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New Smart Foods Promise Reduced Blood Pressure, Better Heart Health

Posted May 05 2009 6:02pm 1 Comment
A new crop of “smart foods” promise to replace bad eating habits with heart healthy ones- and we might not even notice! Here’s the skinny on Smart Foods – the "next big thing" in healthy eating! By Colette Bouchez

Hate to diet? Me too. Hate to eat the so-called “good foods”. Yeah, me too. Well you and I, we might have a better chance at satisfying our taste buds without sacrificing our mid-life heart health, thanks to a new crop of “Smart Foods “ – the latest innovation in healthy eating.

Among the newest is baked goods that replace wheat flour with lupin flour , a grain made from a legume grown primarily in Australia. What makes lupin so smart ?

According to a new study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, like soy it’s high in a healthy form of plant protein. But it has more. Lupin also contains non-starch polysaccharides - which means that once ingested, lupin offers the benefits of two types of fiber – both soluble (think oats) and insoluble ( think wheat bran).

Together with the high protein content, the new study showed it can offer diners a one-two punch that satisfies the appetite while working to control blood pressure, cholesterol and maybe weight – and in the process reduce our risk of heart disease. And best of all – it tastes like good old fashioned white bread!

“This approach may be a relatively simple and acceptable dietary measure for helping to reduce cardiovascular risk in overweight and obese persons.” wrote the researchers, which included lead study author Jonathan Hodgson from the University of Western Australia in Perth.

If that were not enough, Lupin flour also contains yet one more nutritional factor that might be making the biggest health difference of all. It’s called arginine, a compound which the body uses in the production of nitric oxide – one of the most potent of all natural vascular relaxing agents . When blood vessels are relaxed, blood pressure remains low. And, in fact, it is arginine that the researchers say may actually be what helped decrease blood pressure in the study participants - over and above what a high fiber food can offer.

“The decrease in blood pressure could result from an improvement in vascular tone mediated by nitric oxide, a potent endothelium-derived relaxing factor,” wrote the authors.

As to controlling your appetite – well previous studies also reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that when compared to eating white bread, eating breads or rolls made from lupin flour keep study participants feeling fuller longer – and decreased their desire for between meal snacks! Now that is smart!

Smarter Salt – More Taste !

As anyone who’s ever tasted a low-sodium food is likely to tell you , "bon appetit" are not exactly the words that come to mind. It’s not so much the removal of the salt that seems to make it taste so yucky, as is the addition of whatever else they add in it’s place.

Now a new “smart food” technology promises to lower sodium content in foods like snacks, canned soup and frozen entrees and still keep the flavor . Sound impossible?

It’s possible, say experts, and the key lies in replacing common salt ( sodium chloride) with a specially processed compound of potassium chloride - and the “ specially processed “ part is key. Why?

Food manufacturers have long known that potassium chloride naturally offers the true salty taste of sodium while reducing negative health benefits. Unfortunately, it did so at the expense of taste. More specifically, products made with potassium chloride took on a bitter, metallic “after taste” that once you’ve sampled it, makes you never want to take another bite.

But now three ingredient manufacturers have found three novel ways of masking that bitter taste while still allowing the stimulating salty taste we love to shine through!

The end result: You get the salty taste you crave and still dramatically reduce the health problems associated with high-sodium foods, which according to the American Heart Association include an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Currently, three of these new potassium chloride salt replacers are available: Reduxso, SaltTrim and sub4salt. While you can’t buy them to shake on your fries just yet, all three should be showing up regularly in a variety of low sodium snack , frozen and processed foods in the coming months.

More good food news: Colette Bouchez’s new book "The Hot Flash Solution: A Breakthrough Program for Beating Hot Flashes and Night Sweats in 7 Days" which features a hot flash diet that doctors say "really works" ! Visit RedDressDiary.com to read more about the plan!

You might also be interested in reading:

Food Fight: Don’t Rely On Will Power To Lose Weight -

New Study: Weight Gain Shocker


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Low Sodium Foods List

This is  asearchable collection of nutritional data on thousands of foods for healthy diet. All the nutritional data of foods is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture database for standard reference SR22.

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