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                        Colorado State University Extension
                  Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
                                 Fort Collins, CO 80523-1571

  Colorado State University Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.
In This Issue
        We trust you are enjoying the spring season with the coming of
flowers, blooming trees and the start of gardening. This time of year is when
we see community gardens take shape, and the farmers’ markets will soon be in
full swing. For those who do not wish to grow their own fruits and vegetables the
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) provides a good alternative source of
fresh fruits and vegetables that supports local agriculture.

        In this issue you will see an emphasis on diet and food constituents. Antioxidant-rich spices
are noted for their benefits. Spices, herbs, essential oils and cocoa are all rich in antioxidant properties
within the plant itself. Typical spices high in antioxidants are cloves, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric,
cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic,
coriander, onion and cardamom. Typical herbs high in antioxidants include sage, thyme, marjoram,
tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, basil and dill weed. Chocolate is rich in cocoa that is also an
antioxidant. It remains to be seen if the small study reported in this issue is replicated in the future
with a larger sample size. The amounts used per portion are generally too small to supply large
                            amounts of antioxidants via the diet, but they always add great flavor to a
                            meal and every amount contributes something in the overall diet. So enjoy
                            the upcoming grilling season and use spices to perk up foods put on the
                            grill. They may do more for our health than just add flavor. You will also
                            see that the Dining a la Health section addresses the use of flowers to include
                            in your cooking and garnishes. Read the tips we’ve included as a guide.

         This year’s Lillian Fountain Smith conference on June 10 - 11 at the Marriott Hotel in Fort
Collins will include a session on “Functional Foods” as well as learn more about the benefits of
antioxidants. Dr. Mario Ferruzzi from Purdue University will discuss chocolate, wine and the health-
promoting benefits of phytochemicals. He will be followed by Dr. Talcott from Texas A&M
University, whose talk is entitled, “Chasing the Market: What’s So Super about Superfruits.” This
session will prove to be exciting and informative. If you have not registered, go to
www.fshn.cahs.colostate.edu, where you will see the complete program and online registration
information.
         With warmer weather more people can step outdoors for a walk. A recent long-term study
reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association noted some very positive benefits. In a 12-
year follow-up study, women who walked two or more hours per week had a significantly lower risk of
stroke than women who didn’t walk.

        Enjoy the warm weather, enjoy your walks, and yes, enjoy cooking with spices!

Jennifer Anderson, Ph.D., R.D.
Food and Nutrition Extension Specialist


Shirley Perryman, M.S., R.D.
Extension Specialist


Colorado State University Extension         Healthy Heart Beats                          January - June 2010
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Table of Contents
CLICK ON ANY STORY TO READ MORE


Nutrition and Research Updates
Association of Saturated Fat to Heart Disease ................................................................................. 4
Replace Saturated Fat in Diet for Heart Health................................................................................ 4
Added Sugar Linked to Dyslipidemia ................................................................................................. 4
Antioxidant-Rich Spices May Be Healthy .......................................................................................... 5
Value of Low Fat Diet to Heart Health ............................................................................................. 5
Brown Rice Protects Cardiovascular System ..................................................................................... 6


Resources
USDA Updates Nutrient Database ..................................................................................................... 6
Feeding Kids Newsletter....................................................................................................................... 6
MyPyramid Additions............................................................................................................................ 7
USDA Launches Interactive Food and Health Tool ....................................................................... 7
American Heart Association ................................................................................................................ 8
Free Handouts Available....................................................................................................................... 8
Free Nutrition Resources ...................................................................................................................... 8


Did You Know . . . ?
I am careful to eat foods high in dietary cholesterol sparingly in an effort to bring my serum cholesterol down
and improve what my physician calls, my lipid profile. Is that all I need to do? Are there other changes I
could make in my diet that would help me be more heart healthy? ................................................................ 9


Dining a la Health
Flowers – Not Too Pretty to Eat ...................................................................................................... 10




Colorado State University Extension                         Healthy Heart Beats                                          January - June 2010
                                                                     3
Nutrition and Research Updates
Association of Saturated Fat to Heart Disease

        A meta-analysis was funded by the US National Dairy Council, Unilever, and the National
Institutes of Health. Twenty-one studies were identified for inclusion. Epidemiological data from
nearly 350,000 subjects were analyzed to determine if dietary intakes of saturated fat are associated
with increases in either the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) or cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Data analysis revealed that dietary intake of saturated fat was not significantly linked to in increased
risk of CHD, stroke or CVD. Additionally, the authors concluded, “there was insufficient statistical
power for this meta-analysis to assess the effects on CVD risk of replacing specific amounts of
saturated fat with either polyunsaturated fat or carbohydrate.”
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010, 91(3):535-546 (March)




Replace Saturated Fat in Diet for Heart Health
         Harvard researchers, led by Dariush Mozaffarian, analyzed eight randomized controlled
trials for polyunsaturated fat consumption as a replacement for saturated fat. The study was
supported in part by the National Heart, Lunch and Blood Institute, and NIH. The eight trials
examined data on 13,614 adults and 1,042 coronary heart disease (CHD) events. The meta-analysis
revealed that for every 5 per cent increase in polyunsaturated fat consumption, the study’s authors
found a 10 per cent reduction in the risk of CHD.

       “The results from this study suggest that polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils may be an
optimal replacement for saturated fats, an important finding for dietary guidelines and for when
food manufacturers and restaurants are making decisions on how to reduce saturated fat in their
products,” wrote Mozaffarian and his colleagues in the study.

       “The findings also suggest that an upper limit of 10 per cent energy consumption from
polyunsaturated fats may be too low, as the participants in these trials who reduced their risk were
consuming about 15 per cent energy from polyunsaturated fats,” they concluded.
Source: PLoS Medicine, 2010, 7(3) March http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000252




Added Sugar Linked to Dyslipidemia

        This study looked at the link between added sugars and dyslipidemia, a lipid profile which may
indicate an increase for cardiovascular disease risk. Previous studies have confirmed the association
between cardiovascular risk and consumption of animal foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Collaborators from Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the
added sugar intake of 6,100 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006. Added sugars were present as ingredients in processed and/or
prepared foods.


Colorado State University Extension                      Healthy Heart Beats                         January - June 2010
                                                                  4
        About 16 per cent of daily calories were from added sugars which was a slight increase from
1977-78 when the daily intake was 11 per cent. Those adults with higher intakes of added sugars were
more likely to have lower levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides. Both
of these can contribute to heart disease risk.

        There was a statistically significant correlation between added sugars and several blood lipid
measures for dyslipidemia. The authors concluded, “Our results support the importance of dietary
guidelines that encourage consumers to limit their intake of added sugars.” Adults should be aware of
not only fat in food, but also added sugars, when choosing foods for heart health.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010, 303(15):1490-1497 (April)




Antioxidant-Rich Spices May Be Healthy
        A small study involving 11 volunteers examined the effect of an antioxidant spice mixture after
ingestion of cooked hamburgers. Malondialdehyde, formed during the cooking of hamburger meat,
can be absorbed after ingestion and affect plasma and urinary malondialdehyde concentrations. The
healthy volunteers randomly consumed hamburgers with and without the spice blend. When the
malondialdehyde concentrations in plasma and urine were measured, the malondialdehyde levels were
reduced in those who consumed the hamburgers seasoned with the spice blend.

        “This study showed that spices rich in antioxidants may be useful when cooking meat
products to reduce the formation of lipid-peroxidation products,” wrote David Herber, one of the
study’s authors. This result may suggest potential health benefits for atherogenesis and
carcinogenesis.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010, 91(5): 1180-1184 (May)




Value of Low Fat Diet to Heart Health
         The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification (DM) Trial evaluated the
effects of a dietary pattern low in total fat and high in complex carbohydrates including vegetables,
fruit, and grains on chronic diseases in postmenopausal women. Researchers randomly assigned the
women to an intervention or a comparison group. In the trial women who followed the low fat diet
consumed 29.3 per cent of their calories from fat, while the comparison group consumed 37 per
cent calories from fat. The intervention group increased intake of complex carbohydrates.

        Significant changes in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other lipoprotein levels with the
WHI diet were minimal. The authors noted that the “study had many strengths including its
randomized design, long-term follow-up, large sample size, and ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.
 It must be stressed that we used the food-frequency questionnaire to assess food intake; thus, these
analyses will be biased by errors in self-report.” At the end of six years the authors noted that
replacing 7-8 per cent of fat with complex carbohydrates did not negatively affect lipid levels
associated with heart health.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010, 91(4):860-874 (April)



Colorado State University Extension                       Healthy Heart Beats          January - June 2010
                                                                   5
Brown Rice Protects Cardiovascular System
        Brown rice is generally thought to be a healthy addition to the diet because it is a source of
fiber. Not all rice is equally nutritious, and brown rice might have an advantage over white rice by
offering protection from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”), say
researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple
University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

         The subaleurone layer of Japanese rice, which is located between the white center of the
grain and the brown fibrous outer layer, is rich in oligosaccharides and dietary fibers, making it
particularly nutritious. However, when brown rice is polished to make white rice, the subaleurone
layer is stripped away and the rice loses some of its nutrients.

         This suggests that the subaleurone layer of rice offers protection against high blood
pressure and atherosclerosis. It could also help explain why fewer people die of cardiovascular
disease in Japan, where most people eat at least one rice-based dish per day, than in the U.S., where
rice is not a primary component of daily nutrition.
Source: Dr. Takaguri will present the team's findings at the annual 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, CA on April
24-28. This presentation is sponsored by The American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-aps.org). The full meeting program
can be viewed at http://experimentalbiology.org/content/default.aspx.




Resources
USDA Updates Nutrient Database
      The USDA has updated its National Nutrient Database. Find it online at
www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Examples of the most recent additions include:

              “Restaurant Foods” as a new food category
              Values for vitamin D for 3,000 new foods
              Two hundred new foods bringing the total to 7,500 foods


Feeding Kids Newsletter
       The March issue of the Feeding Kids newsletter, published online quarterly, is posted at:
http://nutritionforkids.com/emlnews/FK-March10.htm.

         Download this free Snack Attack maze. After children complete the maze, ask them to list
at least three healthy choices for after school snacks. Plan an activity where children can create their
own healthy snack, comprised of the following food choices:
                  fruit or vegetable
                  protein source (a serving from the dairy and/or meat & beans group)
                  whole grain
Colorado State University Extension                   Healthy Heart Beats                                   January - June 2010
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MyPyramid Additions

            Quickly look up calories and comparisons between foods at www.MyFoodAPedia.gov.


            ‘Rate What You Ate’ at MyPyramid Menu Planner for Teens (middle school and high
             school age students):
             http://www.mypyramid.gov/MenuPlanner/downloads/RateWhatYouAte.pdf




                       Helping Kids Fight Obesity: Best Online Info Sources




                       Let's Move! Help the First Lady tackle childhood obesity.




                       Apps for Healthy Kids Competition
                       Get creative! Part of the Let's Move! campaign.




USDA Launches Interactive Food and Health Tool
       The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new online mapping tool early in
2010 to determine how a range of factors may relate to public health in America.

               Food Environment Atlas

              The tool, Your Food Environment Atlas, can be used by food policy makers,
              researchers, and the general public. Examples of variables which can be accessed
include: proximity to grocery stores, food insecurity, physical activity levels, food taxes, health, and
food prices. Information can be obtained by county within a state.

        Obesity and proposed public health interventions have become a priority. Michelle Obama
recently announced the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign that focuses on physical activity and healthy eating to
tackle childhood obesity. Launching the online atlas, agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said, “The
First Lady has set an aggressive goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation because this
epidemic is keeping our children from reaching their potential, and we're going to need new tools,
greater collaboration, and new partnerships to address this crisis.”


Colorado State University Extension        Healthy Heart Beats                          January - June 2010
                                                    7
American Heart Association
        The American Heart Association (AHA) has developed a consumer education campaign,
“Face the Facts about Fat,” focused on increasing consumer awareness and understanding of fat in
the diet. Learn how to replace trans fat-laden partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, animal fats and
tropical oils with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Access this helpful
information for your heart health at www.americanheart.org/facethefats.
                     Take a crash course and learn everything you need to know about fats.
                     Personalize your daily fat limit with a fat calculator.
                     Get helpful tips on making healthier food choices whether preparing food at
                      home or eating out.
        Make heart-healthy grocery shopping easier by checking out the AHA online Food
Certification Program at www.heartcheckmark.org.


Free Handouts Available
Communicating Food for Health has released three free nutrition handouts.
            “A Salad a Day Keeps the Scale at Bay” offers suggestions about which toppings are the
             best or worst: Salad A Day.

            “But I Never Use the Salt Shaker” helps readers determine if their diet is too high in
             sodium. Additionally, ten tips are offered to help lower sodium intake: Salt Shaker Quiz.

            June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month. Take this fun quiz that centers around the top
             20 fruits and vegetables that score the highest for antioxidants:
             Fruit and Vegetable Savvy Quiz PLUS Strawberry Sparkler Recipe.


Free Nutrition Resources

       Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Extension has offered links, online calculators, and downloadable widgets for your website,
handouts, etc., to help motivate healthier eating. Access these helpful resources at:
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ft-jan-10.shtml.




  Please remember to credit the source for free resources used as PowerPoint presentations,
  handouts, articles, etc.




Colorado State University Extension           Healthy Heart Beats                     January - June 2010
                                                       8
Did You Know . . . ?
                        I am careful to eat foods high in dietary cholesterol
             sparingly in an effort to bring my serum cholesterol down and improve
             what my physician calls, my lipid profile. Is that all I need to do? Are
             there other changes I could make in my diet that would help me be
             more heart healthy?

        You’re off to a good start by understanding that dietary cholesterol, found in certain
foods, is different from serum cholesterol which is found in the blood. Making dietary changes
rather than relying on medications to lower cholesterol can make a big difference in your heart
health. Primarily limit animal foods, meat and eggs, to minimize your intake of dietary
cholesterol. There are additional dietary changes that can be made to help you reach your goal
of improving your lipid profile.

       Limit saturated fat. Saturated fat can raise LDL-“bad” cholesterol and is present in high
        amounts in meat and full-fat dairy products including butter. The American Heart
        Association recommends limiting saturated fat to 7 per cent of your total calories. The
        average American gets 11 per cent of their total calories from saturated fat. All food
        contains saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat in varying amounts.
        Choose foods containing more polyunsaturated (vegetable oils) and monounsaturated fat
        (olive oil, avocados and nuts) more often.

       Avoid trans fat. In the case of trans fat, aim not just to limit it, but avoid it as much as
        possible. Trans fat is only found in processed food that includes partially hydrogenated oils.
        Look for it on the ingredient label. Don’t be fooled when the nutrient facts label lists the
        trans fat content as zero. Manufacturers only have to quantify the amount if it’s 0.5 grams
        per serving or more. Typical foods containing trans fat would be cookies, crackers, and
        other baked goods.

       Choose to include more omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. Fatty fish, such
        as salmon, contain more omega-3s than shell fish, for example. Omega-3s are associated
        with increasing HDL-“good” cholesterol as well as well as lowering triglycerides. The
        American Heart Association recommends eating fish high in omega-3s at least twice a
        week.

       Increase soluble fiber. When soluble fiber dissolves in water, it forms a gel that binds with
        cholesterol in the blood and helps to eliminate it from the body. Soluble fiber is found in
        fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, barley and dried beans and lentils.

       Add phytosterols to your diet. Phytosterols in packaged foods are relatively new on the
        market. They function by lowering LDL-“bad” cholesterol. The National Heart, Lung and
        Blood Institute (NHLBI) suggest that adding phytosterols can decrease LDL by 5 to 15 per
        cent. The recommended amount is 2 grams per day and may be found in specially marked
        containers of yogurt, orange juice and “buttery” spreads.

        Finally, check this fact sheet on “Cholesterol and Fats” for more information:
        http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09319.html.
Colorado State University Extension      Healthy Heart Beats                       January - June 2010
                                                  9
Dining a la Health
Flowers—Not Too Pretty to Eat

        Have you ever considered growing flowers to add to your food?
Edible flowers can be used as a main ingredient in entrees and can add a
splash of color to salads. Larger flowers can be stuffed or used in stir-fry
dishes. Edible flowers can be frozen in ice cubes or ice rings and added
to beverages, made into jellies and jams, used to make teas or wines,
minced and added to pancakes, crepes, and waffles. Flowers can be used to
make vinegars for cooking, marinades or dressings for salad. Create
crystallized flowers by painting petals with pasteurized egg white and then
sprinkle with sugar. After they dry these lovely creations can last up to a
year. Wouldn’t that be a special touch for a cake!

        Here’s a quick and easy way to spruce up a meal or an appetizer. Mince some edible
flowers and mix them into softened margarine or a soft cheese spread. Form the margarine or
cheese into a log or pack it into a clear glass container and refrigerate. At serving time decorate
the top with whole edible flowers. Voila! What an impressive addition to your dinner!

       Start checking out your own or your neighbor’s flower garden to add a bit of flair to your
next meal. Follow these tips when planting and harvesting edible flowers.

            First and foremost, be certain the flowers you want to use are indeed edible because
             some flowers are poisonous. Consult this fact sheet for a comprehensive list of edible
             flowers: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07237.html.

            Avoid using pesticides on or near flowers intended to be eaten. Avoid flowers
             growing by the roadside and flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers since
             you can’t be sure if they were exposed to pesticides. Pesticides used on flowers have
             not been evaluated for food safety. Eat only flowers that you or someone else has
             grown. Check directly with the growers at farmers’ markets to determine if the
             flowers they are selling meet the safety criteria. 

            Avoid eating flowers if you have hay fever, asthma or allergies. Many allergies are
             due to sensitivity to pollen of specific plants. Even if you’re not prone to allergies,
             it’s still advisable to take it slow and not over-indulge at one time. Also, some
             individuals may find that flowers can cause problems for the digestive system.

            Collect flowers in the cool of the day after the dew has evaporated. Choose flowers
             that are fully open and keep them cool until ready for use. Keep them as fresh as
             possible by placing the stems in a container of water or placing the petals between
             damp paper towels in a plastic bag kept stored in the refrigerator.

            When you’re ready to add the flowers to your food, remove the pistils and stamens and
             use only the petals. The pollen can distract from the flavor. The white base of the
             petal of many flowers may have a bitter taste and should be removed from flowers.
Colorado State University Extension        Healthy Heart Beats                        January - June 2010
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