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Nutrition

No link between milk and increased cholesterol according to new study of 2 million people

Regular consumption of milk is not associated with increased levels of cholesterol, according to new research.

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Photo by Brian Suman from Unsplash.com

Regular consumption of milk is not associated with increased levels of cholesterol, according to new research.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity looked at three large population studies and found that people who regularly drank high amounts of milk had lower levels of both good and bad cholesterol, although their BMI levels were higher than non-milk drinkers. Further analysis of other large studies also suggests that those who regularly consumed milk had a 14% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

The team of researchers took a genetic approach to milk consumption by looking at a variation in the lactase gene associated with digestion of milk sugars known as lactose.

The study identified that having the genetic variation where people can digest lactose was a good way for identifying people who consumed higher levels of milk.

Prof Vimal Karani, Professor of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics at the University of Reading said: “We found that among participants with a genetic variation that we associated with higher milk intake, they had higher BMI, body fat, but importantly had lower levels of good and bad cholesterol. We also found that those with the genetic variation had a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease. All of this suggests that reducing the intake of milk might not be necessary for preventing cardiovascular diseases.”

The new research was conducted following several contradictory studies that have previously investigated the causal link between higher dairy intake and cardiometabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. To account for inconsistencies in sampling size, ethnicity and other factors, the team conducted a meta-analysis of data in up to 1.9 million people and used the genetic approach to avoid confounding.

Even though the UK biobank data showed that those with the lactase genetic variation had 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the study did not suggest that there is any strong evidence for a link between higher milk intake and increased likelihood of diabetes or its related traits such as glucose and inflammatory biomarkers.

Professor Karani said: “The study certainly shows that milk consumption is not a significant issue for cardiovascular disease risk even though there was a small rise in BMI and body fat among milk drinkers. What we do note in the study is that it remains unclear whether it is the fat content in dairy products that is contributing to the lower cholesterol levels or it is due to an unknown ‘milk factor'”.

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Nutrition

Unite loved ones with a luscious dessert, Tart Cherry Unity Pie

By bringing some of the most popular pie flavors together, the Tart Cherry Unity Pie offers the familiar, distinct sweet-tart flavor of Montmorency tart cherries that pair well with pecans, apple and pumpkin pie spice for a sense of nostalgia representative of family, tradition and celebration.

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Celebration-worthy treats are perfect ways to cap off days spent with those you love, whether there’s a special occasion or you’re simply looking for creative ways to share more moments together. As a beloved staple in households for generations, pie provides a sweet, delicious way to bring family and friends to the table.

By bringing some of the most popular pie flavors together, the Tart Cherry Unity Pie offers the familiar, distinct sweet-tart flavor of Montmorency tart cherries that pair well with pecans, apple and pumpkin pie spice for a sense of nostalgia representative of family, tradition and celebration.

In this unique recipe, the bold and vibrant flavors of tart cherries take center stage, complemented by the subtle sweetness of apples and crunch of pecans. With their burst of brightness and acidity, tart cherries perfectly balance the other flavors to create a pie fit for any occasion.

U.S.-grown tart cherries are a particularly versatile ingredient that makes them an ideal partner for other beloved ingredients and flavors. In fact, as the demand for sour, less sweet food and beverages continues to gain momentum, they provide a multi-faceted, sweet-tart profile for favorite foods and drinks. While tart cherries are increasingly featured in a wide array of recipes, they remain a favorite ingredient in confectionary items and baked goods like pies.

Slow down your fast-paced world and savor a slice of this timeless dessert alongside loved ones for a moment of respite. With its sweet and tangy filling, flaky crust and tart cherry topping, you can indulge in life’s simple pleasures for a sense of coziness and comfort.

Visit ChooseCherries.com to find more celebration-worthy tart cherry desserts.

Tart Cherry Unity Pie
Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Pie:
1 pie crust (9 inches)
2 cups canned tart cherry pie filling
2 cups canned apple pie filling
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 pinch salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Fit pie crust to 9-inch pie dish. Crimp edges and use fork to poke holes in bottom. Place pie crust in freezer to chill.

In large bowl, combine tart cherry pie filling and apple pie filling. Set aside.

To make streusel: In bowl, use fork to mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pecans and salt. Pour butter over dry ingredients and mix until ingredients come together in clumps.

To assemble pie: Pour cherry-apple filling into prepared pie crust and sprinkle streusel on top. Brush beaten egg onto exposed pie crust edges.

Bake 25 minutes. At 10-minute mark, cover pie dish with foil to prevent crust from over-browning. After 25 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375 F and bake 30 minutes.

To make pumpkin spice whipped cream: In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, add heavy cream, powdered sugar and pumpkin spice. Use hand mixer or beater attachment on stand mixer to beat on medium-high speed 3-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to serve.

Let pie cool 2-3 hours then dollop pumpkin spice whipped cream on top, slice and serve.

Substitution: Storebought whipped cream topped with pumpkin spice can be used in place of homemade pumpkin spice whipped cream.

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Nutrition

Indulge taste buds with better-for-you snacks

Regardless of when or where you snack, encourage better-for-you eating habits with nutritious nibbles to power through your day. Here are some recipes.

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The foundation of healthy eating may include nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but just as important are the snacks in-between meals. Regardless of when or where you snack, encourage better-for-you eating habits with nutritious nibbles to power through your day.

According to an online survey conducted among 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older across the US by Wakefield Research on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board, people love snacks, and reach for them an average of three times a day.

However, where and when those snacks are eaten can vary from on the move to on the couch, from sunrise to after bedtime. Nearly a third (30%) of respondents are munching on snacks while in bed, calling it their favorite snacking spot. However, only 35% of their snack choices are considered healthy.

Fueling busy days can be easy with an option like pecans. According to the survey, 66% of snackers enjoy pecans on their own with 58% eating them as part of a trail mix. If you’re among the 50% who reach for a snack in the late afternoon, you can turn to nutritious, satisfying solutions to indulge afternoon cravings without the guilt. With pleasing crunch, comforting creaminess and a satisfying chew, pecans are the “no sacrifice” nut that can punch up your routine with both delicious taste and plant-based nutrition.

Just a handful of pecans – about 19 halves – provides a good source of fiber, thiamin and zinc and an excellent source of copper and manganese, a mineral that’s essential for metabolism and bone health. They also provide a mix of protein and good fats – 18 grams of unsaturated fat, including oleic acid, and only 2 grams of unsaturated fat – to help keep you full and energized throughout the day.

As an added bonus, their versatility and easy-to-pair profile makes them a perfect ingredient in recipes you can prepare in a cinch. For bite-sized treats that are packed with flavor and perfect for snack time, these Pecan Chickpea Cookie Dough Bites swap out flour and sugar in favor of blended pecans, chickpeas, vanilla extract, cinnamon and sea salt with dark chocolate chips folded in for a sweet finishing touch.

Or you can simply toss warm pecans with olive oil and sea salt in this Roasted Pecans recipe for a grab-and-go snack that can be prepared in advance without worrying about spoiling. Another benefit of pecans: They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 9 months or frozen up to 2 years, giving them a longer shelf life than many pantry favorites. Plus, they can be thawed and refrozen without losing flavor or texture.

To find more surprisingly delicious nutritional facts or recipe inspiration, visit EatPecans.com.

Pecan Chickpea Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe courtesy of Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24

1 cup raw pecan pieces
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In blender or food processor, blend pecan pieces, chickpeas, vanilla extract, cinnamon and sea salt 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth and creamy.

Fold in dark chocolate chips.

Form into 24 cookie dough balls. Eat as-is; no baking required.

Note: Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Roasted Pecans
Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

2 1/4 cups raw pecan halves
2 teaspoons olive oil or pecan oil
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Place pecans on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.

In heat-proof bowl, toss warm pecans with olive oil and sea salt, crushing larger salt grains with fingers while sprinkling.

Return pecans to baking sheet in single layer and bake 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and dry. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet.

Note: Store pecans in airtight container in refrigerator up to 9 months or freeze up to 2 years. Pecans can be thawed and frozen repeatedly without loss of flavor or texture.

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Nutrition

Protein to fuel everyday adventures in the kitchen and beyond

To ensure you’ve got the energy needed to take on that to-do list and enjoy your favorite activities, turn to familiar ingredients and recipes that pack the protein your body craves.

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Achieving your goals each day starts with your own health and well-being, both physically and mentally. To ensure you’ve got the energy needed to take on that to-do list and enjoy your favorite activities, turn to familiar ingredients and recipes that pack the protein your body craves.

To help reach nutrition goals and fuel your everyday adventures, Chicken of the Sea Tuna and Salmon Packets can follow you anywhere you go and make healthy eating a delicious endeavor. Everything you love about your favorite tuna and salmon products now fits into your busy lifestyle and unique dietary needs – keto, paleo or Mediterranean.

They’re flavorful, convenient and fit seamlessly into your daily routine, making them a perfect solution no matter your mood, cravings or occasion. Whether you’re bringing tuna along as an afternoon snack or incorporating salmon into a tasty meal, the responsibly sourced protein allows you to eat healthy and live happy without compromise.

For example, you can rethink lunchtime routines with a colorful twist on the viral social media salmon rice bowl. Bring together the lively flavors of Everything Bagel-seasoned pink salmon with your favorite toppings like carrots, radishes, Sriracha mayo and more for a simple yet flavorful afternoon protein-packed pick-me-up.

Long days away from home can lead to meal complacency when you walk through the door. However, keeping high-quality, responsibly sourced protein options on hand can help you avoid takeout cravings and a desire to leave the cooking to someone else. It doesn’t get much easier than these Lemon Garlic Tuna-Stuffed Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers for an appetizer or low-carb snack that takes just 20 minutes to prepare a handful of everyday ingredients.

When you find the right solutions for you, it’s time to stock the pantry. Try all the flavors Chicken of the Sea Wild Caught Tuna and Alaskan Pink Salmon Packets offers, from creamy or citrus to spicy and beyond.

Visit chickenofthesea.com to find more nutritious recipe inspiration.

Everything Bagel Salmon Brown Rice Bowl
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

1 packet (2 1/2 ounces) Chicken of the Sea Wild Caught Alaskan Pink Salmon with Everything Bagel Seasoning
1 cup cooked brown rice
roasted nori seaweed sheets or pieces, crushed
1 small avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons shredded carrots
2 tablespoons shredded radishes
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 teaspoons furikaki seasoning (Japanese rice seasoning)
2 tablespoons Sriracha mayo

In bowl, top cooked brown rice with crushed seaweed sheets.

Add sliced avocado and top with salmon.

Add carrots, radishes and cilantro.

Sprinkle with furikaki seasoning and drizzle with Sriracha mayo.

Lemon Garlic Tuna-Stuffed Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers 
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3

1 packet (2 1/2 ounces) Chicken of the Sea Wild Caught Light Tuna Lightly Seasoned by McCormick, Lemon Garlic
3 mini sweet peppers, halved, seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay parchment or foil over baking pan.

Place halved mini sweet peppers on prepared baking pan and lightly brush both sides of peppers with oil.

Divide lemon garlic tuna evenly between six mini pepper halves.

Top with cheese and bake 8-10 minutes, or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Allow to cool and top with sliced green onions and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste.

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