in clinical, public health, or research settings. These include the high cost of collecting and analyzing omics information, challenges in interpreting the big data, and a lack of well-designed clinical intervention studies. Research is also needed to see if precision nutrition interventions are more effective than the standard approach of providing general diabetes nutrition education focused on behavioral change.

The study authors also note that although genetic and microbiota data add some value, an individual’s food choices are strongly influenced by environmental factors such as level of income and education, social support systems, and lifestyle habits (sleep, amount of screen time). These influences may play a larger role than genetic and biochemical measures in determining what a person will eat, and therefore remain key considerations when developing a program to prevent and manage diabetes.

“Despite recent advances in technologies and some promising data from precision nutrition studies, this area of research remains at an early stage,” said Dr. Hu, Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition, and senior author of the paper. “We should manage unrealistically high expectations or overpromise of precision nutrition. To address major public health problems like diabetes, we need to combine public health strategies with precision nutrition technologies.”

How Meat Is Cooked May Affect Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

You may have heard that grilling and barbecuing meats may create cancer-causing substances. You may have also heard that eating a lot of red meat—especially processed meats—may be linked to certain cancers. Now, new research suggests a possible connection between high-heat meat cooking and type 2 diabetes.

hot dogs and red meat on a grill

The study, published in Diabetes Care by researchers from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, found that frequent use of high-heat cooking methods (such as broiling, barbecuing/grilling, and roasting) to prepare beef and chicken increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. [1] Based on data from three large cohorts followed for 12 to 16 years—including more than 289,000 men and women from the Nurses’ Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study—researchers found that participants who most frequently ate meats and chicken cooked at high temperatures were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to those who ate the least. There was also an increased risk of weight gain and developing obesity in the frequent users of high-temperature cooking methods, which may have contributed to the development of diabetes. Of note, this research demonstrated that cooking methods might contribute to diabetes risk beyond the effects of meat consumption alone.

Other key highlights from the study:

  • Participants who ate red meat and chicken that were cooked to a well-done or charred level showed a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate meat and chicken that were lightly browned.
  • There was no association found between broiling fish and type 2 diabetes risk, although the authors noted that there were fewer data available overall on cooking methods for fish intake, so the smaller number of people may have made it difficult to see an association. Information was also not available on cooking methods of other meats like lamb and pork.
  • According to the authors, the exact mechanisms contributing to the increased risk are not known, but they cite the potential role of harmful chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic aromatic amines, and nitrosamines (from nitrates and nitrites added to meats as a preservative) formed during high-heat cooking. These chemicals may spur an inflammatory response, interfere with the normal production of insulin, or promote insulin resistance in which the body cannot use insulin properly to regulate blood sugar levels.

It has been established that a high intake of red and especially processed meats can increase the risk of conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, and early death. Possible reasons include the presence of heme iron, a type of iron found in all animal foods, and the processing of meats (e.g., curing, smoking), both of which may promote the formation of cancer-causing compounds during high-heat cooking methods.

This study found that certain cooking methods—regardless of how much meat was eaten—increased disease risk; and chicken as well as red meat cooked at high temperatures increased risk. Those who have or are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes who eat meat, chicken, and fish regularly may choose cooking methods that use lower temperatures, or brief periods of high heat, such as with slow cookers, baking, sous-vide, boiling, steaming, stewing, and stir-frying, while avoiding high-heat and open-flame methods like grilling, barbecuing, broiling, and roasting.

“Our research suggests that not only the amount and types of meat but also the cooking methods can make a difference in diabetes risk,” said Gang Liu, a Research Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition and lead author of the study. “To lower diabetes risk, it is important to reduce red and processed meat consumption, which can be replaced by other protein sources such as chicken, fish, and plant-protein foods. This study further suggests that when cooking meats, chicken, or fish, it may be better to avoid high-temperature cooking methods including grilling or barbecuing, and instead choose moderate-temperature cooking methods such as stir-frying, sautéing, boiling, or steaming.”

Coffee Warning Label Conflicts With Public Health Guidance

A recent ruling by a Los Angeles County Superior Judge states that all California coffee shops and sellers must warn consumers about the “potential cancer risk” from drinking coffee—a judgment following a lawsuit focused on the specific chemical acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer in rats.

However, scientists are adamant that coffee does not need a warning label. In fact, research on humans shows that coffee may be even protective for some cancers and other diseases.

“This is an unfortunate ruling that demonizes coffee as a carcinogen when the overwhelming evidence in humans is for benefit or at least no detrimental effect,” said Dr. Nigel Brockton, Director of Research at American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), in a statement on the California decision. “It is unwise, in this case, to extrapolate studies from animals to humans because the metabolism of acrylamide differs considerably, and the doses used in lab studies are not comparable. The beneficial effects of coffee, even for relatively high intakes, have been demonstrated and are linked to improvements in insulin control, antioxidant responses and reduced inflammation – all of which provide protection against cancer.”

Dr. Ed Giovannucci, who researches links between lifestyle factors and cancer risk at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, added, “We have studied coffee for decades now and have enough evidence from large, well-designed studies to say that coffee is protective for some cancers. We can confidently say that coffee is not harmful and certainly doesn’t have to be labeled the way we label tobacco, which is actually proven to be harmful and causes many cancers.”

coffee beansThe warning label is based on California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which requires that businesses warn customers if they could be exposed to any of over 900 confirmed or suspected carcinogens. Acrylamide—a compound found not just in roasted coffee beans, but a range of cooked food items including chips, French fries, and toasted bread—is one of the suspected carcinogens making this list. Although acrylamide increases cancer risk for lab animals at higher doses, no links have been established between acrylamide in food and cancer risk for humans.

“[The decision] is really unfortunate because most of the human studies published so far have failed to find links between acrylamide and different types of cancer,” noted Dr. Walter Willett, also from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “We have looked at coffee, acrylamide intake, and acrylamide blood levels, and there is no hint of increased cancer risk, and in fact, we have only found health benefits of coffee per se.”

What gets lost in a decision like this is that coffee is a complex beverage containing hundreds of different compounds, many of which have potentially beneficial effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidation, and anti-cancer. As a whole, studies on the beverage indicate far more benefit than harm. In 2016, The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer found “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect of drinking coffee” (where the only limited evidence for concern was related to drinking beverages at very hot temperatures). Moreover, evidence from AICR suggests that drinking coffee may reduce risk for endometrial and liver cancer. Beyond cancer, research has also linked coffee consumption with reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that up to five cups of coffee per day “can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns.”

Indeed, the best public health nutrition guidance is based on more than reducing foods to research on individual compounds—even more so when the evidence primarily includes animal studies. In response to the decision, health experts have also expressed concern that the ruling could unnecessarily confuse the public.

“If the concentration level is so low, then what’s the meaning of labeling those foods?” commented Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, who also noted that the ruling seemed meaningless given the “minuscule amount” of acrylamide in coffee.

to-go coffee cup“The decision has the potential to do much more harm than good to public health, by confusing people into thinking risks from something like coffee are similar to those from smoking,” said Dr. Giovannucci, in an interview and an op-ed on the topic. “On a ‘cancer worry’ scale from 0 to 10, coffee should be solidly at 0 and smoking at 10; they should not have similar warning labels.”

The bottom line: there is considerable evidence that coffee—especially consumed without too much added sugar or cream—provides far more benefit than harm. Those who already drink coffee in context of a healthy eating plan should not be concerned by the recent ruling.

5 Ways to Use Your Instant Pot Instead of Your Stove

No matter how much you love summer, most of us are not inclined to pop the oven up to 500 degrees when it’s 90 degrees out there. Nor crank it to 400 for roast chicken when it’s 85. Nor even deal with a boiling pot of water when it’s 80.

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Whether you’re struggling with a couple of cantankerous, wheezing A/C units or have the luxury of central air, there’s no need to restrict yourself to cold salads, raw foods, or a single can of tuna, eaten as you sit in front of the blast from the box fan. You can indeed eat cooked food without turning on your oven or using that stovetop. But you need the right gadget.

Whether you’re a slow-cooker or a pressure cooker person, now is the time to remember their power to keep your home cooler. The electric versions tend to heat a room minimally, and reduce the time you have to wait for dinner, to boot. Today, for example, I made coconut curry chicken using a recipe from Melissa Clark’s excellent Dinner in an Instant in my Instant Pot. The poultry cookery time? Four minutes. Four. A combination of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, coconut milk and a hit of garam masala make this a dream recipe in my house.

I wanted to talk to an Instant Pot savant to learn more tricks, so I called Urvashi Pitre, whose genius (and viral) tomato-butter Indian chicken Instant Pot recipe has sparked so much interest in the recipes she posts on her blog Two Sleevers that she’s written four cookbooks in a year. The Texas-based Pitre had plenty of smart tips for using a pressure cooker—she owns five—to keep her kitchen cool.

“I live in Texas and I hate the heat,” says Pitre right off the bat. She is a huge fan of doing as little as possible not in the Instant Pot. “Use one pot, you don’t dirty 16 pans, and you’re done in under an hour.” Sounds about right to us.

 

Brew iced tea

Pitre is convinced that making iced tea in your Instant Pot (recipe below) is key to keeping it from becoming bitter. It’s faster, she says, and you don’t need to sweat over boiling water. “It’s absolutely the way to get a super-strong, robust tea that’s not at all bitter,” she says of her method. She also makes masala chai, horchata, and “a ton of iced drinks” in the IP. Why? “The flavors infuse better.”

Cook Instant Pot beans for sturdier salads

Whether it’s chickpeas for salad or “Texas caviar,” a hearty black-eyed pea saladspiked with lime juice and jalapeños, beans made in a pressure cooker are key to having an inexpensive, hearty protein on hand to fold into uncooked dishes, says Pitre. Layer beans with avocado, romaine, and homemade dressing for something easy. Smash them for layered dips for chips. Spin chickpeas into hummus. Pressure cookers get beans done in a snap without any day-long soaks; there’s a reason people love them for beans.

Make cakes

Someone’s birthday coming up? Don’t fret. Make them a cheesecake or a chocolate cake using the pressure cooker. It’s a bit mind-blowing, but it works. Pitre has more than a dozen cake recipes on her site, and I’m definitely tempted by her IP apple cake, ricotta-lemon cheesecake, and carrot cake.

Don’t always worry about sautéing aromatics

Though I love Clark’s chicken curry, it does require sautéing onions in the pressure cooker for a good 12 to 18 minutes to caramelize them. That’s a lot of crying and sweating over hot onions. Pitre tries to avoid sautéing wherever possible. She might use the pressure cooker’s sauté function to cook garlic if “there’s not much else going on” flavor-wise, but she usually finds workarounds. For her butter chicken, for example, she takes advantage of the fact that the tomatoes will nearly caramelize right in the pot, lending the whole dish the sort of booming flavor that you might usually get from caramelized onions or toasted spices. Make the pressure itself do the work of boosting flavor, she suggests.

Cook meaty mains

Remember: Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to tasty cooked foods. Pitre pointed me to her sesame ginger chicken recipe, which mingles Instant Pot-cooked chicken with julienned carrots, cucumbers, red onions, and smashed peanuts. But you can also be knee-deep in ribs, stews, and coq au vin—whatever your heart desires—without setting foot outside that door, and without turning on that dang stove.

We Tried the New Whole Foods Red Beet Pizza Crust—Here’s What We Thought

We know that cauliflower products like cauliflower pizza, cauliflower flour, and cauliflower gnocchi are having a moment—but there’s a new gluten-free (and brightly colored) crust in our midst. We’re talking about Whole Foods’ red beet pizza crust.

As soon as we caught a glimpse of this eye-popping red crust, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. The 365 branded box retails for $5.99 and can be found in the frozen pizza section of your local Whole Foods.

If you’re considering enjoying gluten-free crusts at home in the hopes of cutting calories, cauliflower crusts at Whole Foods are just a tad healthier with 110 calories and 14g of carbohydrates for a quarter of the pie. The beet pizza has 140 calories and 17g of carbohydrates for the same serving size—but it does have more fiber and protein than its cauliflower counterpart.

In our test kitchen, we chose to make a basic margherita pizza using fresh mozzarella and a jarred tomato-based pizza sauce, then topping it off with some fresh basil. Some of our staffers noted during our taste test that the crust may have fared better with a pesto base.

But the box’s instructions were very straightforward, and the pizza only took a few minutes to make. You’ll just have to preheat the oven, unwrap the pizza, add your favorite healthy toppings, bake it for six to eight minutes, and you’re ready to serve.

Looking at the ingredients, we were shocked to see the crust hardly contains beets at all. In fact, beet root powder and beet juice concentrate are among the last ingredients listed of the bunch, only followed by xanthan gum. Other ingredients include potato flour, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, chickpea flour, sorghum flour, and egg whites— a bit strange considering the Whole Foods’ cauliflower crust product first ingredient is actual cauliflower puree.

But even more disappointing is that it was nearly impossible to detect a strong beet flavor, and a few editors (who claim to fervently dislike beets) weren’t bothered by the flavor at all. The crust was more potato-forward than anything—another editor claimed if you were to close your eyes, it really would taste just like a potato crust.

The saving grace? The crust had a great texture, and it held up under the pressure of our toppings. It wasn’t nearly as flimsy and off texture as some of the more popular cauliflower crusts are. And the vivid red hue was certainly Instagram-friendly.

Some of our staff said they would buy it, and even prefer it over cauliflower crust should they be in the market for a gluten-free alternative. But the overwhelming response was, well, meh.

This Protein-Packed Bean Recipe Takes Literally 10 Minutes—and Dinner Is Done

There are days when you come home from work or errands in a hot panic of hangry. You look in the fridge and flip when you realize you won’t be eating in the next 10 minutes. There are no leftovers, no frozen burritos to microwave. No bread. No eggs. No salvation.

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These are often also the days when you order panicky pizzas or sit on the couch with a jar of peanut butter and crackers. There’s nothing wrong with either scenario, but I’d like to float another idea—one that takes 10 minutes to make, soup to nuts, and comprises mostly pantry staples. (This isn’t one of those Caesar salads that actuallyrequires 30 to 45 minutes, either: This one takes 10. Promise.)

A while ago I learned how good cannellini beans, lemon, garlic and olive oil are together. You can sauté beans in oil with garlic, finish them with lemon juice and zest, add fresh herbs, and have an easy supper.

But it’s not the most satisfying dish, to be honest; it has tons of protein but can get a little dull. So I’ve been frying the base spices and aromatics—a classic technique in Italian and Indian cuisines, among others—to infuse the olive oil. You don’t need a lot of oil when you’ve tossed in smashed garlic cloves, salt, and Italian hot pepper flakes. Very quickly you’ve got a garlicky, hot, salty oil base in which to cook your beans, a combo that makes even the most generic canned beans burst with flavor.

Drain and rinse those beans. Canned beans vary hugely in quality, but they consistently tumble out of the can in an unappealing sludge. (If you have your own pre-soaked and cooked from-scratch beans, I applaud you: This note is for the rest of us.) Rinse them and drain them, please.

Don’t burn your garlic. Garlic goes from humble-but-talented chorus member to antagonist of the entire production very quickly. You want your garlic just lightly colored—not gold; lighter—and you’ll smell it when it’s ready. If it’s gone acrid, your nose will itch and you’ll know it. Start over.

Don’t cook the lemon juice. Lemon juice is best as a finisher in almost every instance. You want to add it once the pan is off the heat, to add brightness, as though you’re spritzing it over fish. Cooking the beans in it will dilute that brightness.

Use best-quality tuna. Tuna also varies wildly in quality. I prefer olive oil-packed light tuna, which I think has more flavor than water-packed or albacore. (Read hereabout buying tuna sustainably.)

Be flexible about a fresh herb garnish. I garnished this dish with basil because that’s what I’m growing at the moment, but you could easily use sage, thyme, parsley, or even cilantro. If you don’t have herbs, don’t fret; lemon will do you fine.

You can even make this without the greens—obviously one doesn’t always have those—but it’s fresher and more healthful to fold those in. You could even skip the tuna, as cannellini beans have a good amount of protein. Think of this recipe as a malleable starting point.

This dish completely saved me on a night recently when I’d gone two weeks without hitting the grocery store and had only a small, sad bunch of kale to my name. I hope it saves you from the hangry someday, too.

White Beans with Kale, Tuna, and Lemon

Serves: 2-3

2½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish

4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

½ tsp. Italian red pepper flakes (or more, to taste; I use about a tsp., as I like heat)

Kosher salt, a good pinch

1 15.5-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 small head of kale (about 6-8 oz.), thick stems and ribs removed, roughly chopped or torn

1 small lemon, zested and juiced

1 5-oz. can best-quality light tuna fish in olive oil

Basil, sliced thin, to garnish (optional)

Freshly cracked pepper

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large nonstick sauté pan. When oil is warm, add garlic cloves, salt and red pepper. Stir frequently until garlic is aromatic but not brown, about 1-2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break apart garlic cloves in the pan.
  2. Add cannellini beans and lemon zest and sauté, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until warmed. Add chopped kale, and cover pan for one minute. Uncover pan and stir kale. Cover again for 2-3 minutes, until kale is wilted. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Add lemon juice and stir well, coating greens in pan liquid. Taste for acid and saltiness; adjust both to taste. Divide can of tuna among portions. Garnish with pepper, olive oil, and basil. Serve.

13 Camping Food Recipes That Will Make Glamping Even More Fun

Start your day with healthy protein and carbohydrates with this breakfast sandwich from Sunny Home Creations.

Cinnamon roll-ups

Make the morning even sweeter with icing and cinnamon skewers from Almost Supermom.

BBQ chicken and vegetables in foil

Bring your barbecue on the trail with this chicken and veggies recipe from Diethood.

Campfire nachos

Indulge around the campfire with these bites from Fresh Off the Grid.

Grilled salmon skewers

Flavorful fat and lean protein on a stick, courtesy of Natasha’s Kitchen.

Coconut lime shrimp packets

Turn your camping trip into an island getaway with these coconut lime shrimp packets from The Baking Fairy.

Whole wheat pasta in foil

Who says spaghetti isn’t a campfire food? Not Cookin’ Canuck, who created this whole wheat pasta recipe.

Camp chili and cornbread

Chili and cornbread are camping staples. Put them together, and you’ve created a campfire feast, from Honestly Yum.

Cheesy dutch oven potatoes

This decadent potato side from One Sweet Appetite will go well with almost anything.

Steak fajita foil packs

This steak fajita dish is the closest thing to taco Tuesday you’ll find when you’re camping, from Le Creme de la Crumb.

Skillet zucchini

Test your skills with a skillet (and get your greens!) by following this zucchini side recipe from Add a Pinch.

S’mores dip

S’mores are a campfire classic. A Grande Life recreated the dish into a chocolate dip—just grab a graham cracker and dive in.

Banana boats

These tasty treats from Fresh Off the Grid are a sweet and filling way to end a long hike or trail ride.

Why You Should Never Thaw Frozen Fish in Its Vacuum-Sealed Packaging

There’s a lot to love about individually wrapped pieces of frozen fish: they’re easy to store, prepare and portion.

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But what if we told you that those handy vacuum-sealed filets also pose a huge hidden health risk? Eeek!

Few people realize that thawing fish in its packaging presents a high risk for botulism.

Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic bacteria that forms spores that allow it to thrive in low-oxygen environments—like the ones created by vacuum-sealed packages. When the right conditions are present, the spore can produce a deadly toxin. That toxin causes botulism, a life-threatening disease that attacks the nervous system.

The warmer the temperature, the quicker the toxin forms. And when temperatures rise above 38 degrees Fahrenheit—i.e., the moment you remove it from the refrigerator—the risk for botulism increases greatly.

Luckily, exposing the fish to oxygen by removing it from its packaging can stop the spores in their tracks.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the safest way to defrost your frozen fish is overnight in the refrigerator (the temperature should be set below 38 degrees anyway), but if for some reason you take an alternate route, always remove the packaging first.

Yoplait Just Launched a New Line of Yogurt With a LOT Less Sugar

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If, like me, you’re mindful of how much sugar is in your yogurt, you’ll be excited to learn that Yoplait is launching a new line today called YQ by Yoplait that contains less of the sweet stuff. Flavored varieties (coconut, peach, mango, lime, strawberry, blueberry, and vanilla) have 9 grams of sugar in a 5.3-oz. container, while the plain variety has just 1 gram. Yes, you read that correctly.

If I’m being completely honest, I usually pass over Yoplait in the dairy aisle—I prefer a thicker yogurt like Greek or skyr, and my past impression of the brand was that it was a little too sweet and light for my liking. But 1 gram of sugar in the plain YQ variety is kind of a big deal; for comparison, both Fage Total Plain 0% and Chobani Non-Fat Plain have 5 grams, while Siggi’s Plain 0% has 4 grams. So, when the Healthteam was offered early access to YQ samples, I was excited to see how they compared to my tried-and-true faves.

Texture-wise, I found YQ to be somewhere in between the consistencies of Chobani and Siggi’s. It’s definitely thicker than original Yoplait, but not quite as dense as Fage Greek yogurt or most brands of skyr, for example. As for the taste, I was impressed. (Although, full disclosure: I am accustomed to the taste of plain yogurt. If you often reach for sweeter varieties, it might be a little tart for your liking.) When I’m in the mood for something a little more flavorful, I’ll go for the vanilla, which is creamy and subtly sweet.

 

Although she hadn’t yet tasted it, Bazilian, tells us that the ingredient list on the new products looks promising. “Compared to many [yogurts] out there, it is a lot lower in sugar, which is a great improvement,” she says.

Also good, Bazilian tells us, is that the YQ yogurts have a significant amount of protein (15 grams) for a “reasonable” amount of calories (130). “It looks like it has a clean label—good ingredients and no ‘gimmick ingredients.'”

You’d Never Guess This Chickpea Cookie Dough Is Healthy

We’ve heard about dessert hummus and edible, egg-free cookie dough. And thanks to one blogger, these two examples of deliciousness have been combined to make the ultimate treat: a protein-packed cookie dough recipe. The secret ingredient? Chickpeas.

“I have a major sweet tooth,” Krista Rollins, creator of Joyful Healthy Eats tells Health. “I also just had a baby so was trying to satisfy that sweet tooth while trying to lose that baby weight. Enter this chickpea cookie dough! It’s amazing. The key to the smooth texture, even though tedious, is peeling off some of those chickpea skins!”

Chickpeas are extremely versatile, gluten-free, and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research even suggests that consuming them can lower your risk of diabetes and help you lose weight.

With Rollins’ recipe, you can make this nutrient-rich cookie dough yourself. All you need are seven ingredients: chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, chia seeds, and 60% cacao chocolate chips or cocoa nibs. (The full recipe and instructions are here).

Cookie dough that doesn’t put you at risk of contracting salmonella and has health benefits? We’re heading to the nearest grocery store for a can of chickpeas.